|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows PC|
Rewrite (リライト Riraito ) is a Japanese visual novel being developed by the visual novel company Key that will be a DVD playable on a Microsoft Windows PC. Rewrite is Key's ninth game, along with other titles such as Kanon, Air, and Clannad. The gameplay in Rewrite follows a plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters. As indicated by the title, rewriting is the theme of the game's scenario, and the basis of the story is set in a high school setting. The tagline for the game is, "Could it possibly be rewritten, that fate of hers?" (書き換えることが出来るだろうか。彼女の、その運命を。 Kakikaeru koto ga dekiru darō ka. Kanojo no, sono unmei o. ). The gear in the logo contains the kanji of the Japanese zodiac.
Rewrite's gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent simply reading the text that appears on the screen which represents either dialogue between the various characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often, the player will come to a point where he or she is given the chance to choose from multiple options. The time between these points is variable and can occur anywhere from a minute to much longer. Gameplay pauses at these points and depending on which choice the player makes, the plot will progress in a specific direction. There are five main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. To view all five plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different decisions to progress the plot in an alternate direction.
Rewrite is set in the fictional city Kazamatsuri (風祭市 Kazamatsuri-shi ) where treeplanting and afforestation have caused the city to become overgrown with trees and flowers in much the same way that other cities are filled by buildings. However, while most of the city appears to be rural, there are many traditional city elements as well. While set in a modern setting, the city also gives off a strange sense of nostalgia. The basis of the story is set in a high school setting. The first half of Rewrite primarily consists of the characters interacting in many everyday, enjoyable scenes. The latter half, however, is more serious, emotional, and carries a sense of mystery to the plot.
Itaru Hinoue, normally only working on the art and character design for Key visual novels, heads the project's planning. During the time when Key was developing Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life, Hinoue had more free time since she was just helping Fumio with the character design, and that is when Hinoue got the initial idea for Rewrite. Despite Key having the two artists Hinoue and Na-Ga as co-art directors with their sixth game Little Busters!, Key went back to having Hinoue as the sole art director and character designer, as was with Key's first three games Kanon, Air, and Clannad. However, Na-Ga assists with the computer graphics, along with Shinory, Mochisuke, and Minimo Tayama. Background art is headed by Torino, who has worked previously with Key during the production of their first three games. Rewrite will be the first of Key's visual novels to feature a 16:9 image aspect ratio instead of the previously-used 4:3 aspect ratio. The school uniforms for the heroines in the game are old designs that Hinoue created and used in dōjinshi (self-published work) before.
For work on the scenario, Key has employed Ryukishi07 of 07th Expansion, the creators of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni game franchise, and Romeo Tanaka, known for his work on Yume Miru Kusuri and Cross Channel; Yūto Tonokawa returns after his help on the scenario for Little Busters!. Hinoue nominated Tanaka for the scenario staff after she played Cross Channel and became a fan of his work, and Tanaka drew up the entire scenario framework. For Ryukishi07, the Visual Art's president suggested around autumn 2007 that Key ask him to join the scenario staff for Rewrite. The music in the game will be composed by Key's signature composers Jun Maeda and Shinji Orito. Maeda will also contribute as the quality controller for the game.