Game Market 1983

Chapter 189: Singer-Songwriter

Chapter 189: Singer-Songwriter

Pentagon Soft Director, Kang Junhyuk.

"If he's a director, that's quite a high position within the company, right?"

Lying on my bed, I stared at a business card in my hand for a while, then sighed softly and placed it on my desk.

Gazing at the hidden guitar case on top of the wardrobe, I murmured to myself.

"Mom, what should I do...?"


The next morning.

The subway heading to the morning classes at school was always crowded.

Struggling to squeeze onto the train amidst commuters and students, it was almost impossible to even catch a breath, yet everyone held something in their hands.

While older adults still held small books, kids my age pulled out their white gaming consoles as soon as they boarded, almost as if it were an appointment.

Ever since Nintendo released the portable Game Boy, there had been occasional glimpses of people playing games on the subway. But with the appearance of these white consoles, the numbers had exploded.

Even at school, during breaks, kids who used to gather to read now connected their gaming consoles and enjoyed something together.


The only thing I knew was the name of that gaming console.

Later on, as the train stopped at the station near my school, I finally managed to slip out from the crowd, taking a deep breath.


Descending the subway station stairs, Mayumi, a fellow high school alum, waved at me.

Beside her, her boyfriend Nakamura was deeply engrossed in his game with earphones plugged in.

Mayumi and I were from different majors, but we attended the same university and had been good friends since our first year of high school.

"Mayumi, Nakamura-san. Good morning~"

However, Nakamura seemed not to hear me, tapping away at his gaming console.

Eventually, after Mayumi nudged him hard, Nakamura pulled out his earphones with a shout.

"Ah, shoot!! I was doing so well!! It was a 128 combo..."

"You've been glued to that gaming console since morning. You should at least acknowledge someone saying hello beside you!!"

"I was going to. I was trying to!!"

With a disappointed expression, Nakamura shut off his gaming console he held in his hand.

At that moment, unintentionally, I looked at Nakamura's gaming console and asked.

"Oh, is that Laon?"

Surprised by my question, Nakamura and Mayumi widened their eyes and asked me in return.

"Kanna, you know about Laon?"

"Yeah, it's quite famous anyway. I see it a lot on the subway these days..."

"Still, mentioning the name specifically is rare. Funny how life is full of surprises..."

With a chuckle, Nakamura stashed Laon in his bag. Curious, I inquired further.

"Do you enjoy gaming, Nakamura-san?"

"Of course. Big time."

"What kind of games do you usually like?"

"Well... I don't specifically stick to genres, but I mostly play RPGs. And Pentagon games?"

"Pentagon games? Is that a genre?"

Nakamura, with a slightly raised smile, explained in detail.

"Pentagon isn't a genre name; it refers to games made by a company called Pentagon. You've probably heard of games like Final Frontier or Dragon Emblem, right? All those titles were created by Pentagon. It's a company known for masterpieces, and the fanbase is huge. Also, they've been in the news for creating games that immerse you in their world..."

Listening to Nakamura's story, Mayumi interjected with excitement.

"Oh! Immersed in Their World! I know that game too."

Even Mayumi, who wasn't particularly interested in games like me, seemed quite intrigued by 'Immersed in Their World.'

"Oh? Have you played that game too?"

"No. When that game was released, I went downstairs to drink water in the middle of the night, and I heard sobbing from my younger brother's room. When I peeked in, he was crying with a gamepad pressed against his forehead."

Nakamura seemed to empathize with Mayumi's words, nodding in agreement.

"I get it. Been there myself. Immersed in Their World was the best game of my life."

"Haha! Geek!"

Nakamura teased Mayumi, who distanced herself momentarily, with a smirk.

"That game was deliberately designed to tug at your heartstrings. It was popular even among regular folks. Especially from Part 2 onwards, it's tough without substantial mental stamina."

"Really that intense?"

"I'll lend it to you; want to give it a shot?"

"Nah, my younger brother still keeps it like a precious heirloom. I can play it whenever I want."

Observing Nakamura and Mayumi's reactions, I lowered my head in contemplation.

'Pentagon Soft seems to be quite famous. But why would they ask me to become an idol?'

A person named Kang Junhyuk.

He didn't seem so bad at first glance, and if he's really Yuki's husband, he seems trustworthy...

That afternoon.

After finishing my first lecture and arriving at the student cafeteria, many students had already filled the place.

Thinking about where to sit after getting my meal ticket, a voice called me from one side.

"Kanna~ Over here~!!"

"Oh, Mayumi."

She pulled out a chair for me, while Nakamura, already done with his meal, sat with his earphones in, immersed in Laon.

"It's started again. Here we go again."

