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Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5

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Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5
Haruka5-cover
Developer(s): Ruby Party
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: February 24, 2011
Genre: Romance adventure
Game Modes: Single Player
Ratings: CERO: CERO B Rating
Platform(s): PlayStation Portable

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5 (遙かなる時空の中で5) is the fifth installment in the Haruka series. It's the first main entry of the series to be PSP exclusive and to use real instruments for its soundtrack. It was voted as the eighth popular otome game of the year for 2011.

According to written interviews, this game was conceptualized by a crew of developers and scenario writers within Ruby Party who haven't worked on this particular franchise. A recurring theme found in many developers' comments was to "refresh" the series's formula with a theatrical direction. They also wanted to include an "international flavor" to the series's predominate Japanese setting with the game's visual tweaks and script. According to the main planner, the overall theme of this title is "Dignity ~transience and strength~".

For the first time in the series, the focal historical setting was decided based on responses from fan surveys; developers sought to create their fantasy spin on it while keeping several homages to history. As they expanded on the concept, they stated their belief that the era offers a dramatic setting of turmoil. To represent numerous conflicts of the era, the game's main image colors became red and black. Reoccurring voice actors of the series are largely removed in favor of a new cast. Developers claim this move was done to celebrate the ten years anniversary for the franchise. By their account, auditions were a long and tiring process of several male voice actors. Masako Otsuka is the game's main music composer and sound director.

Consumers who pre-ordered the title could obtain a CD recording of the voice actor auditions. The same CD and a DVD recording of auditions is included in its Treasure Box collection; an event illustration book, a premium character visual book, an original drama CD, and autographs from the voice actors are included. Gamecity Shopping offered nine character art cards for consumers who purchased the game.

PlotEdit

In the year 2020, the protagonist and her childhood friends prepare for their Christmas break. As they board an airplane to return to Japan, they are sucked into the parallel world. This world is experiencing the turbulent end of the Tokugawa shogunate in December 1863. Using a magical hourglass, she gains the unsteady power to travel to both worlds. Although she and her companions flicker in and out of the parallel world, her adventures within this world span a total of three years.

Initially, the protagonist desires to save the suffering Four Gods from the parallel world's warring factions in order to save her mysteriously ravaged home world. As time passes, she learns that both worlds are being merged to create another world. Hoping to prevent the forceful deaths of two worlds, she willingly sacrifices fragments of her own life force to protect those dear to her.

GameplayEdit

The general layout of the game follows a similar RPG-adventure format used in the series's third and fourth title. Similar to the third title spin-offs, story and character events are indicated by exclamation points on the world map and character portraits are completely lip-synced to the text, even during unvoiced events. Graphics return completely to 2D and several illustrated cut-ins of the main cast are included within the game; many of these stills cannot be seen in a character's gallery.

The game differentiates itself from its predecessors in the following ways:

  • The player can manually move the protagonist across the world map rather than in predetermined paths.
  • It is possible to explore the modern world and the parallel world in the same game. Just like previous entries which had this concept, character portraits for the main cast change based on the world.
  • Allocated Five Elements can be used to restore parts of the modern world. This is needed to unlock character events.
  • Vengeful spirits are often visible wandering orbs on the world map and are optional to fight. Certain vengeful spirits must be defeated to access certain locations.
  • The text is now presented in Western formating (left to right) as opposed to traditional Japanese (top to bottom). Comic sans font is now used for the script, making the layout resemble other Neoromance titles. Developers claim that the change was made to help readers see the font on the tiny PSP screen.
  • A complete auto skip of events is available ala Neo Angelique.
  • In the first playthrough, the player views a failed timeline. Loading from this save after the story completes results in the player being unable to revisit this timeline again. It can only be seen again if the player has another save for this scenario or start again with the New Game option.
  • A new feature for this game is the "motion portrait", which uses motion graphics to roughly emulate a character's breathing and eye movements. It can be seen primarily in the starting menu and in character endings. Developers admit it was an experiment to add to the other secondary effects seen throughout the game (i.e.: moving light, moving fire, etcetera).
  • An in-game timeline is included within the menu screen (Tri) to roughly dictate the setting of the parallel world.

The main story is told in a total of twelve chapters; main character stories are given their own chapter selection separate from the main story. Like the fourth title, the player can unlock several character routes simultaneously and select to initiate them whenever they please.

Hourglass and Life PiecesEdit

At first, dimensional time travel is dictated entirely by the plot. Once the player reaches a certain point in the story, they gain access to the hourglass itself.

