Summer Vacation 1975 - Let's Play Boku no Natsuyasumi 2: Umi no Bouken Hen

Boku no Nasuyatsumi 2 (English: My Summer Vacation 2: Adventure by the Sea) is the second of four games in the Boku no Nasuyatsumi series, developed by Millennium Kitchen and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and released in July of 2002 for the Playstation 2. Despite the name, it’s not really a sequel - while all four of the games share an art style and are all about being on summer vacation in mid-1970s Japan, they do not share a continuity and are closer to being remakes of each other. For reference, the third game was PS3-exclusive and the fourth was on the PSP.

The game was fan-translated by a group called Hilltop in late 2023 using some rather extensive modding, and from what I saw of their development logs, this looked like the kind of game I’d want to LP. Boku no Nasuyatsumi 2 has been compared to Animal Crossing, but really it’s more like Shenmue if Shenmue didn’t have a linear story or a win condition. The game itself is about a Japanese third-grader (who is only ever referred to as “Boku”) on summer vacation in a small seaside town in August of 1975, with your only goal being to fill Boku’s picture diary with memories.

The reason I chose to LP this game over Persona 3 is that it makes a rather unique and also annoying use of the PS2’s controller - namely the pressure-sensitive face buttons, which it uses for movement. Unfortunately, no one makes pressure-sensitive controllers anymore as they haven’t been part of a console spec for over a decade: Sony themselves dropped pressure-sensitive buttons as of the PS4’s release, Microsoft dropped them as of the XBox 360, and Nintendo never really used them outside of the shoulder buttons on the Gamecube controller.

While the game is beatable on an emulator (all existing PS2 emulators have a hotkey system you can use in place of the pressure-sensitivity), it’s kinda awkward to play unless you’re using real hardware (it’s still a bit awkward even then), and real hardware is exactly what I’m going to be playing this on. If you’re planning on playing this yourself, a good alternative is to buy a Dualshock 3 (which appear to be fairly cheap still and have USB support), which I believe all of the existing PS2 emulators support. Worst comes to worst, you can probably sell it for a profit in like 20 years because that’s how the western retro market works.


newmascotresized: Millennium Kitchen still very much exists as a developer - they released a game based on Crayon Shin-Chan a couple of years ago on the PS4 and Switch. I hope they eventually translate the rest of their games.

newmascotresized: Before we start the game, I’m going to go into the menu and just do one thing.

newmascotresized: We’re going to set the time speed to “Slow”. Boku no Nasuyatsumi 2 has a timer much like Shenmue’s, and because of the controls we’re going to want to slow that down a bit.

newmascotresized: The first thing we’re prompted to do is enter a class number and a name for the save file. I don’t think there are any in-game effects based on what you pick - this game was marketed at adults, so my guess is they did this so that you could put your actual third grade class in if you remembered it.

newmascotresized: By “Frank” I’m referring to Frank’s… I guess they’d be grandsons if it’s 1975. If his first son is Frankruto, I guess this would be short for “Borfrankruto”.

newmascotresized: All of the Boku no Nasuyatsumi games, as far as I’m aware, use this same artstyle.

newmascotresized: The song she’s humming is Frere Jacques. I think that’s how you spell it, minus the accent marks.

newmascotresized: And here’s who we’ll be playing the entire game as.

newmascotresized: There’s no way, unless…

newmascotresized: You know how the Ryu ga Gotoku games never tell you who the first chairman of the Tojo Clan was? Yeah, that was Boku.

newmascotresized: I did a quick search to see if Shiodate Harbor is real, and as far as I can tell it isn’t.

newmascotresized: I mean, by videogame standards she’s old enough to join an adventuring party and kill God.

newmascotresized: Hell yeah, it’s vacation time.

newmascotresized: This game really is delightful.

newmascotresized: There’s a song that plays during this cutscene, and I should also mention that every line of dialog in this game is voiced. Fortunately, I got a recording of it.

newmascotresized: That’s a nice beach. I hate the beach, but that’s a nice beach.

newmascotresized: It’s nice to see Dog.png from Ace Combat 7 early in his career, back when he was merely Dog.jpg.

newmascotresized: Damn, $4 watermelons?

newmascotresized: This kinda reminds me of one year when I was a kid and stayed for a week at a relative’s house on Long Island.

newmascotresized: We’ll see a lot of Takeshi and Shigeru in this game.

newmascotresized: This game had a couple of surprisingly big-name voiceactors backing it - Shigeru is voiced by Ikue Otani, who is also the Japanese voice for Morgana in Persona 5.

newmascotresized: Simon has different subtitles because he’s a foreigner - the subtitles are like this even in the original Japanese.

newmascotresized: This is voiceacted, but all I could hear in my head is Johnny’s Snap voiceline from Shadow Hearts.

newmascotresized: Takeshi: “Yeah, I remember the good old days, back in the 70s when you could hover for a few seconds after a jump. They, ah… they don’t let you do that no more.”

newmascotresized: Welcome to Akane House, where Boku will be staying until he departs the town at the end of August. I looked it up, and typically schools in Japan do summer break from the third week of July or so until the end of August.

newmascotresized: I’m not sure if that poster on the wall is meant to be a reference to an actual movie or not.

newmascotresized: I tried to find a scan of the manual for this game, but unfortunately all I’ve been able to find are a couple of translated pages - one of which is the map for the guest house. Let’s take a look.

newmascotresized: There are a bunch of houses around here that have piers on the back, and I’ve always liked them except for the fact that they become mosquito hell in the summer.

newmascotresized: If you look at the map, you’ll notice that Boku’s room is directly across from the downstairs kitchen.

newmascotresized: Right now, we’re in this weird sort of limbo - usually, Boku can go pretty much anywhere before dinner, which is served at 6PM every day.

newmascotresized: And now it’s time for me to talk about the one thing in this game that really sucks - the controls. Instead of just using the analog sticks like every other game was doing around this time, Boku no Natsuyasumi 2 has tank controls that are operated with the D-Pad.

