Reference Guide 5 Main Reference Script

This 1st reference is a very tricky reference so in order to explain it, I will need to explain the series of connections I established to prove the reference. Also bare in mind this 1 reference took weeks of research so I'd appreciate it if you guys click the like button from now. In the beginning of the Neptunia anime, they introduce something called the "Friendship Treaty" which is an agreement between the nations banning  them from going to war with one another over shares. 
 
(Play Scene)
 
Analyzing the scene from a surface level perspective, smart viewers will realize that the point of this scene is to give a reason for the goddesses not to fight allowing for the characters to interact with eachother as friends as the series is usually at its best when the characters are making fun of eachother and messing around. This however does not explain 1 very key element of the scene. Why is Neptune dressed in such a revealing outfit? What I find so strange about this is the fact that SOMEHOW, Neptune is dressed in a more revealing outfit that even Vert who is the fanservice character. Considering the fact that Neptunia does have a lot of fanservice, the obvious answer would be that they want to hook the viewer early on by showing
off the series "PLOT", however considering how much attention to detail David Productions put into the adaptation, I find it hard to believe that they would do something that is so blatantly out of character without a very good reason for doing so. With that in mind lets look at the overall context of the scene to find a rough time frame. As mentioned earlier this scene shows the 4 CPUs signing the friendship treaty in an effort to put an end to the console wars. The anime is loosely based off the events of the original trilogy which had a heavy focus on their plots being based off actual video game history or major events in video game history. As such we can assume that the adaptation can likely be directly linked to a certain event or period of video 
game history. Video game history can be divided into 3 sections: The pre-crash era, the post crash era, and the modern era. The Pre-crash era refers to the days of the Atari 2600 prior to the video game crash of 1983. The Post-crash era refers to the golden age of gaming from the mid 80s to the early 2000s. Lastly the modern era refers to mid 2000s to the present. Interestingly the console wars so often referenced in Neptunia are primarily referring to the
post-crash era where Nintendo, Sega, and later Sony battled it out for control over the console market. The signing of the friendship treaty represents the end of 1 era and the start of another and considering Neptune refers to the fighting between the goddesses representing Nintendo, Sega, Xbox, and Playstation, we can actually very easily pin down the time frame to the end of the 5th generation to the start of the 6th. The console market during that time was very chaotic, Sony just entered the market with the Playstation and was doing very well, Nintendo released the N64 and was doing decently well, and Sega was struggling to survive with the early launch of the Sega Dreamcast and them ultimately dropping out of the console market. At the
start of the 6th gen Sony released the most popular console in video game history, the Playstation 2, Microsoft joined the ring with the OG Xbox, and Nintendo was doing really well with the gamecube. The main difference between the 2 generations is the fact that the 5th generation still had some of the mud slinging iconic to the post-crash era while the 6th generation largely lacked it. Basically this means that there must have been some kind of
catalyst that allowed for the console market to go from a underground slugfest to a legitimate industry and the friendship treaty represents that catalyst.
 
If the friendship treaty represents the catalyst for change in the video game industry then what was that catalyst. There are 2 answers for this, BOTH of which are represented in this scene. The 1st of which is Sega leaving the console market as they were a major instigator in the console wars so leaving the market allowed for things to settle down. This is represented through the fact that Neptune is the speaker of the event, the fact that she is the one
who is speaking implies her to be the catalyst that allowed for the friendship treaty to be signed and by extension the catalyst that allowed for the industry to enter the modern era. We also know the choice for her to be speaker was intentional as the show outright says:
(play quote about rock paper scissors) The fact that they included a line to explain why Neptune was the speaker means that the writers didn't just chose Neptune because she is the main
character rather choosing her for some other reason.
 
