|“||The curtain rises on the Second Great Space War...||”|
(c)アリスソフト Box art
|Release date||April 28, 2011|
|Genre / Rating||SLG / 18+|
|Rebels and pirates|
|Clear Bonus Love|
Daiteikoku (literally translating to "Great Big Empire") is a regional conquest strategy game developed by Alicesoft released on April 28, 2011. It is the third installment of the Dai Series; a line of titles loosely connected to one another through similar gameplay elements.
Set in a backdrop of an intergalactic space opera, Daiteikoku is a satirical retelling of the Second World War in which the Japanese Empire emerges from the brink of defeat to conquer the rest of the known universe. Compared to its predecessors which were based primarily around era-specific pop culture, almost all of its setting and characters are derived from actual historical events, albeit with numerous creative liberties taken. To avoid attracting controversy for its subject matter, a block was placed on all official Alicesoft websites in the lead-up to Daiteikoku's release that prevented them from being accessed by all non-Japanese IP addresses. This block remained in place for several years afterward, but was eventually lifted for most regions in late 2018.
The game's soundtrack was released as Alice Sound Album Vol. 21. A drama CD tie-in, Daiteikoku drama CD kinkyū sakusen!~ Sakuramau onsen ryokan nite, was released with certain copies of the game.
Daiteikoku is notable for its long and tumultuous development history. TADA, the original director of the project, had an interest in making a grand strategy game based around tactical naval combat since the beginning of his career as a professional game developer, citing the PC-8000 and PC-8800 titles European War and The Glory of the Allied Fleet as two of his primary creative influences. After experimenting with the concept in 1997's TYPE ZERO, he returned to the idea around the time of the wildly successful release of Daiakuji in 2000. A noted fan of World War II military history, TADA desired to expand upon the themes established in Daiakuji to create a game in which the Empire of Japan could escape from its historical losses and overthrow the rest of the world. The project was shelved indefinitely due to its ambitious scope, with TADA reorienting his focus toward the company's flagship Rance Series and serving only a supervisory role in the production of Daiakuji's immediate follow-up Daibanchou.
Formal development for Daiteikoku finally began at the end of 2008 alongside the then-untitled eighth game in the Rance series. In October of 2009, Tori, a scenario writer for Alicesoft who had worked closely with TADA during the production of the latter half of the Rance series, announced her resignation from the company. Her exit prompted TADA to temporarily put work on the eighth Rance game on hold in favor of devoting his full attention toward completing Daiteikoku. Tori assisted with writing portions of Daiteikoku's story while she was still a part of the company, making it the final Alicesoft title to credit her among its staff.
Daiteikoku's gameplay was at first intended to be a dramatic departure from its predecessors, utilizing a real-time combat system with fully 3D models that required the player to carefully monitor both domestic and military affairs at once. Its system design was directly inspired by the PC-98 title Legend of Galactic Heroes, with its outer space setting also taking influence from the aforementioned series. This version of the game reached far enough into production to be advertised on the official Alicesoft website, and was given a projected release date of winter 2010. Development was eventually brought to an abrupt end after the first playable prototype was finished as a result of it being what TADA described as "not fun" for a myriad reasons, including having an unreasonably high difficulty level and frequently experiencing severe graphical slowdown. While efforts were made to correct these flaws, they were ultimately found to be too intrinsically linked to the gameplay system itself and the project was forced to be scrapped and restarted from the ground up.
The late stage development shift of Daiteikoku had tremendous repercussions for Alicesoft. In June of 2010, an official announcement was posted on the company's website stating that production of all other games had been put on hold to focus on finishing the new version of Daiteikoku. The company did not release any major titles throughout the year as a result, leading to massive financial losses and downsizing. In July of the same year, TADA announced that he would be stepping down from his position as director of game development within Alicesoft to turn all of his attention toward completing the Rance series, citing his poor handling of Daiteikoku's production as evidence that he was unfit for the responsibilities of the title. In a 2019 interview with Famitsu magazine commemorating his retirement from the industry, TADA described the development of Daiteikoku as the greatest failure of his professional career and admitted that he had considered retiring in disgrace during the fallout before resolving to remain with Alicesoft to assist it in recovering. TADA summarized his thoughts on the making of the game in a blog post released after his retirement, where he stated "It was something that I had always wanted to do but, in the end, I just couldn't."