Mayumi looked pitifully at him, eating her packed lunch.

After vigorously playing the game console, Nakamura, whether aware or unaware of it, let out a scream and collapsed onto the table.

"Ugh... darn it! I had the victory in sight, only to stumble at a 187 combo."

Seeing Nakamura's unjustly frustrated state, I couldn't help but be curious and asked him, tilting my head.

"What game are you so absorbed in since this morning?"

"Well... it's, uh, like a rhythm game, I suppose?"

"A rhythm game?"

"Yeah, the new release from Pentagon I mentioned this morning. Once you start, it's hard to tear yourself away."

"That engaging, huh?"

Nakamura then handed me his Laon, eager to show me.

"If you're curious, why not try it yourself?"

"Really... I can give it a shot?"

"Of course. Here, let me show you."

Nakamura shifted to sit beside me, offering me the Laon for an easier song. Holding the Laon for the first time felt surprisingly smooth.

"Feels lighter than I expected."

"Right? Now, press the A button here, select Demo Play..."

The controls seemed simpler than anticipated as I followed Nakamura's guidance, plugging in the earphones.

"I'm supposed to hit the buttons in sync with the rhythm bars descending from the top, right?"

Later, as I pressed the buttons in time with the slowly descending red bars, a clear and refreshing piano sound echoed in my ears. Alongside it, on the screen, briefly flashed the back of a girl, almost like a scene from a movie.


Letting out a quiet gasp, I continued to press another button in sync with the following rhythm bars, initiating a piano piece over a bass background.

"Pretty decent for a first-timer, isn't it?"

Lost in the music to the extent that Nakamura's voice sounded distant, I continued to follow the descending rhythm bars, trying to maintain the perfect combo for a clear view of the heroine.

As my fingers danced along with the continuous timing, Nakamura's excitement echoed through the earphones.

Yet, strangely enough, it felt rewarding. I wanted to catch glimpses of the girl on the screen.

However, any mistimed beats caused the scene to revert. To witness the heroine's image perfectly, precise timing resembling a machine was essential, something I struggled to achieve, especially as the music accelerated.

"Give it a bit more, Kanna!"

Though Mayumi joined to cheer me on, my play crumbled at a 65 combo mark.

"Aside from that... starting with a 65 combo on your first try is impressive!"

Taking off the earphones, Nakamura received the Laon with a satisfied smile.

"Really your first time playing?"

"Yeah... but it felt fresh. I thought games were all about defeating enemies like in Super Marigi, but this feels different somehow."

"Exactly. That's why I love Pentagon's games. Each new release feels so refined."

After that single playthrough, I could somewhat understand Nakamura's enthusiastic praise.

"How was it, Kanna? Enjoyable?"

After organizing my thoughts for a moment, I shared my honest feelings in response to Mayumi's question.

"It felt... melancholic."

"Huh? Melancholic?"

"Yeah... it's hard to explain. The music felt hauntingly tender, making me try to recall someone throughout the play, almost like after a piano solo..."

"Bingo! Spot on! Reviews on PC communication forums often describe it as poignant."

According to Nakamura's subsequent explanation, the game titled 'Gift from the Gods' was set to release its official version on December 24th next month.

The version I played contained four playable tracks from the main story. Moreover, through this demo, players could see the heroines' faces beyond their back profiles in the pamphlet.

Among the characters Nakamura had cleared with a full combo was Yukinojo Kaori, with a lively blonde look, and Chellist Ohtani Haruka with a cute appearance.

And if you cleared all the rhythm bars perfectly, you could see the heroine's face as a special reward.

"Now, I'm playing the demo for 62 hours just to see the faces of the remaining two. Especially the character Satsuki Noriko, who appears as the protagonist's lesson teacher, no one I know has cleared her part yet..."

"Wow, really?"

Intrigued by Nakamura's explanation, Mayumi insisted on requesting the theme known as Satsuki Noriko, considered the highest difficulty.

Witnessing the pouring rhythm bars alongside an intense introductory performance, I realized how daring this challenge was.

"Starting to understand why I've been tapping buttons every day now?"

"You've been playing this every day on your way to school with the Laon?"

Nakamura nodded as if it were obvious at Mayumi's question.

Looking at the Laon on the table for a moment, I asked Nakamura.

"How much would this gaming console, Laon, cost?"

"Are you thinking of buying one, Kanna?"

"Yeah, if possible, along with the 'Gift from the Gods' game..."

At my response, Nakamura laughed heartily and spoke up.

"Hahaha! Alright! Kanna, let's head to the holy land together on December 24th!"

"The holy land? Where's that?"

"Where else but Akihabara, the sacred ground for Japan's otakus!"


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