We don’t get many chibi-style JRPGs these days. They’re a lost art that used to be frequent back in the PSX and GameCube era, but kind of dwindled away in favor of the grim-dark era that became fetishistic during the PS3 and Xbox 360 era. Now with the U.N., and other platforms cracking down on anything with “young looking” anime characters, the whole chibi style is now under siege, or worse yet, endangered. Thankfully developers like Neko.Works have been putting in the time and effort into rekindling the nostalgia of a classically made chibi JRPG with Light Fairytale Episode 1.
The game centers around two young people, Haru and Kuroko, who dream of seeing what the blue sky looks like above ground. They live in an underground city where civilization barely thrives after a cataclysmic event.
The only problem is that getting to the surface means overcoming the dystopian, totalitarian forces that attempt to keep the citizens in check. Haru and Kuroko must then battle their way through the imperial forces while trekking through the dieselpunk metropolis.
You can get an idea of what the gameplay is like with the trailer below.
Visually the game really does seem like a true homage to the original Final Fantasy VII. The stylistic choice of the city design having the neon contrasts with the industrial futuristic clutter gives it that retro-sci fi feel that was present in a lot of Japanese media back during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The choice to go with chibi characters was nice because – as mentioned at the top of the article – we don’t get many games these days where they have those chibi, moe depictions. A lot of that creative reservation comes from all of the prohibitory media slatherings that developers have been hit with, especially in regard to young looking characters that could be construed as “loli” or “shotas”.
Anyway, if you were interested in picking up a copy of the game, you can do so by visiting the Steam store page.