newmascotresized: However, you don’t move with the D-Pad. Oh no, that’s just for turning. Movement is done by holding down X - you can hold it down gently to walk or push it all the way down to run. This is why I have the time scale set to “slow”, because the controls definitely take some getting used to.

newmascotresized: I should mention that on “normal”, you get about 7 minutes until the first day ends. I wind up using probably a full two of them to show off a neat little thing you can do before you even leave Boku’s room.

newmascotresized: If you walk up to the window right by Boku’s desk, you can sit on the little balcony outside. At first, Boku will sit facing inside, but after a few minutes, he’ll face outside like this.

newmascotresized: If, from there, you try to get down from the windowsill, Boku will fall out backwards. This doesn’t happen if you do it while Boku is still facing inside.

newmascotresized: Anyway, let’s get going. There’s a lot of stuff we want to do on the first day that I don’t get around to doing - I might do a second update that is a “perfect run” on Slow where we try to get everything.

newmascotresized: The most important thing we can do today is this: you see that clock on the table? I don’t wind up grabbing it until after dinner, but let’s do that because it’s a fairly important and useful item.

newmascotresized: If we open the menu at the start of the game, you can see that we have a number of options: from the left is the game options, the bug catching net (which we don’t have yet), items (in the yellow bag), the fishing rod, the bug box, and the shirt. You see, I wasn’t kidding when I said that Boku is a yakuza boss.

newmascotresized: Just for a second, I’m going to go forward to when we got the clock so I can show off what the shirt does.

newmascotresized: At any point, Boku can take his shirt off. As far as I’m aware, Boku can take his shirt off right at the start of the game and keep it off the entire game if you want.

newmascotresized: Once we pick up the clock, it shows up in the menu.

newmascotresized: There’s another item outside which we could pick up, but I didn’t do so until night. If you look over on the left, you’ll see where all the shoes are - to get down there, we have to walk over and hit Circle.

newmascotresized: This gets us the first of the game’s collectible items - you may have seen the counter for bottle caps on the pause screen.

newmascotresized: Bottle caps are very important for a couple of diary entries later on. We don’t need all 25, but I think there’s a diary entry if you get all of them.

newmascotresized: There are three in the house. I think you can get all three on the first day, but one of them might be blocked off.

newmascotresized: The only thing I really had time for today was visiting the kitchen. The kitchen is this game’s shop, and is another way you can get bottle caps.

newmascotresized: Unfortunately, we don’t have any money just yet. Boku does get some tomorrow, but for right now we’re not going to be able to buy anything.

newmascotresized: I don’t even make it out of the kitchen before Aunt Mitsuko calls us for dinner.

newmascotresized: They’re saying “Itadakimasu” here, and everyone but Boku says it together.

newmascotresized: I just want to pause here for a second and show you how much work went into this translation hack. Let’s take a look at what this scene looks like in the untouched Japanese version - I found a screenshot of it in an interview Hilltop did about the game.


newmascotresized: The translator had to hack in an entire thing just to make horizontal text.

newmascotresized: It’s funny how untrue that is of rural America, where you need a car to get anywhere.

newmascotresized: Bug collecting is a thing we can do, which is the only real grind in this game unless you want all the bottle caps. We need to do it for a couple of diary entries.

newmascotresized: Boku goes back to his class and tells them he saw 200 cars a day in this extremely rural area of Japan with one car per household if that.

newmascotresized: And with that, it’s now night time. At night, the gate to the house closes, limiting where you can go. That tree near the house will be a major destination for catching bugs later.

newmascotresized: This is the outside of the kitchen. I want to note, by the way, that those signs didn’t originally have English on them - the translator wrote a program to dump all the textures and then manually edited them.

newmascotresized: I spent what little time we have at night grabbing those items and futzing about trying to find the rest of the bottlecaps and the one other thing I wanted to accomplish today, but couldn’t find any of them in time.

newmascotresized: The second bottlecap is in one of the guest rooms, and we need to get it fairly quickly before it becomes locked off, but I didn’t quite make it there.

newmascotresized: Immediately after we finish the dialog, we get warped back to Boku’s room. Normally, Boku can stay up until… I think midnight… but we want to ideally make it to bed by 11PM each night.

newmascotresized: The diary is the game’s only save point.

newmascotresized: You can flip through to see each entry, but we only have the one so it flips us to the end instead.

newmascotresized: Let me explain briefly how the diary works. Each event in the game has a priority level, and at the end of each day, the highest priority event is the one that gets recorded.

newmascotresized: Now, you might ask “What happens if you don’t do anything and just, say, have Boku sit by the window until he goes to bed?”

newmascotresized: You see that little diary picture there? That’s what happens. There are 12 different “non-entry” entries like that, and getting too many of those is effectively the game’s bad ending.

newmascotresized: Next time, we’ll play our first full day of the game, though a lot of it will be on rails.


newmascotresized: While trying to do an optimal run of the first day, I found out something I wish I had known from the start - namely that the in-game timer doesn’t actually run on real time.

newmascotresized: I also find out that you can find Takeshi’s math test in the garbage can in Boku’s room, which would explain the comment about him needing help with his math homework.

newmascotresized: Anyway, the way it works is that time progresses only when you transition screens, which explains why I only got about 7 minutes out of the first day the first time I did it.

newmascotresized: The good news is that with the time scaling set to “Slow” (I checked my save and somehow the game was on “Fast”) you get enough screen transitions that even without being hyper-optimal we can easily get to everything I wanted to do today.

newmascotresized: I also find out that you can return the clock if you want.

newmascotresized: I then go and pick up the bottle cap we got in the previous update, the one by the front door.

newmascotresized: Our next stop is up these stairs - I had these confused for the other set of stairs near the kitchen.

newmascotresized: Both of the places we want to go are conveniently right next to each other. We’ll head into the bath first.

newmascotresized: If you examine the shelves inside, you can have Boku take a bath, but that’d take time and we can do that some other day. Instead, this locker outside will give us a second bottle cap.

newmascotresized: It also occurred to me that I never explained what the bottle caps do. Each bottle cap increases Boku’s air meter by two pips, which lets us dive underwater for longer.

