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Neo Angelique

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Neo Angelique
Neoangelique-cover
Developer(s): Ruby Party
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: March 4, 2006
Genre: Romance adventure
Game Modes: Single-player
Ratings: CERO: CERO B Rating
Platform(s): PlayStation 2

Neo Angelique (ネオ アンジェリーク) is the fourth Neoromance entry and an alternate universe of the Angelique series. Character designs and illustrations were done by Kairi Yura. Maki Fujioka was the character designer for the characters' animated counterparts, both in the game and for the TV series. Character image songs were composed by Yujiro Okazaki.

Ruby Party originally devised the game to be a minor side story for the main Angelique series. During the brainstorming sessions for the plot and characters, the members realized that their project's ambitions far surpassed their starting expectations. Therefore, they shifted gears to make an "Angelique title friendly to newcomers", seeking to capture the series's charm without requiring the player to have extensive knowledge of prior lore. Role-playing game elements were devised to take center stage in gameplay due to its popularity in fan surveys at the time. The keywords for this title's narrative are "beautiful, noble, and romantic".

The Premium Box included eight postcards, a character message CD and fully colored comic book/manual. Consumers who reserved the game or Full Voice through Gamecity Shopping received a mouse pad with their purchase.

PlotEdit

The protagonist is a normal high school girl attending Melrose Girls' Academy in Arcadia. One day, she is visited by a gentleman named Nyx and learns that she has the dormant power to purify Thanatos, or incorporeal monsters that prey on the everyman. She leaves her school life to join Nyx's Thanatos exterminating business: "Aube Hunters". She soon realizes that she is the only female with purification powers because she is the oft fabled Queen Egg, or a legendary savior. Her goal is to work with her fellow Aube Hunters to eradicate Thanatos and restore the land's peace.

GameplayEdit

GeneralEdit

Travel takes place on a third-person aerial view of Arcadia's main continent, and paths are automated and determined by the player in advance. The protagonist is limited to fighting beside one of her four Aube Hunter comrades, and she must be escorted by one of them at all times. Her current partner can be changed at any time by returning to the Aube Hunters' headquarters: Sunny Villa (陽だまり邸, hidamari-tei). The player is free to explore the world map at their leisure; they can visit locations to earn character conversations and/or dessert recipes.

The main story must be progressed to obtain any ending in the game, whether it be character driven or the four possible default endings. After the tutorial stages, main story events are activated by meeting a hidden "Happiness" (幸福度) quota. Current Happiness levels are indicated by the flower icon at the upper right hand corner; its degree of completeness is reflected by its colorfulness. The player can exterminate Thanatos in isolated locations of the map or complete "Requests" (依頼) to meet the quota. If the player is ever lost on their progress, return to Sunny Villa and enter the protagonist's room. Talk with her pet cat to receive hints for the main story objectives. At times her room must be visited to proceed with the main story.

Requests are regularly posted in Sunny Villa's saloon. Once a job is accepted, the protagonist is expected to personally visit the inquirer for details; scroll icons hover over Request related locations on the world map. If the player enters the location, they can choose to skip the job in favor of exploring. These missions may be simple quizzes, conversations with selectable options for expressing opinion, or Thanatos hunts.

Combat is a turn-based two-vs-one confrontation which does not proceed until the player decides the protagonist's actions. Four main areas of interest appear during the battle screen:

Upper left gauge: Partner's Status: lists his personal level, health points (HP), attack power and defensive capabilities.
Upper right gauge: Thanatos's Status: has the same attributes as partner with an Aube weak point icon.
Top center icons: Accumulated Aube: shows the Aube used by the protagonist and the Thanatos. Changeable with each turn.
Selectable menu: Protagonist's Actions: first four options are attacks available to her. Last option is an order to escape from battle (certain fail rate).

Each battle must be completed before the protagonist runs out of Aubes —colored spherical energy— to power her partner's attacks. Victory is claimed when the Thanatos falls. If her partner's HP drops to 0, an instant retry option pops on the screen for the player's convenience.

Aubes (オーブ) must be augmented by the player to have their effects appear in the battle menu. Each Aube's traits decides what abilities can be used, be it status buffs, healing or attacking. Each action has a specific Aube cost. For example, •• requires both the protagonist and Thanatos to spend two Darkness Aubes for collection in the Accumulated Aube area. The technique is valid as long as the cost is met for the current turn. Single Aubes (i.e. ) have no cost restrictions. Combination attacks with her partner often overpowers ordinary Aube effects.

