Jade Cocoon 2 (玉繭物語2, Tamamayu Monogatari Tsū?, literally "The Story of the Jade Cocoon 2") is a 2001 Role Playing Game for the PlayStation 2 and sequel to Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu by Genki. The game features a full 3D polygonal world, 200 cutscenes, and full voice-overs. The character designs for the game were by Katsuya Kondō, character designer for the first game as well as the Studio Ghibli films Kiki's Delivery Service and I Can Hear the Sea.
Jade Cocoon 2's plot occurs about a century after the events in the original Jade Cocoon. The time of the Nagi people and "Cocoon Masters" has passed. New "Cocoon Masters" are now cited as "BeastHunters" and are the prominent force of monster raising, with the player playing one named Kahu, who visits the Temple of Kemuel (also called the Jade Temple) in the hopes of becoming a BeastHunter and having adventures like the old Cocoon Masters he's idolized. However, Kahu encounters trouble during his license exam required to become a full-fledged BeastHunter. He encounters a young fairy named Nico, who leaves Kahu cursed, and he's given a very short time to live before his body is consumed by evil. Fortunately, the Temple's resident guardian and founder, Levant - the hero of the original Jade Cocoon - offers Kahu a chance to heal himself. By utilizing the four magical orbs found in the heart of the elemental forests and a dark lute, Levant will be able to save Kahu's life. Kahu now sets off on his adventure, to save himself and eventually, the world. Other characters from the first Jade Cocoon also appears, like Kikinak, who became a rich shopkeeper thanks to Levant. A statue of Mahbu, the Nagi Maiden, can also be seen at the room where Levant is.
This special advertisement for the game was meant to be played in stores and purchased from special kiosks as a way to hype up the game. Through playing the disc on an actual console or emulator, the advertisement plays in an endless loop until you reset the console/emulator. It also mentions features within the Japanese version of the game only, including, most notably, the i-Mode functionality, and item transfer between the game and one's mobile phone.
Special Save Files
Some special save files for the Japanese version of the game were also discovered very recently, through a trusted source. The save files came from the Japanese PS2 magazine publisher Dengeki, specifically Issue 049, which was highlighting the Japanese release of the game Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Included on the special disc enclosed with the magazine were two files associated with Tamamayu Monogatari 2, one was a normal save file, and the other was a file used for the multiplayer battle portion of the game.
The normal single-player save had one singular file, which curiously had no monsters on the BeastAmulet. Upon starting the game, we see that the player starts right after the introduction and tutorials, and upon pressing Triangle to open the Status screen, the player starts off with 1,000,000 Yan. Not only that, but paying a visit to the Warehouse in Kikinak & Co., the player has the option of withdrawing one of all available Larval Beasts (including the Kalma, and excepting Deradrackich and Deprolcoch) as eggs. Although these don't seem reasonable in today's gaming standards, back then it was mind-blowing to get so many monsters from the start of the game. And the best part is, that even if you lose the magazine disc, you CAN copy the save like a normal save file, if you don't want to risk memory card corruption.
Now the multiplayer file, a.k.a. the BeastHunter Data, contains some teams one can use for Multiplayer. The first and only thing to note is that all the teams are every main character's post-main story team (with the exception of Kahu, who has developer's picks), souped up and ready for battle with some of the best moves and stats in the game. However, the teams can only be controlled by the CPU, or through a mobile phone through i-Mode.
Jade Cocoon 2 Prototype Build (Sept. 28, 2001)
On March 20th, 2021, Hidden Palace announced Project Deluge, an archive of prototype builds of PlayStation 2 games. Among these was revealed to be a prototype build of Jade Cocoon 2, dubbed on the disc as "1st English Build".
As of writing, March 20th, 2021, the site's server has been pulled for read access for approximately 15 minutes as part of the massive upload process, but there were some key details on the page before the server was pulled.
Archiver's Response to Question
In the Hidden Palace uploading stream from March 20th, 2021, Jason Scott, Software Curator at the Internet Archive answered a question from Flossome regarding how he acquired a build of the game.
It was more of a general answer, but the long and the short of it is that people know other people within the company who happen to hold possession of these copies. They obviously passed between other hands that were not meant to, and they ended up in places where they were not supposed to, and eventually ended up with Mr. Scott.
A copy of the stream is awaiting release from a third party, as Mr. Scott respectfully decided to not archive the stream himself. When a copy has been found, this section will be amended with his full answer, as the above was a synopsis of his original answer, and did not reflect fully of what he actually stated.
Files from the Origin Disc
Instead of just being an ISO, the files present on the disc contained the game in a typical PS1 format, as .BIN and .CUE files. This is the case for every single prototype build on Project Deluge, and this build of Jade Cocoon 2 is of no exception.
Changes Discovered In Build
HDD Installation and i-Mode, both Japanese version exclusive features were found in this build.
Immediately pressing X after exiting the HDD Menu brings up the Debug Battle Menu. Trying to load your data still does nothing but hang the game, but using the default player works just as well
SO MANY DIALOGUE AND TEXT CHANGES
All English cutscenes are in place
Status Menu has debug menu where you can add any item programmed into the game
Deradrackich and Deprolcoch are in the game as eggs (BONUS: when disabling the frame limiter on an emulator, the game speeds up dramatically. This happens for all dummied items)
Lots of dialogue and UI elements are messed up in the Room of Life if you Debug different eggs into your inventory
Sometimes, character portraits don't load correctly when using "Manual" dialogue mode
Speed-ups and slow-downs are rampant, optimization was not a priority at this stage in localization
Gara Stat items are called "Clematis"
When entering/exiting an ogrevine, or even bringing up the loading screen, there's debug text that says "LOADING..."
Tutorial section switches between Japanese and English voice actors (discovered by Ben)