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This Classic 90s Visual Novel Is Finally Out In English For The First Time

Tokimeki Memorial from Konami is the de facto visual novel game that defined all future visual novels. It’s basically the reason why most games adopt the dating sim/visual novel genre in hybrid form, or why titles like the Persona series added that element in its JRPG mechanics. Heck, it even inspired a C’s Ware hentai game tribute called True Love which came out a year later.

The 1994 game, which also features gameplay where you balance your school and social life while romancing the girl of your dreams, was never released in English until recently. The SNES port of Tokimeki Memorial, which was also for PC Engine, Windows 95, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn, was recently made available in English thanks to SNES patchers Translated.Games. It’s a dialogue-heavy game so it was no easy task translating and localizing everything.

The patch is under the name Heartthrob Memorial: Under the Tree of Legends (probably the literal translation of the full JP title), and you can pop this alongside the game in an emulator like Snes9x. The patch also adds in extra things not in the SNES original like an animated intro and voiced confession scenes, as well as the ending song. Plus, the team smoothed the rate of the scrolling tiled background, which was a common complaint about the original that’s fixed thanks to hardworking emulation scene folks.

I cannot stress how important Tokimeki Memorial is in video game design in general; it also had Castlevania: Symphony of the Night assistant director/writer/programmer Koji Igarashi writing for the game prior to the vampire killer series. He used his success of Tokimeki Memorial as a springboard to switch series.

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