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Kiniro no Corda

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This article is about the first game in the Kiniro no Corda series. For the whole series, see Kiniro no Corda (series).

Kiniro no Corda
Corda-wincover
Developer(s): Ruby Party
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: September 19, 2003 (PC)
March 18, 2004 (PS2)
November 10, 2005 (PSP)
Genre: Romance simulation
Game Modes: Single-player
Ratings: CERO: CERO A Rating
Platform(s): Windows ('98 ~ XP), PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable

Kiniro no Corda (金色のコルダ, officially transcribed as La Corda d'oro) is the starting title for the third major Neoromance series, Kiniro no Corda. This particular title is reputed for its crushing difficulty with simulation fans and is rather unforgiving compared to its other Neoromance counterparts and future Corda entries.

At the time of Corda's conception a contemporary high school setting —a popular setup currently seen in many Otome games in the market— was a prevalent request in written fan surveys. The company founders (Kou Shibusawa and Keiko Erikawa) also wished to create a title dedicated to their musical interests. While a few titles for this goal were made by the company prior, none of them gained wide spread popularity. Ruby Party developers sought to simultaneously cater to fan and executive wishes by making their high school series have classical music as a major focus. Since they wanted to keep fantasy elements as a trademark in their products, members added fairies to the narrative. Their main goal for the series since its first entry is to present romance through "the love and magic in music".

Three different Premium Boxes were available for each port. The Windows version has a character message and partial soundtrack CD, a special binder, and a clear pocket for storing five printed character sleeves. A clear case, eight character cards, a bookcover, and another character drama CD are included for the PlayStation 2 edition. Box merchandise for the PlayStation Portable edition has a PSP pouch and a special cleaning cloth.

PlotEdit

The protagonist is a second year student at the prestigious Seiso Academy, a high school and college famed for teaching the world's greatest professional musicians. She cannot play an instrument and attends the school's general education program. One day, however, she sees a fata and is scouted by him to participate in the school's annual musical concour. He blesses her with a magical violin that can play any song if she possesses the passion to play it. The protagonist uses it to experience the classical music curriculum offered at Seiso.

GameplayEdit

GeneralEdit

After the naming process for the protagonist is completed, the player can answer two questions to receive their first free song for the concour. There are four selections (stages) of the concour, and each has their own randomized theme. The player can move the protagonist anywhere on the bird's eye map once the story exposition, time constraints, and requirements for each selection are explained. Confirming a location on the map switches the camera perspective to an omnipresent third-person view of the vicinity; the player can explore the area with their avatar and exit to return to the bird's eye map. Each location has its specific bonuses, characters, and fata indicated on the world map each day. More locations become available as the concour progresses.

The protagonist has three personal parameters which can affect her efficiency in the concour: Technique (技術), Performance (表現), and Bravo Points (BP). Technique is parallel to the difficulty of each song she can play, Performance is linked to her proficiency in each song category, and BP refers to expendable currency needed for purchasing items for each selection. These parameters can be increased by studying music and playing near crowds of people.

Everything music related in the game is divided into one of the three main categories:

Elegant (清麗) - calm and peaceful
Radiant (彩華) - lively and cheerful
Melancholy (愁情) - dreary and sorrowful

Its encouraged to try to pick a song which best relates to the current selection's theme. If the theme is "What has been lost", for example, a Radiant song will likely result in poor scores for the protagonist.

Time flows by the hour and minutes and proceeds in a daily format. Unlike other simulation titles, the time expended is reliant on the actions the player decides upon. Studying takes 20 minutes of in-game time (default). Talking to a character and triggering their personal event automatically drains 10~20 minutes from the clock, regardless of the event's actual length to complete. Times are stacked so it is possible to use 30~40 minutes of the clock if the player accidentally triggers a character event while studying. The player cannot initiate an action if they lack the mandatory in-game time to perform it.

