Part 72: Tokimemo 3, Chapter 1: Working the clockTokimemo 3, Chapter 1: Working the clock
Annoyingly, the first thing we have to do in Tokimeki Memorial 3, especially on the Gray route, is check my PS2's internal clock. Why? It's complicated, but the short version is lazy design.
Because there's no Designated Childhood Friend in Tokimeki Memorial 3, the girl you meet at the beginning of the game is based on your system clock. The moment you hit Accept on your character's name, the game runs a modulo 6 operation on the minutes of your system clock, and based on that, it decides who you meet at the beginning of the game. We need to aim for Remainder 5 to hit Gray. This sounds complicated, so it's easier just to show you how this works:
Because we're trying to meet Serika (I have to start using her name now, otherwise I'm going to keep invoking the power of the glacial blade), I need to make sure that my own clock and my PS2's internal clock line up, otherwise the RNG could screw us over royally.
If we don't meet her on the hill at the beginning of the game, the other two ways to meet Serika are: 1) sleep on holidays with a Stamina stat of 110+ and hope the random number generator is merciful; 2) Make it to Christmas without meeting anyone else somehow (this usually involves doing nothing but sleeping) and pray to the RNG. There are playthroughs where people have done everything right to meet Serika, and she has never shown up. This is the only guaranteed way to do it.
Operation time: 20:02
The opening narration of Tokimeki Memorial 3 is read by whoever you beat the game with last. If you haven't beaten the game with anyone, it defaults to Red. This is necessary because, unlike previous games, there's no Exposition Fairy who tells you the school's legend, so they leave it to the prologue.
On a small hill stands Moegino Private High School.
There's an old, unused path there, separate from the road used to climb up from the base of the hill.
At the entrance of this old path stands an old, deserted shrine called the "Onoko Yashiro" (男社/Man Shrine, and yes, they say Onoko to make it sound older).
They say that it was built as the counterpart to the "Omiga Yashiro" (女社/Woman Shrine, see last note) that stands behind the school.
On the road between those two shrines, there's a little hill that people tell wonderful stories about.
"On that fated day, when two people swear their love among the swirling cherry blossoms, their love will last forever."
That is the story of Moegino High's legendary hill.
Operation time: 20:05
Got some time. Let's watch the opening song. For those of you who want to sing along, here's the opening song on Youtube:
Okay, maybe this doesn't look as bad as I remembered, maybe the intervening 13 years have just embittered me or someth--
DEAR GOD WOMAN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE
I just wanted to let you guys know, it's gonna be all right. We're fine. This is fine.
Operation time: 20:07
With under 4 minutes to work with, I had a nerve-wracking time finding all of the kanji necessary, but meet the new Goon: Fudou Gunzou, nickname "Goon".
For Reasons, he is still a Scorpio, born October 26th with an O blood type.
Operation time: 20:11
I don't have enough space on my PS2 memory card, I'm going to skip on making an EVS file. Maybe I will, if I get around to clearing all of my old Super Robot Wars and Disgaea files to make some room. Or, I could just ignore the feature this time around.
4/8: The path begins
Goon: (Starting today, I, Fudou Gunzou, am a student here at Moegino High.)
Goon: (Moegino Private High School sits on a little hill in the northeast part of my home, Moegino City.)
Goon: (Even though it has a long and storied history, it gives its students a lot of freedom, so it's a very popular school.)
Goon: (Well, anyway, it's awesome that I was actually accepted into this school.)
Goon: (I feel like there's going to be a lot ahead of me in my high school life.)
Goon: (Academics, sports, making friends...)
Goon: (And romance, of course. I'm gonna make sure I leave these three years without any regrets!)
4/9: An unexpected meeting
Cut from my script: a lot of snoring and sleepy noises that Goon makes while his alarm keeps blaring.
Goon: (Mmm, what a great morning.)
Goon: (The welcome ceremony yesterday went on for so long. Why do officials always have to talk for so long?)
Goon: (But today, my high school life starts for real.)
Goon: (It's important to start things off on the right foot, so I have to make sure I don't mess anything up today.)
Goon: Okay, time to head out!
Tokimeki Memorial 3 improvement #1: the main character's house is more than just a bedroom and a front door!
Goon: My first day walking to school - I finally feel like I'm in high school.
Goon: Even the shopping district looks different than usual.
I don't know if you've mentioned enough times that you're a high school student, Goon, you might forget unless you say it a few more times in the next few minutes.
Goon: I hope this is going to be fun.
You and me both, youthful avatar.
Goon: Oh yeah, Moegino High has that weird legend, doesn't it?
Goon: At the base of the road to school, if you turn off and take the old path instead, youll walk to a place called the Legendary Hill.
Goon: And couples that are made on that hill will live happily ever after, or something like that.
Goon: Happily ever after. That sounds nice.
Goon: Come to think of it, I went there once when I was a kid.
Goon: I don't remember what it was like, though.
Goon: Let's see, at the base of the road to school, turn off right around here, and...
Goon: Ah, here it is.
Goon: I can make it to the Legendary Hill from here.
Goon: Alright! In commemoration of my first day of high school, let's go this way.
Goon: "Onoko Yashiro", was it?
Goon: Man, this is a really old shrine.
Goon: Let's see what's out further.
Holy crap someone overdid it with the cherry blossom effect.
Goon: Wow. It's beautiful.
Goon: The cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
First thought on seeing that schnozz from the side:
Okay maybe it's the vaseline on the camera but it looks way better from the front.
At this point, the game decides to remind you for the fourth time in about 10 minutes that this hill is important and its legend needs to be repeated again. For emphasis, the screen goes white and the pink words scroll by, while another instrumental version of the opening song plays (about 10% of the game's background music has Seven Rainbow in the title, so there'll be more).
