What an odd game. Quiz Nanairo Dreams: Nijiirochi no Kiseki (translated as “Quiz Seven Color Dreams: Miracle of Rainbow Color Village”), developed by Capcom for their CPS2 board, is a combination of a dating sim and a quiz game.
While you’ll occasionally find a trivia game in Western arcades, they were a bit more prolific over in Japan, to the point where publishers would stick their own IPs into a quiz game, resulting in weird stuff like Quiz King of Fighters. And dating sims were all the rage after the release of Tokimeki Memorial, even though it was odd to see one in the arcades (at least one that didn’t involve porn on some level.) Capcom themselves had a number of quiz games, including Quiz and Dragons (which was actually translated and released in American arcades, and can be found on some of their compilations), as well as the Capcom World trilogy, and numerous others. Quiz Nanairo Dreams is mostly known for introducing the character Saki, who would later cameo in a few later Capcom games, like Marvel Vs. Capcom and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom. (Pure and Fur, who also cameoed in Marvel Vs. Capcom, is from one of the other quiz games, Capcom World 2.)
The setup tries to justify the crazy concept – one night, you see a meteor fall from the skies, which shatters into eight pieces. With one of the pieces you find a fairy, who warns you of the incoming invasion of the Dark Lord. Each of the remaining seven crystals – all colors of the rainbow – has fallen into the hands of different girls in the area. By making them fall in love with, you can obtain the power of these shards. Only by answering an onslaught of trivia questions can you impress the ladies and save Japan from total destruction.
So, the game takes place across the course of several months, similar to dating sims, although the calendar is structured like a board game. Every turn, you play a roulette to see how many spaces/days you jump, with different events occurring on different days. When you run into a girl, she promptly introduces herself and begins conversation. Instead of asking your opinion of their clothes (or whatever setup usually appears in these kind of games), they begin rattling off trivia questions.
They’re all multiple choice, with up to four answers per question, in a variety of genres – anime, games, manga, movies, culture, sports, politics, language, and so forth. They’re also (mostly) in Japanese, but you can get by with cursory knowledge, as long as you use the pause key and have a search engine nearby. If you answer enough correctly, you can proceed, but if you get too many wrong, you’ll lose and need to insert more credits.
Some of the questions are a bit odd, of course. Several of them are actually in (very poorly written) English, which require a response in Japanese. You’ll occasionally come across questions for Capcom games (example: Which of the following characters are from Star Gladiator? (A) Mega Drive (B) Playstation (C) Saturn (D) Famicom), and some from competitors game (one question asks you the name of the high school from Konami’s Tokimeki Memorial, the prototypical console dating sim.) Even if you can read them, there tends to be some pretty obscure stuff, referencing old movies or Japanese history. Some are pretty simple for English speakers though – like “What does the ‘W’ in “Gundam W” stand for” – the obvious answer is “Wing”, because it’s always been known as “Gundam Wing” to English speakers. Similarly, one question asks which president was involved in the Watergate scandal – not something every Japanese person would know, but cake for anyone who’s passed fourth grade American History. Another one even asks you the name of the ship from the original Star Trek.
Anyway, it’s a unique concept, if only because it plays on the nerd dream that women find knowledge sexy. Also, if you knew nothing about Japan except what you learned while playing this game, one might simply assume you could simply wander into Tokyo and have a successful dating life, if only you can answer their pressing questions about obscure video games. (Quick! Fill in the blank! What is the Capcom Famicom game Kamen no Ninja____?” (A) Manjimaru (B) Pyunpyunmaru (C) Akakage (D) Hanamaru. If you picked anything other than (D), sorry, you’ll be spending tonight alone.) (Fun another nerdly fact – this game was “localized” into Yo Noid!.)
At any rate, there are seven main girls you’ll run across in Nanairo Dreams, plus a few other characters (we’re not going to mention the stupid crying kid or the random dog, who also pops up with trivia questions despite lacking any real oratory functions.)
Characters (Naming: Arcade / Home)
Megumi Morinaga / Moritsugu
The “main” girl. Kinda generic, actually, though she’s basically a ripoff of Shiori Fujisaki from Tokimeki Memorial.
Momoko Fujiya / Fujikura
The shy one, who wears a sailor uniform. She’s always falling over and showing in her panties.
Mayumi Touhato / Kobato
Basically the game’s MILF, she’s the oldest cast member, clocking in at 25 years old.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the youngest one, at 12 years old. This princess seems a bit like a more normal version of Devilot from Cyberbots. There’s a scene where her chest can be exposed in the arcade version, though a bra was added for the console release.
Saki Kanebou / Omokane
Saki is really only about the only interesting thing about this game. Nearly all of the characters are lousy dating sim stereotypes, but Saki is part of the terrestial defense force and wields a gigantic gun. She shows up to fight the gigantic Godzilla thing that occasionally terrorizes the town.
This is the Fairy that explains you the plot at the beginning of the game. If you answer her questions right, she’ll give you a bit of information about the girl of your choice.
Basically the game’s miniboss, who appear at the end of the every month (and other intervals) to quiz you.
Dark Lord Godiva
It’s interesting to note that, in the arcade version, all of the girl’s last names are based off of candy manufactuers. Most of these are unknown in the West (“Charlotte” = “Lotte“, for example), except for the Dark Lord Godiva. To avoid legal issues, all of the characters were renamed in the home releases.
The “sim” elements are pretty weak, because you happen upon the girls mostly by chance. Every time you meet with a fairy, she’ll let you know a bit of information about them, and there are special events if you run into certain character on certain blocks. But there’s no way to “win” any particular girl, nor is there any way to “lose” with any of them come the end of the game. When you beat the final boss, Saki comes along and takes care of him, and you get to choose which of the girls you want to talk to for their own ending.
Outside of the original arcade release, Quiz Nanairo Dreams was also released for the PlayStation and Saturn. Other than the previously mentioned adjustments, they also feature arranged soundtracks. You can probably find them in any old used game store in Japan for a few hundred yen, because no one really likes these type of games anymore.
As mentioned before, Saki shows up as a support character in Marvel Vs Capcom, wielding her large laser gun. Saki and Lintz are also cards in SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, as well as its DS sequel. Additionally, Saki graduated to Playable Character status in the Wii version of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, released in 2008, nearly a dozen years after the release of Quiz Nanairo Dreams. Wielding her huge laser gun, she’s a bit like a hugely nerfed version of Cable from Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.
Card Fighters Clash
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom Screenshots