Sailor Moon: Legacy
(Title subject to change.) This game was originally conceived several years ago as a Sailor Moon dating sim set in Crystal Tokyo where you could romance teen Chibi-Usa and her senshi, the Sailor Quartet. It was something I've always wanted to create, but have never been sure I'd be able to because my art isn't that great. Recently I've found someone who is willing to work as an artist for me, so I finally feel I came make it into a reality. As I've started to work on it, the concept of the project has also changed from being strictly a dating sim to being a visual novel with romantic subplots.I've condensed it, but if this summery is still too long to read, scroll all the way down for the even quicker version. Please read the questions as well!Plot Summery:
(Note: Not all of this will be revealed right away in the game, but none of this should be super major spoilery.) Back in the late 20th century, the Sailor Senshi fought four generals working under Queen Beryl known as the Shitennou (Four Heavenly Kings.) Jadeite was the commander in charge of the Far East, Nephrite commanded North America, Zoisite commanded Europe, and Kunzite the Middle East. Eventually they we defeated and revealed to have been generals who worked for Prince Endymion in the Golden Kingdom, much like the inner senshi had worked Princess Serenity during the Silver Millennium. But what about the other three continents? The truth was that Africa, South America, and Australia all had generals as well, but they were young and still in training when the Golden Kingdom was destroyed. Therefore, they didn't have the necessary power to reincarnate on their own and so they were passed over by Beryl and neither Endymion or the Shitennou ever remembered them.
Fast forward to the 30th Century where Crystal Tokyo has been established. The Shitennou once again serve under Endymion and most of the senshi we saw in the series have retired to let Sailor Chibi Moon (who is known as Sailor Moon in the 30th century, since the original Sailor Moon hasn't been active since Neo Queen Serenity took to the throne at the turn of the 21st century) and the Sailor Quartet take up the task of protecting Crystal Tokyo. Things have been largely peaceful since the Black Moon Clan was defeated, but, unbeknownst to the senshi, that's about to change. A woman calling herself Queen Physcoa, ruler of the Golden Kingdom, has revived the Sando'ou (Three Earthly Kings), Lazurite, Hyalite, and Adelite, who remember little about their past lives beyond hazy memories of a battle and the queen that they served. At the same time, new senshi are beginning to show up in the city, Sailor Damocles, Sailor Okyrhoe, Sailor Asbolus, and Sailor Chiron. Lazurite, commander of South America and the brains of the Sando'ou, scopes out Crystal Tokyo and finds that, outside of the palace, there are three major outputs of energy in the city, each one corresponding with a school. The three decide to go undercover as students in these schools, hoping to find out about the senshi there, as they feel the senshi have stolen the throne from their queen and they want to set her once again on her rightful throne (remember, as of yet, they have no memory of Endymion.)
The story is told from the point of view of the Sando'ou, they they try to defeat the senshi and slowly recover their memories. I'm planning for this to lead to a lot of inner conflict as they realize that the woman they are serving may not be quite what she appears and that by doing what they think is right, they might actually be doing something very wrong. And of course, as I love dating sims, there will be possible romance with the senshi. I also definitely want this to be a game where what choice you make affects the plot, though because my main characters actually have personalities, there are only certain choices you are going to be able to make. For example, you can't choose to turn against Queen Physcoa really early in the plot, before the Sando'ou would have had a chance to realize there's something off with her.
