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Room No.9 July Cool-B Interview w/ Director Amemiya

Thank you to the anon on /blog/ who dug scans up on weibo! Most of the other information is repeated from the website update, but there’s a lengthy interview with Amemiya about the game with some interesting details this time. Might make some corrections later since I cranked this out pretty fast but anywho:

I know this is the second title under the Parade brand, but how did this one come about?

I was thinking it was about time for me to make another BL game and the schedule happened to be open and I had an artist available, so I got the go ahead. A full price game would have probably taken at least another year to make and it had been a while [since NTY!!!], so I decided to go with a middle-price game that we could get out quickly and since NTY!!! was a fairly tame game sexually*, I just went with my gut desire to make something really cruel. I actually had two different ideas for games, so I had Nikaido draw some quick character designs for both of them and went with the one that I liked better.

*- Alright, I toned this down a bit, Amemiya actually specifically describes NTY!!! as a mostly consensual sex title in contrast to Room No. 9 being more of a non-con thing. 凌辱 is a whole sub-genre in eroge––euphoria would be in this category for example––while rape/non-con are big elements it’s a little broader than that as far as I understand it (usually includes violence/torture/general dark shit). Not trying to make it sound more elevated than it is but yeah… ~nuance~?

Unlike your last game, this one has a very dark premise. Tell us about what you’re aiming for with this new game.

I think I’d probably sum it up as [three things]: “a relatively simple premise”, “lots of porn”, “straight guys getting abused*”.

*凌辱 again, not trying to gloss it over but it sounds 10x worse in English because this isn’t really a matter-of-fact genre thing here

Tell us about what the title “Room No. 9” means.

“Room No. 9” is the room number the protagonists are locked in. It’s a story about kidnapping, there are several other rooms [like the one the protagonists are locked in], and were going for a cold, scientific quality along with an oppressive, claustrophobic feel with the title.

Why did you select Nikaido for art this time? Tell us a little about what makes her art appealing.

Nikaido just happened to be a new––and very good––artist working in another department at our company* whose art I was fond of. She had even played NTY!!! and when I asked if she’d be interested in drawing for a BL game, she said yes. Since my boss gave the okay too, we went with it. She may still be a novice, but I think she’s got some real talent and can create captivating facial expressions and attractive masculine bodies even with simple designs. There are going to be a lot of [CG] variations, but I think she can handle it.

*Namely, ClockUp. Almost positive Nikaido is Norizane, so Amemiya’s probably talking about her(? I honestly have no idea just taking a guess) work on Natsu no Kusari.

Tell us about some of the particularly appealing points of the game or areas that you put particular work into.

The difficulty for two, completely straight, guys to have sex with each other to survive, how much they care about each other, and their desire to remain friends, while they feel deep guilt and shame over how they find themselves becoming accustomed to the act.

Tell us why you decided to have only one “romantic interest”.

Part of it was just to make the story simpler to organize, but one character seemed best in terms of presenting adequate development in the length we were shooting for. With just one character, we can do a whole lot in the length we have. It’ll be practically bursting at the seams.

Are the seme/uke roles fixed [or do the characters switch]?*

They’re fixed. We have oral scenes with both of them giving and receiving, but the only one getting things put in his butt is Seiji.

*Pretty sure they put this question in here to calm the fears of crazy fujoshi who got upset at the suggestion of reversibility last time.

What kind of tasks are they given each day?

Basically, one day they’re suddenly kidnapped and confined to a room, and every day they’re given a list of “tasks” to select from. If they don’t perform at least ten, they won’t be able to leave or be fed. To some degree the characters will make the choices on their own based on their personalities and relationships and so on, but at some points the player will be given the choice of task, or of how Daichi reacts [to a task] and that’s where the story will diverge [into routes/etc].

There is going to be some violence in this story, isn’t there?

There will be a few bloody scenes. Other than that there will be some grotesque happenings in extreme situations. But this isn’t a guro-focused title, so we’re still deciding whether all of that will be portrayed visually or not.

*Note: on Twitter Amemiya said there would be a function to adjust the display of guro and scat (like many of ClockUp’s other titles), this is probably factoring into the simplified body hair settings thing he addresses later

Tell us about what the sex scenes will be like.

Generally speaking, the tasks will be choices between Seiji physically harming Daichi or Daichi playing with Seiji [sexually] and harming him emotionally. The real key being to maintain a balance––either option would be unpleasant for both parties. That said, most of the options [affecting] Seiji are humiliating situations. To give a more specific example, it starts with a simple task like, “Daichi must give Seiji a handjob to ejaculation,” but [the tasks] gradually trend toward developing Seiji’s sexual response. There are a lot of scenes with vibrators and bondage type toys.

