Symphonic Rain

Infobox VG
title= Symphonic Rain


caption= "Symphonic Rain" original visual novel cover.
developer= flagicon|Japan Kogado Studio
publisher= flagicon|Japan Kogado Studio
flagicon|Taiwan flagicon|Hong Kong flagicon|China T-Time Technology
released= vgrelease|JP=March 26 2004 vgrelease|JP=August 27 2004 vgrelease|Taiwan & Hong Kong|November 11 2004
vgrelease|China|May 25 2005
vgrelease|JP=June 24 2005 vgrelease|Taiwan & Hong Kong|December 22 2005
vgrelease|Korea|September 18 2007
vgrelease|JP=November 22 2007
genre= Visual novel
modes= Single-player
ratings= All-ages
platforms= PC
media= DVD x 1, CD-ROM x 2
requirements= Windows 98/2000/Me/XP
input=
Nihongo|"Symphonic Rain"|シンフォニック=レイン|Shinfonikku Rein is a Japanese musical visual novel developed by Kogado Studio and first released as a limited edition version on March 26 2006 for the PC platform as part of a series of "music adventure" games done by its Kuroneko-san Team; the regular edition followed on August 27 2004. The game is rated for all-ages, and contains themes themes which revolve around romance and relationships. The game was later published and released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mainland China by T-Time Technology. "Symphonic Rain" was released twice more in Japan, first on June 24 2005 as a collector's edition, and again on November 22 2007 as a popular edition at a reduced price.

Gameplay

Similar to other visual novels, "Symphonic Rain" is highly text-based and most of the game requires little player interaction apart from clicking a few options presented to the player, usually dealing with where he wishes to head to after school. At certain points during the course of the story, the game switches into a "song-playing mode" where the player is required to hit keys to the beat of a background music track, usually sung by one of the heroines of the game, guided by different-colored musical notes scrolling from the right of the screen to the left. Each one of the notes are inscribed with a letter on the keyboard, which the player has to press when the note reaches a boxed-up region beside the treble clef. Points are awarded for the accuracy of keyboard input, starting with zero points for an inaccurate attempt, eight points for being slightly off, and thirty-five points for being exact. The value of each exact attempt increases as the player successfully creates chains of such accuracy, breaking the chain when an error is made or becomes slightly off.

Exact attempts also raise the evaluation meter at the bottom left corner of the screen by a single point each (marked by a small ring, which lights up with every point earned). When ten of these rings are lit, a large circular lamp directly above lights up while the rings revert to their darkened state. Similarly, an inaccurate attempt will darken a ring or a lamp should there be no lit rings. A minimum of four lit lamps are required for the song to be evaluated as a "pass", and this directly affects the story in a usually positive way. Players who are not proficient with this "song-playing mode" can switch on the autoplay function in the menu to enable the computer to hit all the notes. However, in this mode, the score will remain at zero.

There are a total of six good endings and three bad endings. The player would have to complete the three main heroine's story (also known as the Da Capo scenario) before the Al Fine scenario is made available. In Al Fine, the world is shown through the perspective of Tortinita Fine, and many questions about the story are finally answered by the end of the scenario. This is considered the "true end" of the game. Chris, the original protagonist, is voiced in this scenario while Tortinita is not. Da capo and al fine are actual music terms and are both appropriate names for the story's parts in relation to the game's nature, as the story has to be repeated three times (one for each heroine) before ending with Al Fine's part of the story. After going through both the possible endings for Al Fine, players who return to Da Capo will make available Phorni's scenario. The events that make up this scenario highlight the truth about Phorni and finally tie up all the loose ends of the story.

Plot

"Symphonic Rain" takes place in a fictional city of Italian heritage named Piova where rain falls everyday. The locals there have adapted to this peculiar phenomenon, and carry on with their lives as if the rain was never there. No one uses umbrellas, or rain coats. The main character of the story is seventeen-year-old Chris, a Fortelle student of the famous Piova Communal School of Music (Scuola Comunale di Musica Piova, in Italian). Separated from his childhood sweetheart Arietta when he left his home town for the city, he keeps in touch with her through weekly letters. Penning their thoughts on these letters, Chris treasures and keeps her weekly writings, for he had promised her that should his drawer become totally filled with them, he would return to her. The story begins during Chris's third year as a student, a few months before he has to take the school's final graduation examination: a stage performance. As an instrumentalist, he is required to search for a vocalist partner before he is eligible for the examination.

