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Kudakero-Hanihon

Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! -The Final Super Story- (当って!! KUDAKERO!! -The Final Super Story-) is an unproduced strategy romance game developed by various Alicesoft staff members as a side project during the late 1990's.

The brainchild of Orion, one of Alicesoft's in-house artists and a self-described idiot, Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! was envisioned as a parody of traditional romance simulation games in which the cast of heroines each possessed outlandish and alienating character traits, such as believing themself to be a snail or being a giant fighting robot. While outwardly tongue-in-cheek, Orion's desire to make the game was sincere and allegedly predated even his time at Alicesoft. After first unveiling the concept to the public in 1998, he eventually succeeded in recruiting several of his coworkers to assist him in developing a game based on it in 1999. While the project was never officially recognized by Alicesoft, the team worked extensively on it during their free time, which culminated in the development of a working prototype only a few months later.

Despite their early success, the KUDAKERO!! development team were quickly impeded by a combination of their hectic work schedules limiting their time available to work on the game and Orion's own fickle tastes causing him to repeatedly make major changes to setting, gameplay, and character details. This led to the project repeatedly going on extended hiatuses that only further exacerbated Orion's urge to undo the progress that had already been made on it. After three years of on and off work, all further development was frozen indefinitely at the end of 2001.

A notable quality of KUDAKERO!!'s long and tumultuous development history was the extensive coverage it received in Alicesoft's bimonthly user club newsletter Alice's Battery Bomb. Content relating to KUDAKERO!! appeared in ten of the newsletter's twenty issues, with the initial pitch for the game being featured in its second installment. These features blurred the line between being genuine and ironic, playing off of the game's ridiculous premise and frustrating development by emphasizing and exaggerating Orion's overreaching and inconsistent vision for it, often to the point of obfuscating any actual information. The decision to stop work on the game at the end of 2001 was partially motivated by Alice's Battery Bomb ceasing further publication at the same time, with Orion describing its close association with the newsletter allowing for a "clean break" when it ended.

An attempt to resume work on KUDAKERO!! was kickstarted in mid-2005 by Fumya, Orion's wife and a member of the original development team. While Orion began working on a new version of the game wholesale using the company's System40 engine, no further updates were given on it past its initial announcement.

Development History[]

Date Summary
December 1998 Orion first introduces the world to Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! through a feature in the second issue of the Alice's Battery Bomb newsletter titled "The Romance Game I've Always Dreamt Of".

Sometime later, he convinces his coworkers Kuribayashi, Fumya, and Mu~min to help him make his dream a reality. The team agrees to develop a mini-game based on the concept, with the aim of having it featured in a future installment of the Alice CD bonus disk. The project is not officially sanctioned by Alicesoft, forcing all work on it to be done after hours.

July 1999 A master outline for KUDAKERO!! that includes a breakdown of its gameplay, plot, and characters is completed.

Character portraits for the game's main cast are completed.

Initial drafts of the game's CGs are completed.

A script is partially written.

A prototype build of the game is completed.

Busy schedules put work on hold.

Golden Week 2000 Orion attempts to make various promotional goods for KUDAKERO!! such as a decorative plate of the character Makiko Katatsumori.

He fails.

May 2000 A demo movie for KUDAKERO!! is featured on the Alice CD included with copies of the game Yoru ga Kuru! It ends with the message:

[Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! 2000]

[Or maybe]

[Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! 2001]

[We'll manage with another year...]

August 2000 A second feature on KUDAKERO!! appears in the 12th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb introducing the revised setting, new characters, and early gameplay screenshots. Orion insists to readers that, despite appearances of the contrary, the game is not a joke and is actually being developed. He also states that he expects the game to be a shooter due to Kuribayashi's involvement with it.
October 2000 A third feature on KUDAKERO!! appears in the 13th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb. Hosted by Kuribayashi, it extensively covers the game's development and gameplay for the first time. Contrary to Orion's assumption in the previous issue, Kuribayashi reveals that the game is actually a 3D polygonal fighting game in which the characters' clothing is destroyed as they take damage animated in-house using motion capture technology.

