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Muv-Luv is a Japanese visual novel developed by âge and originally released as an adult game for the PC on February 28, 2003. Subsequent versions with the adult content removed were sold for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Consisting of two parts, Muv-Luv Extra and Muv-Luv Unlimited , the gameplay in Muv-Luv follows a linear plot line, which offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, and focuses on the differing scenarios of the female main characters. Muv-Luv was followed by a sequel, Muv-Luv Alternative , which was released for the PC on April 24, 2006 and follows the storyline of Muv-Luv Unlimited. Two fandiscs were also released, Muv-Luv Supplement and Muv-Luv Altered Fable , containing alternate scenarios, short stories, computer wallpapers, and audio dramas.

Muv-Luv has also made the transition to other media. Three manga series based on the games were published by MediaWorks and later ASCII Media Works and serialized in the manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. Shueisha published a seven volume novel series based on Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative while Enterbrain published a side-story novel series, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse in its Tech Gian magazine and follows a new cast of characters. A modified version Total Eclipse has also been adapted into the manga format by ASCII Media Works as well as an anime series which began airing on July 2, 2012, and licensed by Crunchyroll

Muv-Luv Plot

The plot of Muv-Luv is divided into two parts. The first part is called Muv-Luv Extra while the second part is called Muv-Luv Unlimited. In Extra, Takeru Shirogane (Voiced by Takeshi Aiba in PC and Soichiro Hoshi in Ports) wakes up one morning to find a beautiful young woman sleeping in his bed and an infuriated Sumika Kagami (Voiced by Rika Fujiwara in PC and Hiroko Taguchi in Port), Takeru's neighbor and childhood friend. The young woman, Meiya Mitsurugi (voiced by Aki Okuda in PC and Kauzmi Okushima in ports), is the heiress to a financially powerful family and is determined to be Takeru's bride. As the game progress, both girls compete for Takeru's affections while Takeru has reoccurring dreams about a marriage promise he made to a girl long ago. At first, he believes the girl was Sumika, but eventually realizes that it was actually Meiya. At the conclusion, Takeru must choose between which of the girls he truly loves.

Muv-Luv Unlimited takes place in an alternate world to Extra, where aliens called BETA (an acronym for "Beings of the Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race") have invaded and mankind fights back against the alien aggressors with giant robots called Tactical Surface Fighters (戦術歩行戦闘機 Senjutsuhokōsentōki?), usually referred to as simply Senjutsuki (戦術機?).

The BETA first arrived on Earth in 1973 (in China and Canada) after arriving on the Moon in 1967 and being spotted on Mars in 1958. By 2001, the world population has been reduced to 2.2 billion people, and most of Europe and Asia have been wiped out. The Soviet Union, and USA have a joint base, operating out of Alaska. When the BETA first arrived in Japan in 1998, 36 million people were dead within a week.

Most of the major characters from the Extra timeline are present in Unlimited, except for the Unlimited world's Takeru, who is said to be dead, and Sumika, who does not seem to exist in the Unlimited timeline. The characters are, for the most part identical to their Extra counterparts.

In the sequel Muv-Luv Alternative, a part of Takeru wakes up three years after the beginning of Unlimited to find himself back in his room. Although he first thinks that everything that had happened to him was a dream, he soon feels that something is wrong, and leaves the house to find that he has been sent back in time to the beginning of the events in Unlimited. Unwilling to accept the events at the end of Unlimited, he decides to help professor Kouzuki save the earth and mankind.

Muv-Luv Gameplay

The gameplay in Muv-Luv requires little player interaction as most time is spent reading the text that appears on the lower portion of the screen, representing either dialogue between characters, or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often, the player will arrive at a "decision point", and be required to choose between multiple options. Gameplay pauses and depending upon the player's choice, the plot will develop in a specific direction. There are multiple plot lines that the player can follow, one for each heroine in the story, and there are nineteen possible endings. To view all plot lines, the player must replay the game multiple times. The game can end in failure if the player makes the wrong decisions. When this occurs, the player can return to a previously saved spot to try again.

Muv-Luv is divided into two segments, or story arcs—Extra and Unlimited—which serve as different phases in the overall story. Initially, only the Extra arc is available to play, but once the player has completed the Extra scenarios for the two main heroines, Sumika Kagami and Meiya Mitsurugi, the Unlimited arc becomes accessible.

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