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Old 2004-12-17, 20:10   Link #1
gp32
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Planetarian {Game by Key}

Our translation of the Trial Edition (= demo) of the 2004 Key Kinetic Novel planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ is now complete and may be found HERE .
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Old 2004-12-17, 20:52   Link #2
TronDD
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Looks interesting. I'll give it a try.

I'm always willing to show some support for any graphic novel translation efforts.

EDIT: Not bad. It's hard to say how the story makes me feel. It could really turn out to end in any way. It's a rather depressing outside world with a cute and endlessly chearful robot in the middle of it. I'm curious what the story's message turns out to be at the end.

Good work on the translation and all the other work that goes into translating and patching a game.
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Old 2004-12-17, 21:13   Link #3
shadowplay
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Cool, that was fast.
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Old 2004-12-18, 06:56   Link #4
Mcdonalds
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Wow, not bad. I agree with Trondd though, not sure how the story will end, or what will even happen. Quite like the originality of the idea of a graphic novel but i'm not sure if i prefer it over a normal novel. Maybe it was the storyline that didn't really quite draw me in, and although i'm curious to what will happen, its not really encaptivated me. Anyway, thanks to the team who has brought this out.
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Old 2007-05-29, 04:46   Link #5
NoSanninWa
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I'm surprised that this thread hasn't been revisted in the past year. It is possible that there were a lot of replies after than last reply at the end of 2004 which were lost to the forum hack, but it has been a year since we restored from this old backup and nobody has replied to this thread since then.

Anyway, since then insani has released a patch for the retail version of this game, so I installed it and watched the story. (Saying "played the game" is clearly not correct in a narrative without any choices.) Here are my impressions.



Overall I found it interesting, but pointless. All of the metaphorical points that it was trying to make were really too petty to bother with. Despite the deeply tragic nature of the story I found it shined brightest when it was being humorous. I had many good laughs from Reverie's antics. I can't say it was a waste of time, but I really wish that the story had gone somewhere.

At least it has value as the story of how a man realized the meaning of life by learning to look beyond the world around him. Inspired by the stars and the sacrifice of a robot, he rediscovered his humanity.

Except... and here is the hollow part... the robot isn't one of those magically intelligent robots who is really a girl in a mechanical body. She's just a personality simulator, lacking the comprehension and self-awareness of a real girl. Equally hollow is the fact that he wasn't inspired by the stars, he was inspired by images of the stars. The stars were just as fake as the girl. I suppose that the writer thought that was a poetic similarity, but I can't get attached to a mere copy of a real thing.

Then at the end it redeems itself somewhat. We find that Reverie is actually more self-aware than she let on. In a rather human fashion she had decided that she must have been broken because it was too horrible to believe that all the people were dead. Her malfunctions were really a concious denial of reality. It wasn't until her death scene that Reverie seemed like more than a clever toy. Unfortunately I hadn't really bonded with her strongly until then (because I didn't see that) so her death didn't have as much impact as it could have. I suspect that if her nature had been revealed before her sacrifice, rather than afterwards, it would have hurt me a lot more to see her die.

I was also extremely disappointed by the artwork used in the game. We have lots of pictures of the Fiddler Crab, city streets and Jenna-san, but most images of Reverie were just a few stock pictures used and reused endlessly. CG mode was practically a complete waste of time.

At least really I like the music a lot.
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Old 2007-05-29, 15:46   Link #6
Kaioshin Sama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
I'm surprised that this thread hasn't been revisted in the past year. It is possible that there were a lot of replies after than last reply at the end of 2004 which were lost to the forum hack, but it has been a year since we restored from this old backup and nobody has replied to this thread since then.

Anyway, since then insani has released a patch for the retail version of this game, so I installed it and watched the story. (Saying "played the game" is clearly not correct in a narrative without any choices.) Here are my impressions.



Overall I found it interesting, but pointless. All of the metaphorical points that it was trying to make were really too petty to bother with. Despite the deeply tragic nature of the story I found it shined brightest when it was being humorous. I had many good laughs from Reverie's antics. I can't say it was a waste of time, but I really wish that the story had gone somewhere.

