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Space Venus

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スペースヴィーナス (Space Venus) is a PlayStation 2 game featuring Morning Musume. It was released on 2001-01-11 with the catalog number SRPM-70201 by Sony Music Entertainment. The game is a single player game and is controlled via the Playstation 2 Dual Shock 2. The save file for this game takes up 1.2MB of space on the memory card.

Space Venus contains very little actual gameplay, and instead was created as another method to market Morning Musume (and to cash in on their success at the time). This game was also developed as a technological demo for various image and video processes, including Sony's FourthVIEW technology, which uses 8 cameras to capture a cylindrical image recorded at 360 degrees in a horizontal direction.

Space Venus was ranked 67th in the 2001 Top 100 Best Selling Japanese Console Games list, selling 168,880 copies. This list includes games from all systems, such as the Gamecube, Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, and Gameboy Color. It also includes games released in 2000 that sold well in 2001. Among Japanese PS2 games sold in 2001, Space Venus ranked 28th.

Technology

The main technology that was promoted in Space Venus is Sony's FourthVIEW technology, which consists of eight cameras arranged in a circle. Using mirrors, the cameras are able to record a 360 degree field of vision. This technology is featured in two concert performances and a PV in the Morning View and Morning Lounge sections.

This same technology was also used in Hamasaki Ayumi's video game, A VISUAL MIX ([1], [2]), as well as in various other idol video games.

It is not known how much further Sony developed this technology.

Story

Translation courtesy of Shiroihana. Translated from Page 1 of the Space Venus Instruction manual.

Because of the completely new energy that was discovered at the end of the 20th century, "Life Oriented Virtual Energy (LOVE)", mankind's space development rapidly evolved. Because of 10-member Musume's extraordinary song, dance, and smiling faces, this clean energy was produced as the base of life! The power of LOVE was tremendous, so they developed a generator for this dynamic force called the LOVE Machine, and in the blink of an eye, space migration exceeding the speed of light and construction of huge structures in the void of space became possible. And so, in 2001, on the other side of another galaxy which was in an as-of-yet unknown area, the unprecedented enormous space Amusement Colony opened!!

In Space Lagoon, you can personally experience the motive power of LOVE, completely new videos and music. You are navigated by the hologram Musume transmitted from your locale, and with your exclusive use of the passenger plane Morning Jet, if you board, you are quickly at Space Lagoon. There, within the Love Machine is the Love Condenser, a circular tower of light where the form of the singing and dancing Musume can be inspected, and recorded live videos of the girls' Earth Tours can be uncovered. Of course, the Earth at that point couldn't immagine this surprising technique.

Thanks to the song and dance from the hearts of the Musume, the possibilities of 21st century entertainment were broadened. Now, the only task left to mankind is to encourage the girls' personal energy by cheering it on with all their might. In order to develop so that the Earth's future would "make the universe jealous", take your passport and board the Morning Jet! There is no set scenario for this world. You and the characteristic personal entertainment experience of the Musume is the only thing that can bring forth the only story like it in the universe, Space Venus. The people who still stay in Space Lagoon are the only ones who know of Space Venus.

Yes, the rumored 10 Musume who saved the earth and are starring in Space Venus are Morning Musume!

Morning Musume Members

Each of the 10 Morning Musume members at the time had a title in the game.

  • Nakazawa Yuko - SV Commander In Chief, W. Galaxy Love Venus
  • Abe Natsumi - SV Co-Commander, N. Galaxy Love Venus
  • Iida Kaori - Love Tech. Development Venus, Temp. Representative of PR Room, Rhythm Project Leader
  • Yasuda Kei - E. Galaxy Love Venus, Harmony Project Leader
  • Yaguchi Mari - S. Galaxy Love Venus, Motion Project Sexy Beam Master, PR Room "Minimoni" Member
  • Goto Maki - Earth Love Venus, Happy Project Leader
  • Ishikawa Rika - Morning Jet Venus, Harmony Project Member
  • Yoshizawa Hitomi - Morning Jet Venus, Motion Project Member
  • Tsuji Nozomi - PR Room "Minimoni" Member, Rhythm Project Member
  • Kago Ai - PR Room "Minimoni" Member, Happy Project Member

Game Sections

The game is broken up into six main sections, in addition to the space station menu and the options menu.

Main menu

The main menu of the game takes the form of a space station. The player has a first person view from the inside of a small ship. From this ship the player has limited freedom to look around the space station to select one of the options; only 1/4th of the space station of visible on the screen. The player can also use the L1 and R1 buttons to highlight the previous/next option directly.

