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Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2

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Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2
Haruka2-wincover
Developer(s): Ruby Party
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: September 28, 2001 (Win)
February 28, 2002 (PS2)
June 30, 2005 (PSP)
Taiwan: November 2005
Genre: Romance adventure
Game Modes: Single Player
Ratings: CERO: CERO B Rating
Platform(s): Windows (95/98), PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 (遙かなる時空の中で2) is the second installment in the Haruka series. To contrast the images and themes in the first title, this game emphasizes the autumn and winter seasons. It's the last title in the series to use a simulation reliant system with set time constraints. The darker narrative for this title became a series's trait, leading to the older Cero rating for the series.

Although set in a different time era as the first title, creators wanted to enforce the concept of characters sharing prominent traits with one another, as if they were intertwined on the "same threads of fate". While other Haruka titles keep the idea intact, this game is the one which follows it to a literal sense. Series character designer Tohko Mizuno admits she was asked to draw different people with the same faces as the first cast. She considers a majority of the characters in this game to be "elder siblings" for the previous set of characters.

The Premium Box edition of the PlayStation 2 version included sixteen clear card illustrations.

PlotEdit

The story takes place in an alternate world resembling 11th century Japan, detailing a fantasy end for the Heian period. Kyou's luster from the previous entry has faded, the world now nearing its own end. Peace has been ebbing and the people are in despair. They spend their days praying for a miraculous afterlife, desiring a merciful release from their grief. Both the Emperor (帝, mikado) and the Retired Emperor (院, in) are at odds with one another, each side bickering for political dominance over the other. With the split in government powers, the common man's strife has been neglected.

Before the capital collapses, the White Dragon locates its priestess to restore order. Magically teleporting her to the alternate world, the protagonist is suddenly entrusted with her duties. Alone and clueless of her surroundings, hardly anyone believes that she is a priestess since one already exists in their world. Even so, she seeks to bring the divided sides together and endures with the hope of someday returning to her home.

GameplayEdit

Main StoryEdit

During the prologue sequence, the player can change the name of the protagonist to their liking (pressing Start twice inputs the character's default name). They can then decide on their character's birthday for her elemental property and her starting affinity with other characters.

She can then select an emotion or trait to determine which of her Eight Guardians she will meet first. Upon landing in the alternate world, she can indirectly choose a political side (either the Emperor or the Retired Emperor). The player is free to decide whoever or whichever side they desire, as the script and story events change to reflect their choices.

The main narrative is told over a period of three months. Four lengthy chapters are dedicated to telling the story and are told whilst using the following basic structure.

  1. Introduction - an introduction to the main objectives found in the chapter. A time limit is set which the player can choose to fulfill or ignore to progress the story. Choosing either path changes the main script. Locations that are dedicated to these story objectives are marked with glowing yellow stars on the over world map.
  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. The main goal of visiting different parts of the capital is to strengthen the Five Elements gathered within the protagonist. 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.

If the player doesn't want to explore, they can voluntarily choose to retire for the day to chat with Yukarihime or automatically skip to the night sequence. Choosing the sleep option begins another day.

Mini GamesEdit

Should the player enter a place that doesn't have an icon above it, they will likely trigger a mini game. They are:

  1. Flaring Urn - each character in the main party lights an urn to earn a prize. A fire icon at the bottom of the screen notes the flame's power. If the flame is properly timed to land on item icon, the player will receive it and can try again.
  2. Shell Matching - matching game played by nobles. Each character has to find pairs within rows of clam shells. If they find a dark sun charm, they can reshuffle their shells. A light sun charm can reveal the items hidden within each shell for three seconds. Each character's turn lasts as long as they find pairs, ending if they find duds or mismatch the shells.
  3. Rabbit Racing - plays like a Whac-A-Mole machine. Four uniquely colored rabbits are the targets. They appear on the screen from their dens, arranged in a cross formation. The player can feed an emerging rabbit by tapping the matching button on the directional pad (left row) or by using X,Square,Tri or Circle (right row). Snakes and insects are the red herrings and shouldn't be fed, unless the player wants the rabbits to speed up their appearance. If a rabbit is properly fed, it will hop once to the right side of the screen. Items can be gained based on the distance a rabbit travels.
  4. Nobles' Kemari - plays like Pong. Nobles carry the items and the player has to bounce back the kemari ball to "defeat" them. The player moves their kicking paddle by sliding it left or right at the bottom of the screen. A blue flame icon can power up the kemari ball if it passes through it. The nobles will drop heart icons towards the player. If these are accidentally collected, her affinity with the guardians escorting her will drop a little.

