Little Dragon’s Cafe is a new, original game created by Yasuhiro Wada, who created the Story of Seasons series. In the Little Dragons Cafe, on a remote island outlying from the mainlands, our protagonists, a set of fraternal twins must venture out with a baby dragon to find ancient recipes and magical ingredients to maintain the operation of their coffee shop. Also, there are minor spoilers ahead, so tread carefully.
Players can feel the sense of family-hood in the story setting of Little Dragons Cafe. Once up a time, there was a family, a mother and her two kids, living in their cafe on an island, and every day, the kids were helping their mother with her business. Until one day, the mother got sick and fell into an endless sleep, and her kids didn’t know what to do. Then, an old wizard came to the cafe and pointed out that the mother’s life wouldn’t last much longer, but he gave the kids a mysterious dragon egg and told them the only way to save their mother’s life was to raise a dragon. Although this old wizard seemed to be suspicious, he promised to take care of the twins and guide them to save their mother. This is where the story of Little Dragons Cafe begins.
Even though the trailer and the English website already show a lot of game mechanics and the story setting, the reason for the mother’s sickness is unknown. However, on the Japanese website of Little Dragon Cafe, there is an interesting quote of the mother implying that she is half dragon and half human, and her quote can be translated as “The blood flowing in my body…the day finally arrived.”
The game, despite not being release yet, is already rife with symbolism. Kids trying to save their mother from sickness and trying to manage the cafe can be symbolically seen as the younger generation trying to take care of the country from the older generation.
In the trailer, the mother and the kids are living peacefully in their cafe (A peaceful society of Japan after World War II), and then the mother, who is half dragon half human, (The mix of Japan and American capitalism, which lead to Japanese economic miracle) gets sick (the potential economic crisis). The old wizard (Americans) brings the kids (Japanese younger generation) a dragon (the answer of an economic miracle) and guides them to save their mother by raising the dragon. Kids are dealing with various customers (domestic and international social issues) and trying to manage the cafe.
This isn’t the first time game designer Yasuhiro Wada has brought deep symbolism into the digital storytelling world, and he has also been in other storytellers’ works, such as the adapted animated film Tales of Earthsea (2006) by Studio Ghibli, Shôjo Tsubaki (1992), and Midnight Diner (2009).
In 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake occurred in Japan. Up to 6,434 people lost their lives, and it was the second worst Japanese earthquake in the 20th century after the Great Kantō earthquake. In 1996, the first game of Story of Seasons series came out. At the time, people, who lost their home because of the earthquake, found a sense of hope and family-hood in Story of Seasons. Because of this, the title got super popular in Japan, and it later found worldwide success. With someone like Yasuhiro Wada under control of Little Dragons Cafe, we can fully expect another knockout title.
Little Dragons Cafe will be on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 at the end of August 2018.