The second catalyst the friendship treaty represents is a little more complex and will require a lot of explaining. Even though Sega was a major instigator in the market thus leaving removed a lot of tensions between the companies, them leaving the market simply wouldn't be enough to entirely stop the mud slinging as the mud slinging actually proved very effective for sales meaning the only way to stop it would be if they had a stronger incentive to stop than to continue. This brings us to the 2nd catalyst for the friendship treaty as well as what the friendship treaty actually represents being the events that lead up to, and establishment of the ESRB. In order to understand the reasoning for the establishment of the ESRB, we need to go all the way back to the video game crash of 1983.
 
In 1983 the video game market crashed losing nearly 97% of its value practically overnight. There were multiple reasons for this but one of the biggest ones goes back to the lawsuit that allowed for the creation and legitimacy of Activision allowing them to legally publish games on the Atari 2600. This lawsuit set a precedent allowing anybody with the technical knowhow to make video games for the system which ultimately flooded the market with shovelware.
In large part due to the sheer amount of shovelware, people started to believe that video games were just a dying fad. With Nintendo winning their lawsuit against Universal, and ultimately becoming profitable thanks to the success of Donkey Kong and the Famicom in Japan, they wanted to expand  overseas to the US. Because of the video game crash of 83 however, Nintendo realized that if they marketed their system as a video game console that people wouldn't buy it. As such they named the system the "Nintendo Entertainment System" and included R.O.B. the robot with the system to convince people that it is a toy rather than a game console. In order to prevent shovelware from ruining the system, they created their own DRM for the system and created the Nintendo Seal in order to assure buyers that every game they buy will be up to a certain minimum quality standard. In addition to this any publisher that wants to make games for Nintendo must sign a very strict contractual agreement about what games can be published, how many, what types of games, and more. 
 
In the late 80s, Sega wanted to gain a foothold in the North American video game market however because of how successful Nintendo was, they realized doing so would be tricky. Sega did release the Sega Master System in 1986 in North America with a company called Tonka having the distribution rights however because Tonka made a lot of really bad decisions, Sega ultimately decided to release the Sega Genesis in 1989 on their own in North America. By this point however, Nintendo owned around 83% of the market and with competitors like Atari, and Philips, gaining a foothold in the market would be difficult. The head of Sega of America decided that the best way to infiltrate the market would be to make as much noise as possible ultimately setting the precedent for the entire era of console history. Because Nintendo was very strict about what content was allowed on their system, they did not allow games that were very violent or had adult themes so Sega took advantage of that and marketed themselves as the console for the "cool kids", teens, and adults. They started out with iconic ads such as "Genesis Does What Nintendon't", saying that Nintendo's games are for babies, and even pulling an Apple by claiming their system has features that don't even exist with Blast Processing. Nintendo didn't strike back too much opting instead to focus on advertising the quality of their games. Jumping ahead a bit, Sony wanted to join the console market so they got in contact with Nintendo to ultimately work on what would become the scrapped Nintendo Playstation. After Nintendo secretly started working with Sony's rival Philips however, they canceled the planned system. The story doesn't end there however because what's not as well known is the fact that after canceling the deal with Nintendo, Sony actually approached Sega and asked to make a console with them. Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske worked in secret with Sony on the project and once they finalized the specs for the system, he proposed the project to the higher ups at Sega who ultimately turned the idea down. This got the higher ups over at Sony mad enough to release their own console which became the Sony Playstation. Later on Sony employed the same tactics as Sega in order to gain a foothold in the market by releasing an ad with their mascot Crash Bandicoot going to Nintendo HQ and trash talking them. This is all a very
simplified version of the console war of the 90s but I explained it to illustrate what Neptune meant when she said 
"On occasion, even the goddesses themselves have come to blows in this fruitless struggle".
 
