Following a teaser website launched by developer FuRyu on February 19, 2016, Famitsu has announced that the teased title is Caligula, a new PlayStation Vita RPG slated for release on June 23, 2016 in Japan.
The tangential relationship Persona has with Caligula is that—other than it being a JRPG set in high school—the game is being written by Tadashi Satomi, the writer behind Persona, Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. He was also responsible for the scenario in the Digital Devil Saga games.
An interview with Atlus’ Satomi from 1998 was posted last year.
Caligula focuses around modern pathology and trauma, as a new “juvenile school RPG.” The game takes place around the virtual reality world of “Mobius,” revolving around 9 men and women who seek to return to the real world.
The title of the game is derived from the “Caligula Effect,” a term describing one’s significant desire for something they’re not permitted to have. Examples provided by Siliconera:
wanting to see something more because they’re not allowed to watch, wanting to do something more because they’re not allowed to do it.
The initial tagline for the game is “Can you kill an idol?”
Key staff members of the game are:
- Director: Takuya Yamanaka (FuRyu)
- Scenario Writer: Tadashi Satomi (Freelance)
- Illustrator: Oguchi (Freelance)
- Composer: Tsukasa Mako
Weekly Famitsu magazine issue #1421 (the March 10, 2016 issue) releasing this week on February 25 will feature more information on Caligula.
Set in the virtual reality world of Mobius, the story of Caligula follows nine men and women that aim to return to the real world. It is a “next generation juvenile RPG” that focuses on modern pathology and trauma. Its title, “Caligula,” refers to wanting to see things we’re not allowed to see, or doing things we’re not allowed to do.
The protagonists are locked up in Mobius, a virtual reality world in which all human beings become an ideal high school student and spend their days repeating high school life. Everyone within Mobius has forgotten the real world. For different reasons, each of the protagonists realize that Mobius is not the real world and form a “Going Home Club” with the desire to return home, and start looking for a way back. However, there are some members who suffered in reality and sought salvation in Mobius, and carry a darkness that can not be shared with the others.
Mobius is an ideal world created by the vocal software “μ.” People escape the despair of reality in Mobius, and those saved by her song are granted their every dream. In Mobius, there are men and women regardless of age that become high school students and live out a three-year student life on a loop.
The protagonists oppose the “Ostinato Musicians,” composers that provide music to μ and who plan to destroy the Going Home Club that are disrupting the order of Mobius as traitors. Famous sound composers of Vocaloid and such are working on the game.
- μ (voiced by Reina Ueda) – Vocal software created by man. The originator that created Mobius in order to save the protagonists from harsh reality. As the creator of Mobius, μ is practically its God.
- Protagonist (voiced by Chiharu Sawashiro) – President of the Going Home club that aims to escape Mobius.
- 柏葉琴乃 (voiced by Rie Murakawa)
- 佐竹笙悟 (voiced by Shunsuke Takeuchi)
- 篠原美笛 (voiced by Rie Takahashi)
- 巴鼓太郎 (voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya)
- 神楽鈴奈 (voiced by Minami Tanaka)
- 峯沢維弦 (voiced by Yuichiro Umehara)
- 守田鳴子 (voiced by Ari Ozawa)
- 響健介 (voiced by Shouta Aoi)
The following musicians offer music to μ:
- Kagi-P (40mP) (voiced by Shouta Aoi)
- Suite-P (Oster Project) (voiced by Emi Nitta)
- Shounen Doll (PolyphonicBranch) (voiced by Yumiri Hanamori)
- Mirei (Chouchou-P) (voiced by Eriko Nakamura)
- Ike-P (Asa) (voiced by Soma Saito)
- Shadow Knife (164) (voiced by Yuma Uchida)
- ??? (YM) (voiced by ???)
- Throrn ([email protected]) (voiced by Yuka Otsubo)
- ??? (Mitoki-P) (voiced by ???)
The theme song is sung by a special unit consisting of Eriko Nakamura, Emi Nitta, and Yuka Otsubo.
Other Details and Development
Here are some other details, via an interview in the magazine:
- The word “Caligula” won’t necessarily appear in the game. It embodies the experience of playing the game.
- The characters that appear in the game have violated a variety of taboos.
- There was a certain taboo that the developers decided, “it would be best to avoid,” but Satomi instead created a character that maximized the taboo. That character is still going strong.
- The music sung for μ is by composers that are active on video upload websites and such.
- At first glance, combat is flashy like an action game, but since the actions are command-based, you can enjoy the game while carefully selecting your commands.
Development on Caligula is currently 50 percent complete.
Caligula is slated for a June 23, 2016 release in Japan for the PlayStation Vita, priced at 6,980 yen. Pre-orders will include a swimsuit costume product code, a visual booklet, a Caligule full album CD, and a special event participation ticket.