Things are dead around here lately because instead of reading manga, I’m working through my atrocious backlog of otome and BL games. I don’t have the time or attention to review all the routes in a game like other bloggers do anyway, so usually I don’t bother writing about anything. However, I’m stupidly excited for the upcoming release of Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- (ドットカレシ/ DotKare). I wanted a compilation of the major information available from the main website and blog in English, so I figured I might as well share it.
To begin, here is the first official PV that outlines the general premise of DotKare:
I’d like to point out that I never translate, so I’m shitty at it. I’m better at giving the gist of things. But here you go:
Have you already forgotten those memories of when you played with us?
I know that you’re already an adult and that you’re probably busy, but if even just a little, please remember us.
Because of you, we have become…. w a r p e d!
Once a devoted gamer, your character now leads a busy life devoid of games. However, some mysterious power is triggered and you become trapped in the game world! You discover that your careless actions and subsequent absence have caused some… changes in the characters you once knew. Characters who once comfortably fit into the familiar RPG tropes have become warped and twisted and they don’t seem that keen on obediently listening to your every command anymore.
In order to return to the real world, you have to join them on an adventure, clearing all those quests you typically skipped over during your previous careless playthroughs. Thus begins a mysterious (and a bit naughty) adventure.
DotKare is a combination of situational drama CDs and short PC games. It will be broken into three parts that feature four characters each.
The 60 minute situational drama CDs feature a separate story for each character. While they are alone with you, they try to express their pent-up emotions. The CDs were recorded using a dummy head mic. Considering it’s advertised as being a bit “naughty,” I’m sure there will be plenty of lewd whispering, husky voices, and panting from all directions. The blog jokingly suggests you plug in your head phones before bedtime and listen while in a darkened room with your eyes closed.
The PC games are otome visual novels with an adventurous feel. They are illustrated by Yuikawa Kazuno (結川カズノ). To save yourself some potential disappointment, expect short games. It’s broken into three parts and is packaged with a drama CD at a 3150 yen price point each. Under the game info, it uses the phrase “ちょぴりPCゲーム” or a tiny PC game. That said, it still has many nice features you’d expect from a Rejet game. Here are two screenshots (with big sample watermarks) that highlight the game’s interface:
You can click on the yellow highlighted words to read a further explanation of that term. Clicking it again will make the highlight disappear. CGs with a checkmark will have additional voices if you click on certain spots in the picture.
There’s also numerous Rejet game standard features. There’s a skip option to quickly go through dialogue as well as a jump option that will take you to the next decision point. There’s a backlog to revisit dialogue. There’s also a status screen to check on affection levels. Finally, there’s a dictionary that collects all the highlighted vocabulary. Upon clearing a character’s route, there will be extra voices at the end which will reveal their previously hidden secrets and emotions.
The first installment, Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- I ~Densetsu no Otome~ (Legendary Maiden), will be released on July 24th. Below is the PV for the first game:
There is a regular edition that includes the first game and drama CD available for 3150 yen. There is a special edition that includes two bonuses for 4000 yen.
The first bonus is called Kindan no Kagami (きんだんのかがみ Forbidden Mirror). This is a set of five original illustrations that sound like they can be used as replaceable jacket covers (サシカエジャケット). The illustrations show a different side of the boys with sexy poses and facial expressions. The fifth illustration is an alternative cover with 8-bit sprite stylization. You have the four boys on the world map and the four boys from the next game peeking from the upper left-hand corner.
The second bonus is called Hajimari no Sho (はじまりのしょ Book of Beginnings). It’s a guide book to the world of DotKare. The pamplet will contain things such as rough character designs, new illustrations, and original short stories about each character that occured before you entered the game world. It will be A5 size, 28 pages long, and printed in full color.
The main site contains a list of major retailers that will carry the game and the individual store bonuses if applicable. The majority of these will require a proxy service to forward the package from an address in Japan.
Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- I ~Densetsu no Otome~ will feature the following characters:
Yuusha (ゆうしゃ Hero) – Namikawa Daisuke
Although he once had a serious personality, Hero became a bit warped after riffling through all those houses in search of items and gold. Now he’s brutish and thinks the player character must take responsibility for her previous actions.
Mahoutsukai (まほうつかい Wizard) – Kondou Takashi
After using so much offensive magic, Wizard’s personality has also become aggressive. He gets annoyed when his spell animations are skipped. He’s smart, but physically weak and doesn’t have many HP.
