“Step into court as Nina Aquila, rookie lawyer and bona fide legal eagle, in a world where all anime genres exist at once!”
NALE’s presence online is primarily based in the following places:
(please drop the Steam link as the primary place to funnel readers in coverage)
- Itchio: https://tanuki-sama-studios.itch.io/nale
- Website: https://nina-aquila.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/NinaAquilaGame
- Tanuki-sama Studios website (developer): https://tanukisama.com/
- Tanuki-sama Studios Studio News Blog: https://tanukisamastudios.wordpress.com/
- This presskit is homed at the following URL: https://tanukisamastudios.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/presskit-nina-aquila-legal-eagle-season-one/
- NALE’s older Chapter 1 release can also be found on Newgrounds: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/771333
Relationship between chapter and episodic releases
NALE previously existed as older, episodic released on Itchio. The present Steam release and Itchio release (termed “Season One”) rolls together all of this content into a single game.
The older releases on Itchio are only available to players who bought them originally (and they receive very favourable discounts for “upgrading” to the rolled together version – players who bought all of them get the upgrade for free).
Style Guide, Terms & Visual Assets
Styled in text as
Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle, Season One
Styled visually as below:
Please do not flip Nina’s images laterally, as the eye-patch must always be over her right eye.
- Nina Aquila (left)
- Age: 24
- Occupation: Defense Attorney for Aquila Defense & Law
- Chad Hawke (NPC, right)
- Age: 28
- Occupation: City Prosecutor (Nina’s courtroom rival)
The above image can also be considered a source of the colour palette used in the branding.
- Aquila Defense & Law — Nina’s business.
- Fledge City – The location in which the game takes place
- The Fledge City Setting – The fictional universe in which the game takes place
- Touge Janken Racing — The fictional race discipline practiced by the Rostro Racers in Fledge City; derived from “Touge” (Japanese mountain pass racing) and “Janken” (Japanese for rock-paper-scissors)
- Rostro Spire — the mountain on which the racers race, tallest in the region
- Rostro Racers — the group of illegal street racers
- Dragon Fantasy — A fictional videogame that exists in the world of NALE. Made by “Circlesoft”. Broadly a mashup of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
- Dragon Fantasy Arena — A fictional trading-card game based upon the Dragon Fantasy videogames. Resembles several real-life games.
Transparent logo image:
Key Art & Character Assets (click to get larger versions)
Launch Press Release Copy
– For release on/after noon PDT, July 9th 2021 –
STEAM, JULY 9th, 2021 — Tanuki-sama Studios is happy to announce the launch of NINA AQUILA: LEGAL EAGLE, SEASON ONE for Windows via Steam!
This new release collects together and enhances all existing chapters of the popular ongoing indie graphic adventure/visual novel hybrid videogame series, Nina Aquila: Legal Eagle — an Ace Attorney-like game which takes place in a world where all anime genres exist at once.
The collection includes ~10 hours of content, in which players take on the role of Nina Aquila, a rookie defense attorney, as she represents clients accused of capital crimes. In it’s three-faceted gameplay, players will INVESTIGATE the crimes (examining crime scenes and speaking to witnesses), PARTICIPATE in activities relevant to the case (such as illegal street racing) and finally, step into court and DEFEND their client in the manner of a courtroom drama visual novel.
- In Chapter 1, players defend a cosplayer accused of arson, due to her cosplaying as a fire mage
- In Chapter 2, players defend a client accused of murdering the world champion at Dragon Fantasy Arena (a card-game similar in concept to Yu-Gi-Oh) on the eve of the national tournament
- In Chapter 3, players defend three street racers, accused of causing the death of a fourth, in a homage to the classic mountain-road racing anime Initial D
NALE has previously appeared on services such as Newgrounds & Itchio in an episodic format (starting in winter 2018), where the releases have garnered praise, with Chapter I receiving “Best of November 2020” on Newgrounds and a 5-star review score on itchio from over 200 user reviews.
This new collected release is significantly enhanced over the original episodic releases. Enhancements include a wide variety of audiovisual and feature improvements, including new character art, more & higher quality speech samples, reworked video sequences, Steam Achievements, an unlockable explorer mode and many more! This is the definitive NALE experience for both existing and new fans alike.
Veteran anime & gaming voice actor Rachael Messer (Azur Lane, Goblin Slayer, Forgotten Anne) provides the voice of Nina Aquila, the protagonist.
The game will release for a regular price of $8.99 — with an initial 15% discount.
Additionally, a free demo will launch alongside the game’s release.
