A concise history of Hyperdimension Neptunia
Hyperdimension Neptunia is huge. It’s a massive series that covers tons of games, all of which are sort of connected? Though also not really, because quite a few are spin-offs and non-canon. It’s a lot to take in, to be sure. With Megadimension Neptunia VII on the horizon, we here at Michibiku felt like we should offer an overview of the main series’ installments.
Think of this as a brief overview of everything you need to know about Neptune, Nepgear, and all of the other console goddesses. There are spoilers ahead, because of course there are.
Actually, introducing the characters is a pretty good place to start! Before we get into this, you have to understand who the goddesses of Hyperdimension Neptunia are. The series is set in a world called Gamindustri, where the CPU goddesses represent consoles from the four major manufacturers. Neptune is the Sega Neptune, despite the provisionary console having been cancelled in favor of the Genesis 32X attachment, head of Planeptune. Her little sister is Nepgear, based on the Game Gear. Her rivals are the other console goddesses: Leanbox’s Vert, Lastation’s Noire, and Lowee’s Blanc. I don’t have to tell you they represent the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, but I just did. Some of them also have “little sisters” called CPU Candidates. Lastation’s Uni fills in as the PSP and Lowee’s Rom and Ram act as the DS.
Each CPU and CPU Candidate has a HDD upgrade-slash-transformation. Neptune becomes Purple Heart, Nepgear is Purple Sister, Vert is Green Heart, and so on. Their personalities change completely, once they transform, and their powers increase exponentially.
Neptune’s friends aren’t personifications of consoles, but rather of various developers. The two recurring characters are IF (Idea Factory) and Compa (Compile Heart). They’re often joined by additional characters, who often take the name of the company or studio they represent. This means Gust is Gust, Falcom is Nihon Falcom, Cave is Cave, 5pb is 5pb, and you get the idea. Two Japanese gaming magazines, Dengeki and Famitsu, are also personified as Dengekiko and Famitsu.
Also, piracy comes up quite a few times. Arfoire is a recurring villain. Her name is taken from the DS R4 flashcart. She’s the big bad in the first few entries, but is just as likely to be a bumbling annoyance as a true threat.
Let’s talk Hyperdimension Neptunia. The PlayStation 3 game is the first in the series and begins with the four
consoles goddesses battling it out so one can reign supreme. Noire, Vert, and Blanc decide it would be easier without Neptune around, so they knock her out first. She gets amnesia and travels the world with IF, Compa, Nisa, Gust, 5pb., and Red. She meets the other goddess again, while also fighting Arfoire and recovering Histoire, a fairy that knows everything about Gamindustri. As she bonds with the other developers and console goddesses, her memory returns and Gamindustri is saved from piracy. It was later remade as Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth 1 for the PlayStation Vita and Windows PC. Play that version, not the original, because the original’s dungeons and battle system sucked.
Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2
The second game is Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, also known as Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation. It officially introduced the CPU candidates. In this installment, the Arfoire Syndicate of International Crime’s four felons fought the actual goddesses, Neptune, Noire, Vert, and Blanc, beat them and left them in the Gamindustri Graveyard. IF and Compa sneak in and rescue Nepgear, who was with the quartet when it happened. Over a few years, Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram get enough power to save their sisters. Arfoire is resurrected, everyone comes together to defeat her and piracy is wiped from Gamindustri again. It was also later remade as Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth 2 for the Vita and Windows PC and, again, that version was much better than the original.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory
Which brings us to the PlayStation 3’s Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, set a year after the previous game. Neptune and Nepgear are playing video games, chilling, and get sent out to do actual work. This results in Neptune traveling across space and time, as she’s sent to a past, alternate world. She gets to relive the 1989 console wars! Naturally, Neptune lost all of her CPU goddess powers in the transition and the head of Planeptune in this world is Plutia. She’s this Planeptune’s CPU and represents the Sega Mega Drive, even though she’s named after the Sega Saturn upgrade prototype, the Pluto.
The Seven Sages group of criminals, led by Rei Right, want to have their own CPU goddess. Neptune and alternate-Noire find CPU Memories with the help of Plutia. The trio defeats Arfoire again along the way, then takes a break for a few years so Lastation, Lowee and Leanbox can be founded and catch up to Planeptune. Nepgear gets dragged into this alternate world too, and the group spends a few more years fighting the Seven Sages and trying to find a permanent way back to the original world.
All of the goddesses join together and face the Seven Sages’ created goddess, Peashy. (She’s the PC Engine) Peashy joins their cause, and the group has an all-out battle against Rei Ryghts. It turns out she was the forgotten CPU goddess Tari, as in Atari, all along. The game ends with a permanent portal between this alternate dimension and the real one. It also was rereleased on the Vita and PC as Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3.
Megadimension Neptunia VII
Even though it’s the fourth game, the title seems like it skips ahead to VII, because Japan. Really, it’s pronounced V, as in Victory, two. It takes place three years after the previous game and begins with Neptune and Nepgear falling into another dimension. Again. (People apparently don’t close portals.) They ally themselves with Uzume Tennouboshi, the Zero Dimension goddess representing the Dreamcast. Things happen. You’ll see for yourself, when you play it on your PlayStation 4 this Tuesday.
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