Girlfriend of Steel
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel|
|Developer(s)||Gainax Network Systems|
Sega (Sega Saturn)
Cyber Front (PSP)
|Release Date||Windows |
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン鋼鉄のガールフレンド Shinseiki Evangerion: Kōtetsu no Gārufurendo?), also known as Neon Genesis Evangelion: Iron Maiden, is a visual novel video game based on Neon Genesis Evangelion, released officially only in Japan for Windows, Macintosh, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable. The original Windows version was developed and published by Gainax in 1997, with a Mac release following shortly after. In April 2006, a special edition of the game was released for Playstation 2 and Windows as part of Evangelion's ten-year anniversary, with the complimentary titles "Girlfriend of Steel Special Edition" (Koutetsu no Girlfriend Tokubetsuhen) and "Iron Maiden: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring". The special edition features new scenarios, voices, animations, and even a new mecha designed by Ikuto Yamashita. On April 9, 2009, a version for the PlayStation Portable was released.
Set in the middle of the series (roughly before the attack of the Angel Ireul), the story revolves around a new alternate robot design (similar to Jet Alone) developed by a rival defense contractor, called TRIDENT units (alternatively, "Country Crawlers"). One of the three TRIDENT pilots is Mana Kirishima, who enrolls in school with the Eva pilots. Mana develops a relationship with Shinji, and they eventually go on a date and kiss (the kiss only occurs if Shinji chooses the option of considering Mana's feelings over those of his roommates, Misato and Asuka). Asuka is intensely jealous of Mana and thinks the girl is a spy, while Rei remains largely in the background of the story. Eventually the TRIDENT unit goes berserk and the Evas have to stop it.
Mana Kirishima's personality is more or less a combination of Asuka and Rei; she is not as extroverted as Asuka, but is not introverted like Rei is. Mana's appearance is even a bit of a cross between Rei and Asuka, with Asuka's reddish-brown hair, but cut short in a pageboy style like Rei's.
Gameplay consists mostly of walking around until the next scripted event in the story is triggered. The only real choice involved is near the end, where the player can choose to focus on Mana, Asuka, or Kaji. This choice determines which of three endings is shown, with a fourth ending exclusive to the special edition version. (***SPOILERS to follow***) In the Mana ending, Mana does not die in battle but has to say a tearful goodbye to Shinji. In the Asuka ending, Mana does die in battle, but Asuka helps Shinji get over his loss and the two of them grow closer as a result (in a scene with heavy romantic overtones). The Kaji ending doesn't focus on one character in particular, compared to the other endings, and Mana also survives but has to say goodbye to Shinji with the hope that they'll meet again someday. The special edition version of the game includes a fourth possible ending where Mana is revealed to be alive and well after a battle. She and Shinji--despite his still being an Eva pilot and the continuing threat of attacks by Angels--become a couple and move in together (the only Mana/Shinji ending with heavy romantic overtones).
- Girlfriend of Steel was only released in Japanese, although fan translations exist on the internet.
- Mana Kirishima has the same seiyū as Rei Ayanami: Megumi Hayashibara; however, the other video game's created love interest for Shinji has somebody else. Second Impression Mayumi Yamagishi's seiyuu is Kyoko Hikami.
- The ending song for the video game is "Yokan" ("Premonition"), sung by Yoko Takahashi.