Add one more title to the growing list of Japanese-style RPGs being ported to the Nintendo Switch, and make it a weird one. A full 22 years after its release, Nintendo is planning a Switch port of a very strange, “anti-RPG” called Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, developed by Love-de-Lic and Ascii Soft for the original PlayStation in 1997. Nintendo made the announcement during their Direct presentation on September 5, but for now the audio is only available in Japanese.
Developer Love-de-Lic was founded by previous members of Square, storied developer of beloved RPGs like the original Final Fantasy titles and Chrono Trigger. Maybe spending so much time focused on the RPG genre got the team wondering why no one ever seems to mind the “hero” barging in to their house to steal all the stuff in the cabinets, or why no one minds that the “hero” is slaughtering every living thing in sight? Good guys seem to leave a lot of chaos in their righteous wake. Moon is all about flipping JRPG tropes around and taking a look at the genre from a different perspective, showing you what’s left of the world after the hero’s through with it.
Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is being reinvigorated for the Switch by Onion Games, a company created by original members of Love-de-Lic. According to the game’s official website, “one night, under the silvery light of a full moon, a young boy is suddenly sucked through his TV and into a videogame — a classic JRPG called Moon World.” Moon itself is a fourth-wall breaking, avant-garde take on the traditional JRPG format. One twist is that the player character follows behind Moon World‘s hero as the protagonist grinds levels by obliterating the wildlife. The player character can’t get stronger that way; instead he releases the souls of the fallen and collects their “love,” which helps to rebuild the Moon World. The player character also takes an active interest in the lives and goings-on of a varied cast of NPCs, which also helps grow the “love” in the world.
Check out some gameplay footage from Moon: Remix RPG Adventure below. The video comes from the channel Xbuster6. The game’s text is entirely in Japanese (being a take on traditional JRPG games, there’s a lot of text) but it’s worth checking out the personality-filled, cheeky art and music in Moon.
According to an interview with Gematsu, Moon’s lead writer Yoshiro Kimura says that Moon will release in Japan in October, and receive a full English translation “soon” by Kotaku’s Tim Rogers after for Western markets. Kimura also remarked during the interview with Gematsu that Moon for the Nintendo Switch will include the 8-bit style (short) RPG game called Fake Moon. This prequel content is meant to give anyone picking up Moon out of curiosity some background with the Dragon Quest style of RPG games that Love-de-Lic is poking fun at.
Moon’s release in the west will mark the first time that an official English translation of the “anti-RPG” is available, and will definitely excite fans of JRPG history. Moon seems like a truly unique and influential take on a very traditional genre. Moon can be compared in some ways to EarthBound, another parodic JRPG that was titled Mother 2 in Japan (there are still people who are holding out for an official English port of Mother 3) or the more recent indie sensation Undertale.