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Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.






Sakura Wars is a "dramatic adventure" game for the Sega Saturn, developed from a concept by author Oji Hiroi by Red Entertainment and published by Sega themselves. One of the flagship titles for the system in Japan, it would go on to spawn a massive multimedia franchise, spanning six mainline games, several spinoffs, and a number of anime and manga adaptations, as well as stage shows.

The game takes place in a fictionalized steampunk version of Japan's Taisho era, specifically 1923 and follows the exploits of the Imperial Assault Troop (Known as the Combat Revue in official translations), a secret military unit dedicated to fighting demonic threats to Tokyo while masquerading as a theater troupe. Recently graduated Navy Ensign Ichiro Ogami is brought on to lead the Flower Division, a group of women with spiritual power who pilot steam-powered armor in defense of the capital.

Dramatic adventure? Yes, that's the official term Sega used to refer to this game's genre. In reality, Sakura Wars is an eclectic mix of visual novel/adventure storytelling, dating sim relationships, and turn-based strategy combat. I think it works pretty well.

Despite multiple attempts to localize the series, the games eluded the English-speaking world for years, with only So Long My Love getting a western release 5 years after it was released. In 2019, however, not only was it announced that the soft reboot would be brought over in English, but a complete fan translation of the Saturn original was dropped just outta nowhere!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H5BL8NzLBo

This is the version that I'll be playing. Now, before we join the Imperial Assault Troop, let's meet the ladies we'll be fighting alongside. I'll probably be going for whichever one goes over more with the audience, so find one you like!


Sakura Shinguji (CV. Chisa Yokoyama)

The main heroine who joined the Assault Troop around the same time as Ogami. She grew up in the sticks and is still getting used to life in the big city, but her heart sure is in the right place.

Pros: Is a samurai, a genuine Sega icon
Cons: Kinda clumsy, risks incurring the wrath of Segata Sanshiro if dated


Sumire Kanzaki (CV. Michie Tomizawa)

The self-professed star of the Flower Division, Sumire is the heir to Kanzaki Heavy Industries, the company that manufatures the Koubu, the powered armor the Assault Troop fights in. She won't hesitate to let you know she's better than you.

Pros: She's a good actress, ohohohohos
Cons: Got a big ol' stick up her butt, her shoulders are probably cold


Maria Tachibana (CV. Urara Takano)

The most experienced member of the Flower Division, Maria is a half-Russian veteran of the Russian Revolution. She's the original leader of the division and an ace sharpshooter, though her battle experience has left her a bit cold and distant.

Pros: A bonafide professional, calm and collected
Cons: Kinda hard to read, guns are bad


Iris Châteaubriand (CV. Kumiko Nishihara)

The youngest member of the Flower Division, Iris comes from an aristocratic French family. She's not equipped with a weapon, but has strong psychic abilities, which she uses to support the rest of the team.

Pros: Keeps us all in top shape, probably makes good fries
Cons: She speaks French sometimes so I have to copy and paste accents and stuff, is very much ten years old so maybe let's not, huh?


Li Kohran (CV. Yuriko Fuchizaki)

A mechanical genius from China, Kohran works as the stage manager of the Flower Division and maintains the unit's Koubu. She's also an inventor, though her inventions have a habit of blowing up on her.

Pros: Glasses and braids, speaks a cool Kansai-ben
Cons: She'll use us as a guinea pig, explosions are also not very good


Kanna Kirishima (CV. Mayumi Tanaka)

The muscle of the group, Kanna is a karate master who puts her combat prowess to use in her Koubu. She's a tomboy and almost always hungry, and is often at odds with Sumire.

Pros: Big and buff, is literally 6'6"/197cm
Cons: Hefty restaurant checks, for some reason she makes me want to be a pirate


Updates

Episode 1 - The Capital's Floral Assault Troop!

1-1 - Meeting the Imperial Assault Troop
1-2 - Between an O and a U
1-3 - The Bear Necessities

Waffleman_ fucked around with this message at 13:08 on Jun 20, 2020

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Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




1-1 - Meeting the Imperial Assault Troop


Watch Video: Disc 1 OP
Uncompressed version courtesy PlayscopeTimeline

The main theme of Sakura Wars, "Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan" is performed by Chisa Yokoyama and the Teikoku Kagekidan. In Japan, it became an iconic song in the anime fandom, becoming a mainstay at karaoke bars and live shows. A version of this theme appears in five of the six mainline Sakura Wars games, with only the fifth game, So Long My Love missing it.

Additionally, this is how basically every FMV in this game is presented, compressed into a little box. Gotta save space on those Cee Dee Roms somehow. The animated cutscenes are produced by the Sega-owned studio Kyokuichi Tokyo Movie, later known as TMS Entertainment, who are also known for producing the Lupin III and Detective Conan franchises, Akira, and contributing animation to a multitude of western cartoons in the 90s.





