Similar to its spiritual predecessor, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, 07th Expansion’s PC visual novel, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, is divided into episodes — 8 main episodes to be precise.
The first four episodes are similar to Higurashi’s “Question” chapters, which establish the setting, characters and the mystery at hand. Episodes 5-8, which follow chronologically, then focus on peeling back these mysteries.
Alchemist’s PlayStation 3 port of the game, titled Umineko no Naku Koro ni: The Rondo of the Witch and Deduction, only covers episodes 1 through 4, which are: Legend of the Golden Witch, Turn of the Golden Witch, Banquet of the Golden Witch, and Alliance of the Golden Witch.
In a fan-powered interview with Dengeki, the game’s producer, Shigeru Nakagawa, was asked why all the episodes weren’t included in the PlayStation 3 version of the game. To this, Nakagawa replied that it was because episode 8 hasn’t even been released on the PC yet. He later goes on to say there are plans to release the latter four chapters, comprising the game’s “answers” arc.
Fans will want to note that the original PC version of episode 8, which concludes the main Umineko story, will be released at the Winter Comiket in Japan later this month, along with the spin-off Umineko fighting game.
Nakagawa also fielded a question on sales expectations for Umineko no Naku Koro ni: The Rondo of the Witch and Deduction. He joked that Alchemist are expecting to sell 1,000,000 copies of the game (visual novels are lucky to sell 10k units, if that).
The PlayStation 3 was chosen as the console for development as Alchemist wanted to create the best-looking visual novel on the highest-spec machine possible. One fan asked just what the point of this game was, to which Nakagawa amusingly replied, “Frankly? To produce it for the PS3.”
[Update: The original story, due to us mis-reading the original Japanese interview, said there were no plans for a sequel. This has now been corrected. We apologize for the inconvenience. A big bag of gold to our friends at Encubed for pointing it out!]