Accidentally getting the secret Gay Ending in Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3

Or, I found my folder of PSP screenshots!

By: Erin

Posted: February 20, 2024

I hope you read that title in the TikTok TTS voice.

In high school, there was nothing I wanted to do more than hack my PSP. I had a friend with a PSP-1000 and a Pandora battery and he used it to play NES games in the special ed classroom we would hang out in before school – after checking the Brawl Dojo for the day’s updates, of course! The idea of digging into this handheld’s guts and getting it to do all kinds of crazy things was all part of a high I began chasing when I renamed the Recycling Bin icon on an elementary school computer to a PaRappa the Rapper quote. I saved up my money, bought a PSP, and after a sleepless night that ended in me getting grounded for a week, learned that the new slim models did not accept Pandora Batteries and were, at the time, unhackable.

Bummer! All was not lost, because I grew to really love that PSP as I used it to watch ripped DVDs and play Star Ocean 2 while staying in the basement of a family friend during my last accelerated high school year in Italy, but I always wanted to hack the dang thing!

My prayers were answered years later when a softmodding method was discovered that worked on every PSP. From then on, the world was my oyster. ISO files galore! I used it to play Mother 3 on a GBA emulator, Persona 3 Portable, and Mega Man Legends 2 for the third time, among many other games. And one of those games was Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side 3!

My lovely friend Thor, otome game enthusiast and visual novel expert, introduced me to the fan translation of this game shortly after it released after watching me poorly stream the Nintendo DS prequel. Maybe it was the hints she gave me during those streams or maybe it was the game itself, but at some point the gameplay loop of stat-building, clothes-buying, studying, and socializing really clicked. I was having a great time playing as new student Erin Toyota, a name I was using in a lot of games at that time for some unknown reason, but there was one major problem:

I didn’t really like any of the boys that much.

This is an otome game! The understood point of this game was to find a boyfriend before the end of the school year and confess to him under the big tree on a hill and have a wonderful life together! And yet, try as I might, as fun as I was having upping my stats and being the coolest girl in school, I simply did not have time for love. The jock, the childhood friend, the loner, none of them were the one for me.

They simply could not measure up to TMGS2’s Christopher Weatherfield.

I was getting frantic because as far as I could tell, if you didn’t get anyone up high enough by the end of the year, you got a bad ending. I had seen the Tokimeki Memorial episode of GameCenter CX enough times to know that much! And every FAQ I checked online was insistent on how you need to earn stats with the boys in order to succeed. They all seemed to imply that a bad ending was the only thing that would happen if your stats with the boys just weren’t high enough.

Well, guess what? They were wrong! Because when the fateful day came, I did in fact end up hopelessly in love with the one character I had managed to up my relationship stats with over any other, and that person was Ugajin Miyo!

Ugajin Miyo was one of two best friend characters in the game along with your other best friend, Karin, and yes, despite no guide saying it was possible, I managed to raise Miyo’s affections to maximum. She was waiting for me under the tree at the end, and so I was NOT doomed to a life of misery and solitude. According to the epilogue, we spent our lives together, opened up a store selling clothes and jewelry, and presumably had a lovely life together where we talked about the occult. Funnily enough, Karin was more of my speed and my favorite character in the game, but the shock of not getting a bad ending wiped any regret I could have had away. Toyota Erin and Ugajin Miyo are in love and run a successful shop together to this day, dammit!

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find evidence that Miyo has an ending in TMGS3, but I swear there was no proof that this could even happen online when I looked back in the day. Truly, love wins.

So, one of the neat things you can do with a hacked PSP is add a little mod that changes the screen brightness button into a screenshot button. I looked and was able to find a neat selection of screenshots I had taken throughout some games I had been playing at the time. These are all from around 2013-2014, and while they’re not all the most interesting pictures, they’re a peek into what I was doing ten years ago.

There’s some historical value, too! You see, some of these screenshots are from the very first fan-translation of the original Danganronpa! It may be crazy to think that once upon a time, the only way to experience any Danganronpa game was to create a SomethingAwful account and follow along with orenronen’s Let’s Play as he posted and live-translated the entire thing, but that was the case. It was a sensation, and it helped make the game blow up to an unbelievable degree. It’s still wild to me to see the entire series freely-available on Steam, because I remember when all we had was the forum thread for the first game, some of an LP thread and a badly-translated Google Doc for the second game, and that’s it. People would cosplay the SomethingAwful paywall! It was great.

I basically forced myself through the fan translation because while it had some fun lines it made the absolutely baffling decision to translate Makoto Naegi’s title as “Super High School Level Luckster”. Super High School Level was fine, but Luckster?! Surely “Good Luck” would have been fine! I believe the official English release went with “Ultimate Lucky Student” – and we could debate the merits of the “Super High School Level” vs. “Ultimate” translation all day, and I have before, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. I wonder if the old translation is floating around somewhere? Anyway, it was a very rough fan translation with some peculiar localization choices, and is overall a really interesting oddity in the history of the Danganronpa series in the west.

There are a few other screenshots from a few other games as well, including from my playthrough of Persona 3 Portable, a game I still love to this day. Interesting, it seems like I chose the female protagonist in that game and named her Erin there as well, and you better believe I romanced Elizabeth. How strange!!

Before you continue, keep in mind that there is at least one spoiler for Danganronpa in these screenshots, and several others for it and Persona 3 Portable that contain late-game information.

Okay, enough dilly-dallying!

Click here to view the PSP Screenshot Gallery!