Despite showing off a rendered 3D model of the character Q and multiple photographs ostensibly depicting various staff members hard at work making the game, Kuribayashi ends the segment revealing that everything he said was a lie, cryptically saying that the actual game was intended to be a "Mystery-Tracking-Dice-Card-Sugoroku-Style Love Adventure".

December 2000 A comic drawn by a third-party artist depicting the first meeting of KUDAKERO!!'s protagonist Sanzou Hattori and the character Makiko Katatsumori is published in the 14th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb. Alongside it is a statement from Orion confirming that the game would not be released before the end of 2000 and urging readers not to expect it to ever be released. He then contemplates converting the entire game into a series of comics.

The first two newsletter features for KUDAKERO!! are republished as part of the 20th Century Alice commemorative artbook alongside full-color portraits of several of its characters. In the comments section, Orion insists that he is working hard to keep the project from falling apart but worries that he will feel compelled to redesign the characters if he does not complete it soon.

February 2001 Orion releases an announcement in the 15th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb claiming that limited edition cards based on the cast of KUDAKERO!! for the Harem Master Trading Card Game would be distributed at various conventions and events throughout the year.

At the end of the announcement, he admits that he was lying and had simply designed the cards himself for fun.

April 2001 Orion previews several rough sketches of KUDAKERO!!'s event CGs in the 16th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb and encourages readers to interpret what the game's story will be from them. He states that, though production is moving slowly, progress is being made. Immediately afterward, he admits that this was a lie and that no work has been done on the game for quite some time.
June 2001 An excerpt from a development meeting for KUDAKERO!! between Orion and Fumya is published in the 17th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb. It reveals that production has repeatedly been stalled by Orion's compulsive need to make alterations to gameplay and character designs as his tastes waver and change. The meeting ends in violence after Orion reveals that he now desires to make it an online game.
August 2001 A fourth feature on KUDAKERO!! appears in the 18th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb. In it, Orion finally breaks down its gameplay after failing to do so for an entire year after first unveiling it to the public.
October 2001 Orion abruptly announces in the 19th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb that he wants to include a mahjong mode with online capabilities independent of the main story in KUDAKERO!! He also states that the game is unlikely to be finished by the end of 2001 and shifts its planned release date to sometime between 2002 and 2003.
December 2001 The final issue of Alice's Battery Bomb is published. Orion announces that work on KUDAKERO!! has been frozen indefinitely and apologizes for being unable to follow through with his claim that the game would be released in 2001. While he states that there would be no further updates on the game in the foreseeable future, he declares his desire to someday make the game a reality once more and thanks readers for following him on his journey. Before signing off, he reveals that he now intends to complete the game's mahjong mode before resuming work on its main story.

Redesigns for the characters Rie Kubo, Keiko Shobuzawa, and Chiyoko Hashizume are included alongside this message.

February 2003 The character Makiko Katatsumori is featured as an additional character included in the user club bonus disk included with mail-ordered copies of the Alicesoft game Mamanyonyo.
April 2005 At a loss for a topic to cover in the second volume of Alicesoft's irregular magazine Haniho, Fumya eventually decides to run another KUDAKERO!! feature.
May 2005 In a surprising display of guts, Fumya suddenly expresses a desire to resume work on KUDAKERO!! and asks Orion to write a manuscript about it to include in the upcoming issue of Haniho.
July 2005 The second issue of Hanihon is released, along with a retrospective on KUDAKERO!!'s development written by Orion. In it, he reveals that he could not come up with any ideas for what to write about and contemplated simply publishing a complete outline of the game's story before stopping himself on the grounds that doing so would prevent it from ever being released. With Mu~min, the original programmer of the game, unavailable, he has set about learning to use Alicesoft's System40 development kit to begin work on a completely new version of the game.
May 2018 The second installment of the Alicesoft Creator Works artbook series is released to commemorate Orion's career. The promotional artwork for KUDAKERO!! previously used in the second volume of Hanihon is republished within it.
July 2018 A four volume collection of concept artwork and scenario data written and drawn by Orion throughout his career titled ORION SCRIBBLES WITH CROQUIS is released. An extensive amount of previously unseen artwork and plot details for KUDAKERO!! is included among its contents.

