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$159,003
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Project Rap Rabbit
$159,003
pledged of $1,095,622 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

*UPDATE - ALL WHITE-LABEL EDITION (DIGITAL) TIERS AND HIGHER WILL NOW ALSO RECEIVE A DIGITAL COPY OF THE PROJECT RAP RABBIT SOUNDTRACK*

For the first time ever, two of the genre’s biggest icons collaborate on an innovative new musical adventure coming to PlayStation 4 and PC.

An explosive mix of Japanese folklore and traditional artwork, hip hop and humorous battle rap face-offs inspired by the Epic Rap Battles Of History YouTube series, Project Rap Rabbit (working title) is the next major game from the creators of PaRappa The Rapper, Vib-Ribbon, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Elite Beat Agents and Gitaroo Man.

 

Our grand hip hop saga takes place in an alternate history, circa 16th Century Japan. All is not well. The world is becoming a hostile place as people object to the growing diversification of their homelands. Citizens and neighbours are becoming increasingly suspicious of, and isolated from, one another.  

A toxic atmosphere of protectionism is taking hold.

At the height of this culture of fear, an Earth-shattering calamity befalls the world. As the universe trembles from the aftershocks and the survivors try to rebuild what's left of their lives, one rabbit embarks on a journey for truth, justice and liberty - and steps forward to do battle with the land's most powerful overlords.

Meet the hero of our story: Toto-Maru
Meet the hero of our story: Toto-Maru

The hero in question is Toto-Maru, a simple farm boy who's able to harness the special power of force through rap. (Wait, where have we heard this before...?) Only by embracing the strength of music and by using the magic of rhythm and rhyme to counter corruption and small-mindedness can our reluctant hero and his trusty sidekick, Otama-Maru, finally heal the destructive rifts, bring about global unification and restore peace! 

This handsome fella is Toto-Maru's sidekick: Otama-Maru
This handsome fella is Toto-Maru's sidekick: Otama-Maru

 

With a combined 54 years of development shared between studios NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J, we’ve had plenty of time to master the art of rhythm-action. And it’s all been building to this: Project Rap Rabbit’s unique rapping gameplay represents the culmination of our experience across the genre’s biggest and best hits, and a true evolution of rhythm-action mechanics. 

The key to battle rap is the ability to defeat your opponent with lyrical jabs and rhyming uppercuts, which is why Project Rap Rabbit ensures YOU are in control of the raps. Songs aren't just a series of linear lines to tap through, but full dialogue trees of variable verses filled with creative put-downs, bragging and clever rhymes.

Project Rap Rabbit's visuals are shaped by Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents lead artist Atsushi Saito
Project Rap Rabbit's visuals are shaped by Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents lead artist Atsushi Saito

Here at both NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J, we have a long-held belief that rhythm-action should be about so much more than simply attaining perfection and mastering button presses to reach an S Rank climax. We want to encourage experimentation, not punish deviations from a critical path. To that end, we have designed a flexible and dynamic bonus system to reward self-expression.

Rap battles pit Toto-Maru up against leaders of rival factions. Both Toto-Maru and his opponent possess Swag Gauges, and the victor of a rap battle is determined by these bars.

How does a rhythm-action game featuring branching songs work exactly? Well, each song in Project Rap Rabbit is made up of multiple Call and Response gameplay segments, which can all be broken down into three simple steps.

1) Listen
When your opponent is attacking you, you shouldn't just stand there and take it! Important phrases in your foe's lyrics will be highlighted in the Word Pick Up phase: Now's your chance to pick out certain keywords you want to try and focus on when it's time to strike back.

2) Respond
How do you want to respond to your opponent's insults? It's up to you! Project Rap Rabbit features an emotion wheel inspired by the likes of Mass Effect and Fallout 4. Do you want to hit back with a boast, with a joke, by dismissing the attack or by coercing your opponent?  

Select the emotion you wish to unleash to preview the upcoming rhythm and your foe's reaction: There's no wrong choice, but different emotions will inflict different levels of damage to your adversary's Swag Gauge.

3) Rap
Now it's time to unleash those lines! Depending on your chosen emotion you'll spit different lyrics and unique rhythms. Press the specified face buttons at the correct time to enunciate every word perfectly, boosting your own Swag Gauge in the process.

If your Swag Gauge hits zero it's the end of the battle and your failure will go down in legend. Keeping your bar topped up is the key to successfully besting each level, while depleting your foe's meter will increase your overall level score. 