Nothing much to say about the main menu, so let's just start the show.




Watch Video: The Incident in Ueno Park

The curtain rises on the Imperial Capital of Tokyo, specifically the Ginza district.





Huh? You say you saw something? Yeah, what you're seeing is the hustle and bustle of a city on the rise.



What?



It's just some birds.





We're at Ueno Park, the cherry blossoms are falling, it's beautiful, what more could you want?



Well that's a hamper on our nice day out.







Well, good thing she had a sword. But enough of that.





As a special assignment, I appoint you captain of the following outfit. "The Imperial Assault Troop, Anti-Demon Corps, Flower Division." You are on a secret assignment to defend our Imperial capital. Proceed to Ueno Park to meet up with your squad.

Imperial Army Lieutenant General, Yoneda Ikki



Yeah, I can read, Count.



This here's Ogami, he's gonna be our us for the game. He just graduated from the Navy academy and he's already got a pretty cushy gig as a captain.

Good. That's what I like to hear. My position as a politician doesn't allow me to talk about a military secret like the Assault Troop here and now. For more information you have to ask the officer in command, Lieutenant General Yoneda. Now, go to Ueno Park. Don't make me regret recommending you for this position!

Yes, sir! I'll be on my way immediately!

The safety of the capital lies in your hands. Good luck!

Yes, sir!





Hopefully there's not as many monsters today.

Now then...where is this meet-up point...? Maybe I should look around a bit more.





I heard a young girl got rid of the monster with a sword.

...I was told someone from the Imperial Assault Troop would meet me here. I wonder how long he'll keep me waiting?



She's coming this way...!


Watch video: Meet Sakura

There's a fair bit of voice acting in this game, which is impressive for 96. When we meet our main characters, I'll give little samples of their voice acting, and maybe some other prominent scenes. Also, might as well tell you a bit more about the voice actors. Sakura here is voiced by Chisa Yokoyama, whose more prominent roles aside from Sakura include Sasami in the Tenchi Muyo franchise, Lucrezia Noin in Gundam Wing, and Biscuit Krueger in the 2011 Hunter x Hunter anime.

Y-Yes. I'm Ogami. Ahem, excuse me, but you are...?

My name is Sakura Shinguji. I received orders from Lieutenant General Yoneda to pick you up.

...From Lieutenant General Yoneda?

(I was told someone would meet me...But who would have thought it would be a girl!)

Ogami, it's 1923, that kind of thinking is antiquated.

You, uh....are you a memeber of the Imperial Assault Troop?!



Nice to meet you.

Ah...I'm Imperial Navy Ensign Ichiro Ogami. But...to tell the truth, I'm surprised that a girl like you is a squad member.

Is that a problem for you?

Yeah, Ogami. Is it?

N-No. That's not what I meant...

(It's a top-secret unit after all...Maybe it's not so strange that there are female members.)



Imperial Theater? Like a theater of war, I guess? Didn't expect to be hitting the battlefield so quickly.

What? A theater?!



Oh, would you look at that. It's the Live Interactive Picture System! You can just call it LIPS for short. It's a mechanic this game has to bring a bit more engagement to the typical ADV gameplay. In the first couple games, much of what it amounts to is that dialogue choices have a time limit. The border around the box will fill in red as we run out of time, and if we do, we just...don't say anything. Which is always an option.

Now, we could be rude to poor Sakura, but hey, if we're gonna fight alongside her, let's have her tell us a bit about herself.

First tell me more about you.



And we hear a little chime which means we got a little point up with Sakura. We'll be able to gain or lose trust with each of the girls in typical VN fasion. Of course, only one will win our heart.

My name is Sakura Shinguji. I just arrived from Sendai and newly joined the troop. I still feel like I'm causing everybody nothing but trouble. But I'd give my life in order to protect the capital.

I see, that's the right attitude! Happy to hear that. No wonder you're a member of the secret squad. ...So the Imperial Assault Troop has something like a secret weapon, right?

I think a lot of things about it are secret, boy.

Using a "Koubu" is really hard. But we newbies should stick together and do our best.

(Koubu? Ah, that's what the secret weapon is called. I wonder what it is.)



Y-Yes! Thank you very much!



Deeper into Ginza, we find...





No one would guess that in reality this theater is a secret military headquarters...

Since it's your first time, let's enter through the main lobby.



Ooh, this is a pretty snazzy place.

At any rate...It's really quiet here.

That's because today there is only a night performance.

(Night performance? ...Is that supposed to be a night-time drill?)

That's the only performance I'd think would be in a theater.

But we're opening soon. There'll be loads of guests here in a minute.


Watch video: Meet Iris

Hey, it's Iris! I like that the fan translation has her call Ogami "mon frère" as a translation for "onii-chan" which feels more natural and less...weird. However, it means I gotta copypaste that accent every time. Iris is voiced by Kumiko Nishihara, who's been an active voice actress since 1984. Some of her other roles include Silvia Noventa in Gundam Wing, Perona in One Piece, and Renne in Trails in the Sky.

