Harvest Moon Teams Up With PoPoLoCrois For A New 3DS RPG

By Sato . September 2, 2014 . 2:43am

popolocrois_01m1u

The PoPoLoCrois manga series was quite popular in Japan during the PS1 and PS2 era, and even had several strategy RPG games similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. This week’s issue of Famitsu reports that it’s coming back, as part of a collaboration title with Harvest Moon—or, rather, Story of Seasons. [Thanks, Game Jouhou.]

 

(Don’t worry, we’ll explain the name change at the end of this report if you need to get caught up.)

 

The Nintendo 3DS game fuses PoPoLoCrois Story and Harvest Moon’s original Japanese title, Bokujou Monogatari (lit. “Farm Story”), and will be called PoPoLoCrois Farm Story. It is an RPG.

 

The game’s world will feature many characters from the PoPoLoCrois series, and will bring the prince Pietro back as the protagonist. Pietro will go on adventures with command-based RPG battles, and will also have a farm where he’ll be able to grow all kinds of crops.

 

According to Tamori Yousuke, the original manga author of the series, “It’s finally been made possible thanks to all the help from various people. It’s a new departure for PoPoLoCrois.”

 

Harvest Moon vs. Story of Seasons:

The last Bokujou Monogatari game developed by Marvelous is being published in North America by Xseed, who are a subsidiary of Marvelous. However, Natsume—who published the series in North America until last year—own the “Harvest Moon” name, so Xseed have retitled the franchise Story of Seasons in the West.

 

Meanwhile, Natsume are now developing their very own Harvest Moon games, which have nothing to do with Marvelous or Xseed. This series retains the “Harvest Moon” name in North America, and the first title in the series is Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley.

 

For now, we’re going to refer to this game as PoPoLoCrois Farm Story to avoid any of that confusion. Of course, we will still use the Harvest Moon name in the body of our reports to let people know that the game’s roots lie with the original Harvest Moon series.

 

Note: Screenshot from PoPoLoCrois Story II on PS1.

 


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  • Namuro

    Well, Sony got Luminous Arc, while Nintendo gets Popolocrois?

    How about that.

    A fusion with Harvest Moon, though, this should be really interesting.

    • Princess_Eevee9

      I found it odd that Luminous Arc skipped the 3DS for a new game but who knows.

      • Postnjam

        Did the last one sell well, it didn’t come here I don’t think (west)

        • Princess_Eevee9

          Only one I played and knew about was the second one.

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Sony’s PoPoLoCrois games are just licensed titles. Licenses expire and other companies are free to take them up.

      • Namuro

        Yeah, that’s the nature of business.

        I just found it interesting that the series swapped platforms at around the same time.

      • wyrdwad

        The legal line on the title screen for every PopoloCrois game says (c) Tamori Yousuke, so I’m assuming he never actually sold the rights to the franchise to anyone and has been free to do whatever he wished with it all this time. Still surprising to see a Popolo game on a Nintendo console, though, since the previous SIX were all on Sony systems.

        • GH56734

          Popolocrois Monogatari I,
          Poporologue,
          Popolocrois Monogatari II,
          the unholy PS2 sequel,
          the abridged PSP compilation that got localized here.

          That’s five, I think.. Unless I’m mistaken and there’s one more? :P

          • wyrdwad

            There were two PS2 games — Hajimari no Bouken (a.k.a. “A New Departure”) released in 2002, and Tsuki no Okite no Bouken (a.k.a. “Enchanted Lunar Tale”) released in 2004. The second PS2 game was a marked improvement over the first, but still not very good compared to the original PS1 trilogy. Nonetheless, it saw Pietro’s little sister Elena as a main character (and a pirate captain!), as well as the return of GamiGami Maou as a playable character, so it wasn’t all bad. ;)

            Both PS2 games were adapted into an anime series in 2003 (so yes, fans got to “preview” the story of the 2004 game before playing it!), with the first 13 episodes retelling the story of Hajimari no Bouken and the remaining 13 episodes retelling the story of Tsuki no Okite no Bouken, and the anime was MUCH, *MUCH* better than the games.

            There was also a 25-episode anime in 1998 that told an original story taking place around the same time as PoPoRogue, which was also quite good.

            I did the translations for the fansubs of both anime series myself back in the day, and rank the second half of the 2003 series > the 1998 series > the first half of the 2003 series — but all are very much worth watching, with the 2003 series honestly justifying the PS2 games completely (and showing us what they COULD have been). It’s really the only example I can think of where an anime is markedly better than the games it’s based on — I mean, seriously, how often do you hear of THAT happening?!

          • GH56734

            Thanks a lot for the reply wyrdwad, tbh you’re pretty much single-handedly the main English source about the series :D
            By any chance, do you know what differences are between the North American 2005 (Agtec) and 2006 (Ignition) releases for the PSP version? And wikipedia mentioning a “Prince Pietro’s version”?? That bit has always seemed weird for me.
            The Japanese wikipedia mentions a rare item that was scrapped but Sony went through the trouble of reenabling it for rereleases (???), what’s the deal about that?