Running low on Swag?
Don't panic! The status of your opponent, determined by the level of his or her Swag Gauge, can help you out. Every foe reacts to each emotion differently, and while it's possible to beat each song using every single permutation of lyrics, picking the more powerful emotional response to any given state will result in better boosts to your own Swag Gauge during the Rap section.

 

Beyond the music itself, rhythm-action games are also about happiness, experience and love. These are the foundations on which we built our earliest titles. We want to bring strong narratives and a tangible sense of adventure back to rhythm-action gaming, and to deliver a title with unrivaled feeling and soul.

However, we also know that many fast-fingered gamers love to be challenged, which is why we've designed gameplay systems far deeper than those of any other rhythm-action title in our history.

Though the basic objective of every stage is to emerge from the rap battle victorious, competitive leaderboards challenge you to discover the most creative paths through each branching song and deliver the best rap you possibly can. Perfect beat-matching will net you good scores, of course, but that's just the start if you want to mount a serious assault on your friends' performances... 

To ensure that all gamers with all kinds of setups can enjoy Project Rap Rabbit to its fullest, there will be a calibration mode
To ensure that all gamers with all kinds of setups can enjoy Project Rap Rabbit to its fullest, there will be a calibration mode

Bonuses
Simple bonuses involve zeroing in on the most powerful keywords during the Listen phase and successfully hitting those syllables (denoted with special symbols on the lyrics bar, as shown above for 'To Rhyme') with full force during the Rap segments. But bonuses come in all shapes, sizes and complexities.

Some involve rapid selections during the Respond phase to get a jump-start on your lines, while others demand high-level players successfully and seamlessly knit together lyrics from different responses by tweaking the emotion during the Rap phase itself - an expert feat that isn't for the faint-hearted!

Toto-Maru's status
Mirroring his opponent's behaviour, Toto-Maru's own status is dictated by his Swag Gauge. When the Swag Gauge drops below 50% health Toto-Maru falls into the Back Against The Wall state, during which certain lyrics will deal even more damage to his opponent's Swag.  

With large damage multipliers at their fingertips, along with some additional Back Against The Wall bonuses up for grabs depending on the length of time spent in that state, truly brave rappers will be able to carefully shape their responses to spend entire battles on the cusp of failure in order to deal huge levels of damage and gain the most points.

For Project Rap Rabbit, we wanted to draw on the culture and traditional artwork of Japan while infusing it with some of the biggest influences which have touched our lives. The result? A mesmerizing collision of Japanese history, rap and hip hop culture

These two things couldn't be geographically further apart in origin, but together they demonstrate that bringing together diverse cultures from two different times can not only work, but create something remarkable. The result is a truly memorable and singularly stylish experience that everyone can enjoy.

The famous 16th century Japanese picture scroll 'Scrolls of Frolicking Animals', Uesugi Bon's Rakuchu Rakugai Zu, the works of Akira Yamaguchi and Ikeda Manabu, and films such as Spirited Away, Tekkonkinkreet and Kung Fu Panda were all major influences in our early concepts.

20 years after masterminding the music behind PlayStation classic PaRappa The Rapper, Masaya Matsuura will also be serving as the music director for Project Rap Rabbit in addition to creative lead duties. As one of the core composers for the rap battles, Matsuura-san is looking to create a synthesis of Japanese and Western styles that's elevated above and beyond anything you've heard before.  

While some of our past titles have focused on rap and hip hop, we haven't yet tackled the back-and-forth dueling of rap battles. One of our major drawing points in our early days of development has been Epic Rap Battles Of History - the blend of beat, crazy encounters and comedy put-downs is a great example of the different musical encounters you'll be playing in Project Rap Rabbit.

Project Rap Rabbit's battles are epic clashes filled with action and humour
Project Rap Rabbit's battles are epic clashes filled with action and humour

 

How did two of the biggest names in the business come to form the ultimate rhythm-action dream team? Masaya Matsuura and Keiichi Yano have known each other for almost 20 years, and formed a friendship based around their shared love of story-based music and rhythm game creation - an area many game developers have never experienced.

This is the first time long-term friends Matsuura-san and Yano-san have collaborated on a project
This is the first time long-term friends Matsuura-san and Yano-san have collaborated on a project

At various game events over the years, Matsuura-san and Yano-san have come together to discuss what shape the next generation of music games would form. More recently, they began exploring the concept of a 'rhythm-action 2.0' project, capable of pushing the genre into areas never before conceived. Rather than revisiting an existing series and either re-appropriating known and loved game systems or breaking them to retrofit more progressive gameplay ideas, a new IP felt like the natural opportunity to explore innovative input mechanics while simultaneously celebrating and paying homage to the past.

