It’s true! There’s actually a BTS-inspired visual novel, or at least, a demo for one! Aeon Dream Studios is the creative developer behind this fantasy visual novel with a near-future flair. It takes place in the year 2077, and you play as the main character “Seven.” The demo (which is part one of two) takes around 30-40 minutes to play, depending upon your speed, and in it you are introduced to the world of the near future as well as three of the characters inspired by BTS’s Jungkook (Zero), Namjoon (Nine), and Yoongi (Four).
Though some say it’s short, keep in mind it’s really only part one of the demo. Part two is supposed to feature the rest of the BTS-inspired characters. You can follow Aeon Dream Studios on Twitter as well as the Twitter page dedicated to this BTS project in order to keep up-to-date with any news and the release of the second part of the demo. There’s also a Tumblr page here! You can download the demo for yourself from this page.
Let me start off by saying that when I first heard of this visual novel, quite a while ago, I was interested but also wary because I know how I typically react to visual novels. I’m not knocking the genre, because if you like them, then great! You should play them! But for some reason, they just never appealed to me. But I have watched Youtubers play MANY of them. And while it was entertaining for me to watch someone else play, it never looked like something I wanted to do myself… And let’s be honest, many visual novels are neither well-written nor engaging. And quite a few are just plain awkward and have wonky English. I realize this may be because some of them are translations, but still…it’s not fun for me, especially as a writer and editor myself. So going into this I was a bit…unsure.
HOWEVER, I am extremely pleased to say that To The Edge of the Sky is great. Like, really. The story seems well-developed, it’s well done in terms of pacing, and I only found a few grammatical errors as opposed to the usual translated English (or just poorly written English). The art style is realistic, which, to me, is the best kind of art. The game is well-made overall, and you can tell the developers put a lot of effort into it. For only a demo, it’s not lacking. The background music is also beautiful (it’s piano covers of Bangtan songs).
Aeon Dream Studios has said that they will only make the full version of this game if BigHit agrees to work with them. SO, they are asking that we all help spread the word on social media, to try and get BigHit to notice the game. They mentioned they have reached out to BigHit previously, but they have yet to get a response. I can’t say I’m surprised since BigHit undoubtedly gets a ton of email but also because…well…I’m not sure how BigHit would feel about a game like this. I hope that they would see it as a way to engage international fans, something fun and interesting that they could help take part in. But I also know how BigHit is, in that they’re quite particular and seem to be hard to work with for some things. I’m not sure visual novel is up their alley or on their radar, so we may not be able to get a favorable response from them. (Past experiences with fan projects and such…they’re quite difficult sometimes to get a hold of and work with T_T)
That said, I totally think Aeon Dream Studio could publish the full version of the game even without BigHit’s agreement because while the characters are lightly based off of the real Bangtan and their physical appearances make it obvious who is who, that is where the similarities end (minus the background music). If you were to give this game to someone who had no idea who Bangtan was, I doubt they would ever figure out that the characters were based on real people. But, Aeon has mentioned that they do not intend to publish/make the full game unless BigHit will work with them. So I’m hoping for the best, but I’m also wary because I just…I don’t know, I have a feeling that BigHit is just really particular about who they work with and what projects they will agree to. (But here’s hoping for the best, so use the hashtag #ARMYWantsBTSGames to show your support!)
All in all though, it’s clearly a well-thought out and well-made game, so I really hope BigHit will give it the green light. I’m thoroughly surprised, but I honestly really like it! (By the way, Aeon, if you guys ever need the help of a freelance editor/writer, let me know! ‘Cause I’d totally be up to help any way I can, even if it’s just on a free demo!)
Go download the demo for yourself, fill out Aeon’s survey after you play it, and help spread the word on social media! Maybe we can really get BigHit to notice it, and hopefully they’ll like it too! And seriously Aeon, great job on putting out such an awesome demo in only TWO WEEKS with such a small team. 😀
I did a video playthrough of the game with some of my initial thoughts here!