Type-Moon is really pretty inspiring. The company started small, with two devoted people who loved what they were doing and wanted to share it with others. That dream lead to the indie developers becoming a major commercial force, creating products and original properties that inspired all kinds of sequels and offshoots. While the original games were adult-only products, most of the follow ups are appropriate for all audiences. In fact, two of the games inspired by its popular Fate/ series, Fate/unlimited codes and Fate/Extra, are available in English on North American PSPs.
Type-Moon is actually pretty inspiring. The company started out incredibly small, not even thinking about games. The two founders, Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi, started working together to release a novel called Kara no Kyoukai (Boundary of Emptiness) to sell at the Comiket 56. The book did okay, but wasn’t a huge hit until after the two formed Type Moon in 2000 and released its first doujin soft game, the adult visual novel Tsukihime: Blue Blue Glass Moon, Under the Crimson Air. Tsukihime itself was first released as a free preview at Comiket 56 in 1999, and didn’t receive a final, full release until the 2000 Winter Comiket. That was Type-Moon’s first real hit, and Kara no Kyoukai didn’t become a hit and get reissued until it was included on the Tsukihime fan-disc Tsukihime Plus-Disc in 2001.
From there, Type-Moon’s recognition exploded. Part of this is due to a collaboration with French-Bread, another doujin soft developer, from which the fighting game Melty Blood was born. Melty Blood featured characters from Tsukihime fighting it out in a 2D, Windows fighter. After that, the company went from indie to mainstream, releasing the Fate/stay night, another adult visual novel that went on to spawn an entirely new series.
Since then, a number of all-ages versions of Type-Moon’s games have been released and inspired sequels, follow-ups, animes, mangas and light novels. Meanwhile, Type-Moon itself is continuing its work, contributing to 428: Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de (PS3, PSP) and developing a new visual novel called Mahoutsukai no Yoru (A Magician’s Night) (Windows).
Tsukihime is a supernatural adventure with some dating sim elements tossed in. Players follow Shiki Tohno, a young man who developed the ability to see death lines, lines that determine how people and things will break and die, after a near-death experience. He wears glasses that keep him from seeing the lines and was sent to a branch family once the ability was discovered. When Tsukihime begins, Shiki has been welcomed back into the main house due to his sister becoming head of the family. It’s then that he runs into Arcueid, a vampire princess. It turns out Shiki’s abilities could be used for good or bad, and could be decisive in a battle against supernatural creatures.
Now, Tsukihime has never received an English or all-ages release. So if you want to play this visual novel, be aware that it is for adults only and has incredibly violent and also sexual scenes in it. The fan translation groups mirror moon and Revolve Translations have worked together to release English patches for Tsukihime and Melty Blood games, so if you can acquire the games legally, you can patch them into English.
As for games, there are quite a few you can get. There’s the original Tsukihime (Windows), a fan-disk with extra stories called Tsukihime PLUS-DISC (Windows) and a sequel called Kagetsu Tohya (Windows). If you want everything at once, there’s the Tsukibako bundle that inlcudes it all. As for the Melty Blood fighting games inspired by Tsukihime, there’s Melty Blood (Windows), it’s ReACT expansion and Melty Blood: Act Cadenza (arcades, PS2, Windows).
Since there are numerous Fate/ games, let’s go over the central, driving purpose in each adventure. There is a Holy Grail War, where people who are magi become Masters of magical Servants (Saber, Archer, Assassin, Berserker, Caster, Lancer or Rider) who are summoned to fight for them. The person who wins the Battle Royale gets the Holy Grail, which means he or she gets a wish granted. The original game, Fate/stay night fllows Shirou Emiya as he unwittingly ends up taking part in the fifth Holy Grail War and becomes the master of Saber.
Fate/stay night is Type-Moon’s most popular and successful work. It started out as an adult Windows game, but also inspired an all-ages PS2 game. From there, it inspired a novel prequel called Fate/zero, a PC sequel called Fate/hollow ataraxia a manga series of the same name that has been released in English, additional mangas called Fate/kalied liner prisma illya and Himuro no Tenchi Fate/ school life, an animated movie and a Fate/stay night anime that has been released in Japan, North America and Europe.
Fate/stay night has also inspired a number of non-visual novel games. The first was the fighting game Fate/tiger colosseum (PSP), followed by Fate/unlimited codes (arcades, PS2, PSP). The most recent is an RPG similar to the Persona 3 and 4 games called Fate/extra (PSP), which will be released in North America by Aksys by the end of 2011.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables talks about the Sega Saturn.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables talked about the Hakuoki otome series.