I didn't play many, but Saya no Uta was absolutely great. Other one I played was Divi-dead, it was pretty cool too but I got only one ending out of like…5? I'm also in progress of playing Swan Song, but I'm going through it at such a slow pace that I'll probably finish sometime in the second half of the next year.
[spoiler]Was I the only one who though that the "worst" ending of Saya was the best one?[/spoiler]
>>54 Katawa Shoujo is a pretty okay entry-level VN, nothing to be greatly ashamed about. Saya no Uta is relatively short and absolutely great, just be aware that it has very few choices. Oh, also corpse party - it's not a VN in a traditional sense, but it's an all around great series, and one of the games is in a classic VN format
I'm pretty fucking anxious in these, for me, deeply stressful times. Can someone recommend a pleb tier entry level VN with cute girls doing cute things? No death, deep subjects or tragedy whatsoever please
I recently played through this to the Kirara "normal ending" potential spoilers, but nothing specific but jesus christ "normal end" my ass, that shit was depressing as fuck and it hit me like a freight train. I'm having trouble getting through the other routes because it made me feel so shit and I can't focus on the other characters.
>>581 This is too cute. Sayori's art and doujins were awesome enough but this is too much. This VN not only has the wonderful art and characters, but they also have some animation and sfx which (for me) seems amazing.
Reading through it is inspiring me keep up to date with the Jap community (study the language too) and also purchase/donate to this (if I find out how) Sorry if I'm making a big deal out of it, but I just love this artist and feel like a moron for not keeping up to date with it.
>>585 There's no official patch for that, and there' isn't going to be, from what I've read. The "patch" is to buy both the steam version and the regular (18+) version (or torrent it) and copy all the files from the 18+ version to the steam folder, allowing it to replace files where necessary.
>>531 This was the only one that made me cry. The OST still gives a nigga feels. I really wanted to talk about it after I finished it but no one wanted to know because it's a 2001 release, so I talked about it with myself which just produced more feels…
Forest is another good one, great folk music and stories but frustrating unless you're patient with a good walkthrough. MC comes across as annoying chad too.
FSN in third place.
Muvluv would probably be in the top3 but I lost my save and never returned.
I really despise KS. Reeked of normalfaggotry when I played it. Probably the community influence.
Is there any truth in the statement that Tsukihime is better written than F/SN?
I've only read the former, but people tend to say something along the lines of Fate being more popular because the premise is more interesting, while it's overall written more amateurishly with overall lack of subtetly in how it presents itself.
>>1180 Did she change him out of selfishness? Maybe. But that doesn't change the fact that she loved him and cared about him more than anyone else ever could. Besides, as soon as she figured out how to do it, she did ask him if he wants to change back. That's why she fucked up the neighbor, she was trying to figure out how to do it.
Mostly because they cut out all of the bullshit that seems to plague the VN medium (by which I mean showing every tedious little detail of the MC's life, including every little thing he did and ate throughout his day)
SnU and Kikokugai just told their stories and kept them interesting the entire way through.
Played Little Busters and G-Senjou so far. Little Busters was fantastic. G-Senjou was good until those fucking ero scenes. Now I only play VNs that don't have any ero in them. Currently playing Clannad.
>>4813 Kud is my second favorite grill but I agree her route was bad. Apparently it was revised in the lewd edition. I still need to unlock Rin's route and refrain. My favorite part is the common route, honestly, but it's only good once.
>>4855 Komari and Kurugaya were my personal favourites. Even though Kurugayas route was strange I could really feel with her. She's sort of a semi-wizard. Have fun with the refrain, it gets really good.
Just got to the first Sex scene. I think this might be a little TOO intense for me. I've never had to deal with this kind of stuff, a loving "wife", death of family, FRIENDS. What the heck are FRIENDS? It makes me feel weird when the sex scene comes up because it raises a lot of questions and shows their love (or possible "love") with each other. How do you get through this? IT BURNS.
>>4966 >>4973 MuvLuv is so unbelievably overrated. It doesn't even have a proper conclusion. The story just ends on a cliff-hanger with nothing really resolved. Even disregarding the ending, I still didn't think it was that good.