newmascotresized: Next, we want to head into Guest Room 3, which is right next to the entrance to the bath.

newmascotresized: This gets us the third and final bottlecap in the house itself. There is one more free bottlecap we can get, but it’s in a location we can’t reach until tomorrow.

newmascotresized: The last stop I want to make today is down here, on the other side of the house.

newmascotresized: These are the morning glories. We can water them once a day. This will eventually get us a diary entry. Let’s just turn the hose on, and…

newmascotresized: Well, that didn’t work.

newmascotresized: What we have to do is have Boku kick the hose, which puts it into position to water the plants. The hitbox for this is INCREDIBLY small, so the best way is to just mash circle near the end of the hose.

newmascotresized: In total, we have to do this three times, once for each plant. I should mention that there is a slightly different (and hard to get) diary entry if you water the right-most plant but not the other two.

newmascotresized: If we head right from where the morning glories are, we can find Takeshi and Shigeru hanging out by this abandoned house. I’m not sure it’s possible to do everything we just did and make it here if the time scaling isn’t on “Slow”.

newmascotresized: Even though the game tells us this, as far as I’m aware you do not need bait to fish.

newmascotresized: I just pop in here for a bit because we don’t have enough time left to get anywhere else.

newmascotresized: There’s not much in here but a couple of cats.

newmascotresized: This is as far as we can get before Genta comes to take Boku to dinner. We’ll just skip ahead to night.

newmascotresized: You might have noticed at the end of the last update that when Mitsuko comes to put Boku to bed, there’s a box on the table that wasn’t there this morning.

newmascotresized: If this was Resident Evil, this box would definitely have gun parts in it.

newmascotresized: Hell yeah. It’s not really optimal to grab the bug kit tonight because we can do that on the morning of the 2nd, but we’re in kind of a non-canon run right now.

newmascotresized: On the non-optimal run, you can head up to the playground, at which point you’ll start hearing this one classical song - I forget what it is, but it’s the same song that plays in the Velvet Room in Innocent Sin.

newmascotresized: Right next door to the playground is this weird house. This is where Yasuko and her sister live. Their dog’s name is Kenbo, and is the key to a diary entry much later in the game.

newmascotresized: Gramps is the doctor at the local clinic, which is right next door. He works there until 7PM, at which point he leaves and comes back home.

newmascotresized: Anyway, the reason I came here was to see if we could get the fourth bottlecap, but as it turns out, we can’t.

newmascotresized: That door by the TV is where we’d need to go in order to do that, and we can’t get there because it’s locked.

newmascotresized: We can, however, walk in and see Yasuko’s sister sleeping. Boku won’t wake her up.

newmascotresized: The clinic is next door. While I’m here, I should talk more about the diary entries.

newmascotresized: As I mentioned in the last update, the diary entries work on a priority system. Each event you see in the game has a priority level from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest. The highest-priority event you see each day is the one that gets recorded.

newmascotresized: Seeing the fireflies here is a possible diary entry, but it only has a priority of 3. The event we automatically get today (arriving in town on the boat) is a priority 1. As far as I am aware, the game will record that we saw the fireflies even if we don’t get the diary entry, so this effectively locks us off from getting the entry for the fireflies.

newmascotresized: My goal with this LP is going to be seeing all of the priority 1 events, or at least as many of them as possible. There’s a priority 1 for catching all the bugs, but you’d basically need to do a playthrough solely for that if you really wanted to get that entry.

newmascotresized: After seeing the fireflies, I reloaded a savestate (the recording for this update was done on an emulator to scout out for the console run) and tried to find the stuff we’d need to catch beetles.

newmascotresized: Unfortunately, we can’t get any bait for them, but we can go to the tree (which is around the corner from the morning glories) and kick it to get a beetle.

newmascotresized: Now, there is one caveat to this: catching a beetle for the first time is a diary entry with a priority of 2, meaning that theoretically we could get screwed out of two diary entries today.

newmascotresized: However, we need a small army of beetles in order to achieve one of the two major goals (that aren’t getting all the bugs) in the game, so I’ll leave getting that diary entry for the emulator.

newmascotresized: And this is how we optimize our first day - getting all three bottle caps, watering the plants, and getting our first beetle.

newmascotresized: There was one other thing I found kind of amusing while trying to book it to Yasuko’s house to see if I could get that fourth bottlecap - her sister will be sleeping even during the day.


newmascotresized: Day 2 has two major diary entries we can get - the first is a priority 2, the second is a priority 1. We’ll wind up seeing both, but I’m going for the priority 1 on the console run.

newmascotresized: There’s a lot of things we could do on Day 2, but we don’t want to do most of them because we get the priority 1 entry as the first thing we do today. We could skip the priority 1 event, but it’s kind of plot-critical.

newmascotresized: This shot’s kind of blurry but that’s what happens when you capture off real hardware.

newmascotresized: If you make it to bed by 11pm, Boku will automatically wake up at 6:30 the following morning to do radio exercises.

newmascotresized: In fact, you have the attendance card from the moment you start the game. Ignore the chalk, we’ll get to that.

newmascotresized: Mitsuko is correct. We can’t actually meet Yoh for a few days, but helping him is one of the two (really three) major goals in this game.

newmascotresized: Swimming to Yoh’s house from Akane House is a diary entry, but it’s a priority 5, meaning we’re probably not going to see it.

newmascotresized: All of a sudden, there’s a noise, and Boku ducks his head.

newmascotresized: That must be a big rocket if you can see it from across the ocean.

newmascotresized: The rocket sails off to an area we haven’t seen before.

newmascotresized: We can’t reach Okusawa yet, but we’ll be going there as soon as we can because there is a lot of stuff there. In fact, just going there is a priority 1 diary entry.

newmascotresized: Dammit Morgana, we have several million yen and… oh, right. In any case, seeing the rocket launch is a priority 2 diary entry - we could do nothing else and we’d have a diary entry.

newmascotresized: And this is our new main quest: finding Yoh’s rocket valves. There are three of them, and I think we can reach one right now if we really wanted to.