Daiteikoku was eventually released to the public in April 2011, three years after it had first entered development. The final version of the game was considerably closer to its two predecessors in design, featuring turn-based combat and sprite-based visuals. While a commercial success, selling over 200,000 units within the year, it was met with mixed critical reception, with many complaining about its slower pace and punishing difficulty.
Daiteikoku is the final Alicesoft game to feature Masato Mutsumi among its production staff. Previously credited as "Mucchi", Mutsumi served as one of the company's primary in-house artists for nearly two decades, providing character designs for many of its most popular games. Mutsumi had already formally left Alicesoft by the time Daiteikoku had entered production, with all of his work on the game being done as an outsourced third party artist.
Daiteikoku is set in a universe in which the human race inhabits clusters of interconnected star systems which together resemble a map of the planet Earth. The player is placed in control of Tougou Tsuyoshi, the newly-appointed Naval Minister of the Empire of Japan, which has been pushed to the brink of ruin after an ill-fated campaign through the Manchurian star system. An eccentric playboy and single father, Tougou has no greater ambition beyond sleeping with all the beautiful women in the universe and building a peaceful tomorrow for his daughter. Under Tougou's leadership, Japan will be brought to either a new dawn or its final destruction.
Unlike its predecessor games, which focused on one-on-one combat, Daiteikoku is centered around intergalactic naval warfare between large fleets of starships. Rather than have direct combat abilities of their own, each playable character is an admiral capable of commanding their own fleet of ships. There are over one hundred playable admirals to recruit and dozens of ships they can command, allowing for a wide range of customization.
Every admiral has three main values which determine the performance of their fleet: Command Slots, Command Points, and Skills. Command Slots determine the total number of ship types an admiral can have in their fleet, and range from one to four. Some admirals have special attributes assigned to certain Command Slots which can positively or negatively impact the performance of ships placed into them, making them better or worse suited for handling particular types of ships. Command Points determine the total size an admiral's fleet can be. Larger and sturdier ships generally cost more Command Points to equip than smaller ships, giving admirals with higher Command Point totals more flexibility in how their fleet can be designed. Skills are abilities unique to an admiral that always take effect regardless of what Command Slot a ship is equipped to, making them the main differentiating factor between admirals with similar Command Slots and Command Point values.
As admirals merely influence the performance of the ships assigned to them, it is the individual strength of the ships that make up a fleet that determine the bulk of its power. In addition to HP, which determines the amount of damage it can sustain, ships have four different varieties of attack attributes: Aircrafts, Lasers, Missiles, and Cannons. Each attack attribute enables a fleet to attack once per round of combat and take priority over each other in descending order from how they were listed, with Aircrafts acting first and Cannons acting last. Every ship also has a Radar value which determines whether a fleet will take priority when attacking an enemy using the same attack attribute. Certain varieties of ships have unique abilities which influence their performance in battle, such as submarines, which can negate damage dealt from all attack types provided that they are the only ship type within their fleet and the enemy does not possess a skill that enables it to damage them.
Basic gameflow in Daiteikoku is broken down into three main phases: the Strategy Phase, the Tactical Phase, and the Event Phase.
During the Strategy Phase, the player is able to move their admirals and their respective fleets across a map of star systems. Fleets can move at a rate of up to two star systems per turn, and are only able to move when completely free of damage. Fleets placed into enemy star systems can engage in offensive combat during the Tactical Phase, while fleets placed in player-owned star systems can defend against attacks from bordering enemy systems. The player can also purchase and develop new ships for their fleets during this phase, which cost resources gathered from the player's star systems. Each star system has its own Public Peace value, which begins at zero when a system is first acquired and increases if an admiral is stationed within it at the end of a turn. Star systems only generate resources when their Public Peace is maximized, making it imperative to maintain order in each of them.
