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250px-Rhapsody Box Art

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, released in Japan as The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom (マール王国の人形姫, Māru-ōkoku no Ningyō-hime?) is a tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation from Atlus USA and Nippon Ichi Software, the creators of Disgaea, and is part of the Marl Kingdom series.

It was released four times in Japan — once in 1998, then again as The Adventure of Puppet Princess + 1 in 1999, and then again as The Adventure of Puppet Princess (PSone Books) in 2001, and was released a fourth time for the Nintendo DS on June 6, 2008. The game was released in the USA, in 2000 and in 2008 and is the only game in the main series to be released outside Japan.

Rhapsody, along with its sequels, are considered musical RPGs, meaning in place of FMV cutscenes, there are musical numbers, complete with vocals. The game is also known for its "overwhelming cuteness" and low level of difficulty. Although this may make the game seem geared towards a younger audience, in Japan, the game and series in general has seen much success. In North America, the game has seen much less success, perceived as a girl-only game.

GameplayEdit

When starting a new game, the player can select a game difficulty (easy, normal, or hard), which affects how long it will take to finish the game. The player selects different places on the world map and encounters random encounter battles, such as in the Dragon Quest series. Unlike most role-playing video games, the player can save at any time, except during battle.

An oft-mentioned point of appreciation is its relatively unique plot premise and flow. Rhapsody is a theatrical musical in regard to its presentation style, containing frequent cut scenes that are sung, rather than simply spoken and acted. Players are given the option of listening to the lyrics and voice-overs in Japanese, English, or muting them entirely. Hidden throughout the game are high-quality illustrations of characters, which can be viewed any time through the item menu.

Battle

The battles are fought in a tactical role-playing game fashion. However, unlike other games in this genre, the battles tend to last less than a minute, with the exception of boss battles, and require little tactics. This makes the game stand out in its genre and may have also led to its limited mainstream success with more hardcore players of the genre.
220px-Rhapsodybattle

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure Gameplay


Battle sceneCornet is the main character, but mainly offers support in battle-puppets that are found throughout the game do most of the fighting for her. Kururu never actually fights in any battles in the original, though she does in the remake for the DS. Each character learns different skills as they level up, except Cornet (in the original only), who has attacks called Rewards. Cornet can blow her horn during battle to power up the puppets and gain appreciation points, which allow her to unleash these devastating techniques. Most Rewards are represented by foods, such as flan, cake, and candy.

Like in most tactical RPGs, each character has a certain move number and can attack at a certain distance. Most party members can only attack at close range, unless he or she has a long-range skill. Each character can also equip three accessories and use items. The game features some normal status problems (sleep, paralysis, etc.) like in most console RPGs, but has some original ones too, such as frog and philanthropy. Each enemy also has an element (thunder, wind, earth, fire, water, dark, holy) and a weakness to the opposite element. Each element has its own set of spells, which can be used to take advantage of such weaknesses.

Unlike in most tactical RPGs, instead of gaining experience points each turn, all the characters get the same amount of points at the end of battle. After earning enough experience points, the character will level up and become stronger and possibly learn a spell. There are also skill points, gained when a character strikes the finishing blow. The more of these points a character has, the higher his or her critical rate becomes. Inotium, the in-game money, is also won after every battle. Occasionally monsters will join Cornet after they are defeated. These monsters can then be used in battle, like puppets, and can use special monster abilities.

StoryEdit

The game centers around the adventures of Cornet, a girl who can talk to puppets and has a magical horn that grants wishes, and Kururu, a puppet that has the heart and soul of a human. The majority of the game is about Cornet and Kururu trying to save Prince Ferdinand (whom Cornet is in love with) after he has been turned to stone by the self-proclaimed "most beautiful witch in the world." The witch, Marjoly, also has a crush on the prince and had meant to put him to sleep, but messed up the spell and accidentally turned him to stone.