Prizes include healing items, objects favored by each guardian, or a boost in the particular element featured at the location. They can be obtained only by succeeding in these mini games. A perfect score triggers a small affinity boost with accompanying guardians.

The weaknesses and strengths of the Five Elements are in effect for these games. Characters with an innate element that matches the location's elemental property will offer positive bonuses. Opposing elemental traits between the location and characters will make the games harder.

Combat SystemEdit

When a location is marked with a circular violet icon, it means it is currently being threatened by a vengeful spirit. Combat begins once the protagonist and her guardians visit the afflicted area. Battles are turn-based, beginning with the main party's actions before the spirit counterattacks. There are also nine mandatory boss battles throughout the game.

Health bars appear to chart the condition of the enemy and the main party. The bar at the top of the screen is for the enemy while the bars at the bottom are for the main party. Numerical values beside these bars also keep track of 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 nearing their limit. If the protagonist is knocked out, the battle will automatically end in defeat.

The player only controls the protagonist's actions as her guardians' attacks are automatic. 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.

Once the Intermission chapter takes place, 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. 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 Metal character will severely wound Wood opponents, but they will struggle against Fire opponents.

Character RoutesEdit

Normally, the Eight Guardians serve as escorts and only their basic background is explained to the player. However, the protagonist can choose to become close to them. Choosing to do so is the key to unlocking multiple endings. Romance is completely optional and can be altered at the player's discretion. Multiple guardians can be romanced at once, but the rate at which they will become attached to the protagonist depends on her birthday and the frequency of their outings together.

Each guardian has two ratings of affection for the protagonist, the "Trust" (信じる, shinjiru, throughout the game) and "Thinking" (思う, omou, throughout the game) stats. Opportunities to increase either bond are peppered within combat or during events in the main story. When a favorable response is achieved, rising star icons will appear on the screen to note the increase. Stars can also be lowered if a guardian's reaction is negative. A guardian with a high Trust or Thinking bond is more likely to personally visit the protagonist and offer their company for the day. Agreeing to their request increases the Thinking stat.

If their bonds are high enough, the protagonist may experience a romance event with a guardian. They will invite her to a destination and she can learn more about him. During these events the protagonist has to respond back to him. A positive reaction increases their affection rating; a successful end to the event is needed to continue their romance. 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 as well as the respective ending with the character.

Additionally, four guardians will have four individual 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. They need to be gathered throughout the story if the player wants to see their romance events. The guardians with the missing Heart Pieces is determined by the first guardian she meets. For instance, if she chooses to introduce herself to a guardian within the Retired Emperor's influence, then only the Heaven guardians will be affected. Unique romance events will then occur for the Earth guardians.

Each guardian has two story paths available to them, one with Heart Pieces and one without. If the player succeeds all of their romance events, the protagonist can then choose two different endings with a guardian. Several playthroughs are needed to complete each character illustration and ending in the gallery section.

There are three sub character endings that do not follow the Trust and Thinking system. The protagonist's bond with them can be increased based on their actions during the main story, their bonds with the protagonist being "invisible". Again, an event surrounding this character can occur if the player successfully raises their trust ratings. Sub characters only have one ending, but they each have unique illustrations and scenarios dedicated to them.

A total of twenty-one different endings are available for players to unlock.