Also hey rude.

Waaah!?

(Who's that child...?!?)

[sakura-glare] Iris! Haven't I told you already that you shouldn't talk like that to grown-ups? This is Ensign Ichiro Ogami, newly transferred to the Imperial Assault Troop.

Ah...I'm...Imperial Navy Ensign Ichiro Ogami.

Imperial Assault Troop, Flower Division, Iris. And this is Jean-Paul, the bear. He's my best friend. I hope you two get along.

I'm pretty good with animals, don't you worry.



Ogami, understandably, has reservations about a 10 year old being a soldier, but this is anime.

Sakura...

What is it?

He has the "Sprit Power" too...does that mean he's going to fight in a "Koubu" as well?

Nah, I'm just the new ticket taker.

[sakura-glare] That's right.



Oh, don't worry, Iris. Let's go back to your room and I'll read you stories from that Mother Goose book.

OK.



Please excuse me for now.



Sakura has gone as well...drat. I guess I'll have to find Lieutenant General Yoneda on my own...

And now we're alone.



And here you can see the layout of the theater. This little map screen is where we'll be spending a lot of our time, but before that, something's caught Ogami's attention.



...Who was that? I think it came from the dining hall...



Yeah, the theater has I guess a restaurant attached.




Watch video: Meet Sumire

Sumire is voiced by Michie Tomizawa, who's also known for such roles as Roberta from Black Lagoon, Mihoshi in the fourth Tenchi Muyo OVA series, Rachel from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive...

Oh, and she's goddamn Sailor Mars. That too.

...Are you talking to me?

Do you see anyone else? Wipe that stupid look off your face and get over here!

Ye-yes, ma'am...

Boy, you got it bad.

Pick up that fork I dropped over there and go get me a new one.



If there's anything I've learned working retail, it's that sometimes you just gotta give people what they want, it's not worth fighting over.

Yes, right away! ...Here, there you go.

Thank you. Oh, by the way, What do youo think about how that Maria just came out of nowhere and replaced me, top star Kanzaki Sumire, as the leader of the troop?

That old geezer Yoneda...he couldn't spot a star if you hit him over the head with it.

Uhhhhhhhhh.

(Phew..) ...I'm Imperial Navy Ensign Ichiro Ogami. I was transferred to the Imperial Assault Troop effective today. I'd like to report to Lieutenant General Yoneda...





Oh, and be so nice not to mention what I just said to Yoneda, OK? (*kiss*)

Excuse me, miss! This is improper work conduct!

Waah! Wh-What are you doing all of a sudden!?!

There, there, no need to turn all red. Just a little revenge...er, reward, is what I mean.

Ahem...Where might I find Lieutenant General Yoneda?

Mr. Yoneda is in the manager's room. But remember, don't mention our little talk. Do you understand Ensign Ogawa?



If that is all, please be on your way.

Y-Yes, ma'am...



That was exceptionally odd. Well, onto Yoneda's office.



Lieutenant General Ikki Yoneda, the great strategist from the Russo-Japanese war. I wonder what kind of man he is.


Watch video: Meet Maria

Maria is the last major character we'll be meeting today, and she's voiced by Urara Takano. Maria is actually the most prominent role she's played, though she also portrays Francis Drake in the Fate franchise and played Monkey D. Luffy in the original OVA pilot for One Piece, as well as a number of live-action dubbing roles.

Ah...excuse me. I'm Imperial Nacy Ensign Ichiro Ogami. I would like to see Lieutenant General Yoneda...

So you're Ichiro Ogami, newly transferred to the Troop. Nice to meet you. My name is Maria Tachibana.

Miss Maria Tachibana...



So here's another bit of LIPS. We can just...lookit girls. We can examine different parts of her body and Ogami will comment.

Her hair:

(I guess you can call this color platinum blonde.)

Her uniform:

(What a speckless display of uniform and posture.)

Her eyes:

(What brilliant green eyes...)



Ogami no.

(Nice...)

Bad.

And then we can just end this by talking to her mouth.

Lieutenant General Yoneda is in the manager's office. I have training, so I must leave you.



But what type of practice was she talking about? Well then...I'll finally meet Lieutenant General Yoneda.

And we'll meet with the Lieutenant General next time.

A Fun Fact To Leave You On
Did you know that the concept for what would become Sakura Wars dates back to 1990, when Oji Hiroi saw a stage production of Shanghai Rhapsody and was impressed by the spectacle of the acting troupe he saw?

Waffleman_ fucked around with this message at 15:10 on Jun 9, 2020

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Well, I'm hype to see this LP.

Also, if we don't go with Kanna, who can bench-press us and the rest of the team at the same time, I will be sad. She's always been my favorite of the original team.

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007

It is time for your viscera to see the light of day!

