|Important info - please read before posting at the
MegatTokyo Dating Sim Forum! |
1. Please do not post about acquiring/distributing ROMs and warez.
2. Please read the FAQ and search the board/net first before asking questions. (Trying to find a Japanese page? Try http://www.yahoo.co.jp/)
3. Do not expect people to translate Japanese for you if you haven't spent effort on translating it yourself. Don't expect free translation services. (And try not to bother the Japanese about this. ^_^)
4. Please think before you post.
(please note that this document has not been reviewed by either Piro or Largo, and contains information compiled by members of the dating sim forum. We hold no responsibility for it's content.)
This FAQ is a compilation of information/editing from tsubasa, Interactive Civilian, HaGeShiKu, cyocum, GameOuji, worldcitizen, sunandshadow, Pocky, NDarkstar, Arechan, milkchan, WooJin Lee. The FAQ was written by tsubasa. All the questions were written by tsubasa, except for those added afterwards (see updates).
Html edition by Jhiend.
I will try to improve my English grammar and the accuracy of the article, but I'm not liable to the errors or misunderstandings of the article.
The opinion shown here is a private opinion of tsubasa; You can express your own opinion but don't blame me personally. If someone offends my inspiration to the FAQ project I will stop updating the article. I hold the right to delete, modify, or stop uploading/updating the contents.
Please kindly refrain from quoting or copying the content to contribute or to post the other forums/news groups/websites/news papers/media. If I find those illegal copying I'll erase the whole content immediately.
The links that start from "*" have contents for mature audiences.
All questions answered by tsubasa unless otherwise indicated by brackets [ ]. "[general]" means that the information came from several sources, i.e. not general information yet not contributed/mentioned on the board by just one person.
General Questions about Dating-sims and another similar types of games
Where do I find them? / Downloading or obtaining a copy of them.
Viewing and using Japanese characters correctly on the PC and Mac
Travel to Japan
Working at Japan
Amateur culture in Japan
1. General Questions about Dating-sims and another similar
types of games
[For example] Hatsukoi Valentine http://www.familysoft.co.jp/main.html
True Love Story - Remember my Heart http://www.ascii.co.jp/et/software/pc/tlsr/tlsr.html
1-2. What are Ren'ai games?
As I told in the above section, they are simulation games/adventure games to develop the story of love in the youthful days. You may think it's sappy but not all of them are like soap-operas. Some games deal with the end of the world, and some other games deal with the hardship of the humanity.
[translator's version]As already explained, simulations and adventures depicting love affairs of the youth are called "Ren'ai games". You might, then, think of all too familiar situation comedies or soap operas in the afternoon. But some love game products deal with the end of the world or have grandiose plots expanding beyond time and space or even attempt to put serious questions about the sins of human being.
In Japan, we sometime call [games with no special dating situations but have ren'ai/romantic/love factors] "ren'ai games". From that viewpoint, Final Fantasy VII can be a ren'ai game, since Aerith and Cloud would go out for a date in the middle of the story. :)
1-3. What are Visual Novels?
"Kanon" and "Air" are very popular among the Japanese audiences who
love erotic games (described below) with impressive storylines. Most of
them have claimed that they couldn't help weeping because they were
moved. However, they also say that the erotic scenes are not so "heavy"
Some fans claim that "Sense Off" is a great Sci-Fi visual novel.
[GameOuji]The original visual novel type games were by Leaf on their release of Kizuato and Shizuku. However, "To Heart" was the game to make this type popular.
1-4. What are Upbringing simulation games?
You can also obtain the English-dubbed version of "Graduation II"
(Sotsugyo 2), which is one of the few precious examples of dubbed
Little Lovers http://www.nikkeivi.co.jp/LL/
1-5. What are hentai games, erotic games or erogee?
The title shows its nature ("hentai" means "pervert" in Japanese). The main purpose of the games is to show sexually explicit scenes. Generally they have very light, absurd storylines and they often try to show the violent, sexual abuse of the women. Sadly, this attracts the most of the non-Japanese visitors.
However, the Child-Porn Prohibition Act was enforced, and the manufacturers have their own ethics codes. They delete the depiction of the most "private" parts in the body as "auto-censorship".
