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LEVEL 2: Everything is Precious, Nothing is Replaceable


From time to time, I’m asked what’s my ideal game. I’ve played a lot of RPGs before, so I would naturally say that it would be an RPG. Personally, the games that stood out most to me would be Dragon Quest III and V, Final Fantasy II, IV, and VII, and Romancing Saga. As for MMORPGS, I would say games along the lines of Ultima Online or Everquest. But even though both MMOs and traditional RPG games are always under development, even as new titles are being released, some would say that they are only being improved, and not actually evolving. With MMOs, World of Warcraft is the reigning champion while games that came after only improved or polished the established formula. One gets the feeling that the formula has already been perfected, or has reached its apex.

When I first played Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy and the early MMOs, I felt as if my senses had been spirited away by the new worlds that had lain open before my eyes. My insignificant self was about to step from my tiny, trifling world into a vast and new one. I didn’t want to leave that world, where everything I saw and heard were brand new. To be honest, I even shut myself out of the real world for a time.

I wonder, what kind of newly released game would it have to be to make me feel that way again? Would it have to depend on what the advances of technology brought? Or maybe something new born from a combination of established formulae? Or would it have to be a game that no one has ever imagined before, appearing out of nowhere like a comet in the sky?

No matter how much I think about it, I don’t really know. Maybe that no game will expand my world like that ever again.

But luckily for me, there are novels. I know what a person like me can write, but because I’m neither a genius nor experienced, nothing I attempt goes smoothly and it’s like groping my way along one step—or perhaps half a step—at a time. I’m always very intimidated when I attempt to write a novel. I always ask myself, can I really do this? Am I biting off more than I can chew?

Somehow though, I write on the momentum of sheer desperation. Only after it’s done and I look back and I see the road that’s been paved, and I realize for the first time, that’s the road I just came down.

I’ve run out of paper. I would like to thank my editor, K-san, Shirai Eiri, the designers at KOMEWORKS, everyone else involved in the production and distributions of this book, and the readers who hold it now in your hands.

With much gratitude and love, I place my pen down for today, and hope to see you again.

– Jyumonji Ao

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