October 11, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson
Developer and composer Laura Shigihara has been taking a break from RPG Melolune. While that may read as heartbreaking news, her new adventure sounds like it's going to break our hearts in another way. Prepare your tear ducts for Rakuen.
Laura writes that "Rakuen is a story about a little boy who lives in the hospital. His mother reads to him everyday from his favorite storybook, which is about a tribal child living in a fantasy world... One day the child wakes up to find that everyone in his tribe has disappeared." [Laura, please tell me the boy isn't dead at this point!]
Rakuen, coming to Windows in 2014 and other platforms later, will be a story-based adventure without battles. Instead, there will be room escape puzzles, sections that function like a point-and-click adventure, "Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past style dungeon stuff,... little puzzles and mysteries that evolve throughout the course of the game, and you can gradually help improve the quality of the [hospital] as you progress."
The story for Rakuen was inspired by the song "Jump" Laura had written as part of the Play for Japan album, with proceeds going to Red Cross in Japan for disaster relief in 2011. The song was about the giving and receiving of inexplicable reassurances.
From this, Rakuen was born as Laura imagined a little boy living in a hospital, coming to terms with his health problems by helping others, such as those "who are too old to have a Mom, or who are carrying too much on their shoulders to ask someone to be there for them."
Before the almost inevitable cry fest begins, you can be excited while keeping an eye on her official forums, as there will be beta testing there in the near future. You can also get a sneak preview now of 9 songs from Rakuen's soundtrack by pre-ordering the OST here.