Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starry Sky: In Spring

Somehow I stumbled upon another otome game with a fan made English translation patch, this time for the PC. Starry Sky is a series based on the signs of the zodiac, giving players a massive pool of twelve guys to choose from. The down side is that you only get to choose out of three different guys for each season, and so you have to play all four games to meet everyone. But fortunately, I took one look at the game posters and pretty much knew exactly which two characters to aim for.

Predictably, I immediately set my sights on Scorpio, but he’s only featured in the Summer release and there is no translation for that game out yet. :<

The other character who manages to catch my eye is Cancer, who thankfully is a main character in the Spring release. Some quick research on the three main guys in the Spring game confirms that the Cancer route is the only way to go for me. :3

None of the other signs appeal to me, except perhaps Taurus, but that’s because he reminds me eerily of myself. So that means I only have to get the first two Starry Sky games running to grab Cancer (In Spring) and Scorpio (In Summer).

Getting the Starry Sky game and translation patch are easy enough, but it’s the steps in between that will drive you insane. Here’s a list of things you might need to do:
  1. Alcohol 120% to mount the game image on a virtual drive so you can install it.
  2. Revo Uninstaller Pro to get rid of anything resulting from failed installation attempts.
  3. You must first change your language and local settings to Japanese.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Install the game onto the computer.
  6. Open the game, make sure it can be played and is displaying Japanese.
  7. Open the patcher and apply it to translate the game where you just installed it.
The most important thing is to first change the Unicode and local language settings to Japanese, otherwise you will have to clean up a huge mess of installed files that don’t work. Once you’ve resisted the urge to stab yourself with a spork and tried to reinstall the game about seven times, chances are you will end up with a working version of the English patched Starry Sky (In Spring). Congratulations! /^^/

What struck me about this game was the beautiful visuals, meaning the CGs and artwork. The colours are soft and the backgrounds are hazy, a bit like watercolour paintings. The music isn’t bad and the animated openings are quite stylish, if you ignore all the broken English in the background.

The basic story is that you are the only girl enrolled in an astronomy school. Yes, the only female. Because it used to be an all guys school, but was recently converted. Of course that makes sense! Anyway, each season you meet three different zodiac guys and you get to run though their routes. As with all complete otome games, you can often see the wedding and future CGs at the end. There are four main Starry Sky games covering the seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. From what I can gather there are more spin-off games continuing each of the seasons (After Spring, After Summer). There is also an anime which is being released for Starry Sky that includes many of the game events.

In the original Spring game, you spend your days with your two childhood friends Cancer (Suzuya) and Pisces (Kanata). Oh, and Capricorn (Yoh), who is apparently a part-French guy you used to know. All three of them automatically love you even though you haven’t done anything, which also means that if you choose one guy the other two won’t be too happy. But the game must go on, and within the first 3 minutes I already knew Pisces and Capricorn didn’t stand a chance against Cancer anyway.

Suzuya Tohzuki (Cancer)

Birthday: July 1
Horoscope: Cancer
Height: 179cm
Weight: 59kg
Blood Type: A 
Category: Yandere, Parent

A quiet, composed, nice guy. Excels at cooking and calming people down. Always rushes to your aid at any time. He secretly becomes worried and jealous for your sake. (Anime Episodes 13, 14)

Kanata Nanami (Pisces)

Birthday: March 3
Horoscope: Pisces
Height: 175cm
Weight: 55kg
Blood Type: B
Category: Tsundere, Crybaby

The loudest guy, often insults the others and likes to be impulsive. Is suffering from a mysterious terminal illness. Gets into fights because he can, and also to protect you.

Yoh Tomoe (Capricorn)

Birthday: January 12
Horoscope: Capricorn
Height: 175cm
Weight: 58kg
Blood Type: O
Real Name: Henri Samuel Jean Aimée
Category: Effeminate, Foreign

The haughty French guy. Insults strangers and is often alone. Also is very forward and can invade your personal space just by being French. He will have to leave the school later due to his father’s work.
Be aware that the main heroine you are playing can be a bit of a flake, causing unnecessary awkwardness that just wouldn’t happen otherwise. She has a tendency to run off and avoid people a lot, which is kind of annoying. I hear she gets better in the next game though, which is probably critical as the teachers and more developed zodiac characters come in. I should also note that Capricorn seems to be the canon choice in this game, because his is the only route where the heroine does not first try to sprint for the hills like a wuss. Interestingly, if you take either the Capricorn or Pisces route, the other two guys will quickly accept your new relationship. It’s only with Suzuya’s route that the rival guys seem to become annoyed before feeling happy for you.
(No, I’m not counting the days until Starry Sky: Autumn is translated as I do not swing towards the Sensei and Ninomiya-kun team.~)

