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This article is about the first game in the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de series. For the whole series, see Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (series).

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de
Haruka-pscover
Developer(s): Ruby Party
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: April 6, 2000 (PS)
August 23, 2002 (GBA)
Genre: Romance adventure
Game Modes: Single Player
Ratings: CERO: CERO A Rating
Platform(s): PlayStation, Gameboy Advance

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (遙かなる時空の中で) is the first installment in the Haruka series, the starting title for the second and longest Neoromance IP. It is the game which receives the most outside coverage and spin-offs within the series. Yasuhiro Misawa is the main composer for the game.

At the time of the game's conception Heian period based stories were receiving an explosion of popularity in the Japanese entertainment industry. Ruby Party used the trends to their advantage to create their first Japanese history based IP. Members wished for the game to keep the same simulation elements as its predecessor yet thought it better to include role-playing game elements which were still in high demand with the female fanbase. To further distinguish it from their first work, members sought to highlight the seasonal beauty of spring and summer through the lens of Heian aesthetics.

The PlayStation Premium Box included a character clock while the Gameboy Advance boxed edition had a special pouch.

PlotEdit

The story begins in the spring of 2000. The protagonist is a normal high school girl who goes with her two schoolmates, Tenma and Shimon, to investigate the occult rumors of an abandoned well near their school. When the trio approach it, they are inexplicably summoned to a parallel world resembling the capital of 10th century Japan. Upon their arrival, the protagonist is informed that she is the White Dragon Priestess and her friends are two of her anointed Eight Guardians. Her divine duty —which must be completed for their return to their home world— is to protect the capital from vengeful spirits and the nefarious Demon Clan.

GameplayEdit

GeneralEdit

The player can name their protagonist, decide her birthday —subsequently her innate elemental property, and her starting default route during the prologue sequence. The main narrative is told over a period of three months in the span of ten chapters. Each chapter follows the basic story telling format.

  1. Introduction - voices the main objectives for the present chapter. A time limit is set which the player can choose to fulfill or ignore to progress the story. Locations dedicated to meeting story objectives have a shining golden border surrounding their selectable icon.
  2. Secondary story event - mandatory event which uses a day to view. Serves as a reminder for the chapter's current objective.
  3. Abstinence - placed in between the story events. The protagonist is required to take a mandatory break from her activities for one day. If desired, she can invite a single character to her side and talk with them during the day.

In between these events, the protagonist may wander the capital with one or two of her guardians in order to strengthen the Five Elements within herself. Elements are components that can be used for combat (see below). Each location is designated a particular element within the cycle, encouraging the player to explore the capital thoroughly. She can visit a maximum three places throughout the day.

If a location is free of vengeful spirits, the player can choose to play a memory matching game. Each character has one try to find pairs within the face down cards. If their innate element is the same as the location, they gain an extra try. Players can earn healing fuda for combat or gifts for Abstinence days (incense, colored paper, and seasonal flowers). Cards will reset each visit. Character items can only be obtained once.

The protagonist can also volunteer to rest for a day. She can chat with Fuihime or automatically skip to the night sequence. Choosing the sleep option repeats the cycle another day.

CombatEdit

When a location has a blue flame icon hovering around it, it means it is currently being threatened by a vengeful spirit. Every place has a gauge for the revival rate and the spirit's difficulty level. The protagonist will be unable to visit the location until the spirit is vanquished, and combat initiates the moment the protagonist enters the area.

Battles are turn-based. Main party always acts first. Health bars at the top of the screen is for the enemy while the bottom bars are for the main party. Numerical values indicate a target's health. The optimum rating for the main party is 100 health while 0 health puts a character out of commission. Red numbers note that a target is nearly defeated. If the protagonist is knocked out, the battle will be lost.

The player only controls the protagonist's actions as her guardians attack automatically. At first, she can perform the following tasks:

Flee (逃走) - choose to escape. May lower affinity with nearby partners.
Attack (攻撃) - basic strike. Random chance of performing a critical hit.
Fuda (札) - uses paper talismans the player has collected from mini games. Allows the priestess to heal the party or null status ailments.
Magic (術) - both the priestess and the guardians can choose to hit their foe with a damaging spell. Requires a certain level of will power and Five Elements to use.
Cheer (応援) - the priestess shouts words of encouragement to either one or both of her guardians. A favorable quote raises their will power, otherwise it may cause a drop. Will power, which is located above a character's health bar, is needed for magic.

After chapter five, the player gains the option to Seal (封印). Normally, a vengeful spirit can regenerate within the same area after its defeat. Sealing it guarantees that an area is purified from its influence thus stopping further reemergence. Vengeful spirits can only be sealed if they are weakened in combat and the player has met the mandatory element cost for the action. Characters can equip talismans earned from sealing to strengthen themselves with varying effects.

The weaknesses and strengths of the Five Elements are in effect during combat. For example, a Fire character will severely wound Metal opponents, but they will struggle against Water opponents.

Character RoutesEdit

Each guardian has two ratings of affection for the protagonist, the "Trust" (信じる, shinjiru, throughout the game) and "Feeling" (思う, omou, throughout the game) stats. Opportunities to increase either bond are peppered within combat or during events in the main story. A favorable response is indicated by rising stars while negative reactions show lowering stars. A guardian with a high Trust or Feeling bond is more likely to personally visit the protagonist and offer their company for the day.

If their bonds are high enough, the protagonist may experience a romance event with a guardian which requires the player to choose between a number of text options. Favorable responses often lead to the event's success. Sub events can then occur if the player visits certain places in the capital, earning new unique cheer quotes for the particular guardian. Failing at any point will cut off their bonds and respective endings with the character.

