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Namco High

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Namco High
NamcoHigh

Developer

What Pumpkin Studios
Date Nighto LLC

Publisher

Namco Bandai Games

Platforms

Web browsers with HTML5 support

Released

December 17, 2013

Genre

Dating sim

Writer

Ananth Panagariya
Magnolia Porter
Brian Clevinger


Namco High was a freemium browser-based dating sim featuring characters from Namco Bandai's video game franchises. Andrew Hussie was the project's creative director.

Playing as the Cousin to the Prince from the Katamari series, the player was able to date other Namco Bandai characters. Six characters were available to date for free, while another twelve were purchasable premium content. All twelve, including the three Homestuck characters; Terezi Pyrope, Jane Crocker, and Davesprite, were obtainable via the Deluxe Pak. Three 3-Paks also existed that allowed the purchase of pre-selected groups of three Namco Bandai and a random Homestuck character; all nine Namco Bandai characters could also be purchased separately. Pre-ordering the Deluxe Pak gave people the Namco High soundtrack and other digital merchandise.

On July 1st, 2014, the Namco High servers were shut down as part of the closing of ShiftyLook.

Namco High is again available to play free with all characters here.

PlotEdit

The game begins with the Cousin explaining that The King of All Cosmos is their uncle and the Prince is their cousin. The Cousin envies the Prince's abilities at rolling things up, so they decide to take a shot at rolling a katamari around the Namco High school grounds. Unfortunately the Cousin gets carried away and rolls up the entire high school with a katamari, and as a result ends up in detention. From there the Cousin can meet and become friends with any character in the detention hall.

The plot from this point follows a rigid structure: the player experiences a common scene, followed by a character-specific scene of their choosing. The first character-specific scene is at a school club, and the second an incident that results in the Cousin receiving extra detention. The third character-specific scene is a date, which goes poorly and results in the character or characters speaking to Namco's greatest icon, Pac-Man, for advice. For the Namco characters, Pac-Man remarks that the Cousin should "Be true to yourself," (referenced in the game's end theme) but for the Homestuck characters, the situation is so bizarre that Pac-Man can only say "Maybe you shouldn't stay true to yourself."

Following this, Namco High is attacked by "Evil Namco High," a school populated with evil doppelganger robots of the main cast. The Cousin reunites with their chosen partner and they save the day, proceeding to a character-specific ending. The player can only lose by choosing to avoid character-specific events. Alternatively, they can also get the "bad ending" by choosing to fight by themselves at the end.

In Davesprite's storyline, Davesprite tries to play the role of game guide (even promising to tell the player how to find "the harem ending," which does not exist). He comes to open up about his insecurities as a copy of Dave, and also existential concerns about being trapped in a dating sim that will simply loop back to the beginning, erasing his memories and identity. In Jane's storyline, she refuses to acknowledge that anything supernatural is happening in Namco High, such as the katamari incident or tiger-men on the staff. This roughly parallels her disbelief in Roxy's stories about The Condesce in early Act 6. She even seems to believe that Davesprite and Terezi are "dedicated cosplayers," but at the same time seems to believe her Life powers are perfectly normal. Lastly, in Terezi's storyline, Terezi develops a crush on the Cousin... a black crush, harassing them and leaving them tied to a tree. As with the Namco storylines, all of these incidents turn out for the best in the end, with the pair saving the day and walking off as a couple.

DevelopmentEdit

According to George Rohac, the game's co-producer and director of business development at What Pumpkin Studios, Namco High was the product of discussions What Pumpkin held with video game developers prior to the Kickstarter for Hiveswap. Namco Bandai was involved in these discussions, and while it ultimately did not become the game's developer the company still wanted to work on a project with Andrew Hussie, leading to the creation of Namco High. The game was officially announced on July 18, 2013, at San Diego Comic-Con.

ShutdownEdit

On February 18th, 2014, an announcement was posted on the ShiftyLook website revealing that Namco High was to be shut down on June 30th, 2014 (JST), and that the premium content would cease being sold March 28th (JST), and that the premium could be purchased at half price until that time.

On March 10th, 2014, the reason for the shutdown was revealed when ShiftyLook announced that having fulfilled its purpose of reviving old video game characters it was being shutdown and that the shutdown of Namco High was part of the closing of ShiftyLook as a whole.

On July 1st, 2014, one day after the scheduled shutdown date, Namco High's servers were shut down and the game is no longer accessible on the ShiftyLook website.

GalleryEdit

TereziEdit

JaneEdit

DavespriteEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The Cousin is pseudo-canonically an Heir of Heart.
  • During the Terezi ending, the heart at the top of Cousin's head has changed to a spade (most likely representative of the trolls' caliginous quadrant).
  • After the Davesprite ending and starting a new game, Davesprite will still remember the previous game and change his opening conversation.
  • The Davesprite ending has exactly the same pose as the ending to Scott Pligrim's Finest Hour.
  • When entering a name, if you type in "Zoosmell Pooplord" and press enter it will say "try again, smartbutt"

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