>>4978 So you have nothing to say about my criticisms, then? You're not going to try to justify the fact that MuvLuv's plot doesn't even have a conclusion, you're just going to brush off my post with smarmy sarcasm?
Or, let me guess, you're going to come back with the cop-out response "there is no such thing as good and bad, it's all in da eye of da beholder :DDDDDD". People saying that nonsense is the reason why some hipster faggot can take a shit on the sidewalk and call it "art", or empty their bin out on the floor and sell it for a million dollars as a "sculpture".
>>4984 The guy who replied to you wasn't even me, but you are getting awfully upset that I don't think your favourite game is as good as everyone says it is. >Just another opinion? That's what it is, you know? No, the fact that MuvLuv's plot doesn't have a conclusion isn't an opinion, it is an observable fact. Takeru just gets teleported back to his original universe, and the fate of the one he had spent most of the story in is never resolved. They destroy the moon base at massive cost to humanity, but they have by no means won the war by doing so. In fact, it seems like, after expending so many resources and lives in the process of taking the moon base, their defeat is now all but certain. But again, we have no way of knowing what happens to that universe, because the plot doesn't have a conclusion.
>>4999 >You're not going to try to justify the fact that MuvLuv's plot doesn't even have a conclusion. The ending was rushed for sure in the hive because of budget problems but that doesn't mean the series doesn't have a conclusion. It has an incredibly clear conclusion, the story was never about the Alternateverse in the first place. It's the story of Takeru getting transported to an alternate world and about love transcending dimensions.
Just because you don't understand the whole point of the series doesn't make it bad. Muv Luv isn't overrated in the slightest considering the relatively small pool of high-quality VNs that are translated in English.
I really enjoyed G-Senjou no Maou, particularly the bad endings. Despite being somewhat inconsistent with the true storyline, it's really nice to see how the arrogant calculative bastard of a protagonist doesn't go full 'muh friendship' but does something very characteristic for him manipulating the heroines, and getting them on the 'dark side', especially in Tsubaki's case, as his allies
>>5004 >the story was never about the Alternateverse in the first place. It's the story of Takeru getting transported to an alternate world and about love transcending dimensions.
That's such a cop-out. >implying a story can't be about more than one thing It most certainly was about the "Alternateverse", even if it was about other things too. >Muv Luv isn't overrated in the slightest considering the relatively small pool of high-quality VNs that are translated in English. Another cop-out. VNs aren't the only medium for telling a story. If only the VN-specific elements were done badly, then your response would be correct, but because it was the actual story, which is not VN unique, which was done badly, we can compare it to stories from other mediums and say "yes, compared to these other stories, this story gets far more praise than it deserves".
>>5005 >Are you done? You're acting a little self-important, don't you think? I must have missed the memo regarding the naming of "random autist on anonymous imageboard" as the one true arbiter of good taste. >more smarmy sarcasm *Yawn*. Okay, thanks for proving my point. >random autist >using "autist" as an insult Where do you think you are? >Consider the difference between facts and opinions I know the difference, and I demonstrated it. Not my problem if facts make you butthurt. >once you're through spazzing out over porn games, please. >it's just a porn game xDDDD you can't criticise it even though lots of effort obviously went into the story!! xDDxDDDDXddDDDDDDDDDDD The porn in MuvLuv was only there by obligation. It was not the focus of the plot by any means.
Dude, you seem pretty mad. I never cared about your opinion, I just thought your manner of expressing it was rather obnoxious. I see that's a real character flaw for you now, though. Rather pointless to keep this going, huh?
I'll leave with this. Let's not forgot our place, like you said in other words, lest we become a little too uppity.
>>5014 >Dude, you seem pretty mad. Not at all. >I never cared about your opinion If that's true then why do you keep responding to me? You seem to care about my opinion a whole lot from where I'm sitting. >I just thought your manner of expressing it was rather obnoxious. The only obnoxious one here has been you. I'm responding to you with arguments, all you're responding to me with are sarcastic comments and insults. >I see that's a real character flaw for you now, though. You're going to talk to me about character flaws? >Rather pointless to keep this going, huh? If you don't care about my opinion, as you've repeatedly claimed, all you have to do is stop responding to my posts. >like you said in other words I said no such thing. I really don't know what you're going on about.