*Translation patch and CG text by OGE

 Unlike Tokimeki Memorial, there are no stat requirements or rival girls to worry about in the Starry Sky series. All you have to do is choose the correct responses and you’ll get the guy. Because of this, in the Spring game there is a lot of dialogue padding to flesh the time out. Half of this is simply Pisces and Capricorn arguing with one another about nothing, while Cancer and the heroine intervene.  The rest is either someone being ill, hurt or a boatload of astronomy facts. The story unfolds much like a graphic novel, with no real depth or drama. It’s simply a nice, fluffy story revolving around pretty boys. Starry Sky: In Spring is not ground-breaking, but a fine example of a decent otome game. It has the main points down quite well – great art, smooth voice acting and lots of fluff. :3

*** Obligatory Possible Spoiler Warning ***
Cancer Route

Suzuya and you meet up to discuss how to stop the other two idiots from arguing all the time. This pointless bickering takes up about half the game.

You forget to do your homework, but manage to get through it while studying with Suzuya. This is because his mere presence beside you makes you smarter through telepathic waves.* Also, he has the best grades in the class.

What’s this? Did Suzuya just make a cat analogy? +10 points.

One evening, Suzuya makes you some simple dishes for dinner which you graciously eat under the night sky. At some point Suzuya notices you have rice on your face, so he plucks it off with his finger and eats it. Nudge, nudge.

You and Suzuya decide to prepare a nice lunch in an attempt to lure the two idiots into getting along. It seems to work except that they end up arguing over who gets to eat which dishes. Suzuya sighs mightily and says he shouldn’t make meals anymore since it only leads to the two idiots fighting over food. Upon hearing this, Pisces and Capricorn pretend to get along so that they may have future opportunities to stuff their faces with deliciousness. Oh, and Capricorn gives Pisces a girly French cake as a birthday present. Pisces finds this pretty gift to be delightful. Bromance on.

Pisces and Capricorn get into yet another argument, except this time it escalates to physical violence. To your dismay, Suzuya doesn’t try to break up the fist fight and tells you that sometimes it’s better for men to beat the crap out of each other. So the two idiots pummel each other to a pulp while Suzuya eyes them enviously for being able to act so rashly upon their violent man urges. Pisces loses the fight due to his terminal disease flaring up, at which point Suzuya finally steps in to stop the fight.

You suddenly decide you are hungry and go to the cafeteria, where Suzuya borrows the kitchen to make you some food. The lunch ladies try to get all flirty with him and imply that you are his girlfriend. You both awkwardly play the “just childhood friends” card. Expect to pull that out a lot. By the way, Suzuya’s homemade meal tastes like pure awesome. :>

The other two idiots decide it would be hilarious to play an April Fool’s joke on Suzuya. So they force you into pretending that you collapsed. Suzuya comes sprinting to your side, except that he’s unexpectedly incredibly concerned and serious about your condition. Pisces and Capricorn are so surprised that they just stand there gaping. And the prank isn’t funny. Suzuya is relieved you didn’t really collapse and gives the two idiots a stern talking to afterwards.


The four of you go out stargazing one night, and the conversation takes a weird turn. You say your favourite heavenly body is the Moon, to which Suzuya nods approvingly and explains that it’s because the ruling planet of Cancer is the Moon. And since he’s Cancer, it’s like he’s the moon that always watches over you. Like Mufasa. The other two idiots kill the mood by calling Suzuya an old man and point out that he’s acting strangely. For the rest of the next night the guys all talk about how beautiful Venus is and compare you to Aphrodite. @-@

Some random upper-class guy hands you a love letter. Suzuya seems calm about it and says that if it’s a guy you chose he would accept the relationship. Meanwhile, the other two idiots start freaking out that some guy is going to steal you away. You let them know that you have no idea who Mr. Random Letter Writer is, and that you intend to dump his ass. Everyone calms down and Suzuya suggests that you let the random guy know in person how you feel. He then oddly says that you should take either Pisces or Capricorn with you if you’re afraid of confronting the random stranger. You decide to go alone, and Mr. Random Letter Writer asks if you two can just be friends.

