When I made the decision to go back to playing Melty Blood in January 2021, I actually wrote down a list of Ten Commandments to help guide my return journey. One of those commandments was:
I will never rage, no matter the circumstances. Not at Nanaya, Roa, or any member of the cast.
I violated that commandment tonight, getting needlessly angry during an online casual match (against a beginner, of all people), making excuses, and hurling vulgarities at my monitor screen and punching my joystick — all because I was losing rounds due to the high connection delay to my Oceania opponent.
After the score went 5-4 in my opponent’s favour, I rage quitted out of frustration and didn’t even say “GG”, as is customary when netplaying in the Discord chat. Yet another commandment violated.
A few minutes later, I saw this conversation about me in our chat:
I was heartbroken. Tonight, I was completely impatient, and I felt ashamed for not meeting everyone’s expectations of what they thought about me.
Maybe some higher force or divine being is trying to reach out, to teach me a very important lesson today: If you can’t be a good loser, than you don’t deserve to be a good winner.
I’ve lived with a lot of internal anger locked away in my heart for the majority of my life. I couldn’t keep the lid closed tonight and everything just erupted. And in a freaking videogame of all things! Sigh.
Today I learned that someone called me an “ass” on social media, for something bad that I did years ago. I have no other response to this, other than to say: I’m truly sorry. Over the years I’ve reflected on what happened, and I regret some of my actions. However I cannot change the past, I cannot rewind time like Sothis, so all I can offer is my apologies.
I hope you will eventually be able to let go of the lingering negativity in your heart and just move on. Over the past couple of years, I’ve truly learned how terrible the spiral of vengeance can become. If we react to negativity with even more hate and anger, it becomes a self-destructive cycle that never ends.
Human beings are creatures of emotion by nature, it is ok to feel angry, sad, depressed, etc. What’s important is how we choose react to our emotions.
I am humble and mature enough to accept opinions and viewpoints that are different from mine, so long as your argument makes logical and articulate sense. I greatly enjoyed Wonder Woman 1984, I thought it was one of the best superhero movies to come from DC. But the entire online sphere of pop-culture reviewers and YouTubers disagree, they hated the movie — using exaggerated and hyperbolic statements like “unmitigated disaster” or “utter trash” to describe it.
Red Letter Media, the same YouTube channel that produced the Mr Plinkett character that I mentioned in my RWBY vs Demon Slayer post, is the only source to put forth a negative review that I can at least accept. I can understand where they are coming from, and why they dislike it, because they made the effort to explain their views in a mature and logical fashion:
1) There were too many villains in the movie. Cheetah was the weakest character and her transition from a jealous nerd to an “apex predator” made zero sense for her character arc (I agree with this).
2) Gal Gadot’s acting wasn’t very good in the sequel. I agree, her performance felt very “unnatural”, especially for important emotional scenes.
3) Diana’s arc is very weak in the sequel, especially compared to the first film, where she properly goes through the full Hero’s Journey to not only discover herself, but the unfamiliar world around her (I accept this argument).
4) The final duel between Diana and Cheetah was bad. I totally agree.
Now, compare this to stuff like, “I don’t f***ing care if you disliked the series,” or “WW84 is absolute TRASH!!” Which argument is better? Who the heck are you going to convince with such antagonistic and hostile language?
I can’t believe that people are getting so upset over a piece of ENTERTAINMENT. To be fair, I used to be guilty of this — I used to post incredibly vile stuff about shows that I didn’t like. But this is 2021 people. Times have changed, the world has gone to heck, let’s have some positivity and fun without trying to snipe each other to death on the freaking Internet.
Don’t like a movie or TV series? Move on to something else and let it go. Did you really enjoy something? Good for you, cherish the experience, go rewatch it.
I got into an “argument” on Twitter with a Snowflake. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience — what originally started as a simple retweet where I expressed my honest opinions with non-aggressive language and simple facts, was met with F-bombs and a poor rebuttal that offered no substance to counter my argument.
It’s just one random, anonymous stranger on the Internet with a pseudonym. I can take it, I have endured far worse things in life than to get upset over social media.
But I can’t imagine the same for Hana Kimura, who had to put up with dozens, possibly hundreds of hateful responses every time she tweeted. Rest in peace, I sort of understand what you had to go through.
By association, I can also understand why there are so many flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, and 5G conspiracy theorists these days. These people will blindly hold on to their misguided beliefs, even when presented with clear, irrefutable facts.
Edelgard was right all along. The world has become rotten because of blind faith and blind worship.
Released way back in 1999 by Type-Moon, the original Tsukihime「月姫」has earned an iconic status among old school gamers as one of the best, and most memorable visual novels from that era. From the moment you started playing, the story grips you by the hand and doesn’t let go — the author’s writing style, its dark themes, and distinctive cast of characters all combine to produce a uniquely unforgettable visual novel experience.