>>5013 >Another cop-out. VNs aren't the only medium for telling a story. If only the VN-specific elements were done badly, then your response would be correct, but because it was the actual story, which is not VN unique, which was done badly, we can compare it to stories from other mediums and say "yes, compared to these other stories, this story gets far more praise than it deserves".
This logic makes all Anime&VNs utter shit compared to real books then. I also liked the part where you called something overrated then complained about hipsters, it takes some pretty powerful doublethinking to do that.
You know what? I deleted my old reply to this and I'm going to apologize. So, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said all those mean things.
I'm going to stick to my guns about one thing, though. Not only did you state your opinion as a fact, you were immediately dismissive of anyone who disagreed (calling something overrated is simply another way of saying people that like it are wrong). You could have just said "I don't like Muv-Luv because x and y reasons" and it would have been fine and valid.
If we disagree on this, so be it. I will not press the matter further. All I ask is that you just think about it next time. I will do the same.
I hate how even when I get really into a VN and get attached and emotional about a character, that I still forget everything that happened after being done for an hour. All those feelings, gone in the wind.
I'm playing 裸執事 (naked butler) right now, both to enjoy and to help with me learning japanese. Well, actually, I chose this one in particular because I saw some ahegao CG images, but it was a good choice. I progress very slowly, both because I write everything down and because I keep playing less than I wish I would. Yesterday I binged though, it was a very intense moment. Today the lewd was about to start, so I stopped there and left it for tomorrow. The characters are cute, right now I'm focusing on the literal autist.
I started out with Fate/Stay Night and became a huge fan, thus birthed my huge interest in other VN's, but oddly enough It's been a downward spiral.
I hated the sequel to FSN, 'Hollow Atarxia', the slice of life shit doesn't bother me that much but the twist at the end was a real slap in the face for me. Then I tried Tsukihime and did Arcueids route, I liked it alot but the other routes are pretty boring to me, thus I've never truly finished it. Then I tried Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai and I seriously seriously hated it with a passion. I'm going for Rewrite next, but I'm having doubts about it already.
This is pretty much suffering, is there at least one more VN out there that I'm at least guaranteed to like?
>>9102 >I've been getting into the VN genre. It's not really a "genre". That's like saying "I've been getting into the video game genre" or "I've been getting into the movie genre". >I started out with Fate/Stay Night and became a huge fan Shit taste.
>>12262 I wish I could when, but when I look at /all/ all I see is a swamp of unfunny memes and people trying their hardest to be clever ironic humorists. The only reason this place is better is that I don't have to deal with normalshits and their behavior.
I almost never finish any VNs I start reading because I am a lazy and impatient fuck, so in most cases I quiet the VN midway and end up reading the plot summary on the net. I only finished two routes of it before spoilering the rest for myself but I think I enjoyed Never 7: The end of infinity the most. Usually I only like one or two characters from VNs but I liked the entire main cast in Never 7. This game just felt comfy and I liked the atmosphere of it. Interesting story, likeable succubi, awesome atmosphere. Plus I am a sucker for old VN art. I think it is very underrated compared to Ever 17 and Remember 11.
Ryukishi's stuff is close to my heart too, since I actually finished Higurashi and Umineko (well, only read Umineko up to Ep7 but you get the point). Until a few years ago I was into R07's works but since I read some of Rose Guns Days I avoid him. Still want to try out Higanbana someday though.
Honorable mentions: Bible Black, Chaos; Head , Sharin no Kuni, FSN. I thought I would finish Sharin no Kuni but then I arrived at Natsumi's chapter…couldn't last very long. One of the most annoying characters ever.
>>13005 Monmusu Quest games are Eroges. The same applies to games like Starless (Eroge->Nukige) and Bible Black(Eroge->Nukige). Here:
VN - General term. Visual novel with none or little/nonexplicit sexual content. VNs main focus are romance and storytelling. VNs and LNs walk hand in hand but LNs usually focus on 'Lighter' themes.
Galge - subgenre of VN. Games which were designed to have many pretty characters (Moe or Ikemen (handsome men)) to sell. Can be used for both men and women centered games but it's far more used to describe male centered games.
