It’s already May 27 in Japan, marking the 29th anniversary of the release of the legendary dating sim Tokimeki Memorial, and Konami is playing with our feelings.
The publisher opened an official Twitter account for the series ahead of the celebration of the 30th anniversary next year.
The first post includes artwork of the game’s heroine Shiori Fujisaki and the following message.
“With your support, “Tokimeki Memorial” celebrates its 29th anniversary today! Thank you very much!
We will continue to work toward Tokimeki Memorial’s 30th anniversary, so please follow and support us!”
The artwork is designed by the original artist Masashi Kokura, with an additional message from him, mentioning that Shiori-chan had a great influence on both the history of video games and his own life.
The original game was released in 1994 for PC Engine CD and it received several ports over the years, the most popular of which is probably the one for SNES port released in 1996, titled Tokimeki Memorial: Densetsu no Ki no Shita de (which translates as Heartbeat Memorial: Under the Legendary Tree).
The plot is fairly simple but has been extremely influential in the dating sim genre and Japanese romantic games in general. The player plays the role of a high-school student who is in love with his childhood friend Shiori Fujisaki. The gameplay is split between organizing the hero’s day to improve his stats in various fields and romantic encounter ahead of the climactic confession before graduation.
While it has never been officially localized, the SNES version received a fan translation last year, and you can find it on its official website.
The mainline series continued until 2009 in Japan with Tokimeki Memorial 4. After that, it has remained dormant with the exception of mobile games and the Girl’s Side spin-off series, which inverts the story featuring a playable female heroine dealing with male love interests.
At the moment, we don’t know what we can expect from what appears to be renewed interest from Konami in this old and glorious franchise. Could it be another effort to revisit its beloved games as we’ve seen with Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m keeping my expectations low because disappointment would break my heart.
In the meanwhile, if you’re interested in romantic visual novels, the beloved visual novel Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien is getting a crowdfunding campaign for a re-release for modern Windows which, if successful, could potentially result in a launch in English on Steam.