The ESRB was established in 1994, just a few months before the launch of the Playstation meaning that Sony is largely uninvolved with its establishment. The reason the ESRB is the friendship treaty itself is because it forced the existing players in the console space to sit down and work together whether they want to or not and because of that, it took a full console generation for the fighting to cool down as the companies began cooperating. While the direct attacks did exist in the 5th console generation, they were not nearly as dirty as previous generations with the exception of the crash bandicoot ad which is kinda justifiable considering Nintendo literally double crossed them and sided with their rival. That ad happened early on in the cycle and as the generation continued, things died down.  In 1992, Mortal Kombat was released for the NES and Sega Genesis which sparked a national outcry about the level of violence in video games. Parents were upset that they have no way of knowing whether or not a game they buy their kid is appropriate for them or not and as such they lobbied the  government to take action. What ensued was in my opinion, the highlight of the console wars. The hearing had each side state their case and certain pre-approved people got the opportunity to ask questions and give speeches. The controversy largely centered on Sega to begin with due to the fact that only the genesis version shows blood and the other controversial game, Night Trap, was only available on Genesis. Sega's strategy of appealing to a more mature audience backfired and because of them, the industry is now under threat of government regulation. You would think that when faced with this threat that the 2 companies would work together to try to avoid it but instead, they both used it as an opportunity to take cheap shots at eachother to win the public's affection. If you have 4 hours and some popcorn, I HIGHLY recommend watching it as it was pretty brutal, I'll play a few highlights here:
 
(Play Highlights of Nintendo Vs Sega Court)
 
In the end the government gave them 2 options: Regulate yourself or we will regulate you. They had 1 year to work together to create a ratings board and show progress towards standardizing it which ultimately lead to the creation of the ESRB. It was decided early on that the board would be independent of either company as having 1 company control it would be unfair, and that each company has representatives that works with the ESRB in order to rate games. Prior to the ESRB, the North American market was like the wild west, with anything being allowed to get through and there being no standards. By being forced to work together to create the ESRB, it served to legitimize the video game industry and allowed for old wounds to begin healing. I
mentioned earlier how the attack ads were very profitable for the companies meaning they needed a good reason to stop doing them, by this point video games got a lot of attention thanks to the court battles so if they chose to attack eachother like they did prior, people would see it as petty which would undermine their goal of legitimizing the industry. Video games gaining mainstream appeal serves to make all the companies more money so it makes more sense to legitimize the industry than to stick to petty attacks. Combine that with them now working together to maintain the ESRB and Nintendo and Sega had little reason to continue attacking eachother. By the time Sony came in, they were still pissed at Nintendo for double crossing them but eventually realized that attack ads aren't good for long term success so stopped making them. Finally after most of the fighting was over, Sega left the market and Microsoft took its place so the combination of a big instigator leaving and a newbie with no prior conflicts joining is what ended the console wars of the 90s and the final nail in the coffin was Sega's announcement that they will be making games as a 3rd party developer for Nintendo,
their former rival.
 
The TL;DR is this, the friendship treaty represents the end of the insanity that was the 90s console wars and the birth of a new era of video games
 
Oh and before you say I forgot something, the reason Neptune is dressed the way she is is in reference to Sega's target audience of the 90s. I needed to explain all that before I explain this since it shows how Sega targeted their games to a more mature audience while Nintendo targeted their games to a more family friendly audience. Considering the fact that the friendship treaty is the end of the post crash era, Neptune and Blanc are dressed in outfits representing their goals of the post crash era. As you can see, Neptune is dressed in a revealing outfit to represent how Sega targeted a mature audience while Blanc dressed in a very modest outfit representing how Nintendo targeted a family friendly audience. Interestingly enough we can actually extend this reference down to Nepgear, Rom, and Ram by the fact that Sega targeted a teen/adult audience and Nepgear is somewhere between a teen and adult. Meanwhile Nintendo targeted family friendly audiences hence why Rom and Ram are kids. As for why Noire and
Vert are in this scene if the friendship treaty is the ESRB and they weren't around back then, from a narrative perspective it would make less sense for them NOT to be there, they did join the ESRB later on, and both of them are dressed maturely but not exposing themselves too much most likely showing how both of them aim for the same general "somewhat mature" market that falls in between both extremes. Bare in mind I actually skipped over a decent amount of smaller references when covering this scene but considering I've been typing this script for 4 hours straight, I think that's enough for this scene for now.
 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.