Otomege - subgenre of VN. Games centered mainly towards fujoshis. BL games are here.
Charage (Kyarage) - Another subgenre of VN. Used when a character from another adaptation (like manga or anime) from crossover or the same series make an appearance. Since it's a major selling point, it's sometimes included in the genre tags.
Eroge - General term. Visual novel with lots of sexual content and innuendos. Romance is still present.
Galge - subgenre of Eroge. Games which were designed to have many pretty characters (Moe or Ikemen (handsome men)) to sell. Can be used for both men and women centered games.
Otomege - subgenre of Eroge. Games centered mainly towards fujoshis. Erotic BL games are here.
Nukige - subgenre of Eroge. Games which focus mainly on the sexual aspect. Hardcore pornography and filled with eroscenes, more erotic CGs than non-erotic CGs. Romance here is to stick penis in every hole. Rape and NTR themes are common.
>>13012 You sounded rather cute, almost tsundere, understand the language, before you speak. Pretty embarrassing isn't it? I've been there too, so this makes us two. Finding a needle in a haystack, the ones who care.
Probably Dangan Ronpa. Only because it's one of the few Visual Novels I didn't drop out of boredom. Although to be fair, it's probably the most game-like visual novel I can think of and there's a lot of debate as to whether or not it really is one to begin with.
It was pretty obvious to tell from the two succubi. I don't know why, but it looks funny. The expression on the middle one's face just gave it away I guess. The one on the left was pretty obvious too. Heck, they're all kind of obvious. You could snap the succubi in half if you tried.
I've only recently been getting into VNs, right now I've been playing through Sengoku Rance on a recommendation and I'm actually enjoying the gameplay/strategy elements much more then the hscenes themselves. My question is are there any games out there similar to Rance, like with a focus on gameplay/rpg/stats building, etc?
>>16972 Just because it's on VNDB does not mean it is one. There are a lot of games on VNDB that aren't really "VNs" but get thrown in there anyway. ぶるにゃんマン was on there for a time, but it is an STG. Sengoku Rance is more of a strategy game, not a "VN." The other Rance games and other titles by Alice Soft are mainly RPGs. And then there are some real dating simulation games that get tossed under the "VN" label. Having ADV-style story presentation does not make a VN.
I haven't watched a VN yet. I wanted to try Steins;Gate. There's the Steam version that looks like it is waiting to be bought but I have read somewhere that some VNs have cut content, scenes, conversations, etc. Should I buy the Steam version? Or does it have cut content? What Steins;Gate do I buy if I want it in good eigo but also as full as possible?
>>20 Didn't really want to start a new thread, so just thought I'd ask here. Where the hell do you guys get all the translated VNs from? It was a pain to download and even find the few I have. For example I want to play the Happiness! vn, because Jun is a cutie, but for God's love, I can't seem to be able to find it anywhere. Any tips or links?
>>20914 Because most of the torrent sites I frequented were shut down? And on the others, it's almost impossible to find anything other than the top of the iceberg normie entertainment. I don't intend to pay for some patrician torrent site with my precious scarce bux either.
>>13238 I'm another anon, and I'm Russian. I haven't played eng version of this game, so I have no idea how translation turned out to be. But I think this game is mostly for Russians, cuz it gives some memories from the past, and also Russian atmosphere is not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. If you have time then you should definitely give it a try. Story is good but nothing really unique or spesial, it has fast pace in the start and the end, but for the most part 80% their's just ¨chilling¨ at the summer camp. Only real issue with this game is variety and size of the game, just remember that it's a game that some rus anons made.
>>22666 It's a lot harder than your average VN. If you have the patience and it's not your very first VN though, I recommend it. I read it as my fourth VN and my Japanese improved greatly from the trial by fire.
I'm halfway through Chuusotsu now and since the translation Kikestarter is going to be funded, I need to tell you guys that Chuusotsu is anti-neet propaganda so that's something to keep in mind in case any of you have/were thinking of backing it. The writing and characters are good and it's fairly interesting but as a wizard NEET I'm not enjoying it. And I'm not sure who it's meant to appeal to because it's not something normies would like at all either.