newmascotresized: What the hell, Yasuko? It’s like, probably seven or eight in the morning. Everyone knows ice cream is for like 8:00 at night when you go browse YouTube to watch dumb speedruns.

newmascotresized: I believe this is the first time you can learn Genta and Mitsuko’s last name outside of reading the manual.

newmascotresized: This is from the console run, where I immediately went to bed after getting the first beetles so as not to lock out any diary entries. I’ll see when I do the emulator run whether or not this dialog changes if you’ve already been to Yasuko’s house.

newmascotresized: Well, that’s… kinda depressing.

newmascotresized: We do, but Boku doesn’t on this run because I never went that far.

newmascotresized: She tells us how to get to the park, but we already know that so I’ll skip it.

newmascotresized: Yasuko points out what I’ll call the “lower route” to the park - there’s also the “upper route” which goes past the cat house we saw in the optimized version of Day 1 I did. This takes us past Genta’s tool shed.

newmascotresized: I got a little confused here because I know we were supposed to find a bug net - and as it turns out, we had it the whole time. You just press R1.

newmascotresized: I missed a line immediately before this. It’s just Boku saying “I’m here!”.

newmascotresized: It’s weird to me that in a game this relaxed, they have all these undertones that insinuate that maybe life in a town like this isn’t all that great after all.

newmascotresized: I have absolutely zero clue what Boku is talking about. When I was doing the test run on the emulator, I ran all around the dock area and never saw anyone.

newmascotresized: I don’t remember if I got a shot of the front of the house, but the gate where Yasuko is standing is locked if you come up here on the first day.

newmascotresized: This part right here is the important part, and is in fact what tonight’s diary entry will be about.

newmascotresized: That’s the problem with symbolism doors - you can’t just pull them off the hinges and then replace the lock, or failing that just bash them in with something.

newmascotresized: This spot here is kind of hard to know about unless Yasuko shows it to you, or you just happen to poke around in her backyard a lot. You can’t see it from the ground level, at least as far as I know.

newmascotresized: We can also see Yasuko’s sister from up here. I got a little confused thinking this was some area on the other side of the house, but it’s actually not - this is the playground, just viewed from a weird angle.

newmascotresized: This is also one of those things that irks me a little bit, because structurally it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I mean, you have this dirt area that’s going to fill with weeds as soon as spring hits, which you have no apparent way to access apart from a ladder.

newmascotresized: She made a grave for a stray cat? I guess now we know where all that food in the abandoned house came from.

newmascotresized: I skipped a couple of lines confirming which door is the locked one - it’s the wooden one near Boku.

newmascotresized: That’s what she thinks. In fact, we’re about to burglarize something from her room.

newmascotresized: That’s four caps out of the seven or eight we’ll need to accomplish one of the game’s big goals. We could get up to 7 today without even going into the water, but we don’t necessarily want to do that.

newmascotresized: The top of Yasuko’s room is nice, but it could use an actual bed.

newmascotresized: No, I didn’t miss any lines - the game just kind of tells you that her name is Hikari without her ever saying it. Hikari’s fortune telling is the game’s built-in hint system.

newmascotresized: You can pick a number and it will give you a time and place. I remember when kids made these back when I was in elementary school. I could never figure out how to fold them. I am not good at origami.

newmascotresized: Again, not much of a point doing this because we already have a priority 1. Doing Hikari’s fortune telling for the first time is also a potential diary entry, but it’s a priority 5 and will be overwritten by anything else.

newmascotresized: On the way back, we find a really big crayfish. I think these are used to catch some of the bigger fish, some of which can potentially yield priority 1 entries if they’re big enough.

newmascotresized: On the way back, I grab the chalk off the chalkboard near Takeshi and Shigeru’s room - it’s right behind the stairs we took on Day 1 to get the two bottlecaps upstairs.

newmascotresized: We can then examine the chalkboard to show Takeshi and Shigeru what happens when they cross the yakuza. That’ll teach them.

newmascotresized: After watering the morning glories (not pictured), we’re going to go swimming for the first time. This is where I colossally fuck up and accidentally accomplish one of the major goals of the game.

newmascotresized: We enter the water right next to Genta’s tool shed, near the stairs going up to the playground. It’s bottle cap hunting time, but first there’s something we can grab early.

newmascotresized: There’s no camera control while swimming so all of these will look like ass, but if you swim directly to the right from that screen, you wind up right underneath the kitchen. See that glowy spot?

newmascotresized: Now, if we wanted, we could immediately cash this in for two more bottlecaps, but there are a few bottlecaps around here that are pretty easy to find.

newmascotresized: The sea is divided into two areas - the “inner bay”, which is the area near Akane House, and the “outer bay”. The outer bay is found by swimming toward these little islands in the distance.

newmascotresized: In the Outer Bay, there’s a sunken ship. It’s not particularly hard to find given how big it is.

newmascotresized: There’s a hole in the back of the ship that leads inside. This can be a little dangerous if you’re low on bottlecaps, but we find it all the same. Finding a bottlecap fully refills your oxygen.

newmascotresized: I should mention that the oxygen meter isn’t really accurate, either. You get the oxygen meter plus 10 additional seconds once the meter runs dry. If you don’t get to the surface in time, you lose a day.

newmascotresized: What we really came out here for, though, is this:

newmascotresized: The rocket valve is roughly right here, if you’re facing the smaller island. You just dive down into a little trench and it’s right there.

newmascotresized: This is one of three valves, and is in fact the only one we can get to right now. We don’t necessarily need to get this today, but it’s a good idea to have it on us.

newmascotresized: Now, here is my advice to you if you decide to play this on your own. Once you get the rocket valve and the ship bottlecap, turn around and do not come back to the Outer Bay.

newmascotresized: This one is really easy to find. If you go from where we entered the water and go straight across the Inner Bay, it’s underwater near a house across from Akane House.

newmascotresized: Also a super easy find. All you have to do is get in the water and follow the pier.

