My Strange Visual Novel Addiction

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They say the first step is admitting it …
I have a problem… I got addicted to Danganronpa.

It sounded more dramatic in my head, I swear.

In the past five months, I’ve been obsessed with a certain Visual Novel named Danganronpa and let me just tell you how deeply I got into this world of sci-fi hope vs despair battlefield. Visual novels, according to my logic were glorified dating simulation while I already know I am wrong, it didn’t stop me from solidifying this conclusion in my mind.

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“Hope’s Peak Academy is home to Japan’s best and brightest high school students — the beacons of hope for the future. But that hope suddenly dies when Makoto Naegi and his classmates find themselves imprisoned in the school, cut off from the outside world and subject to the whims of a strange, murderous little bear named Monokuma. He pits the students against each other, promising freedom to anyone who can murder a fellow classmate and get away with it. It’s up to you to find out who Monokuma really is, and why you’ve been taken from the world you once knew. But be careful what you wish for — sometimes there’s nothing more deadly than the truth…”

The first installment of the series is the introduction to the Danganronpa World and the cast “The Ultimates”. Now the characters are an interesting part of the game because their talent is considered an ultimate as if they excel in that field, Ultimate Swimmer, Ultimate Gambler and so on. Those talents give the characters a personality and insecurity as well.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a certain order you need to follow when getting into Danganronpa world, which anime to watch first and which game to start on, unfortunately, I watched the anime before playing the game so I knew the direction the game was going but to be honest it was more enjoyable for me to play the game than to watch it.

After a murder occurs, you get time to investigate the murder scene to chain the events in your mind before a class trial starts to reveal who’s the culprit. The trial format is almost the same as Phoenix Wright and I loved every minute of it, the music and the whole truth bullet shooting, it excited me. The punishments -when the trial ends and the culprit revealed- is basically an execution scene, are sometimes silly and more humorous. After it, parts of the school gets unlocked which gives you more area to explore and of course find new ways to kill someone.

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The game is heavily dependent on the story, so it has a lot of reading, it took me 41 hours to beat the first game and honestly I would recommend playing the game instead of watching the 12 episode anime.

Moving on to the second part Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

 

 

 

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair takes place shortly after the events of Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. The game is from Hajime Hinata’s point of view as he starts his first year at Hope’s Peak Academy. As he walks into the school building, he is overcome with fatigue; when he recovers, he finds himself in front of a door. He has the strong urge to open it, and once he does, he finds himself in a classroom full of his new classmates. They suddenly find themselves locked in the classroom, and a pink bunny, Usami, appears before them, claiming herself to be the class’ teacher. The classroom around them soon falls away to reveal a paradise-like island. Usami tells them that they are on a school trip and that they are to befriend each other to gain Hope Fragments and make their hope grow. Just as they get used to the peaceful island life, Monokuma appears and takes control of the island, announcing that the students must participate in a life of mutual killing if they wish to escape.

Oh boy, this part was surprising to me because it was more brutal and dark compared to the first one. Even the punishments aren’t as silly as I mentioned in the first part, they are horrifying and I feel guilty that I was entertained. There was a lot of changes implemented in the gameplay and I actually needed a guide to go through the trials, not my favorite confession to make as a gamer. I mean it’s a visual novel, how hard it should be.

I wasn’t really satisfied with the ending because it was confusing but at the same time, my mind was blown how the story progressed throughout the games, spin-offs, and the anime. I think I enjoyed this part more than the previous one, probably because of my newly found sadistic trait that surfaced during the gameplay or because I’ve grown attached to Monokuma … He’s a cute bear.

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The lastest game of this series is Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

 

“Welcome to a new world of Danganronpa, and prepare yourself for the biggest, most exhilarating episode yet. Set in a “psycho-cool” environment, a new cast of 16 characters find themselves kidnapped and imprisoned in a school. Inside, some will kill, some will die, and some will be punished. Reimagine what you thought high-stakes, fast-paced investigation was as you investigate twisted murder cases and condemn your new friends to death. Forget what you thought you knew about Danganronpa and join a completely new cast of Ultimates for a brand-new beginning. In a world where everyone is trying to survive, nobody’s motivations are quite what they seem. Use your skills to solve each new murder or meet a gruesome end. The world is shaped by our perception of it. Fast-paced trial scenes will require lies, quick wits, and logic to guide your classmates to the right conclusions.”

I kept reading the synopsis that it’s new, the characters are new, the school is new but part of me was searching for connections to the previous games, surely there’s something the ties the epic battle between hope and despair which Monokuma keeps hinting. The gameplay has a massive overhaul in-class trials and thankfully it was easier than Danganronpa 2. The killings were creative and I was impressed at some of them, why don’t I feel bad saying this.

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Danganronpa triggered the inner killer and also the detective in me, I’ve enjoyed every minute of those games. Also, I have to say Monokuma is adorable, the best mascot ever (it’s the total truth, I’m not held at gunpoint)

Let’s Talk About Doki Doki Literature Club (Contain Spoilers)

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Originally I wanted to post my favorite makeup products for 2017 but this game just took over my life in the past few days and I felt like I had to talk about it. Like the title imply, this post will contain spoilers so if you didn’t play this game yet I highly recommend trying it out (But if you are easily disturbed, just don’t)

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Hi, Monika here!

Welcome to the Literature Club! It’s always been a dream of mine to make something special out of the things I love. Now that you’re a club member, you can help me make that dream come true in this cute game!

