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A Belated Plug for True Remembrance (2X Ren’Py Port)




I’m on vacation, which as a dad, is usually more exhausting for me than not being on vacation. That means no rants about the evils of third-person direct address in VN translations this week — sorry! I just don’t have it in me.

Instead, I thought I’d give a long overdue plug to a project I helped out on last year: ff80c38’s 2x Ren’Py port of True Remembrance. And by “helped out on,” I mean ff80c38 did everything; I simply pitched in with a little Photoshopping and typesetting at the very end. This was a total passion project on his part, and it shows.

If you’re not familiar with it, True Remembrance is a short kinetic novel released by Shiba Satomi in 2003, then gussied up and re-released in 2006. (insani subsequently published a wonderful English-language translation of it two years later in 2008.) I’ve always had a soft spot for this VN, in part because it’s not afraid to be quiet and contemplative. It underplays its emotions rather than underlining them and, as a result, feels more like a found storybook than a modern trope fest. There’s a plot, of course — there are guns and spies and dystopian futures and unexpected twists — but to TR’s credit, it’s never about those. The visual novel’s gaze stays fixed on its characters, exploring their empty spaces and pondering how they might be filled, if ever.

True Remembrance is not a perfect VN, not by any means. The art is on the simpler side, which some might consider a plus, and the game’s writing often stumbles when it comes to comic relief — pretty much any scene in the café, for instance. Still, its measured tone is a rare find, and for that, I treasure it.

The original freeware release of True Remembrance only ran on Windows; this Ren’Py port adds Mac and Linux to the roster. It also supports higher resolutions, hence the 2X identifier. And let me just say that, across the board, ff80c38 approached this port with utmost respect for the source material. Not a letter of the script was changed, and great care was taken in resizing (or in some cases, recreating) graphics for the new resolutions.

Finally, I can’t stress to you enough that this version is entirely unofficial, released late last year in hopes it might help a few more people find True Remembrance. So listen: if you’re not running Mac or Linux and/or don’t really care about higher-res assets, I urge you to pick up the original English release at insani’s site instead. It’ll do ya good. But if that's not feasible, for whatever reason, please think of ff80c38’s project as another snowy back alley into Shiba Satomi’s world.

Download: Windows / macOS / Linux

Postscript: Why-oh-why isn’t Mimei of the Transmission Tower, the author’s other VN, translated yet? Seriously. I know insani was considering working on it at one point, but that was years ago. This has long been one of my white whales, and I’d love to be able to read it in English before the world ends sometime in late November.


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I remember reading (and subsequently reviewing) this a while ago - one of those hidden indie VN gems, really. I personally feel a bit... weirded out by upscales, but I can understand that an upscale done with a well-suited algorithm at no time limit might look better than whatever your GPU will give you.

As for Mimei, I had never heard of it before, and therein lies at least part of your answer :P

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This was and still remains one of the best free doujin vn's out there; I'd actually go to such lengths as to say anyone who hasn't read it yet should feel awfully bad and guilty about it. It's definately worth a read, especially if you're a fan of Sakurai and WAB series, since her and Shiba's writing bear a lot of similiarities and Shiba is a master when it comes to skillful usage of moody settings.

That aside, if you're a proud owner of a 3DS (or simply have an emulator), there is a renewal version available, called TRUE REMEMBRANCE ~記憶のかけら~, released in 2012, which - suprisingly - almost no one knows about. It's worth a grab, mainly because of new, polished art and music, as well as new content.


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They added only the omake which - and this is just my opinion of omake in general - is garbage :P  I liked it the original art style better, now a fully voiced version that would have been a nice add-on totally worth paying even on pc..
Didn't know this novel existed https://vndb.org/v2677:o I will give it a try one of these days 

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