All activities are halted at 6 PM each day (18:00 in-game clock). Every weekday the protagonist can practice for two hours; weekends usually provides six hours. Occasionally, the main narrative forces the player to halt their progress for one day. The story will continue regardless of whether the protagonist wins or loses each selection, repeating the cycle of preparations.

PreparationEdit

Most of the game is dedicated to practicing and preparing for the selections. Here is a basic outline for completing preparations successfully.

  1. Study a musical genre.
  2. Gather skills and keywords.
  3. Practice song for spectators.
  4. Use earned BP to purchase attire.

The protagonist depends on an unconventional study phase: she must locate hidden fata called ferro and rame. Ferro contain musical scores for her to collect, while rame are needed for gaining the keywords. Both fata types are hidden and are color coded by their specialized music category. Fata can only be found by activating the first Practice option in the main menu. 20 in-game minutes (default) are drained from the clock for each search, but the timer for the hide-and-seek sequence lasts for 10 seconds (default). Certain fata can only be located if the studied composition matches their genre. The protagonist earns experience points each time she studies, which increases her Technique parameter.

Ferro automatically become visible during the search and are collected once the protagonist heads directly to their location. When the protagonist completely maxes her proficiency with a song (100), she can learn a skill to bolster her stage and public performances. There are multiple parts of the same song, so it may benefit the player to obtain every part. Skills, a high Technique level, and specialization in a variety of genres often become mandatory traits for the harder compositions in the game.

Rame remain invisible and can only be found once the protagonist has nearly mastered a musical piece. They can be found by listening carefully, as the game will silence the usual tune to play the selected song. A rame is hidden somewhere near the loudest spot. Once a rame has been found, the player can ring its bell to watch miniature theatrical reenactments dedicated to the song. Pairs of keywords appear through the dialogue presented, but the final two words are decided by a text option the player can input. Bells can only be rung once for each musical composition and sap 5 minutes (default).

After the ferro and rame have been pleased, the protagonist gains the ability to physically play the song herself. The player must manually move her to an ideal location and select her composition. During the later stages of the competition, the player can earn duo and quartet ensemble compositions. As long as she has the available members within range, she and another musical student can perform together. The red circle around her/them indicates its hearing range for spectators. She will begin terribly before she gradually improves upon repetition. As she practices, she may gain focal keywords to bolster her stage performance and increases her Performance parameter for the musical genre she is playing. 50~55 minutes of in-game time are used for one performance, and songs often require six~seven repetitions to master without items.

Spectators will be impressed based on her familiarity with each piece, rewarding more BP if she is a master. BP is essential for purchasing the protagonist's formal attire at one of the three hidden Fata Shops. She can buy a total of three dresses and three accessories to wear at a selection. BP can alternatively be used to buy items to help speed up her practicing phases.

To win a high spot in the selection's rankings, the protagonist needs to be properly dressed, must play a song with keywords that match the theme, and has to have high parameters for their stage appearance. Stage performances themselves do not require the player's active participation. They can be watched or skipped.

Character RoutesEdit

Aside from Lili, the protagonist can share an ending with any character in the game. Male scenarios are considered romantic while the two female characters bond with the protagonist through friendship. Competitors within the concour have an Intimacy (親密度) and Rivalry (ライバル度) parameter. Side characters mainly have an Intimacy stat.

Intimacy can be increased by purchasing a gift for someone using BP or by choosing supportive responses during private conversations. Wearing a person's favorite outfit and playing their favorite song can lead to large Intimacy boosts. Rivalry is altered based on the competitive tone the player chooses in text options. These aspects can be checked within their bio in the main menu screen. The top two characters garnering the protagonist's interests are visually presented in the save slot screen.

Romance events occur during specific times within the week, meaning that each action within each day of the week must be judged carefully for unlocking a character's ending. The conditions for viewing them vary on the character. Concour rivals require the protagonist to have high protagonist levels, high Intimacy and Rival ratings, and/or high amounts of accumulated BP. Tsukimori, for example, requires high levels in everything while Shimizu requires the protagonist to have high Technique levels. Characters outside of the concours need high Intimacy ratings. Due to the lack of hints and possible scheduling conflicts, it's very feasible for the player to miss a character's event without noticing.