Every day is full of chit-chat and fun activities with all of my adorable and unique club members:

Sayori, the youthful bundle of sunshine who values happiness the most;
Natsuki, the deceivingly cute girl who packs an assertive punch;
Yuri, the timid and mysterious one who finds comfort in the world of books;
…And, of course, Monika, the leader of the club! That’s me!

Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel that is completely free to get on steam and it’s basically about you joining a literature club that originally has 4 female members and apparently … you’re the only guy. Honestly I wouldn’t even try this game but for some reason my brother recommended it to me and it got me interested since he’s not into such games.

It started as an overly-cute normal visual novel, setting the personalities for each character so the player can choose a route to go through basically.  Now my answers and choices were all directing me to the long dark-haired girl Yuri, I started this game blindly not having an aim who to go for. Obviously like every visual novel, I kept saving in multiple slots just so I wanted to try other options when I’m done with my first playthrough.

Of course Sayori was stuck in the friendzone till the player – her friend started getting closer to her club mate so it showed that she got jealous and all.

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At a point later, the player has an option to confess love to her or friendzone her even more which I thought will drive her into a deeper depression phase. I saved the game before making a decision so I would see the outcome of both choices, you know like what anyone would do in a visual novel .. normal as this one.

Aaaaaaaaand she committed suicide, with all the horror visuals and my jaw just dropped I wasn’t expecting such a turn. Then the game just ended but … that wasn’t exactly the ending. I thought of loading the game where I saved before I chose what to reply to Sayori but when I did, the game showed error sayori.chr is missing or corrupted and deleted all my saved slots and started a new game.

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I was confused at this point and the game started glitching …

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To be honest this whole glitching game got me very excited because it felt like the game was bleeding to reality, my laptop basically. I went to check the game files inside steam directory and I found a poem and a creepy picture, inside the character folder there were three characters only and Sayori was missing.

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I went on with the game and again blindly choosing to see where this would go, the game was glitching time to time with graphics or the dialogue.

The game goes on with this glitchy format and showing really creepy images and visuals of the characters. Natsuki was getting black scribbles on her eyes and mouth, and tears of blood. The dialogue was getting more and more creepy, I guess it amplified the horror element and it was all very fascinating to me.

Yuri was getting more and more insane and obsessive, only Monika was completely normal – compared to them so obviously I concluded that she’s the culprit to all this creepy dialogues and images.

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And I was right, Monika did all that and it freaked me out when she said my administrator account name also mentioning that the game file is located in my Steam folder. This was all so exciting to me, I’ve always been into games that break the forth wall.

That part gave me an idea, I deleted Monika’s character file. It worked and she was gone, the game restarted normally without Monika, the dialogues were fine no glitches till she popped again… the game credit rolled while a command window on the side suggesting all game files are being deleted. I thought it was just part of the game like a graphic loop but it did delete the game files from my laptop and this screen shows every time I tried launching the game.

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I thought of reinstalling the game and trying different choices to see what would happen but I decided that’s where the game ends and I wouldn’t get as excited now that I know everything and what’s going on with this game. I’ll probably watch those other endings on YouTube.

Overall, it’s such a genius game to involve reality to it by bleeding out to the game files and that broke the forth wall. I really recommend trying it out for yourself and go with your choices blindly, see what ending you would get.

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Games to Revisit in March

First let me say that Resident Evil took over my gaming schedule, and I normally don’t get into DLCs but for this game it was worth it. I highly recommend checking them out, great game. Secondly, I want to mention an article I wrote on Creators website about 3 RPG Maker games that gave “weird” a new definition if you are interested please give it a read and let me know what you think of it.

Now onto the main topic of this post, last month I chose games with cutesy love stories which are mostly JRPGs for the sake of the month. This month I decided to choose something I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite genre but worth to waste time on which is Dating Simulation games. I don’t really play them often in fact it’s more like rarely but I decided to choose them for this month so I could try new things.

Mystic Messenger

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You were looking for an app, just to kill some time, and stumbled upon an app called “Mystic Messenger”. It sounded interesting so you downloaded it.

Once you opened it, you found yourself chatting with someone nicknamed “Unknown”. They persuaded you to go to some studio apartment.

As soon as you walked into to the apartment, your app is suddenly connected to a mystic group chat with attractive guys!? After a long chat, they ask you to join their secret party planning association called RFA…

This game has made me check my phone every 5 seconds because it’s honestly too addicting and I like the concept it looks and feels like an actual chatroom app with messages, emails and calls. I really enjoyed playing it but I also hated the weird timings those chatroom starts because it gives you a notification about it and after an hour or two I guess it becomes unavailable like you missed it, which annoyed me since I get notifications about a chatroom at 3 am every night. I liked the characters because they were quite relatable and fun to talk to even though the replies are programmed, it gave them a more realistic human element.

Hustle Cat

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You are Avery Grey, the newest employee at a popular cat cafe called A Cat’s Paw. The coffee’s good and the staff is friendly (and kinda cute!) but mysterious. One day, you find a strange book in the basement, with letters you can’t quite read…

I’m a cat person so this game easily grabbed my attention. It goes into a visual novel style of game with the traditional routes of each character where it also gives the player a choice of being “he” “she” or “they” which is something new for me to see in any game to be honest. I highly recommend trying this game if you are into visual novels.

Hope you enjoyed this post, I tried choosing games out of my usual selection since I played way too many games and I love sharing my thoughts about games. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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