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Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time (遙かなる時空の中で Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de?) is an otome visual novel developed by Ruby Party and published by Koei. It is a part of Ruby Party's Neoromance label. Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time' has given rise to a franchise including several sequels, numerous drama and music CDs, a manga series, four OAVs, a movie, and an anime TV series, and a live-action theatrical.

Gameplay

Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time places the player in the role of a girl who is surrounded by attractive young men, and gives her the option of trying to win the heart of one and live happily ever after. The heroine must also fight evil with the help of the attractive young men. The result is a hybrid game with an visual novel-like interaction mode, a simple CRPG battle mode, and a board game-like map.

Haruka is made up of ten chapters, eight of which involve the core gameplay. These chapters take place over a 2 week period and involve traveling around the Kyō map, searching for various key items. Kyō is made up of roughly 20 areas and it is possible to visit three in one day. However, most areas are possessed by onryō (怨霊 vengeful ghosts?) that must be dispelled before you can enter, and fighting them consumes one of the three visit chances.

Haruka's battle system is limited in comparison to most CRPGs of its day. The maximum party size is 3 characters, but only Akane is under the direct control of the player. Though Akane can attack and defend, her other abilities - the use of healing items and spells, and the ability to encourage her comrades, are more useful. There is no magic point system as such. Casting spells is based on the morale of the Hachiyō members and the number of elemental fuda (?) cards Akane has. Furthermore, there is no experience system and the character's hit points are refilled automatically between fights. The main reward for fighting, besides gaining entrance to a given area, is the chance to gain the trust of Hachiyō. The greater a Hachiyō member's rapport with Akane, the more effective he will be in battle.

Plot

On the first day of a new school term, high school student Akane Motomiya, her classmate Tenma Morimura, and their underclass friend Shimon Nagareyama are sucked into a mysterious old well. When they awake, they are in Kyō (?), another world that resembles Kyoto during the Heian Period. According to the young scion of the Star Clan (星の一族?), Fujihime, Akane is the Ryūjin no Miko (龍神の神子 Priestess of the Dragon God?) who has come to save Kyō from the ambitions of the Oni Clan (鬼の一族?). In this task, the Akane has the help of eight men known as the Hachiyō (八葉?), and her friends Tenma and Shimon number among them. Initially, Akane is bewildered by her new circumstances, but she gradually comes to face up to her own destiny and understand the world of Kyō.

Releases

Release DateTitleCharacteristic Genre NameDeveloped BySystemRegions
April 6, 2000Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time Ruby Party PSX JPN
April 1, 2005Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time ~Hachiyousho~ Ruby Party PS2 JPN
Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time ~Maihitoyo~ Ruby Party PS2 JPN
September 28, 2001/February 28, 2002Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 2 Ruby Party Windows/PS2 JPN
December 22, 2004Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 3 Ruby Party PS2 JPN
September 22, 2005Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 3 ~Izayoiki~ Ruby Party PS2 JPN
March 23, 2006Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 3 ~Unmei no Meikyuu~ Ruby Party PS2 JPN
Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 4 Ruby Party JPN
August 28, 2008Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time ~Yume no Ukihashi~ Ruby Party DS JPN

Remakes and ports

Release DateTitleSystemDeveloped ByNotesRegions
August 23, 2002Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time GBA Port JPN

Adaptations

Manga

The first Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time game was adapted into an ongoing' manga series that is serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Lala The individual chapters are being collected into volumes published by Hakusensha. The story was adapted from the video game that preceded it, and was illustrated by Tohko Mizuno. There are currently 14 volumes that have been published.

The English edition of the series has been licensed by Viz Media and is currently serialized in Shojo Beat magazine as Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~.

Anime

There are have be multiple anime adaptations of Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time. The first OVA adaptation in 2002 was two episodes, and followed the story line of the first video game. In 2003, a second OVA was made titled Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 2 ~Priestess of the White Dragon~, which covered the story line of the second video game. An anime TV series adaptation of "Haruka" began in 2004, and adapted the story from the manga, which covers the story line of the first game. It ran for 26 episodes. Shortly after the series finished, a two episode OVA titled Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time ~Hachiyou Shou~ continued the story from the TV series. In 2006, a feature film titled Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time ~Maihitoyo~ was released, and continued where the OVA left off. Finally, on December 28, 2007, a 1 episode OVA titled Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time 3 ~Kurenai no Tsuki~ was released which adapted the story line from the third video game.

Movie

A live action movie was also released in early 2008 in Japan.

See also

External links

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