In Anticipation Of Type-Moon’s Mahou Tsukai no Yoru

By EvoSpace - Translator, MangaGamer . July 31, 2010 . 5:40pm

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I’m sure some of you have heard of TYPE-MOON and their games, such as Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night. Although they started out as a doujin circle, TYPE-MOON are potentially the most influential company today in the visual novel industry, if they were to release a new title.

 

When T-M released their debut project, Tsukihime, they were merely a doujin circle with very limited resources. By the time they released Fate/Stay Night, they were a new commercial company just entering the visual novel market. But today, they enjoy access to all the funds and time they desire to invest in their new titles while they continue to widen their fame through various media.

 

Case in point: It’s actually been 6 whole years since the release of their last title, Fate/stay night (not counting all the spin-offs). But the origin of their upcoming project, Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, goes even further back.

 

Mahou Tsukai no Yoru was a novel written by T-M co-founder, Kinoko Nasu, 14 years ago as his first attempt at writing a complete novel. You could say that it was the basis for all of his future works. For instance, in the “Nasu-verse” timeline, it takes place prior to Tsukihime.

 

Aoko Aozaki Fighting game fans may recognize her better through Melty Blood, but the central character in Mahoyo is a mage named Aoko Aozaki, during her high school days. During the events of Mahoyo, Aoko is still a young girl with uncertainty towards the future, like any other girls her age. Well, maybe not exactly like other girls, considering her personality. But Mahoyo does mark the true beginning of all of TYPE-MOON’s work.

 

One interesting aspect to Mahou Tsukai no Yoru is that Hirokazu Koyama, who is the graphics chief of TYPE-MOON, is doing the character designs instead of Takashi Takeuchi, who designed the characters for all previous T-M projects. There are still people who say they prefer Takeuchi’s art style, but the truth is, his illustrations were all colored by Koyama anyway, so the game will almost certainly retain the beautiful color schemes T-M products are known for.  And of course, Nasu is still the writer, and even tweaked the text for the visual novel version.

 

But other than the artwork and the storyline (usually guaranteed to kick ass), there are a couple more aspects to Mahoyo that make it so greatly anticipated. One is the visual presentation.  If you’ve ever had a chance to play Fate/Hollow Ataraxia (a fan disc of Fate/Stay Night), you would have noticed the rather remarkable programming work pushing the limits of the visual novel technology the game runs on.

 

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As of today, even though it’s been 5 years, I haven’t seen anything as epic as the Saber vs. Archer battle scene at the bridge. Again, it’s been 5 years, so one could only imagine what the developers would be able to do with today’s technology.  Judging from the few Mahoyo screenshots from magazines, it appears that scenes they would normally have to draw a CG for, are instead represented by layering several still pictures one atop the other — and this is in an engine normally used just to display a character picture and the background in conventional visual novels to boot. 

 

One line in the Type-Moon Ace magazine interview even says that the amount of text data for the code was far larger than that of the narrative itself in one of the scenes.  Just to remind you, we’re not talking about an action game, but a visual novel.

 

The other aspect I’m looking forward to, personally, is the music. TYPE-MOON’s previous works did have great music, but even as a fan, I have to admit they were only average in comparison to the rest of the visual novel industry overall.  As mentioned in various places, the ending theme will be performed by Supercell, most famous through Hatsune Miku and Bakemonogatari’s anime ending.  But that’s only the ending theme. 

 

What I’m really looking forward to, this time around, is the game soundtrack. TYPE-MOON have hired Hideyuki Fukasawa, who worked on games such as Street Fighter IV, Shin-Onimusha Dawn of Dreams, and Chaos Legion, as one of the composers for the game.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, here’s a sample from Street Fighter IV. You can also listen to the soothing sample track on the official Mahoyo website.

 

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With all these elements combined, I can’t see how Mahoyo could possibly not be interesting.  I’ve always personally felt that Kinoko Nasu’s works were epic enough to match any of the mainstream titles out there.  It’s just that the anime adaptations (with the exception of the Kara no Kyoukai movies) and the limited resources of his old games never allowed him to do full justice to his creations. People say the 15 hours of gameplay they’ve announced for Mahoyo is short, but some of his previous works were unnecessarily long with scenes that could be cut, and his work is like a puzzle that can be enjoyed multiple times with new things for you to notice each time.

 

Story-wise, Mahoyo is about three characters: Aoko Aozaki, who is forced to succeed a mage’s family; Alice Kuonji who has lived as a mage all her life; and Shizuki Soujurou, who has just moved to an urban city from the countryside and everything is new to him. An old school TYPE-MOON fan could probably guess there’s a lot more to it, but I’ll just leave it at that. Interestingly, Mahoyo isn’t an eroge like TYPE-MOON’s previous titles, so perhaps, that will help the story stand out better, too.