Goon: ...So anyway, right now I feel awesome just for making it into Moegino High.
Goon: I'm a little nervous about the next three years, but I hope that I'll have a lot of fun with you.
Goon: Nice to meet all of you!
Goon: (Phew, self-introductions are nerve-wracking.)
Goon: (At least I made it through.)
Goon: (But that girl I saw on the Legendary Hill - she sure was cute.)
Goon: (I should've at least asked her name.)
Goon: (I kind of hate myself right now.)
Red: Umm, uh...
Goon: Oh! Oh, sorry, I spaced out there.
Goon: And you are...
Yukiko: It's me, Makihara Yukiko. We went to grade school and middle school together.
Yukiko: Oh. Well, I guess you wouldn't remember me. We never really talked.
Goon: Makihara... Makihara... Makihara...
Yukiko: Well, do you remember back in grade school, there was this boy bullying me, and you helped me?
Goon: Makihara... Makihara...
Goon: Oh, yeah, I remember now. I'd totally forgotten that happened.
Red: It did!
Goon: But the Makihara-san I remember was, you know, more like this.
I'm guessing that at this point in the conversation, Goon does some kind of meaningful gesture involving either glasses or hair.
Red: Haha, yeah. I used to keep my hair in a braid, but I cut it all off.
Goon: I see.
Red: Plus, I gave up my glasses and wear contacts now.
Goon: Oh, no wonder I didn't recognize you.
Red: Do I look weird?
Goon: No, not at all. You look pretty good.
Goon: Did I say something wrong?
Red: No, nothing at all. I just got all shy because you said I look good.
Red: Anyway, I'm glad there's someone I know in this class.
Red: Let's have a good three years, okay?
Tokimemo 3 improvement #2: because they're cel-shaded models, the characters have many more poses and emotions. Just... don't look at them from the side and you'll be fine.
Red: By the way, have you joined a club yet?
Red: I'm thinking of joining the baseball club as manager.
Goon: Really? Baseball, huh?
Red: Uh-huh! Do you want to check it out with me?
Goon: I want to think it over more before I decide.
Red: Yeah, that's probably for the best.
Red: Well, if you ever feel like it, come on by.
Goon: (Well, that was a surprise.)
Goon: (We've been in the same class this entire time, but I never really noticed her.)
???: Hehe. Hey, do you know Yukiko-chan?
Goon: Huh? Uh, I guess so.
Goon: (This guy is being way too friendly right now.)
???: She's way cute!
???: She's probably the cutest girl in this class by a mile.
The slang term this guy uses is "Bacchiguu", a portmanteau of Japanese "Bacchiri" (which means perfect) and English "Good". It was really popular in the '90s and has been dead for over a decade, so an English equivalent would be "radical" or "tubular"
???: So, tell me what you know about her. I want anything you have.
Goon: Well, I know her, but honestly, I've never really talked to her before.
???: Oh. What good are you, then?
Goon: (I can't stand this guy already.)
??? 2: Hmph. You're wasting your time.
??? 1: Hey, Shiratori. Are you setting your sights on Yukiko-chan too?
Shiratori: Set my sights? Please, spare me your rude babbling.
Shiratori: You don't chase girls. You make them chase you.
Shiratori: When you're as attractive as I am, it won't be any trouble at all.
Goon: Are you serious?
???: Geeeez, you haven't changed at all, Shiratori.
???: What's up, playboy?
Shiratori: Hmph. Stop stating the obvious.
Shiratori: You over there - who were you, again?
Goon: It's Fudou.
Shiratori: Well, whatever. It's not my habit to spend precious brainpower on remembering pointless things.
Shiratori: As I was about to say, you shouldn't even think about wasting your time on competing with me, Shiratori Masaki.
Shiratori: I'm on a completely different level than you are.
How are you expected to make friends with these guys? They appear to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
I wanna punch him more than I wanted to punch Akane's brother. Maybe it'll be worth doing a Red run just so I can punch him right in his smug face. But at least he leaves at this point. Man, at least Rei's taunting was fun to translate.
???: Well, Shiratori's always like that, but he's not actually a bad guy.
???: Once you get used to him, he's pretty funny.
Goon: (Seriously, what the hell was his deal?)
Yabe: By the way, the name's Yabe. Yabe Takuo.
Yabe: Pleased to meet you.
Goon: Uh, you too.
Yabe: Well, you know what they say. "No road is long with good company."
Yabe: Let's all get along.
Yabe: Anyway, see you later.
Goon: Yeah, sure.
Goon: (Shiratori Masaki and Yabe Takuo? Well, they certainly seem unique.)
Goon: (I feel exhausted for some reason. I should head home.)
Goon: Hey, you're the girl from this morning.
Serika: Oh? Did I do something wrong?
Goon: No, but you were on the hill behind school this morning, right?
Serika: I was. What about it?
Goon: I knew it. My name's Fudou Gunzou. What's your name?
Serika: Shinjo Serika.
Serika: Well? You stopped me here, so you had something you needed to say, right?
Goon: Oh. No, I forgot to ask your name this morning, so I figured I'd do it now.
Serika: Oh, is that all.
Goon: Yeah... that's all. Ha. Haha.
Serika: Then we're done here. I'm heading home.
Goon: (Shinjo-san... it kind of feels like fate that we'd meet on the Legendary Hill on the first day of school.)
Goon: (Maybe I'm just making something out of nothing.)
Goon: (Well, whatever will be will be. I have to work hard, starting tomorrow!)
Or, it feels like someone manipulated the clock. But let's ignore that for now.
Next time: Way too much info on game systems.