In 2000, my older brother rented an RPG for the PlayStation called Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. Since both of us were huge RPG nuts he thought itíd be a good game after playing through classics such as Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, Parasite Eve, Grandia, and Star Ocean: The Second Story. After realizing what Rhapsody was, he never looked at it again, which gave me the opportunity to check the game out personally. The notable thing for me was it had voices, RPGís never had voices back then with very few exceptions. Secondly, these voices were singing voices. Finally, the main character was a girl and the story was about a girl saving the prince.
Despite my confusion, I played through almost half of the game before my five-day tenure was up. During the gameís absence, its presence would be embedded into my psyche forever because of its songs. I wouldnít revisit the title until last year where it received a remake on the DS and I had to review it for WorthPlaying.com. After playing through the title in its entirety, Iíve come to the conclusion that the game was definitely not for me, but since I played it at such a young age, I knew that was a grave mistake that would affect my lifestyle from then on.
Now hereís the situation: Iím straight, but Iíll describe some of the scenarios from the game and how I take some of the elements from the game let them become part of my life. For each scenario, Iíll classify it as: Gay, Girly, or Obssessed.
As noted before, the game revolves around a young girl named Cornet who is in desperate need of finding her prince who will make her dreams come true. When she finds her prince and wins a contest where she has the opportunity to marry him, the prince is turned to stone and taken away by an evil group of witches. As you can tell, the game is obviously targeted at the adolescent girl audience, who probably donít play games anyway, or at least they donít play anything outside of The Sims and DDR. You could also say itís geared towards new RPG players, as the game is very easy and can be finished in around 10 hours. Battles are typically finished within the first round, but the PS1 version and the DS version have significant changes in their battle system. The original is a tactical-RPG that would be adopted in NISís future titles like La Puchelle Tactics and Disgaea. The DS version features a typical turn-based RPG system that youíd find in Dragon Quest and other RPGís of that vain. In summary, the game is definitely geared towards girls or new RPG players and Iím neither.
Song #1: Someday
ďCornet is my name and Iím a puppeteer too. With my puppet friends thereís nothing that we canít doÖĒ
This is single-handedly the cheesiest song ever. If you leave the title screen idle for a minute or so, or dig into the music gallery of the game, youíll be graced (or in my case cursed) by this tune. From a girlís standpoint, itís probably everything theyíve imagined when they were 10 or younger. If a guy were singing this, itíd be gay, considering Cornet is singing about the prince she wants to meet someday. But youíd be a damned liar if you didnít think the song was catchy and/or got stuck in your head. Itís constantly stuck in my head therefore:
This past spring I took it upon myself to run a game of Dungeons & Dragons with some friends. The campaign was using 4th Edition Rules, which is more streamlined than regular D&D, and I based the campaign off of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, which is a streamlined RPG so I thought both complemented each other well. About halfway through the campaign, the players encountered an overly cheerful NPC named Cornet, who was a bard. The players witnessed the prince being turned to stone and Cornet vowed to rescue him, so both the players and Cornet formed an alliance for the duration of the campaign. Being an NPC, the dungeon master (me) rolled her character and made her level 11. Additionally, I had to role-play as her, making me have to get in touch with my feminine side. As a bonus, her introduction featured me lip-synching the aforementioned song.
My iPod Name
Also last spring, I picked up an iPod Nano thanks to the valiant efforts of blowing off my food fund on it at the university bookstore. The only one they had was this purple/indigo one, which I generously accepted, as I wasnít going to leave that place without an iPod. The color may make you think gay, but I call it indigo. There are people who adamantly believe itís purple (and theyíre clearly right), but Iíll argue itís indigo for the sake of trolling. Anyway, Apple is known for allowing its users to nickname their products. My MacBook Pro is named Jizzbomb. My Mighty Mouse is name Science Genius Girl. My LG Shine that isnít from Apple is named Mattastik, and I named my iPod Cornet, because both Cornet the person and the iPod play music.
Song #4 Our World
Aside from the ďjoke songsĒ (Amazing Pirates, Mountain Men, Amphibian Paradise), this is probably the only song where singing it wonít be considered gay. Deep down, this is probably how Iíd find myself expressing my love to a girl if I could get them to sing along with me. This probably makes me sound like a hopeless romantic and I have some stiff prerequisites for ladyfriends as noted in this satire post
. This is expected from someone who would probably have a video game/uber nerd style wedding if I ever got married and would probably name my children after video game characters. Being sensitive probably makes me girly and the fact Iím using a song from a game to express my feelings is really nerdy.
Song #7 True Courage
I like this song, itís always a nice pick me up when things are looking grim. We never got to this point in the D&D campaign, but I was planning on lip-synching the song. When the song got the points of ďFly to the starsĒ and ďDreams can come trueĒ I was going toss glitter as they were sung to create a magical feeling. However, you know what they say about glitterÖ
Song #8 Thank You
Okay, this is the last song Iíll cite. This is probably the most emotionally filled song in the game and it doesnít play until you complete the game and the credits start rolling. Itís basically Cornet thanking Kururu/Cherie for being her support through all of her life, both the good times and the bad. Itís the perfect valediction song that I enjoy showing to friends when we part ways for the summer or for other indefinite periods of time. It does sound like something a girl would sing though.
Nippon Ichi Software
To my knowledge, this is NISís first game that came to the U.S. You may correct or flame me if Iím wrong. The original Rhapsody was basically the inspiration for NISís future games. The combat system (which is ripped from Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics) would reappear in Disgaea, the use of chibi-sprites in all of their games is what probably gets my attention the most. I love 16/32-bit character sprites and drawn environments, because in my opinion, they hold up in age, whereas most other PS1 games like Final Fantasy VII look like ass today. Usually, whenever I see an anime-style game that isnít Tales, itís probably from NIS or Atlus, which are one in the same. These are the titles that stand out for me and the fact that Iím a JRPG fanatic helps too.
Rhapsody/Marl Kingdom Lore
One day I was absolutely bored and decided to check out Wikipedia on Rhapsody. It was here that I learned that the game spawned two sequels in Japan that were never localized for American audiences, due to its sub-par success. The series definitely evolves in the later entries and with the DS re-release of the original Rhapsody; it gives me hope that the other two games make their way to the DS also. I found this site to be very enlightening to me about the Rhapsody/Marl Kingdom games.
The results are a little insubstantial, and I apologize for the misleading title. Basically what this assessment has shown is I'm just simply obsessed with Rhapsody currently. Itíll probably disappear once the next obsession arises. On the other hand, it has shown that I may have some homosexual and feminine tendencies that lie dormant within me.
To get right to the point, Iím probably in love with Cornet. Sheís not real, so Iím wasting my time on her. Iím probably not the only one that has had a crush/obsession with a game character. One of my good buddies is/was obsessed with Lady Marta from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Anyway, I hope youíve enjoyed this read, this is single-handedly the most ridiculous thing Iíve written ever.