Saya no Uta ~ the Song of Saya is one of those visual novels that stays with you forever. It’s hard to believe it’s twenty years old, especially since new fans are still discovering it after all this time. The titular Saya is one of the most memorable eroge heroines ever created and understandably has legions of fans. The Nitroplus game has been adapted into a novel and a Western comic book and had its soundtrack released on vinyl.
Procket Inc. has now created an app using an AI — specifically large-scale language models and emotion analysis — that lets you talk to Saya in Japanese and English.
Connect with Saya!
It takes some getting used to — I got a dud ending on my first try, unable to properly emotionally connect with Saya — but by the second go, I’d gotten the hang of talking to her and achieved the “happy” ending. There are three endings, depending on how well you connect with Saya.
The more you’re emotionally tuned to Saya, the more intelligible the text becomes; if you’re not on the same wavelength, it can sometimes be hard to understand what she’s saying. But what begins as a frustration soon reveals itself as a feature, challenging the player to break through the gibberish to connect with Saya. You can converse with her in clear sentences — if you’ve told her what she wants to hear.
The press release for the app states that it was created “for the purpose of technical verification, so it may contain inadequate or inappropriate text content or quality.” But honestly, the gimmick of Saya being incomprehensible when you aren’t emotionally connected to her goes a long way to account for any quirks of text that the AI might inadvertently generate — they’re a feature, not a bug.
The app’s press release also warns that it contains grotesque expressions, which is not a warning to take lightly. Song of Saya is a horror game, after all. Did you really think an app based on it would let you get away without some shock?
The app is easy to access by computer or smartphone, as it’s online here and doesn’t require any signup.