Characters

Main characters

;Nihongo|Chris Velding|クリス・ヴェルティン|Kurisu Verutin:anime voices|Michio Miyashita (in Al Fine only):The main protagonist of the game, whom you play as. A seventeen-year-old who came to the town with his childhood friend Tortinita to attend the music school. He is a third-year student of the keyboard-like instrument Fortelle, and dreams to become an accomplished musician. Apart from Tortinita and Asino, he virtually has no other friends at the school. A laid-back person, he is very talented at music. A week before he was to enter the school, he and Arietta got caught in a traffic accident where he damaged his ears and Arietta went into a coma. This accident also caused Chris to lose a lot of his memories. Ever since then, he kept seeing rain, even if the sky is clear. In order to maintain his sanity, Tortinita had been posing as Arietta and writing letters to him every week.

;Nihongo|Tortinita Fine|トルティニタ・フィーネ|Torutinita Fīne :anime voices|Mai Nakahara:A seventeen-year-old childhood friend of Chris who is likewise attending the music school, and arguably the leading female of the cast. The younger twin of Arietta, she is an active girl with a strong personality. Tortinita is a third year vocalist student of the school, and as such has the option of being able to give a solo performance for her graduation performance. Her nickname is Toruta. She has likes Chris ever since they were young, but since Chris chose Arietta, she decided to hide her feelings even though she like Chris before her sister did. After the accident, Chris and her families decided to send them to the music school and possibly help Chris recuperate. They eat lunch together in the school cafeteria almost everyday.

;Nihongo|Arietta Fine|アリエッタ・フィーネ|Arietta Fīne:anime voices|Mai Nakahara:The elder twin sister of Tortinita. She stayed in her hometown while her sister and Chris went to attend the music school, seemingly because she lacked the ability and talent, though the truth is that she is in a coma. A quiet girl who's good at cooking and domestic work, she is introduced at the beginning as Chris' girlfriend, and they communicate every week by sending letters to each other, even though it was actually all written by Tortinita. Her nickname is Arie.

;Nihongo|Falsita Fawcett|ファルシータ・フォーセット|Farushīta Fōsetto:anime voices|Masumi Asano:The former president of the student's council, Falsita is a talented third year vocalist student who's searching for a Fortelle-playing partner for her graduation concert at the end of the year. She appears to be a gentle and graceful girl, but is known to be highly calculative and demanding, and is popular with the students of the school. She often does favors for people (such as writing a speech for the teacher), and works part-time at a restaurant, making her very busy. Her nickname is Fal.

;Nihongo|Liselsia Cesarini|リセルシア・チェザリーニ|Riserushia Chezarīni:anime voices|Fumiko Orikasa:A fifteen-year-old Fortelle student who loves to sing. She is the daughter of the famous Fortelle player Grave Cesarini and hence is constantly pressured by her father to follow in his footsteps. She is a shy girl who hides in the abandoned school building to practice her singing in secret, away from her father's notice. Her nickname is Lisel. When she was younger, her mother ran away from the Cesarini household in order to be with a singer whom she loved. Perhaps due to this, Grave sent Liselsia into an orphanage, but re-adopted her a few years later, after discovering that she had a lot of talent with the Fortelle.

;Nihongo|Phorni|フォーニ|Fōni:anime voices|Hiroko Kasahara:A small, fairy-like creature no taller than 14 cm and possessing tiny, translucent, fluttering wings. But, even though she is so small, she can sing and speak at a normal person's volume. Despite having wings, she cannot rise above a certain height. Phorni is the self-declared, 'fairy of music' who shares the room with Chris ever since he moved in. Apart from Chris, no one is able to hear her, see her, or touch her. She enjoys singing (which she is very good at), and would pester Chris into playing the Fortelle so that she can sing along. She has a habit of saying "miyah" when she is surprised.

upporting characters

;Nihongo|Asino Altiele|アーシノ・アルティエーレ|Āshino Arutiēre:anime voices|Hayato Watanabe:Chris' best and only male friend, he supports Chris from the side and seems to be very popular with girls. He had originally planned to partner with Falsita, but it is later revealed that she was only using him to obtain information about Chris and dumped him soon after.

;Nihongo|Cordell|コーデル|Kōderu:anime voices|Yu Asakawa:Cordell is a strict but impartial teacher of great repute in the school. She is liked by many of the students there.

;Nihongo|Grave Cesarini|グラーヴェ・チェザリーニ|Gurāve Chezarīni:anime voices|Kōichi Nagano:A nobleman who is both Liselsia's father and a famous Fortelle player. He looks at his daughter's efforts in singing with great disdain and frustration, and this has resulted in him employing rather drastic means to force his daughter to follow in his footsteps.

;Nihongo|Ninna Fine|ニンナ·フィーネ|Ninna Fīne:anime voices|Michiru Wada:The grandmother of the Fine twins, she chose to live in the city because of her love for music. She lives together with Tortinita and gives much moral support to her. She is quite fond of Chris. Although blind, she is very good at cooking.

