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Cosmology of Kyoto is a visual novel adventure game developed by Softedge and published by Yano Electric. It was released for Japan in 1993, and then in North America, for the Macintosh in 1994 and then for the PC in 1995.
It is a game where the player, from a first-person perspective, explores ancient Kyoto city during 10th-11th century Japan. The game lacks a clear goal, but is instead nonlinear and emphasizes open exploration, giving players the freedom to explore the city and discover many pathways, buildings, situations, stories and secrets. The game deals with historical, horror, religious and educational themes, and features karma and reincarnation gameplay mechanics. Released on CD-ROM, the dialogues in the game are fully voiced in Japanese, with English subtitles in the localized North American version. The game was not a commercial success, but was critically acclaimed and attracted a cult following.
The game is controlled by clicking hotspots and text options when appropriate. The user also types in sentences, upon occasion. At the start, the player character is created by the player using a character creation system, with the player able to customize what the player character looks like. As the game begins, the player character is born and must take the clothes off a nearby corpse. The game does not have a clear goal, but is instead nonlinear and emphasizes open exploration, giving the player the freedom to explore Kyoto, with many pathways, buildings, situations, stories and secrets to discover throughout the city, including both realistic and supernatural elements. The progress through the city effects a journey through history, with a street map and online guide provided to ancient (and modern) Kyoto at various points through the game. It provides enough freedom to allow for the player to experiment with the game, such as using it as a resource for their own role-playing game campaign, for example.
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Cosmology of Kyoto System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: 33 MHz
- RAM: 5 MB
- Video Card: SVGA
- Hard disk space: 300 MB