Everything You Should Know About Umineko Saku Coming in January 2021 on PS4, Switch
Umineko Saku, the ultimate GOAT by Ryukishi07, 07th Expansion and Entergram, coming on January 28, 2021 in Japan.
The PS4, Switch version of Umineko Saku will be launching on January 28, 2021 in Japan. Entergram announced the release date on September 3, though the seacat was out of the bag a few hours early when several shops like Amazon and Rakuten started listing the game’s release date. A Limited Edition, a live stream, several details, screenshots, and samples for the artwork used for shop-specific preorder goods, were revealed as well. Be sure to check it all out below.
First print copies of Umineko Saku will include a DLC code for Umineko Ougon Musou Kyoku Cross (Umineko Golden Fantasia), the 2D fighting game of the series, available on Steam in English. Through this bonus, it’ll be available on PS4 and Switch for the first time, bringing the game back to console since its Xbox 360 release:
The official site states multiple important details:
- You’ll need a PlayStation Plus or Nintendo Switch Online subscription for netplay.
- There is no cross-play: players on PS4, players on Steam, and players on Switch can’t fight each other online.
- The numerous guest illustrations included in the PC version of Ougon Musou Kyoku Cross will not be included in this version.
It’s unspecified if it’ll be using the same rollback netcode as the Steam version.
A limited edition for Umineko Saku was announced too. It features a different cover artwork with all the witches: Beatrice, Eva-Beatrice, Ange-Beatrice, Maria, Virgilia, Lambdadelta, and Bernkastel.
Looks like whoever decided on the artwork don’t consider Erika Furudo a witch, and I’d agree. Would have still liked her there though.
The limited edition includes:
- An acrylic stand featuring the illustration with all the witches.
- An artbook with all the gorgeous portraits paintings artwork used in Umineko. Including those from Golden Phantasia.
- A Golden Butterfly pin badge (not pictured)
- A One-Winged Eagle coaster (not pictured)
Next, the opening sequence for Umineko starting Episode 5 was remade by Entergram with the PS4, Switch artwork. This is the comeback of opening theme Occultics no Majo. It’ll be in the game, as well as the two other openings revealed a few months ago:
Umineko Saku Opening: Occultics no Majo (Singer: Ayumu. Composer, lyrics: Chiyomaru Shikura)
Umineko Saku Opening: Inanna no Mita Yume (Singer: Zwei. Composer, lyrics: Chiyomaru Shikura. Arrangement: Shinichi Yuki)
Umineko Saku Opening: Senkyou no Igreja (Singer: KOKOMI (Asriel). Composer, lyrics: Chiyomaru Shikura Arrangement: Masaki Mashita)
Next up, a live stream is coming with new details on Project07, the games made between 07th Expansion and Entergram: Umineko Saku on Ps4 and Switch, Higurashi Hou on PS4 and Switch, and Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison. The stream’s YouTube page isn’t up yet, but it’ll be on Entergram’s channel. The stream will be on September 10, at 1900 JST (click here for a time conversion table).
Moving on, translation team Witch Hunt brought up in a news update the PS4, Switch version of Umineko Saku. The group mentioned it’s very unlikely they can do anything about bringing it over in English, as it would require a game publisher. While it’s not impossible, don’t expect this version of Umineko Saku to leave Japan. Lastly, the translation team is still working on the PC version of Umineko Saku. However, it might get postponed if they need to focus on Ciconia, as per the wishes of Ryukishi07:
Finally, we know a lot of people are looking forward to the new PS4/Switch release of #Umineko. However, releasing an English version of that game would require the expertise of a game publisher. Therefore, it is very unlikely we can do anything about that on our own.
— Witch Hunt (@witchhunt_ot) September 3, 2020
Umineko is the second entry in the When They Cry franchise by 07th Expansion and Ryukishi07. Initially, it’s about the wealthy Ushiromiya family stuck on its private island during a typhoon, with mysterious and gruesome murders happening. The protagonist, Battler Ushiromiya, meets a witch named Beatrice, who claims she’s the culprit and killed everyone using magic. Battler doesn’t believe in magic, so Beatrice puts him in a timeloop, where the murders keep happening differently, with Battler trying to explain them with rational tricks in heated debate battles.
That’s the initial story pitch. However, Umineko evolves into a masterpiece as it goes on, with perfectly written characters, stories, and elements I won’t be spoiling. It also includes maybe the best soundtrack ever since Streets of Rage 2. The series was first released on PC at the Comiket events between August 2007 and December 2010, spanning 8 games, 8 Episodes in total. All of Umineko is available in English on Steam, but without voice acting.
After the game ended on PC, Umineko was ported to PS3 by Alchemist, a Japanese studio which now closed down. Using the same script as the original PC versions, it added new artwork and voice acting. It was adapted through two games:
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Majo to Suiri no Rondo~ (Rondo of the Witch and Reasoning). Released on December 16th, 2010. It covered Episode 1 to 4.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru ~Shinjitsu to Gensou no Nocturne~ (Nocturne of Truth and Illusions). Released on December 15, 2011. It covered Episode 5 to 8.
The PS4, Switch version of Umineko Saku is officially titled: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Saku: Nekobako to Musou no Koukyoukyoku (Symphony of Catbox and Dreams). It’s an ultimate version based on the two PS3 ports we cited above, reusing their voice acting and updating their graphics for Episode 1-8.
Moreover, it’ll include two new stories from the PC version of Umineko Saku, released in October 2019 on PC. We have “Our Confession”, which features new character Flauros the demon, and “Last note of the Golden Witch” which features another new character, Piece, the Witch of Pieces:
These two stories will be voiced for the first time. We’ll get to hear who are the seiyuu for Flauros and Piece, and see their new artwork.
All of this might sound complicated, but I’m sure you already knew all that anyway if you clicked on this article in the first place and read this far.
Seiyuu, Staff Reactions:
Sayaka Ohara, the seiyuu of Beatrice, shared a photo of herself during the game’s dubbing. She said she loves Beatosama and voicing her is always tons of fun. Ryukishi07 quote-retweeted, thanking her and noting they’ll see each other next week. Entergram didn’t say yet who will appear on the September 10 stream, but it’s likely Ryukishi07 and Sayaka Ohara will both be there:
— 07thExpansion (@07th_official) September 3, 2020
It looks like she’s holding the One-winged Eagle coaster from the limited edition.
Seiko Yoshida, the seiyuu of Belphegor, said she’s happy the site was finally updated and the release date was announced. She’s also happy the artwork with Belphegor and the other Seven Sisters of Purgatory was used again:
— 吉田聖子☆トライディア (@hijirimagica315) September 3, 2020
zts, one of the multiple composers on 07th Expansion games, is really hyped about Golden Phantasia coming to PS4 and Switch:
— zts (@zts_czl) September 3, 2020
Lastly, Entergram published samples for the artwork used in shop-specific preorder bonuses of Umineko Saku. They’re included in the gallery further below. As usual with Japanese games, most of these artwork focus on sexual fanservice, so don’t scroll down if you’d rather not see that. If you’re planning to import the game, check on the official site which shop has which bonus goods.
The brand new entry in the When They Cry series, Ciconia, debuted in October 2019. The first Ciconia game is available on Steam. Ciconia is scheduled to be four games in total, and the second one should release sometime in late 2020.
Last but not least, Higurashi, the first When They Cry series, got a new RPG and an anime TV series.