 

Following numerous delays, Mahou Tsukai no Yoru isn’t going to be just another visual novel release when it is published this September. It’s going to be a historical accomplishment in the visual novel industry.

 

Here’s an interesting stat I’ve heard from an acquaintance who works in the PC game publishing business: Mahoyo received 4,000 pre-orders in the first week of pre-orders being available. In this niche industry and bad economy, many games don’t reach numbers that high even in their last week of pre-orders. It’s already considered a hit if it sells over 10,000 copies! 

 

For reference, Fate Stay Night sold 100,000 copies in the first week of its release. Hollow Ataraxia sold 140,000, and Fate/Stay Night Realta Nua — an all-ages port for the PlayStation 2 — sold 180,000.

 

To make matters crazier, the release date of Mahoyo is September 30th — the same date as Final Fantasy XIV. I bet Akihabara will be a war zone that day.


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  • PersonaSama

    Oh Evospace~

  • Melty

    I am really excited about this, I can’t wait to read it. Hopefully we will get to see what Aoko’s 5th magic is exactly.

  • JustAnotherTraveler

    Wait..Evospace wrote this? AHAHAHAHA there’s a name I haven’t heard in awhile. I hope you enjoy this. We’ll get to read it in English in what…thirty years?

  • Xien12

    By the way, 8000 yen for no voices! Single route, no choices to be made! 15 hours playtime! Also, Shirou using Nine Lives Blade Works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Morandi/100000837836996 Daniel Morandi

    I still have my complains about the no voices but the decisions, route and ero are not really necessary. Your preview Evospace is cool and make things clear.

    Thanks and I’m looking foward to this.

  • epy

    No voices? I guess they’re leaving that for the expanded console port. Also no Takeuchi makes me sad but it can’t be helped. Also 15 hours seems awfully short, my playtime for Fate Stay Night with everything complete and unlocked is over 6 days.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Morandi/100000837836996 Daniel Morandi

      30 hours took me and I didnt skip anything. 15 Hours isn’t short it’s an standar time for every common novel and I think this novel is only the first part. Another thing is that we have to see what kind of special effect or system will be use.

      …and yes, Evo put to much hype in this preview XD

    • evospace

      There are many games that costs more and shorter in this industry.
      For example, 9,240 for a 5 hour game.
      But if you think that a 2 hour movie costs 1500yen to watch, its not too bad, is it?

  • zetsujin

    I like TYPE-MOON but this is some really shameless dickriding. This isn’t going to revolutionize visual novels, if anything it’s a step back. I look forward to the game but that doesn’t mean I’m not also disappointed in TYPE-MOON for resting on their laurels.

  • FHOIW

    This is a visual novel I can NOT miss out as a Type-Moon fan.
    *Starts preordering

  • neocatzon

    I’m feeling bad for FFXIV and Type Moon fans.. especially for those targeting day one

  • Aoshi00

    I think the length is okay, I heard Steins;gate has around 30hrs for the first playthru and that’s not including multiple routes, that seems too long for me. So this game won’t have voices? New art is good for me, I never liked the TypeMoon art before..

    On a sidenote, I finally got se Kirara to work! All this time I couldn’t install onto my computer, then I kept searching on Jpn forum and only came up w/ one solution, someone d/l’ed it and the first install didn’t work, so he deleted it and d/l’ed again, and now it works! The latest d/l included 1.4 patch too.

    And I finally finished the 3rd Layton today, the game was long, took me like forever… now Devil’s Flute..

  • http://crapsule.tumblr.com/ vgbnd

    I knew I shouldn’t have read this. Now I’m all hyped up lol.

  • john411

    Not to be the downer, but:-No Voices-Full Price-Only 15 hours-Straight up novel, no branchesThis kind of setting might have been acceptable in 2002, but I can’t think of a single game in 2010 that is so lacking in features. And they expect it to sell well in this day and age? Even ocelot’s visual novels have *some* choices and they’re priced right too.And Koyama Hirokazu did some EventCGs for Fate and Tsukihime, and has been the artist for Nasu’s DDD novels, so he’s not a total stranger to fans.

    • Kibbitz

      That’s seriously a lot of downs. I’m fine with no voices, but it’s pretty expensive if they’re still charging standard game price for that.

    • shugosha

      They’re focusing with awesome graphics, it’s obvious with the whole HD CGs and the engine.

      And if you think that this will not sell like a monster… you are very deluded.

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