newmascotresized: This one’s kind of near where we found the Kentrosaurus, it’s in a cave underwater. We now have enough caps that we can easily accomplish the major goal… and that’s what I accidentally do.

newmascotresized: There’s one more easy bottlecap here, though. These stairs are right near Akane House, and if you swim away from the side of the stairs in a straight line…

newmascotresized: Now, here’s where I fuck up. The guide tells me there are three different bottlecaps in the Outer Bay that are all in tunnels.

newmascotresized: While trying to find a completely different area, I stumble across this deep tunnel. Going through this tunnel is one of the major goals we can accomplish, and is considered a priority 1 entry.

newmascotresized: Unfortunately, this overwrites the previous priority 1 entry we got by talking to Yasuko, which is very bad, especially considering I’d been diving for like an hour real time at this point.

newmascotresized: What we did here is reach an area called the “Secret Bay”. You can’t get here by land, and you can’t get out of the water here either. There’s zero indication you’ve reached it other than finding the bottlecap.

newmascotresized: At the time, I didn’t realize what I had done, because the guide told me there was a different bottlecap here and I assumed this was some other place.

newmascotresized: Our next stop is the clinic, which we’ll be stopping by every day. This is because another of the big goals in this game requires us to have 350 yen.

newmascotresized: Let’s talk to Gramps again.

newmascotresized: We can extort Gramps for money every day by massaging his shoulders.

newmascotresized: You do this by hitting left and right on the D-Pad at a certain tempo - the game will tell you if you’re too slow or too fast.

newmascotresized: I’d like to put things into perspective a little bit. Most anime/manga translators these days will tell you that the general rule for converting yen to dollars is that 100 yen is around a dollar.

newmascotresized: That hasn’t been true for a while - 100 yen is, at time of writing, about 66 cents in USD. In 1975, though, the yen was MUCH weaker than it is today. In fact, we can find out exactly what the exchange rate was.


newmascotresized: It was 297.82 yen to one dollar, which means Boku is carrying around something like 36 cents counting the hundred yen we found earlier.

newmascotresized: This is… admittedly a pretty important detail hidden behind a conversation with a character you have almost no reason to run into.

newmascotresized: There are two more things I want to show off before I make like Philemon and reset the PS2 without saving.

newmascotresized: If you talk to Mitsuko in the kitchen at any point after noon but before dinner, you can play the dinner quiz.

newmascotresized: Oh christ no. It’s Persona 4 all over again!

newmascotresized: The fridge isn’t exactly helping, either. Let me explain how you’d know the answer, assuming you’re a middle-aged Japanese guy playing this in 2002.

newmascotresized: We know that this is a fishing village - Yasuko told us as much earlier. Tekone zushi is a dish that originates in Mie prefecture, which is known for fishing.

newmascotresized: The dish itself is associated with fishermen, because it was meant for preparation on a fishing boat - you’d bring some vinegar sushi rice and a bottle of soy sauce, cut up a tuna you caught that day, and then marinate the tuna steaks in the soy sauce before chopping them up and mixing them with rice.

newmascotresized: Now, you can see that Mitsuko also has what appear to be salmon steaks, but she couldn’t make salmon meuniere because a key ingredient of salmon meuniere is lemon, and there’s no lemon.

newmascotresized: Also, Mitsuko works at a Japanese beach house and I don’t think you’ll find too many Japanese beach houses serving French dishes. Maybe I’m wrong on that, but I just kinda suspect it.

newmascotresized: This also tells us that this game probably takes place in Mie.

newmascotresized: Yeah, we uh… we sure tried fishing.

newmascotresized: Morgana is correct in that catching a fish over 50 cm is a diary entry.

newmascotresized: It’s a neat little detail that Boku says it with everyone else this time.

newmascotresized: If you walk into the kitchen area after dinner, Boku will automatically make a thing of sugar water.

newmascotresized: You can use this on trees to get more beetles, but this tree is the only one we can reach right now due to the front gate being closed.

newmascotresized: Finally, we can give Mitsuko a massage at night for another 10 yen. Now let’s just go to bed and get the diary entry for talking to Yasuko about the key…

newmascotresized: Well, shit. I’m going to have to get all those bottlecaps again (minus, of course, the one in the secret bay) and get the correct diary entry for today.


newmascotresized: Now that we’re on the emulator, let’s see what happens when we do Day 2… the horribly incorrect way.

newmascotresized: Let’s assume that on Day 2, instead of going to Yasuko’s house, Boku just kinda re-enacts the opening to King of the Hill. Let me show you the fastest way to skip time on an emulator.

newmascotresized: Time spent while swimming works differently than walking around - it always takes a set amount of time regardless of how much time you actually spend in the water. I think it also takes time if you swim between the Inner Bay and Outer Bay.

newmascotresized: On “Slow”, swimming takes only 15 minutes. On “Normal” it’s 30, and on “Fast” it’s 51 minutes. This applies even if all you do is get into the water and then immediately get out.

newmascotresized: On actual hardware, there’s a load time when you get in the water (meaning that just spamming screen transitions on land is faster) but on an emulator you can turn the frame limiter off and bypass that.

newmascotresized: This is the diary entry you get on Day 2 assuming you skip time from the moment you have control until the moment Boku can go to sleep without doing anything else and without talking to Yasuko.

newmascotresized: By the way, I checked and the dialog with Yasuko is not different if you’ve already been to her house.

newmascotresized: On my second run to get the Yasuko entry, I find another bottlecap - this one is down deep near the secret bay.

newmascotresized: There’s another easy to find bottlecap I missed in the Inner Bay in the last update. You see that ship there? If you swim down underneath the front of it (the front being the side further from Boku in this shot) there’s another cap down there that’s easy to reach. This is right next to the kitchen where we found the 100 yen.

newmascotresized: There are a total of 16 bottlecaps we can reach, and I get 14 of them on the emulator. One of the remaining two is in the secret bay. The other I have not come across in 3+ hours of looking.

newmascotresized: Finally, we get the entry we were meant to get for Day 2. Now I just have to do this all over again on the console, and we’ll be set for Day 3.