Gameplay[]

TADA-vs-Orion

TADA and Orion perform motion capture for Atatte!! KUDAKERO!!'s state-of-the-art 3D fighting engine. (lie)

Described as a "Mystery-Tracking-Dice-Card-Sugoroku-Style Love Adventure" by its creators, descriptions of Atatte!! KUDAKERO's gameplay in its numerous newsletter previews were deliberately obtuse and often included blatantly false information such as claims that it would be a 3D polygonal fighting game. This vagueness was based partially on the reality of its development, with Orion's inability to commit to a definitive gameplay structure being one of the primary causes of the game's incomplete state. Nonetheless, at least two prototype builds of the game have been created, with the first receiving a substantial description in the 17th issue of Alice's Battery Bomb. Later comments from Orion include references to completely new gameplay features not mentioned anywhere in this outline, including online play and a mahjong sub-game. Whether these additional features were indeed intended to be incorporated into the final game or were merely meant as jokes is unknown.

From Alice's Battery Bomb Issue 17[]

The protagonist, Hattori, and the game's female characters all move around a rectangular board, the former controlled by the player and the latter all by the computer. Every turn, the player must draw from a deck of 40 cards to determine what action Hattori will take. While the majority of cards allow Hattori to move around the board, others can be used to stop a female character from moving for a set number of turns. Only one of the cards drawn can be played per turn, with the remaining ones being shuffled back into the deck. By landing on a space with a female character, the player is able to interact with them and raise their affection level with Hattori. When all 40 cards in the deck have been played, the chapter will end. There are six chapters in total, with the final one culminating in Hattori marrying the female character that he has the highest affection level with. Certain spaces on the board also contain special events with characters such as Hattori's mother and Dr. Inubushi, which grant special effects to the player.

Characters[]

Name Profile 1 (from Alice's Battery Bomb issue 2) Profile 2 (from Alice's Battery Bomb issue 12) Profile 3 (from Hanihon Magazine volume 2)
Kudakero-Chara-Sanzou

Sanzou Hattori (服部 三蔵)

The long-awaited protagonist. He looks aloof, but that's only because he doesn't think very hard about anything. He's a very simple-minded guy and a bit of a late-bloomer when it comes to love. His hobby is sleeping. The protagonist. A very simple-minded guy who's a bit of a late-bloomer when it comes to love.

He prefers to move at his own pace and enjoys sleeping, but possesses an unusual worldview that causes him to think of even the out-of-the-ordinary as ordinary.

He's a semi-psychic who can understand what others are thinking without them needing to say anything.

A superman who always does whatever is asked of him.

Kudakero-Chara-Makiko

Makiko Katatsumori (蝸牛 真貴子)

A girl who has been teased about her name since childhood and has come to believe that she is actually a snail.

Can often be found near hydrangeas on rainy days and spends most of her time in her shell during the winter, making it difficult to talk with her.

Don't miss the fleeting moments during the evening showers!!

You must be there with her!!

That is the only way to prove you are a man who can truly love Makiko!!!

She thinks she's a snail because of her last name... but the truth of the situation is a mystery.

She seems to be the protagonist's kouhai.

A girl who thinks she's a snail because of her name.

The reality of the situation is a mystery.

Kudakero-Chara-Q

Destruction Robo Q (破壊ロボQ)

An 18-meter-tall android.

Horrified that she was created for the sole purpose of destruction, she blew up the secret base of her evil creators! Now, she's your classmate.

However, her body is too large to fit inside the classroom so she stands outside to listen to lessons.

Soothe her heart as she sits alone in the distant mountains gazing out at the city!!!

An android born into this world to conquer it.

Possesses a tender heart.

