So, just got my hands on Daiteikoku, and umm…yeah. It’s mind blowing in more ways than one.
Anyways, quick summary is, you’re Tougou Tsuyoshi, who’s promoted to Minister of Japan’s Navy after the previous one got blown up by a backstabbing admiral while attacking the Chun Empire (China). Your task is to expand Japan because you can. The plot starts off basically pre-WWII, complete with countries that either sound similar to their real counterparts or something to that effect (Gamerica, anyone?) Oh, I probably forgot to mention that IT’S IN SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me repeat that, SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you can see, Alicesoft obviously took some uh…liberties when designing the leaders of their countries. Names are pretty humorous too, as Adolf Hitler becomes Retia Adolf, Stalin becomes just Katherine (Catherine the Great, not same time period though), Mussolini becomes Muccilini, etc. etc. The original admirals and characters are mainly from Japan and all the tiny nations that didn’t have much merit in WWII. Even the parody ideologies reflect the real ones. Fancism reigns in space Germany and space Italy (From here on out, I’ll just refer to the counter part countries here with just the space before it) with the population praising and pledging to serve their idol Adolf and Muccilini. And by idol I mean like y’know….think the Japanese version of idol and you’ll see where I’m going with it. Space Russia (or Space USSR if you’re being picky) is run by the idea of Sharism, in which EVERYTHING is shared, including women. Hell, I even saw “This month is ‘Share-your-woman’ Month” as the country’s status once. So yeah…a bit of a parallel with Communism, eh?
Japan has their own unique (I think they’re unique at any rate, gonna need to do research) admirals, but they’re far too boring to explain when compared to loli Hitler and Stalin.
Gameplay is a similar to Sengoku Rance in that you start off with one zone (Japan), and you have to expand like crazy. All your fleets (each commanded by an admiral) can have up to 4 ships in them, each slot potentially having a ship buff/debuff depending on the admiral. When you either send fleets to enemy territory or when the enemy launches an attack on you, you’re taken to the setup screen where you can order the admirals stationed in the region to attack a specific battlefield. A battlefield can have up to four admirals from both sides attacking at the same time, and it is impossible (as of what I’ve seen so far) to relocate an admiral once you’ve launched an attack. Battlefields for the most part have Influence, which is needed to win attacks/defense. 8 Stars worth of influence is needed to win, so say you send admirals out to and win two battlefields worth 5 and 2 stars, but you leave the last battlefield with only one star of Influence alone because you don’t have a spare admiral to attack. Technically, you’d lose because you’re short one star, so it’s important to factor that in when planning.
In battle, there are 6 stats that come into play: HP, Radar, Fighter, Laser, Missile, and Cannon.
HP is obviously the health of the fleet. When it reaches 0, well yeah figure that one out. Although as long as a fleet has 1 HP or more left, it can still continue to deal full damage.
Radar determines the speed of the fleet. The higher the rating, the more likely you are to go first in attacking. Generally, weaker ships have higher radar to compensate, while the heavier ones have lower radar.
Fighter, Laser, Missile, and Cannon attack are the four ways a fleet can deal damage. They also determine which fleets can attack first, since they have different ranges. Fighters deal damage first, followed by Lasers, Missiles, than finally Cannons as the fleets get closer and closer and those weapons become usable.
Radar rating can become irrelevant based on what weapons fleets are using. For example, say you have a fleet with 500 Radar, 120 Fighter damage and 300 Laser damage, and you pit it 1V1 with an enemy fleet with 1000 Radar and 1000 Cannon damage. While normally, the enemy fleet would move first because it has the higher Radar rating, that only applies to if your fleet only has Cannons. Since your fleet has weapons with higher range than the enemy, you could attack twice in one go and hopefully knock out the enemy before they KO you.
Visual Novel Aspect
The VN aspect of Daiteikoku is kinda the same as Sengoku Rance. Talking to specific admirals enough gives them a buff of sorts, and I’m pretty sure H-ing the women gives Tougou buffs in the same way that Rance’s satisfaction increased when he boned, allowing access to bonuses. There are also key choices you can make throughout the VN that may seem innocuous at first glance, but can have a MAJOR effect on your game. Although I’m not going to spoil any of the choices for you :P But other than that, fairly typical Alicesoft Eroge.
Like all Alicesoft games, they do an outstanding job of integrating great gameplay with…well, porn. And for those Rance haters, Tougou is far less of an asshole than Rance. Rance does show up in the game, although I haven’t triggered his event yet. Anyways, I’d definitely suggest checking it out if you have a thing for Turn-Based Strategy, space pr0n, or maybe just a good challenge. This game is HARD with a capital HARD. I jumped into it blindly, but I’d definitely suggest reading a manual or something before starting. Unfortunately, the current English patch only translates 35% of the text. It’d be enough to beat the game since the important things like battle interface are fully translated, but most of the side scenes are still in the native Japanese. So yeah, Alicesoft, LOCALIZE YOUR GAMES ALREADY!