I, as a Japanese, am sorry that we have these kind of violent games in Japan.
[comment by GameOuji] To get around the child porn law, now game makers start to call the highschool setting in the game to be "Gakuen", which unlike highschool, has no age limit on students ^_^;;
[sunandshadow's revision and answers] "Hentai" means "pervert" in Japanese. Hentai is often abbreviated "h" which may also be spelled out as "ecchi". These games are sexually explicit and may be violent, and as such are subject to age restrictions: 18 or 21 in the US depending on your state's law and the game's content. Generally, they have very light, absurd storylines and they sometimes show violent, sexual abuse of the women. However, the Child-Porn Prohibition Act was enforced (need a date here) and the manufacturers have their own ethics codes. In games made after this point the most "private" parts of the body are hidden as "auto-censorship".
I am a hentai artist and fan. Although I also disapprove of sexual violence, I believe that erotic art can be fun and beautiful.
For further information about these games just websearch "hentai". If you're looking for hentai artists try Yahoo webring sites.
1-6. Are there any Dating-sims for girls?
Seraphim Spiral (Done by Visual Arts)
Boy x Boy ( Unknown )
First Live (Done by Visual Arts)
Saikyou Kareshi (Done by Visual Arts) *mature content, don't click unless 18+
[Jhiend] Yes there are some as you can see by the links above. There seem to be two types. One has boys for main characters (called "Boys game"), while the other has girls for main characters (which I have seen called "girls game"). Seraphin Spiral, Boy x Boy, and Saikyou Kareshi are examples of the former, while Fantastic Fortune and First Live are examples of the latter type.
None of the above games and pages are in English.
1-7. What are some Dating-sims for the PS2?
Love Songs - There's an idol in our class
1-8. Why would people want to play Dating-sims?
1-9. How much Japanese do I need to know to play Dating-sims?
2-1. Where can I get them for free?
Are you stupid? Stop pirating.
2-2. Where can I get them? I'll pay for them!
[GameOuji] There is another company called "Cresent" that will sell Japanese games overseas, but I don't have the URL.
[general] National Console Support
2-3. Where can I download them for free?
Also, the other thing you can download for free are demos. You usually can find them on the game's official webpage, such as Sense Off's demo (the link leads to a .lzh file, see 2-11 on how to handle them).
2-4. But I'm only 15 so I don't have money! It's natural for me to find the copy on the net!
...I think you're making a poor excuse. Go get a part-time job.
2-5. Where do I download them? I'll pay for them!
2-6. I have paid to the paysite to get the downloadable version of __________, but the quality was poor.
2-7. How do I get the Dating-Sims translated into English?
2-8. Can't I enjoy ren'ai simulation games if I don't understand Japanese?
In fact, many software manufacturers are hesitant to translate their ren'ai simulation game into English or other foreign languages. Because of the poor copyright protection in some Asian countries, it is risky to produce an English- or a Chinese-translated version of the software. Moreover, the game may not be well received in overseas, because it is, after all, about a game of love among Japanese high school students.
[Jhiend] Basically, chances of finding a (legal) translated dating sim are almost nil. However, if the game is popular enough you may find fan translations and/or English FAQs, for example at http://www.kirameki.edu/ there is a guide in English that can help you through the game Tokimeki Memorial: forever with you.
2-9. So, are there any ren'ai sim games already in English?
Graduation II [ed - a PC dating sim game translated to English].
[Jhiend] However, if you're willing to settle on a game with just "dating-sim elements" in it, you can check out some of the games mentioned in this board thread.
[WooJin Lee] [Peach Princess is] a new start up H Game localization
company that's got the rights to do Will and Crowd games. It's headed by
Peter Payne, who you guys might recognize as being the guy behind J-List
as well as JAST USA...and on the fan works side, the US translation for
the Shin KOR Novels.
[Jhiend] cyocum and a few other MT posters have gotten together to develope an open source ren'ai/dating sim engine at SourceForge. If you are interested in helping make an English dating sim possible, please take a look. (Some of the initial discussions can be found here.)
