[information provided by Joe Petrow, 1996.09.20]
"The soft breath of the forest caresses your heart. You'll feel the breath of life in your heart. Hear the voice of the forest."
This is the message that graces the cover of this interactive multimedia Hisakawa Aya game. Inside the box is the game CD, the lyrics to the game song Tameiki ga Nemuranai (ため息が眠らない), and several pictures of Hisakawa Aya. These pictures have handwritten messages on the back, such as "Happy", and "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness."
When the game is booted up, it first asks if you have a set of memory crystals called Omoide no Kesshou (思い出の結晶) that you would like to use. This is simply a password that you use to access special parts of the CD. If you answer no, you go to the main menu, where you must choose from the main game, Mori no Meikyuu (森の迷宮), or the other menu Hoka no Menyu he (他のメニューへ).
When you go to the main game, you are greeted by the four Aya's: The White Aya, The Black Aya, The Red Aya, and The Blue Aya. After this, you enter the forest. Your goal is to walk through the forest, talk to these Aya's, and hopefully, figure out the secret of the forest. To talk to an Aya, press the B button when she is looking at you. You will get a response based on which Aya you speak to, what setting you meet in, and the timing in which you push the B button. When you meet an Aya, she will (usually) say something to you. Sometimes it's a hint about the game, sometimes it's some silly poetry that seemingly means nothing. Sometimes she will even talk about the "real" Aya's likes and dislikes. Sometimes when you push the B button while one of the Aya's is talking, you will discover a secret, such as a hidden picture or video of Aya, or a special password. Pushing the B button at certain times is the main way to discover secrets in the game.
After speaking five times to the Aya's, you are taken back to the starting point, where you are given the choice of continuing, or going back to the forest to talk to the Aya's again.
If you continue, and you successfully fulfilled the requirements in the forest, you will have the opportunity to challenge one of the Aya's in a contest. The Aya will also give you a password, so that you may engage her in this challenge at any time in the future.
The Blue Aya's challenge is Kakurenbo, a very simple game. The Blue Aya hides behind one of two trees, and you have to pick which one she's behind. You get three chances to win, which means you have a 87.5% chance of winning. If you win, the Blue Aya gives you one half of a special password.
The Red Aya's challenge is Tarumasan ga Korunda. This game is similiar to the American game "Red Light Green Light" The Red Aya has her back to you facing a tree. You approach her from behind, while she says "Tarumasan ga Korunda" You must push the B button to stop before she finishes saying this and turns around. With this game you have three chances as well. If she sees you moving, or you push the B button too soon, you lose. If you make it all the way to Aya, you win. When you win, the Red Aya gives you the other half of the special password.
The Black Aya's challenge is Time Rally. Using the B button, you must go through a series of a couple hundred Aya pictures in a specified period of time (usually between 2 1/2 and 9 minutes) You must try and finish as close to the designated time as possible. At quarterly intervals, the Black Aya will tell you if your pace is too fast, too slow, or just right. If you miss the time by more than 10 seconds over or under you lose, but you are given a very short peak at the music video she did for the game. If you are within 10 seconds of the time, but still more than five seconds over or under, you get to see roughly half the video. If you are within five seconds of the time, you win, and get to see the entire video, plus the password to see it again at anytime.
The White Aya is by far the most difficult to get to. If you make to her, you get a special surprise. And within the surprise is another surprise...
After you play one of the Aya's challenges the game ends, and you are taken back to the main menu.
When you choose the other menu option from the main menu, you are taken to four other options. The upper left corner option takes you to a short Aya video.
The upper right corner option is the alarm and counter section. The first option features Aya counting down three minutes, saying how much time has elapsed every fifteen seconds. The seconds option is an alarm clock, which you can set to 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, or 6 hours. Aya in pajamas stands (and sits) watch over you while you relax, and notifies you when the desired time has elapsed.
The lower left corner option is Aya no Voice Therapy. You are greeted by Aya the doctor, who asks you to sit down. Doctor Aya notices that you don't look all that well, and asks you questions to determine what's wrong. Press B to answer Yes, and A to answer No. When the cause of your malady is found, the doctor Aya treats it and makes everything all better. (Personally, I think the cutest ending is when you answer no to all her questions, and she can't figure out what's wrong with you. :)
The lower right corner option is a series of Aya messages, ranging from answering machine messages, to drinking chants, to pleas to quit smoking. The original commercials for the Playdia seiyuu games are here as well.
When you want to use one of the passwords you have, go to the password screen from the very first menu. The password you receive corresponds with the colors of the buttons on your controller. The game will buzz with an incorrect password; otherwise you will be taken to the special section designated by your passwords. I have discovered eight passwords so far, and I'm sure there are more.
If you boot this CD on a DOS-compatible machine, you will find three files. Two of these files are very small (well under one K each) The third is over 600 MB! Right now I have no idea how this game data can be interpreted or retrieved.
Hisakawa Aya has done voices for many games, but this is the only one in which she actually appears as Hisakawa Aya. And there is an awful lot of Hisakawa Aya footage to be found. For the diehard Hisakawa Aya fan, it is well worth the price of this game and the Playdia system itself (currently selling for around $100 in Japan) to get this.
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