 

 

 

Deeper into the campaign we'll be asking our community to tell us what Stretch Goals are most important to them. All future Stretch Goals will be ordered according to community surveys.

Until then, be sure to comment or reach out to us via the social media links below to tell us what you want to see next from Project Rap Rabbit, whether it's an Xbox One version, more levels, multiplayer modes or extra difficulty settings.

Please help us grow our community! To make Project Rap Rabbit a reality, we need your assistance to spread the word: Click on the icons below to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to see the latest information, artwork and development videos. 

 

 

 

Please share what you can to help us complete Project Rap Rabbit and release it to the world! If we pass our funding goal,we'll provide our followers with regular updates across all three platforms, as well as here on the Kickstarter page.

 

Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit with backer-exclusive cover art
Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit with backer-exclusive cover art

 

Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD
Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD

 

Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie, gatefold vinyl soundtrack
Includes: one copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie, gatefold vinyl soundtrack

 

Includes: signed copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie, gatefold vinyl soundtrack
Includes: signed copy of Project Rap Rabbit, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie, gatefold vinyl soundtrack

 

Includes: signed copy of Project Rap Rabbit, signed A3 giclee art print, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie and gatefold vinyl soundtrack
Includes: signed copy of Project Rap Rabbit, signed A3 giclee art print, artbook, soundtrack CD, remixed soundtrack CD, keyring, badge set, backer-only t-shirt, Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, Otama-Maru plushie and gatefold vinyl soundtrack

 

Double-dipping
Hungry to experience Project Rap Rabbit on more than one platform? You can at a discounted rate! To purchase a second copy of the game on a different platform, just add an extra £20/$26/€24/¥2,930 for a digital copy during checkout.

Shipping will be charged after the Kickstarter campaign has ended, closer to the launch window for Project Rap Rabbit. Based entirely on the actual cost to ship your reward tiers, post-funding shipping collection enables us to charge fairly and keep your costs to a minimum by bulk-shipping overseas rewards to network hubs in the US and Asia.

Depending on final weights and order volumes, costs may vary, but early estimates of shipping charges are:

White-Label Edition (physical)
£3 UK/€5 EU/$6 US/¥650 Japan/$8 Rest Of World

Phat Edition
£5 UK/€8 EU/$9 US/¥980 Japan/$11 Rest Of World

Hardcore Edition
£7 UK/€22 EU/$30 US/¥3,400 Japan/$38 Rest Of World

Tagged Edition
£7 UK/€22 EU/$30 US/¥3,400 Japan/$38 Rest Of World

Off The Chain Edition (and beyond)
£15 UK/€33 EU/$38 US/¥4,500 Japan/$48 Rest Of World

Shipping is free for the Platinum Edition tier and all higher pledges.

Risks and challenges

Videogame development is a volatile industry with many moving parts and a knack for throwing up unsuspected challenges and hiccups in almost all projects. As a result, it would be foolish of us to claim that there is zero potential for delays to the launch window.

However, we have gone to great lengths in our planning and early work to minimize this risk. Between the shared experience of developers NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J, and publisher PQube’s platform holder relationships and merchandise production know-how, we’re confident that all the pieces are in place to ship Project Rap Rabbit, along with all physical backer rewards, by August 2018.

Having seen other projects suffer lengthy delays or fall short of certain goals during development, we’ve worked tremendously hard to ensure that Project Rap Rabbit doesn’t disappoint. We’ve been deliberately conservative with our development milestones so that we’re not in a position of overpromising – but potentially over-delivering – when it comes to the finished game to completely eradicate any possibilities of dropped features or necessities for further investment.

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    Shout Out

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    Make space on your shelf for the boxed, physical game on console, with cover artwork exclusive to Kickstarter backers. Includes Shout Out tier.

    (Approx: $45 USD, €42 EUR, ¥5,160 JPY)
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    Phat Edition

    A hugely collectable bundle containing the game (console physical or PC digital), the official Project Rap Rabbit artbook, the official soundtrack CD and a remixed soundtrack CD. Includes Shout Out tier.