There are a couple places where [sakura-glare] is used instead of a portrait.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE



Nap Ghost

Kohran is the one true love interest

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Thought there was a different thing there but there wasn't.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Oh man, another one of these. I have no knowledge of this franchise beyond its existence so I'll be happily following this.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Slaan posted:

Kohran is the one true love interest
I mean, they're all good choices.

Except Iris.

She is for headpats only.

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


If you're on Windows, you can type è with its alt code: alt + numpad 0, 2, 3, 2.

If you need more special characters than that, a more general solution would be to switch to the US-International keyboard layout, so you can type them with a more natural pair of keystrokes, like `e. That might be more trouble than it's worth, though, because you do have to get used to the apostrophe key behaving differently.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Shei-kun posted:

Also, if we don't go with Kanna, who can bench-press us and the rest of the team at the same time, I will be sad. She's always been my favorite of the original team.

Rody One Half
Feb 18, 2011



давай полюбим МАРИЮ

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!


I did not expect this. Is this the year of the Sakura? Like we had Fire Emblem year in.. gently caress I forgot 2012? 2013?

Anyways, Sumire for me. I always like the HOHOHO, sue me.
But all* choices are good and all the sociopaths here are entertaining, so all aboard the Ogami humiliation train. Next stop, Kohran's lab.

*minus the one that would get FBI attention
Seriously assholes wasn't there a support role available for the 10 years old girl?

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Well, I've been a fan of So Long My Love for years and with the new one coming out, I decided to play the original during quarantine and decided immediately I wanted to LP it. The SLML LP starting up just kinda cemented my intentions.

By the way, been playing the new one, it's good.

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.


There's something really bizarre to me about the game having both portraits and bustups but not actually having them match.

ivantod
Mar 27, 2010

Mahalo, fuckers.

Weirdly, the PC version of this game actually got an offical Russian translated release in 2006 for some reason!?

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




There were also a couple of Korean localizations.

Rody One Half
Feb 18, 2011



Weird to call him Итиро and not Ичиро.

ivantod
Mar 27, 2010

Mahalo, fuckers.

Rody One Half posted:

Weird to call him Итиро and not Ичиро.

I'm guessing it's because of using the old romanisation system where "chi" is romanised as "ti"? So I guess technically it's not a mistake even though we are used to it being romanised as "chi" nowadays.

Getsuya
Oct 2, 2013


Great to see this getting LPed! I was one of the main translators on the project and will happily speak to any translation tidbits or oddities that pop up.

Edit: One interesting factoid not covered in the OP was that the creators actually made a tabletop RPG version of the combat system to play test it. Sadly no commercial version of the tabletop RPG ever surfaced.

Getsuya fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Jun 6, 2020

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Getsuya posted:

Great to see this getting LPed! I was one of the main translators on the project and will happily speak to any translation tidbits or oddities that pop up.

Edit: One interesting factoid not covered in the OP was that the creators actually made a tabletop RPG version of the combat system to play test it. Sadly no commercial version of the tabletop RPG ever surfaced.
Hwhat

I would absolutely love to see a tabletop RPG for Sakura Wars. Let me finally play my own character in this glorious Alternate History Mystical Science Fantasy Mecha Steam Opera Dating Sim.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Getsuya posted:

Great to see this getting LPed! I was one of the main translators on the project and will happily speak to any translation tidbits or oddities that pop up.

Edit: One interesting factoid not covered in the OP was that the creators actually made a tabletop RPG version of the combat system to play test it. Sadly no commercial version of the tabletop RPG ever surfaced.

That was gonna be one of my end of update fun facts! They actually made two versions of it.

Also uh

Shei-kun posted:

Hwhat

I would absolutely love to see a tabletop RPG for Sakura Wars. Let me finally play my own character in this glorious Alternate History Mystical Science Fantasy Mecha Steam Opera Dating Sim.

I may be actively putting together ideas for such a thing.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Is that you Spirit Armor?

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Also, I need to post the commercial for Sakura Wars 2 as soon as possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sstcW9I7T50

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


Shei-kun posted:

Hwhat

I would absolutely love to see a tabletop RPG for Sakura Wars. Let me finally play my own character in this glorious Alternate History Mystical Science Fantasy Mecha Steam Opera Dating Sim.
You'd be surprised how many video game designers swear by paper prototyping.

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FractalSandwich posted:

You'd be surprised how many video game designers swear by paper prototyping.

the secret reason Duke Nukem Forever turned out like it did

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Waffleman_ posted:

Also, I need to post the commercial for Sakura Wars 2 as soon as possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sstcW9I7T50

You reminded me of this video that uses that one in its footage and is always worth watching again, so thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb7sN7axblc

CannonFodder
Jan 26, 2001



Passion’s Wrench

habituallyred posted:

Is that you Spirit Armor?
That one never got finished It was real close to the end as well.