Every event must be seen for the male characters in order to unlock their best romance ending, or Gem Ending (珠玉エンディング). Failing to achieve all the romance events but ending the game with high Intimacy grants the Town Ending (町へ出よエンディング). Romance endings can alter between the protagonist confessing her feelings to a male character, or the male character confessing his feelings.

ModesEdit

ContinueEdit

Self-explanatory. Maximum 20 save slots are available.

New GameEdit

Self-explanatory. If the player has completed the game once before, an option to reuse a previous protagonist name, clear game bonuses, and a quicker introduction sequence can be selected at the start of repeated playthroughs.

MemoriesEdit

Gallery for whatever music, character images, and movies the player has earned. Music is limited to whatever is played during concours by the protagonist and her rivals. Text only character commentary is included for each song. Epilogue events for clearing the game with any ending can be seen here. Two of them require the protagonist to finish within third place of the overall concour scoring.

InstructionsEdit

How-to-play diagram and instructions.

SettingsEdit

Lets the player adjust the text display and the skipping speed of character dialogue. Master volume can be adjusted here to either be stereo or mono. Voices for all characters can be left on or muted. If these settings are changed before starting a new game, they will automatically be in effect.

InformationEdit

Game trailers for other Koei titles. The PS2 version includes Nobunaga no Yabou Online, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX, Samurai Warriors, and Crimson Sea 2.

CharactersEdit

Spin-offsEdit

  • Kiniro no Corda Box Selection ~10th Anniversary~ - PSP: December 19, 2013. Includes the PSP version of the first game and select Premium Box merchandise.

Differences between portsEdit

  • Event images and movie galleries are only available for reviewing in the PS2 and PSP versions.
  • A music quiz has been added to the Extra section in the PSP version.

Related MediaEdit

Before its shipping date, details regarding the game was going to be revealed to fans at Hotel Okura in an event called Neoromance Party with La Corda d'oro. It was canceled due to conflicts not revealed to the public. Corda was one of the playable titles at Koei's Tokyo Game Show 2003 and Tokyo Game Show 2005 booths.

Yumeta Company (current TYO Animations) produced a two-cour 25 episode TV anime adaptation called La Corda d'oro ~primo passo~. The anime adaptation is mainly based on the simultaneous series's comic adaptation, La Corda d'oro, rather than being a direct adaptation of the game. Characters from the first game are featured within this part of the anime. Kishio Taniyama (Len Tsukimori) and Katsuyuki Konishi (Shinobu Ousaki) were the MCs for its radio program, Kiniro no Corda ~Houkago no Etude~. Several anime only merchandise was made for it. The songs used for the anime were Brand New Breeze by Kanon (OP) and CRESCENDO by stella quintet (ED; performed by Tsukimori, Tsuchiura, Shimizu, Hihara, Yunoki's voice actors). The radio program had Warrior by Kishio Taniyama (OP) and HappyTime by stella quintet (ED) as its themes.

An original story based on the first game's setting and cast was made into a 2010 theatrical production called La Corda d'oro Stella Musical. The cast announcement made headlines with its double cast for Kahoko and Lili. Various merchandise was manufactured for the real life versions of the series's characters. Free clips of the theatrical production can still be enjoyed on Koei-Tecmo's Youtube channel.

Several CDs and databooks were created. Free samples of the four panel comics anthologies published by Koei can be read online at Gamecity. Two light novels were authored by Megumi Fujino; free samples can be read at Gamecity Bunko. Cellphone novels were also made for this part.

AllusionsEdit

  • Remixed versions of Yasashii Ai no Uta (Angelique) and Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (main theme for said game) can be learned and played by the protagonist.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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