At least it has value as the story of how a man realized the meaning of life by learning to look beyond the world around him. Inspired by the stars and the sacrifice of a robot, he rediscovered his humanity.

Except... and here is the hollow part... the robot isn't one of those magically intelligent robots who is really a girl in a mechanical body. She's just a personality simulator, lacking the comprehension and self-awareness of a real girl. Equally hollow is the fact that he wasn't inspired by the stars, he was inspired by images of the stars. The stars were just as fake as the girl. I suppose that the writer thought that was a poetic similarity, but I can't get attached to a mere copy of a real thing.

Then at the end it redeems itself somewhat. We find that Reverie is actually more self-aware than she let on. In a rather human fashion she had decided that she must have been broken because it was too horrible to believe that all the people were dead. Her malfunctions were really a concious denial of reality. It wasn't until her death scene that Reverie seemed like more than a clever toy. Unfortunately I hadn't really bonded with her strongly until then (because I didn't see that) so her death didn't have as much impact as it could have. I suspect that if her nature had been revealed before her sacrifice, rather than afterwards, it would have hurt me a lot more to see her die.

I was also extremely disappointed by the artwork used in the game. We have lots of pictures of the Fiddler Crab, city streets and Jenna-san, but most images of Reverie were just a few stock pictures used and reused endlessly. CG mode was practically a complete waste of time.

At least really I like the music a lot.
It might be possible that you weren't moved much by the characters death because in a Key story you've come to expect the girl to die. You can play the same game with a Key story as you do with a Tomino story where you take bets on how long the character has to live after the main character hooks up with them.

I'd also equate it to how South Park used to kill Kenny in ever episode, you knew it was coming, just not how it was going to happen and it ultimately got stale (The characters even started poking fun at this with half-assed responses). Then they stopped doing it every episode and when he dies now its funny and shocking again to see because you don't know if its even going to happen or not. Maybe Key needs to tone down the melodramatic death sequences with their next game Little Busters and from then onwards if they want their future character deaths to get more of a response from the player. For some reason that one looks to be different from the rest, but we'll have to see.
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Old 2007-05-29, 16:52   Link #7
rg4619
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Quote:
It might be possible that you weren't moved much by the characters death because in a Key story you've come to expect the girl to die.
Actually, the style and direction completely differ from Key's usual work (Planetarian was conceived and written by a sub-writer instead).

In Planetarian, the melodrama is subdued, with the author focusing more on atmosphere (the script is overly verbose with tons of jargon and technical description), as well as an overall philosophical message. It's more akin to a sombre, post-apocalyptic movie than anything else.

In contrast, typical Key scenarios are rife with with exaggerated melodrama (pathos-inducing plot devices, emotional BGM or vocal songs to go with climatic scenes, etc.), which seems to work effectively on many readers, even if they're anticipating a tragic outcome.

Quote:
Unfortunately I hadn't really bonded with her strongly until then (because I didn't see that) so her death didn't have as much impact as it could have.
Yes, I felt the same way about Planetarian. On the whole, the story is a bit underdeveloped to be particularly effective.

Last edited by rg4619; 2007-05-29 at 17:05.
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Old 2007-05-30, 07:30   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
Except... and here is the hollow part... the robot isn't one of those magically intelligent robots who is really a girl in a mechanical body. She's just a personality simulator, lacking the comprehension and self-awareness of a real girl. Equally hollow is the fact that he wasn't inspired by the stars, he was inspired by images of the stars. The stars were just as fake as the girl. I suppose that the writer thought that was a poetic similarity, but I can't get attached to a mere copy of a real thing.
That's the point actually, the protagonist was seeing these copies which gave him the illusion of the beautiful things that once existed, but were lost forever, that's the saddest part.

Maybe it's just me, but the sad points about these games were never the plain fact - the girl died, it was... something else, it's hard to describe.

