Azusa 999

released on Oct 01, 1997

Azusa 999 is an RPG Maker adventure game developed in 1997 for the classic Japanese PC-98 personal computer. It's a heavy emotional story about suicide and an otherworldly train… among other things.

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Azusa 999 is def forward thinking and a first for not only RPG Maker games but games in general for all the dark themes it tackles. It is also a first to have its ost specifically made to give me hearing loss, look I am all for experimental music but I unironically would rather listen to the Crazy Bus ost instead.

A product of it's time for sure, but it was enjoyable and interesting enough to go through despite how barebones and archaic it felt at times.

It may have sand paper writing but that comprehensive translation and the fact this is such an early example of rpgmaker game moment makes it a cool as fuck experience

CWs for Azusa999: sui*, child death, poisoning, burning alive, sexual harassment, homophobia,
A wide-swinging adventure game about suicidal ideation in the Lost Years and amid the rapid industrialization of Japan. The train is the vehicle that brings the worker, the student, the abandoned veteran, to their death, sapping their life force and general will to live as they struggle to get by. The writing here and smaller character sensibilities wear the 19 year old solo dev very proudly, but really lands a certain mundanity and annoyance in having such a simple space to navigate. The sensibilities about suicide and blame reek of the era and I just generally find musings about suicide in the abstract to fall flat, but I like this game a bit even beyond it's historical position. Not a must play but if it's in your interests already don't skip it.

Probably a foundational text for the "indie games about depression" genre, but a pretty barebones experience. I love that a translation exists. It's crazy to think about what would've happened if stuff like this had been localized and promoted.