|Created by Ichirō Sogabe, October 1997||Translated by @obskyr, April 2020|
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Content warning: Severe (click to see) ➡
- Child death
- Depictions of homophobia
- Implied sexual violence
- It's sad
- Seriously, it's, like… really sad.
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What is Azusa 999?
Azusa 999 is an RPG Maker adventure game (à la Corpse Party or To the Moon) 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. It's quite unlike anything else – a flawed diamond, forgotten by time – which is why I decided to translate it to English over two decades after its original release!
For ease of use, the game comes bundled with a pre-configured PC-98 emulator – just run the program, and you're off! If you're on Mac or Linux, or if you want the full 1997 experience, you can set up a PC-98 emulator (like Neko Project II) and plug in one of the disk images offered.
The game has an immensely interesting backstory – it was created in a particular niche of Japanese indie game history, which has barely if at all been covered in English. To learn about it, read the translation's foreword, written by yours truly!
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
Accompanying this translation, there's a Player's Companion that provides cultural context and the fascinating background of the game's development! I put a lot of love into it, and it's an invaluable supplement, so please do use it.