But, nakige has the strongest effect on the first exposure. If you really can't feel anything, that's unfortunate. Hope you can find a nakige that can really hit you one day.
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Old 2007-05-30, 17:20   Link #9
NoSanninWa
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I certainly like the anime equivalent of a nakige. The reason I felt nothing is because I saw a mere machine get broken. As I said, I understood the poetry of the girl and stars being a reflection of the real thing, but I can't cry about a broken toaster. That's the fatal flaw in the scenario that failed it for me.
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Old 2007-05-30, 18:18   Link #10
Kaioshin Sama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
I certainly like the anime equivalent of a nakige. The reason I felt nothing is because I saw a mere machine get broken. As I said, I understood the poetry of the girl and stars being a reflection of the real thing, but I can't cry about a broken toaster. That's the fatal flaw in the scenario that failed it for me.
I'm amused by this toaster analogy for some reason.

Also I've got to ask for a definition on nakige as my visual novel lexicon is coming up blank on this one. I'm assuming something game, given those darn Japanese contraction style slang terms (That they need like 8 dozen of that all sound similar because they lack the creative prowess to come up with more unique sounding terms ).

Some day I'm going to Japan to teach Otaku how to come up with idol nicknames and slang terms that are based off of crafty word associations (Cockney Slang Style. Now that's good slang) instead of extra Consonant and contractions. Better yet I'll get them to do Cockney Slang then do the Contraction to make it even more bloody confusing and unique.
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Old 2007-05-30, 22:03   Link #11
NoSanninWa
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I had to google for a definition of nakige so that I could respond to luckyovermind. Here's what I learned:
  • Nakige = crying games ("sad girl in snow" types), Love hurts.
  • Yaruge = games who main function is for sex
  • Eroge = games which contain sex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin_Sama View Post
I'm amused by this toaster analogy for some reason.
It's a metaphor, not an analogy. (I'm an editor; I can't help being bugged by that.) I'm glad it's fun for you.
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Old 2007-05-30, 22:07   Link #12
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
Except... and here is the hollow part... the robot isn't one of those magically intelligent robots who is really a girl in a mechanical body. She's just a personality simulator, lacking the comprehension and self-awareness of a real girl. Equally hollow is the fact that he wasn't inspired by the stars, he was inspired by images of the stars. The stars were just as fake as the girl. I suppose that the writer thought that was a poetic similarity, but I can't get attached to a mere copy of a real thing.

Then at the end it redeems itself somewhat. We find that Reverie is actually more self-aware than she let on. In a rather human fashion she had decided that she must have been broken because it was too horrible to believe that all the people were dead. Her malfunctions were really a concious denial of reality. It wasn't until her death scene that Reverie seemed like more than a clever toy. Unfortunately I hadn't really bonded with her strongly until then (because I didn't see that) so her death didn't have as much impact as it could have. I suspect that if her nature had been revealed before her sacrifice, rather than afterwards, it would have hurt me a lot more to see her die.
I thought that was what made planetarian work. Until then she seems to be just a machine, but too late we see she's more. I don't think the end would have worked as well had we known all along. We were hit with the realization of Reverie being aware at the worst possible moment, which magnified the impact of her death to me.

Of course I was connecting with her all along, so that might be why I had that kind of reaction.
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Old 2007-05-31, 04:18   Link #13
luckyovermind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
I certainly like the anime equivalent of a nakige. The reason I felt nothing is because I saw a mere machine get broken. As I said, I understood the poetry of the girl and stars being a reflection of the real thing, but I can't cry about a broken toaster. That's the fatal flaw in the scenario that failed it for me.
With nakige you don't really have to cry for the dying girl, you can cry for lots of things. You should not think in the way of "oh great the girl died, should I suppose to cry for this?". You cry when you feel like it. Personally I didn't feel much towards the end either, however I was inspired by the (fake) stars.
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Old 2007-05-31, 07:26   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
I certainly like the anime equivalent of a nakige. The reason I felt nothing is because I saw a mere machine get broken. As I said, I understood the poetry of the girl and stars being a reflection of the real thing, but I can't cry about a broken toaster. That's the fatal flaw in the scenario that failed it for me.
Broken toster ... NSW hidoi T.T

For me, her death scene came with a certain impact. For some reason i had grown fond of Revie, even though she seemed like a complete ditz all the time. The revelation that she actually wasn't hit quite hard upon her death scene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyovermind
Personally I didn't feel much towards the end either, however I was inspired by the (fake) stars.
I agree with this. I found the (fake) stars quite beautiful - that scene was very well done imo. Can't blame the guy for feeling awed by it either, even if it just an illusion - the real thing was no longer visible from Earth.
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Old 2007-05-31, 17:31   Link #15
NoSanninWa
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The planetarium works because the projection is a reminder of what our world has lost. By seeing images of the stars he was able to realize what his world had lost. As a result he began to yearn for a future beyond scounging and fighting.