During the Tactical Phase, combat is initiated with any enemy star system the player is stationed within or that is attacking the player's star system. When invading an enemy star system, the player is made to position their available admirals into one among several areas within it. Stars are earned by defeating the enemies stationed in these areas, with up to three rounds of combat being granted to to accomplish this. A certain value of Stars needs to be obtained in order to capture a star system, and the player will receive an automatic game over if they fail to do so within the three allotted rounds of combat. Admirals cannot be moved between areas once placed into them, making initial placement key to achieving victory. It is impossible to retreat after beginning an invasion, meaning the player must avoid losing at all costs. Once conquered, the player is given the option to build one of several facilities within a star system, which can influence the strength of their admirals, the amount of revenue generated between turns, or unlock new ships.
During the Event Phase, the player is able to engage in a variety of different character-based events. These events include recruiting new admirals and gaining access to new ships. Completing an admiral's individual events increases their effectiveness in battle by increasing their total Command Points and, in select instances, granting them new Skills. Erotic scenes can also be unlocked with female admirals by progressing through their character events, which are visual differentiated from normal events by a pink coloration and a heart icon. Only one event can be triggered per turn and, while there is no hard limit to the total number of turns allowed to pass, the player is not expected to trigger all available events in the Event Phase within a single playthrough.
At the end of every turn, enemy factions are allowed to take action. Special events involving the state of the governing nation within a star system may trigger during these instances, with the state of a system's forces potentially altering as a result of them. The progression of these events may be altered depending on how the player chooses to advance through the game, and in certain cases branch off into alternate story paths.
If certain requirements are fulfilled within a playthrough of the game, an alternate campaign known as King Core Mode can be unlocked. This game mode places the player in the role of King Core, the ruthless leader of an uprising of cyborgs intent on upending all of society across the galaxy, rather than Tougou. Compared to the main story, King Core Mode does not allow the development of new ships for the player's fleet, the repairing of damaged ships, or the development of facilities in captured star systems, making resources drastically more limited. Female admirals can be captured by the player's forces after invading certain star systems, allowing access to erotic scenes featuring content far more extreme than in the main game during the Event Phase.
Long before the universe united, its many planets were inhabited by small human factions. Nations were established, yet navigation to other regions in the universe—essentially making contact with others—was impossible. Such travels at the time would have required hundreds of years.
However, The Empire of Aeris soon discovered strange bodies scattered throughout the universe. Upon further research, they learned these, hence called "warp gates," enable one to instantly move from one location to another. This advancement allowed many regions, previously isolated from each other, to begin making contact—thus beginning the Age of Discovery.
Over time, major powers were established through conquests, invasions, and submissions. The current universe is the very result of this.
It is now 939 A.D, and conflicts continue. At the summit is The Empire of Aeris, the world's largest nation, still at large due to their warp gate technology. They vow to unite the universe and restore peace to the world. In contrast, the Empire of Japan—the world's oldest nation—is nearly ruined after prolonged wars with The Empire of Chun.
The flames of war between worlds are about to erupt, engulfing the entire universe.
A major update patch for Daiteikoku was released through its website in May of 2011. Along with fixing several glitches present in the launch version of the game, most notably the ability to access the debug menu at will, this update included numerous gameplay renovations based on recurrent player complaints, as well as several quality of life improvements. These changes include:
- Pre-battle scouting that enables the player to see the enemy's forces before entering into battle with them.
- New warships
- New events
- The option to change the facility within a region after it is constructed.
- A New Game Plus feature that allows immediate access to all Fish Market ships acquired in previous playthroughs.
- The ability to perform emergency repairs on damaged fleets, instantly restoring them to fighting condition for a fee.
