Famicom Detective Club: 6 details on the visual novel of the late 80s

Famicom Detective Club: 6 details on the visual novel of the late 80s

Famicom Detective Club

Less and less is missing from the launch of Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & The Girl Who Stands Behind, the collection of the two investigative visual novels published respectively in 1988 and 1989 in Japan only. Two stories that fully embody the murder mystery and were confined to their homeland for thirty-three years before finally being made accessible to Western fans - who over time have had to rely on the willing translation of other fans. Localized in English and updated for Nintendo Switch, with modernized graphics and fully dubbed movies, the two games allow us to rediscover classics of their time but in a more modern way.

We will play the role of the young protagonist, to whom we can give the name we prefer, finding ourselves involved in two very peculiar cases where the thriller seems to be closely linked with the horror and the supernatural. Despite the enthusiasm of some fans and the fact that it was already very well done in their time, the Famicom Detective Club series may sound new to many of you: we have therefore decided to deepen it with six details that may intrigue you and, why not, push you. to give her the chance she deserves.

The order of events is reversed

Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind, Ayumi Tachibana Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir, the first chapter released on two discs dated April 27, 1988 and June 14, 1988, it is to be considered chronologically a sequel. The events are in fact placed after the first, true investigation of the young protagonist: to keep the fact that we choose the name coherent, the developers have adopted the trick of memory loss following our awakening at the foot of a cliff.

Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind, which follows the same publishing formula as the original on the NES with a disc released on May 23, 1989 and the second just over a month later, on 30 June 1989, can be considered the pilot chapter at a chronological level since it presents the protagonist for the first time: it is told how he comes into contact with detective Utsugi and how he ends up working for the latter's detective agency, also explaining something more about the boy's past. Finally, he introduces the character of Ayumi Tachibana and how she too ended up hanging out with the agency. At this point it is up to you to decide in which order you want to play them, whether respecting the original publication or the chronology of events.

There is a pinch of Italy among the sources of inspiration

Yoshio Sakamoto If on the one hand Famicom Detective Club was inspired by Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (The Portopia Serial Murder Case), precursor and first example of visual novel, conceived by Yūji Horii, on the other we find a pinch of Italy: Yoshio Sakamoto, in his first writing work with this duology, he has in fact declared that one of his greatest inspirations is the director Dario Argento.

His films have taught him that to make effective products you have to learn to manage four elements : the mood, intended as tone or style and to be traced back, in the specific case of Argento, to his unusual soundtracks; timing; prefiguration, used to link events together; finally the contrast, so as to increase the dramatic tension. Sakamoto's desire to be able to find the ideal method to transmit fear, and the teachings drawn from Argento's works, led him to pay homage to him with the Famicom Detective Club series.

A team of exceptional development

Gunpei Yokoi In its niche being, Famicom Detective Club has nevertheless boasted a highly respected development team, made up of figures who are key figures within the videogame industry today: one, the we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is Yoshio Sakamoto. This murder mystery double was his first writing job but in previous years he had already worked as a game designer for games such as Donkey Kong Jr., Kid Icarus and above all Metroid (using the alias Shikamoto). Series, the latter, which later became his pillar.

Following we find the producer Gunpei Yokoi, who passed away in October 1997 and inventor of none other than the Game Boy, the Game & Watch and the famous D -pad, as well as supervisor of several series produced by the Nintendo Research & Development 1 division. Finally, the director, Toru Osawa, father of the Kid Icarus series and at work during his now thirty-six years in Nintendo on many other games - to name a few , The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fatal Frame II in its Wii version, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water and Astral Chain.

Effect Colbert Bump

Famicom Detective Club, Ayumi Tachibana and the protagonist Ayumi Tachibana helped to make the series known, albeit partially, in the West thanks to its appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube: initially it was to be part of the roster but is stat a cut off from the final version precisely because of its low, if not non-existent, popularity outside of Japan. However, she was still given the opportunity to remain in the game in the form of a trophy, the description of which also reports several inaccuracies about the character. Ayumi also appears as a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. and is a costume obtainable in Super Mario Maker after completing one hundred challenges in expert mode or higher. Being made known to Western audiences with Super Smash Bros. Melee was the first step towards making the Famicom Detective Club remake.

Five-star cast

Famicom Detective Club, the protagonist Not only did the original Famicom Detective Club boast a respectable development team, the remake also aims high with regard to dubbing: to give voice to the protagonist we find none other than Megumi Ogata, whose extensive curriculum sees Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yukimura Sanada and Kosuke Anayama in the anime of Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sailor Uranus in Sailor Moon and many more. For Ayumi Tachibana returns, reprising the same role as twenty-four years ago in the chapter for Satellaview entitled Broadcasting Satellite Detective Club: The Past Lost to Snow, Yuko Minaguchi - former voice of Tifa Lockhart in Ehrgeiz, Pan and Videl in Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super, Momiji in Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, just to give some examples.

But it doesn't end here, because Famicom Detective Club also relies on other veterans: Akio Ōtsuka (Solid Snake, Solidus Snake and Naked Snake / Venom Snake / Big Boss in Metal Gear), Atsuko Tanaka (Eleanor Varrot in Valkyria Chronicles, Layla Hassan in Assassin's Creed), Shin-ichiro Miki (Kurz Weber in Full Metal Panic!), Shigeru Chiba (Hojo in Final Fantasy VII Remake), Tomokazu Sugita (Alvin in Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2) and Yuu Kobayashi (Sasha Braus in Attack on Titan). In short, nothing is really missing.

A thought also for collectors

If you like to collect video games, then Famicom Detective Club has something for you: let's talk about the collector's edition containing both chapters on the same game card, an artbook containing the characters, concept art and documents showing the original development designs, two reissues of promotional flyers from the late 1980s release and a soundtrack with 75 songs, in the which also includes traces of the Famicom version. Unfortunately this is an exclusive edition for the Japanese market priced at ¥ 9980 (approximately $ 94) and it is unclear whether the English language will be understood.

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