To those of you who are reading the series for the first time, nice to meet you. To those coming from the web novel, hello again.
This is the author, Usber.
Some of you readers may have realized it already, but I’m actually quite a serious gamer. Though it doesn’t quite match Souma’s level, I feel like nearly a third of my life has been devoted to games. Games have really become a big part of my life.
It was the summer of my senior year in high school. One of my fondest memories was when my classmates would brag about stuff like finishing their English worksheets, I was bragging just as proudly about finishing the newest game in a popular RPG series. There was also how, when the exams came, I had cleared more games than reference books, or how, because I got super addicted to a certain famous novel game that I bought after the general entrance exams, I completely slacked off on preparations for private university exams and ended up finishing the game in a week, or how on the day of an exam I stayed up until 5 am writing fanfiction for that novel game; there was no shortage of accounts of my irresponsibility during exam periods. Ah, speaking of that exam on the day I had stayed up until 5am—in the end, I was accepted to that university, so please don’t worry.
Hearing about my experiences, you might be getting the impression that games were ruining my life. That would be a huge misunderstanding; they’re actually actively ruining my life. Especially MMOs. They’re like demons sucking away all of my time.
But, at the same time, games have also helped me a lot. People have always called games the epitome of pointlessness. But, if you immerse so much of your life into something, you’d start to find a little bit of meaning in it. In fact, I learned kanji from the dialogue in DQ, English from the magic in FF, the joy of making things from RPG Maker, and, finally, was able to publish my very own book, all through the help of games. Because of all this, hooray for games, seriously.
Especially my third point, the RPG Maker series. They’re really unique and interesting, and I highly recommend them. I’m by no means saying this just because of their developer.
Anyway. Since this book is about a game, you’d think it’d be similar to a few of those famous works, but that isn’t the case. To begin with, when I think back on my experiences, the most vivid memories I have of games was this one that I couldn’t clear because it kept crashing just before the last event as if the disk were damaged, or of another game where the ultimate move was such an ultimate move that you would be invincible through the entire skill but die instantly the moment it ended, or this other game where, due to incompatibilities with the hardware, the game would freeze about once every hour, so every time you switched into the battle screen, your heart would start racing, but for a different reason… I realized that it was the buggy games that I remembered the most.
I also remembered strangely enjoying the playstyles resulting from the creative efforts due to players’ greediness, like leveling up sword skills by whacking away on your horse, shoplifting by teleporting out of stores, leaving a thief alone only to climb onto the roof every night to steal their money, moving at crazy speeds through skill cancelling, repeatedly making a new character just to take all of their starting items and then deleting it, basically things that you’d think were definitely not the way the producers of the game intended for you to play.
And so, after thinking back on all of the games that I’ve played and collecting all of these fun but unintended moments, this book was born.
Of course, since this book references many actual bugs, and I tried to write it so that people who know them should be able to tell; I think there will definitely be people who will be able to identify the games that these bugs came from. It would make me happy if those that get the references end up grinning nostalgically, and those who don’t end up imagining what such a game would’ve been like.
I feel like I’ve been talking about nothing but games again, and since the page limit is getting close, let’s start with the acknowledgements.
To begin with, I want to thank my family who supported my decision to become a writer, and my friends who had given me all kinds of advice. I have a hard time saying this face-to-face, but I’m really thankful from the bottom of my heart.
To my editor, F田-san, I’m sorry for all of the trouble I’ve caused you. I feel like I’ve been apologizing to you in every email, but I promise I’ll pick up the slack from the second volume onwards. …Probably.
To the illustrator, Ichizen-san, thank you for patiently listening to all of my selfish requests. Every time I let my guard down you surprise me with amazing illustrations that far exceed my expectations. I look forward to continue working with you in the future.
In addition, to the proofreader, designer, the various voice actors and staff that participated in the audio drama, and to everyone whose help made this book possible, thank you very much.
Also, to everyone who posted their thoughts and feedback on the web novel, your feelings are what’s driving this series. I don’t think this book would be here now if not for everyone’s support. Really, thank you very much! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
Finally, a big thank you to all of you readers who decided to pick up such a big and bulky book!!
I hope we’ll meet again in the second volume.
Usber, April 2012