The robot girl doesn't work because (presumably) the world still has girls. Some of who are presumably cute. While Reverie is cute, she seems more like a noisy animate hug pillow. I appreciate seeing a robot character who actually acts like a robot instead of a being a real girl who just happens to be made of metal and plastic. On the other hand, having seen her, I can easily see why robots and humans have separate heavens. There is nothing there to make people long for what is missing.
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Old 2007-06-01, 23:29   Link #16
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The planetarium is not just a reminder of the better world that we had lost - it and Reverie actually represent the hope of humanity (i.e. us) for true peace. Or you could call it humanity's prayer for peace, because of the religious undertones that permeate through the story and the way Reverie is presented as the last "priestess" that has remained to preach the message of hope to humans. The space program, the stars, reaching out for the impossible and making the impossible possible - the point isn't that the past was a better place, but that the hope and prayers from those times had not carried over into the present time. The story is a vehicle to remind us never to lose hope, even if you cannot see what you are striving/hoping for.

It is meant to be the ultimate irony, I think, that this last bastion of the hope of peace is destroyed by the remnants of war that the humans had themselves left behind (as a reflection of how in the current world we are really our own enemy when it comes to failing to achieve true peace).

Edit: In the end I don't really think Planetarian can really be called a nakige game - the characters in the story aren't the focus of any grief, rather, it is the failings of humanity that people should find tragic (or I, at least, did). It is even less nakige in nature than Clannad which is already more a "moving" game focusing on hope rather than grief. And the way the writer wrote the story leads me to think that the planetarium show in the middle is the true climax of the story, and the crux of the message that the writer wanted to convey, rather than what happened at the end.
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Old 2007-06-04, 02:35   Link #17
Aetheri
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Wait, so does the translation patch still work with the version that can be purchased online?
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Old 2007-06-04, 02:43   Link #18
NoSanninWa
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It helps to actually read insani's page where they offer the patch. If you read that page you wouldn't have to admit your inability to discover obvious information. This is worse than not knowing how to google.

Anyway, on insani's page you'll find a step-by-step guide on HOW to purchase the game online HERE. That's for folks who want to play in English, but can't read enough Japanese to figure it out how to purchase it. Very nice of them.

Oh, and the answer to your question should be obvious based on information in the above paragraph.
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Old 2007-06-04, 02:53   Link #19
Aetheri
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No, I read that. It's just that
A) The kinetic novel site isn't arranged like that anymore.
and
B)Threads like this and this made me wonder. Good to know it's working, though. I'll buy it once I get my hands on a credit card again.
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Old 2007-06-17, 11:32   Link #20
ZeRoGravity
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A bit late but better than never.

Themes that really get to me are hopes and memories. Depending how it is done it can get me in a heart warming mood or it would get me depressed for days. Planetarian has both; when I finish reading last night it was hard for me to sleep because my mind just keeps replaying the beginning and ending of Planetarian.

It is Reverie naivety&hopelessness in her daily routine that really gets me. The thing she is doing are no longer needed yet she can't stop because she is programmed to serve (humans) as a representative in the Planetarium. A endless cycle that I would rather see her shut down than see her do this for eternity. Then the ending where we know that she was fully aware that the things she was doing was meaningless - no customers or her fellow employee will come back really hit me hard. Yet it is her naivety or you could say her program overrided that daunting possibility to turn it into hope which lasted for 30 years. It is a bittersweet ending, her hope was finally granted yet she died for that it; performing what she was meant to do, serve humans.

It is the part where Reverie projected her memories before she "died" that almost made me cry. Shes a robot yet, we can't help but have human emotions put on to her.

Before reading Planetarian, I already knew what will happen to Reverie. Even so, experiencing it is totally different and while reading this I expect what kind of things she would say. The whole war thing, I didn't bother to think much about it, just the bond created between the Junker and Reverie.
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