Waffleman_ I wish you the best of luck.

Also, voting Sumire for max Ohohohoho-ness and making Ogami's life miserable.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Waffleman_ posted:

Also, I need to post the commercial for Sakura Wars 2 as soon as possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sstcW9I7T50
Are you telling me there are commercials... where Segata Sanshiro doesn't suplex someone into an explosion or scream at them for not buying a Sega Saturn?

Unreal_One
Aug 18, 2010

Now you know how I don't like to use the sit-down gun, but this morning we just don't have time for mucking about.


Shei-kun posted:

Are you telling me there are commercials... where Segata Sanshiro doesn't suplex someone into an explosion or scream at them for not buying a Sega Saturn?

This cuts off the last 5 seconds where he does exactly that, don't worry.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Sakura is a good girl who has a Saturn.

DoubleDonut
Oct 22, 2010



Fallen Rib

I just played through this and went with Kanna so you'll all have to go with Kohran, who was my second choice. Thank you for your cooperation

Arbite
Nov 4, 2009

Our mare for President. The President who loses this war must buy himself and his counterpart custom titles of the winner's choice, and wear it for no less than a month. To the strongest



Man, I remember posting in the thread for this game's PS2 remake more than ten... years... ago. Oh God.

Anyway, great to see it.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!


Arbite posted:

Man, I remember posting in the thread for this game's PS2 remake more than ten... years... ago. Oh God.

Anyway, great to see it.

I started lurking here 11 or 12 years ago, more or less. I found SA through the Sakura Wars LP.

My how time flies.

resurgam40
Jul 22, 2007

Battler, the literal stupidest man on earth. Why are you even here, Battler, why did you come back to this place so you could fuck literally everything up?

Well, how about that. I just discovered and started this for myself/

(And let me tell you, I am so happy this is a version that doesn't actually allow you to hit on the prepubescent child the moment you meet her.)

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




The Saturn version from what I've played is generally pretty good with not being creepy about Iris. I mean, she's still there to bring a certain appeal, but nothing untoward will be happening to her in this LP.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.






The thread has entered its final form.

Luninareph
Jan 12, 2019

Why, no, I wouldn't hurt a (butter)fly. Why do you ask?


I'm excited to follow this! I always wanted them to localize the Dreamcast version back in the day and was really mad they ran the Dreamcast into the ground first.

Gonna vote for Maria, mostly because I liked her episode in the second set of OVAs. Kinda looks like Kohran is going to win at present, though, and that sounds pretty funny to watch, so I'm onboard.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Speaking of the OVAs, I may end up covering the first set of OVAs as bonus updates. They're just origin stories for how each girl joined the Revue.

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Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




1-2 - Between an O and a U



Ey boss, it's me!

Hey, come on in!

...Excuse me!



Reporting for duty!



Look at this man, drunk off his rear end on a Wednesday morning.

Remember, dis is the Great Imperial Theater, hic. Cut da military talk!

(What the...Who is the drunkard? Don't tell me this is...)

How 'bout a drink?



This guy's a general, right?

...Are...are you really Lieutenant General Yoneda?

What the...! What do you mean, "really?" Can't you recognize people without a badge of rank? Hic! I'm Army Lieutenant General Ikki Yoneda! Idiot!

I...I'm sorry.

Good! Glad we cleared that up. So, let me give you ya' first assignment.

Change into this and go to the reception! You'll raise eyebrows in that military uniform. Remember, this is a secret unit.

I still don't fully understand the point of a secret military unit needing to operate under a front like a theater and not in a secret base, but hey I'm not the President of the secret military.

I see...So we operate in disguise! Par for the course for a secret unit! Yes sir! Ichiro Ogami reporting for duty!



Yes sir!



Sakura!



IRIS.

Sakura and..Iris, was it? What are you doing here?

The game kinda doesn't convey it that well, but as you can probably tell by the portrait, Ogami did in fact change clothes.



Hey, weren't you the one saying we should 'check things out' in the first place?

Yes, and you said it was a great idea!

Ah, I see now.

(These two...looks like they were eavesdropping.)



I don't nearly have the time to worry about that right now, girls.

Anyways...Could you two tell me where the reception is? It's my first assignment here. I'd like to go there immediately.



No! He's going with me! Let's go, Mon Frère!



GIRLS NO TIME LET'S GO

Hey, stop fighting, you two. How about we all go together, hm?

...Alright.

I'm sorry, Iris. I guess I was a bit childish, too.

This gets us points with the both of them.

It's OK. Let's all go together. I like that!



Ogami no.



All the way back to the lobby.



I see. Thank you for showing me the way.

Mon Frère, the clipper is inside the desk! Come on, Sakura, let's go!

You're right, Iris. Ogami, we have to practice, so...please excuse us.

H-Hey you two, wait a second...



Clippers? Am I doing people's nails?!

Clipper...? What am I supposed to do with those?