2-10. Where can I find demos?
2-11. What are these .lzh files and how do I deal with them?
The software above is called lhaca. It's easy to install, and you can drag-and-drop the *.lzh file on the lhaca icon. If you drag in non-LZH files, the lhaca will archive the files to LZH file.
It doesn't need external DLLs.
The Lhaca supports Windows 98, Me, NT4, and 2000 Professional.
[general] The way described above might not be the best way; this board thread discusses other programs that can unzip *.lzh files.
2-12. How compatible are imports on U.S. console systems?
3-1. The characters that WingZero, HaGeShiKu and tsubasa posted have become garbage.
[HaGeShiKu]Those characters are Japanese characters that your computer doesn't understand, resulting in gibberish.
3-2. How do I show the Japanese Kanji characters correctly?
[Interactive Civilian]This is for Internet Explorer (5.0) Users, and
should be the same between MacOS and Windows.
[HaGeShiKu] To display Japanese characters correctly on your PC, you should upgrade your browser with Japanese language support from Microsoft. Once there, go to "PRODUCT UPDATES" and look for Japanese language support under International language support. Independent programs, such as NJSTAR, will also work, but can sometimes be less effective.
3-3. I want to type some Japanese. How do I cut/paste the Japanese characters without a Japanese operating system?
[Interactive Civilian] For simply cutting and pasting, just select the text you want and cmd(cntrl on a PC)-c cmd-v. However, if you don't have the language kit installed, they will look like garbage-characters, but don't worry...if you are posting to these forums they -should- display correctly on the actual page.
3-4. How do I input the Japanese characters without a Japanese operating system?
[Interactive Civilian] For Japanese Character input on a Macintosh,
you must have the Japanese Language Kit installed. Luckily, it is easy,
and free if you are running Mac OS 9. The installer is on your System CD
in the following folder: Software Installers: Language Kits. Just double
click the "Install Language Kits" install script and follow the
[Jhiend] Japanese Software and Information has links to useful programs, information about how Japanese characters work on the computer, and is home to a Japanese word processor you can download.
[Jhiend] Writing in Japanese - an informative forum thread about this topic.
3-5. How come the Japanese characters show up on some sites and not on some others?
3-6. The Japanese games won't show Japanese characters correctly on my PC. What can I do about it?
4-1. What is Kanji?
4-2. What is Hiragana? (Not HIRIGANA!)
4-3. What is Katakana?
4-4. What is Romaji?
[Jhiend] The Hepburn system would probably be the closest thing to
English syllables, while the other systems, including the JSL system and
Standard system, are based more on the structure of the Japanese
alphabet. An oft-cited example is the "ta chi tsu te to / ta ti tu te
to" set. With Hepburn it is spelt the first way, "ta chi tsu te to,"
because the spelling helps the English reader to pronounce it more like
the original sound. However, with the JSL system it is spelt "ta ti tu
te to" because they are a set of "t" consonants. The reason why they do
this is because of Japanese grammar; conjugations and such cause
syllables to change their associated vowel but not the consonant, and
changing the consonants to fit pronunciation causes the grammatical
structure to be less obvious. For example, one form of "to wait" is
"matsu" (Hepburn) or "matu" (JSL) and another form is "machimasu"
(Hepburn) or "matimasu" (JSL); the relationship between these two forms
are more apparent with the JSL method. Other differences in syllable
spelling include "shi" vs. "si", "fu" vs. "hu", "ji" vs. "zi", and
4-5. I know some Japanese phrases like Harakiri, Geisha, Karooshi, and Enjo koosai. Is this enough?
[HaGeShiKu] Are you a serious student of Japanese? Or are you merely a fan of Japanese entertainment such as anime? If you have no interests outside of entertainment, it may not be worth your time to consider studying the Japanese language.
4-6. Where do I learn casual Japanese?
[worldcitizen] You can also check out Mangajin's Learning Basic Japanese through comics.
4-7. Where do I learn polite Japanese?
[HaGeShiKu] The best way to learn formal Japanese is to take a Japanese course. If you are lucky enough to be attending a High School that offers Japanese, don't waste the opportunity. Most major Universities will offer courses in Japanese.