newmascotresized: On the console’s second attempt at Day 2, I realize that you can talk to Simon in his room in the morning.

newmascotresized: This shot is a minor improvement Hilltop made over the original game. You see, that is an actual National Geographic cover… from 1996.

newmascotresized: In the unpatched Japanese version, you can see the 1996 date, which Hilltop greyed out.


newmascotresized: With that done, let’s move on to Day 3.

newmascotresized: Day 3 is going to be largely uneventful until after dinner - there’s an automatic priority 2 entry at that point, and the only things that will overwrite it are either catching a big fish or finding the secret bay.

newmascotresized: I’m going to do Day 3 on the emulator first, only because I forgot to get the sugar water on the console after spending like two hours trying to find all the bottlecaps again.

newmascotresized: I also realized that my emulator save was still on Day 2, and as it turns out there’s a process you have to go through to get the ability to make sugar water, so let’s do that quick. We’re going to make this same trip on Day 3 anyway.

newmascotresized: This screen is just past the front gate of Akane House, and is (apparently) important if you plan on getting any of the diary entries for the big fish.

newmascotresized: These jizo statues can give you a fortune once a day - if you get “excellent luck” it supposedly gives you a higher chance of getting bigger fish and bigger bugs.

newmascotresized: One screen to the left of that is the graveyard, which we have no real reason to visit other than to pass through it.

newmascotresized: If we keep on going to the right, we end up at Takeshi and Shigeru’s tree house. Going in there the first time is a priority 2 diary entry, but because we can’t get here at night, it can’t overwrite today’s event.

newmascotresized: This is the second tree where you can catch beetles, which is one screen beyond the treehouse. If we talk to Takeshi and Shigeru here…

newmascotresized: As it turns out, this is a lie. Each tree holds a maximum of 3 beetles per day. All sugar water does is make it require fewer kicks to catch all three.

newmascotresized: While we’re out, let me show you the third tree.

newmascotresized: If you go to the clinic during the day, the back door will be open. From there, you can jump across some stones to this place, which is underneath the freeway.

newmascotresized: This area will become important later, but for now it has our third and final accessible beetle tree. There are two more that we can’t reach and one of them only becomes accessible once you no longer need beetles.

newmascotresized: With that done, we can now skip the rest of the day because I don’t think good beetles spawn this early in the game.

newmascotresized: Yasuko and the doctor have new dialog, so I talk to them while skipping to dinner.

newmascotresized: We can follow her, but she doesn’t really have anything interesting to say.

newmascotresized: Nagisa also has new dialog.

newmascotresized: This… isn’t true at all. Heat exhaustion is caused by your body losing salt due to excessive sweating caused by high temperatures. This is why doctors will tell you to drink sports drinks rather than water to treat heat exhaustion, because sports drinks have salt in them.

newmascotresized: Anyway, let’s skip to dinner, because dinner is what gives us the diary entry.

newmascotresized: I wish the developers had thought to add dialog for situations like this, where we already have the rocket valve from the ocean.

newmascotresized: I also figure out an additional quirk of the diary system, which explains why the secret bay overwrote the event with Yasuko on Day 2.

newmascotresized: If you have two events that are of the same priority, the most recent one is the one that gets recorded. We can test this on the emulator, where I hadn’t caught any beetles yet.

newmascotresized: Catching a beetle for the first time is also a priority 2 entry, so if we catch one after dinner…

newmascotresized: We get this entry instead, because we caught the beetle after the conversation at dinner. Originally, I was going to cut the update here, but instead I’d like to show off the main event of Day 4, which is another Priority 1 entry.

newmascotresized: Day 4 is the first day you can get any entry under Priority 2, but you’re kind of limited as to where you can go… kinda. You’ll see in a minute.

newmascotresized: At the start of Day 4, there’s an FMV of jellyfish that plays to music. It’s nothing special and some of it is recycled CG from the Day 1 intro movie.

newmascotresized: Day 4 starts like any other, except that right after breakfast, Hikari shows up wanting ice cream. What is it with people in this village and wanting ice cream at like 7AM?

newmascotresized: I believe this is the first point at which you can learn Hikari’s name short of the subtitles telling it to you if you talk to her in the park on Day 2 or Day 3.

newmascotresized: It’d probably be a good thing. I know a couple of people who have multiple boys and that alone was enough to keep me from ever wanting kids. I’ve heard all girls is even worse.

newmascotresized: I’d say “What the fuck is this, the 70s?” except it… actually is the 70s.

newmascotresized: Oh, it’s cat puns. Because Hikari is the one who feeds the cats.

newmascotresized: This is another part where the game really, really should’ve had a conditional thing if you’ve already met Hikari. We have on the console, but not on the emulator because I want to get a diary entry.

newmascotresized: Oh, it’s the old “He picks on her because he likes her” thing.

newmascotresized: Because he’s a tsundere and this was made in 2005, before tsundere got overplayed to hell and back and wound up in the same bottomless pit as zombie movies and ska not by bands named “The Planet Smashers”.

newmascotresized: Someday, I hope that we as a society can push isekai into that pit, and also that the Planet Smashers come back.

newmascotresized: We definitely want to do this event, because it fulfills one of the side goals - we’ll see what that is when we reach the end. It’s also VERY plot relevant.

newmascotresized: Yasuko is only two screens away, so we can catch right up to her.

newmascotresized: I figured out how the jizo statues work, and as it turns out it’s kind of like the fortune teller in Animal Crossing - you have a hidden luck value assigned to you each day, and the statues merely tell you what it is.

newmascotresized: We get a good fortune, which I kind of already suspected because I did some bug catching by accident off-screen. This would make today a good day for beetles.

newmascotresized: Now, the weird thing about this to me is that they waited until Day 4 to do this. At this point, even if you’re not playing on Slow, you’ve probably already ventured outside the house, and this is all of two screens outside the front gate.

newmascotresized: I’m not entirely sure how this makes sense, given that they’re running away from the graveyard. This game also has kind of a screwed up sense of scale. Take a look at that signpost in the top-right corner.