Which sucks because I greatly enjoyed Hiruou's previous work, JQV, and Suicide Fence still looks interesting.
>>23241 I don't consider this much of a spoiler, but hidden in case you want to be surprised by the themes of the game. I thought it was heading in that direction, but it turns out to be more anti wage slavery. It's not pro-NEET, but it argues that NEETism is an unfortunate condition caused by wage slavery. The "villains" of the game are NEET haters and and the heroes are NEETs.
>>23248 wat?? learn japp just to play silly porno games? are you kiddin me?? why wuld i waist my time doing dat just use machine translation like ebberybubby else it is barely intelligible but it works for me! sure beats having to memorize all dose stoopid squiggles
or you can sit on your ass for 2-7, 10+ or never years waiting on people to translate it badly for you
>>23248 I only read Visual Novels since they're a good learning tool for Japanese. I would never touch a translation, as I've heard they're all poorly translated + rewritten. It really isn't that hard to learn enough Japanese to play these games though.
>>23251 >>23253 I was taking the role of the person who says things like that. Those are things I see people say a lot on this topic. I don't agree with that at all. I am quite bothered by it. The way to go is of course to actually learn the language and not be dependent on text hookers or machine translation.
My favorite one by far is Steins;Gate no contest. S;G 0 was pretty decent, Fate is alright. I'm currently playing Chaos;Child which was just released locally in NA region. It's actually really comfy so far, despite being kinda dark at times. I have high hopes for it.
i've gone back and re-read several routes on several different occasions over the past decade since I first encountered it, so I'm well aware that it's almost entirely nostalgia value that guides my opinion, but Tsukihime is still my favorite. There's beauty in its shittiness and the resulting ambiance like there is in seeing a band play in a crackhouse basement or listening to old recordings of classical music from before room acoustics and recording technology was really figured out.
>>10600 I truly think that Taiichi is one of the most upstanding characters I've seen written. His self sacrifice was deeply moving. His character really shows that CC has a much deeper literary thought put into it than most writing.
I'm playing Chaos Child on Vita (pirated,I don't pay for shit)
I'm just getting started,but it's already a lot better than Chaos Head,it's quite a shame that Chaos Child is so full of references to Chaos Head to the point that it may as well be mistaken for a remake,but unfortunately is not,is a sequel,now that I'm talking about it Chaos Head was literally the most boring and dissapointing thing I've ever read,the first 20 minutes are fantastic,then it goes downhill for hours with the stupid,unlikeable protagonist that does absolutely nothing interesting for entire chapters,then it gets interesting for a little and it ends,it was the only VN I had to use willpower to finish,because I was getting sleepy everytime I tried to read such boring shit.
Anyway Chaos Child is interesting and keeps up the pace quite well,the protagonist is like a carbon copy of the protagonist of Chaos Head (to the point that both of them are addressed as "Taku") but without the NEET-ness and general mediocrity of the Chaos Head protag.
Anyway,good VN for now,I hope it doesn't end like C:H 2.0…
Nah, I sorta felt the same as well. She was very endearing & enchanting at first, but became far too cruel & heartless for a delicate wizard like me to stay infatuated with her. For a start, the things she & Fuminori did to Yoh were simply unforgivable. No love can be fostered, sustained or even survive in the face of inflicting such massive suffering towards another. In the end though, despite relishing Saya's dying screams, her death remained somewhat bittersweet. Why did you need to be so cruel Saya? Why did it have to come to this? Perhaps the monstrousness of your origins combined with you absorbing the monstrousness of the human heart is enough to explain what I wish weren't true. You may not have realized it, but your death was a mercy, most of all to yourself. Goodbye Saya. You were never meant for this world. (Kneels down and places a single dandelion on Saya's desecrated little monster corpse)
What is love? Saya don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
When all's said & done, I'd much rather take Yoh or Ryoko over Saya. Might also try some of the other visual novels in this thread, since Saya no Uta was essentially my first.
>>31431 I'm the type of guy to prefer Saya. It would be reveling to see the oligarch's factories crumble as a result of an eldritch converting everyone into meat monsters. Saya also has that otherworldly mystique to her that I would gladly offer myself to.