An 18-meter-tall freshman.

At first glance, she looks like an ordinary girl, but she's actually an 18-meter-tall Destruction Robo (android).

Although born a robot, she has a gentle personality.

Kudakero-Chara-Tsubaki

Tsubaki Makihara (牧原 椿)

A girl who has admired you since junior high. She has extreme blushing disorder and erupts in a torrent of nosebleeds whenever she gets excited.

Careless words are strictly off limits!! She has a complex about it.

Little by little... don't rush into things. Be a true gentleman and accept her passionate feelings!!

The protagonist's childhood friend.

Extremely susceptible to blushing and gets nosebleeds easily.

Is a bit delusional.

The protagonist's childhood friend.

Extremely susceptible to blushing and gets nosebleeds easily.

Is a bit delusional.

Kudakero-Chara-Rie-1

Rie Kubo (久保 理恵)

Kudakero-Chara-Rie-2

Ver. 2

A devastatingly shy girl. As she grows to like you more and more, she starts punching everything around her!!

It's the most overblown and terrible way to respond to embarrassment, and proof that she really likes you!!

Steel yourself and take her love with all your might! All of it!!!

By the way, she'll quiet down if you offer her a puppy or a sip of alcohol.

A track and field club member and aspiring world-class athlete.

She has a promising future, but is awkward when it comes to love and can only express her feelings with her fists.

A devastatingly shy girl.

An outstanding sportswoman who is on track to become an Olympic athlete.

However, when it comes to love, she's an extremely shy person who can only speak through her fists.

Kudakero-Chara-Keiko-1

Keiko Shobuzawa (菖蒲沢 慶子)

Kudakero-Chara-Keiko-2

Ver. 2

At first glance, she seems like an ordinary girl: friendly and not strange at all. But every single word she says is censored for broadcast!!

She seems to be speaking normally, but will you be able to understand her?

A member of the broadcasting club. She's the protagonist's senpai, but all of her words are censored for the airwaves!!

You must listen to her heart and embrace her gently!

The protagonist's senpai. A member of the broadcasting club, she is an upstanding person, but every word she speaks is censored.

Listen to her heart and embrace her gently.

Kudakero-Chara-Yoshinaga

Yoshinaga Kaibutsu (吉永 怪物)

A girl whose name is the only strange thing about her. She is an extremely ordinary girl who doesn't stand out at all among this group. Only her name is strange. Completely unremarkable. Her name is quite strange, but she doesn't stand out. Other than that, she's a completely ordinary girl.
Kudakero-Chara-Chiyoko-1

Chiyoko Hashizume (橋爪 千代子)

Kudakero-Chara-Chiyoko-2

Ver. 2

She has the outward appearance of a young girl. Her actual age is a mystery.

She is the protagonist's homeroom teacher.

She always wears a duck costume during school festivals. Is anxious to get married.

She loves yakisoba-pan.

She looks like a little girl, but is actually an adult woman who is desperate to get married.

Her favorite foods are beer and yakisoba-pan.

Kudakero-Chara-Nanasu

Nanasu Arihori (有堀 七須)

The protagonist's best friend, a genius scientist.

Don't worry about it if you feel like you've heard his name somewhere before.

Kudakero-Chara-Inubushi

Dr. Inubushi (犬伏 博士)

A man who was once the scientific director of the MT Army, a massive evil organization.

He was the one who embedded an emotion chip into "Q", and together the two of them destroyed the organization.

He lost his body during the battle and is now a machine.

By chance, he becomes an acquaintance.

Kudakero-Chara-Hermit

Hermit (仙人)

......A kappa?

Plot[]

Note: The following is based on setting information included in ORION SCRIBBLES WITH CROQUIS and may conflict with later revisions of the scenario.

Q-vs-Wiz-Robo

Q battles a robot sent by the MT Army.