4-8. How do I teach myself? Is there any way to learn Japanese myself?
[HaGeShiKu] Yes, if you are determined enough, it is possible to teach yourself Japanese. It is HIGHLY recommended that you have formal instruction, but if this is not possible, there are a wide variety of quality textbooks available. You can supplement your learning by watching Japanese television shows, and listening to instructional tapes. The most important thing when you are teaching yourself is understanding how to interpret and create Japanese sounds.
4-9. How do I apply my Japanese skill at the job interview?
4-10. How do I get started?
[Interactive Civilian] (In the MegaTokyo message board) First, go to the top right corner of the page where it has the "post reply" [and/or "new topic"] link. Underneath it you will see the "search" link. Use that and search this forum for "Learning Japanese", "Japanese Lesson", etc. You will find some very insightful threads, I'm sure. Also, if you read through the forum, you will find the unofficial FAQ threads, which also have some information. These are all great places to start. (continued - see 4-11)
[Jhiend] FYI, I've started to list some of these threads at the bottom of this FAQ.
4-11. What are some useful books and/or online tutorials for learning Japanese?
These got me started a little bit. I actually haven't used them much lately because I don't do well with studying in front of my computer. So, I went out and bought a few books on the subject:
Japanese: Verbs and Essentials of Grammer - Rita L. Lampkin: This is a very helpful (at least, to me... ^^;;) book that teaches many of the fundamentals and the structure of the language. It doesn't go into a lot of vocabulary, but it helps a lot. ISBN 0-8442-8406-8
Kanji ABC: A Systematic Approach to Japanese Characters - Andreas Foerster and Naoko Tamura: This book has a very nice approach to learning the 1945 jouyou kanji. It has helped me a LOT. ISBN 0-8048-1957-2
Random House J-E E-J Dictionary - Seigo Nakao: Of course, you will want a Japanese to English dictionary. I don't know if this is the best one or not, but it is the one that I own. ISBN 0-679-78001-7
Well, if you are serious about learning Japanese, then I am sure that most of these will surely be helpful to you. Also, perhaps the second best way to learn Japanese is to actually take a class. The best is (obviously) to go to Japan and immerse yourself ^_^
[Arechan] The best Japanese teaching tool I've found online is the Manga School of Japanese (not especially manga-related, but good.)
[general] If you're looking for a more laid-back introduction, you can try Reiko-chan's "Japanese for Anime Lovers"
[general] Japanese for Busy People - Association for Japanese-Language Teaching (AJALT). Published by Kodansha.
[mspencer] JLearner - a helpful tool for learning kanji.
[general] Jeffrey's Japanese/English Dictionary (with a mirror in America) - online Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary. (Jhiend - personally I find the kanji dictionary part the most useful of all...)
4-12. What does [commonly asked Japanese word/phrase] mean?
5-1. How do I get to Akihabara after I arrived at Narita Airport?
5-2. Things are very expensive in Japan. How do I make it cheap?
[HaGeShiKu] Grin and bear it. The cost of living in Japan is higher than in most countries. If you are American, expect to be paying quite a bit more than you are used to for almost everything.
[worldcitizen] Second hand goods suffer a greater devaluation compared to other countries. If you can settle for something that someone else has used and is a few months old, you may find that Japan is rather inexpensive. Some people use the ゴミ屋: (gomi-ya) find out the day of the week for dumping electronics, appliances and large items, take a stroll through a good neighborhood and fill your house. Beware of the social implications and keep a low profile, native Japanese may not be very impressed by your 'luck' in finding great items... The manga 'Dai-Tokyo Bimbo Seikatsu Manual' (Greater Tokyo poor guy's survival manual) can provide some additional ideas on where to eat and have fun inexpensively (and it is very enjoyable to read).
5-3. My Japanese knowledge is limited. Tell me about the Survival Japanese.
[HaGeShiKu] There are a several quality survival Japanese books available. Any survival Japanese book for tourists should suit you if you plan on traveling to Japan. Remember that you get what you pay for. Use your common sense when thumbing through your guide. Try to remember basic, useful, words and phrases such as 'help!', 'thank you', 'excuse me' etc.