Well, like I said, perhaps I'm just a pansy, but Saya's growing propensity for sadism & abject cruelty as it manifests throughout the novel, really shattered the image I'd had of her. That being, a kind, gentle (well mostly gentle, given her diet), somewhat mischievous & misunderstood creature who simply wanted to be loved and whom would never hurt anyone, at least not intentionally.
As a result, I could somewhat forgive what she did to Suzumi, given how naively ignorant & misguided her actions were to a certain extent and that even she herself suffered the repercussions from them, perhaps learning her lesson in the process. What she did to Yoh later on however? What she did with such premeditated, merciless cruelty? Why Saya? You were supposed to be better than this. Now you're just as monstrous & barbaric as the dirtiest of normalfags. Just as cruel & heartless as the most demonic of females. You were supposed to be different. I wanted you to be different. I mean, honestly, the way she just casually suggests that Fuminori should test out his axe on poor, little Yoh quivering in the corner. The fact she's already wracked with such constant pain, due to Saya's botched mutation of her, and that she would then go on to utter such a horrible, horrible thing. That hurts me Saya. That hurts me so much. By comparison, her "blooming", as it were, and dooming the world to an eldritch induced apocalypse, seemed tame by comparison.
Anyway, like I said before, I'm a very gentle hearted wizard. Saya, despite her unassuming form, just felt so very coarse & jagged to me past a certain point. Like the pedals of a bashful, little flower, Saya's true face & heart, stomped the little flower of a Wizard I am flat. Again, all the horrible things she both says aloud & does and all the malevolence & sadism she delights in was simply too much for my delicate constitution. I suppose one could say Ryoko was also quite cruel in her own way, but even she seems mild by comparison. Why does everybody have to be so mean? I just wanted Saya to be my gentle wiz wife, not a cruel monster, taken after normalfags.
also that shit felt forced like the studio told the creator lol we can't just have loli we need to appeal to norm audience add that cowtit too or else! that and the part we're Saya was raped sucked I forgive for killing a cat since she was an alien and didn't know much plus how many cats have humanity tortured in comparison is nothing
>>31820 White Album White Album 2 Intro + Closing Chapter Konata yori Kanata Made Amagami Chocolat Parfait
Usually pick 2 or 3 of these to go through around the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I have fond memories of marathoning them during the holiday season when I was younger and had started learning Japanese fairly recently.
>>335 came here to post this, i'm not a big fan of VN's because they're mostly otaku centered escapism media wich is not what i seek but this one was different >>1909 it's fun you posted this track because it's my favourite of the game, i'll never forget the very moment this track plays for the first time, i prefer the version without the piano tho.
Narcissu is one of those stories that still stays with you years after, if some of you guys know some VN's with such a strong ambience/atmosphere as narcissu i'll take it. bonus point if it's depressing/sad. Anyway, i recommend to all of you to read this VN, it really has something.
>>32102 Everyone I've seen on imageboards uses it to designate people identifying as succubi and not just traps/crossdressers but if you want to pull out online English dictionary definitions and weren't using it that way then whatever.
Here's an unfinished kamige that we'll likely never see the end of. Apparently the guy lost all motivation for the project and gave up completely. Maybe one day he'll read all the positive comments on egs and work up the motivation to finish it.
>>32061 I've been reading it a bit. So far it's mostly been focused on exposition and a few short disconnected chapters of random people (guy who lives a normal life until old age and then contemplates that there was something wrong with that being all there is to life and then gets involved with some yakuza extorting a young succubus while in the hospital, and a rich man who runs for office and preaches about how humans are imperfect and need to strive to reach perfection to attain greater happiness, but then gets crushed by the overwhelming number of problems he needs to deal with while in office.
Now it's going through a book explaining gnostic beliefs. I don't know much about gnosticism apart from the shitposts people make here so it's kind of interesting. I just hope it's all building up to something.
I've generally avoided denpage because of a preconception that they all just deal with senseless insanity and random supernatural phenomena, which isn't really my cup of tea. Vid related showed up on my feed though, and skimming through it actually peaked my interest in the games it describes, which are considered the big 3 denpage in Japan. I decided to try out さよならを教えて first because the artstyle attracted me most out of the 3, and the protagonist is a teacher rather than a student.