Tsukihime’s popularity would end up spawning Melty Blood in 2002, a spin-off fighting game that has since gone on to become one of the most widely beloved indie titles in the fighting game community. Its current iteration, Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code v1.07, was released in 2011 in arcades, and later ported over to Steam in 2016.
I started playing Tsukihime in April 2010 during a dark time of my life: my ex-girlfriend had cheated on me, and I retreated into the world of gaming as refuge. Within a month of finishing Tsukihime, I picked up Melty Blood: Actress Again and met up with the members of my local Melty community. Many of those folks are now some of my closest friends, whom I’ve traveled with to Japan for holiday vacations.
For most gamers, Tsukihime means something important to them. Perhaps it was one of their first visual novels, or their entryway into the Type-Moon fandom. For me, Tsukihime led me to Melty. It reignited my passion for fighting games, convinced me to invest in a joystick, and basically taught me everything I needed to know in order to improve as a fighting game player.
On 21 April, 2008, without warning, a Tsukihime remake was first announced in Tech Gian magazine. This was a period before videogame remakes and re-releases were commonplace, and yet a remake for Tsukihime made absolute sense. While the original still holds up today for its story, getting the actual game to run comfortably on modern widescreen systems was a bit of a hassle — the maximum window resolution was only 640×480. You either had to run the game in a super tiny window, or play it in fullscreen mode with an unsightly, over-stretched aspect ratio. Many visual-novel conveniences and conventions that we’ve come to take for granted were also missing from the original: there was no voice acting, and no scene select or scene-skipping function. A remake would serve the purpose of updating the technical aspects of the game to modern standards, while offering the chance to re-introduce itself to a new generation of gamers.
Time passed by. Weeks and months turned to years. Type-Moon’s very first work, Kara no Kyoukai「空の境界」、was fully adapted into a critically acclaimed movie series by 2009. Maho Tsukai no Yoru「魔法使いの夜」was released in 2012, a visual novel set in the Tsukihime universe that serves as a pseudo-prequel of sorts. Type-Moon’s most famous franchise, Fate/stay night, exploded into massive popularity thanks to ufotable’s highly successful TV anime adaptations of Fate/zero (2011) and Unlimited Blade Works (2014-15).
But where was Tsukihime? More information, screenshots, and artwork were released in the mid-2015 issue of Type-Moon Ace magazine (pardon my shaky, out-of-focus camera in the gallery below), but this did little to quell the concerns on everyone’s minds: why was the game taking so long to be released, seven years after its first announcement? This was just a visual novel, not some Duke Nukem Forever-level of a AAA game (DNF itself would be released on June 2011 after 14 years of development hell and mismanagement).
Fans were getting impatient. Memes were starting to form over whether the remake would ever be released — or if it even existed. Just like Half-life 3, the Tsukihime remake had turned into a gaming myth.
Time continued passing by. Lee Kuan Yew passed away; Donald J. Trump became President of the United States; the United Kingdom passed a referendum to leave the European Union.
Fate/Grand Order was initially released in Japan in July 2015, and eventually had a localised North American release two years later. This was the first time that a Type-Moon videogame had been officially translated and licensed for the west, further inciting Tsukihime fans. Type-Moon had jumped on the mobile gaming bandwagon, a clear money-grabbing endeavour to exploit Fate’s popularity. Was Tsukihime abandoned?
Slowly but visibly, a rift began to form among the community. On one side stood the old guard, the veteran fans who had been with Type-Moon the longest, the ones who knew about Tsukihime and what it stood for. They were frustrated at the Fate juggernaut and its seemingly oblivious fans on the opposite side — did they even know that the Fate series owed itself to the success and legacy of Tsukihime? Ask any casual fan of FGO or the Fate series and you’ll be surprised to discover that many of them aren’t even aware of Tsukihime’s existence.
The 10th anniversary of that fateful announcement, 21 April 2018, passed by without a peep from Type-Moon. Impatience quickly turned to despair. Visual novels were experiencing a major resurgence in 2018. Steins;Gate, widely regarded as one of the best modern visual novels ever made, was getting a re-imagined, re-visioned release on September 2018. 428: Shibuya Scramble, another critically acclaimed title originally released in 2008, was also being re-released on PC and consoles that year. Umineko, yet another revered visual novel, was getting an official, fully translated release for the first time on Steam and GOG in 2018. The Muv-Luv Kickstarter finally delivered all of its release goals in 2018 after two years of delays and problems with its publisher.
Notice a pattern? Visual novels were becoming popular again. Remakes and re-releases of old titles were suddenly flooding out of the woodwork, and yet Tsukihime was nowhere to be found.
