Game Center CX Season 3 – Back to Contents
A True "Tokimeki Memorial"
Chousen: Arino Marriage Commemoration Special
As Arino walks into the room, Sasano and Urakawa are waiting for him. They congratulate him on his recent engagement that just appeared in the papers. Arino thanks them, chats about the news, and is ready to get into the expected game, Famicom Jump. AD Urakawa interrupts him and instead hands him Tokimeki Memorial, suggesting (and half joking) that the love adventure may help Arino teach the young men a thing or two about real-life romancing techniques.
The strategy guide is included, but Arino decides he won’t need it. The game begins, and Arino registers his own name. The point of the game is to win the heart of the "main" girl, Shiori Fujisaki, but there’s a group of other girls around the school to hitch up with too. He starts looking at Shiori in class, and then makes a new friend, Yoshi, who will help him along the entire way. In the game, day turns to evening. From here there are multiple choices, and later on, if he does well with a girl, the "Date" option appears. The next day, he comes across Shiori and strikes up a conversation. A couple more days pass, and he meets one of the other girls, Mio.
Arino returns home and uses the address book to phone his friend. From here this opens up the reaction chart, that shows what the girls think of him. He calls Mio and gets a date out of her. He chooses the location of the date — the game center! Why not, it’s only natural on this show. The date is set and the next day begins. Arino meets Ayako, and then checks her data. Later he calls her and scores a date with her, too. He chooses the game center again, but the girl doesn’t bite. The next day he has a test at school and fails pretty hard; he hasn’t been properly raising his stats! He might never get Shiori if he’s not careful.
He asks out Ayako again, this time to the neighborhood pool. But for some reason she’s not pleased, and Arino is taken right back to his house. He tries again and this time takes her to the carnival. Some persistence is needed, but also improvement, so he increases his appearance stats a little, then goes back. Much better — he ends up leaving her wanting more. When he meets Ayako the next time, she calls him the nickname he registered at the beginning — Otouchan (Daddy). Arino and the staff start laughing, and he feels a bit guilty for the choice. The dates continue, this time at the zoo. Careful dialogue choices keep him in the game.
When he gets back home, Arino calls Shiori, and she picks up! He gets a date, but wonders for a while where to take her. He heads to the carnival again. Shiori likes the roller coaster best, and the date generally goes well. Arino calls Yoshi for the status report, but not much has improved — Shiori’s approval went up a notch, however. Valentine’s Day arrives, and all the girls give Arino some chocolates. Fast forward a month, and Arino meets another girl, the pink-haired Yukari, and later, Yumi. Arino checks back with Yoshi for a status report, and finds his luck with Shiori has risen once again. But rather than pursue, he asks out Yukari first.
Pretty soon, it’s minigame time! Arino must choose a girl to help him push a giant ball around the school track. It’s a bumbling mess as he fights with the AI, but eventually they make it… to last place, but still. Arino scores another date with Shiori, and takes her to the pool. When she changes into her bikini, he has to choose a good reaction, but goes for the middle-of-the-road response and just calls her cute.
October rolls around. The year is ending fast, and Arino meets Yunia, the scary genius girl. Fast forward to December and the Christmas party, where he talks to a glamorous-looking Shiori, who introduces him to her friend Megumi. Later, Arino calls Yoshi again. The approvals are getting better, but Shiori’s icon has a bomb next to it. Arino looks it up and learns that the bombs are a product of neglect, and if they’re not taken care of, they can break down the whole relationship and potentially the rest of the girls’, as well.
He upsets Yumi right after that, and soon she has a bomb next to her name as well. Managing a harem isn’t so easy after all! He tries to patch things up with Shiori before things get worse, taking her out on more dates, and then repeating the same strategy with Yumi. Another Valentine’s Day rolls around and Arino gets a chocolate from every one of the girls. Is he in the clear for now?
Before long, Yoshi introduces another girl into the mix, Yuka. Arino groans at the development. Soon after, Urakawa comes in and asks Arino what his personal favorite girl is, to try and keep him focused and speed up the process. He cracks up, and says his wife! Urakawa specifies which one in the game. Obviously, he doesn’t have an answer yet.
Arino defuses the Yumi bomb, but Shiori’s returns. And then Yuka asks him out, complicating things even more. He manages to get another date with Shiori, however, at the mega-romantic planetarium. Later on is another minigame, which is much simpler and easier to win. Christmas comes again, and a snowy night with Shiori can only mean good things. A later date at the karaoke box increases the fun, too. Surely Arino can only go up from here. But just then, a handful of the girls get upset with him. He Arino goes back to shower some affection on good ol’ Mio, but he won’t know what effect it will have.
He won’t know because the end has come upon us! Arino’s character runs up to a tree in a field, and soon his love will be revealed. Is it? Could it be?! Hmm, the red hair… Maybe Yuka? Wait, No… Yes! It’s Shiori! After what seems like forever, she finally says "I love you." "OhhhhhhhhhHH!" goes Arino. He scraped through and got the best girl. In celebration for not just the game but Arino’s engagement, the staff hands him a bouquet. And Urakawa has a gift, too: Famicom Jump! Guess the honeymoon’s over.
Game Collections: 1985: July-September