|“|| A man doesn’t settle for anything less than everything... |
Eliminate, perpetrate, penetrate!
The final goal is all of Osaka!
(c)アリスソフト Box art
(c)アリスソフト DVD case art
|Release date||November 30, 2001|
|Genre / Rating||Conquest SLG / 18+|
|Base price||￥8500, 2800|
Daiakuji (literally translating to “Great Big Bad Guy”) is a regional conquest strategy game developed by Alicesoft released on November 30, 2001. It is considered to be the first installment in the Dai Series; a line of titles connected through similar gameplay elements rather than story or characters. On May 26, 2006, it was re-released at a lowered price.
Daiakuji is notable for its colorful development history. Following the release of Persiom, Alicesoft began production on a new title in its flagship Rance Series. With the shadow of the monumental success of Kichikuou Rance looming over it, the tentatively-named Rance 5 carried high expectations, and was designed as large-scale RPG in order to meet them. As a result of various complications, however, the project was stopped and restarted two additional times, with each attempt requiring the creation of new assets.
Faced with mental and financial strain from the consecutive failures of three resource-intensive productions, TADA, the acting president of Alicesoft, chose to temporarily abandon the Rance series in order to begin development on a new game that would simultaneously be relatively inexpensive to create and enjoyable to work on. Using the basic framework of the popular Kichikuou Rance as a template, he conceived the idea of a strategy conquest game that would take place on a single static screen. To compensate for the reduced number of capturable regions, a greater emphasis would be placed on domestic affairs and financial management, along with an exponential increase in potential events associated with each region. To suit his personal desire to have a game with a lot of “unfortunate” girls in it, TADA pitched two scenario concepts that placed the player in the role of a “bad guy”: “Kaiju” and “Yakuza”, to his staff and asked them to choose between them. The “Yakuza” theme won by near-unanimous vote, and the new project immediately moved forward into development.
The scenario construction process for Daiakuji was deliberately made to be a relaxed and open-ended affair, with the one and only rule for all character and story ideas being that they had to be in the spirit of post-war Showa era Japan. In keeping with TADA’s desire to feature many unfortunate female characters, a focus was placed on allowing the player to perform numerous underhanded and villainous acts, with the erotic content also being made to be generally more extreme than in other Alicesoft titles. This design philosophy also carried over into the soundtrack, which developed a distinct psychedelic surf rock sound inspired by the music of The Ventures and Jitsuroku eiga Yakuza films such as Battles Without Honor and Humanity.
By the end of its conception, the cast of Daiakuji had ballooned to include over 100 distinct characters with unique associated events. While the game was initially intended to only have two enemy factions for the player to contend with, many more were eventually created to accommodate the growing roster size. Basic gameflow was also adjusted to better suit the large number of events, with certain content being made available only after clearing the game to encourage repeated play.
In the months leading up to its release, Daiakuji received an extensive marketing campaign, including numerous magazine promotions and advertisements and a large pop-up kiosk featuring a life-sized doll of the character Takega Satsu at various conventions. These promotions placed considerable emphasis on the game’s connection to Kichikuou Rance, with many claiming it to have even greater strategic gameplay and erotic content than its predecessor.
Daiakuji was met with critical acclaim and commercial success upon release, selling out of its initial production order within its first month on the market. Its profitability allowed Alicesoft to resume working on the Rance series without fear of having to succeed the legacy left by Kichikuou Rance, as well as begin development on a follow-up, Daibanchou, soon afterward. To this day, it continues to be regarded as one of the most popular titles the company has ever produced, with the character of Satsu in particular remaining a regular presence in Alicesoft-related merchandise.
A six-part OVA series based on Daiakuji loosely adapting the events of the Ehavilla Mecco story route was produced by Green Bunny and released in Japan from August 2003 to November 2004, with two additional oneshot OVAs being released in February and May of 2005. The series was distributed in the United States by Hot Storm Media and in Spain by SVA from 2004 to 2006 under the titles Daiakuji: The Xena Buster and Daiakuji: El Mercenario del Sexo (Daiakuji: The Sex Mercenary), respectively. In 2006, the OVA attracted minor international controversy when it was aired on the Spanish television channel La Sexta late at night, which drew ire from various media publications that accused the channel of advocating the production of child pornography.
