Fake Game Friday: Nou Kaifuku

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I love Mushishi. It’s a really wonderful anime. Set in classical Japan, Ginko, a Mushi doctor, visits people with mysterious illnesses that are caused by things called mushi. The atmosphere, setting, the art, the music, everything. So, from that anime, the idea for Nou Kaifuku spawned. nobitmaps.jpgPlotSet in a more classical Japan setting (e.g. Tokugawa period), perhaps even an authentic and realistic one (save for the giant enemy crabs), this game would be dynamic and hopefully be a totally different experience for each player. While there are doctors in the world who can heal physical illnesses, those of the mind are left uncured. That’s where you come in. You’ll do this by entering into a person’s mind, which is a world unto itself. Within each person’s mind is an evil spirit, which is the cause of the affliction.Each person’s mind is its own self-contained world, and the playable area will be about the size of a village, where the evil spirit is hosted. The village will reflect the personality of the person. If the person is an inventor, then their mind would be filled with fantastical devices that could only exist in dreams. Someone who is distrustful has a world that is always stuck in the nighttime, when the pimps and swindlers come out.The illnesses, though, will usually be real-world illnesses. Alzheimer’s, Autism, Phobias, Paranoia, and a whole host of other things will be what you are trying to cure people of. The player, to some extent, would experience what someone with these illnesses have gone through. For example, in the Alzheimer’s world, there would be a constant fog limiting your view. The layout of the town would shift around constantly, so as soon as you turn away, a house might have switched places with a pond. The player will have to deal with these difficulties in order to find and defeat the spirit that is the root of these problems.VisualsVisuals are a hard thing to pin down. I would say that I’d like it if the cutscenes were drawn in as an anime. In game, the towns (not inside of peoples’ minds) would try to accurately reflect what life was like in classical Japan. Most of the time, life will be more rural, having a more nature-based atmosphere. Inside minds, though, life will usually be much more urban. The mind will be a much busier area, with a lot more people.snap2.jpgPerhaps for in-game graphics, cel-shading, along the lines of XIII would work. I’ve seen very little in the ways of yukatas and kimonos in cel-shading, but I think it has the potential to work well.AudioThe soundtrack to the game would be done by Masuda Toshio, who’s done the soundtracks for Mushishi and Naruto. The music will be subtle, and not be blaring. I’d prefer it to set a mood and highlight tension or excitement, but not in a blatant manner. Certainly nothing like the heavy soundtrack I’ve been hearing while playing Devil May Cry 3.At this point, voice acting seems like it is a must. I would definitely prefer the main character be a calm type, but not the girly types we’ve come to expect from Final Fantasy. Perhaps someone like Urahara or Ginko. It’s been such a long while since I’ve seen a character like this in U.S. films, though, so I can’t think of any English speakers that would fit the role. Suggestions?GameplayGameplay would take place from a 3rd person perspective, like in Metal Gear Solid or Prince of Persia. When entering a person’s mind, players must try to penetrate the mind’s defenses in one of several ways. There can be a way of forceful entry, for example, and trying to beat some of the mind’s defenses into submission in combat. There’s also the more stealthy way, by going through a maze, trying to reach the mind’s entrance. There can be a multitude of ways to go about this.I love it when gameplay tries to trick the actual player into doing things, like in Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid 2. Incorporating this in some fashion would be desirable. For example, it could be one of the brain’s defenses, making the player think that something has gone wrong.When talking with people, I think the best method would probably be the option-dialogue that exists in KOTOR. Players should have to say the right things to people in order to get them to help. The enemies will actively try to subvert the player in different ways, such as by spreading rumors or trying to incite a riot against the player.I wished to expand on Nou Kaifuku much more, but the ideas are too esoteric in my mind. In my mind, this is what would be a “high class” game. In the end, the game would give a fufilling experience, and perhaps even teach the player something about some real life illnesses that others have to go through. Even though the matter may be depressing, in the end, it would still value the triumphant power of the human spirit. This is a game that I would love to get made, and if I’m ever in the video game industry, I’d put my efforts behind it.

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