Development

"Symphonic Rain" was produced by the Kuroneko-san Team, one of seven development teams that make up Kogado Studio. "Symphonic Rain" was the third game in a series of Nihongo|"music adventure"|ミュージックアドベンチャー|myūjikku adobenchā games produced by the team, and Kuroneko-san is the only team to produce such games in Kogado Studio. [citeweb|url= http://www.kogado.com/html/teammap.htm|title=List of Kogado Studio teams|publisher=Kogado Studio|accessdate=2008-06-11|language= Japanese] Art direction and character design was headed by Shiro, and background art was provided by Kazuo Ebisawa of Ufotable.citeweb|url= http://www.kogado.com/html/kuroneko/sr/staff/staff.htm|title=Staff section at "Symphonic Rain"'s official website|publisher= Kogado Studio|accessdate=2008-06-11|language=Japanese] The game's scenario was written entirely by Maoto Nishikawa who is credited as Q'tron for "Symphonic Rain". Music in the game was written and composed by Ritsuko Okazaki through the music producing company Copyrights Bank, including collaboration with King Records.

Release history

"Symphonic Rain" was first released as a limited edition version in Japan on March 26 2004 as a DVD playable only on a Microsoft Windows PC, and came bundled with a small figurine of Phorni.citeweb| url=http://www.kogado.com/html/kuroneko/sr/pp/pp.htm|title =Product profile at "Symphonic Rain"'s official website|publisher= Kogado Studio|accessdate=2008-06-11|language=Japanese] The regular edition of the game was released in Japan on August 27 2004. The game was released abroad in Taiwan and Hong Kong on November 11 2004, and again on May 25 2005 in China. A collector's edition of the game was released in Japan on June 24 2005, and was later released in Taiwan and Hong Kong on December 22 2005. These versions were similarly made available to the Malaysian and Singapore markets around the same time. A downloadable version of the collector's edition was released in Korea on September 18 2007. A popular edition of "Symphonic Rain" was released in Japan at a reduced price from the original release on November 22 2007.

Related media

Art and writing

An art collection entitled "Symphonic Rain Digital Picture Collection" was released as a CD-ROM on August 26 2004 by Kogado Studio. A single manga anthology volume entitled Nihongo|"The End of Rain"|雨の終わりに|Ame no Owari ni was released by Kogado Studio at Comiket 73 on December 29 2007 as a limited edition, and thus was not widely distributed. The anthology contained four chapters written and illustrated by different people. The first chapter, Nihongo|"Chris' Struggle: Cooking Battle"|クリス争奪☆料理合戦|Kurisu Sōdatsu Ryōri Kassen, was done by Sakuya Yūki; the second chapter, Nihongo|"What Will You Do If You Become Bigger?"|おおきくなったら何になる?|Ōkiku Nattara Nani ni Naru?, was done by Mū; the third chapter, "To Coda", was written by Maoto Nishikawa and illustrated by Shiro, who also drew the volume's cover art; the fourth chapter, Nihongo|"Difficult Music Studio Piova Agency"|なんきょく工房ピォーヴァ出張所|Nan Kyoku Kōbō Piōva Shucchōjo, was done by Pen-chan. Nishikawa also wrote a series of short stories for "Symphonic Rain"'s five heroines which is available online at the game's official website. [citeweb|url=http://www.kogado.com/html/kuroneko/sr/ss/ss.htm|title="Symphonic Rain" short stories by Maoto Nishikawa|publisher=Kogado Studio| accessdate=2008-06-11|language=Japanese]

Music

In "Symphonic Rain", the ten songs available for the player to play during gameplay were released on an image song album entitled "Rainbow" released on May 26 2004 by King Records. The songs on the album are sung by the voice actresses of the game's five main heroines, and Ritsuko Okazaki. A cover version of the album entitled "For RITZ" featuring Okazaki singing all the songs was released posthumously on December 29 2004 by King Records.

;Image songs
#Nihongo|"The Other Side of the Sky"|空の向こうに|Sora no Mukō ni by Ritsuko Okazaki
#Nihongo|"Even When Crying"|涙がほおを流れても|Namida ga Hō o Nagarete mo by Okazaki
#Nihongo|"Secret"|秘密|Himitsu by Mai Nakahara
#Nihongo|"Always Smiling"|いつでも微笑みを|Itsudemo Hohoemi o by Nakahara
#Nihongo|"The Music of Rain"|雨のmusique|Ame no musique by Masumi Asano
#Nihongo|"Melody"|メロディー|Merodī by Asano
#Nihongo|"High School Girl"|リセエンヌ|Riseennu|Lyceenne in Italian by Fumiko Orikasa
#"Hello!" by Orikasa
#"Fay" by Hiroko Kasahara
#"I'm Always Close to You" by Kasahara

References

External links

* [http://www.kogado.com/html/kuroneko/sr/ "Symphonic Rain" official website] ja icon


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