Saturday, August 28, 2010

Before the Awakening there is Mission 00

Not content with a packed OST release, several guide books, models and figures, Namco decided to go one step further into merchandise land.

The result was a tape named "Mission 00". The title may be misleading at first, as it's not about a mission that takes place before the game proper begins. It's also not an anime prologue, but considering the "quality" of many game-related OVAs, we're better off that way!

This is actually a walkthrough of the new USEA, presenting the technology, political climate and key characters that color USEA in the year 2040. This means it's a non-stop information barrage. It begins with a 5 minute-long, trailer-like recap of AC's history from AC1 up to 3. Then we proceed to the real meat of the video, which is all talking heads. Some of it is presented in a CNN-like way, other times we have a character narrating or describing what's on screen and other times it's pseudo-interviews. Much more interesting and dynamic than reading the countless Archive entries of the game, which gets boring after a while. There is a little overlap between the two, but each has info not included in the other so they complement each other quite nicely. It's a pretty good watch for those hungry for more AC3 stuff!

Mission 00 AKA Mission Zero was released a week after AC3, on June 5th 1999. It retailed for 3800 yen though it's dificult to find it for less than ~7000 yen these days. Considering the nature of this video and the niche that it covers, it may very well have had a limited print as it's always been hard to find. Still, it does pop up online from time to time.

As this is now an 11-year old tape, I'd like to address concerns of tape degradation. I am very pleased with my copy, with great picture and sound considering its age and format, very watchable. Any future collectors need not fret as Japanese collectors take extreme care of their possessions (my copy looks and plays like new!).

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