Game Center CX Season 15 – Back to Contents
Quiz-Based Child Rearing! "Kosodate Quiz: My Angel"
Yes, it’s high time for another quiz game, but unlike the other ones Arino’s played, this one has kind of a point behind it! But to start, Arino greets us in his bad English, because of the recent revival of Retro Game Master. "Hallo" to you too!
Then, Arino is visited by outgoing producer Nagashima. He’s had a baby girl recently, and from one father to another, he hands Arino the challenge game: Namco’s Kosodate Quiz: My Angel. It’s not terribly different from the other arcade quiz games Arino has played, but as you complete answers and progress, your daughter in the game grows, too, and depending on the kind of topics you excel at, she can go down one of many career paths.
The game begins with naming the child, and Arino goes with Nagashima’s daughter’s name, Yui. Then, he’s encouraged by producer Kan to write out a life career plan — you know, like any good, extremely doting parent. The good schools, the important jobs; that sort of thing. Ultimately, he expects her to get into television somehow. Let’s see how he does! (Or she, too, I guess.)
The game begins at the newborn stage, and Arino fails the first question because he took too long to read it. It’s in the "all-genre" category, too, so he’s assaulted with all sorts of general knowledge questions. He reaches the second half, but then Yui starts crying out of control. A quiz promp forces Arino to choose the best way to quell the child, and he ends up sticking her in front of the TV. Well, maybe that will work for the career plan…
Arino then clears the second half of the stage, and moves on to stage 2, where Yui is a bit bigger now. He aces that, and then a minigame begins that’s styled after Galaxian. Arino has to defeat all the enemies quickly before Yui starts crying too many times. He makes it through OK, and then it’s on to the next stage.
Arino makes it to the next stage, where Yui reaches her third birthday. Later, in the middle of one stage, Arino is challenged with a puzzle minigame where he has to guess the scene presented in a randomly-shuffling slide puzzle. The last one is supposed to be a drawing of a certain greeting, and Arino picks "thank you," but it turns out to be "good morning," because the sun is shown rising. He manages to make it through, though, and then Yui turns four for the next stage.
After making a new friend (but not because of that), Yui starts wearing glasses and becomes a bit of a nerd for the next stage, which doesn’t please Arino since it might affect his plan for her. Then it’s time for another minigame where Yui plays high-speed hide-and-seek in a park. Soon, it’s time to get Yui into grade school, and for that, Arino has to do an entrance exam of sorts. It’s easy at this point, though, and Yui then enters school and ditches the glasses.
But then, after completing a few more stages, Arino gets Yui to age eight, where she becomes a nerd again. There’s not much to do but push on, but eventually he gets her to age 11 where she once again becomes "normal." Then it’s time to pick a middle school, and Arino faces the next entrance exam.This exam has a few more visual brainteasers to figure out, but Arino gets almost all of them right, and then Yui becomes 12, and prim and proper at that.
One thing that’s also a side effect of getting right answers is a monetary reward. Arino banks a pile of cash all through Yui’s life, but when it comes time to pick a high school, the prices are a bit up there. He decides to go with the second most expensive school, but that also means a more challenging entrance exam. Word problems and geography questions are the focus, but Arino hardly makes it through — he scores a 57% on the exam, but he needed 60% to get Yui into the school. He doesn’t lose the game, but he has to push on with less than desired circumstances. At least Yui doesn’t stay a nerd.
Later on, Yui brings a boyfriend home! Arino has to spend money on choosing how to treat hmi. He goes with a cheap option, and the family sits around the table having a simple snack. Perhaps as a result, Yui enters age 17 as a nerd again. And then it all comes undone as he’s forced to try and answer a series of sports questions. He doesn’t stand a chance.
For the first time, he gets a Game Over. He reloads a save of Yui at 15, but this time she turns nerdy a year early! And the boyfriend this time is a bit of a tubbier gent, too. At least this time Arino opts for the bigger, classier family dinner. And now Yui does this weird double-thumbs-up thing when Arino gets an answer right.
Back at 17, Yui is "normal" again, and Arino retries the school exam. More confusing math and language questions are presented, so he doesn’t even do as well as last time — in fact, he gets Game Over in the middle of it. He reloads and tries again, and just gets yet another Game Over. This happens for about seven more attempts.
But then, finally, AD Takahashi appears. It’s to the point where he’s willing to offer support, just like in the old days when the ADs would hold up signs of their best guesses for answers — except this time, Arino can only have one helper at a time. To help, Takahashi has cameraman Abe and engineer Suda, both fathers of young kids themselves. Suda sits next to Arino while the other ones stay behind.
Arino restarts at age 15, but Suda’s suggestions for answers are all wrong. Abe jumps in with an answer about bikes, but everything Suda says is wrong! Arino eventually gets a Game Over because of him. He calls over Takahashi and swiftly requests the two change places.
Takahashi sits down, but the next question Arino gets is another bike one, so Abe answers it before Arino even finishes reading it. He makes it through the stage, but this time, with Yui at 17 and about to enter college, he chooses to go with the "economy" school that costs nothing to get into. Takahashi and Abe both feed Arino right answers; when Arino screws up, it’s his own fault. Tragically, he only gets 57% on the exam, making him just short of success, again.
Yui stays home, but Arino gets another chance to get her into school at age 18. This time, Arino chooses the "deluxe" college, which requires an 85% evaluation. Needless to say, neither he nor Takahashi and Abe are getting much right. Only a couple are scored, and Yui misses her chance to get into school again.
At age 19, Yui must choose a beginning career, and Arino goes with OL ("office lady,") which also needs an entrance exam filled out, but only requires around 60% completion. Shockingly, Arino screws up enough to get only 40%! Yui still becomes an OL, but it’s not really a glamorous success.
At 21, Yui brings in another boyfriend; a handsome type. Arino tries to choose a good bit hospitality for him, but he hits the wrong button and chooses an option he didn’t want! The boyfriend ends up taking care of Arino as he’s passed out drunk.
Yui turns 22, and it’s time for another career choice. By pure serendipity, one of the options is "TV announcer." Just as planned! Well, that is if Arino gets the test passed — it only needs 50%, so he’d better. Takahashi supports with the first question, but he’s wrong.
Arino moves on through the television-related questions, and nearly aces it, getting 80%! IT’s decided then: Yui turns 23 as a TV announcer/reporter. But the game isn’t over. Two stages remain until Yui turns 25 and her life’s course is set. More general knowledge questions pop up, and for once Arino doesn’t miss any of them.
The last stage begins, but this time the questions are harder. Arino has to think a little harder about them, but he does indeed make it through with a passing score. As once final question, Yui and her boyfriend come to Arino asking for his approval in their marriage. He’s stumped, but the clock is ticking — he just goes ahead with wishing them happiness.
One last stage begins that features the parents. These are tough questions, so Arino unfortunately ends up with a Game Over, forcing him to go back to Yui at age 24 and going through the whole process again. He gets to those final questions, but each one is a hardhip, and the game just keeps throwing them at him — 22 of them, in fact! But on the last one, Abe and Kan yelp out the answer, and that’s all Arino needs.
Yui has a happy wedding, and the game is official complete after eight hours. The parents watch as she leaves for her honeymoon, and Arino gets a respectable grade as a father at the end. Hopefully Nagashima is satisfied, too.
For this installment, it’s Final Fantasy II, with hero Firion talking to princes Hilda in her quarters.
Game Collections: 1992: March