Daiakuji places the player under the control of Yamamoto Akuji, the heir to a powerful Yakuza family, as he attempts to conquer all of Osaka; an alternate version of the Japanese city of the same name. The player begins with control over Midorigaoka, one of the city’s 34 territories, and must fight against various other groups, including rival crime syndicates, the local government and a burgeoning religious movement, to capture the rest. Much emphasis is placed on Akuji’s status as a “bad guy” with no moral fiber, with the player being encouraged to engage in various heinous criminal activities outside of battle, such as blackmail, torture and human trafficking, to get ahead of the competition.
Gameplay in Daiakuji consists of turns divided into three primary phases; an “Event” phase, a “Subordinate” phase and an “Action” phase. Each turn corresponds to one in-game week, with the game automatically ending if certain conditions haven’t been after a particular number of weeks have passed.
During the “Event” phase, the player is able to select from a list of various events available in any one of the game’s territories. These events have a variety of effects when triggered, including plot advancement, the acquisition of new items or characters, or nothing at all. Only one event can be triggered per turn, with new events becoming available depending on various factors, such as the stationing of specific units in certain territories.
During the “Subordinate” phase, the player is able to meet with any one of their recruited units in order to either train with them or offer them a payment bonus. Training with a unit allows them to gain experience points, as well as unlock a special combat skill when done for the first time, while giving them a bonus causes them to regain a portion of their loyalty in exchange for the player’s money. With the exception of characters with the “Duty” attribute, all units steadily lose a small amount of loyalty each turn, and will randomly leave the player’s forces between turns if their loyalty is allowed to decrease by a significant amount. If a unit is female, the player is also given the option of having sex with them when interacting during this phase, allowing them to regain a portion of their loyalty without sacrificing any money. The amount of loyalty a unit gains after having sex is dependent on Akuji’s sexual technique, which can be increased by meeting and having sex with Kanbara Yuuko during this phase. If the player has constructed a training facility, they are also able to force a female unit to be made into a prostitute, where their bodies can be sold for additional revenue.
During the “Action” phase, the player is able to distribute their units across any of their conquered territories, as well as any adjacent territories. Up to six units can be placed into a single territory at a time. Once the player has finished placing their units, they are given the option of attacking any territory they have units in that is owned or occupied by an enemy faction. Following this, they must also defend any of their own territory from being attacked by enemy factions. Every territory has a corresponding number of control points, which can be gained or lost depending on whether or not the player wins a battle fought in them. A faction gains control of an enemy territory after it succeeds in capturing all of its control points. Defeating over half of the enemy units present in a territory while attacking it rewards two control points, while defeating between a half and a quarter yields only one. Attacking a territory that has no enemy units present in it instantly grants the attacker three control points. It is possible to attack and defend regions multiple times within a single turn, but each attempt requires money to perform, with the cost of an action increasing exponentially each time it is done within the same turn.
Combat in Daiakuji generally occurs during the “Action” phase, and consists of battles between all units present within an attacked region, and can range from being one to six rounds long depending on the number of units taking part in a fight. During each round of combat, the player selects one from among their participating units to face off against one from the enemy side. Along with health, attack, accuracy and evasion values, every unit also has a set amount of stamina, which determines the total number of times they are able to launch an attack, and luck points, which are randomly activated at the beginning of an attack and prevent the enemy from fighting back. While stamina is replenished at a rate of one point per turn, luck points are finite and can only be regained under certain circumstances. Every unit falls within one of three range types, long-distance, medium-distance, and short-distance, which determine the priority of their attacks. Long-range units have the highest attack priority, allowing them to harm enemies and potentially interrupt counterattacks before anyone else, but are generally offset by having the lowest amounts of available stamina. Additionally, every unit is grouped under one of "types" relating to their affiliation, with certain units getting an advantage in successfully landing and evading an attack when pitted against a unit of a type they are strong against.
Barring a few exceptions, every unit is killed when all of their health is depleted in battle and removed from the game until a new playthrough is started. Health can be recovered by removing a unit from a territory and not deploying them between turns. If an enemy unit has its health lowered significantly by the end of a battle, it has a chance of being captured by the player. The player is able to interact with captured enemies at the beginning of the next turn, where they have the options of attempting to recruit them as an ally, torture them for information or items, execute them, or, in the case of captured female enemies, send them to a brothel to work as a prostitute.
It’s the dawn of a new era…
As the defeated country struggles to recover from the ravages of war, it is shaken by a new mandate:
All regional management institutions must be led by women.
Sometime later, Yamamoto Akuji, scion of the Wakame Group, the most powerful organization in the city of Osaka, returns home after spending years as a prisoner of war.
