front cover

Platform: Sony Playstation 2

Region: NTSC-J

Country: Japan

Developer(s): Key

Publishers(s): NEC Interchannel

ReleaseDate: 2005-09-01

Players: 1

Co-op: No

Air [Best Version]

Also know as: エアー [Best Version]

Air is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Key released on September 8, 2000 for Windows PCs. Key later released versions of Air without the erotic content, and the game was ported to the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. The story follows the life of Yukito Kunisaki, a traveling showman searching for the "girl in the sky". He arrives in a quiet, seaside town where he meets three girls, one of whom is the key to the end of his journey. The gameplay in Air follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the three female main characters by the player character. The game is divided into three segments (Dream, Summer, and Air) which serve as different phases in the overall story. The title of the game reflects the prominent themes of the air, skies, and use of wings throughout gameplay. The game ranked as the best-selling PC game sold in Japan for the time of its release, and charted in the national top 50 several more times afterwards. Air has sold over 300,000 units across several platforms. Following the game's release, Air made several transitions into other media. A manga by Yukimaru Katsura was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Comptiq, and later published into two volumes. Comic anthologies and art books were also published, as were audio dramas and several albums of music. Kyoto Animation produced a 13-episode anime television series and a two-episode anime mini-series in 2005, and Toei Animation produced an anime film in 2005. The anime adaptations are licensed by Funimation who released them in North America. GAMEPLAY: Air is a romance visual novel in which the player assumes the role of three characters. Much of its gameplay is spent on reading the story's narrative and dialogue. Air follows a branching plot line with multiple endings, and depending on the decisions that the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in a specific direction. With the consumer ports, if an undesired choice was selected, there would be an option to rewind the story to correct the mistake. However, if the player reaches a bad end to a storyline, the player does not have this option and must reload the game at the last saved point. There are five main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, three which are initially available and two more which can later become available. Throughout gameplay, the player is given multiple options to choose from, and text progression pauses at these points until a choice is made. To view all plot lines in their entirety, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and choose different choices to further the plot to an alternate direction. STORY: Air's story revolves around three girls whose lives are connected to the same man. In the first story arc, Dream, Yukito Kunisaki is a showman traveling across Japan, continuing his late mother's search for the "girl in the sky". The story opens on Monday July 17, 2000 when Yukito comes across a small seaside town where the story takes place. On his first day in town, Yukito tries to earn money by putting on a mysterious puppet show where he manipulates a doll magically without strings for a small audience of kids passing by. Yukito is unsuccessful in gaining the children's favor, and the children leave without paying him for his performance. That night, Yukito sleeps on the town's seawall by the beach. Yukito collapses from heat stroke the next day and is taken to a nearby fisherman's guild; after he awakens, they feed him, and give him some very large rice balls to take with him as he is leaving. As he sits on the town's seawall eating one of the rice balls, he notices a young girl beside him who introduces herself as Misuzu Kamio a sincere yet clumsy girl who is eager to become friends with him. Misuzu persistently attempts to play with him, while Yukito tries to refuse her efforts. He eventually follows her home lured by the chance to eat. After Haruko, Misuzu's aunt and foster mother, is persuaded, it is decided that he will stay with them for the time being. RELEASE HISTORY: Air was released as an adult game on September 8, 2000 as a limited edition, playable on a Windows PC as a 2-disc CD-ROM set. The limited edition came bundled with the remix album Ornithopter remixing background music tracks featured in the visual novel. The regular edition was released on July 27, 2001. Key released on all ages version on July 27, 2001 for Windows. An updated adult version called the Air Standard Edition was released on April 8, 2005 with added support for Windows 2000/XP as a DVD-ROM. An updated all ages version of Air compatible for Windows Vista PCs was released by Key on July 31, 2009 in a box set containing five other Key visual novels called Key 10th Memorial Box. Another updated all ages version compatible for Windows 7 PCs called Air Memorial Edition was released on May 28, 2010. The first consumer console port of the game was released for the Dreamcast (DC) on September 20, 2001 by NEC Interchannel. A PlayStation 2 (PS2) version was released on August 8, 2002 also by NEC Interchannel. The PS2 version was re-released as a "Best" version on September 1, 2005. The PS2 version was bundled in a "Key 3-Part Work Premium Box" package together with the PS2 versions of Kanon and Clannad released on July 30, 2009. To compensate for the lack of erotic content in the consumer ports, extra scenes were added. MANUFACTURER'S DESCRIPTION: Set in the rural town of summer, and porting popular adventure game on the PC version to draw and exchange meeting with three girls. And heroine of 3 people I met in a small town, hero and Kunisaki ?? you looking for the meaning of the message that has been heard in the mother from an early age, continue to journey going to a strange experience. ?? or be able to know the meaning of the message of the mother is ....! ?

ESRB Rating: Not Rated

Genre(s): Adventure

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