As I said, there are three different schools that the Sando'ou will be going to and eventually I'm going to let the player choose just where each one goes to school, but for now I'm just going with a "canon" choice for each, as adding that option would literally triple the amount of script I have to write and I'd like to release this game eventually, so not giving myself too much to stress over right off the bat is a good thing. Anywho, onto the characters!Characters: "Villains":
I'm going to start off by covering the Sando'ou, the quote unquote villains for this game, who will also be the characters you are controlling. I don't yet have visual character designs for them, as I suck at drawing guys, so Batty, the girl who is working on art with me, will be doing to character designs. But here's a little info to get you started. Sorry, no more info on Queen Physcoa just yet, as that would be spoilerific.Lazurite:
The oldest of the Sando'ou and commander of South America. He's the brains of the operation who Hyalite sometimes refers to as "Master Strategist." He is very responsible and cares about Hyalite and Adelite like an older brother, but he has a sardonic side as well and sometimes gets just a little bit too much pleasure out of manipulation of others. He likes people who he deems "interesting." He has glasses and his hair and complexion are dark. As a civilian, he goes by the name Lazarus Wright, who is an exchange student from Brazil. It is "canon" that he goes to Shiba High School (full name: Minato Ward Shiba Park Public High School), meaning that he can romance either Sadako Miyamoto or Naga Kawaguchi.Hyalite:
The second oldest and commander of Australia. His specialty is fighting with swords. He is somewhat of a playboy and likes to flirt with girls. He thrives on attention and can be a bit conceited. He has a more serious side, but he rarely shows it. A pretty boy with longish blond hair and a tan (however his skin isn't as dark as Lazurite's.) His civilian name is Henly Reed and he's a foreign exchange from Australia. The "canon" school for him is Juuban High School, meaning that he can romance Usagi Tsukino, aka Princess Lady Serenity (which is what Chibi-Usa now goes by, you didn't think she'd keep the "chibi" and "small" in her name forever, did you?), CereCere, PallaPalla, JunJun, or VesVes.Adelite:
The youngest who is commander of Africa. He specializes in magic. Adelite is both shyer and shorter than the other two. He is more or less the "heart" of the Sando'ou and is the first to realize that what they are doing might be wrong. He's gentle and kind, so he's a favorite of the other two and tends to get babied by them somewhat. His civilian cover is Adel Richter, who has German parents, but has spent most of his childhood in Africa as a missionary's kid. It's "canon" for him to go to Seika Academy, which means he can get together with Tsubasa Toriyama or Sailor Chiron, who doesn't have a civilian name yet. Moon and the Quartet:
I'm not going to go too much into these characters here as if you know the series, you should be more or less familiar with them. However, if you would like some more information on the characterization I give them, please check out my Tumblr, junglegardensenshi
, which is dedicated to little known senshi. Sailor Centaurs:
"Chibi" Moon's answer to the outer senshi! You see a whole lot of fan-made senshi like Sailor Hebe, Sailor Iris, Sailor Flora, etc. and just as many based on Kuniper Belt objects like Sedna, Eris, and Varuna, so I made a contentious decision to do something different. I decided on Centaurs, which are minor planetoids that act like something of a mix between asteroids (which are what the Sailor Quartet are) and comets. So I named my senshi after Centaurs whose mythological equivalents weren't total asses (there are surprisingly few of them.) Unfortunately, when I was first working on these girls, I was mistakenly under the impression that Damocles was a Centaur. I later found out Damocles is actually a Damocloid, but I loved my concept for Damocles way too much to actually replace her. Besides, Damocloids actually are pretty similar to Centaurs. Sorry if anyone finds this really annoying, but I think I'm too far into the process to change it now. Anyway, the senshi are Sailor Damocles, Sailor Asbolus, Sailor Okyrhoe, and Sailor Chiron. The pictures I'm using for now are my own concept art, so I apologize for the lack of quality. I promise it will look better in the actual game. Sailor Damocles:
Her civilian name is Sadako Miyamoto. Sadako means disciplined child and Miyamoto comes from Musashi Miyamoto. Because of the sword theme in her mythological counterpart, I really went with a samurai type image for her. She practices kendo and is the best girl on her kendo team (because outer senshi have to be super cool and nigh perfect according to Sailor Moon canon.) She goes to Shiba Public High School and is popular and all around pretty nice and friendly. She's really responsible as she is the oldest of several siblings and lives with her slightly senial (not too bad, but she mixes up names a fair bit) grandmother and has had to do a lot of the work of taking care of them. Also like her mythological counterpart, she's really thrifty and can't resist the word "sale." Of the girls, she's probably the one most into the idea of being a "hero" and Sailor Damocles is the first senshi that Lazarus meets when he's doing his intelligence work. He is highly amused by her introduction speech ("A samurai for the 30th century! Senshi of swords and prudence, Sailor Damocles has arrived!") and calls her "Little Miss Hero." Sailor Okyrhoe:
