Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (遙かなる時空の中で Within the Expanse of a Distant Time) is an otome adventure game developed by Ruby Party and published by Koei. It is a part of Ruby Party's Neoromance label.
The world of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de is based on the height of the Heian Period of Japanese history, and many aspects of Heian culture, as described in the great literature of the time, are depicted in the game.
Because of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de's success, the game has give rise to a franchise including several sequels, numerous drama and music CDs, a manga series, two OAVs, a movie, and an anime TV series, and a live-action theatrical.
Harukanaru Toki no Naka de places the player in the role of a girl who is surrounded by attractive young men, and gives her the option of trying to win the heart of one and live happily ever after. The heroine must also fight evil with the help of the attractive young men. The result is a hybrid game with an visual novel-like interaction mode, a simple CRPG battle mode, and a board game-like map.
Haruka is made up of ten chapters, eight of which involve the core gameplay. These chapters take place over a 2 week period and involve traveling around the Kyō map, searching for various key items. Kyō is made up of roughly 20 areas and it is possible to visit three in one day. However, most areas are possessed by onryō (怨霊 vengeful ghosts) that must be dispelled before you can enter, and fighting them consumes one of the three visit chances.
Haruka's battle system is limited in comparison to most CRPGs of its day. The maximum party size is 3 characters, but only Akane is under the direct control of the player. Though Akane can attack and defend, her other abilities - the use of healing items and spells, and the ability to encourage her comrades, are more useful. There is no magic point system as such. Casting spells is based on the morale of the Hachiyō members and the number of elemental fuda (札) cards Akane has. Furthermore, there is no experience system and the character's hit points are refilled automatically between fights. The main reward for fighting, besides gaining entrance to a given area, is the chance to gain the trust of Hachiyō. The greater a Hachiyō member's rapport with Akane, the more effective he will be in battle.
Source: Wikipedia, "Harukanaru Toki no Naka de", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Perhaps a better translation of the title would be Haruka in Once upon a Time [時空]. .