Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon Hands-On

We wander through one of the most stunning-looking postapocalyptic worlds in hopes of finding other survivors.

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is as beautiful and dreamy as the title implies. Described as an adventure game, Fragile Dreams borrows elements from the survival horror genre, but what sets this game apart are the striking visuals and character designs from the team at Tri-Crescendo, the developer behind the gorgeous-looking Eternal Sonata. We had an opportunity to play a preview build of Fragile Dreams and found ourselves quickly absorbed in this lonely postapocalyptic world.

For a deserted world, it sure is beautiful.

You play as a young boy named Seto, who has been abandoned and is utterly alone in the world after his elderly guardian dies. All you're left with is a flashlight and a note that tells you to head to a glowing red tower in the distance and that there may be other survivors. You won't learn too much about this boy's past initially, other than that he didn't even know the old man's name. As you set out into the vast and desolate wilderness, it seems that you could very well be the only person alive. However, early on you bump into a charming silver-haired girl who runs off at the first sight of you, and your goal is to find her and hopefully others.

We ventured into the ruins of a subway station in hopes of finding the girl, but instead heard a female robotic voice asking for help. After following the plea into an empty room, we found that it was a personal frame, a metallic boxlike device with a woman's voice designed to interact with humans based on their emotional response. We took the device with us, and it acted as our guide, feeding us with useful information as well as guiding us to our next goal. As you explore the world, you can set up a bonfire whenever you come across a fire pit, which acts as a save point and a spot for you to rest. We also came across a bizarre person who appeared to be wearing a giant mascot chicken head, and he would stop by when we were resting to sell items. We played for a few hours, wandering through the debris and empty corridors of the subway station, armed only with a flashlight in one hand and a bamboo sword in the other.

Glowing jelly-like enemies will appear and are described by the AI device as the manifestation of dead people's emotions. If you point your flashlight at them, they will slow down enough for you to beat them with your sword. Other hostile creatures that we encountered included vicious dogs, and while we made our way through a deserted train, long white outstretched arms clawed at us from windows. Seto isn't really trained to fight, so every time you push the A button, he swings wildly ahead, but as long as you keep your flashlight out and time your attack, you'll survive. Frequent bonfire checkpoints are always available for you to return to if you do need a respite.

Chicken man can sell you healing items.

The Wii Remote's unique functionality is used quite a bit because it's your only source of light. As you wave it around to illuminate dark corridors, you can also bring it up to your ear to hear what your artificial friend has to say. Fireflies will hover around points of interest, but if you want to examine anything more closely, you point with the remote and hold the B button to zoom into a first-person view. Most of the time, it doesn't seem like there's anything to see up close. But sometimes you'll hear a noise come out of the remote's speaker, and if you point the remote in the right direction and move closer to the source, the sounds will increase until you see what you're up against or find what you're looking for. Not only are you using your eyes to scan the dark environments with a flashlight to catch enemies, but you have to rely on your audio senses too, because the sounds and even the music will hint at what's coming.

The audio as well as the game's visuals are definitely Fragile Dream's strong suit at this point. As you carefully explore the dismal surroundings, you can't help but admire the remains of a poster on the wall or the trash that has been carelessly pushed to the side. When you do make it aboveground, the view of the sky is spectacular and there are traces of life that have somehow survived to give you some hope that there might be a happy ending to this otherwise depressing story. You can choose to play with the original Japanese voices or switch the voices to English; either way, the voice acting is very well done, and you can feel the loneliness and despair in Seto's voice. The music chimes in when appropriate, generally when something dangerous is lurking nearby, to make you feel a bit tense. You will never really feel scared, even though the gameplay is set up like a survival horror game, and we haven't come across any moments that will make you jump out of your seat.

Your first encounter with another human being.

We're curious to explore more of the mesmerizing world in Fragile Dreams and hope to find other possible survivors in this sad but visually dynamic place. At first glance it may look like another Japanese role-playing game, but it isn't. It is very much focused on unraveling the mysteries behind this eerie but beautiful world through the eyes of Seto. Look for Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon specifically for the Nintendo Wii on March 16.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

74 comments
janafflover
janafflover

Definitely giving this game a try XP

remixbaby44
remixbaby44

the wii is actually off to a good start this year, with this (hopefully), tatsunoko and no more heroes 2. lets hope nintendo keeps it up with strong releases in the mario and zelda series later this year.

remixbaby44
remixbaby44

i hope the gameplay lives up to the art, cuz this is the first wii title in a long time that ive actually wanted to buy

Elfstrum
Elfstrum

Looks fun, but I wish the main character was a little older. Plus Jp games need to stop having scantily clad young girls.

itou16
itou16

I am so positive this game will be welcome from most of survival horror's fans. The abstract colors, gorgeous landscape and animated/art touch made this really amazing, thats in my opinion. Great preview!!!

