This page is a strategy guide only; consult David van Cleef's TokiMemo web site for full game details.
Since the ultimate goal of Tokimeki Memorial forever with you (hereafter referred to as "TokiMemo") is to fall in love with a girl by the end of the three year high school timeline, care must be taken to keep only your desired girl enraptured while keeping the other girls at arm's length--though they are still friends.
The first trap to avoid is trying too hard to please all of the girls all the time. By the middle of the second year you may have several girls blushing over the thought of you, but this has a high probability of getting you into trouble as the endgame nears. The more amicably you date/talk with/walk home with a girl, the more often she will expect you to pay attention to her. If you have a lot of girls (such as 6 or more) like this, then keeping them all happy is going to be hard. It gets hard for one reason (and the only real complaint I have with the game): you may only make one phone call per turn. In real life, if a casanova had several girls on his chain, then several phone calls in succession on the same day can get them all set up. In TokiMemo, you can't do this. Since you can only make one call per turn, then you must design a social strategy that works with this limitation. One such strategy; the one I used to win Shiori (the most difficult of the girls to win) I will list below.
What makes a six-pack of giddy girls sighing at you so dangerous is that while you are concentrating on your desired girl, the necessary dating and interacting with the other girls, which becomes *very* high maintainance once they're blushing, breaks down. You cannot arrange dates and act out the other aspects of the game quickly enough to catch up to the girls' expectations. They'll set bombs on you, which you will try valiantly to defuse, but it becomes a losing battle: while defusing one bomb, another will go off, making the girls like you less and less, making their bombs go off sooner, making them angrier, setting more bombs...and pretty soon you have chart of furious red faces glaring at you--including your target girl--where just a few months before they all thought so highly of you. (I call this the "cascade failure"; once it starts, it won't stop until it is all over.)
The second trap to avoid is what I call the "exclusion principle", where you pay little or no attention to anyone but your desired girl. While the culminating effect as in the "cascade failure" is similar, it happens much slower. Even so, it will lead to a lot of problems during the last third of the game. All of the girls have a measure of interaction with each other in the game's profile, each to a greater or lesser degree. This is why bombs can be aggravating; the girls will "hen together" and talk about your good and bad points. If they have good things to say about you among themselves, then at least one girl will have increased expectations just from the gossip. If they have bad things to say, then it affects their feelings (and their bomb timers) accordingly. Of course, not all the girls affect each other to the same degree; Shiori and Megumi have a high interaction factor (they are, after all, best friends), while Nozomi and Mio may rarely influence one another.
Don't let the attitude or circumstances of any particular girl prompt you to take anything for granted. For instance, Yumi Saotome may be Yoshio's kid sister and thus an underclassman, but don't count on social protocols like the older girls not paying much attention to her sway you. The first bomb from Yumi may do little damage, but more than one, and the other girls will take notice.
Try to keep the sequence in order, even when other game actions merit your attention; things such as school events, meeting a girl, making a date, etc. The very nature of TokiMemo gameplay precludes smoothly repeating the stats cycle, but by remembering which one you did most recently, you can choose the next. Eventually, the girls who meet you because of a stat will appear, but much farther into the game than the uneven method.
Note that the Amusement stat does not have a particular girl associated with it; this stat will affect those girls who are the most social, such as Shiori, Yuko and Saki. Other will be affected to a lesser degree.
Don't forget the stress and perseverence stats are maintained chiefly by the "Rest" activity. Use this whenever your stress goes above 30.
First off, you will want to be at your best when dating your desired girl. Try to make every reply the one you think she will like best. In the case of Shiori, she likes references to romantic moods and matters of the heart. She prefers "cute" to "sexy." (see her character bio for more info). For instance, if you go on a date to the swimming pool, she will ask you how your like her swimsuit ("Kono mizugi wa doo ka na?") The responses are (not in order) "I think it it cute", "I think it is sexy", "It'll do." Well, obviously, you don't say "It'll do". She prefers cute to sexy as she doesn't want to be thought of as a sex object. On the other hand, there is Mira, who *does* like being ogled as a sex object, so your reply of "sexy" is a winner with her. Of course, it gets even less simple; Yumi is certainly cute and not sexy, but *hates* being called cute; calling her sexy makes her giggle and is the better answer. (And this is just *one* date interaction out of a hundred, times twelve girls! ...not to mention Rei, who is beyond the scope of this guide. :)
The important thing here to note is that when dating your desired girl, give her the best answer. Of course, even if you do what you think is best it may not turn out to be the best, but that is what makes TokiMemo just a litle more like life than a game.