Every guardian has two different romance routes. The first Normal Route can be seen by collecting his four Heart Pieces (心のかけら, kokoro no kakera), or scattered memories they have lost once the protagonist enters the world. Heart Pieces can be collected by visiting a guardian's favorite spot while they are escorting her. While on this story path, the player needs to gather all four Heart Pieces and complete the accompanying events within the time limit in order to see his ending.

The Other Route begins at the end of chapter five; the main story will proceed on the "Heaven" or "Earth" story path based on the player's discretion. Here are the consequences which can come from the split paths.

Story Path Normal Route only Other Route only
Heaven (天) Yorihisa, Inori, Takamichi, Eisen Tenma, Shimon, Tomomasa, Yasuaki
Earth (地) Tenma, Shimon, Tomomasa, Yasuaki Yorihisa, Inori, Takamichi, Eisen


Characters who are viable for the Other Route need at least two Heart Pieces gathered before chapter five. Other Routes present different events and images than a character's Normal Route. Activating this route negates the need to find the rest of said character's Heart Pieces.

Ran and Fujihime have hidden conditions for viewing their endings. Events for these characters are counted as "Friendship Events". Like romance events, their personal scenes drain a day of the protagonist's schedule in order to view. Players are encouraged to use their time wisely if they wish to view multiple endings in a single playthrough.

ModesEdit

New GameEdit

Self-explanatory.

ContinueEdit

Load from a previous save.

BonusEdit

Includes a gallery, music selection, in-game dictionary, and extra side stories. Gallery includes any still images and animated movies the player has earned in their playthrough(s). Side stories are unlocked once the player finishes the game once. Endings that have been obtained can also be heard/read again. Each character has a voiced soliloquy which can be viewed after completing their personal events.

SettingsEdit

Lets the player adjust the speed in which text is displayed on screen and the volume for sound effects, music, and voices. If these settings are changed before starting a new game, they will automatically be in effect.

CharactersEdit

A character's true age is one year less than the age listed in their profile. This is due to the archaic recording of a person's age which counts a child's birth year as their first year alive. In other words a 20-year-old person would be 21-years-old in the parallel world. Any character who came from the modern world is exempt from this rule.

White Dragon Priestess and Eight GuardiansEdit

Star ClanEdit

Demon ClanEdit

Differences between portsEdit

  • The GBA version omits the PS animated opening and a majority of the in-game character animations.
  • Characters are unvoiced in the GBA version.
  • Ending credits are different between both ports.

Spin-OffsEdit

Related MediaEdit

Designer brand Rubipa de July~ created charms, rings, and other jewelery symbolizing characters appearing in this game. Gamecity offers an incense set dedicated to particular scents favored by characters. The incense set doubles as a tribute to the Heian period's history of aesthetics, said to include aromas as a pivotal element of beauty. Decorative boxes can still be purchased as a part of the series's set. For a limited time, miniature character stickers, post cards, and a trading card game published by Bandai were on sale. Cospatio re-created Akane's priestess outfit and school uniform, but it is currently sold out.

Several publications and CDs were published for the game. Free samples of the fan made four panel comics can be read online at Gamecity. Two light novels for the game were authored by Fumie Kondoh featuring illustrations by Kuu Kitahara. Free samples of these books can be read at Gamecity Bunko.

Yumeta Company (TYO Animations) produced a two part OVA called Harukanaru Toki no Naka de ~Ajisai Yumekatari~, which is the first Haruka animated project. Kenichi Ohnuki, the same animation director for the game, returned to do work for the OVA. Its story is original and unique to itself. The opening and ending songs (Sakura Fubuki and Shura) were made by DASEIN.

Koei produced two computer softwares based on the title: Koi Emaki (desktop accessory) and Koi Tsuzuri (mailing software). Both programs can run on Windows '95~'98 OS and contained digital copies of the character portraits, audio files, and event stills used in the game.

The series's comic, which is localized by Viz Media as Haruka -Beyond the Stream of Time-, is created by Tohko Mizuno. It was the first comic adaptation of the company to debut before the game's actual release date, beginning its serialization in LaLa in December 1999. An animated TV series (Hachiyoushou), and an animated movie and live stage production (Maihitoyo) were created using the comic's influences. These mediums are roughly based on the first Haruka's events and characters.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de ~Oborosoushi~, the second Haruka theatrical production and a project to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Neoromance series, is an original story which stars a highly popular character of the game, Yasuaki. While he is imprisoned by the Demon Clan, the nature of his creation and emerging humanity are questioned throughout the plot. A secondary event to thank attending fans and a live event to celebrate the DVD publication were held by the theatrical group after the shows ended. Oborosoushi actor interviews and costume diagrams were featured in Dengeki Layers and Layers Bible, along with an overall coverage of the Haruka series up to that point. The narrative was adapted into a light-novel authored by Mashiro Yabuki and illustrated by Kuu Kitahara. Other merchandise made specifically for the theatrical production can be viewed on the official website.

During the renewal of the theatrical production, attendees could listen to a new Yasuaki image song. Fans could purchase the song on a Premium CD offered at the theater hall. A different epilogue for the play was presented depending on the day.

It is one of many titles represented in the October 21~November 3, 2014 Marui One Family Mizoguchi Koei-Tecmo Goods Fair.

Image SongEdit

  • orange
Performed by JET SETS

Ending song (PS only).

AllusionsEdit

  • A remixed version of the game's main theme (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de) can be learned and played by the protagonist in Kiniro no Corda.
  • Characters and music from this game are referenced in That's QT.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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