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Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
Cover art of the NEC PC-6001 version.
Cover art of the NEC PC-6001 version
Developer(s) Yuuji Horii / Armor Project
Chunsoft (Famicom, mobile)
Publisher(s) Enix
Square Enix (after 2003-04-01)
Writer(s) Yuuji Horii
Platform(s) NEC PC-6001, Sharp X1, Famicom, mobile phones (i-mode, EZweb, Keitai)
Release date(s) PC-6001
JP June 1983
Famicom
JP November 29, 1985
First mobile version
JP April 3, 2003 (EZweb)
JP May 1, 2003 (Keitai)
Second mobile version
JP January 13, 2005 (EZweb)
JP July 19, 2005 (i-mode)
JP January 18, 2006 (Keitai)
Genre(s) Adventure game
Mode(s) Single player
Input methods Keyboard (PC-6001), gamepad (Famicom)

Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (ポートピア連続殺人事件 ?, literally The Portopia Serial Murder Case), is a Japan-exclusive adventure game designed by Yuuji Horii and published by Enix (now Square Enix). It was first released on the NEC PC-6001 in June 1983, and later ported to other personal computers. Chunsoft ported the game to the Famicom on November 29, 1985, and to different mobile phone services starting in 2001.

The game is a basic investigation adventure in which the player must resolve the mystery of a murder by searching for clues, interacting with characters, and solving item-based puzzles. The game, especially its Famicom version, was received positively by players in Japan. An unofficial English fan translation of the Famicom version was released on June 16, 2006 by DvD Translations.[1]

Contents

Gameplay

The crime scene in the original version of the game.

Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken follows a first-person perspective and narrative. The various events are described with still pictures and text messages. The player interacts with the game using a verb-noun parser which requires typing precise commands with the keyboard. Finding the exact words to type is considered part of the riddles that must be solved. While sound effects are present, the games lacks music and save function.[2]

Setting and characters

Although the story of the game is fictional, it is set in real Japanese cities; mainly Kobe, in addition to a few sequences in Kyoto and Sumoto.[2] The president of a successful bank company, Kouzou Yamakawa (山川耕造 ?), is found dead by his secretary Fumie Sawaki (さわき ふみえ ?) inside a locked room in his mansion. Signs seem to indicate that Kouzou stabbed himself; however, the police sends a detective to investigate further.[3]

The detective in charge of the case is an unnamed, unseen, and silent protagonist who essentially embodies the player. He works with an assistant named Yasuhiko Mano (間野康彦 ?), nicknamed Yasu (ヤス ?), who is the one who actually speaks and executes most of the player's commands.[2] Other characters include, among others, Yukiko (ゆきこ ?), daughter of a man named Hirata (ひらた ?); and Toshiyuki (としゆき ?), Kouzou's nephew and heir.[3]

Re-releases

Artwork for the second mobile version of the game. Yasu is in the center, wearing a black suit and white shirt.

The game was ported to various Japanese personal computers.[4] A Famicom port was also released in 1985 and was the first adventure game to be released on that platform. The Famicom version was also the first collaboration between Yuuji Horii and Koichi Nakamura of Chunsoft, before Dragon Quest.[5] With no keyboard, the Famicom version replaces the verb-noun parser with a list of set commands selectable with the gamepad. A cursor can be moved on the screen to look for clues and hotspots. Additional sequences were also added, notably an underground dungeon maze reportedly inspired by Wizardry.[2]

The first mobile phone version of the game was branded as a part of a Yūji Horii Gekijō (堀井雄二劇場 ?, "Yuuji Horii Theater") trilogy along with mobile versions of Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin Okhotsk ni Kiyu and Karuizawa Yūkai Annai. It was released in 2003 on EZweb and Yahoo! Keitai services. It features a list of set commands similar to the Famicom version but also improved graphics, no free-moving cursor, and a save function.[4]

The games of the trilogy, which was retitled Yuuji Horii Mysteries (堀井雄二ミステリーズ ?), were re-released in 2005 and 2006 on the same services. The second Portopia version possesses the same content as the first mobile one, in addition to updated graphics, background music, a bonus function obtained after completing the game, and a hint option which nullifies the ending bonus if it is used too frequently.[2][3]

