The Dark Souls cre­ator sum­mons his more spritely side

Games Master - - Preview Future Hits Played Now! - Robert Zak

It says a lot about Hide­taka Miyazaki’s creative clout that he’s famed for cre­at­ing Dark Souls, but when he comes out with a walk­ing sim about fairies in a tra­di­tional Bri­tish board­ing school, you’re all-in to see how it pans out. On the ev­i­dence of the half-hour demo we played of Miyazaki-san’s VR fairy sim­u­la­tor Dérac­iné, it’s go­ing very beau­ti­fully in­deed. At a glance, Dérac­iné looks like a walk­ing sim, though hands-on it ac­tu­ally feels more like an old point-and-click ad­ven­ture. The seg­ment we play lets us move around a large chunk of the beau­ti­ful Vic­to­rian-era board­ing school, but move­ment is en­tirely based around tele­port­ing. This sac­ri­fices some im­mer­sion in favour of negat­ing mo­tion sick­ness, but it also suits the largely static na­ture of the game.

Ev­ery­thing and every­one in the game world stays still un­til you, as the fairy, come into con­tact with it, un­lock­ing lit­tle bits of di­a­logue and the abil­ity to read let­ters, ob­tain ob­jects from chil­dren, and other mi­nor ac­tions. Our ob­jec­tive in the demo was to help some of the stu­dents con­vince the more scep­ti­cal ones that fairies ex­ist – by spik­ing one kid’s soup with knock­out serum, nat­u­rally.


To per­suade the stu­dents we ex­ist, we tinker around; in­ter­act­ing with kids, find­ing things in one place then slot­ting them in an­other, then fi­nally do­ing the mis­chievous deed. You’re not rooted to the ground, so can zap your­self un­der a walk­way where a dog may be hid­ing, or up into a tree where a boy may be laz­ing in the shade with a hat over his eyes (which you can take off his head and give back to him to cre­ate a lit­tle mo­ment of won­der for him). You’re a half-pres­ence in the world, a gen­tle spirit, and it’s some­thing that feels so apt for a PS VR game. Dérac­iné looks and sounds beau­ti­ful, com­bin­ing Dark Souls’ propen­sity for echo­ing, ethe­real di­a­logue (yet re­mov­ing the tough bosses; not sure there’s a place for them here un­less the school needs a maths teacher) with a dreamy, sepia tone that makes you long for half-re­mem­bered, never-end­ing, hot sum­mers and the in­no­cent days when things like fairies and Fa­ther Christ­mas seemed plau­si­ble. It’s shap­ing up to be just the kind of in­ti­mate, tac­tile game that VR needs more of.

In­ter­act­ing with things like dried fruits can re­vive them, help­ing you con­vince the pupils that you ex­ist.

The board­ing school is de­tailed and a beau­ti­ful place to ex­plore, with a sepia tint to ev­ery­thing, and dust-speck­led sun­light stream­ing in through win­dows.

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