- A Custom Admiral creator that enables the use of player-made characters as admirals if certain conditions are met.
The patch can be found by following this link.
|Director, System Designer||Ittenchiroku|
|Artist (Tougou Tsuyoshi, Tougou Maki, Mikado, Shibagami, Akiyama Keiichirou, Yamamoto Mugen, Koga Hitomi, Nagumo Keiko, Tanaka Raizou, Ozawa Matsuri, Yamashita Rikori, Ugaki Sakura, Gotou Misaki, Hiraga Tsunami, Colonel Akashi, Chief Lady-in-Waiting Haru, Male Japanese Admirals, Female Japanese Admirals, Male Japanese Army Officers, Scarlet Tougou, Coronea Bishop, Eagle Douglas, Carol Kiring, Cathy Bradley, Female Gamerican Admirals, Gigamacro, Microlita, Quattro Ako, Hanitora, Higuchi Gouyoku, Male Chunese Admirals, Felipe Espana, Rosa Espana, Shira Shimeru, Lycatus)||Onigiri-kun|
|Artist (Sarah Britain, Mary Britain, Eliza Britain, John Lawrence, Victory Nelson, Claude Montgomery, Aerisian Colony Governors, Male Aerisian Admirals, Female Aerisian Admirals, Palpuna Coloured, Clione Al-Iman, Hannah Rock, Koo Rothsch, Dorothy Neumann, Frank Roose, Frith Halsey, Lara Manny, Lisa Litton, Male Gamerican Admirals, Gamerican Scientists, Deganawidah, Black Horse, Spedio Woman, Emperor Xiu, Lin Hua, Lan Hua, Female Chunese Admirals, Visber, Alps, Zorph Muffett, Uusha, Male Civilians)||MIN-NARAKEN|
|Artist (Retia Adolph, Grecia Goebbels, Ermi Doenitz, El Rommel, Eisen Manstein, Nonzich Himmler, Trieste Stettin, VTVN, Male Doktschen Admirals, Female Doktschen Admirals, SS Officers, Taira Eichi, Fukuhara Izumi, David Keanuhawk, Kuchiki Isabella, Devil Dwight, Johnny A. Nexon, Saffron Veda, Agni Pushan, Femu Beko, Aerisian Colony Admirals, Mel to Ladden, Zen to Ladden, Takeda Nozomi, Quetzal Hanny, Hannies, Alfhild, Scandinavian Admirals, Pluepet, King Core, Princess, McKinley, Truman, CORE Admirals, Gua Maral, Rance Khan, Shinba, Yuan Equestrian Fleet, Dora Princess, Dora Worshipers, Great Monsters), Unit CG||Orion|
|Artist (Katerin, Milya, Mira Goepe, Lolikov Banra, Unagi Banra, Ryuuko Banra, Juzan Zhukov, Lydia Rokossovsky, Mallon Kondratenko, Big Sorge, Snow, Male Soviet Admirals, Female Soviet Admirals, Soviet Spies, Curry Girl)||Masato Mutsumi|
|Artist (Muccilini Venice, Yuri Julius, Pietro, Male Italinan Admirals, Female Italinan Admirals, Charlotte Parthenay, Louis the 80th, Louis the 81st, O'French Admirals, Rasshara, Maumau, Behonma, Vilmé Meer, Madarascalan Farmer)||Geppei|
|Artist (Yubari, Female Japanese Army Officers, Monster Princess Toruka, Elder Ninikato, Apoli Men, Allied Soldiers, Female Civilians, Civilian Children)||Ebi Chili|
|Artist (Goron Eundra, Harmah Eundra)||K|
|System CG, Effects||Senya Kirishima|
|Opening Movie||Masato Matsune|
|Opening Theme Vocals||Miyuki Hashimoto|
|Opening Theme Lyrics||HIRO|
|Early Version Unit CG||Kuribayashi|
|Original Draft, Supervision, Sales Manager, Producer||TADA|