So about how much of the game is going to be sex?

Just going off my gut, I think it’ll be about 80% sex scenes. The CGs will probably be about the same proportion too. There are more than 15 scenes.

Was there anything you really wanted to do in particular in this game?

I’d probably have to say “making a relatively tough and healthy adult man cry for real” (lol)*. I wanna make it so the players would really buy it.

*Note: on Twitter Amemiya said the #2 thing he wanted to do in the game was for Daichi to step on Seiji’s dick and give him a footjob and that the licking-the-blood-from-a-nosebleed thing that he’s wanted to do since NTY!!! didn’t make it in this time because it just didn’t fit even though he thought he’d found the perfect scene for it––maybe next time!

I see the characters have body hair. Will there be a feature to adjust that like in your previous game?

That’s the plan, but it might be simplified a bit to reduce the number of CG variations needed. We’ll probably keep pubic hair set to on as default, but allow users to turn off everything else in the settings if they want. If we had an automatic ON/OFF function in our engine, that’d be great, but someone has to make each CG variation for each option combination. It’s a lot of work. I hope [the players] will understand.

Tell us where you are in production right now. Also, we’re really curious about when you’re planning to release.

Right now we’re about at the 30-40% mark. We’re aiming for a late summer, early fall release––while it’s still warm out. We’re trying our best.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say to to the readers?

This is going to be the kind of story about something horrible happening to a dear, close friend of yours and not only can you not do anything to help him, you’re the one who has to do the horrible things to him…––if that sounds like your kind of thing, I hope you’ll support us!

Just gonna more-or-less repost some commentary I made on Twitter here since I sperged a fair bit (so let me sperg even more about my ClockUp staffing theories):

So, I think a lot of people are probably wondering why so long since NTY!!! and why a mid-price title and not a full-length game. Well, first off I seriously doubt it has anything to do with how NTY!!! performed. I don’t have any insider info on parade’s numbers, but the LE sold out within a year of release (for a rough and probably not totally applicable comparison because there are too many unknown variables, Shingakkou took like… 3 years to sell out of it’s LE run iirc?) and the regular edition is just about sold out now and they’re printing another run. It also was the #3 best seller for MG last year.

I think the real reason is, uh… Well, I’ve had this hunch for a while that Amemiya might actually be the same person who goes by the name Akutsu Ryou at ClockUp. It was just sort of a random suspicion until Amemiya tweeted some more corrections for the artbook text… one of which was mistyping his own pen name as Akutsu Ryou somehow. Pretty strange mistake to make if you ask me! I might be wrong, but it seems to fit––you might be thinking, “Wait, Akutsu Ryou was a director on euphoria! How could NTY!!! be Amemiya’s self-admitted first time leading a game?” (okay you’re probably not thinking that since I doubt anyone reading this is also stalking ClockUp staff). Weeeeeell, if you read the euphoria staff interviews and look at the credits Akutsu’s only credited in what’s basically a production assistant/programming role; he doesn’t have any creative credits (for things planning/script writing/concept) prior to NTY!!!.

Anyway, assuming my (admittedly pretty tenuous) theory about Amemiya’s identity is correct, he would’ve worked on Fraternite, Maggot baits and Natsu no Kusari in a pretty substantial role since NTY!!!.

On the mid-price thing, I think it’s two things. One: according to the settei book stuff, NTY!!! ran way over schedule (like it was supposed to only take a year and ended up taking two+) and Amemiya seemed to really blame himself for it (probably was his fault in large part but it was also his first game in a lead creative role). He’s mentioned a few times on Twitter that he specifically wanted to do something simple and get it out quick this time.

The other thing is that ClockUp’s been putting out more mid-price titles in general lately (despite being separate brands, ClockUp and Parade are literally in the same office and use the same staff/resources––so if ClockUp’s schedule is packed, there’s no room for Parade). Some of them are just quickie nukige without a lot going on, but some of it seems like it might be an effort to speed up the production cycle to give more creative lead opportunities to staff (if Hamashima and Kurashiki are to be believed, staff get pretty much free reign creatively at the studio). Also probably worth noting that Amemiya’s always complaining about having lots of ideas for games but not enough time or resources to do everything, maybe that’s part of the motivation of doing a mid-price game too (er, in the sense that by doing a mid-price title, Amemiya might score another production slot sooner).

See, this is why I mostly use Twitter. Forces you to be concise ‘n stuff.

One Comment

  1. kia kia

    thank you for translating this, its a godsend and so are you

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