What?! You don't know how to use a clipper? Hahaha, that's funny. You hold it in your hand and go snippety snip like this, and it'll cut holes.

That explains everything.

Hey, Iris. If we're not off to practice soon...

Oh, right. Bye-bye!

...but I really wanted to know what I'm supposed to use the clipper for.

Excuse me, young man. How long do you expect us to wait? Punch our tickets!

Wha

Today Sumire is starring in "The Eve of Lady Camellia". I can't wait!

What do you mean? I'm not responsible for tickets.

But...that's the ticket puncher's uniform you're wearing. And don't you have a clipper as well?

Whaaa..!? Does that mean my secret mission is just...punching tickets!? You gotta be kidding me!

YONEDA! I was just joking last time!



Y-yes. Uh...where do I punch the hole?

Huh? Are you new here? Jeez...don't dilly-dally.

Y-yes! Just a moment, please.

(...Wasn't my assignment to be captain of a secret squad?)





No, Ogami. Keep up the cover for some reason.

(No way! The Imperial Assault Troop is a secret unit. I can't just blow their cover like this!)

...At the moment I'm punching tickets here, but in reality...Just kidding, I really am just a ticket puncher.

Ogami please you are spending an uncomfortable amount of time talking to the drat customers.

Everything alright with you? Oh! Look at the time. The Flower Division's show is about to start!

(Did she just say Flower Division...? How does a civilian know the name of this secret unit...?)

Yeah, a running thing with this series seems to be a confusion on just how secret the unit actually is. People seem to know enough about them to be able to connect the dots, but....they don't?

Ahem...

Ah, sorry. Where is that clipper...? Ah! Here it is! There you go.

Um...Do you happen to like Sumire Kanzaki?



Really don't know enough about her to say, but you seem to like her, so I'm not gonna ruin your day.

Yeah, I haven't talked to her all that much, but she sure is my type.

Whaaa...! You've talked to Sumire?! Man, I'm so jealous...Oh, right...Ahem...would you mind giving this letter to her? Please tell her it is from her most passionate fan.

Y-yes, sir...understood.





Hey! Ticket puncher guy, here's my ticket!

Y-yes! Ahem...Where do I punch a children's ticket?

This guy's new here! He doesn't even know how to punch tickets!



Every fiber of my being is telling me to do it but I can't, because if you just do what they want, they'll go away and leave you alone.

Here you go, boy. Here's your ticket back.

Keep up the "good" work.

gently caress you too.

(Wh-what's the matter with that obnoxious child?!)

...No matter how I look at it, this is weird. How is ticket punching connected to my secret mission!? ...OK! I'm gonna have a talk with the squad. Maybe then I'll get some sort of explanation. If I'm still not convinced, I'll have to ask Lieutenant General Yoneda!



Hello? Excuuuuse me!



You arrived today, didn't you? Nice to meet you. I heard about you. I'm Tsubaki Takamura. I'm always working at the gift shop here.

Miss Tsubaki, is it?

I've got photos of all the group members here, so please stop by to visit anytime!

We can get cool pics of all the sweeties and honeys here at Tsubaki's.

Hmm...She works here at the gift shop. Seems full of energy.

...OK. Where to next?



Now we have free rein of the theater. This is gonna be the majority of our time in the game, goin' to places and havin' scenes.



But before we can go anywhere...





Guess whooo~?



It's Chisa Yokoyama!

That voice...is that you, Sakura?

Hehe...you got me.



Even you have a mischievous side then, huh?

Hehe...sorry about that. But...it makes me so happy that you remembered my voice.

Huh?...

Uh...s-sorry. I guess that was a strange thing to say. W-Well, I should get going...

Ah-Sakura, hold on! There's something I wanted to ask you.

What is it?



Wheeeere are you going?

Where are you headed, Sakura?

The performance is due to begin soon, so I'm looking for Sumire. I'm willing to bet she's somewhere on the second floor...well, I'll be going.

...Shoot, I forgot to ask her about the Imperial Assault Troop. ...Oh well, I'd better go too.

Ah drat.



Let's head backstage, see what's happening.



why are you on the floor



Yeah, thanks for before, Iris. By the way...there's something I wanted to ask you.

Yesss?



Gimme the scoop on the troop, Betty Boop.

I was wondering if you could tell me about the Imperial Assault Troop...

Sure, okay.

Why is the troop headquartered in a theater?

We're in a theater because that's where the "troop" performs. Isn't that obvious? You're pretty strange, Mon Frère.

...?

(I don't get it. There's nothing obvious about it!)



We're not gonna look over Iris too much, but let's see her bear.

Mon Frère, do you remember my bear's name?



Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Jean-Paul.

I remember. It's Jean-Paul, isn't it?

Yaaay! Mon Frère, you really remembered!

Of course. He's your very best friend.

Thank you, Mon Frère...I'm so happy you remembered.