I didn't expect much outside of crazy shit but this really betrayed those expectations, in a good way. There are a lot of crazy events and the narrative can feel even disconnected at times, but the writer incorporated all of this incredibly skillfully. It starts out with all the craziness happening in the protagonist's dreams, with something that looks like a Lovecraftian mass of tentacles raping one of his students while he watches. The protagonist has some odd delusions about her being an angel, but he recognizes them as such and so for the beginning stretch of the game it looks less like insanity and more like his repressed desire breaking through in his dreams.
As the game progresses day by day events become more intense and difficult to believe, with multiple rapes and BDSM-style torture being inflicted on his students. The brilliance, though, is that all this doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. It feels out of context and disconnected from reality, of course, but there are plenty of impressions and inner monologues from the protagonist that foreshadow his later actions, and above all it's difficult to distinguish whether many of these sex scenes are mere fantasies on his part or actual events (he himself is unable to draw a line between reality and fantasy). As you're reading it feels less like a world gone insane and more like a detailed psychological study into a deranged, yet still surprisingly self-aware and seemingly functional individual in the form of a fictional narrative.
(Rest of this spoils the end of the game)
The "twist" at the end is that the protagonist is actually a patient in a mental hospital. After growing up under a strict family near the bottom of the hierarchy, experiencing sexual attraction towards his older sister and being scolded after being caught peeping on her changing and stealing her clothes, and finally failing to become a teacher and follow in his sister's footsteps, he fell into insanity and extreme solipsism, which caused him to construct a new world where his environment is a school. The heroines of the game were inanimate objects and animals which he projected parts of his personality onto and personified as succubi. The twist wasn't that surprising, as there are lots of suggestions throughout the story, particularly in the events of the last few days before the end, but I don't think it lessened the impact of hearing the conversation between his sister and the doctor in charge of him and seeing the camera pan out to reveal an enclosed concrete building in place of the school grounds that were shown throughout the game.
After understanding this and viewing the previous events in the context of the protagonist's solipsistic construction I was both amazed at how well everything was put together to lead up to and conform to this, but also terrified by the idea of being stuck in what's essentially an eternal personal hell. During the ending events of the game the protagonist's constructed world starts to break down, leading to various spatial and temporal contradictions, and the protagonist gives hints of understanding that he's not a teacher at all. All the heroines, with a single exception, commit suicide one by one. Since they're all projections of the protagonist's personality -fragments of his character- I think this is indicative of the protagonist's self-destructive tendency (this is underwritten by several conversations near the end of the game where the protagonist talks about suicidal events with the bookworm heroine).
The tragedy is that, despite having a wish to die and longing after non-existence, stating it several times during the game and even "living it out" by committing double suicide with one heroine and getting shot by another in his fantasies, he's still unable to actually kill himself in the end. This really becomes clear in the route of the main succubus (睦月/Mutsuki, the one he calls an angel and sees in his dreams being raped). As it turns out near the end of the game she was the only one who was an actual person (though with the exception of one conversation, the protagonist's interactions with her are also hallucinations) - a high school succubus who was instituted for severe depression. For the protagonist the meaning of her being an "angel" seems to be a combination of some sort of platonic love mixed with a gross, repressed sexual desire, and also of a longing after death, which he projects onto her by constructing his own narrative where her "ascension" back to heaven is actually her hanging herself. As is revealed in the final conversation between his sister and his doctor, the protagonist and Mutsuki only had one actual conversation, right before she was discharged. For her it seems like a normal conversation, because he's talking about her "leaving", but his definition of "leaving" is her killing herself, which he sees in the end in one of his delusions where she hangs herself from a tree in a forest outside the school. The protagonist doesn't follow, however, and even in this ending it only ends with his constructed world breaking down, rather than him committing to dying. He can only take vicarious pleasure, accompanied by torturous frustration at his own impotence, in the hallucinated death he constructs for Mutsuki.