          • wyrdwad

            I actually didn’t even know there WAS an Ignition version — that’s really odd. Also not familiar with any rare item, though I am aware of a game-breaking bug in the Japanese version of the game that was fixed for all other regions.

            I can at least explain the Prince Pietro part, though — the Japanese title of the PSP game translates to “PopoloCrois Story: Prince Pietro’s Adventures.” In English, they just shortened this to “PoPoLoCrois.”

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I think it makes sense. Marvelous probably feels the fanservice crowd will react better to Luminous Arc. By the third game, they were talking those bath scenes up pretty heavily in the marketing, so that kind of puts it right in the Vita audience’s range. Meanwhile, Harvest Moon has always had a very large female audience, so it makes sense for this thing to be on a system with a lot of female players.

      • Namuro

        I guess you’re right. Given the current trend, Luminous Arc would feel more at home on the Vita, than the 3DS.

        I also have a feeling that Senran Kagura will move to the Sony side exclusively… But that will depend on how Estival Versus performs (which I think will do quite well).

      • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

        Hah, my theory on Luminous Arc isn’t far off then. That’s kinda shady of them and worrisome (to me anyway), but I’m sure there are people that just look forward to what that means.

        At least we get Popolocrois. ♥
        I hope this expands the fanbase even more.

  • Suriel Cruz

    -right in the feels-

    Popolocrois was one of the first RPGs I play and I didn’t even knew it was that popular in Japan. xD

  • Land of Green Pasture

    Popolocrois was… one of the few old anime that I have its opening song in my phone…
    Damn I wanna watch it again… I didn’t get the story when I was a lil boy..

    • Namuro

      WHAT!? I thought you were a busty, blonde girl all this time. You lied!!

      • Land of Green Pasture

        WHAT!?? have you ever heard about trans?

  • BlinkingRune

    Oh, gosh, Popolocrois! That’s fantastic. Completely fantastic.

    • Princess_Eevee9

      First game to get me to like the PSP.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    That’s…very surprising. What a blast from the past.

  • Merleawe

    I loved playing PoPoLoCrois on my psp, it was one of my favourite games for a long time! I adore the character designs and art style as well, I hope they keep it!

  • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

    Okay. I’m just excited to see Popolocrois, but at the same time, I’m just so confused?? So it’s an original, Bokujo game but with Popolocrois skin~?

    • laurenhiya21

      I think it sounds more like a Popolocrois game with Harvest Moon elements. It will have the turn-based battles from Popolocrois, and it says the main character will also go on adventures… which makes me think it will probably also have a story as well. Either way it sounds fun to me :)

      • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

        Ohhh, okay~! That makes sense. Sounds better than what I expected and is what I was hoping for! It sounds fun to me as well. ^u^

  • 3PointDecoupage

    Nice! XSeed get busy.

  • Princess_Eevee9

    I squealed and hopped around reading the title. This game felt so niche that I always wondered why it never got a sequel. Only to find out that it’s a sequel.

    • wyrdwad

      There were actually six PopoloCrois games. Unfortunately, the one we got was nowhere near the best of the series — the PS1 trilogy in Japan is where it’s at. It’s a real shame we never got them in English — supposedly because Sony, at the time, was trying to push the PS1′s 3D capabilities and passed over localizing Popolo in favor of Beyond the Beyond.

      • Princess_Eevee9

        Those jerks! Now I’m really sad. Unless… unless Nintendo does us fans a favor a tries to get Marvelous to port the games to advertise and make us happy!

  • laurenhiya21

    I wonder if they’ll localize this or not… I mean, they’ve only brought over one game, but it was also the most recent, so I’m not quite sure what they’ll do… Crossing my fingers for a localization though :3

  • pekikuubik

    IIRC @wyrdwad is a huge PoPoLoCrois fan, so he’ll probably do unholy things to his boss to make XSEED localise this (assuming it’s in danger of not getting localised).

    • wyrdwad

      Seems my reputation precedes me. ;)

      • aquagon

        Hehe, it really does! xD
        But well, it has to be, knowing the love you have for the Popolocrois series, particularly for the PSX installments. :D

  • d19xx

    Nice to hear that Popolocrois is back, love the PSP version. Popolocrois, Gurumin and Tekken DR are the first 3 PSP games that I bought….

  • wyrdwad

    FYI, PopoloCrois is really nothing like Final Fantasy Tactics. ;) The battle system is vaaaaaguely tactical (at least, in the PS1 and PSP iterations), but much faster, and it’s a pretty standard JRPG series outside of its random battles. It’s closer to something like Lunar than Final Fantasy Tactics.

    And the PS2 games have more standard Final Fantasy-esque battles.