Let's just...find out where the others are.

Do you know where everyone else is?

Sumire is upstairs. Sakura went to go get her. Maria said she was going to the stage. I think Mr. Yoneda is in his room?

I see. Thanks.



Well, the stage is right here, so let's see what Maria is up to.



I could ask the same of you. What business do you have here?

We get another lookyloo, but we had one before and we won't learn anything new, so let's just continue the conversation.

...Did you need something from me?



I don't think Ogami's gonna really understand what's going on with the Troop no matter how much we tell him, so we might as well get a sense of who these girls are.

Maria, would you tell me a little about yourself?



As captain of the Imperial Assault Troop, I'd like to know how a woman such as yourself came to be here.

...I don't believe there's any need for me to answer that. In any case, I hardly acknowledge you to be the captain as it is.

Harsh but fair.

E-excuse me?!

Ensign, you're interfering with my duties. Please refrain from speaking with me.

Geez fine.

The play is about to begin, so this area is off-limits. Please keep your distance, Ensign.

Oh well. Guess I'll head somewhere else.



Heading upstairs...



And over to the salon. It's not the hair type! It's an old kinda room where people would, like, sit.





...It's Ogami.

Oh, pardon me. I know-I'll call you "Ensign" from now on, just to simplify things.

Whatever works, I guess.

We get a chance to look over Sumire and all we find out is she has hair and boobs. Not a whole lot goin' on with these right now as we introduce the girls.

Drinking tea before a performance is the perfect way to dissolve tension. By the way, Ensign...what was it you needed?



I feel like I'm forgetting something.

I hope it's not too forward of me to say, but I'd love to know more about you...



Wait I didn't mean it like that.

As I mentioned before, I am the daughter of the Kanzaki family, which controls the Kanzaki Group. Originally, the only stage I stood upon was the stage of high society. But then Kanzaki Inc. became linked with this theater due to their efforts, and so I came to live here.

Kanzaki Heavy Industries? Why would a theater collaborate with an industrial manufacturing company?

The secret military unit, you dingus!!!

Ah, w-well now...

Sumireee! ...Oh, you're here too, Ogami?

Sakura...



How good of you to come for me. I must drop by my room for a moment, then I'll be right there. By the way...may I pose a question to you, Ensign?

Eh, to me?

Yes. Between myself and Sakura, what sort of woman do you prefer?



Won't you tell me, Ensign?



UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH

What sort of woman I prefer...well..



Sumire, don't be like that. You're putting him in an awkward position.

I would hardly think there is any room for debate on the matter...I will let it slide for now, I suppose. Well, I must be off.

I should go too. See you lare, Ogami.

Yeah, sure.

Ogami...I'm kind of relieved, but also a bit disappointed...what a complicated feeling this is.

Girl, it's been like two hours since we met, pump the brakes.

...Well, I should get going.

Sakura...

I'm not making any progress here. Maybe I should go to the director's office and talk to General Yoneda.

Yeah, we probably oughta just talk to the bos--SUMIRE'S LETTER.



Ah gee.



*Knock knock*

Yes? Who's there?

Um...it's Ogami. Do you have a minute?

I'm right in the middle of changing. Could you wait just one moment, please?

Gulp...she's changing?







Hand on God, it makes you wait a whole 10 seconds and it's kind of a good joke to pull on the player.



Such impeccable patience is nothing less than I'd expect from a military officer.

It was nothing, hahaha...

By the way...did you have some need of me?



While I was taking tickets earlier, I was entrusted this letter by someone calling himself a devoted fan. I figured I should pass it along to you. Here you are.

Goodness! You went to such trouble for my sake?

You have my deepest thanks, Ensign.

Still, why would a member of a secret troop like this receive fan mail?

Why, beauty such as mine can hardly be hidden away from the rest of the world. Wherever I go, I have fans. It's not especially surprising.

I-I see...

I've still some matters of my own to attend to, so I will take my leave. Thank you ever so, Ensign.

...I guess that patron ought to be satisfied now.

The more I wander around this place, the more it seems like an ordinary theater...



Let's see what Yoneda has to say about all this.





Nice to meet you. You're Ogami, right? I'm Kasumi Fujii, the theater's office manager. I'm sorry to impose, but would you mind coming with me to the secretary's office to fill out some new-hire forms?



K-Kinda busy...

I'm a little busy at the momoent...could it wait until later?

I'm afraid it's regulation, but it shouldn't take too long. I hope you understand.

I-I understand.

You gotta do the onboarding, Ogami. I know it's boring, but you get paid to watch videos.

Then I'll guide you there. This way, please.







I do the theater's office work. I'm looking forward to working with you!

The pleasure's all mine.



No problem. Let's see...will this do?

Yes, that's fine. Thanks very much. Director Yoneda is in his office, right next door.

Thank you.

All right, time to head for the director's office.



Ah, hello?...Yes, yes, hello.