PlainOldGamer
PlainOldGamer

I can't wait for this! I'm glad that it's actually coming to other places besides Japan.

Fox603
Fox603

ill give it a try

Jacava
Jacava

This looks to be another Okami: while not technically brilliant or outstanding gameplay-wise, it can suck you in and leave you revelling in artistic delight for ages to come. And, although not everyone's cup of tea, I'm getting this.

momomagic
momomagic

This game sounds beautiful too. There's a lovely track playing during the japanese trailer of the game, and the game's setting and atmosphere just blends in gorgeously.

bmanva
bmanva

Got the Japanese version yesterday and I'm about 4 hours into it. So far I'm not sure what I think about it. Good: The story is promising, the art is great and it does a good job creating a lonely atmosphere. Bad: Artistically the graphics are great, but technically they're terrible. This looks like a mediocre PS2 game. The controls are so-so but combat is pathetic, cheap and frustrating. Whoever designed this did a pretty bad job. If you really like anime-style games then you might get some fun out of it but you should definitely rent it first...and don't get your hopes up like I did. Maybe they'll make it better for the US release?...

Koudai2008
Koudai2008

Looks cool! I can't wait until I get my Wii repaired so I can play games like this & No More Heroes / No More Heroes 2, & Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, plus all my other Wii games that I already own!

Serentor
Serentor

So is this the Wii's version of an awesome Fallout 3? That would be really sweet ^^ Well, just different story I hope =)

Darth-Samus
Darth-Samus

My god...this game will be absolutley jaw-dropping. I can't believe how excellent it sounds. The other hilight is that it really seems to be using the Wii's motion controls to it's fullest potential making it a truly genuine experience that cannot be duplicated or even attempted on the other consoles. Good for Tri-crescendo. You have just earned 50 dollars from me,

sphiz1084
sphiz1084

Finally i get to play something besides wii sports!!

Grandotaku
Grandotaku

Finally my wii may get a work out.

Mercenary848
Mercenary848

I love these abstract/weird in depth wii games

janderdarkmoon
janderdarkmoon

This along with No More Heroes 2 are definite reasons to finally dust off the old wii.

nate1222
nate1222

Damn, I'm getting a Wii in a few weeks. And this is one of SEVERAL Wii games that're makin' me drool.

vegetaali
vegetaali

Belive me Wii gamers this game is gona B a HIT.....

CapedCod
CapedCod

I loved Muramasa, can't wait to see what they have in store for a 3D game.

Phoenix2Raven
Phoenix2Raven

looks awesome! And its coming out soon too, cant wait :)

Wetty01
Wetty01

Why am I always broke at moments like THIS!!!

Evilnator
Evilnator

Would have been better without the whole anime feel, but well, sounds good none the less.

istreakforfood
istreakforfood

What? They are actually releasing this game in the US. Sweet!

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

Sounds great! and i liked eternal sonata so hopefully this one will also be great

fudawg45
fudawg45

Looks pretty interesting. Have to see how this one turns out.

dzimm
dzimm

Looks awesome. I'm glad they kept the original Japanese voice overs because that's the only way to play a game like this.

Evil_Robo
Evil_Robo

Its stuff like this thats wirth owning the Wii for. I mean, it'll probably only sell a few thousand copies, but games like this are often the most memorable.

roryk666
roryk666

wow what a great looking wii game

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

Pretty intriguing. Good to see a pretty positive reception here. I hope the localization goes well.

zombehman
zombehman

looks really good, hopefully it will be better than THE GRUDGE game right?

isaacmj
isaacmj

Looks weird... I'm still not sure if it is the good type of weird or the bad one.

artmonmster
artmonmster

I hate this Anime crap.....another one I wont get, because the graphics are stupid.

gunslayer5
gunslayer5

I'll only buy it if its better than ToS or Spectrobes O.o

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Looks awesome! BUt what it it rated? That picture of the cover of the game looks like it says "A". Surely not?

tassakos
tassakos

this game sounds as if it gives you a lot of freedom! hope its gameplay doesn't get too repeated.