Once the player reaches a certain story point, the protagonist can also use/earn Protection Stones (護り石). These stones offer a powerful if expensive special techniques which may decimate end-game bosses. Reserve Aube can be fused into Protection Stones to level up their strengths. If the player wishes to experience every possible ending in the game, they must find all eleven Protection Stones and level them to maximum levels on their second playthrough. The ten other Protection Stones can be found at the Promised Cavern (約束の洞窟).

Neo Angelique introduced functions which became staples for future Neoromance titles. They are:

  • If the player chooses the default name, characters will audibly recite it in their dialogue. Renamed protagonists receive nondescript pronouns or sighs. Previous titles would leave the space blank.
  • The feature to greatly adjust skipping speed and strength. At maximum strength, it will skip everything except for the areas which require manual input (protagonist reactions and protagonist actions in battles). An option to skip everything but the new dialogue is present. The player does not need to hold down the Skip button anymore.
  • Highlighted text for dialogue heard before in the same save. New text is written in white. This feature can be disabled.
  • Choice to change text window visibility to transparent or dense.
  • An option to mute select characters rather than the entire cast.
  • Volume adjustment features for music and sound effects.
  • Button guide and tutorials can be switched on or off.
  • Quick saving and loading feature during events.
  • 35 save slots. Each save slot can be deleted, moved to another slot or permanently locked for prosperity.

Character RoutesEdit

Six characters can be romanced: the four Aube Hunters and two side characters, René and Bernard. The Aube Hunters are affected by an Intimacy parameter noted in their profile information in the main menu. Side characters have special and discreet conditions for unlocking their routes. Visit Coz for hints regarding possibilities and character events. Leen's (Fire Dragon) advice is for the Aube Hunters; Rouki (Water Dragon) is by the beach area and imparts hints for the side characters.

Regular breaks from the main narrative occur in the form of "Dinner Parties" (夕食会). These events give a general review of the main story and offer additional character perspectives. A male Aube Hunter cooks the main meal while the protagonist has the option of making dessert. Each participant has their preferences for both dishes, which affects their mood for the group gatherings.

A dish icon and mood gauge hovers above a character's head as they dine. The dish gradually grays out as they converse with one another; the dinner party can end prematurely if a male character cleans their plate or if every character has a chance to state their full piece. Mood gauges affects a character's entertainment level and eagerness to fight. Completely filling the gauge increases character affinity with the protagonist and places him/them at optimum fighting capacity. Their mood will change at the next Dinner Party.

The player can perform the following actions to alter the end results of these dinners:

Icon Name Description
Neoangelique-dinner-contchat Continue Conversation
(話を続ける)
Proceed with current topic. If the conversation refuses to budge, another option must be picked.
Neoangelique-dinner-smile Smile
(ほほえむ)
Direct a smile to a male character making eye contact with the protagonist. If successful, he will be happier. Can miss if he is not looking.
Neoangelique-dinner-wink Wink
(目配せ)
Wink at a male character looking directly at the protagonist. A character with high affinity and mood ratings will be happier. Trying to wink under any other conditions lowers it.
Neoangelique-dinner-change Change Topic
(話しを振る)
Choose to ask one of the four male characters a question.
Neoangelique-dinner-dessert Dessert
(デザート)
Swap main dishes for dessert. Can lengthen conversation time. Serving a male character's favorite dessert or a dessert which best accommodates the main dish unlocks a special compliment.
Neoangelique-dinner-end End Meal
(食事終了)
Cease all actions on the player's terms as opposed to the game's conditions.


Male characters who end the meal in high spirits invites the protagonist for a private follow-up. These conversations are often needed for the Aube Hunters' romance endings.

When the Aube Hunters are relaxing at Sunny Villa, the protagonist may visit an Aube Hunter's room for a private chat. Subjects vary by the person and can make the mood "Serious" or "Happy". Juggling between these two moods is needed to access specific topics. Dipping too much into either end of the spectrum cancels the sequence.

"Bingo Talk", the checkered board near his portrait, can alter his mood greatly. Select the appropriate topics on the board to fill in a bingo. Bingo marks carry over, meaning that they do not necessarily have to be asked in the same session. Their boosts to his mood, however, happen in one sitting. Topics marked with the heart icons form the mandatory bingo for unlocking the next stage of his character route. Once it is completed, the board resets and expands with another challenge. Travel with the Aube Hunter at all times to effortlessly meet the needed Intimacy requirements for unlocking additional events and conversation topics.

Unlike other Angelique titles, the player is often restricted to completing one character route at a time. Reaching the third romance stage for any character often negates other candidates. Aube Hunters have two different endings while side characters have one respective ending. Aube Hunters' romance endings have fully animated movies before the final still image.

