Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (alternatively known as The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom) was developed by Nippon Ichi; this means that it's about as serious as you would expect. Yes, the music is cheesy; yes, the dialogue is hammy; yes, the plot is nonsensical as all hell. It was initially released in 1998 for the Playstation, and released stateside in 2000 (making it the first Nippon Ichi Software game released outside of Japan). Later, in 2008, it was ported to the DS... with an actual European release in 2009... though this version actually had content removed. Naturally, this is the version I'll be playing because it's the one I'm most familiar with though I will be demoing the omitted content via the PlayStation version as well. If this sounds a bit backwards, the reason for that is that this way is the best way for me to actually do it for technical reasons that I don't think anyone really cares about.
In addition to alterations to the overall content, there's some other major differences between the two versions that will be shown in the most opportune way I can think of. As the game is broken up into 7 chapters (8 if you include the prologue), the relavent differences will be shown between each chapter.
Amazingly, Rhapsody actually managed to get a fair few sequels and prequels... none of which were ever released outside of Japan due to poor sales figures of the original. The most recent of which, Hymn Princess Antiphona, is liable to end up the same but not due to poor sales of the original. This time, it's due to poor sales of the DS port. Despite this, though, if it wasn't for Rhapsody there's a good chance some of NIS' more well known (and arguably better) games, such as La Pucelle or Disgaea itself, would potentially have not been made.
Now, for a Nippon Ichi game, Rhapsody is remarkably easy - there's never any reason to grind, but that helps since it was made long before they got a collective hard on for giant ass numbers that become meaningless. This means no level 9999 cap, no ridiculously large stats and no abiliity to deal trillions upon trillions of damage. Somehow, this manages to not detract from the game. Though it does limit the kind of fun things you can do after you're done.
Aside from the obvious "gimmick" of being a musical, the one thing of note is that - with the exception of Cornet (yes, she's named after the instrument; unlike a certain other RPG with a musical theme this isn't something that occurs for every character) - every playable character is a "Puppet." There's 16 of them in all, and they each have quests of some kind that allows Cornet to gain a new skill. Now, there isn't actually 16 seperate quests; there's only 10. Several of them require two, or even three, puppets to complete.
Due to being broken into chapters, the title, Rhapsody, becomes more appropriate than it seems. I'm not particularly knowledgable when it comes to music in general, let along specific terminology, but, according to my (ten seconds of) research...
A rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations.
This is a lot more fitting than it will seem at first glance.
Table of Contents
- Prologue - The Sudden Encounter
- Update 01: Puppet Master?
- Update 02: The Prince of the Wonder Woods
- PSX Interlude 1
- Chapter 1 - Much Love! The Great Cooking Plan!
- Update 03: How Eggciting
- Update 04: Rosierqueen
- Update 05: No Minister
- PSX Interlude 2
- Chapter 2 - Contest Rhapsody
- Update 06: Enrollment
- Update 07: Cat-astrophe
- Update 08: Rosenking
- Update 09: The Leadership Dress
- Update 10: No Singstar Allowed
- PSX Interlude 3
- Chapter 3 - Destination of Happiness
- Update 11: Not Quite A Whole New World...
- Update 12: Such A Marjoly Pain Evermore
- Update 13: It Sure Is Crowdia In Here
- PSX Interlude 4
- Chapter 4 - Women Are All About Taking Action!!
- Update 14: The Adventure Finally Begins
- Update 15: Terra Forming With A K-9
- Update 16: Duke of Wizzard
- Chapter 5 - A Travelogue Around The World ~With Love~
- Update 17: A Pirate I Was Meant To Be
- Update 18: Unnecessary Powers
- Update 19: Dragon In A Half-Shell
- Update 20: Get Off Your High Horse Lady
- Update 21: Keep Quiet
- Update 22: Whenever, Wherever
- Update 23: Gauing Places
- Update 24: The Raktabhija of Alfred
- Update 25: Croakette In The Castle
- Update 26: Apocalypse Myao
- Chapter 6 - Mother's Heart and Will
- Update 27: The Barrowland of History
- Update 28: I Guess It's Fairy Old
Chapter 7Epilogue - The Princess Doll of Marl Kingdom
- Update 29: Beauty is the Beast
- Update 30: Last Waltz/Light Up The Night
- Update 31: And All Things Will End
The Soundtrack for this game contains the songs used for the Musical segments and a few other tracks too. For the musical segments, the location in parenthesis is the chapter it occured. Every other track is included within the update where it first occurs as well.
01 Someday (Prologue)
02 Let's Go On (Chapter 2)
03 Let's Go On (Cherie) (Chapter 6)
04 Our World (Chapter 3)
05 Amphibian Paradise (Chapter 5)
06 Evil Queen (Chapter 4)
07 True Courage (Chapter 5)
08 Thank You (Credits; contains spoilers. Listen at own peril!)
09 Mountainmen's Song (Chapter 5)
10 Amazing Pirates (NOT USED IN-GAME)
11 Puppet Princess Theme
12 Little Love
14 Welcome to the Dungeon
15 Spirit Wind
16 Marjoly Family Anthem
18 Castle Evening
19 Lady's Barette
21 Shooting Star
22 Rhapsody Afar
23 Dream Hunter
24 The Wanderer
25 Last Waltz
26 Mother's Lullaby
In the previous LP attempt (requires archives to view), which was abandoned after a few updates, several goons posted their own attempts at singing the songs featured in-game. Cooked Auto, for whatever reason, backed them all up so I'll let him say what there is to say about this.
Cooked Auto posted:
Uploading what I have. Pretty much all the content is for the first two songs so.
And I wish I knew why I actually saved this the first time.
Let's Go on