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Sakura Taisen

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Page 1:
Intro
Development
Structure

Page 2:
Sakura Taisen
Atsuki Chishio Ni


Page 3:
Sakura Taisen 2
Sakura Taisen 3


Page 4:
Sakura Taisen 4
Sakura Taisen V

Page 5:
Hanagumi Tsūshin
Hanagumi Taisen Columns
Steam Radio Show
Teigeki Graph

Page 6:
Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2
Ōgami Ichirō Funtōki
Sakura Taisen GB
Kinematron Hanagumi Mail
Sakura Taisen GB 2
Sakura Taisen Online
Sakura Taisen Monogatari

Page 7:
Sakura Taisen V Episode 0
Dramatic Dungeon
Legacy
Influence
Resources

Discuss on the Forums!

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Sakura Taisen Hanagumi Tsūshin (サクラ大戦花組通信) - Sega Saturn (1997)

Cover

The first of many fan discs, this was released in February of 1997, less than half a year after the first game. Its title means "Flower Troupe News", reflecting its theme as a sort of update on what is going on in the Sakura Taisen world — in an era before the Web was commonplace. The disc is laid out as a newsletter, which you can flip through, zoom in and read, and click to view scenes. For example, click the story about the Sakura Taisen radio program, and Sakura reads out the airtimes for each region of Japan — quaint to encounter 15 years later. You can play through a little quiz which determines which Flower Troupe member suits you best, culminating in a date scene. There are also tiny, short clips of greetings from the voice actresses.

Character compatibility fortune-telling.

The art assets are nearly all either recycled from Sakura Taisen, or are live-action photographs or videos of the cast and staff - this product was clearly made in a hurry and on the cheap. In all, this sort of disc serves the same purpose that an official website would today, except not nearly as well, and for the price of an entire game. For a fan, though, it is a charming little artifact and a sort of game-culture time-capsule. You can almost feel the Sakura Taisen mania sweeping Japan, and Sega scrambling to satisfy fans' demands for more Hanagumi.

The main UI is a newsletter.

A message from Yuki Masuda (CV Yuri).

"Sakura Taisen Yūrakuchō Teigeki News".


Sakura Taisen Hanagumi Taisen Columns (サクラ大戦花組対戦コラムス) - Sega Saturn (1997)

Cover

Another apparent cash-grab, this came just a month and a half after the fan disc, in March of 1997 - but the surprise is that this is a pretty well-put-together product. On the surface, it seems to just be the classic falling-blocks puzzle game Columns with a Sakura Taisen theme. (The second "Taisen" in the title has different kanji, meaning "competition" rather than "war".) Of course, it includes 1-player and 2-player ordinary Columns modes. But then there's a story mode, in which you choose a heroine and play through normal Sakura Taisen adventure scenes, complete with LIPS dialogues; Columns matches are interspersed with the story. There's also a "Cinderella mode", in which you choose a heroine and she competes with the rest of the cast for who gets to play the title role in the Imperial Revue's performance of Cinderella - as you beat the other heroines, their unglamorous role (such as "tree") is decided.

There is a fair bit of new material in this game: chibi versions of the characters with controllers, reacting to the match; expressive portraits swapping out behind the Columns gems; dedicated illustrations for the story scenes; and so on. Ultimately, a surprisingly rewarding side-disc.

Choosing to attack, charge, or defend.

Attacking.

You win! Wear a swimsuit!

Sakura wins; Maria plays the role of a tree.


Sakura Taisen Steam Radio Show (サクラ大戦蒸気ラジヲショウ) - Sega Saturn (1997)

Cover

The second fan disc to come out after the initial game, this time in November of 1997. It's a much more substantial offering than Hanagumi Tsūshin, featuring actual new art assets and gameplay. It is presented as two distinct sub-products in one package, each on its own disc and each with its own manual.

Disc one is the "Play Disc" (using the character for a vinyl record), and contains several scenarios to play through, centered around the theme of a radio show being put on by the Imperial Revue. You can choose the heroine you want to be the DJ, and enjoy vignettes of her talking, responding to fan mail, and so on. Interspersed with this are new heroine-themed mini-games, similar to the ones in Sakura Taisen proper. The radio-show storylines lead into the "Feeling Couple" mode, which of course culminates in a date. There's also a bit of preview promo information for the hotly anticipated Sakura Taisen 2, just six months away.

Disc two is the "Musical Disc", and presents a digest version of the first Sakura Taisen stage show, Ai yueni (愛ゆえに), "Love, therefore". In addition to the play, there are interviews with the voice-actors-turned-stage-actors. Of course, the video is of that characteristic tiny and grainy Sega Saturnquality, from a time when any video at all seemed like a miracle. Finally, there is a catalog of sorts, detailing the various Sakura Taisen goods available that you ought to spend all of your hard-earned money on.

The many modes of Steam Radio Show.

Kōran is your host for today.

Maria's shooting minigame.

Chise Yokoyama (CV Sakura) welcomes you to disc 2.


Sakura Taisen Teigeki Graph (サクラ大戦帝撃グラフ) - Sega Saturn (1998)

Cover

As Hanagumi Tsūshin and Steam Radio Show were companions to the first Sakura Taisen, Teigeki Graph is to Sakura Taisen 2. It was released in December of 1998, almost nine months after ST2. Disc 1 offers an adventure scenario to play through, centered around a production of Sleeping Beauty. Showing a stronger investment of time and resources, this scenario actually includes minigames for each heroine, like the mainline Sakura Taisen titles. It also contains a Sakura Taisen glossary and an art gallery.

Disc 2 is full of more low-quality Sega Saturn video files. It is divided into sections for PR videos (TV commercials and such) and a section of cast interviews. The cast interviews feature an entertaining gimmick: each one actually has a LIPS dialog in it, allowing you to prompt the interviewee to talk about a topic of your choice.

Ultimately, the extra scenario is the most compelling bit of this product; it and the scenarios on the other fan discs are worth including in a playthrough of the Sakura Taisen series.

The Kinematron is your interface.

Sakura Taisen universe encyclopedia.

Commercials in that marvelous video quality.

Interviewing Ai Orikasa (CV Kaede) via LIPS.


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Development
Structure

Page 2:
Sakura Taisen
Atsuki Chishio Ni


Page 3:
Sakura Taisen 2
Sakura Taisen 3


Page 4:
Sakura Taisen 4
Sakura Taisen V

Page 5:
Hanagumi Tsūshin
Hanagumi Taisen Columns
Steam Radio Show
Teigeki Graph

Page 6:
Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2
Ōgami Ichirō Funtōki
Sakura Taisen GB
Kinematron Hanagumi Mail
Sakura Taisen GB 2
Sakura Taisen Online
Sakura Taisen Monogatari

Page 7:
Sakura Taisen V Episode 0
Dramatic Dungeon
Legacy
Influence
Resources

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index