Reception

The Famicom version of the game sold 700,000 copies.[2] The game, along with Super Mario Bros., inspired Hideo Kojima to enter the video game industry.[6] In 2003, Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken ranked 19th in a poll to determine the thirty best Famicom games; the poll was conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography as part of its "Level X" exhibition.[7] The English-language webzine Retrogaming Times Monthly compared the game to the later-released Shadowgate, and recommended it to fans of "slower paced games that require [players] to think through puzzles".[1]

References

External links

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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Portopia Serial Murder Cases
Box artwork for Portopia Serial Murder Cases.
Developer(s) Enix
Publisher(s) Enix
Japanese title ポートピア連続殺人事件
Release date(s)
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801, Fujitsu FM-7, Sharp X1, MSX, Famicom
Players 1

Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (which translates to Portopia Serial Murder Cases), started out as the first text adventure ever made for early popular Japanese computers. It was designed by Yuji Horii. The game had a crude text parser that required players to type two words like "get" "book" to do all of you actions. Screens were drawn with lines and fills which took some time. As a detective, it was your job to gather clues and discover the identity of a victim's killer. The game was a huge hit and the inspiration for all future Japanese visual novels.

In 1985, Yuji Horii wondered how well a graphical text adventure game could do on the Famicom. He ported his game to the system, made a few minor tweaks to the store line, changed the input mechanism to a series of menues, and added one new feature: first person mazes inspired by a favorite game of Horii's, Wizardry. Portopia sold very well on the Famicom, proving that Japanese gamers were as interested in strategic thinking games as they were with faster paced games of skill. The success of this game led to Enix giving Horii the green light to start a very special project of his, known as Dragon Quest. Although it is a completely different style of game, fans of the ongoing Dragon Quest series have this game's success to thank for the series' existence.

Story

It's 1982 in Kobe City, Japan. The newly completed man-made Port Island in Kobe harbor is now a permanent fixture on the horizon. Evidence of the 6 month long PORTOPIA '81 Expo remains on the island, but the large crowds of visitors have all gone home and life is starting to return to normal throughout the Kansai region.

But then it happens. For no apparent reason, a successful banker named Kouzou was found dead in his house, the Yamakawa Mansion.

Two of his employees, his secretary, Fumie, and the security guard at the mansion, Komiya, found him dead inside the mansion's study, with the only door leading to the room locked tight. When they forced the door open to get inside the room, his lifeless body was found lying on the floor with a single stab wound to the neck and the murder weapon lying close by.

At first glance the evidence seemed to indicate Kouzou had taken his own life. But the facts in the case didn't add up. Kouzou was a successful business man and things had recently been going well for his company. There really didn't seem to be a reason for him to commit suicide.

The police are beginning to suspect foul play. This is where you come in. You are a detective. One of the best...

Along with your faithful assistant, Yasu, it is up to you to figure out who killed Kouzou, arrest them, and bring this investigation to a close. But it won't be easy. It will take all your wits and a little luck to follow the clues that bring the case to its exciting conclusion. And be careful, because the killer is still on the loose, and until caught, no one is safe...

Translation

Translated title screen

On June 15 of 2006, the ROM-hacking translation group know as DvD Translations released a patch that can be applied to the original Japanese Famicom ROM of the game, and translate it into English. They began the project around January 9th of 2004. The size of the Famicom program was the largest allowed on the Famicom without the use of memory mappers, so there was no way to increase the size of the game. As a result, replacing all of the text was difficult since English text tends to take up more memory than Japanese text. In order to aid players with this challenging game (in which some geographical familiarity with Japan is helpful), DvD translations provided players with a walkthrough for the game, and a zoomed in map of the areas of interest in Japan. The patch, and instructions on how to use it can be found here.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Walkthrough
  • Komiya and Fumie
  • Toshi
  • Hirata
  • Kawamura
Appendices
  • Optional items

External links


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