The Hourglass of Time (時空の砂時計, toki no sunatokei) determines the amount of time the player has to explore the parallel world. An icon and a numerical amount for its remaining sand is found in the upper-right icon of the world map. Every action the protagonist does on the world map –including standing idle or walking– drains sand from the hourglass. Story and personal character events drains the hourglass an allotted number; they cannot be started if the hourglass lacks the correct amount. Sealing vengeful spirits is the cost efficient method of replenishing missing sand, meaning the player is required to fight constantly to stay within the parallel world.

Every trip back to the modern world automatically resets the hourglass back to optimum levels; the hourglass will not drain within this realm. However, each trip to the modern world requires the protagonist to sacrifice one of her five Life Pieces (命のかけら, inochi no kakera). Life pieces are encouraged to be used sparingly, as they cannot be regenerated within this title and are often required for events. Her life pieces are represented by the shards in the upper left corner. The player can travel between worlds by pressing Square in the world map screen.

Completely emptying the hourglass within the parallel world forces her to use a life piece. If the player uses all of her life pieces, the game will automatically end. If the player lacks the life piece toll found in events, the game will end.

Combat SystemEdit

Battles are still turn based and the player decides each character's actions before proceeding. The protagonist is always first; the order of her comrades depends on the player. The player can shuffle the order of their allies by tapping the left or right directional keys or by tapping Square to switch in reserve party members. Escaping is done by pressing X; it has a chance to fail.

Weapons can now be upgraded. The player may do so by defeating a vengeful spirit with its elemental weak point. One seal can be used per battle to power up a party member's weapon. As weapons level up, its appearance changes and a character's attack boosts dramatically. Secondary effects can be unlocked as a weapon becomes stronger.

Seals also determines which elements a character can use in battle. Characters can equip themselves with two additional elements besides their mandatory innate attack. Each character has their elemental preferences and the effects of their attacks changes based on the spirit used for the sealing. The player is free to switch a character's elemental attacks on whim.

Normally a weapon stops leveling at level ten. It can only be strengthened further by defeating a particularly strong spirit, all of which are found during specific story events for each character. The main party has to defeat the spirit twice –once in the parallel world and again in the modern world– before they successfully seal it. This particular sealing has a special illustration, boosts a weapon's maximum level to twenty, and grants a special ability for the affiliated character. These special abilities add a fourth unique attack slot for the character.

Magic is performed by synchronizing the group's attack. The protagonist leads the first attack and her comrades follow in a highlighted elemental sequence. Spells are successfully triggered if every attack in the sequence hits a target; they may be activated by confirming it (Circle). Reserve party members may support spells if the player allows it. All spells can be canceled (X) if the player desires.

Will in battle is used to power specially marked attacks and special abilities. The protagonist can restore another character's Will by choosing the Cheer ability. She cannot regenerate her own used Will. One of her party members needs to cheer her in between turns to restore it.

Experience points now level up characters. Each character can learn special abilities as they level up which can be strengthened by allocated five elements. The maximum level capacity is fifty.

Character RoutesEdit

The player can build affinity ratings only between the protagonist and the main characters. Bonds are represented throughout the game as floating light green stars ( throughout the game). They can be increased by quickly finishing battles, selecting favorable responses in story events, or by successfully completing a character's personal events.

Characters who have personal story routes each have a feature called "Heart Crystals" (心の結晶, kokoro no kesshou). Crystals are rewarded by successfully unlocking and completing their personal events. The screen will crack apart if the player fails an event. Players can read hints for obtaining these character events by looking in each character's profile in the main menu (Tri). These hints will specifically state when to trigger these events and when they are missed.

There is a total of fourteen different endings in the game. The canonical true ending in the game can be seen after the player has finished the protagonist's default story, the Eight Guardians' stories, Miyako's story, and Amami's story. This ending is used as the basis for the game's sequel.

ModesEdit

ContinueEdit

Load from a previous save. There are a total of thirty-five save slots available. One completed playthrough unlocks the option of keeping the player's previous settings for the protagonist. They can then hop to whatever chapter they completed from their last playthrough. Characters also keep their earned parameters and abilities from cleared save data.

New GameEdit

Self-explanatory.

ExtrasEdit

Includes a gallery, event, and music selection. The gallery includes alternations of the same illustration during story events. Collected events are limited to the fully voiced ones for each character story. The player can also take pictures during the game and view them as a slide show within this mode.

Downloadable scenarios can be seen and read here.