Characters

  • Cornet Espoir: Cornet is the cheerful heroine of the game. She can sing, play the horn, and even talk to puppets; which most people cannot do. Cornet longs for a passionate relationship and despises toads. She longs for a prince to sweep her off of her feet.
  • Kururu: She is a puppet and Cornet's best friend. She follows Cornet throughout the game, often making humorous comments on her behavior. She likes cherries, and dislikes anything sour. Unlike other puppets, Kururu can move around on her own without the powers of Cornet's horn, and she can talk to other humans besides Cornet. She hides a deep secret, but for the better. Her weapon of choice is a paper fan (she is only playable in the DS version).
  • Cherie: Cherie is Cornet's mother, who is said to have been killed in an accident many years prior to the start of the game.
  • Ferdinand Marl E.: The prince, and soon to be king, of Marl Kingdom. He often sneaks out of the castle to hunt or visit the city. Cornet has dreamed of him her whole life and falls in love with him after a chance meeting in the forest.
  • Etoile Rosenqueen: She is Cornet's arrogant rival. Etoile often makes sarcastic remarks about Cornet. She is from a rich background and loves being the center of attention.
  • Marjoly: Marjoly is the sexy antagonist of the game, but is hardly the typical evil mastermind bent on world domination. She lies about her age and often calls herself the most beautiful witch in the world. She is not not very smart and her lackeys often insult her rather openly. She also makes a cameo in each game of the Disgaea (Series).
  • Gao: Gao is one of Marjoly's lackeys. It is said that she has the strength to fight a dragon with her bare hands. Many people mistake her for a man, including Cornet.
  • Crowdia': Crowdia is another of Marjoly's lackeys. She is very beautiful, but very narcissistic. She has large black wings, like a crow, and fights with a sword.
  • Myao: Myao is Marjoly's third lackey. She appears to be a child. She often acts childish and selfish, and she can cast powerful magic to summon dragons.

Audio

Bundled with the US game was an original soundtrack CD (Rhapsody - A Musical Adventure USA Soundtrack). All songs were composed by Tenpei Sato.

List of Rhapsody PS and DS Soundtrack

Nintendoo DS VersionEdit

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure was released for the Nintendo DS on September 23, 2008. The gameplay has been changed significantly, the battles changed from strategy-RPG style to 2-D turn based battles, similar to the ones found in the sequels. Kururu also engages in battle in this version of the game. Though extra scenarios from the third game in the series were advertised, translated, and given as the reason for the removal of the English song vocals, they were absent from the game. NIS America announced that they removed this content because of localization issues. Reports of glitches have also surfaced such as freezing.

ReceptionEdit

Considered to be a sleeper hit and cult classic among role-playing games, Rhapsody appeals largely to a small demographic within the larger console RPG fanbase, even considered a novelty of the genre. Its lighthearted approach, distinctly female perspective, relatively brief playtime (it can be completed in approximately 10 hours normally, and in five hours if rushed, whereas most RPGs span 30+ hours) and generally challenge-soft gameplay are factors that have contributed to both its limited success among the mainstream, and intense popularity within its smaller fanbase.

LegacyEdit

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure has a sequel, Little Princess: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2, which has been fan-translated. There is also a third game Tenshi no Present - Marl Oukoku Monogatari, also known as Angel's Present: A Marl Kingdom Story, which has also been translated by fans on GameFAQs.

Rhapsody's influence has extended into Nippon Ichi's subsequent series of tactical role-playing games. One of the characters of La Pucelle: Tactics is a descendant of the characters in the game, while the shops named after Cornet's rival, Etoile Rosenqueen, have spread even to the Netherworlds of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Antiphona no Seikahime: Tenshi no Gakufu Op.A also takes place in the same world and features Marjoly.

After the first release of the game, a cheaper edition called The Adventure of Puppet Princess + 1 was published, which featured an art gallery, sound test, and a bonus CD. The American release of the game had these features, but instead of the bonus CD was a soundtrack CD, with vocal and instrumental songs from the game. The third release (The Adventure of Puppet Princess (PSone Books)), did not come with any extra CD. There was also a Rhapsody calendar released.

A version of the game was released on mobile phones.

