Part 33: Get in.Chapter 2: Get in.
Alright, folks. Since Miho won the vote, it's time to lay down the foundation for the first year! There are still a lot of new features to discover, but the first order of business is to join the right club to meet her.
4/18: Goon joins a club
Even the club recruitment screen is a huge improvement over Tokimemo 1. Instead of just a generic notebook with names scribbled into it, you get to see the recruitment posters that the various club presidents have made to try and convince people to join up.
Unlike TokiMemo 1, all of these clubs have a character associated with them, instead of randomly inserting Shiori based on a diff formula. I'll list the character after each poster.
"Cosplay all you want
The flowery Drama Club is looking for members!"
"Tastes like Koushien
I have to say that this poster would really make me reconsider my life choices, instead of making me want to dedicate myself to baseball...
"Blow up everything
We'll play the game of love with you"
Pop Culture note: The poster is done in the style of legendary tennis/romance manga Ace wo Nerae!, which is one of the most influential manga for girls in history.
I can't help but think that this was Konami's response to everyone in Tokimemo 1 realizing that the best club for a Shiori run was Concert Band...
What the hell is wrong with the sports clubs at this school? First weeping baseball players eating bats and now we have some Super Volleyball spiked ball stuff going on here. Okay, now I just talked myself into wanting to join the volleyball club.
"Explode out of the starting block!
Track and Field Club"
"I AM THE LAW!!
Hibikino High School Student Council"
As a cultural note, while every icon so far has been easy visual shorthand for the club - drama gets stage curtains, Science gets a lab coat... but the Student Council icon depicts a Daruma doll. Specifically, it depicts a Daruma with only one eye filled in, which is a distinctly Japanese custom. When you buy a Daruma doll, the eyes are blank white. You draw in one eye, then make a wish/pray for something. When that wish is fulfilled, then you draw in the second eye. Find out more of the symbolism in Homura's story.
"Come at us,
At the Kendo Club!"
This is also one of the best clubs to join for an Akane run, but it has way more to do with game mechanics than it does with anything she actually likes.
So, for a Miho run, Drama club is the best option. In we go!
Look at those glorious weather effects! Yes, rain will force all activities inside - if you exercise inside it'll change from running sprints to lifting weights, while most of the non-sports clubs just watch the rain from their windows.
The Drama club raises the Lit stat a great deal, while having positive effects on Art, Exercise, General Knowledge, and Guts. It has a negative effect on Looks, so we'll have to keep an eye on that since Miho's ending requires Art/Lit/Looks. Unless it requires General Knowledge and Looks.
4/22: Bumping into girls after school
Goon: (Time to go home and play video games!)
Goon: Hey, it's Hikari.
Option 1: Invite her to walk home together
Option 2: Ignore her and go home
For the sake of pointing out new game mechanics, it's time to choose Option 1.
Goon: Alright, I'll ask her.
Note the thumbs-up on the right side of the screen that prompts you to hit the R1 button. If you do, a list of names pops up, which will change what you call the girl. This has a lot of cultural significance in Japan, so let's make sure to explore this properly.
There's a surprising amount of information to be disseminated here, but I'll try to make it relatively brief. Calling someone by their family name is formal. Calling someone by their first name is a mark of familiarity and closeness, whether familial or otherwise. Most of the girls have a default of <last name>-san, which is a standard form of address, neither overly formal nor rudely familiar.
Depending on your affection level with the girl, they'll accept different forms of address as a mark of their relationship with you. For example, Miho will never let you just call her "Shirayuki", while she's fine with either "Shirayuki-san" or "Shirayuki-chan". Once you're friends, she'll be okay with "Miho-chan". At highest affection, she'll be okay with the personal "Miho-san", more intimate "Miho", and the playful "Miho-pyon" (pyon is the sound that animals make when they hop).
Hikari is an exception to all of these rules. Because she's known you forever, she will not let you call her anything other than "Hikari"... unless you've really pissed her off, in which case she'll distance herself from you and force you to call her "Hinomoto-san". This pretty much only happens unless you really go out of your way to be mean to her.
Hikari: Hey, Gunma-kun. I was just about to head home too.
Goon: If it's okay, wanna walk home together?
Hikari: Oh, sorry. I can't today.
Goon: Really? Well, later then.
4/29: Another call to the Exposition Fairy
Quick note - because Goon joined the Drama Club, there is now a chonmage wig on the top right shelf, above his TV and PlayStation.