OK, now for the date responses to the other girls you want as friends, but not lovers. This is even harder than the responses for your desired girls. :) The trick here is to go on dates with the girlfriends, but usually give the "so-so" answer to the date interaction. Occasionally, however you can use the "best" and "worst" answers. If a girl is slowly growing to dislike you, improve your repsonses to her. If you think she likes you too much for your own good, downgrade your responses. Don't stop asking them out on dates, however.
On those occasions when a girl asks if you want to walk home together ("Issho ni kaerimashoo ka?" or some other variant of this), always say yes to your desired girl. Occasionally turn down the other girls, unless they say they say "I want to talk to you about something; can we walk home together?" Go ahead and accept those invitations.
Similarly, if a girl stops you in the school hallway and asks you out on a date, unless she is your desired girl, occasionally turn her down. HOWEVER, turn her down by answering "I'm busy that day" to the first question. It is more damaging to say "No, I'm not busy that day" (usually Sunday, "Nichiyoobi") and then answer her date proposal with a "no". This is a Japanese game after all, and choosing the more polite negative/refusal is the rule of the day.
To start off, I did not even call Shiori for the first three months of the game's timeline. Instead, I boosted my stats *evenly* until at least one of them was above 100. I asked Shiori out to the amusement park on the first date. Rode the Ferris Wheel and gave her the romantic answer. Off and running.
Continued to build stats evenly; joined the same club as Shiori. Met Saki. Went on a date with Shiori at least once a month. As Christmas approached, called Rei several times; got into the Christmas party. Infrequently dated/walked home with other girls.
Went to First Temple (New Year's tradition) with Shiori. She asked if her kimomo was too awkward; told her it was fine, of course.
By summer '96, I had 5 girls in the book. Dated them in the following manner: (*important*)
The "even circle": Say you have Yuina, Ayako, Saki, Yuko, Megumi and Yumi in your book, but you are after Shiori. (This from my game.) Date them each in order; Yuina, Ayako, Saki, etc. and repeat this over and over. Several things will change the order, however. If a girl asks you out or her birthday occurs (and you buy her a present) skip her in the list until next time. Use the "so-so" date answer about half the time (and the best answer the rest of the time), except when you need to improve/downgrade your replies to her for a short time. Try to buy her either the best gift or the good gift choice, in the case of birthdays.
Every 2 to 2 1/2 months check the girls' attitudes toward you by calling Yoshio. If a girl confronts you at the school gate, but just glares at you then runs away, call her as soon as possible! (Check to see if her birthday is around the corner though--you might get "saved by the bell.") This is the "early warning bomb timer" occurance. :) Using the even circle, potential bombs should not appear very often, and if they do, they can be dealt with without disturbing the balance of the other girls.
Don't ignore your desired girl throughout all of this. Once she is one stage away from blushing, increase your dates with her to about 3 or 4 every 2 months. Get into Rei's Christmas parties, go with your girl to special functions (New Years, school trips, the summer festival, etc.), *keep your stats up* and by the end of February '98 you'll win her. ^^ (Shiori demands very high stats, by the way.)
At Rei's Christmas '97 party: if your girl is blushing, you and she will have a romantic interlude (with Shiori, it is a walk home in the softly falling snow.)
Always buy her the best-suited birthday gifts. Sometimes this is tricky.
Make sure you know which college your girl plans to attend, if indeed she plans to attend one at all. You can find out on the first day of the 3rd school term (4/4/97), when, while in the classroom you are given a choice of applying for a transfer (which is rejected) or seeing what colleges the girls plan to attend. This is the third choice (bottom of window). Select your girl, then see what-rated school she will attend. If there is a note about going into some vocation and not college, it will say so. When college entrance exams roll around at endgame, choose the school your girl plans to attend, or pick one if she isn't going to college. (Shiori, of course, plans to enter the best college, so you pick the top choice in the window in her case.)
If at endgame you have more than one girl in love with you, the college choice can be used to select the girl. If they are attending the same school, however, the girl you end up with is chosen by how much time you've spent with her. (I think ;)
In closing, I might mention that all this is just a template to base your own experiences on. Just as in real life, dating the girls of TokiMemo is not a science, but an art. :) How *you* *feel* a girl would react to something is far more important than any technical data that can be gleaned from the game itself. The basic strategies serve only as a starting point; you will soon find out from your own intuition how to best handle the particular game and particular girl you hope to win.