ModesEdit

ContinueEdit

Load from a previous save. The player is given a total of 35 different save slots.

New GameEdit

Self-explanatory.

ExtrasEdit

Includes a gallery and music selection. The gallery includes voiced commentary for most character images and animated movies. Conversation responses and story events can be viewed again, including whatever variations the player has earned. Epilogue events can be viewed in the Special section after successfully clearing a character's romance ending.

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) are included. The player can also choose to remove the button guides visible on the screen throughout the game. If these settings are changed before starting a new game, they will automatically be in effect.

Transfer PasswordEdit

Cellphone bonuses after inputting passwords given on the Gamecity Fanclub site. Rewards players with images and audio clips for their cellphone.

Game PreviewsEdit

Promotional teaser for Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 Unmei no Labyrinth.

CharactersEdit

Expansions/Spin-offsEdit

  • Neo Angelique Full Voice - PlayStation 2: March 27, 2008. Fully voiced dialogue and a total of twenty new events for the Extras section. René and Bernard have five new images. Game Previews teaser changes to Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4.
  • Neo Angelique Special - PlayStation Portable: September 20, 2008. Reuses Full Voice version but is not fully voiced. Includes new events with the characters introduced in the comic adaptation and drama CDs (Mathias, Erenfried, Jet, Roche). These characters have no personal events outside of the Extras menu. Game Previews is absent from the main menu.

The Premium Box for Full Voice includes the merchandise from the vanilla game's merchandise with an extra postcard and illustration book. A shiny sticker, special UMD, and another character message CD is set aside for Special's Super Premium Box edition.

Related MediaEdit

Two Neo Angelique related live stage events were conducted. The first was a crossover with the original series, Ange Party, while the second was a Neo Angelique only event, Arcadia Carnival. A variety CD featuring the voice actors, Arcadia Holiday, was recorded onto DVD.

Characters from this IP crossover into other character image songs in a CD called Neoromance Friends. Three Neo Angelique character image songs were included in the first Neoromance Christmas CD, ~Seiya ni Love Song wo~. Bernard (Daisuke Hirakawa) and Richard from LoveφSummit (Kenji Nojima) recorded an event exclusive character image song and message CD for Neoromance Starlight ♥ Christmas 2010. Neoromance ♥ Festa Alamode 4 had Hiroki Takahashi (Rayne) record an exclusive character monologue and image song for its event CD, Neo Romance Ondo.

Yumeta Company (a.k.a. TYO Animations) produced a two-cour 26 episode TV animated adaptation called Neo Angelique Abyss; the second season's subtitle is Abyss -Second Age-. It was first announced to the public at Neoromance ♥ Alamode 3. The first season roughly covers the game's main plot yet takes several liberties with character relationships and events for the second season. Angelique receives a new outfit in Second Age. JOY TO THE WORLD and Ai Ai Gusa are the opening and ending songs for the first half. SILENT DESTINY and Kataomoi no Chiisana Koi act as Second Age's opening and ending songs.

A web radio program, Neo Angelique Abyss ~Hidamari-tei he Yokouso~, was broadcast simultaneously. Daisuke Ono (Hyuga) and Daisuke Hirakawa (Bernard) acted as the MCs. The compilation CDs for the program make a fraction of the anime only merchandise. Voice actor commentary after the last episode can be read at presepe.

Various CDs and books were published by Gamecity. Free samples of the four panel comics anthologies published by Koei can be read online at Gamecity. Three light novels were written by Ayuna Fujisaki with illustrations by Mika Kajiyama. Kajiyama also did a five-volume comic adaptation of the game which was published as a part of Kadokawa's Asuka Comics DX lineup. A collaboration with Pullip led to three of its models dressing up as Neo Angelique characters.

Neo Angelique was one of the IPs printed on Koei Cards. Members of Koei's Fanclub can often purchase desserts and holiday character messages dedicated to these characters. Here is a list of recent campaigns which have Neo Angelique:

Daisuke Hirakawa (Bernard) is the "light older brother" in the first entry of the Neoromance Situation CD series. He contrasts Kenji Nojima (Mitsuhide Akechi) of Geten no Hana fame.

Image SongEdit

  • La Vie en Rose ~Barairo no Kiseki~
Performed by Miyu Irio (Erenfried) and Ryohei Kimura (Roche)

Ending credits song only for Special's exclusive character events.

AllusionsEdit

  • A remixed version of Prelude (the main theme song for the game) can be learned and played by the protagonist's ensemble in Kiniro no Corda 2.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Episode 43 of the TV anime series Shirokuma Café alluded to three voice actors' Neo Angelique roles through character cosplay.

External LinksEdit

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