5-4. How much do things cost in Japan?
5-*. Addendum: Other MT board threads about Travel/living in Japan.
Experiences in Japan
Travel to Japan: planning length, plane costs, useful shopping phrases
6-1. What is the JET program?
But, briefly, it is an exchange program run by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Council of Local Authorities for International Relations. It offers three positions: Assistant Language Teacher, Coordinator for International Relations, and Sports Exchange Advisor.
As far as I know, the main requirement to apply to the JET program is a Bachelor's Degree in anything. The Assistant Language Teacher position has no requirement for knowledge of Japanese, though the other two positions do.
US citizens can download an application for the JET program from the Japanese Embassy. Application deadlines are in early December, and if accepted, applicants arrive in Japan on June 30 of the following year. hope this helps.
6-2. What information is there about teaching English in Japan?
7-1. What is Doujinshi?
[GameOuji] Doujinshi are books/comics/illustrations/etc that are published directly by the author without going though a commercial publisher. Usually it is made by amateur artists groups but these days, pro-artists do it too.
[Jhiend] (what wasn't apparent in GameOuji's answer was that doujinshi are fanworks of a game/manga/anime, usually.)
7-2. How can I obtain them for free?
7-3. How can I obtain them? I will pay for them.
Book Mart - (a used book store in Japan)
Another way is to get them at auction sites like eBay.
[NDarkstar's comment] I always thought getting used items was a good idea. It all depends on how careful the previous owner was with the item though.
Used bookstores in Japan are great. Most books cost about 100yen, with sets of books usually sold for a little less depending on rarity. Same goes for used LDs and games. For the most part they are quite inexpensive.
The main problem you have with ebay and the like is you often don't know what condition the item will be like when it arrives. In Japan, games and LDs/DVDs are rated depending on the quality of the packaging, the actual item, and any extra items that came with the original. On ebay or other private auctions, to some extent you're stuck with what you buy so you really have to be careful.
In short, if you can find it used and in good condition, you may as well save money and get it that way.
7-4. What is comiket? Is it a sort of the con in the US?
8-1. Why are there so many English words in anime/J-pop songs?
[Jhiend] My impression was that some Japanese (those who are the geared audience of or makers of anime/J-pop) think English is cool....similar to how most fanboys/fangirls in the US think Japanese is cool, or some English-speakers think French sounds exotic.
8-2. What do -san, -chan, -sama, and other suffixes mean?
8-3. What does baka mean? What does b4k4^2 mean?
[Jhiend] Just try and search the boards about what baka means. You'll find at least four threads talking about it.
8-4. How do you use the "yo" and "mo" particles in Japanese?
8-5. What are some greetings and goodbyes in Japanese?
Search for things by yourself first. Copyright (C) 2001 by tsubasa/Keishi Tada.
------------------ The Bottom Pile
This section below the breaker above contains useful/informative
threads from the Megatokyo forums. This can be considered a mix of a wish
list of things to incorporate into FAQ and a miscellaneous pile that is
miscellaneous beyond the miscellaneous section.
Q: I don't have a credit card, how will I be able to shop online? Links to some fan-translated Tokimeki Memorial can be found here
More learning Japanese board threads: Who
supplies these games - actually it is more about recommended suppliers
of shoujo manga.
Hina: shoujo or shounen? - a bit of discussion over what makes shoujo
shoujo and shounen shounen (and the things in between).
Search for things by yourself first.
Copyright (C) 2001 by tsubasa/Keishi Tada.
The Bottom Pile
This section below the breaker above contains useful/informative threads from the Megatokyo forums. This can be considered a mix of a wish list of things to incorporate into FAQ and a miscellaneous pile that is miscellaneous beyond the miscellaneous section.
Q: I don't have a credit card, how will I be able to shop online?
Links to some fan-translated Tokimeki Memorial can be found here
More learning Japanese board threads:
Who supplies these games - actually it is more about recommended suppliers of shoujo manga.
Love Hina: shoujo or shounen? - a bit of discussion over what makes shoujo shoujo and shounen shounen (and the things in between).