This is what it looks like when you call Takumi and ask about what the girls think of you. Hikari starts at average affection - in spite of being an old friend (or perhaps because she's a friend), she follows normal affection rules until year 2, when she admits a few things to herself, musters up her courage, and makes a run at Goon. Speaking of her friends, Kotoko starts the game actively disliking Goon.
The other thing you can see here is a quick overview of their stats. The five columns show you a general ranking on five categories: Lit, Science, Art, Exercise, and General Knowledge. These stats can and will change over time based on what they're doing in their after-school activities and weekends. When I called a few weeks later, Hikari had been hitting the track hard and was an A in the Exercise/Sports stat.
As a note, Takumi and Jun have these stats (hidden) as well - one of the ways you can cockblock the ever-living crap out of them is to call them every weekend and make sure they're stuck on the phone with you instead of going on dates/building their stats to the point where the girl of their dreams will accept them.
While I'm at it, here's Hikari's profile, even though you start the game with her phone number.
Born June 25th
Cancer | Blood Type A
Club: Track and Field
MEMO: A sporty girl who loves to exercise.
Not a slouch in her studies either.
The plan to meet Miho
There are three ways to meet Miho:
1) Study Lit with a Lit stat higher than 50
2) Study Art with an Art stat higher than 55
3) Join the Drama club and participate in club activities until Miho shows up (she will automatically show up if you haven't met her by Summer Camp)
For scientific purposes, I wanted to see all three of these options to see if they were different. Also, the first Tokimemo had moving stat thresholds to meet girls but Tokimemo 2 doesn't change those thresholds depending on how many girls you've met... which means that I wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally meet a non-Miho girl too early and make the juggling act more difficult. The first method I tested was jamming the Drama club
6/2: Meet Miho (Drama club version)
???: Oh, I'm sorry. Are you alright? I was off daydreaming.
Goon: No, it was my fault too...
???: !! You're...!
Goon: Huh? What's up?
???: Um, could you tell me your name?
Goon: It's Fudou, but...
???: I knew it.
Goon: Huh? What?
???: Excuse me, I have to go.
Goon: (Who was that girl?)
Takumi: Hmm? Say, when did you get to know Shirayuki-san?
Goon: (Hmmm? So her name is Shirayuki-san.)
Takumi: Hey, don't ignore me...
6/2 is a bit late for my tastes, since I feel like I'll need all the time I can for this run. Especially it's right up against the...
6/5: Sports Festival!
Goon: It's the Sports Festival today!
Goon: Hmm, which game should I enter?
Option 1: 100m dash
Option 2: 3-legged race
Option 3: Kibasen (Cavalry Battle)
Option 4: Pole-toppling
Option 5: Play hooky
Even though I was going to reload, I figured that I'd go through with it to show off all the mini-games. The viewers on my stream requested the Kibasen because it's something that doesn't exist in America - largely because of enormous injury risk and liability issues here.
Goon: Hey, Hikari.
Hikari: So, do you have a Kibasen team yet?
Goon: No, not yet.
Hikari: Ooh, really? Hey, can I be on your team?
Goon: Of course!
Hikari: Yay! Alright, let's kick some butt!
Goon: Let's do it. (Time to give it my all!)
So, what's a Kibasen, you ask? Well, it's like a game of flag football had a lovechild with Red Rover after a night of unbelievably angry sex. Each team is four people. Three of them make a triangle, clasp arms, and form the horse - the fourth person sits on top of them as the rider, and wears a long headband. When a rider's
So the riders fight, and fight, and keep on fighting, until the class represented by the last standing rider
As you can tell, the risk of injury can be pretty high for a high school game, since getting the riders close enough to grab each other involves a lot of jostling for position, which is a euphemism for "running into each other". Enough with the explanation, though. Cavalry Fight! Ready... GO!
Teams are made up of three riders. To win, defeat the enemy team's general! Your unit is your team's general.
Dodge your enemy's attacks, watch your allies' movements, and defeat the enemy general!
The controls are pretty simple. By default, your unit jogs forward. To dash, mash the Circle button. To reverse, hold the X button. Use left or right on the D-pad to turn. Running into the enemy deals damage, and the enemy running into you deals damage. When a unit's HP reaches zero, that unit is eliminated.
The Kibasen has three formations to choose from: the offensively-oriented spearhead, the man-to-man defense Spread formation, and the "protect me, minions!" formation. 3D Hikari agreed with my stream viewers on this one.
Hikari: Let's go right after 'em!
For video of this mini-game, you can check out my stream archive - it should be about 40 or so minutes into the broadcast.
