Experience a bold new chapter in storytelling with Tales of the Wedding Rings VR. From Final Fantasy developer Square Enix, Tales redefines the comic book experience by dropping readers into the story—literally. And it’s now available on Rift!
A romantic comedy bursting with oddball characters and magical hijinks, Tales is the first chapter of Project Hikari, a new initiative from Square Enix’s Advanced Technology Division committed to revolutionizing traditional manga through the power of VR.
“After months of prototyping, it became clear to me that VR would evolve into a gateway to new worlds,” says Project Hikari Lead Kaei Sou. “I was convinced these new worlds could be filled with rich narratives that capture people’s imagination.”
The story begins with a level of immersive energy far beyond the average motion comic. You can pop in and out of story panels like magic portals, while familiar characters stroll into frame from anywhere and everywhere—above, behind, and below. Just like real life, each provides a tantalizing glimpse inside the monochromatic world of traditional manga.
And that’s just the beginning. The Project Hikari team spent years designing a signature sound for Tales, complete with original score and sound effects, all recorded on-location in Japan. What’s more, Tales features an ensemble cast of voice actors and cutting-edge spatial audio, bringing the fantasy-fueled action to life in truly unexpected ways.
“The composer, Yamazaki-san, and I spent many afternoons listening to references and discussing what would be ideal for the story,” explains Sou. “One of our inspirations was the idea that this project contains elements from the analog and digital eras. We decided to go with something that sounds modern, but with a hint of retro thrown in as both of us are fans of anime from the ’80s.”
This technological blend of old and new sits at the heart of Tales and the fledgling VR comics business—and it’s a particularly potent mix when handled correctly. But are fans of traditional comics, graphic novels, and manga ready to make the jump?
“As a fan, I’m always excited to experience my favorite titles in a new way,” notes Sou. “It’s important to me such adaptations remain true to the source material. This was the number one goal of the project—to make sure we don’t disappoint fans of the original work.”
If the first chapter of Tales is any indication, we can safely say, “Mission accomplished.” Take your first step into VR manga with the debut chapter of Tales of the Wedding Rings VR on Rift today!
— The Oculus Team