A full presskit has been uploaded to this URL for media use: https://tanukisamastudios.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/presskit-nina-aquila-legal-eagle-season-one/
- Around 10 hours of content spread over 3 chapters, with Chapters 2&3 making up the bulk of that time
- Chapter 1 is ~1 hour in length, and is given away free as the game’s demo. This is mostly a tutorial, only consisting of courtroom segment
- For Windows platform
- Aimed at adults, but not “adult-only” (i.e. light in tone, no overt sexual scenes or gratuitous violence; some minor nudity is present though in a humorous, not-sexual context)
- Story is fixed around a courtroom drama at its core, players investigate to find clues to exonerate their client
- The overworld of Fledge City, which the player must traverse between key locations, is pseudo-3D using a mode-7 style presentation
- Three facets to the NALE experience
- Investigate crime scenes & speak to witnesses
- Participate in activities to get access to places/people with key evidence
- Defend your client in court
- Players must participate in various activities to progress, including…
- Dragon Fantasy Area, a pseudo-TCG battle system unique to NALE
- Touge Janken Racing, a turn-based racing system with mode7-style visuals
- Bookended presentation, with an anime-esque “OP” opening sequence and ending sequence
- Cutscenes and pacing similar in feel to an episodic anime
- A wide cast of characters with their own motivations and backstories
- Written by a successful indie author branching out into interactive storytelling
- Created using RPG Maker MV, with extensive custom scripting and significant additional artwork and assets
- 720p native resolution (scales to screen size)
- Accessibility features — NALE incorporates a suite of features to improve accessibility for users who are photosensitive and various other conditions; more info on this can be found HERE
Useful press facts/talking points:
- Developed “on a shoestring budget”, as a passion project by Tanuki-sama Studios, which is an outfit run by solo developer Ethan Fox – though artwork/assets/plugins/voice work present in the game are commissioned from other creatives (listed in the credits)
- Created as a homage to various courtroom drama games & other fiction, as well as a variety of different anime genres
- The Touge racing theme is inspired by Ethan Fox’s years living in Gunma-ken, the real location in which Initial D is based
- Frequently #1 in itchio’s charts of web-based visual novels and HTML5 interactive fiction, frequently in the top 10 for other categories such as visual novels in general and games made using RPG Maker, rubbing shoulders with titles such as Doki Doki Literature Club
- Chapter 1 has been played over 50,000 times by visitors on itchio & Newgrounds, while Chapters 2&3 have seen significant success on itchio
- 5-star rating for all chapters in over 200 reviews
- Added to the British Library’s archive of notable examples of Britsh-made interactive fiction in 2019
About Rachael Messer
Rachael is an industry veteran, recently voicing Enterprise in Funimation’s Azur Lane dub. She has a long history of dub roles in both anime & videogames, including Paladins, Warframe, Akashic Records, Princess Principal, Knight’s & Magic, A Centaur’s Life, Infinite Dendogram and the remake of System Shock.
Ethan originally contacted Rachael after hearing her performance as the protagonist in Forgotten Anne, by Square-Enix, believing her voice would be perfect for the role.
About Tanuki-sama Studios
Tanuki-sama Studios is an indie videogame developer, based in the UK, owned and managed by the solo developer Ethan Fox, who came to the Visual Novel space from a Kindle author background.
Ethan’s games draw upon his past experiences living in Japan, as well as a lifelong love of anime & manga. This season, he is watching Fruits Basket and To Your Eternity.
NALE was conceived as a way to create a narrative experience that has plotting, pacing and direction similar to that of watching an anime show, as well as serving as a homage to multiple anime genres. TSS’s ambition is to see NALE realised as a fully-fledged anime production.
Where to find more info
- Studio Blog – contains many articles about development – https://tanukisamastudios.wordpress.com/
- Via email – We can provide more info on request; please email tanukisamastudios AT gmail DOT com
Chapter 1 – “First Flight”
When Nina Aquila, freshly qualified defense attorney, takes part in her last supervised trial, she sets events in motion that will cause her career to become a casualty of a secret war. A great game is being played for the heart of Fledge City by the ruthless and powerful, one that Nina will have to uncover one case at a time.
Step into court and defend a young woman cosplaying as a fire mage, who stands accused of arson! In this trial, Anya will show you the ropes of how NALE works, while setting events in motion that will change Nina’s life forever.
Chapter 2 – “Broken Wings”
Several weeks after Chapter I, Nina’s life is in turmoil after a costly defeat in court. Her confidence shattered, Nina holes up in her office until a visitor comes to the door – one who believes that only she can help him. A murder has been committed at the High Flyers Casino. The victim? A celebrity player of a trading card game, “Dragon Fantasy Arena”, on the eve of the national tournament!
Who would commit murder over a children’s card game? And why?
Surrounded by hot-blooded heroes and dastardly cosplaying villains, Nina will need all her cunning if she’s to make the best of a bad draw… Or her client’s going to be sent to the graveyard!
Chapter 3 – “Legal Stage”
Following on from Chapter II, Nina and Dylan have been looking into the events surrounding a key trial and arrest, but the volume of evidence is huge, and weeks have already passed without any leads. Still, Aquila Defense & Law is a business, and when a person calling himself “The Jack of Diamonds” comes to the door in the middle of the night, Nina and Dylan are forced to take up his case.
Something is wrong up in the mountains. Shockwaves are ringing through the world of Fledge City’s illegal street racing scene: Clara Mass, longtime racer and “The Ace of Spades” has been murdered during a race, and several other racers stand accused of the crime! The fragile truce between the street racing groups is being stretched to breaking point, and police involvement threatens to end mountain road racing once and for all!
Now, Nina and Dylan must journey north of the streets of Fledge City to the snow-covered passes of The Rostro Spire, the tallest mountain in the region, to search for answers amid the high-octane sub-culture of Touge Janken Racing…
… but some truths can only be found in the heart of the drift!
Contact & Further Info
Ethan Fox can be contacted at tanukisamastudios AT gmail DOT com. Press enquiries are particularly welcome over the few weeks before/after release.