External LinksEdit

NavigationEdit

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
Characters
Cornet Espoir - Kururu - Cherie - Ferdinand Marl E - Etoile Rosenqueen - Marjoly - Gao - Crowdia - Myao
Gameplay
Nippon Ichi Software games
Created by Nippon Ichi Software
1994-1999
Pieces - Jigsaw World - The Oni Taiji: Mezase! Nidaime Momotarō - Hanafuda Graffiti: Koikoi Monogatari - Jigsaw Island: Japan Graffiti - Sōryu: Logical Mahjong - Angel Blade: Neo Tokyo Guardians - Doki Doki Shutter Chance: Koi no Puzzle o Kumitatete - SatelliTV - Cooking Fighter Hao - Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure - Logic Mahjong Sōryu - Little Princess: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2
Created by Nippon Ichi Software
2000-2005
Tenshi no Present: Marl Ōkoku Monogatari - Marl de Jigsaw - La Pucelle: Tactics - Jigsaw Madness - Disgaea: Hour of Darkness - Meth Ethereal: Seirei no Sumu Shima - Marl Jong!! - Phantom Brave - Mugen Keitai Disgaea - Hayarigami: Keishichō Kaii Jiken File - Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime i - Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome - Eien no Aseria: The Spirit of Eternity Sword - Hayarigami Revenge: Keishichō Kaii Jiken File - Tristia of the Deep-Blue Sea - Rasetsu Alternative - Hayarigami Portable: Keishichō Kaii Jiken File
Created by Nippon Ichi Software
2006-2010
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Uta no Prince-sama: Sweet Serenade - Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten - Cladun X2 - Disgaea: Netherworld Unbound - Bikkuriman Kanjuku Haoh: Sanmi Dōran Sensōki - Uta no Prince-sama Repeat - Makai Kingdom Portable - Uta no Prince-sama Music - Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention - Web Phantom Brave - Legasista - Uta no Prince-sama Debut - Special Report Division - Disgaea Makai Collection - Missing Parts: The Tantei Stories Complete - The Guided Fate Paradox - Uta no Prince-sama All Star - Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness - Disgaea Legion Battle - Z/X Zillions of Enemy X: Zekkai no Crusade - The Witch and the Hundred Knight - Uta no Prince-sama Music 2 - Battle Princess of Arcadias - Kamigami no Asobi: Ludere deorum - Criminal Girls: Invite Only - Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited - If You Thought It Was Harem Paradise, It Was Yandere Hell - Hotaru no Nikki: The Firefly Diary - Shin Hayarigami - The Awakened Fate Ultimatum - Great Edo Blacksmith - Criminal Girls: Busse - Fuuraiki 3 - Uta no Prince-sama All Star After Secret - Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance - The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition - Yomawari: Night Alone - Criminal Girls 2 - Hero Must Die - Disgaea PC - Kamigami no Asobi InFinite - A Rose in the Twilight - Hotaru no Nikki: The Firefly Diary (Steam) - Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk - Shin Hayarigami 2 - Phantom Brave PC - The Longest Five Minutes - Yomawari: Night Alone - Penny-Punching Princess
Created by Nippon Ichi Software
2017-2018
Criminal Girls: Invite Only (Steam) - Disgaea 2 PC - The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 - Disgaea 2 PC - Disgaea 5 Complete - A Rose in the Twilight (Steam) - Exile Election - Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! - Hakoniwa Company Works - Yomawari: Midnight Shadows - Iwaihime: Matsuri - Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk (PS4/Switch/Steam) - Yomawari: Midnight Shadows (Steam) - The Longest Five Minutes (Steam) - Makai Wars (Mobile) - The Princess Guide - The 25th Ward: The Silver Case - Penny-Punching Princess - Logic Mahjong Souryu: Yonin Uchi / Sannin Uchi - The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana - Closed Nightmare - Disgaea 1 Complete - Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk (Steam) - Disgaea 5 Complete - Yomawari: The Long Night Collection - Lapis Re Abyss - Destiny Connect
Published by NIS America
(2005-2010)
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana - Generation of Chaos - Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny - Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light - Spectral Souls: Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires - Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia - Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos - Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm - Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis - Ar Tonelico 2: Melody of Metafalica - Mana Khemia: Student Alliance - Puchi Puchi Virus - Cross Edge - What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? - Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy - Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island - Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love - What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 2 - Viral Survival - Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland
Published by NIS America
(2011-2016)
Hyperdimension Neptunia - Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel - Bleach: Soul Resurrección - Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland - Cave Story 3D - Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 - Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland - Cladun X2 - Way of the Samurai 4 - Mugen Souls - Clan of Champions - Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection - Persona 4 Golden - Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory - Black Rock Shooter: The Game - Time and Eternity - Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan - Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers - Dragon's Crown - Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - Ys: Memories of Celceta - Demon Gaze - Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl - Mugen Souls Z - Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection - Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - Fairy Fencer F - Natural Doctrine - Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed - Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord - Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! - Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late - Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters - Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy - Lost Dimension - Onechanbara Z2: Chaos - Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls - Etrian Mystery Dungeon - Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal - Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker - Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Rodea the Sky Soldier - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - The Legend of Legacy - Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight - Stella Glow - République - Stranger of Sword City - Grand Kingdom - Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir - Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet - Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness - Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
Published by NIS America
(2017-2018)
Danganronpa 1–2 Reload - Touhou Genso Wanderer - Touhou Double Focus - The Silver Case - Birthdays the Beginning - Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy - God Wars: Future Past - Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls - RPG Maker Fes - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana - Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony - Culdcept Revolt - Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle - Demon Gaze II - Tokyo Tattoo Girls - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (Steam) - Assault Spy - Fallen Legion: Rise To Glory - Happy Birthdays - The Lost Child - Touhou Genso Wanderer: Reloaded - God Wars: The Complete Legend - SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy - Metal Max Xeno - SNK 40th Anniversary Collection - Killer7 (Steam) - RPG Maker MV - The Caligula Effect: Overdose