Her civilian name is Naga Kawaguchi. Naga means flow and Kawaguchi means mouth of a river. She'll have water powers since Okyrhoe means swiftly flowing. She'll also have some prophetic abilities, like her mythological counterpart. Like Sadako, she goes to Shiba High School and the two are in the same class, but the two weren't particularly friends or enemies before the whole senshi thing. She wears glasses and when she wears them she is rather unimposing and easy to overlook. Unlike Sadako, she could hardly be called popular. It's not that people dislike her, they just usually don't notice her. However, when the glasses come off she becomes rather severe and intimidating. Naturally she doesn't wear glasses in her senshi form. :3 She gets pushed into being one of her class' representatives because most of the class is busy with jobs or clubs and she has neither. She says it's because the glasses make her look responsible. You can chose to become the other class representative if you go to her school and doing so will make you more likely to get together with her, since you'll spend more time together. She's pretty quiet and doesn't usually say more than she has to. I imagine her speaking in a somewhat monotone voice. Sailor Asbolus:
(I only did the hair and clothes, the base itself comes from Pink Land
Her civilian name is Tsubasa Toriyama. Tsubasa means wing(s) and Toriyama means bird mountain. This is because the mythological Asbolus practiced aurgury, which is a type of divination involving reading omens in the flight of birds. Unlike what Okyrhoe does, it isn't exactly prophecy as it can't be used to tell the future, rather it is used once a decision has already been made to tell whether or not that decision is a correct one. Tsubasa can do this both as a civilian and as a senshi. Her other senshi powers relate to wind. Tsubasa has two pet doves for the purpose of aurgury. She has a small bird-like frame and her other passion is gymnastics. She's very good at gymnastics and is fairly popular at her school, Seika Academy. Seika is the only school of the three that is private and would be comparable to T*A Academy from the series, except that it's not an all girl school and it has less nuns. Tsubasa is graceful and ladylike. Unlike the other Centaurs, Tsubasa is fairly short as most good gymnasts are short. (Sadako is a little on the tall side of average height and both Naga and Chiron are tall.)Sailor Chiron:
Like Tsubasa, she goes to Seika Academy and the two are in the same class. I haven't come up with a ton of stuff about her yet and haven't even given her a civilian name, but I know that she has a lot of healing powers as a senshi and I'm thinking she one day wants to do something with medicine, probably some sort of researcher, as there were already senshi who dreamed of becoming a doctor or a nurse. Yep, sorry I don't have more about her.Other cool stuff:http://xylodoll.deviantart.com/art/Sail ... -277886842
This is a picture of Sailor Moon drawn for me by the very awesome Batty, who will be doing the art for this game. Obviously this specific picture probably won't be appearing in the game as the Sailor Moon of the 20th century is no longer active, but it gives you an idea of what the art will be like. Batty said it won't be quite this detailed in the actual game, but I still think she's an amazing artist and I'm super excited to be working with her on this project. ^-^
I've also added some more concept art as attachments and I've got some color schemes and other things if people are interested in seeing them. Just let me know and I'll give you a link!Questions:
What term do you think I should use when talking about the Sailor Senshi? The choices are Sailor Senshi, Sailor Solider, or Sailor Guardians. They all have their pros and cons. Sailor Senshi is classic and is what a lot of the Sailor Moon community uses. Sailor Solider is a pretty direct and accurate translation. Sailor Guardian takes a few more liberties with the translation, but it’s what is being used in the new manga reprints.
What age do you think that Chibi-Usa and the Sailor Quartet should be? I am more of a fan of the manga, so I tend to go with the idea that Chibi-Usa is really 900-something years old, but obviously her physical body isn’t that old. In my game I plan to have her be somewhere between 15 and 17-years-old for a few reasons. First of all, it takes place after Chibi-Usa and the Quartet have been working together for a little while. Plus, as this game introduces her "outer" senshi, it corresponds more closely with the third than the first season. My other reason is that I’m including a dating sim aspect in the game and being able to romance a 14-year-old just seems creepy to me.