    (Approx: $77 USD, €71 EUR, ¥8,840 JPY)
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    Hardcore Edition

    The ultimate rap pack! Become an elite member of the Project Rap Rabbit community with a giant package bursting with official gear: the backer-only luxury T-Shirt, the Toto-Maru and friends keyring and badge set, a Project Rap Rabbit folding fan, a premium beanie hat and the adorable Otama-Maru plushie. The Hardcore Edition also includes a copy of Project Rap Rabbit (digital PC or console physical) along with the official artbook, soundtrack CD and remixed soundtrack CD - plus a collectable gatefold vinyl edition of the soundtrack.

    To round off the Hardcore Edition package, your name will also appear in the Project Rap Rabbit game credits.

    (Approx: $194 USD, €179 EUR, ¥22,100 JPY)
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    Tagged Edition

    Creative director Masaya Matsuura and producer Keiichi Yano will sign your game box! Plus, your name and a short message (to be approved by the development team) will be listed in the 'Special Backers’ part of the game credits. Includes all Hardcore Edition rewards.

    (Approx: $387 USD, €357 EUR, ¥44,190 JPY)
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    Off The Chain Edition

    Ready your wall for a framed and numbered A3 Giclee Art Print, signed by lead artist Atsushi Saito! Includes all Tagged Edition rewards as well.

    (Approx: $645 USD, €595 EUR, ¥73,650 JPY)
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    Platinum Edition

    Help us make Project Rap Rabbit! You’ll work with the team to name and design a PS4 trophy/Steam achievement that will appear in the final game. You’ll also receive all Off The Chain Edition benefits, but your name and personal message will instead appear in the 'Guest Writers' portion of the credits.

    (Approx: $1,290 USD, €1,190 EUR, ¥147,310 JPY)
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    Familiar Face Edition

    Lead artist Atsushi Saito will create a portrait of YOU in the style of the game’s characters! Provided you send us a photo, natch. You’ll receive the signed and framed portrait along with all other rewards from the Off The Chain Edition.

    (Approx: $1,935 USD, €1,785 EUR, ¥220,970 JPY)
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    Take The Stage Edition

    Be in the game! We’ll incorporate your voice into Project Rap Rabbit as one or more of: crowd jests, death rattles and short story scene dialogue sound effects. (NB - Provided voice samples may need to be tweaked and adjusted based on development needs.) Includes all Off The Chain rewards, but your name and personal message will instead be listed in the 'Guest Cast' portion of the credits.

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    Freezeframe Edition

    Want to have a hand in creating one of the lead character’s poses? We’ll work with you to recreate and shape a chosen victory or defeated or reactionary pose for Toto-Maru. Includes all Off The Chain Edition physical rewards, but your name and personal message will instead appear in the 'Guest Animators' portion of the credits.

    (Approx: $2,903 USD, €2,678 EUR, ¥331,450 JPY)
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    Photobomb Edition

    We’ll feature a stylised image of your pet somewhere in the game as part of the stage background detailing, potentially on: flags, crowd signs, stage objects, noren, statues, etc. Comes with all Off The Chain Edition physical rewards, but your name and personal message will instead appear in the 'Guest Photobombers' portion of the credits.

    (Approx: $3,870 USD, €3,570 EUR, ¥441,930 JPY)
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    Heavy Petting Edition

    Your pet or a creature of your choosing will be immortalized in the game as character in one stage, and either your name or your pet’s name will be included in a line of the lyrics. We'll work with you on the design, and present you with a framed and signed portrait of you and your pet, in the style of the game. Includes all rewards from the Off The Chain Edition but your name and personal message will instead be listed in the 'Guest Cast' portion of the credits.

    (Approx: $5,160 USD, €4,760 EUR, ¥589,240 JPY)
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    Studio Session Edition

    Join us during one of our rap recording studio sessions in Tokyo, Japan with some of the talent behind the game’s characters to observe the game’s creation – then take to the booth yourself to record SFX for the game for the Take The Stage Edition tier rewards.

    NB – accommodation/travel not included.

    (Approx: $5,805 USD, €5,355 EUR, ¥662,900 JPY)
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    The Ultimate MC Edition

    Join the team on launch day to celebrate the release of Project Rap Rabbit! Participate in the official launch livestream at the Tokyo studio, then enjoy a meal with the project leads and a spot of actual 'battle rap' during an evening karaoke session. You’ll also be invited to join us on our quarterly global development update calls, received all Off The Chain rewards and be credited as 'Guest Producer' in the credits.

    NB – includes two nights of accommodation, but not flights or travel costs.

    (Approx: $10,256 USD, €9,460 EUR, ¥1,171,120 JPY)
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