YU-NO (izmos & kingshriek)


Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO この世の果てで恋を唄う少女YU-NO



Foreword This is part two of a two-part series of interviews revolving around YU-NO. I interviewed izmos and kingshriek who were the founders of the project (kingshriek was the hacker). It was only later when Phar had finished off the Symphonic Rain project that he contributed to the YU-NO project and eventually joined the team. So this interview is a whole different perspective from the previous interview. Please enjoy.


Interesting Tidbits
[22:22] <izmos> Kenno’s other games, Desire and EVE Burst Error are both older
[22:23] <izmos> Desire, EVE Burst, and YU-NO are what they call the “Kenno trilogy”
[22:23] <izmos> and they laid the foundations of the scenario driven games

Editor’s Note:
Desire and Eve Burst Error have both seen an English release from HimeyaSoft
. I see Desire up for $9.99 on

izmos & kingshriek
Contact Details

Message izmos or kingshriek on IRC

The Interview



izmos & kingshriek

<Aaerul> so how did Yu-no start. whose idea was it
<izmos> well Kingshriek (KS from now on) read it ages ago back in the day
<kingshriek> 2004 I believe was when I first read it
<izmos> I knew about it for quite some time ago myself, but I only found out that it’s written by Kenno Yukihiro about last year
<izmos> (he’s the EVE Burst Error and Desire writer that is)
<kingshriek> I actually tried out the original PC-9801 DOS version first via emulation, but then quickly switched to the Saturn release when I found out it was fully voiced
<izmos> so I really wanted to read it, and I figured it’s never ever gonna be translated anyway I’ve read it with the help of  AGTH + machine translating and constantly bugging KS when I didn’t get anything

<Aaerul> whoa hang on
<Aaerul> so was this game on CD?
<Aaerul> was it on floppy disks?

<izmos> we talked a lot when I was playing it, and I knew he has a script dump
<izmos> yes, there’s a floppy release even
<izmos> 14 or 15 floppies iirc
<Aaerul> lol
<izmos> originally it’s on pc98
<izmos> they released it with voice on the saturn
<kingshriek> yeah, installing that was a lot of fun

<kingshriek> but yeah, my first full playthrough was on the Sega Saturn and I was really impressed by the game system and the scenario

<izmos> and back in 2000 elf made a compilation of a few games (Yu-no, Shangrlia, and Shangrlia 2) which was a windows release
<izmos> curious thing is that
<izmos> this release is really obscure, it doesn’t have too many ratings on EGS, heck it doesn’t even have its own webpage unfortunately
<izmos> well long story short, I played this version because I don’t know much about emulations and don’t really like it

<Aaerul> and yet Ive heard that it was a very influential VN of its day?
<izmos> yes it is
<kingshriek> it was basically the last DOS era adventure game, released at the end of ’96 when everyone else had already jumped to Win95
<izmos> there’s a running joke how much Clannad borrowed from the game
<izmos> unfriendly deliquent dude, hating on his father, collecting orbs, traveling different worlds (referring on clannad’s doll scenes) etc
<izmos> and other massive spoilers I wouldn’t detail
<izmos> anyway I knew KS had a script dump back then
<izmos> so I figured we should just post it on the wiki in hope of someone picking it up
<izmos> few days later I found Danshyu’s comment on youtube of all places
<izmos> that how much he loved the game and how he wishes that there’d be a translation for it
<Aaerul> Danshyu?
<izmos> he’s a nice Chinese guy living in the states who learned japanese from his grandmother and from songs on the radio
<izmos> so I tried getting a translation checker for that because he warned us about how both his Japanese and English aren’t the best available after I approached him and he agreed to give us a helping hand
<izmos> I knew Sterling01 from the Animesuki forums, knew he had an abandoned project some time ago which he was translator of, and asked him whether he’d be interested in TLC-ing
<izmos> thought he might wants to come back to the translation scene as TLC this time
<izmos> he agreed so we sort of started like this
<izmos> some time later LoSs all of a sudden translated a few other scripts for us (he too loved the game)
<Aaerul> and where was kingshriek at that time
<izmos> he was hacking the game all this time
<izmos> and even now
<kingshriek> yeah, I was refining the tools
<izmos> he was in the middle of making the voicepatch too
<izmos> which isn’t an easy task
<kingshriek> oh yeah, that took a lot of time

