This is a long-overdue post for explaining how to install the Higurashi games after getting them, since it can take some extra effort to install Japanese games on a non-Japanese PC.
Luckily for those of you who just want to try the game, the Higurashi demo doesn't require you to have Windows Japanese language support in order to install it! If you downloaded our patched demo from Acquiring our releases, then just unpack the "higurashi-demo-en.zip" file into a convenient empty directory and it's ready to go. This would also be the best method for Mac and Linux users, but be sure to get the correct version of the ONScripter game engine as well.
If you downloaded the original Japanese demo, then you'll need to run "higurashi.exe" in Windows in order to install the game - Mac and Linux users would probably prefer using the patched zip file over booting Windows just to run the installer. However, if you don't have Japanese fonts installed on your system, most of the installer dialog text will be unreadable:
Don't worry, though - just type the full path of where you want to install the game into the text field, or else click the "??(B)" button to bring up a folder browser. Once you're done with that, click the "OK(O)" button, and it'll create a folder called "higurashi" under the path you selected. You can now go to that "higurashi" folder and follow our directions for installing the demo patch. Note that you don't need to install Japanese fonts to play our English demo patch, but you will need the fonts if you want to play the original demo in Japanese.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Himatsubushi) Download
If you purchased a download of the full Higurashi game using our instructions for getting the game, then all you need to do is unpack the enormous zip file and then follow the instructions for applying our full-game patch. If the top-level directory name looks like gibberish, then be sure to change it to "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" or something similar. Note that some of the files within may have gibberish in their names, but they are just the Japanese game executable and assorted readme files - nothing you'll need to play the patched game. (These instructions apply equally to Windows, Mac and Linux systems.)
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Himatsubushi) CD game
Unfortunately, Windows users will need to install Japanese language support in order to run the Higurashi CD installer. (If you don't have Windows and/or can't change Windows system settings, follow the instructions further below for installing the game manually.)
Adding Japanese language support
Here are the directions for Windows XP (not sure how different they'd be for Vista):
- Go to the Start Menu and open the Control Panel, then bring up the Regional and Language Settings dialog. Now click the Languages tab:In the "Supplemental language support" section, checkmark the box next to "Install files for East Asian languages", and then click the Apply button at the bottom.
(You'll likely be prompted to insert the Windows installation CD, after which it will install Asian fonts and such.)
- You're not quite done yet, though - to install the Higurashi CD correctly, you need to set the language for non-Unicode programs to Japanese. Click the Advanced tab:In the section "Language for non-Unicode programs" choose "Japanese" from the drop-down box, and then click the OK button to make changes. Note that you will need to restart your computer before you can do the Higurashi install.
Setting non-Unicode programs to use Japanese will cause some of your programs to behave differently. You don't need this setting to actually run Higurashi, so after finishing the install (as directed below) you're welcome to change the "Language for non-Unicode programs" back to its original setting.
Running the CD installer
- Pop the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni CD into your CD drive to start the installer. (If you have Autorun disabled, go to your CD drive and run "installer.exe".) You should see this dialog box: Click the インストール button to begin installation.
- A dialog box pops up, providing some information and prompting you to choose an installation location:Click the 参照 button to pick an installation path other than "C:\Program Files\07th_Expansion\". (It will create a "higurasi4" folder, so you don't need to specify that at this point.) Click the big インストール開始 button on the lower right to start the actual installation.
- The installer may pop up a Yes/No dialog box at that point: If so, it's just asking if it should create the installation directory ("C:\Program Files\07th_Expansion\higurasi4\" in this case). Click Yes to continue.
- The installer will then proceed to copy a bunch of files from the CD to that directory. Once that's done, it will show a Yes/No dialog asking if it should install DirectX - click No if you already have DirectX 8.0 or higher, Yes otherwise.
- You can now click the 実行 button on the main installer screen to start the game (in Japanese), or else close the Higurashi installer, go to the installation directory, and install our full-game (Himatsubushi) patch.
If you're not able to run the CD installer or change your Windows language settings, here's how you do a manual install:
- Create a folder called "higurashi4".
- Go to the top folder of the Higurashi CD, go into the "fullsrc" folder, and then copy and paste all those files into your "higurashi4" folder.
- Copy the "WAV" folder from the CD to your "higurashi4" folder, then copy the "se" folder from the CD to your new "higurashi4\WAV" folder. (If you don't see the "WAV" or "se" folders on the CD, please note that on Windows systems the "WAV" and "se" folders are hidden: you'll need to change Windows Explorer's "Folder Options | View" Advanced settings to "Show hidden files and folders".)
- Go to your "higurashi4" folder and install our full-game (Himatsubushi) patch.