newmascotresized: You see the sign here? I’m reasonably sure that’s the same sign we saw on the last screen. Yasuko has run all of like, ten feet. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if she’s the kind of person who eats ice cream at 8:00 in the morning.

newmascotresized: Nobody makes fun of the Boku family. I’m surprised he didn’t toss his shirt into the ocean first.

newmascotresized: This is Yoh’s house, which we can get to pretty easily over land. If you’re planning on avoiding Yasuko to do some of the other entries today, one way you can do that is by swimming here from Akane House.

newmascotresized: Yoh’s house honestly looks abandoned, and if I didn’t know it’s his house, I would’ve guessed his house was somewhere else and this was some kind of “secret base” type area.

newmascotresized: I mean, they’d probably be in the same building for all but a year at each level… but clearly this is one of those dumbass anime rom-com situations.

newmascotresized: This is a song sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, which would probably explain why that plays on the save menu.

newmascotresized: She hops three times, and at this point other than it being a clear allegory for something, I have no idea what she’s doing.

newmascotresized: I mean, it’s clearly an allegory for Tatsuya and Jun from Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Even though I’m not doing Persona 3 Reload, I did have Salty Vanilla do a picture for that.

newmascotresized: This kind of reminds me of the final chapter of this one Osamu Tezuka manga called Unico, which began publication in 1976.

newmascotresized: Unico is about a unicorn who pisses off Venus/Aphrodite for existing, and continually gets banished to different worlds. The final chapter takes place in a world where only one other creature exists.

newmascotresized: The single remaining creature is called “Solitude” and it’s a little green demon that learns the meaning of friendship only to have Unico get taken away immediately afterward.

newmascotresized: I will forever associate the pose she’s making here with Final Fantasy 8 because Rinoa does that pose a lot.

newmascotresized: One thing I forgot to get a shot of is that if you go to Yoh’s house on Day 2, the rocket launchpad to Yasuko’s left will be smoking.

newmascotresized: This is the side goal I was talking about. There are 14 possible photos you can have Simon take, and most of them require that you go out of the way to get them.

newmascotresized: Just over half of those photos are directly related to the morning glories, which is another reason to water them.

newmascotresized: We can pick them up from Simon at night, but I’m going to wait until we have the fourth photo, because that way we don’t waste any time and can get them all at once.

newmascotresized: This line makes me think that this event was probably originally meant for an earlier day, and that the event we saw on Day 2 where Yasuko invites us to her house took place after this one.

newmascotresized: We now have a pretty good idea of how the area is laid out - in fact, we’ve seen almost every screen we can reach until Okusawa unlocks. Let’s skip to dinner.

newmascotresized: This is 1975, before inflation was invented, so that’s probably their mortgage payment plus enough to buy three weeks of groceries.

newmascotresized: Boku has one hand wrapped firmly around the keys to the 1976 Camaro he bought for 140 yen. Once he finds another 40 yen he’s going to get a turbocharger installed.

newmascotresized: Takeshi: “I miss the good old days when embezzlement wasn’t illegal.”

newmascotresized: This is one of the few instances we’ve run into so far with variable dialogue. If you haven’t already picked up the 100 yen coin from the ocean, this scene ends here. But if you have…

newmascotresized: [Dramatic music]

newmascotresized: I tried catching some beetles offscreen, but didn’t get anything good - just more sawtooth stags.

newmascotresized: And there’s our canonical priority 1 diary entry for 08/04. There’s another one we can get tomorrow, but I might have to fiddle around with it a little since it involves Simon.

newmascotresized: Next time, I’ll show off a couple of the really low priority diary entries you can get by ignoring Yasuko entirely. There are a couple of possible entries I’m going to miss on both the emulator and console, so I’ll explain what they are:

newmascotresized: There’s a Priority 3 for going to the Outer Bay for the first time, a Priority 5 for catching a crayfish for the first time, a second Priority 3 specifically for finding the rocket valve in the ocean, and a Priority 5 for giving Mitsuko a massage for the first time.


newmascotresized: It’s Day 4 again. Now, let’s see what happens if instead of talking to Yasuko and following the plot, we were to immediately jump in the water off the dock near the kitchen and swim to Yoh’s house instead.

newmascotresized: The game will call this a shortcut, and it is, but not by much.

newmascotresized: There’s two or three screens from here to the entrance to Yoh’s house, and by the time all is said and done you save around 8 minutes or so over walking (on slow mode).

newmascotresized: There’s nothing we can do in Yoh’s house - we can enter this kind of weird garage-type area but can’t go anywhere else. Let’s turn around and go back.

newmascotresized: Boku can climb up the front part of the dock here, and this is how you’d get around on Day 4 without running into Yasuko, which we’d ordinarily have to do if we were taking the land route.

newmascotresized: We might want to keep this shortcut in mind, because we will need to come back here at least once for a different priority 1 entry.

newmascotresized: What’s funny to me about this entry is that it’s kind of a time paradox if we get it today - Boku has no way of knowing whose house that is if Yasuko hasn’t told him, since we can’t meet Yoh until Day 5.

newmascotresized: Speaking of skipping time, there’s a mechanic I should talk about that I call the “six-o-clock lock” that applies if you try and skip time too close to Akane House.

newmascotresized: The way to explain it is like this: Genta will only show up on certain screens to take Boku back for dinner at 6:00. The screen with the morning glories and the screen with the beetle tree are exempt from this.

newmascotresized: What this means is that you can walk between those screens at 6:00 and time will not progress no matter how many times you move between them.

newmascotresized: Remember on Day 1 how I said that coming up here locks us out of a diary entry? Today is the first day we can get that entry, which is a priority 3.

newmascotresized: We also catch our first “crown-sized” bug. Each bug has three possible sizes: normal, “BIG!” and crown. I’m not sure what the cutoff for “BIG!” is, but crown is the absolute largest you can get.

newmascotresized: Big Oil hates this one trick: find out how to get free power now!

newmascotresized: Our third possible entry today (apart from all the ones I already did by accident) is doing Hikari’s fortune telling for the first time and then immediately going to sleep because it’s a priority 5.

