A Walk Down Memory Lane – Route 1
Writing the post about how I got into eroge, I started having nostalgia over past titles. I originally had planned to just include the OPs in one post, but it seems there’s too many of them that I’m fond of, so I decided to make a series of posts covering both titles that I liked and those that helped transform the way games were produced. Maybe you’ll recognize some of these titles.
Humble Beginnings (2000 and earlier)
Well, 18+ games had been produced as far back as the 1980s, but due to the technological state back then, the art and OPs weren’t anything to write home about. Rape and other dark themes were common. Starting in 1995 with elf’s Doukyuusei and Leaf’s Shizuku in early 1996, there was a slow transition towards more romantic games. Dating sim games were popular around this time too. Comedy also started popping up more with CocktailSoft’s Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! and Crowd’s Xchange.
Personally, I believe Leaf’s ToHeart, along with Tactics’ Moon and One ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~ in 1997-1998 changed the eroge landscape drastically, de-emphasizing the H scenes and putting a greater emphasis on the story. The group that produced Tactics’ games left and created key, who then created the popular Kanon in 1999. Other companies started following this “crying game” (泣きゲー) style, as seen in D.O.’s Kana ~Imouto. That is not to say that H-based games weren’t common, as Active released Bible Black during this period too.
Pia Carrot e Youkoso!!2 (CocktailSoft, 1997) – “Go! Go! Waitress”
While I didn’t play the game, this was one of the first eroge songs I downloaded.
Kanon (key, 1999) – “Last Regrets”
First game I played. No regrets after playing this.
Canvas ~Sepia-iro no Motif~ (CocktailSoft, 2000) – “Autumn Destiny”
First OP I watched before I even knew what eroge was. Likely the reason I like the Canvas series.
Other games during this period:
- Pastel Chime (AliceSoft, 1998)
- SeptemCharm Magical Canan (Terios, 1998)
- White Album (Leaf, 1998)
- BaldrHead (GIGA, 1999)
- Comic Party (Leaf, 1999)
- Air (key, 2000)
- Canaria ~Kono Omoi o Uta ni Nosete~ (FrontWing, 2000)
- Giniro (NekonekoSoft, 2000)
- Phantom -Phantom of Inferno- (Nitro+, 2000)
- Triangle Heart 3 ~Sweet Songs Forever~ (ivory, 2000)
- Tsukihime (TYPE-MOON, 2000)
Expansion Era (2001-2003)
More eroge companies started producing games at the beginning of this decade. Examples include minori (Bittersweet Fools, 2001), ALcot (Clover Heart’s, 2003), FlyingShine (Cross†Channel, 2003) and 130cm (Princess Bride, 2003). Many catchy songs and memes originated from games during this period, such as Mai and Mii’s dance from Popotan for Caramelldansen and the Miko Miko Nurse song from the game of the same name from PSYCHO. I’m sure many of you will remember the Nanaca†Crash flash game, which was based off Cross†Channel. Following Kanon‘s success, there were increasingly more anime adapations for eroge, instead of only H anime OVAs.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (âge, 2001) – “Rumbling Hearts”
There are few series that polarize people as much as this one. By the way…
Haruka > Mitsuki
Da Capo (Circus, 2002) – “Da Capo ~Dai ni botan no Chikai~”
I am a devoted DC fan. No matter how many games they make off the franchise, I will play them.
Wind -a breath of heart- (minori, 2002) – “Wind”
Makoto Shinkai is a god. I know he did Bittersweet Fools too, but this was the one that first caught my eye.
Raimuiro Senkitan (elf, 2002) – “Rinka”
I stumbled on this when I was doing fansubbing ages back. The plot is totally ridiculous, but I loved the song. Momen is cute.
Angelic Serenade (Kogado Studio, 2002) – “Tenshi no Utau Sayokyoku”
Actually an all-ages game, AS is a music ADV that has a similar system to DDR, except using the keyboard. It’s quite fun. I used to play it on free mode a lot.
Aka (NekonekoSoft, 2003) – “Sunagin”
Another one that I found while wandering the web in search of new games. It’s a captivating song.
Tsuki wa Higashi ni Hi wa Nishi ni (August, 2003) – “divergent flow”
One of the games that I own. I really should finish it.
Princess Bride (130cm, 2003) -“Princess Bride!”
Extremely catchy song. Lovin’! Callin’! Feelin’! Healin’! Kissin’! Again, Darling!
Popotan (Petit Ferret, 2003) – “Icchae! Popotan”
The origin of the Uma uma dance. ｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏｳﾏ(ﾟ∀ﾟ) ｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏｳﾏ(ﾟ∀ﾟ)
Other games during this period:
- Green Green (GROOVER, 2001)
- IZUMO (Studio e.go!, 2001)
- Mizuiro (NekonekoSoft, 2001)
- Suika (Circus, 2001)
- Yoru ga Kuru! (AliceSoft, 2001)
- Baldr Force (GIGA, 2002)
- “Hello, world.” (Nitro+, 2002)
- Sore wa Maichiru Sakura no You ni (BasiL, 2002)
- Utawarerumono (Leaf, 2002)
- Eien no Aselia (XUSE, 2003)
- Maple Colors (CROSSNET, 2003)
- Muv Luv (âge, 2003)
- SNOW (Studio Mebius, 2003)
- Tenshi no Inai 12-gatsu (Leaf, 2003)
- Zanma Taisei Demonbane (Nitro+, 2003)
Next post will be about games between 2004 and 2005.
Have you felt nostalgic about any of the above games?