Heart & Heart is a cancelled dating-sim that was in development around 1991, planned to be published by M&M on Nintendo Game Boy. Players would have been able to insert real-life details of their loved one, such as age, Zodiac sign and blood group, and customize the sprite of the in-game girl. Then Heart & Heart would calculate the compatibility between the player and the girl, then maybe set a romantic date trying to choose the right questions and answers to win the girl.
An ad for the game was also published in Famitsu magazine (issue 157), but in the end Heart & Heart was never released. Here is the ad text translated by Google:
“In 1992, the ban on male-female dating live simulation was lifted, and her actual data was input. In addition, the eyes and looks are also montages. In addition, the game starts with her own data. An epoch-making experience that does not change from the real date is waiting for you. Whether she was able to escort well is shown by her compatibility diagnosis with her last. Since the data stock for 12 people can be done, there are 10 people and 10 colors to use. You can get data from that unrequited love daughter and use it later for compatibility diagnosis. Of course, even if she isn’t there, she can play a good game called Nampa Mode. For men and women, I have to make it myself, because I don’t want to be a Shinario. Now, really hone your dating skills. Soft Heart & Heart for Game Boy ”is in great shape!”
Shining Legend is a cancelled action RPG that was in development by Blueside for Nintendo DS. While the title could reminds you of SEGA’s Shining series, this project was not officially related to it. Blueside is mostly known for their work on the Kingdom Under Fire series and it’s composed by former Phantagram developers. The team initially announced this game as “Princess And Knight” in 2008 before vanishing for a couple of years and then resurrecting under the new title “Shining Legend”.
The game’s funny premise was a nice change in comparison with the usual epic RPGs:
“You’re a handsome, cunning prince studying abroad. You return to your home kingdom and find that not only has your father, the king, disappeared, but he’s left the kingdom in enormous debt. As creditors come knocking at your door, you discover that the neighboring kingdom’s seven princesses have run away after a little misunderstanding with their father and they’re now your traveling companions as you work to pay off the money your country owes. You have 800 days to pay this debt and win the heart of one of the beautiful princesses that accompanies you on your journey.”
Gameplay was also an interesting mix of RPG, hack & slash (with dozens of enemies on screen) and dating sim:
“Players have two main objectives during the course of the game: pay back their father’s debt and win the heart of a princess. Most of the player’s time will be spent fighting monsters and developing relationships with the different girls. “
“The prince, named Luchs […] will travel around the continent and complete up to 400 different quests to earn money. During these travels, he can actually be joined in battle by a princess, which gives Luchs access to different special abilities or team attacks. These attacks vary depending on the girl Luchs is courting. A princess may walk out of battle if the prince isn’t really winning her over. “
“Monsters in Shining Legend are both 2D and 3D affairs, which gives the visuals a very nice look. Most of the characters and lower-level creatures are just 2D sprites, but when Luchs faces off with a boss character, that monster will be a 3D model.”
Multiple story paths and endings were planned depending on how you would resolve the game’s quests, how many days you would need to pay off your debt and by choosing different relationships. More details about the seven princesses were posted online by Sword Machine in 2010:
Erika (19), who is the rightful heir to the Kingdom of Junon, and has trained rigorously for the position. She is also a childhood friends of Luchs. (She is the one in with the blue winged dress.)
Pofosh (18), who outwardly only cares about extravagant parties and traveling in her golden wagon, but inwardly feels very empty. (She is the one in the revealing pink party dress.)
Nana (16), who is obsessed with searching for ruins and relics, then keeping them in her room. Her collection is so large, she apparently lends some of her relics to museums. (She is the one in the short red dress holding the rabbit.)
Elara (16), who dislikes magic, and thinks the world would be a better place through the spreading of alchemy. She sometimes forces people to participate in her strange experiments. (She is the one in the green dress with glasses.)
Thimu (16), who was adopted from the fallen Kingdom of Sosan, and dreams of becoming a great pirate after reading about the legendary “Bloody Rose.” (She is the one with the long pirate jacket.)
Arphen (16), who is a half-elf, and obsessed with the lost elven civilization, hoping to rebuild their kingdom some day. (She is the tanned half-elf with light blue hair.)
Lorna (12), is the youngest of the princesses, and very shy. She enjoys sketching, and has the ability to predict the future through her drawings. (She is the blonde one with the sketchbook.)
While Shining Legend was never released on the Nintendo DS, in the following years Blueside reused their lost concept to create a somehow similar game for iOS, titled “Princess Pajama”. It’s a much more casual game, it only has 1 princess, game mechanics were simplified and character design was heavily revised.
It’s interesting to notice that Blueside was also the team behind a cancelled hentai dating sim titled “Shining Lore”, with was later changed into a MMORPG with the same name for Xbox and PC (which was also canned in the end). We can assume the “Shining” part of the name for the cancelled DS game was taken from their previous unreleased projects.
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