Sakura Taisen 2: Finished!

Guess which game this screenshot is from:

Ho ho ho guess which game this is from

It took around 7 straight hours of playing (mostly because the ending was full of battles and I had to restart once because I lost Maria) but I finally finished Sakura Taisen 2, and got Sakura’s ending. It was actually pretty touching. I got to go on a date with Sakura and watch her fall off a penny farthing. Ho Ho Ho. Particularly impressive was the step the developers took in the 13th chapter: effectively a ‘next episode’ thing for Sakura Taisen 3, the development team of which also appears in the credits. One month after that penny-farthing incident, Ohgami is told to get his ass to Paris with a week’s notice, along with a promotion to spur him on the way (I guess Sumire won’t be calling Ohgami Shou’i from now on, my how time changes things), and that obviously has profound effects on everybody, even people I spurned in favour of Sakura (sorry, but she rocks! Just a bit more). The credits are nice: they actually play a full version of Yume no Tsuzuki in it. I like the song. In fact, I like most Sakura Taisen songs. Since I had heard Yume no Tsuzuki from the Complete Song Box before, I was singing along with the credits… makes for a very nice, brainless, happy ending. Most Sakura Taisen elements aren’t especially brainy… you just gotta figure out that some girls like some sentences more than others.

I had to interrupt my battle halfway in that flying fortress Musashi (the Floating Continent from Final Fantasy VI beats that, actually, almost everything except specific songs and characters beat Sakura Taisen) to get some dinner. Cheeseburger with fries. Meh, not that great, you say? Well, Sakura Taisen 2+food=bliss. Until I got thirsty. There was no cure for that, and the Cranberry juice had gotten a little too sour for my taste.

In any case, I was really impressed when the developers said flat out ST3 would be set in Paris and feature no more Hanagumi. I mean, quite a bit of risk, but it probably shows how big the series had become by then (1998 I think).

Sakura Taisen 3 has a really fucking awesome battle system. Seriously. Awesome. The most I’ll play through ST1 and ST2 again is probably just to get Sumire or Orihime’s endings (because you know they’re pretty hot, although if Kaede was an option, I’d choose her, hands down, even over Sakura) because after having played that battle system, there’s no way I’m going back to that travesty that was Sakura Taisen strategy mode. Oh, the final stages were thankfully more like final stages, with bosses that deal out an alarming amount of damage, but really, for most of the game all the enemies you fight are excuses for you to show off to the girls (or conveniently placed, easily defeated things to get the story moving, like in Orihime’s chapter with her dad).

I was supposed to hear Haru ga Kuru somewhere in there, but nothing came up, just the title screen again. Well, it’s playing now, and I like Yume no Tsuzuki a bit more so I don’t mind. I wonder what I unlocked in a Long Day mode already.

I could rant about how they should have made it so you could court Fujieda Kaede (Ayame’s taken) but it’s not right to do that when I’ve just finished Sakura’s ending, in which she wrote a really touching letter. It gives me a rather funny feeling when they say ‘let’s meet again’ in the hopes that everything will be the way it is, when what’s going to happen is that Ohgami’s going to come back… with the whole Paris Kagekidan in tow… good luck then Sakura! And what the hell… having got Sakura’s ending, I’d expect their relationship to go on… instead of Ohgami putting the hots on Erica instead. The fact is nothing is ever going to be the same again, and ST2 will be the last true Teikoku Kagekidan Hanagumi chapter. Whether it’s a sad fact or a happy fact remains to be seen, but it’s pretty sure that the future isn’t going to be what Sakura wished for in her letter.

Okay, let’s work hard too. Math exam next Thursday….

It’s getting late, and I’m getting a piratey itch

In my brain.

Imagine my excitement when I found that there was a second Sakura Taisen Complete Song Box (Zenkyoku something) that compiled all the songs from 2002-2006.

No, wait, on second thought: don’t. You might just hurt yourself.

Since it was pretty obvious that the original 2002 Complete Song Box (which was the fucking shit) is already out of print, and was kinda limited to begin with, I thought I’d try out this second Complete Song Box. Some cruel guy uploaded a song from this very collection on Youtube just to torture me. It’s called Atashi Naichaimasu…. which means ‘I’m crying’, but it sounds like some kind of naughty tease song. Not up to the level of previous songs in the first Complete Song Box, but hey, what the flying heck.

Just to spoil the fun for you guys too…. it’s fucking out of print already.

Goddamn, I hate these people! I wasn’t even aware of a Song Box coming out back then and even if I was, I wouldn’t have the money! And now when I’m so close to getting one, the official source drops out and all I’m left with are those weirdo Japanese fuckers on who sell the same damn product at several times its original price. Fuck you, dude. I’m going to download that mp3/FLAC release of your Sakura Taisen Complete Song Box 2 once it appears somewhere on IRC. Oh, and Sakura Taisen 3, too. In Chinese.

It’s getting late, and I’d better finish my homework instead of checking out all these Sakura Taisen things. I even found how useful Rikaichan is too.

