PRESSKIT – “Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle, Chapter III: Legal Stage”

This page is a short-form summary of all press-relevant information about Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle Chapter III, as well as a source of press-friendly assets.



ITCH.IO, OCTOBER 23rd, 2020 – Ethan Fox opens pre-orders for chapter 3 of the popular ongoing indie graphic adventure/visual novel hybrid videogame series, Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle – an Ace Attorney-like game which takes place in a world where all anime genres exist at the same time. This release features the third case in the overall story, named “Legal Stage”, and parodies racing anime/manga Initial D.

The game will release on November 6th 2020, for a regular price of $3.99 – but those who pre-order will receive the game for a special discounted price of $2.99, while Chapter 2 will be reduced by 50% to $1.99 over this period (Chapter 1 remains permanently free).

The game will be available at the following URL:

https://ethan-fox.itch.io/nina-aquila-legal-eagle-chapter-iii-legal-stage

As in the first and second chapter, players play as Nina Aquila, the titular legal eagle; a defense attorney in the fictional setting of Fledge City, and must defend a client in court who has been wrongfully accused of a major crime. Players do this by investigating crime scenes, searching for clues and interviewing witnesses, as well as taking part in minigames, before going to court to fight for their client.

Veteran anime & gaming voice actor Rachael Messer (Azur Lane, Goblin Slayer, Forgotten Anne) provides the voice of Nina Aquila, the protagonist.


Useful press facts/talking points:

  • The Touge racing theme is inspired by Ethan Fox’s years living in Gunma-ken, the real location in which Initial D is based
  • First chapter was released on itch.io in December 2018, second chapter was released Summer 2019
  • Ethan Fox is the sole developer, though artwork/assets/plugins/voice work present in the game is commissioned from other creatives (listed in the credits)
  • Frequently #1 in the site’s charts of web-based visual novels and HTML5 interactive fiction, frequently in the top 10 for other categories such as visual novels in general and games made using RPG Maker, rubbing shoulders with titles such as Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Has been played over 15,000 times by visitors
  • 5-star rating for both chapters in over 100 reviews
  • Added to the British Library’s archive of notable examples of Britsh-made interactive fiction

Fact Sheet

  • Around 4-5 hours of gameplay
  • Aimed at adults, but not “adult-only” (i.e. light in tone, no overt sexual scenes or gratuitous violence, wholly SFW)
  • Chapter 3 is download-only for Windows platform (not HTML5) as its grander scale and expansive locations are too large for a web-game
  • The overworld of Fledge City, which the player must traverse between key locations, is pseudo-3D using a mode-7 style presentation
  • Play “Touge Janken Racing” in this chapter; a turn-based racing system with mode7 style visuals
  • Bookended presentation, with an anime-esque “OP” opening sequence and ending sequence
  • Cutscenes and pacing similar in feel to an episodic anime
  • A wide cast of characters with their own motivations and backstories
  • Written by a successful indie author branching out into interactive storytelling
  • Created using RPG Maker MV, with extensive custom scripting and significant additional artwork and assets
  • 720p native resolution (scales to screen size)
  • Accessibility feature – Players may switch on a mode where the street races auto-win, so players can never lose. The game makes it clear that there is no penalty for using this
  • A Mac version is planned for the future (details TBD)

Broader Info:

Nina Aquila Legal Eagle is a visual novel with adventure game elements, that uses the a top-down view more reminiscent of a classic RPG. This is to allow characters to “act” and produce scenes with directed pacing that mimic the feel of an anime show.

Chapter 3 picks up several weeks after the end of Chapter 2. When Nina and Dylan go to the Rostro Spire (a mountain nature reserve) to visit their friend’s new business, they encounter a world of illegal street racing, and those who perform these races, the “Rostro Racers”.

Early in the story, the leader of the racers dies in a tragic accident, later believed to be caused by one of her opponents with malicious intent. These rival racers are arrested, and Nina is asked to defend them in court.

During the story, Nina will have to actually engage in illegal street racing, called “Touge Janken Racing”, in order to solve the mystery and fight for justice.

As well as a homage to Ace Attorney, the chapter also plays out as a parody of Initial D.

The chapter includes…

  • Anime-theming, such as using/satirising anime tropes, as well as using meta-jokes and references; e.g. visually the city seems like it’s in Japan, but the localisation lampoons how this is “aggressively localised” to generic American setting
  • In-jokes and references taken from the world of street racing anime & real-world touge racing, such as how one of the teams drives a fictional car that is a fusion of two different cars, conceptually referencing the real-life Nissan Sileighty
  • Court segments of a manner similar to those in the Ace Attorney franchise.
  • Investigation segments, where the player adventures around various city locations searching for clues, interviewing witnesses and taking part in chapter-specific mechanics
  • “Touge Janken Racing”; a racing-based minigame in which players race opponents in a turn-based manner, with mode7-style visuals
  • Presskit-only info: This chapter delves further into Nina’s character; players will start to become more aware of how Nina’s plagued by things that happened to her long before the games began.

Narrative Blurb

Following on from Chapter II, Nina and Dylan have been looking into the events surrounding Anya’s trial and arrest, but the volume of evidence is huge, and weeks have already passed without any leads.

Still, Aquila Defense & Law is a business, and when a person calling himself “The Jack of Diamonds” comes to the door in the middle of the night, Nina and Dylan are forced to take up his case.

Something is wrong up in the mountains. Shockwaves are ringing through the world of Fledge City’s illegal street racing scene: Clara Mass, longtime racer and “The Ace of Spades” has been murdered during a race, and several other racers stand accused of the crime! The fragile truce between the street racing groups is being stretched to breaking point, and police involvement threatens to end mountain road racing once and for all!

Now, Nina and Dylan must journey north of the streets of Fledge City to the snow-covered passes of The Rostro Spire, the tallest mountain in the region, to search for answers amid the high-octane sub-culture of Touge Janken Racing…

… but some truths can only be found in the heart of the drift!


Style Guide

Styled in text as
Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle, Chapter III: Legal Stage
Styled visually as below:

itch.io “cover image
(images in different aspect ratios can be provided upon request)

The above image can also be considered a source of the colour palette used in the branding for this chapter.

Terms:

  • Aquila Defense & Law – Nina’s business.
  • Touge Janken Racing – The fictional race discipline practiced by the Rostro Racers in Fledge City; derived from “Touge” (Japanese mountain pass racing) and “Janken” (Japanese for rock-paper-scissors)
  • Rostro Spire – the mountain on which the racers race, tallest in the region
  • Rostro Racers – the group of illegal street racers
  • Fledge City – The location in which the game takes place.

Characters:

Nina Aquila (player character)

NinaHead

Age: 24
Occupation: Defense Attorney for Aquila Defense & Law


Chad Hawke (NPC)

ChadHead

Age: 28
Occupation: City Prosecutor

Chad Hawke is Nina’s courtroom rival, and is well-known for winning his cases through careful adherence to court procedure.

Assets:

The above images of Nina and Chad can be used; please do not flip Nina’s image laterally, as the eye-patch must always be over her right eye. Chad’s image may be flipped.

(MP4 files of these videos can be provided upon request)

Transparent logo image:

This logo is a transparent PNG and can be used on light or dark backdrops. It is also within the style guide to desaturate this logo and use a non-colour variant.

Screenshots:

Contact & Further Info

Ethan Fox can be contacted at authorethanfox[at]gmail[dot]com. Press enquiries are particularly welcome over the few weeks before/after release.

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