True Love is a dating sim visual novel hybrid. However, unlike contemporary or early dating sim affairs, this one takes on role-playing elements, like Tokimeki Memorial.
True Love was originally released for the NEC PC-9801 on June 9, 1995 in Japan by Software House Parsley on eight floppy disks, with a CD-ROM version releasing five days later. A year later, on December 6, 1996, a Windows 95 port was released, still in Japan. The game originally received mediocrely there, like many of other Parsley’s titles.
In August 1998, as one of the first of its kind, the game was released in Europe and America in English and German by Otaku Publishing. They were a London-based eroge translation company who created a few eroge translations in 1997 and 1998, but they seem to have fallen off the map shortly after True Love‘s localization.
True Love was not one of the first eroges to be released in the West, that award would go to Cobra Mission in 1992. Unlike Cobra Mission though, along with most of MegaTech’s localizations, True Love‘s localization was not the 1990s equivalent of an edgy troll post created by a 15-year-old (see below).
True Love was seen as a minor cult classic in the small community of anime fans in the West for decades, so much so that later on in 2019, Fakku rereleased the game on Steam. Interestingly, despite that version, including the new remaster, is blocked in Germany (and China), even though it has German language options.
Originally, there was a rather buggy port of the game to the Ren’Py engine in beta, but now, it’s fully playable. The remaster doesn’t have any real major changes to the game’s content, but the English translation has been revised from the original version. There are also certain quality of life improvements, including:
- Choosing text speed
- Auto Mode
- Choosing between the revised English translation and the original
- Choice of disabling transitions
- Ability to skip text
This is certainly a welcome remaster to an old game, and here’s to hoping for more remasters of early visual novels in English.