Sakura Taisen 2: Kiseki no Kane

Sumire getting angryKanna: joutou da!Kaede’s so hot! as usualYuri’s not that bad either…
Never seen Sumire like this before…That’s right, even Mary had some male aspects to her…Reni? Or was it Lenny?Rejoice, Sakura.Rehearsal 1
Rehearsal 2Rehearsal 3Rehearsal 4And so
Sakura, Rejoice.Obligatory scene…yay!yay again!
All right!oh crap…oh well, it wasn’t that bad after allnext time… it seems those kokkikai guys aren’t dead yet!Seems like Ayame will have something to do with this.
Thanks to the Sakura Taisen Complete Song Box, I had heard the three versions of Kiseki no Kane quite a few times before, and written it off as a pretty nice song that reminded me of some American feel good TV series I forget (I don’t watch many American TV shows), but the significance of this song struck me fully in the gut after going through this chapter. This is such an awesome chapter and to back it up, you even get to see the Kagekidan performing on stage (usually you’re just out there clipping tickets), and plus you get an awesome theme song, and you get to go on two awesome dates (which you never have done so far in ST2). I listened to all three versions of Kiseki no Kane again after playing through that, and boy, I love this chapter. I also really enjoyed going to the church with Sakura, although maybe that’s just my personal bias. Also, the patrol through the theatre also let you see all the different girls once as they pluck flower petals (in their own way) wondering if they’ll be chosen.

So I had to choose which girl would be the main character for the Kiseki no Kane show. Sigh… I really don’t see anybody could consider Leni or Kanna as a possible candidate for Mary, but hey, they’re the top 4 girls who like me (see previous Sakura Taisen 2 post) so I guess that works out. Still, though, Leni? Please.

On a totally different note, sorry Sumire. I’ll play through this game another time and choose you next time, okay? Oh, and go to the beach with you again.

So, I had to choose who was to be the virgin Mary. There was even a ticking timer going on as I looked at all of them one last time (well, except for Kanna, whoops, didn’t have time) and I chose Sakura after all. I thought I’d choose Sumire, but that would just be like a bee wandering about from flower to flower, and besides this isn’t life… I can always play again another time. At least I know I’ll be playing this game at least one more time.

Well, that took only about 40 minutes to go through all that. This is an incredible stress reliever that actually gets quite addictive. Unfortunately I have no intention of fighting a revived Kokkikai tonight, even if Ayame/Kaede is involved, and so good night Sakura Taisen 2.

065. Teikoku Kagekidan – [Sakura Taisen Complete Song Box – Disc 4 #18] Gekitei Ondo

The FAQ said that Koi no Hassha All Right! would be featured somewhere in this chapter, but I don’t remember hearing it.

Sakura Taisen 2 screenshots

I had them on my disk for a while, was thinking I’d better just upload them and get them off my hard disk. I kept them to make a post that would show how uploading images is so much more easier and failsafe without having to worry about what happens when Imageshack goes down.
I think this was Chapter 5, the entire Kagekidan went to the beach. It was a very nice Chapter indeed, except for Maria and Ohgami being so stupid as to not be able to figure out right away who was the culprit (it’s Saki already, if you hadn’t deduced that when she first appeared in the game you are an idiot).
One of the better scenes in the game, everybody catches Sumire sneaking off to talk with me (Ohgami). Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m that smooth in real life.

I like forward women. So I went with Sumire and Iris to the beach the next day. It wasn’t a hard decision, since I like beaches, the beach looked particularly golden, and all Sakura was doing was sitting in a hot bath (I’d love to go with her, but seriously how much more boring can you get, sitting in a hot bath when you’re at the beach?) The others were off hiking, which came a close second, but of course seeing Sumire in a bikini tipped the scales in her favour. Notice how Iris is in the background.

Oh shit:

In the end everything was just fine and dandy, since I’m Ohgami and all girls on the earth love me. Right. And somehow we get into the traditional Japanese hobby… watching small petty fireworks burn. I don’t see the point in this, but then again I’ve never done it before.

Maria and I figure out that we’ve lost our steam powered communications device. Walking around, I happen upon Sakura… with Maria in the back, but let’s just keep her back there for a bit more. I forgot if Sakura was going to the beach… I don’t quite remember. Anyway there was a huge event being planned and everybody was very hyped about it, all the girls especially except for good old business-only Maria and Ohgami (I am so fucking hardworking).

I’m so smooth with the girls, haha! An interesting point was that even though I went with Sumire to the beach, Sakura still likes me more! mwahahahhahaa…. I love Sakura.

And that’s all for a walk through Sakura Taisen 2 today. I haven’t really played that game in a month, but damn it was fun, especially the beach episode. I had to read a FAQ to prevent wasting my time walking around to locations which don’t have the girls in them (ST players, you know what I mean).
Remind me to run Fraps before I play ST2 next time so I can give ya more screenshots.

EDIT: These images seem a little too large for comfort… should I have resized them down?

Planetarian: a small planet’s Reverie

EDIT: By using the same Word document to write this post, I actually erased a previous post! Crap.
If you want to play Planetarian, you must set your Windows system’s non-Unicode locale to Japanese. Otherwise, it actually crashes. Yes, even with the English patch. I’ve had that happen before… on a fan-translated Chinese patch too!

There’ll probably be some spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Verdict: Although this may have its flaws (and not much replayability) I’m going to rank it up there with Ever17: the out of infinity. It’s definitely better than Narcissu, for reasons I will not pollute this post with. If you’re going to read only two visual novels in your life that don’t focus on dating or hentai, read Planetarian and Ever17: the out of infinity. These two are classics.
Continue reading Planetarian: a small planet’s Reverie