Souryo (そうりょ Priest) – Matsukaze Masaya
Being the only healer in the party, Priest has become a bit of a sadistic tyrant. If you want healing, you better pray to him. After all, without him, you’d be dead.
Thief (シーフ) – Morikubo Shoutarou
Upon entering battle, Thief was never ordered to attack and just stole items the entire time. Thus stealing became his reason for living. However, he lost interest in objects and decided to start stealing peoples’ hearts with his flashy, flattering personality.
The second installment Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- II ~Tenkuu no Kiss~ (Kiss of the Sky) will be released on 9/25/13 and will feature the following characters:
Knight (ナイト) – Hirakawa Daisuke
Knight protected the others so much that he became a huge masochist. Everyone else relied on his devoted protection (and his inability to refuse) and now he puts himself into danger just to feel more pain. Whenever he’s hit, he begs for more.
Odoriko (おどりこ Dancer) – Nojima Kenji
Dancer’s skill raises the party members’ parameters. Every turn, he spun and spun and it likely had an effect on his brain. He dances far too much and consumes too many MP. Now he uses his MP absorption dance too often and can’t stop sucking MP away from others. He loves dancing and skinship.
Kemonotsukai (けものつかい Beastmaster) – Yamaguchi Kappei
The player tamed far too many animals, so Beastmaster used his whip too much and became sadistic. He’s cute and he knows it. He has many animals at his disposal.
Monk (モンク) – Toriumi Kousuke
Monk stored up too much fighting spirit and has become frustrated as a result. The battle would always end before he was allowed to release all that pent-up energy. Now it’s directed at you: “Hey, can I sleep with you just once?”
The third installment Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- III ~Yami no Hanayome~ (Bride of Darkness) will be released on 11/27/13 and will feature the following characters:
Maou (Evil Lord まおう) – Sugita Tomokazu
After being easily defeated by an over-leveled player character, Evil Lord developed an inferiority complex. He’s labeled as weak, his best underling Dark Knight betrayed him, his fate is seemingly to suffer defeat… Evil Lord is pitiful. He can transform into 3 different forms.
Slime (スライム) – Takahashi Naozumi
A monster who was only approached (and defeated) by the player in order to gain experience eventually came to love her. This love allowed Slime to take human form, so he grabbed some leaves for clothing and went to meet the player character. He has a bright, positive personality. He wants to melt and stick to you, so it’s hard to get rid of him.
Ankoku Kishi (Dark Knight あんこくきし) – Morikawa Toshiyuki
Dark Knight is the strongest swordsman and subordinate of Evil Lord. Although he joined the player’s party in the latter part of the game, he was never put into the party rotation because everyone else’s level was too high. Once held in high regard, he’s now shameful. Even though he betrayed Evil Lord to be with you! Poor Dark Knight.
Murabito (Villager むらびと) – Miura Hiroaki
Wherever you went, it seemed like the villagers always had the same face… turns out, it was the same guy! He likes you and has been watching and following you the entire time. He’s always helpful about giving directions, hints, and bits of story exposition. However, considering the other three guys on this disc are evil, I’m guessing he’s super evil. He has a high stalking skill and somehow travels alone and faster in-between towns than your party! He’s certainly mysterious.
Several screenshots were posted that show off the in-game character art and leave an impression of the game’s tone.
The required PC specifications are listed on the website and being an otome game, they aren’t particularly demanding. It’s noted that if you can play past Rejet games, you’ll be fine. It does not work well with text hooker programs like AGTH and ITH on the default settings. However, there is an h code available for Dot Kareshi I on hongfire.com. Thankfully, the language is reminiscent of older games with simple sentence structure and kanji usage, so text hooking is not necessary. However, those still developing their Japanese skills will find it very useful.
Rejet recently released a very short demo for the game, so head on over to their website to download it. It might not be long, but you can see all the fun, quirky things about the game, its systems, and the characters. There’s some brief drama CD samples as well.
DotKare is a fantasy otome game and drama CD with 8-bit gaming nostalgia, twisted RPG tropes, fantastic seiyuu casting… I feel like I’m being directly pandered to and I’m fucking loving it. I don’t have a lot of interest in drama CDs and would prefer a full length otome game, but it is what it is. I’m sure I’ll love it and already preordered the special editions of all three games. I can’t wait until the end of July!
Truthfully, at that time, I wanted to…
k i s s y o u.