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Doukyuusei 01

Legendary Eroge Developer “ELF” Closes Its Doors


One of the most popular Japanese eroge and visual novel developers, ELF, has sadly announced it is closing for business.

After an amazing track record of 50+ released titles over 27 years, the eroge developer ELF Corporation is shutting down operations.  ELF was one of the leading and pioneering Japanese companies in the realm of erotic visual novels and dating simulators. Their 1992 PC-98 and DOS release of Doukyuusei marked one of the first steps in the evolution of the dating sim genre, introducing many elements which would later became definite staples. Apart from several successful sequels, a revised 2008 edition and several character spin-off games, Doukyuusei also received OVA adaptations from 1994 till 1996 titled Doukyuusei: Natsu no Owari ni (also known as End of Summer in North America) and Doukyuusei Climax. Pictured below you can see screenshots from the PC-98 version of the game together with samples from the game’s official artbook.

Doukyuusei


While the majority of ELF Corporation games remain untranslated till this day, titles like Words Worth and YU-NO – The Girl that Chants Love at the Edge of the World, considered by many fans to be ELF’s greatest visual novel work, have seen fan translations by enthusiasts. The third game from another popular ELF series, Dragon Knight III, has managed to find its way overseas as Knights of Xentar in late 1994.

Dragon Knight III (Knights of Xentar)

 YU-NO


While the games themselves may not have been very high profile in the Western world, their anime adaptations faired much better, to the point a significant amount of them have even been dubbed into English. Long time fans of hentai anime should instantly recall a certain feisty horse man from the Words Worth adaptation, the incredibly sexy and mysterious women from Koihime and Zoku Koihime, the intrigue-filled Mikagura Detective Agency, the sexual terrors of IsakuKisaku and Shuusaku and the steamy incestual overtones of Ai Shimai (Immoral Sisters). A couple of screenshots from all of these series should hopefully jolt the memory (and crotches) of a lot of you.

Words Worth

Koihime

Immoral Sisters


In their final years of game development, the focus of ELF shifted more towards more stories about revenge, cheating, and cuckolding with titles like Ningen Debris ~Konna Jibun ni Dare ga Shita?~ and the entirety of games from the Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei series. ELF’s last game, Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 3 Kanketsuhen, was released to the Japanese eroge market on the 15th of October of this year. A lot of the staff from ELF and its subsidiary Silky’s have gotten together and will now be working on new titles at Silky’s Plus; another company spawned from ELF Corporation in the early 2010s.

LewdGamer would like to express their sincerest thanks to ELF for contributing to the advancement of the eroge industry for 27 long years and hopes all remaining staff at Silky’s Plus will produce high-quality erotic games for many years to come. Goodbye and thank you, ELF.

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  • Visci

    Aw man. I don’t have much experience with ELF’s games mostly, but Knights of Xentar was pretty much the first eroge I ever played (and loved), so it’s kinda sad to see this.

  • It’s tragic that I only learn of this studio now that it´s dead in the ground.
    Thanks for the article. Maybe I´ll cover some of Elf´s works in my blog.
    -OA

  • scdk

    Damn, there’s some really iconic stuff. I suppose not everything can last forever though. Hopefully they at least had a good run up to the end, and hopefully their IPs and product rights have at least been transferred over to someone else.

    *presses H to pay respects*

  • Jake Martinez

    Wow, I remember a lot of those titles from the 90’s and especially Knights of Xentar – first eroge RPG I ever played. Also, “YU-NO” is a classic visual novel, it’s still one of my favorites all these years later – I’m not sure if there is an English translation available for commercial purchase, but I do seem to recall someone making a translation patch a few years ago and it’s worth checking out (assuming the translation patch is any good I guess! Maybe someone else can speak up about that)

    • Narmy

      Yep, the fan translation is good. YU-NO has been my all-time favorite VN ever since the patch came out. Sad to see them go…

  • Clay

    I guess this finally shuts down any hope of seeing the other 3 Dragon Knight games released.

  • RocKM001 .

    Wow.. a little late to this but damn…

    Elf was *the* studio for a lot of eroge vn’s back in the day and then some more. A lot of good stuff came from them I really loved their Shangri-La series which was a very competent ero SRPG that never got released outside of Jp.

    On the plus side at least its good to know their still around under the Silky’s Label…. and hey w/ D.O actually coming back from the grave recently there is a chance ELF can come back again 😀