True Love: Jun'ai Monogatari (TRUE LOVE ～純愛物語～), which translates to "True Love: Pure Love Story," is a dating simulation game developed by Software House Parsley and was initially released for the NEC PC-98 in Japan on June 9, 1995. After the title was ported to Windows-based computers in Japan in December 1996, the UK-based Otaku Publishing localized True Love and released the game in Britain sometime around August 1998 as part of the company's Bishojo-Manga PC CD-ROM product line . The next year, JAST USA brought Otaku's release of True Love to the United States sometime in March 1999 . True Love eventually went out of print and remained unavailable due to various licensing issues until FAKKU rescued the title and re-released the game on December 20, 2019 as True Love '95.
You play as a high school student who is having trouble with his academic work and his problems at school which are exasperated by various women becoming more involved in his life such as his childhood friend Mikami and his teacher who wishes to see him succeed in school life. Over the 3 months of summer you partake in various daily activities interacting with various girls which can branch the story in various paths.
The gameplay is set out over 3 months and each day you can decide which actions to take such as studying, building on your charisma and working at a job for money. Each day you can choose 3 activities unless one mandatory activity such as school leaves you with 2 options. Partaking in certain types of activities leads to meeting different girls with different interests and plot points. The player can heighten interacting with a specific girl more by continuing to partake in the activity the girl is interested in, however further decisions must be taken by the player to heighten the chance more often such as specifying a certain activity at a certain time of the day.
Currency can be used to purchase a variety of items such as a trinket which raises your stats or a present to boost your relationship with a girl. Money can be used to partake activities such as gambling or fortune reading.
Various player stats play a role in the gameplay:
- Fatigue - Greatly affected by school or work but can be dulled by relaxing or experiencing the night life. High fatigue decreases your other stats so it is important for the player to keep it low unlike the other stats which you aim to keep high.
- Artistic - Can be affected by activities such painting or purchasing art bookings.
- Strength - Can be affected by working out as a construction worker or playing a sport.
- Scholarship - Can be affected by studying and buying certain books.
- Appearance - Can be affected by your fashion and working out.
- Passion - Can be affected by how you interact with girls.
All these stats help you open various branching subplots, open up different options in what activities you can partake in and help you interact with specific girls.
True Love has an anime art style typical of Japanese dating sims which is displayed in a 640x480, with a color scheme akin to 256 color games of the era.
Music and Sound
True Love contains a technically detailed midi soundtrack with each character having their own theme song. There are sporadic sound effects which appear randomly but rarely throughout True Love, usually accompanying an action such as a character falling.
- Otaku Publishing True Love Product Page (1998) - Lists the game's UK release date as August 1998 (although it could have potentially gotten delayed).
- JAST USA True Love Product Page (1999) - Mentions the game will ship in the US on January 1999.
- J-List Product Page (NSFW) - Says that True Love will ship in March 1999.