ModesEdit

New GameEdit

Self-explanatory. One completed playthrough unlocks the option of skipping the beginning sequence. The story will instead start with the name selection option.

ContinueEdit

Load from a previous save. The player is given a total of twenty different save slots.

BonusEdit

Includes a gallery, music selection, and extra side stories. Side stories are unlocked once the player finishes the game once. Endings that have been obtained can also be heard/read again.

SettingsEdit

Lets the player adjust the speed in which text is displayed on screen and the volume for sound effects, music, and voices. An option to mute certain character voices is also included. 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

Characters with ties to Retired EmperorEdit

Demon ClanEdit

Differences between portsEdit

  • The PC version has four extra side stories available, three of which require a monetary fee in order to see. A total of four new images can be seen during these bonus events. They are not available in the PS2 or PSP versions.
  • PSP version adds its own set of events for each character. Every event in the game can be collected and viewed within the Bonus section.
  • The PSP version has overhauled the presentation of the game to be faster and more convenient. It includes the following changes:
    • Audio clips are now properly lip-synced to a character's lip flaps. Portraits no longer have the fading transition for each new expression. The message bank now includes the option to replay audio clips.
    • Saving and loading options are available during scenes in the PSP port. The game processes the saving and loading functions at a quicker rate than the original.
    • Players can now skip audio clips and the ending credits.
    • Music no longer lags in between scene changes.

A special edition of the PSP port includes a protective pouch for the console with exclusive images.

Spin-OffsEdit

  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de History - PS2 version of the game repackaged with three other Haruka titles
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Premium Box Complete - Premium Box PS2 version repackaged with five other Haruka titles
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Yume no Ukihashi - crossover title for the first three games of the series

Related MediaEdit

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 was a title present at Koei's booth during Tokyo Game Show 2001. Consumers could preview the game for the first time. Twenty-five attendees could also win a free poster by playing one of the games offered on the game's online website.

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. For a limited time, miniature character stickers, post cards, and a trading card game published by Bandai were on sale. Cospatio re-created Karin's costume, but it is currently sold out.

A three volume OVA was made surrounding the beginning chapters for Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2. Yumeta Company produced the animation and the animated character designs were made by Akemi Hayashi. The animation is called Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 ~Shiroiki Ryu no Miko~. The opening and ending songs were made by DASEIN, the same band who did the themes for the first Haruka animated project. Shiroiki Ryu no Miko has Joshou Kiryuu and a remixed version of Shura.

Koei created a desktop accessory package for this game called Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 ~Koi Emaki~. It includes various options to customize a user's desktop and Windows system, including sound clips, a screen saver, and various wallpaper images. Video footage showing a behind the scenes tour, voice actor commentary, and promotional trailers are included with the kit. Consumers also obtain a Haruka themed CD case with their purchase.

Several publications and CDs were published for the game. Free samples of the fan made four panel comics can be read online at Gamecity. While an official comic serialization wasn't made for the game, a comic short story for the game was illustrated by Tohko Mizuno and published in LaLa. It can be read in the sixth volume for the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de comic, which features Hisui and Tomomasa on the front cover. Two light novels for the game were authored by Fumie Kondoh featuring illustrations by Tsunenori Saito. Free samples of these books can be read at Gamecity Bunko.

A digital novel, which features different scenarios and images from the original game, was created by Ruby Party. The main story contains a total of 24 scenarios and fans can read them on computers or mobile devices after paying an online monetary fee. Two CDs were published as supplementary events for the novel, each featuring new dramas. The first CD has the subtitle Zansho no Shiori while the second CD's subtitle is Yuukage no Shiori.

Z Dan created a theatrical stage adaptation of the game. Like other theatrical productions for the series, the narrative features original characters and story points that are different than the game. A digest of the first day's performance and teaser footage for the DVD recording can be seen on YouTube. A second showing of the theatrical version is sponsored by the entertainment group, ODYSEEY. An appreciation event for fans of the second showing is going to be held on June 22nd ~ 23rd.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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