He's on the phone...

Yes, he's here...just a littke while ago. Well, I'm going to wait a bit longer, see how things shake out...But you know, Hanakoji...the matter of this secret corps is a tough pill to swallow.

We force girls onto the battlefield, while all we go is sit back and watch. Frankly...it's humiliating. And yet, right now they are the only ones who can operate the Koubu. That's why I'm making it a point to protect these girls, while giving them as much freedom as possible.

If only we could make use of that young one...Oho, looks as though he's come by to complain. Well, goodbye for now...

Sounds like he finished the call. Please excuse me! Ogami, reporting in!



How's your work going? Have you gotten the hang of punching tickets all right?



Who was on the phone?

Commander, who were you speaking to just now?

Count Hanakouji, as it happens. The man who recommended you for this position. He wanted to make sure you weren't shirking any of your new duties.

I see. Actually, I have a question for you regarding that, Commander.

I'm supposed to be captain of this Imperial Assault Troop, right? What are my duties? Actually, before you answer that...This IS the Imperial Assault Troop, right? It looks like a regular theater!

Hm? Ogami, I think you're misunderstanding something here...Take a good long look at the plaque above my head.





Oh no

Imperial...Assault TROUPE...?! Whaaat?! Like a troupe of actors? This isn't a misprint or something, is it?

We've been done in by a kanji pun!

So the kanji on the plaque read "Teikoku Kagekidan." Both of them. But until now, Ogami was reading the name with kanji meaning, well, a battle troop. But aha, actually it is a theater troupe! The name of the Teikoku Kagekidan is based on the Takarazuka Kagekidan, more commonly known as the Takarazuka Revue. It's also a theater troupe of all women! The fan translation uses Imperial Assault Troop/Troupe to retain this joke, but current official translations use Imperial Combat Revue, not having to worry about this one pun that matters for the first half hour of the game, tying more of a direct reference to the Takarazuka Revue, and also personally, I think Combat Revue is a bit catchier. For the most part, I'll be using Troupe for parity with the fan translation text, but I may use Revue on habit, and it's interchangeable.

Sorry m'boy, this is the real deal.

I could have sword the documents said I'd been assigned to a secret assault force. Did I read it wrong?

Well, the performances we put on here sure are an assault on the senses. Bah ha ha ha! And as for secret...Well, you didn't know a government-run theater like this existed before, did you?

Gaaaah! I can't believe this!

Bamboozled! The wool over our eyes!

Ha ha ha! Take some time, let it all sink in.



The top-secret squad is just a bunch of actors? This is all way too bizarre. Am I dreaming?



Oh, Sakura...

You look so pale...I think you should take a break. Do you remember the way to your room. If you like...I could accompany you.



Yeah, that'd be nice.

That would be great. I'm so confused right now I barely know what I'm doing.

Are you sure you're going to be all right? Maybe you'll feel better if you rest up a little. Let's get you back to your room.



Thanks for the help. Sorry to make you worry about me.



Huh...?

Oh, it'd nothing, really. I-if you'll excuse me, I have a performance to prepare for...



I didn't really get to ask Sakura about the Troo--Troupe, so...

If you have some time, would you like to come in? There's something I'd like to discuss with you.

...I'm very sorry. The performance is due to start any minute now. I really would like to spend some more time with you, but duty calls.

Oh, I see. That's fine, I understand. Break a leg out there. And thanks again for coming this far with me.

You''re welcome! I'd better get going.

....Yeah, I guess I should rest up a little.

Ogami...

Huh? Oh, Sakura. Did you need something?

I...Well...Cheer up, Ogami! That gloomy expression you're wearing doesn't suit you at all. When I think back to the way you were when we first met back at Ueno Park, that's the way I...

Again, that was like...this morning.

Sorry, I've said too much. I should get going.

No, I'm the one who should apologize. It's just...You have your roles to play here, parts only you can perform. But what about me? I don't feel like I'm doing anything to safeguard the capital.





Man, entry level jobs were a lot easier in the 20s. The 1920s, not the 20s we're in now.

It didn't even matter what my assignment was. I'd be satisfied with any post if it meant protecting the capital. I thought I was taking control of a crack assault force, so when I found an exclusively female theater troupe, well.. Does my being here help protect our nation's peace at all?



And that brings us to our first intermission, where we get a chance to drop a save.



We can also check on the status of how the girls like us. Right now they're all pretty neutral. As the game goes on, we'll also be able to see which girl we have the most affinity with.

Next time, we gotta figure out what we're doing here.

A Fun Fact To Leave You On
Did you know that in the conceptual phases, the project that would become this game was just called Sakura (桜)? When proper development began, the name Sakura Wars (サクラ大戦) was chosen due to difficulties trademarking the generic word Sakura, which is also why Sakura is spelled out in katakana in the final name.

Waffleman_ fucked around with this message at 01:38 on Jun 12, 2020

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