<Aaerul> and sorry I missed a piece of detail here. what year was it when all this happened?
<izmos> 2009 sept oktober
<Aaerul> wow not that long ago
<izmos> then all of a sudden similarly to LoSs, Phar translated a few scripts at the beginning too
<izmos> he finished Symphonic Rain around that time
<izmos> so we asked him to finish the game and see if he’s interested in committing to us
<izmos> since someone with his skill and experience would be tremendously valuable
<izmos> and as Dan indicated many times, he just wants to help us establishing ourselves, because he didn’t feel his skills are adequate for the really hard scripts (Quantum physics and alike)
<izmos> so Phar really was a godsend
<izmos> he reached the last chapter he already mentioned that he probably wouldn’t mind working on this
<kingshriek> Phar, along with Ixrec, were also essentially the alpha-testers of the voice patch and provided me with a lot of feedback/error reports
<izmos> and soon after reading the ending he committed to us and has been invaluable help to us since then
<izmos> also he’s extremely skilled and quite fast

<Aaerul> and what has the ‘public’s response been? are there people who are actually looking forward to this game you reckon
<izmos> well the other reason I (and we) were happy with Phar
<izmos> that he avoids drama
<izmos> so aside of the “EWW THAT’S UGLY” (even though it’s not, it’s just limited to the PC98 hardware) and “EWW there are commands everywhere” (well of course, it’s an adventure game eroge with a unique Map system
<izmos> we didn’t really get other negative responses as far as I checked
<kingshriek> Phar’s also really great at taking the many bad Japanese puns in the original and turning them into equally bad English puns – I’m constantly impressed at what he comes up with
<izmos> yes that’s seriously awesome
<izmos> I have to say he’s probably the best translator in this scene at handling puns
<izmos> and yu-no has many of that
<izmos> there’s like a scene where the discussion goes on for like 10 long with puns
<izmos> and he translated that spectacularly while keeping the meaning and keeping it funnily
<izmos> *like 10 lines long
<Aaerul> oh, that IS cool
<izmos> anyway one other thing I forgot to mention
<izmos> that we were hoping that maybe Ixrec will do it in case no one will
<izmos> since he had that poll on going at this time and had this criteria that he’ll translate whatever game deserves a 10/10 by his book
<izmos> when we were just starting with Dan helping us
<izmos> he started playing it so he too can decide whether it’s really a great game he’d want to work or not
<izmos> he eventually gave it a perfect rating too, but by then we know about Phar too so we agreed to let Phar finish
<izmos> and see if Phar wants to commit then he translate it, or if he don’t want then we can get Ixrec on it too
<izmos> which on the long run probably would have caused more negative publicity
<Aaerul> neither of those two enjoy working in a two-translator setup
<izmos> since you have like thousands of people watching that poll right, and I feel many of them would end up angry when after all the commotion he’d end up investing his time on something else first, than what the mass public would have wanted
<izmos> well I didn’t want two of them there
<izmos> since I knew one of them would be enough for the task
<Aaerul> this is the poll that got rigged by gg right
<izmos> yes
<Aaerul> so what DID the mass public want?
<izmos> Inganock in the end
<izmos> well no one knows even nowadays how DID the mass public ending up choosing that anyway
<Aaerul> well at least its confirmed theyre translating another liar-soft game next
<kingshriek> indeed, I thought it would be a sure win for baldr sky
<izmos> in the end Phar ended up committing to us so we kindly thanked Ixrec for his support, and he promised us that in the unlikely case Phar would abandon he’d finish it with his crew

<Aaerul> and I see the amount edited is a portion removed from the total translated
<Aaerul> 86% vs 38%