In November 2018 a small glimmer of hope emerged when a Melty Blood character, Sion, made a cameo appearance in one of Fate/Grand Order’s story events. It was an acknowledgement perhaps, from Type-Moon, that the Fate series and Tsukihime were sharing the same canonical universe. But Sion was from Melty Blood, the fighting game spin-off. Where were Arcuied, Shiki, and the rest of the original Tsukihime cast?
At the start of 2020, before things went to hell, a Chinese animator by the name of ROCKMANLAB洛家 posted a short, 5-minute fan animation of Tsukihime on Chinese video sharing site BiliBili. It uses borrowed audio dialogue from the non-existentTsukihime anime, spliced with BGM tracks from the visual novel. It was a valiant effort, showing the incredible devotion that fans had for the visual novel, and perhaps offering us a glimpse of what a fully animated Tsukihime would look like in the 21st century with its updated artwork.
The final hours of 31 December, 2020, were uneventful. I was always an introvert and never attended New Year countdown parties. Not like parties were possible anyway during the pandemic. I played some Cyberpunk 2077 and briefly contemplated watching this year’s Kohaku song contest「紅白歌合戦」on livestream, but fell asleep on my bed at 9pm. I was feeling a bit groggy and decided to rest my eyes for a bit, only to accidentally drift off into dreamland.
At 11pm+ my body forced itself wide awake. I wasn’t disturbed by any noise pollution or outside interference, that’s just how my body clock functions. It knows how to wake itself up without an alarm clock, especially during important moments. I swiped my mobile phone out of sleep mode and looked at the time.
“Ah, 11.20pm, maybe I’ll go watch the New Year countdown on TV or something,” I thought to myself. My eyes glanced over to the top of my Android phone’s Twitter notifications, and my heart instantly froze.
Unbelievable. FUCKING unbelievable!! My body had woken me up for specifically for this announcement. If you ever needed proof of the existence of extra-sensory perception (i.e. ESP or “sixth sense”), this was it. My heart somehow knew it, my brain managed to receive it, and my body miraculously responded to it. My soul was not going to miss this announcement for the world.
Japan was ahead of Singapore by one hour, the New Year had already passed for them. I frantically checked the validity of the news to make sure that it wasn’t some Out of Season April Fool’s Joke or online troll, and landed on Type-Moon’s official webpage for Tsukihime. It was real. The Tsukihime remake was scheduled for release on Summer 2021 for PS4 and Switch.
I pasted a hyperlink to the news on our Melty Blood WhatsApp group and Discord chat. I scanned Twitter again, one more time, and saw that all of the Type-Moon accounts I followed were abuzz with the news. More than 12 years after the first announcement, and over 21 years (!!) after the original game’s release, it was coming. On the final moments of the decade, at the literal eleventh hour, I finally got my wish. I wanted to cry tears of joy after viewing the trailer, as the classic piano melody of the visual novel’s theme song began playing.
My Japanese gaming friend, whom I shall refer to as YNH, wished me Happy New Year at about 1.20am. I replied to him that the release date of the Tsukihime remake was finally announced, to which YNH responded, “Satsuki’s route is coming!!!”
YNH mainly plays first person shooters and online party games like Fall Guys. He doesn’t really play fighting games or Melty Blood. And yet, even he knows what Tsukihime is about!
Livedoor, a very popular Japanese news blogging site, wrote a short news article about the Tsukihime remake, and published it at the stroke of midnight (Japan time). The headline of the article reads, translated to English: “Remake of legendary Tsukihime game gets resurrected for PS4 and Switch release next summer, teaser trailer and cast revealed.”
“Legend” is no longer an embellishment or hyperbole. The myth (or meme?) has been slain, miracles can happen, 2020 is finally over, the Tsukihime remake is coming. As I am finishing this blog post at 5.30am, more than six hours after the announcement, I find myself looking out of my bedroom window. I am trying to find the moon, but it is absent from my vantage point, hiding somewhere else. The morning sky and clouds are tinged with a hint of red, signifying that it might rain soon. What a perfect way to end this post then, with Tsukihime’s signature tagline:
Well done Girls’ Frontline. You’ve joined a rare, select group of videogames with emotionally powerful and stirring ending themes.
This song also accompanies a major boss fight in the game — a bittersweet encounter between two adversaries who had no choice but to battle each other. Unlike many boss themes in the videogame genre, there is no confrontational glory or heroic catharsis. This is not an “epic” showdown, it’s purely a melancholic, almost tragic song.
Girls’ Frontline is supposed to be a mobile game. Time and time again, it continues to surprise me by exceeding my expectations of what a mobile game can achieve. Brilliant stuff.
Playing videogames and reading about videogames consumes most of my free time. I try to play everything except for rhythm games. Also enjoys sports, animation, comics, Japanese language studies, and the occasional American TV drama. Learning violin.