You fall asleep while stargazing with Suzuya. For some reason you can still hear him saying suspicious things even though you aren’t awake. He ponders over how long he can stay by your side and why you would let down your guard around him, thinking that you see him as ‘Mom’ and not a man. When you awaken Suzuya warns you not to be so defenseless in front of a guy, unless it’s him. Because he’s your trusted ‘childhood friend’ you see. :}

Capricorn casually blurts out that he gave up going to a fancy astronomy school in France just so he could spend time with you. This makes the other guys feel unsettled. Suzuya later tells you that he is envious of Capricorn because he lacks strength and freedom to say his own feelings out loud. Hint, hint.

Suzuya makes some food for a starving Capricorn. After arguing about sharing portions with Pisces, Capricorn suggests you spoon feed him like in those Japanese dramas. All three guys then demand you spoon feed one of them. So naturally you pick Suzuya, who asked nicely. This pisses the other two off and they start to tickle Suzuya relentlessly. For some bi-curious reason Suzuya then offers to feed Pisces, which causes everyone in the cafeteria look at them funny.

You catch Pisces kicking the ass of the upper-class guy who gave you the love letter. He looks pale, so you tell Suzuya and Capricorn that you are worried about him. You know, rather than being worried about all the guys he has been bashing to death. This causes Suzuya to have a slight mental breakdown and realise that he feels jealous when you concern yourself over the other two idiots. The Capricorn confronts him directly about this jealousy but Suzuya just zones out. After Suzuya leaves to look for Pisces, Capricorn takes the opportunity to tell you that he loves you… yet again. But this time he also conveniently mentions that all three of them probably love you, sending you spiralling down into a vortex of angst.*


Sometime after everybody’s little freak out, you don’t feel well and head for the Health Office. You wake up from a light sleep to find Suzuya sleeping beside the bed while holding your hand, just like old times. Because to worry and take care of you is Suzuya’s job. He won’t confirm whether or not he carried you to the Office though. Fufufu.

Pisces is missing so everyone goes to find him. The jerkface upper-class guy from earlier gets his heartbreak-rejection gang to surround you on the roof to try and assault you. Thankfully Pisces shows up just in the nick of time and tells you to run to one of the other guys for protection. So you flee the scene to find Suzuya, leaving the unfortunate Pisces to die. Finally you manage to tell Suzuya that Pisces is fighting the jerkass gang on the school roof, and so he runs off to help with a badass expression on his face. When you finally get up to the roof, you hear some punching sound effects and see Suzuya kicking the asses of some goons. The important thing to note here is that he does it nonchalantly and with a smile, which is actually somehow infinitely more intimidating.

Pisces gets infuriated at Suzuya for always worrying about him. The two avoid each other for a while until Capricorn tells them off, after which everyone gets together again for some camp bromance.

Suzuya instructs the two idiots to go and play, and you point out that Suzuya seems just like a Dad. He responds by saying in that case, you would be the Mom. Somehow this ends up being awkward with Capricorn complaining that he doesn’t want Pisces as a sibling. You then draw Suzuya’s name as your partner for ‘The Test of Courage,’ which seems to be the equivalent to taking a guy into the Haunted House in Tokimeki Memorial. You see a ghost and spend the next minute running away, triggering a child and hand holding conversation. The rest of the scene involves Suzuya saying that he’ll always be there by your side when you need him, and other fluff that is fuzzier than my cat in winter.

You all overhear Capricorn talking to the teacher about returning to France. So everyone goes up to the roof where Capricorn tells you that he is leaving to study astronomy with his parents. In America! [Dude, but I thought you gave up on your fancy astronomy research to spend time with me? Ah well, I’ve been stalking Cancer the entire game and ignoring you...] Not surprisingly, it’s the Pisces that breaks down and runs off sulking. This makes Capricorn happy. After a few days of mourning, Pisces finally confesses his love to Capricorn and all is well.*

You decide with Suzuya and Pisces to throw Capricorn a farewell party. After school you hang out in an empty classroom with Suzuya to plan it out. Suzuya gets all serious and asks if you like Capricorn. Like a fool, you tell him that you do but not in which way. This leads to Suzuya looking depressed and asking if he can replace Capricorn. You don’t help the situation by saying that people can’t just replace other people. Suzuya then utters the same two lines from the best friend endings by Kei and Sakuya in Tokimeki Memorial: ‘Won’t you look at me as a man?’ followed by ‘I don’t want you to look at other guys anymore.’ And the heroine still doesn’t get it, so she tells Suzuya that he’s not being himself today. [I feel so sorry for Suzuya at this point, as well as all the other poor bishōnens who have to deal with this unstable dimwit of a heroine. :’<] Moving along, Suzuya goes on to say that he never said anything earlier because he thought it was for the best, but now realises the extent of his jealous rage as you only think about Capricorn these days. So he tells you to stop thinking about Capricorn (which is weird because if you are on the Cancer route you would have spent this whole time only buttering up Suzuya) and instead look at him as a suitor man. He goes on to say he feels jealous whenever the other two guys talk to you, which somehow sounds like the beautiful beginning of a yandere. The two responses you can give to poor Suzuya are both equally awful. Basically they translate to ‘Duuh… I don’t know.’ So you pick the one that lets him know that you are happy at least, and then you unsuccessfully struggle to pull him out of the ‘childhood friend’ zone. Either way, everything turns out awkward because the heroine is a stupid, stupid person.