<izmos> yes editing is another story
<Aaerul> when did Spin join as editor and are you looking for more editors currently?
<izmos> Spin joined us in August I think
<izmos> August 2010
<izmos> only recently
<izmos> he shows great progress rate though so I really feel (and hope) that he’ll stick around with us till the end
<izmos> well it’s not like Phar needs much editing help
<izmos> but his english is a second language so there are lines he feel that sound kinda engrishy
<izmos> and those hundreds of puns require polishing too
<izmos> thing is
<izmos> YU-NO is an adventure game with a terrible script system engineering-wise
<izmos> so explaining everything and getting into the workflow of how things are handled needs time and patience
<izmos> it’s not something any editor just could jump in and edit a few files
<izmos> because you have to play the game along with it to know what lines result in what
<izmos> it is extremely complicated
<kingshriek> haha, yeah, it’s pretty obvious that they (elf) were pretty unorganized on their end w/ all the variations between lines that are supposed to be the same
<izmos> took me quite a while to explain everything to Spin too
<izmos> well yes, for one the entire script’s 40% is repeated text
<Aaerul> ??
<kingshriek> yu-no’s got to hold some sort of record for eroge copypasta
<izmos> that’s also why it was claimed to be one of the longest eroges
<izmos> because the script is just bloated
<izmos> it’s like, you know the commands
<izmos> looking around, looking on the bushes etc

<Aaerul> the game doesn’t actually churn through text the reader has already seen before right.
<izmos> they are the very same, but are present in every route
<izmos> so you have it in all 5 route files
<izmos> or more
<izmos> then there’s also that two routes are about identical till about 60-70%

<Aaerul> then to ask the 2nd question again, would you welcome a second editor on board or do you think it would just confuse everything?
<izmos> no I definitely wouldn’t now
<izmos> Spin works really nicely, and as I said before, it takes time and effort establishing oneself first to get into a hang of the scriptstructure
<izmos> so I wouldn’t take anyone else on now while he’s still willing to help us
<izmos> thankfully there weren’t many images though

<Aaerul> now if I change up a little, how does Yu-no hold up technically, in terms of character and in terms of plot in 2010?
<Aaerul> is it bug ridden?
<Aaerul> are the character designs antiquated? (old school tsundere, etc)
<kingshriek> no bugs that I’m aware of
<izmos> well, it’s one of the best scenario driven games
<kingshriek> the scenario definitely holds up well today
<izmos> so in terms of comparing it to other games being translated, if you value scenario, comedy, likable characters first, and you don’t mind playing an adventure game eroge, then you’d have a good time
<Aaerul> ah there is comedy
<Aaerul> excellent
<kingshriek> the engine though is missing a lot of niceities that people are used to in vns, such as skipping only already-read text or a backlog
<izmos> yes, Kenno’s humor is funny
<izmos> it’s pretty referencial humor
<izmos> there are like references to ancient anime
<izmos> some we kept on (like Galaxy Express 999)  reference
<izmos> some we had to change into other, more popular ancient things
<izmos> the comedy is being helped that Takuya, the protagonist is really a nice and funny chap
<izmos> so the interactive commands are actually fun to explore
<Aaerul> cool
<Aaerul> I’m kind of excited for this game now
<kingshriek> haha, that’s where you’ll find most of the terrible puns
<izmos> aside of the scenario
<izmos> the characters are really nice though
<izmos> too bad that there are just too many spoilers to explain this
<izmos> like yeah sure, there are quite a few characters and heroines whom appear one dimensional
<izmos> but that’s intentional
<izmos> because almost every character has many sides
<Aaerul> interesting
<izmos> there’s a character who has 3 different sides of her during the entire game

<Aaerul> is it comparable to anything else youve played?
<Aaerul> in terms of the ‘feel’ of the game

