The Thousand Arms Dating Advice Columns of the 1999 Atlus Website

Thousand Arms is a 1998 JRPG from Atlus where you can date various female characters to improve your strength. While dating games were popular in Japan throughout the 1990s – beginning with Tokimeki Memorial, then hitting a boiling point with Sega’s Sakura Wars SRPG hybrid on the Saturn – they were basically unknown in North America at this time, with one of the only English games being Konami’s eccentric dungeon crawler Azure Dreams. And so, to promote Thousand Arms in North America, Atlus’ PR team created a dating advice column as if it were written by the girls in the game. During this period, Atlus was really trying to mimic Working Designs‘ light-hearted, jokey localizations, so this originally written content worked really well to promote the game’s goofy sense of humor. The opening splash page also warns of mature content since it does get a bit ribald, moreso than the game itself (though that’s not to say the game was for kids, either).

Unfortunately, the Internet is ephemeral and very little of this content has been preserved. The Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive preserved one page of them, but the rest seem to have been lost to time. We’ve also made a copy of this webpage locally along with images of the characters, since the image links from the Wayback Machine were broken.  The columns started the day after the North American release on 10/15/99, and the only preserved one is the sixth posted on 11/19/99. Given that the site capture comes from 10/18/00, it’s likely that these six columns were the only ones produced, which makes sense given the sendoff at the end.

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