Tiger Festival Speculation Time!

After hearing the hint “Tiger Festival” for Ryukishi07’s next unannounced work, I couldn’t help speculating wildly about it. I already have a whole page of ideas (most of them insane). One theory, though, is beginning to sound more and more likely.

As a child of the Internet, the first thing I did was Google it. I didn’t have to go past the first page before stumbling upon the phrase in the game Tales of Graces. I’ve never played it, but in one of the game’s comedic scenes, a character takes on the conspicuous fake name of “Tiger Festival.” Interesting connection, I thought, but could still be a coincidence. Then I just learned today that the game’s main villain is named “Lambda.” And so the rabbit hole gets deeper.

Ryukishi07 first introduced himself at ACen by saying he never imagined he’d become a script writer for visual novels. Also, he wasn’t even sure he’d found his true calling yet. Maybe that true calling could be “writer for a JRPG?” After all, his pen-name comes straight from Final Fantasy. Maybe he’ll be fulfilling a long-held dream. Plus, we’ve already seen the addition of game play elements to Rose Guns Days.

I couldn’t say for sure he’s actually writing the next Tales Of game. If so, why would he reference Tales of Graces from 2009, instead of the more recent Tales of Xillia or Zestria from 2011 and 2015? Maybe that game just particularly inspired him. Still, I think there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing a new JRPG with his hand in it. Or maybe we should all get ready for “When the Tigers Cry.”

Edit: A reader reminded me of one other connection between Ryukishi07 and the Tales Of games: the singer Akiko Shikata has done multiple songs for both series. In fact, her EP “Cocoon of White Dreams” is a crossover between Umineko no Naku Koro ni and Tales of Symphonia. Thanks Matt!


9 thoughts on “Tiger Festival Speculation Time!

  1. I’d love to see what a Ryukishi07 JRPG would be like! I wonder when we’re going to hear more about the Tiger Festival project. Probably not until after Trianthology is released, huh?


  2. While I think that an actual RPG would be a bit of a stretch considering how he’s in the raw storytelling industry, influence and plot points drawn from tales on the other hand does not seem so outlandish.
    Or we’ll just have a new WtC with bushmen hunting for tigers and the big bad evil companies destroying forests making tigers cry. Devils proof approves of this theory until we get the actual game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think writing an RPG would actually fit in well with how he described his writing style for When They Cry. Especially if it’s a non-linear RPG (an idea I’m really fascinated with lately). Imagine you play as Rika in the world of a repeating Hinamizawa, with free reign to try escaping the tragedy, racking up plenty of “Game Overs” along the way.

      It does give me pause since he described it as a “solo work.” For an RPG, he’d probably need a bunch of people with him doing game design, programming, etc. But he might have meant the writing part alone: even Higurashi and Umineko weren’t pure “solo” works, with other people doing music and programming, but we still think of them that way.,

      But it’s still plenty possible that “Tiger Festival” refers to an actual thing in the work’s story. It sounds wicked similar to the plot of Onikakushi, which had a wolf festival. And that was already a re-hash of Higurashi, so why not re-hash it again?

      (BTW, I checked and tigers actually can cry.)


  3. Since he did refer to it as a solo work, I doubt it’s going to be directly related to Tales of Graces, but honestly that’s just what I’m hoping for since I don’t like those games very much.

    I only want that either this or TRianThology end up being as big and memorable as a WTC title, though TRi gives me the impression it’ll be more like Higanbana, which is nice but yeah I just want more WTC like everyone else… Anyway, I’m really hyped for what R07 has in store these days.


    • I’ve only (partially) played one Tales of game, Tales of Vesperia. It definitely didn’t capture me, but mostly just due to the super generic plot. I had way more fun just MST3King the lines with my brother while playing it (“‘Carve my name into your blood?’ That doesn’t even make sense!). If Ryukishi07 was writing one, though, that’d get my attention.

      Rose Guns Days is probably the closest thing he’s done to a WTC lately, in terms of scope and epic-ness. I think it’ll be a while until we get another true WTC, but the wait will just make it all the sweeter.


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