Tori no Hoshi ~Aerial Planet~

Original Title
~Aerial Planet~
Playstation 2
Official Website
Set on the largely aquatic planet Cornius Blue orbiting Deneb in the constellation of Cygnus, Tori no Hoshi stars Hugo, the son of a research scientist left stranded on the other side of the planet with only a futuristic glider and his support AI Carl to guide him.
The game is underpinned by the themes of exploration and survival – the player is required to search for safe camp sites and food to eat, and observing the behaviour of the birds that inhabit the planet plays a vital role in this.  At the most basic level taking a good photo of a bird species will increase Hugo’s HP, but observing their behaviour will also warn about some of the planet’s hidden dangers, such as which foods are dangerous to eat. In keeping with the idea that the planet is untouched and unexplored everything is nameable by the player, with no official or default names available.
Not only can birds be observed, but they can be influenced too. Under certain circumstances the birds will let out a call, perhaps to show they are content or to indicate fear – these calls can be recorded (there are four per species) and played back at will. Playing back a “contented” call near a group will cause them to follow you both in the air and back to camp unless they are attacked or become particularly distressed, for example daytime birds that you force to fly at night.
In addition to the dangers caused by eating poisonous local mushrooms (or your dried food rotting away) or being attacked by a hostile bird species Hugo also has to contend with the weather, the wind can easily send the glider soaring upwards if Hugo finds a thermal upcurrent or send him spiralling out of control in a storm. Storms are extremely difficult to fly in and drain Hugo’s health if he’s out in them – it’s best to wait until the pass over, but this limits precious foraging and exploration time.
The game offers multiple choices throughout meaning the challenges and terrain Hugo faces can differ drastically between playthroughs.
Tori no Hoshi was released on Feb 28th 2008, sadly NK Systems went bankrupt on Dec 25th the same year. An ex-employee has kept a mirror of their website here. The soundtrack Cd included with the game features the full OST as well as four images songs “performed” by Vocaloid Hatsune Miku and composed by Basiscape. Publisher Nippon Ichi’s Prinnies can be found in the game as an easter egg.