Atatte!! KUDAKERO!! follows Sanzou Hattori, an inexpressive yet highly perceptive high school student, as he lives out his day-to-day life with his eccentric friends and classmates. At the beginning of the game, he meets and befriends Makiko Katatsumori, an underclassman who believes herself to be a snail, and Destruction Robo Q, an 18-meter-tall super robot-turned transfer student. The game's six chapters each cover a portion of the school year and end with a special seasonal event, including a trip to a hot spring, a school cultural festival, and Christmas break. Who Hattori spends these events with is dependent on who he has grown closest to at the time they occur. Hattori will consummate his relationship with the girl he spends Christmas with provided he has spent the events of each of the previous chapters with her.

The story sees a sudden shift toward action during its climax, in which Hattori and his friends are forced to do battle with the evil MT Army, which was revived after being destroyed by Q under the leadership of the son of its former director: Hattori's friend Nanasu.

Trivia[]

  • The title Atatte! KUDAKERO!!, is a Japanese phrase that literally translates to "hit and break" and is used to describe striving toward a goal with everything you have similar to the English phrases "go for broke" or "give it your all".
  • The name "Sanzou Hattori" is a play on the famous Sengoku era warlord Hattori Hanzou. The historical Hanzou is remembered in pop culture as a silent, fiercely loyal, and highly competent ninja, closely matching how Hattori is described.
  • Makiko Katatsumori's last name is the Japanese word for snail.
  • Yoshinaga Kaibutsu's last name is a Japanese word that literally translates to "monster".
  • The kanji that make up the name Chiyoko can alternatively be read as "Thousand-Year Child", referencing the character's childish appearance relative to her adult age.
  • The character Nanasu Arihori strongly resembles Nanas Alphoria, the protagonist of the Alicesoft game Mamatoto in both appearance and profession. His first name is phonetically identical to Nanas' but spelt using kanji rather than katakana while the kanji that make up his last sound similar to two of the syllables in Nanas'. The MT Army that he is eventually revealed to lead uses the two letters that make up the stressed syllables of Mamatoto, the country that Nanas leads in his game. Furthermore, Nanasu's father, who appears only in silhouette in concept artwork, resembles Kakaro Alphoria, the father of Nanas, while the MT Army's main battleship, the Pandora, is named and modeled after the summon used by the final boss of Mamatoto. Various giant robots used by the MT Army are similarly modeled after certain Kids featured in Mamatoto, including Fightan (renamed Taitan and resembling the gigantic Fightan featured in Mamatoto's manual), Blocken, Wap-Wap, and Wiz. These numerous references are presumed to be a side effect of the majority of KUDAKERO's scenario being written during the development of Mamatoto.
  • According to Orion, Makiko Katatsumori and Destruction Robo Q were envisioned as the game's two main heroines over the rest of the female characters. The two are consistently displayed the most prominently in artwork of the cast.
  • According to Kuribayashi, Orion prepared naked version of the character portraits for the game's entire female cast and Nanasu.
  • According to Kuribayashi, Orion attempted to incorporate Alicesoft's development director TADA into the game as a "secret character" but was vehemently refused permission to do so.
  • Artwork featured in the 14th issue of the Alice's Battery Bomb newsletter displays a character not featured in other promotional artwork for the game: Polymatus (ポリミタス, porimitasu), a snail-like creature ostensibly from space that accompanies Makiko. Artwork included in ORION SCRIBBLES WITH CROQUIS depicts Polymatus assuming a "battle mode" where it obtains a large and imposing humanoid physique, though it is unclear if this was actually intended to appear in-game or was simply a joke drawing. The name Polymatus is derived from the Polymita genus of snail.
  • Artwork featured in ORION SCRIBBLES WITH CROQUIS depicts an additional female character added around 2001 that goes unnamed in her design sketches. At first resembling a stereotypical alien with pitch black eyes and elongated fingers, she is seemingly redesigned to resemble a one-eyed hitotsume-kozou yokai. As the character is not featured in the cast list given for the game in the Haniho retrospective, it is unclear whether she was incorporated into the scenario or not. The latter concept would eventually be repurposed into the Rance Series character Nogiku.

Gallery[]

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