My third question is what you think I should do about honorifics. Do you think they have a place in a game that is going to be in English? I know I’m going to be using at least some English terms in place of honorifics as I think it sounds a lot more natural to say “Lord” or “Lady” than “sama” or “dono” and the translation of “san” can be extremely objective. “San” is kind of a catch all honorific, so sometimes it means “Miss” or “Mr.”, but just as often it can just mean that the speaker doesn’t know the person they are addressing that well. So in some cases, I will be saying things like “little Miss Hero” instead of “little Hero-san” and I definitely won’t be using “sensei” to talk about any teachers. However, there are some honorifics that don’t really have a direct translation or just sound awkward when you try to translate them. The most obvious would probably be something like “onii-san” because calling someone “bro” or “big bro” or “big brother” just sounds weird in English. Of course, which ones are awkward is also a bit subjective. What about honorifics like “sempai”? Is it awkward to call someone upperclassman? One that I think is really tricky is “chan”, as I don’t really think there is a good English equivalent. Of course, sometimes it’s not necessary to translate “chan” at all, but what about cases where it would be viewed as something unusual, like a guy calling JunJun “JunJun-chan”? I’ve heard that type of thing translated as “JunJun dear”, but I don’t think that sounds very natural in English. (Unless you're a snob who is being condescendingly affectionate, you're a mother, or you live in 19th century London.) So I’d like an opinion. Should I include honorifics, except in the cases that I mentioned above? Should I do my best to avoid honorifics altogether? Or should I only include honorifics if there isn’t a good English translation for them? If you want a mix, please tell me what you would consider honorifics that don’t have a good translation.
Would it bug you too much to have Chibi-Usa go by Usagi? This is how she first introduces herself in the manga, so I think that's what she'd go by when she's older, but it might be less confusing if she went by Usa instead. Also, what do you think of the Quartet still going by CereCere, PallaPalla, JunJun, and VesVes? I think they're cute and I don't know that I want to give them totally unrelated names, especially since I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with their pasts, which are rather ambiguous. The manga says that after being healed, they went back to sleep until the time when they'd be needed again. It's really unclear what this means. Were they children living in the Amazon who were manipulated by Nehellenia like in the anime and the "sleep" is metaphorically referring to their senshi powers, meaning that they'd just go back to living as normal children in the Amazon until the 30th century and they'd retain all their memories of their time with the Dead Moon Circus? Does the "sleep" mean that their bodies were literally asleep in the Amazon and would be woken up again in the 30th century? Or maybe it was their star seeds that were asleep in the Amazon and they were only briefly given physical forms as part of the Dead Circus? Then when the 29th or the 30th century rolled around, they'd be born to some family as regular children and have civilian identities and childhoods. The third scenario is the only one where I think it actually makes sense for them to have names other than CereCere, PallaPalla, JunJun, and VesVes, unless they were just cover names they took on because their real names were a bit too obvious about their identity. At the same time, I feel like I should at least give them a last name or something. D: So I'd love to hear your opinion on both names and what version of the Quartet's past I should use. If you do think I should use civilian names, do you have any preferences on what they should be? I want them to be meaningful, since all the names in Sailor Moon are meaningful, but I don't just want to grab random words from Japanese that aren't even names and use those since that feels like way too much of a weeaboo move to me.
Finally, how do you think I should go about the mechanics of having three different main characters? Should I confine them to different "routes"? Should I have you play each week three times, from the point of view of each of the characters? Should I have a main introduction for each of them and then different chapters (which I'm totally going to call "acts") where you control each one and you end up skipping what's going on with the other two during that time? (If I did it this way, it'd probably be a lot of these acts rather than just three big ones.) I'm totally open for ideas and I look to all of you as almost certainly having more experience with this sort of thing than I do.
Whoo! Sorry this was so long! As you can tell, I write way too much. In addition to the questions I posted, I'd love to hear any sort of comments or feedback anyone has.Ultimate tl;dr summery:
[*] A Sailor Moon game set in Crystal Tokyo/the 30th Century
[*] Centered around teen Chibi-Usa and the Sailor Quartet, plus original villains and other new characters
[*] Chibi-Usa gets her own version of the outer senshi
[*] An ADV visual novel with BxG romance elements
[*] The story is told from the point of view of the villains
[*] Earth's past (the Golden Kingdom) will once again affect its future (Crystal Tokyo)