<izmos> feeling? well not really
<izmos> of course many people would and probably will compare it to Ever 17 since the last routes are truly mindboggling
<izmos> however one big advantage over it that yu-no is really really fun well before playing the last route
<izmos> which I can’t say on the other
<izmos> and of course I already mentioned how they share quite a few things with Clannad
<izmos> I bet Key guys played it too

<Aaerul> alright then to wrap things up, can you comment on the Yu-no anime?
<izmos> oh my
<kingshriek> doesn’t exist, just like the tsukihime anime
<izmos> yeah just forget its existence
<izmos> it’s like a bad fanfiction written by someone who just watched the images of the game
<Aaerul> lol
<Aaerul> note to self: avoid like the plague
<izmos> years ago to boot, so his memory is already warped so he ends up altering really important things

<Aaerul> is this the oldest eroge to ever get an english translation and do you see yourself working to revive more classics in the future?
<Aaerul> actually the concept of a ‘classic’ in our community is extremely hazy. because no one seems to have played any.
<Aaerul> well not in large numbers anyway
<izmos> well no, Kenno’s other games, Desire and EVE Burst Error are both older
<izmos> Desire, EVE, and YU-NO are what they call the “Kenno trilogy”
<kingshriek> and JAST has done some really ancient stuff such as DOR
<izmos> and they laid the foundations of the scenario driven games

<Aaerul> is there anything else you would like to address?
<izmos> well no, all I can say is that I hope many people will give it a chance, and won’t end up abandoning it midway, because really, the last parts are what makes it to be a masterpiece
<izmos> and it’s just a crime playing it halfway and abandoning it there

<Aaerul> one more question.
<Aaerul> What would you say to the fans who think the drawings are too old so theyre not going to play it

<Aaerul> I asked this to Phar as well
<Aaerul> are they lost cause?
<Aaerul> I ask this because I am sure, MOST VN players will just simply Not play it. To them it looks too old
<izmos> well, unfortunately these are the limitations of the PC98 system
<izmos> unfortunately chances are really slim of it ever getting a remake
<kingshriek> it’s really the coloring that’s the issue, the line drawings themselves are really well done
<kingshriek> but as far as 16-color art goes, I’ve never seen anything better than yu-no
<izmos> if you extremely value supershiny art or play for the eroscenes, then don’t play a 14 years old scenario driven game

<Aaerul> did you say 16 colours
<Aaerul> what?
<kingshriek> yes, 16 colors, it’s amazing what elf was capable of back then
<izmos> I mean if you value them over scenario and characters
<Aaerul> the screenshots look so nice
<izmos> yes I definitely thinks it looks nice
<izmos> I mean, take a look at umineko’s popularity
<izmos> can you call that gorgeous?
<izmos> I can’t
<izmos> I’m of the opinion that Yu-no’s art is better
<izmos> even though it’s limited in the number of colors
<izmos> that said, the saturn cgs aren’t limited by colors
<Aaerul> I think so too, Yu-no is just stylized older style anime drawings
<Aaerul> umineko is just… its not stylized, its just badly realized art
<izmos> so there are some really nice Saturn exclusive cgs which you can’t find in the windows/pc98
<kingshriek> the saturn uses 256 colors, but it’s mainly to compensate for the reduced resolution since dithering isn’t as effective
<kingshriek> *saturn version
<izmos> but sadly, Saturn’s resolution is extremely low so it doesn’t look good when we tried adding it to our translation
<izmos> it’s a shame, because the last chapter has several new event cgs which look really really pretty


Sega Saturn exclusive CG. (being run on windows version through a CG hack)

<izmos> it looks like that
<izmos> that’s a saturn exclusive CG
<izmos> (you can use this in your article if you want, it’s not major spoiler)
<Aaerul> oh wow looks totally different
<Aaerul> cool
<Aaerul> well thanks for your time guys
<izmos> thank you for the interview, we’re grateful it getting more coverage




About the author


I'm the Fuwanovel community admin and a big fan of Visual Novels. The easiest way to get a hold of me is via a PM on the Fuwanovel Forums, by twitter (@ArchmageTay), or by email.


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