During the following days, you avoid Suzuya like the plague and he spaces out all the time. The other two guys pick up on the awkward atmosphere immediately, particularly Capricorn. You deny everything and Suzuya picks up on the fact that you are trying to avoid him, so he distances himself for your sake. In the next few days you agonise over whether or not you would rather have Suzuya as your steady ‘childhood friend’ or as your lover. This is extremely silly of the heroine and makes me want to punch the monitor.

Mercifully, in the next few days the heroine trips and hurts herself. This seems to knock some sense into her sawdust filled head and she realises that she can’t live without Suzuya. Praise mighty Arceus!~ Magically, Suzuya materialises by your side to carry you to safety and even tells you that you can always depend on him as a ‘childhood friend.’ My guess is that he realised that the heroine was far too dense to deal with the concept he proposed earlier and so then tried to replay the ‘childhood friend’ card. Except this time, hearing the dreaded words ‘childhood friend’ for the millionth time causes you to tell Suzuya you like him… at long last. After this revelation, Suzuya becomes utterly bewildered and keeps questioning the truth. No doubt his perception of reality has been completely shattered by your sudden turn-around. He very nicely warns you about his future fits of jealous wrath once you both finally realise that you love each other. I can already smell the yandere.

The next night you end up in a classroom alone with Suzuya, where he says all sorts of lovely fluff. However, since the heroine is a dimwit, you end up yelling at pretty much everything poor Suzuya tells you. Even through the crappily animated kiss sequences. Geez, get it together, you deranged woman!


In the morning Suzuya basically breaks the news that he owns your body and soul to the other two guys. They look shocked and then start pouting. Cue passive-aggressive jealous wrath as Suzuya starts to give them his creepy death smile for trying to touch you. I think everyone can sense a bit of the budding psychosis in him and so the two idiots obediently back off. Ah, a yandere is born. There’s also another lamely animated kiss scene after the reveal, where you accuse Suzuya of being too pushy. But he just gives you that patented frozen smile again. Um, okay.

After school the next day, Suzuya proves how understanding he is by staying behind with you in the classroom. For some reason you feel extra depressed that Capricorn is leaving, even though you totally own Cancer now. So Suzuya suggests you should talk to Capricorn while you still can, but he says it with a malicious grin because he has jealousy issues. You know, I like the way this guy thinks.

The three of you manage to successfully throw the surprise farewell party for Capricorn. Suzuya points out that Pisces says something romantic to Capricorn, thus deepening their long running bromance. So after the usual arguing and Suzuya blackmailing the other two guys with food, Capricorn thanks everyone for the memories.

The next morning, Capricorn is about to leave. Suzuya hands him a specially made recipe book of Japanese food so he can… remember all the good food he’s missing out on? Pisces sulks at the thought of putting the epic bromance on hold, but Capricorn promises to eat good food with everyone again. Capricorn also says he can safely entrust you to Suzuya, but he’ll always be circling overhead like a vulture for a shot at you in the event that Suzuya messes up. Suzuya assures Capricorn that his chance with you will never come because he swears ‘to forever protect your smile’. I don’t even know. Capricorn then departs and everyone has a good off-screen cry. Roll end credits!~

There are two endings, one is a casual proposal after 2 years on the day of graduation. The other one is a wedding after 5 years. By the way, there are only guys as wedding guests. O_o

*Possible dramatisation
After Spring Notes (Cancer)

- You get mobbed by some sleazy guys, so Suzuya pulverizes them.
- Suzuya gets a waitressing job at a café.
- You spy a random fangirl hugging Suzuya and your life goes spiralling downwards into despair.
- Suzuya requests and receives… you.
- Both of you are popular and end up creating a giant wheel of jealousy.
- You actually manage to make a female friend.

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