From left to right, the different sections that can be selected are:

  • Option
  • Panorama Theater
  • Visunetarium
  • Morning Browser
  • Morning View
  • Morning Lounge
  • Morning Musume TVDJ

Mini-game

As one looks around the space station, various other spaceships fly by in pre-set patterns. Pressing the select button brings up a yellow reticle. By pressing the circle button, the player can shoot the other spaceships with a Sexy Beam for points. It takes 4 hits from the Sexy Beam to completely destroy another spaceship. The player can also activate the LOVE Machine with the triangle button, which causes the ship (and the controller) to shake in an earthquake-like fashion.

Option

From the Option menu the player can select the sound options (Stereo or Mono) as well as the controller vibration function.

Panorama Theater

In the Panorama Theater, the player controls the camera and is able to "record" (or rather, "direct") their own version of a performance by zooming in and out and placing the camera as the performance goes on. There are two performances to choose from: one of LOVE Machine and one of Happy Summer Wedding. Both are outdoors performances, recorded on 2000-08-27 in Miyazaki.

Each performance is only half of the song: Love Machine starts from the middle of the song and goes until the end, and Happy Summer Wedding starts from the beginning and cuts off in the middle of the song. Each performance is a panoramic video, so the user is able to zoom in to a normal aspect ratio and is able to move the camera and place it at different points on the panorama.

Controls:

  • Directional pad or right analog stick: control camera
  • R1 = Zoom Out
  • R2 = Zoom In
  • Circle = pause
  • X = Restart performance

Visunetarium

The visunetarium consists of 24 different panels arranged in 360 degrees around the perspective of the player and spread out across three levels. 23 of the panels have a preview of a video clip playing on them, and the 24th is a picture of the menu used to exit this mode.

Nine panels are shown on the screen at a time, and all have video playing simultaneously. 3 panels appear in the middle, stacked vertically, and the edge of 3 panels appear on either side. (In the picture to the right, the panels on the right side were cut off by a faulty video capture program.)

Once selected, the entire video plays full-screen. Most of these clips last around 30 seconds, though a few are a little longer and closer to a minute. The content of these clips varies, but all can be considered Making Ofs. There are some clips of photoshoots of the girls, recording sessions for the video portions of the game, backstage clips of some of the performances, in-studio audio recordings of some of the songs, and some behind-the-scenes footage of the I WISH and DANCE Suru no da! PVs.

Morning Browser

In Morning Browser, the ten girls are lined up according to age in what appear to be cryogenic chambers. When a girl is selected, a short video plays in which that girl's chamber opens up and she comes to life. The player is then taken to a photoshoot of that girl, and the player is allowed to control the camera and take pictures.

Controls:

  • Directional pad or right analog stick: control camera
  • R1 = Zoom Out
  • R2 = Zoom In
  • Circle = Take picture
  • X = Restart the video clip

Morning View

Morning View consists of two different concert performances which were filmed with a 360-degree camera. The camera is placed directly in the middle of the stage, so the girls perform all around it. The user is able to control the camera during the performance much like in the Panorama Theater mode, the difference being that the image wraps around completely so the player never reaches a boundary when moving left or right. The two songs performed here are Koi no Dance Site and Aisha Loan de.

Controls:

  • Directional pad or right analog stick: control camera
  • R1 = Zoom Out
  • R2 = Zoom In
  • Circle = pause
  • X = Restart performance
  • L1 = Activate bottom bar that shows panoramic image of everything and what's being focused on

Morning Lounge

Morning Lounge operates the same way as Morning View, but with the DANCE Suru no da! PV that was filmed specifically for this game using the 360-degree camera.

Morning Musume TVDJ

This section of the game allows the player to "remix" three different full-length Morning Musume PVs using a special version of TVDJ, a "video remixing" utility which was sold as a separate game in Japan. The player can remix the PVs for LOVE Machine, Koi no Dance Site, or I WISH.

The game screen has a scrolling "editing bar" made up of eight blocks. Each block represents a half-beat, so two blocks represent one beat and the 8 block segments represent one measure. Each of the four face buttons correspond to a piece of footage of a certain length: Triangle lays down a one-block piece, Square lays down a two-block piece, Circle lays down a three-block piece, and X lays down a four-block piece. The goal of TVDJ is to lay down the video clips, in real-time and on beat. while ending each eight-count on the last line of the editing bar.

For example, one could create the following patterns:

  • 2,2,2,2
  • 2,1,3,2
  • 3,3,2
  • 1,3,1,2,1
  • 2,4,2
  • 4,4

and so on, as long as they add up to eight. If one messes up a measure, the game starts over from that measure. The girls say words of encouragement as long as the player doesn't mess up.

And in addition to timing the video correctly with the face buttons of the PS2 controller, the shoulder buttons add different effects to the video. Once the game portion is finished, there is a replay of the video with the effects added.

Controls:

  • Triangle = 1 block
  • Square = 2 block
  • Circle = 3 block
  • X = 4 block
  • L1 = Reverse
  • L2 = Repeat
  • R1 and R2 = Effects

External links

Sources