Sadly, my first try at this mini-game in 15 years resulted in time running out and the game resulting in a draw.
Hikari: Pretty good! We did our best!
Goon: (I guess it's not that bad)
Because I feel like this will be a number of interest for this first run...
RELOAD COUNT: 1
I wanted to see if I could meet Miho earlier, so I tried meeting her via the Lit method. Unfortunately...
5/17: Meet Akane
It turns out that if you study Lit with both Lit and Science over 50, Akane will wander over and start to copy your homework.
Goon: Let's see, so this question should be... hmm...
???: Mm-hmm, I see.
Goon: Huh? ...Um, who're you?
???: Oh, don't worry about that right now. Keep going.
Goon: O, okay... so this problem should look like this, and that means that for the next problem...
???: I see, I see. So what does that mean for this problem?
Goon: Oh, you work it out this way.
???: Oh, that's how you do it.
Goon: ...which means that the answer is this.
???: I kind of get it, but could you do that again and explain it a little more simply so I can do it myself?
Goon: S, sure. So, here's the explanation in the textbook. See how it works here?
???: I see, I see.
Goon: So if you apply it here, then this is the answer you should get.
???: Oh, I get it now! That helps a lot, thanks! Bye!
Goon: So... who WAS that, anyway?
Takumi: You don't know about Ichimonji-san?
Takumi: That's rude, treating me like a ghost or something.
Goon: It's your fault for popping up out of nowhere!
Goon: Whatever. So, Ichimonji-san?
Translator's note: The stereotypical way for Japanese people to react to something scary popping up out of nowhere, other than screaming, is to shout 出た！ or, literally, "It appeared!/It's here!" - that's how Goon reacts to the sudden appearance of Takumi here, which leads to Takumi sounding a bit exasperated.
Takumi: Yeah, her name's Ichimonji Akane.
Takumi: She's cute, and everyone talks about her br...
Goon: Yeah, yeah.
Goon: (Ichimonji-san, eh?)
Before I reload, I wanted to show Akane's profile, via the Exposition Fairy. Her grades are pretty bad overall, and she focuses on Exercise and General Knowledge. Note that Hikari's Sports stat has upped itself to an A in the past few weeks, while Kotoko is down to an E because tea ceremony doesn't exactly build muscle.
Born September 10th
Virgo | Blood type O
MEMO: Works part-time at a diner.
Bad grades, possibly because she's busy.
Akane works at a Japanese-style diner, which are popular among the eat-and-go crowd because they have set courses that get brought out in a box and are made to be eaten quickly.
The Lit version of Miho's meeting is the exact same as the other version, and it happens on 6/2 in this version, so I think the best option will be the Art version of the meeting. But before I reload, I'll finish the week off and show you another of the Sports Festival mini-games: the Pole Toppling/Bou-taoshi event.
Players of the original Suikoden RPG will find this mini-game pretty familiar. This mini-game is 15 on 15, and the goal is to get to the enemy base and knock down their pole while defending your own. There are three important stats: Power, Speed, and Toughness. These are based on your combined Exercise and Stamina or Exercise and Guts scores; Takumi tends to be fragile, while Jun tends to be amazing. Each character can be assigned one of seven orders:
Break Defense | Counterattack
Charge | Zone Defense
Circle Around | Wall
There is a seventh position that isn't assigned - it's forced on anyone who's assigned to the area around the pole, and does nothing but add hit points to the pole.
Takumi and Jun also act as Suikoden ninjas - they provide intel on where the enemy defense will be most concentrated and where the bulk of their attackers will be. In this case...
Takumi: The other team looks like it'll attack straight down the middle.
Jun: Looks like they'll concentrate their defenses on the right.
Once everyone has their orders, you can just watch as boys will be bo...
Wait, are there people dying and turning into angels?!
Hikari: We'll try harder next time.
Hikari: We didn't want it enough.
Goon: (She's right. We'll get 'em next year.)
RELOAD COUNT: 2
5/19: Meet Miho (Art version)
Screenshot included because she still has her winter sweater on.
5/23: Call the Exposition Fairy
Miho's stats are on the bottom. Appropriately enough, she favors the stats that the Drama Club builds, Lit and Art. She, too, is spectacularly bad at sports.
Born February 24th
Pisces | Blood Type B
Club: Drama club
MEMO: Dreamer who likes to tell fortunes.
Reads a lot of books.
This process took a lot more space than I thought, so I'll split this into two posts. Next post coming late tonight!
Next time: 50 first dates (not literally... I hope)