He is greeted by an unfamiliar man, who informs him that his family’s business is now under the control of Ichihashi Ran, his grandfather’s former mistress, and that he is no longer welcomed within its walls.
Before he has any time to argue, Akuji is swarmed by his former subordinates and, weakened by his time in captivity, beaten unconscious and left for dead.
Upon regaining his senses, he finds himself in the custody of the Youth Service Group, a small community patrol squad created under the orders of the government to disseminate the Wakame Group’s power.
Recognizing an opportunity, Akuji assaults his captors and forces their leader, Aoba Youko, to submit to his will.
With a foothold now established for himself, Akuji sets his sights on amassing enough power to reclaim his birthright…
...and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it done.
The battle for Osaka has only just begun!
|Lead Scenario Writer||Tori|
|Scenario Writer (Nago Cult)||Ueda Shogo|
|System Design, Artist (Oosugi Tsuyoshi, Shimamoto Jun, Rou Baisei, Nogi Shigehiko, Nogi Guard)||Purin|
|Artist (Yamamoto Akuji, Takega Satsu, Yamamoto Ippatsu, Haku Minka, Kaga Motoko, Nogi Kikuko, Henri Pelori, Tamanegi, Kohara Koharu, Ishihara Senju, Ichihashi Ran, Kamio Tsukinori, Morita Ai, Tsujiya Haruko, Kaga Tarou, Dr. Suteki, Dekao, Elite Yakuza, Minor Yakuza, Tatooed Yakuza, Dagger Yakuza, Mistress, Noyama Meguru, Fudou Mei, Kishin Raizou, Takeda Nozomi, Nagasaki Hatao, Ootani Yoshitsugu, Nobi Hikari, King Binonon, Tadayama Ichizu, Kimon Hajime, Kawahara Iori, Ootsuka Himeko, Kentou Kanami, Arbehess, Condi Go, Seyadatara, Daimaou, Aoihime, Kimura Danpaku, Kaneda Sakutarou, Komatsu Mai, Great King, Ninjin, Ilulakamui, Upasu, Amato Koutarou, Gouda Shin, Yanagi Akimitsu, Mutsu, Belladonna, Senki, American, Takayama Golgo, Takayama Kuroko, Takayama Yakuza, Emperor of the Universe, Young Man, Old Man, Boy, Meganekko, Drunk, Junky, SKI)||Orion|
|Artist (Priscilla Vadol, Kanbara Yuuko, Ehavilla Mecco, Seanel Brawn, Judy Caword, Cat Mecco, Johnson Benedict, Barbara Marigold, Sharon Ruth, Henry Rubin, B4, B5, Wime Officer, Wime Soldier (Female), Wime Soldier (Male), Momoyama Linda, Hasekura Heine, Hasekura Aen, Hasekura Kirika, Tate, Harukaze, Imagawa Kurusu, Sasaki Kanoko, Peach Boy, Peach Maid, Tomobiki Misao, Tanzawa Shizu, Sanrin Fubuki, Sandy Sandy, Nurse)||MIN-NARAKEN|
|Artist (Aoba Youko, Kako Mirai, Kinugasa Tomoko, Yuuki Noemi, Service Group Girl, Gal Burger Girl, Tsutsui Asagao, Honoo Donko, Nakayama Akari, Mori Kaoru, Karasuba Tsuki, Yamazawa Asami, Nakayama Taeko, Isuzu Imari, City Worker, Security Officer, Saotome Misuzu, Tsukie Rouna, Haguro, Pan'ichi, Tenkai Umine, Matsumoto Ryou, Pirate Girl, Ikeda Kana, Ikeda Ichigo, Souma Rin, Housewife, Schoolgirl, Girl, Guard)||Chomoyama|
|Artist (Yume, Tsukigase Nene, Komiya Youko, Toki Haruka, Yume's Manservant, Nago Follower (Male), Nago Follower (Female), Takei Tsukasa, Takei Ann, Sanada Denpa, Kujou Sourin, Yumuro Setsuko, White Wolf Dan, Mizuumi Kazuki, Hanny Building Worker, Saruto Inuo, Carikoriluri, Big Arthur, Hoshikuzu Yozora, Satou Tane, Hoshikawa Tsubasa, Takayama Hami, Takayama Rikupechi, Salesperson)||Onigiri-kun|
|Artist (Karasuma Ragou)||Mutsumi Masato|