newmascotresized: By the way, we COULD get the secret hideout entry today, but I’m going to save that for a day when I can run right there and not have to circumnavigate the globe to avoid Yasuko.

newmascotresized: There’s one more priority 5 entry we can get today, and it’s kind of an obscure one.

newmascotresized: Once you have the fishing rod, you can press triangle near pretty much any body of water to have Boku enter fishing mode. Fishing mode takes time - either 10, 20, or 33 minutes depending on the speed setting.

newmascotresized: You can also change the kind of line to use, which is really impressive for a 9 year old. Sabiki doesn’t use bait because it’s lure-based.

newmascotresized: Sabiki is also apparently a gigantic pain in the ass to use in real life - people primarily use it to catch smaller fish to use as bait, and because there’s multiple hooks involved it’s a good way to slice your hand.

newmascotresized: Tight-lining is how I was taught to fish. I don’t like fishing much, mostly because I fished out of a canoe and hauling a canoe sucks.

newmascotresized: Finally, we have Long Cast, which does use bait and is the primary method (at least, so far as I am aware) for catching the 50+ cm fish that net you a priority 1 entry.

newmascotresized: From what I’ve read, you have to be in specific spots to do that, so there’s little to no chance we screw ourselves over by accidentally catching something big.

newmascotresized: We have three kinds of bait: bloodworms (which as far as I know are infinite), crayfish, and red rock crabs. Red rock crabs can be gathered from the beach near Akane House at night.

newmascotresized: For this entry, we specifically need to use a crayfish to catch a fish, so let’s do that.

newmascotresized: Fishing in this game is kind of annoying. It works sort of like Animal Crossing, except your only indicator you have a fish is the controller vibrating. Sometimes, the vibration is a fake.

newmascotresized: I’m not sure what the deal with the perspective in this drawing is - either the sky is green, or Boku is lying on his side trying fish.

newmascotresized: Now, there are some more entries we could get today - except that they’re all things we already did on the earlier days. Fortunately, Hilltop had the assets for them, so I can show them off.


newmascotresized: This one is a priority 3, and is for swimming to the Outer Bay area for the first time. It’s another one you’d have to go out of your way to get, since finding Rocket Valve A is another priority 3 entry. Speaking of…


newmascotresized: It’s weird to me that this entry isn’t a higher priority. At first I thought that was because it could create a paradox of Boku knowing about the rockets before the first rocket launch, but that’s not possible since the rocket launch happens first thing on day 2, which is the first day we can go swimming.


newmascotresized: This one is another one we’d have to go way out of the way to get, and is a priority 5 entry for finding your first crayfish. I’m not sure how you’d be expected to know this one exists, especially given that you’re likely to learn about catching them on day 1.


newmascotresized: Our final possible entry is for giving a massage for the first time - I believe this has to be gotten off Mitsuko rather than the doctor at the clinic. This is another priority 5 entry.

newmascotresized: Now that we’re all caught up, next time I’m going to record Day 5, which also has a large amount of low-priority entries.


newmascotresized: Welcome to Day 5. Day 5 is the first day where we have to find something to make a diary entry out of, or we will end up with a generic entry. Fortunately, we now have access to one that’s very easy to get.

newmascotresized: This is another good day to use things like the secret bay or going into the secret base for the first time. Trust me when I say that in just a few days we’ll have more potential diary entries than we can handle.

newmascotresized: This is a clue for a priority 1 entry we could get today - except I can’t do it on the emulator.

newmascotresized: If I had done Baldur’s Gate 3, we would have talked about a river already. Funny enough, that song was apparently made for an earlier cut of the game and they just kinda left it in as the character creation music.

newmascotresized: Now, at time of writing, I haven’t done this yet - but as far as I am aware, in order to do so, you have to have talked to Simon in his room and asked him about his job.

newmascotresized: While I did this on the console run (which is a few days behind due to all the reloading I had to do), I didn’t do it on the emulator run. This was a mistake.

newmascotresized: First, let’s cover the new diary entry we can get. I don’t know why this one is a priority 4, given how plot-relevant it is.

newmascotresized: One thing I forgot to show off is this weird ghost bike, which you can ride. It controls like ass, is likely to make you waste screen transitions, and doesn’t save time.

newmascotresized: We’ll meet her tomorrow. She’s the source of a few different diary entries.

newmascotresized: We can ride the bike all of this far before we have to get off it, because it can’t climb stairs. The graveyard is where we’re going to get our diary entry of last resort.

newmascotresized: This is the first day we can meet Yoh. Unfortunately, there’s no conditional dialogue that happens if you’ve already found the rocket underwater.

newmascotresized: By the way, according to the guide on Gamefaqs, Yoh’s name is actually spelled “You” in English - it’s still pronounced “Yoh”, but if you take his name at face value, you have a scene with a character named “You” talking to a character whose name means “I” or “Me”.

newmascotresized: Small aside - I’ve seen newspaper ads from about ten years after this game takes place that advertise pocket calculators at a perfectly normal price of $300 to $600. Shit was expensive.

newmascotresized: I naturally got very curious about this and looked up whether that’s even possible, and the answer is… probably not. The sources on all this stuff are kinda nebulous.

newmascotresized: There are amateur-made rockets that have reached what’s called the Karman Line - the line between Earth’s atmosphere and space, but all the instances I could find of them happened after 2000.

newmascotresized: One such rocket is the CSXT “GoFast”, which had corporate sponsorship and just barely breached the Karman line - it reached 115km above sea level, the Karman line is around 100km on average.

newmascotresized: The University of Southern California also had a rocketry program that (theoretically) got a rocket to the Karman line in 2019, though people have claimed the Air Force Academy did it earlier than that.

newmascotresized: The key difference, however, is in the size of the rocket. Both the GoFast and the USC rocket had multiple stages, and let me just show you what the USC one looked like.

newmascotresized: For reference, according to USC, the rocket they launched weighed 300 pounds.

newmascotresized: Personally, I like to imagine Yoh telling this story to his kids and explaining that “Back in '75, gravity didn’t work the same.”