SettingsEdit

Lets the player adjust the speed of text being displayed on screen and the skipping speed of the game's events. Volume adjustments for sound effects, music, and voices (as well as a muting option for certain characters) is also included. The player can also choose to remove the tutorial guides throughout the game. Battle difficulty can be changed to easy, normal, or hard. If these settings are changed before starting a new game, they will automatically be in effect.

Mobile JoyEdit

Insert passwords given in the game box to grant wallpapers, icons, and character audio files for personal cellphone.

InstallEdit

Installs a digital copy of the game.

Data TransferEdit

Players with Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 Aizouban save data can use it to unlock small bonuses in this game.

CharactersEdit

Priestesses and Eight GuardiansEdit

Deities and SpiritsEdit

Bakumatsu FiguresEdit

OthersEdit

Spin-OffsEdit

Related MediaEdit

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5 was simultaneously announced at Tokyo Game Show 2010 and Neoromance ♥ Event "10 Years Love" with Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 Aizouban. It was later promoted at Neoromance Starlight ♥ Christmas 2010 and in the radio program Neoroma & Musou. Eiji Takemoto (Ouchi Fukuchi) was one of the show's hosts; Michael Shitaanda (Ernest Satow) appeared as guest during one of the shows. The game's song Koujou no Sato was also used for its pre-recorded radio commercial.

RADIO 4Gamer featured this game with Nobuhiko Okamoto (Souji Okita) as the show's special guest. It was later archived in one of their Mafia Kajita no Nijigen ga Koi! articles. Visitors with a Niconico Douga account can log-in and watch their recorded thirty minute gameplay footage during the episode.

Neoromance stage events for the series are often crossover events with the series' different continuities. The Haruka 2012 Festival, however, exclusively featured the main cast in this game. Rindou from Kazahanaki and the event only character, Taira no Masakado, were featured in the stage live dramas. Event only merchandise can be viewed at Gamecity Shopping. Decorative sleeves using characters in this game were also shipped for the PSP.

Various CDs, DVDs, and books were published for the game. The audio dramas on these discs include scenarios that happen before, during, and after the game's story. Free samples of the character image songs can be heard on the Neoromance myspace page. Nasatya and Ernest Satow were the stars for the Neoromance ♥ Halloween Party event CD. Shinsaku Takasugi and Yukihiro Yagisawa star in the event CD for Neoromance ♥ Festa Alamode 5 with Geten no Hana.

B's Log featured the game in their February, March, April, and May 2011 issues. One special illustration for the game was seen on the January 2011 issue of Dengeki Girl's Style. A comic serialization of the game is currently being illustrated by Tohko Mizuno and published in LaLa. Like the previous adaptation, the comic pens a different beginning and interactions than those featured in the game.

Cospatio re-created Yuki's costume, but it is currently sold out. Her outfit in the modern world and the Shinseigumi coat were also recreated.

Cookies with the Eight Guardians printed on them are going to be made for sale. They are made by employees who work at Swallowtail café.

Characters from this game were featured in Gamecity's Valentine's Day and White Day Message Campaigns with other Neoromance franchises. Users with of Koei's Official Fanclub with a my GAMECITY could receive audio and text messages from their preferred character of choice. Special character interviews for the Eight Guardians were also posted for cellphones users on Koei's Neoromance Avenue service.

The Eight Guardians in this game are gradually being added to a card collection application called Yome Colle (fully translated as: "Wife Collection"). Android or iPhone users can proudly show off their digital "wife" and take photos, listen to their voice, and so on.

A live theatrical adaptation of this entry is planned for September 24 ~ October 1 and December 3~7, 2014. The same creators behind the Haruka 2 productions return for this one. Main cast members and Amami are scheduled to appear as guests during Neoromance 20th Anniversary. The producer and a handful of key actors are guests for Enta no Moto's 100th episode. The director, Ryuhei Shioguchi (Ryouma Sakamoto), and Mirai Suzuki (Souji Okita) were guests for the 18th episode of Tsukai☆Otome Game Tsushin to promote the play and present information for Haruka 6.

Takuma Terashima (Shun Kiryu) is the "body examiner" in the second Neoromance Situation CD. He contrasts Kouki Miyata (Benkei Musashibou) of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 fame.

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

During the 2004~2005 Neoromance stage events, the voice actors for Isato, Akifumi and Motomi Minamoto dubbed themselves Ushiromuki Jirettai (roughly "Back-Facing Unit"), a comedy group that criticizes negativity. Chinami and Ouchi Fukuchi are juniors to the unit. A stage event solely dedicated to the unit will take place on August 20, 2016.

A one-time cafe based on the game will be open for one week starting on August 13, 2016.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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