    • Sato

      http://darkzero.co.uk/img/v3/2006-05-26-14-Popolocrois2.jpg

      Okay, maybe it wasn’t completely like it, but they did have some similarities :P

      • wyrdwad

        The similarities are only surface deep. The overall structure of the game bears more in common with regular Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger than it does Final Fantasy Tactics.

        Also, I hesitate to bring this up for fear of being one of “those people”… but as a die-hard Popolo-fan, I feel it’s my duty to note that the screenshot in the article is from PopoloCrois Story II, not the original. You can tell this most readily by Narcia’s outfit — she didn’t get the black vest until the sequel. In the original, she wore all red, as in the screenshot you’ve posted in the comment I’m replying to.

        • Sato

          The surface is basically what people go by with limited knowledge of a game, so we’ll just go with that for now, but thanks for the info. Once we get more details about the game, then maybe we’ll be able to compare it better with FF or Chrono Trigger haha.

          And you’re right on that, thanks for pointing it out! I’ll fix that o/

  • wububu

    So this is like Strategy Rpg Rune Factory minus the marrying and wooing? Neat!

  • aquagon

    And at long last one of my favorite sagas has a new game! Oh man, I’m going to be awaiting more news about it with bated breath!

  • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

    Here’s a scan.
    http://38.media.tumblr.com/3a4da745a84383ca5ba734a2aa28ef4c/tumblr_nb9yz4D8GH1qzp9weo2_1280.jpg

    Supposedly development is 50% done and is being handled by the original devs with cutscenes from the studio that handled the 2004 anime. Gonna try to double-check all that though.

  • aquagon

    And some scans have come up.

    http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/inuyashaforos/1409656790792.jpg~original

    http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/inuyashaforos/1409657807564.jpg~original

    http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/inuyashaforos/1409657941205.jpg~original

    The game itself doesn’t look too bad, and the battle system seems to be a 3D version from the one used in Popolocrois 2, but whoa…! They did shake up a lot the character designs from how they looked in Popolocrois 1, PopoRogue and the first anime series!

    And fortunately, Ai Orikasa and Yuri Shiratori are reprising their roles as Pietro and Narcia.

    • Pekola

      Narcia’s hat has been changed :/

      That was a really cool part of her design.

      • GH56734

        Nope :P

        This hat is actually more faithful to the manga original (that’s untranslated and really obscure). When Sony made the RPGs (and then an anime was based on it) they altered lots of stuff… notably the Ice Demon (villain who caused what happened to Sania)
        For reference, a tankobon cover for the 1984 manga:

        http://www.mangaupdates.com/image/i166446.jpg

        • aquagon

          Maybe Tamori-san decide to mix up the original designs from the manga with the ones we’ve gotten so familiar with from the PSX games and the first anime series?

        • Pekola

          While I am aware of it, I prefer a lot of the renditions and depictions of the games.

          For example, Narcia’s hat in-games looked more witch-like.

          And I learned of the game first and manga second, so my taste veers more towards the game.

  • SlickRoach

    I friggin’ LOVED this underrated gem of a game!!! It really gave off a Ni no Kuni vibe and had a whimsical cast of characters along with being a pretty meaty game in terms of gameplay and length. Glad it’s being resurfaced into the light.

  • Eric Harris

    no thanks. If you never played the original you’d be much better off getting ahold of it and enjoying it, it’s a classic.

  • Warboss Aohd

    oh man, this looks good!

    i have the PSP game they localized.

    was a good game, got REALLY close to beating it.

    Think Scottish Duck did an LP of it.

    • Eric Harris

      I was so happy when I heard they were localizing it. Popo was one of the VERY FEW games I imported back in the day. Having said that, I never beat it, lol.

    • GH56734

      Even as a terrible port, abridged to one third of its original, bastardised in story departement… it still shines.
      Try checking the originals on PS1.. their battle systems are far more involved and challenging.

      • Warboss Aohd

        do they have translation patches?

        • aquagon

          Sadly enough… they don’t. And no one has bothered doing so because according to a certain experienced romhacker, it would require several advanced assembly hacks to fit the translated text and render it in a presentable way.

  • http://output1-2.bandcamp.com/ db4johnny

    Bring it!!!

  • Daniel Rossevelt

    I was going to say those graphics look pretty good for a 3DS game, but then I realized it was a screen shot of the PS1 game PoPoLoCrois Story II. JK

  • http://jesse-dylan.livejournal.com Jesse_Dylan

    Holy crap that’s all confusing. I will buy them all, though, as long as they’re good.

    I had to import Popolocrois from Europe for PSP. I wish we’d get a release of those first two Popolocrois games for 3DS along with this game here in NA.

    • Reuben Schwartzschild

      I just five minutes ago finished the PSP game and I absolutely loved it. I’m new to the series and I’m now a fan. Can’t wait for this new one!

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