Clear (クリア Kuria?) is an adult Japanese visual novel developed by Moonstone which was released on August 24, 2007 playable on the PC as a DVD. An all ages version of Clear, published by Sweets, was released on February 19, 2009 for the PlayStation 2. Clear is Moonstone's sixth game; Moonstone has also developed Gift. The gameplay in Clear follows a plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters. Before the game's release, a manga based on the story, drawn by Japanese artist Yukiwo, was serialized in the seinen magazine Comp Ace between June 2007 and May 2008, published by Kadokawa Shoten. An image song single was released in May 2007 three months before the game's release. A vocal mini album was released in September 2007. Drama CDs have been produced, along with a single short story collection.
The gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent on simply reading the text that will appear on the screen; this text represents either dialogue between the various characters, or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often, the player will come to a "decision point" where he or she is given the chance to choose from options that are displayed on the screen, typically two to three at a time. During these times, gameplay pauses until a choice is made that furthers the plot in a specific direction, depending on which choice the player makes. There are five main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. In order to view the five plot lines to their entirety, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and choose different choices during the decision points in order to further the plot in an alternate direction.
Clear was first introduced in Japan, in limited and regular editions, on August 24, 2007 as a DVD playable on a Microsoft Windows PC. The limited edition came bundled with three additional gifts: a rectangular clock with an image of Miki looking out on a beach, a hardcover illustration book with images from the game, a drama CD which came with the book, and a two-disc original soundtrack. An all ages version of Clear, published by Sweets, was released on February 19, 2009 for the PlayStation 2.
Clear's story is set on the island Harukajima. The protagonist, Kōichi Yukino, used to live on the island, but moved to Tokyo as a child. Kōichi comes back from Tokyo to this very ordinary and small island off the coast from mainland Japan and lives with his grandfather. When he returns, a part of his childhood memory on the island is missing. Kōichi is not a normal human; he is a type of blood-sucking vampire, though he cannot attack people.
- Kōichi Yukino (行野 光一 Yukino Kōichi?)
- Kōichi is the male protagonist in the story. He is a type of blood-sucking vampire and has come to attend his current school because this secret was exposed in his old town on an island offshore Japan. Even though he does drink blood, due to a certain rule he cannot attack people.
- Natsuki Yukino (行野 無月 Yukino Natsuki?)
- Voiced by: Saki Minase
- Natsuki is Kōichi's younger female cousin. After her parents died, she was adopted into his family as his sister. After her brother transfers schools, she does as well so she can still go to the same school as him.
- Miki Tsukimura (月村 美姫 Tsukimura Miki?)
- Voiced by: Shōko Mimura
- Miki is Kōichi's childhood friend. She has a graceful personality, and is thought to be very beautiful. She belongs to the Volunteer Club which makes her popular around town. She is also skilled at Aikido.
- Nonoka Okamoto (岡本 ののか Okamoto Nonoka?)
- Voiced by: Marina Ōno
- Nonoka, otherwise known as Nono-chan, works as a maid at Kōichi's house, though she often makes many mistakes. She has amnesia so has become a live-in maid until she can remember anything about her old life.
- Haruno Motomachi (本町 春乃 Motomachi Haruno?)
- Voiced by: Hanako Kusano
- Haruno is an apprentice miko at a shrine, though this is only something that is part-time. She is haunted by a ghost, and became an apprentice miko so she could figure out how to get rid of it. Despite this, she usually has a cheerful personality.
- Sayu Miyagino (宮城野 紗由 Miyagino Sayu?)
- Voiced by: Soyogi Tōno
- Sayu always carries around a small doll named Sayurin designed to look similar to her. Due to her youthful personality and appearance, she is often mistaken for a child.
A manga, under the title Clear Itsuka Tatta Ano Oka de (Clear いつか立ったあの丘で?), was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Japanese seinen magazine Comp Ace between June 26, 2007 and May 26, 2008. Despite the manga being released before the visual novel, the story is based on the game and is illustrated by Japanese artist Yukiwo. The first bound volume was released on March 26, 2008, and the second followed on June 26, 2008.
A single short story collection entitled Clear Short Stories is written by Nikaidō Kageyama and was first published in Japan by Harvest in February 2008 with Miki and Sayu on the cover drawn by the staff of Moonstone. An art book entitled Clear Visual Fan Book was published by Ichijinsha on April 26, 2008 with Miki and Natsuki on the cover.
Music and audio CDs
The game's opening theme is "Glass Pane of Loneliness" (硝子のLoneliness Garasu no Loneliness?), sung by Riryka. The game has two ending themes: "Crystal Love" sung by Kazko, and "Brilliant Days" by Riryka. There are also three insert songs: "Bitter sweet pain" by Haruka Shimotsuki, "Eternal" (エターナル Etānaru?) by Rekka Katakiri, and "One-way Shining" by Chata. The first music single for the visual novel, entitled "Perfect Tears", was released on May 23, 2007 in Japan as an image song single by Lantis; this single contained an image song, and a remix of the game's opening theme. The game's original soundtrack was released with the limited edition version of the game; the soundtrack contained two discs, along with two bonus drama tracks. A vocal mini album was released on September 26, 2007 by Lantis containing the opening theme, both ending themes, and the three insert songs featured in the visual novel. A free drama CD entitled Dokii Onna Darake no Onsen Ryokō (ドキッ☆女だらけの温泉旅行?) was distributed at Clear promotional events in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan in May and June 2007. Another drama CD will be released by Lantis on May 9, 2008.