Popular series of Japanese RPG/Sim games. Originally came out for DOS; it's since spread to Super Famicom, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Windows 95 and is threatening to spread to Dreamcast as well. The concept behind the series is that you are a father who has to raise a daughter in a fantasy setting. You chose her job, schooling and can even guide her on adventures.

Most of what I know about the series comes from the Princess Maker 2 release. It was translated by an American company but never went past beta stage due to groups complaining about the sexist nature of the game. Of course, copies are available on the net. No, I don't have one. Don't ask.

The game gets quite complicated fast - there's a lot of different qualities to your child that are determined before you start - blood type, astrology sign and other things. From there, it just gets worse. You have to make tradeoffs in your choice. Having your daughter do homework will raise her temperament and cooking skills, but it will make less sensitive. Or she could work as a lumberjack and get paid, but she'll be much less refined. There's also schooling, but that costs money. She can go out into the world and fight monsters, but she better have the proper skills and equipment. Yep, you get to dress her up. And if she gets too stressed out, she'll run away, so make sure you treat her properly.

Time passes in the game and your daughter grows up. There's a few regular events each year, but for the most part you get to choose exactly what she does. She'll grow up and get more options and choices, and eventually she'll leave home. Of course as a parent you want the best for her, and the game scores you on how she turns out both in work and love. There's a lot of different possible endings - pretty much every job is possible from maid to princess. Or of course, she can turn go bad and be a thief or worse. I managed to get one daughter married to Lucifer - whoops! It's a pretty fun and addictive game. There's a lot of secrets to find that depend on the path your daughter takes, so the replay value is good.

OK, I refused to let her go to school. She was arrested several times and she ran away from home a couple times. I worked her until she got sick, so much so that the first couple times I tried this experiment, she actually died. Sometimes she was such a delinquent she was refused work by the respectable bar and the cabaret. She spent most of her time working at the "sleazy bar" (yes, that's exactly how it's phrased in the game). I even encouraged this by buying pills to increase her bust size. I tried to get her to wear a spiky dress, but it wouldn't fit (she had been on a robust diet since 12 or so because I had worked her to the bone, but now she was too fat, go figure...that's a little joke). I pawned off her morals to demon. I tossed out the whole "naming your character in an RPG" method and named her "Dirty Little Slut". I wanted her to become a hooker. And she did. At the age of 15 or so she started receiving more than 200G per month from a middle-aged man who kept my daughter as his mistress. And I refused to scold her for it.

I consigned her to a life of working part-time in for Sam, owner and proprietor of the sleazy bar. And nothing more. No husband, no kids.

Yet, at the end of the game, her patron deity tells me I did a passably good job in parenting my daughter.

And I thought the Japanese had high standards.

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