It seems for a time near the end that the protagonist will finally come back to reality and acknowledge his situation, but at the very end it turns out he's simply constructed another reality for himself - one as an intern at the mental hospital. A line of the lyrics for the ending song really poignantly describe the protagonist's situation perfectly - "終わりのない、永遠の夕暮れ時" - endless, eternal twilight, a reference to the fact that all events of the game take place during sunset. The protagonist is too weak to commit to death, despite his self-hatred, but he's also too impotent, and too terrified and anxious of losing meaning in his life by facing the reality where he wasn't able to make something of himself as a teacher. He's stuck in a loop of constantly constructing a narrative for himself as an escape, destroying it in his self-hatred through the rape and abuse of the succubi he materializes out of fragments of his personality, and reconstructing it when faced with the terror of either dying or coming back to the reality where he's basically a loser. The idea of being stuck in such an eternal loop, constantly building and tearing apart your own world, trapped in your own head in an eternal routine of self-flagellation, was absolutely terrifying for me.
There's a lot more I could write of regarding the protagonist and his different aspects (his messiah complex, his sadistic tendencies and viewing of beauty as the result of transience and the fragility of life, etc) but I'll stop there.
I also read and finished ジサツのための１０１の方法 today, so I might post about it another time. I'm still digesting it but it didn't impress me anywhere near as much as さや教 did. The beginning was promising and it did some neat things with blurring the lines between reality and fantasy via the dream argument, but it failed in developing characters sufficiently, which made a lot of the later action feel random and senseless (not in a good way or as a plot device, it just felt like certain characters were almost completely absent of motivation).
I'll probably also get around to reading 終ノ空, the third "big" denpage, eventually. Apparently it was a prototype for 素晴らしき日々.
Read Saihate no Ima if you know japanese and want to see the most over ambitious but well written sci-fi mind screw in otaku media. The story goes in so many different unconventional places and while it feels like it's constantly running on 30 layers at once, every tiny aspect of the story has a satisfying explanation and fits concisely into the main plot of the game. It doesn't abuse mental illness or red herrings, everything links back to the core sci-fi/human concepts.
>>32296 >さよならを教えて Thank you for the recommendation and (non-spoiler) synopsis. Do you have a live magnet you're willing to share and/or seed? The Rutracker one sadly seems to be dead.
I usually stay clear of games with focus on denpa characters simply because they're just such a pain to read if your Japanese is not on point. (Mine isn't) But your post got me in the mood to try one again.
>>32296 I'll write more briefly on the other game - forgot to come back to it due to wageslavery.
ジサツのための１０１の方法 This one is about a high school boy who's obsessed with suicide and disillusioned with life, essentially viewing everything through a kind of gray-vision. The interesting part is that he's extremely deep into dreaming and fantasies (the game opens with him fantasizing about fucking his step-sister) and as the game progresses the line between delusion and reality is blurred. The start was really strong and pulled me right in, in large part due to the unique concept, but it gets much weaker after the first hour when it introduces the more supernatural/denpa elements - suicide waves making people kill themselves - and moves on to the characters taking shelter in a classroom and shifts focus to the power dynamics in that situation. It continues to do some neat things with blurring the lines between reality and dreams/delusions but the storyline taking place in the school remains weak, especially because the actions and speech of the characters besides the protagonist are often inconsistent, or the sense of presence of certain characters is really almost nonexistent until the game nears its end. The last stretch is some odd shit which I read as the protagonist reconstructing parts of his reality in order to put himself into a more ideal eroge-type situation - tsundere stepsister, pure love with a childhood friend etc. There's probably more I could draw from it but I'm not that interested in reading much deeper right now. Some guy on EGS said it was a homage to "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".
Unfortunately there's no English translation but IIRC there is a French one.
>>32431 Sorry, I probably can't help you because I got it from a private tracker. I saw a link with a bundle of games on sukebe nyaa.si including Higurashi and some other game with it and 1 seeder, but I'm not sure if that's accurate. Other than that maybe try searching the Japanese name + download. As a last resort you could try Perfect Dark (Japanese P2P).
>>32296 I've been planning to read this forever. It's such an interesting novel, too bad I know very little Japanese. The guy that was translating this disappeared a while back…
How much Japanese knowledge would you say is adequate for reading this. I'm still on my anki deck learning words so obviously it's going to take a while, but I really want to read this one day. It's my most anticipated visual novel read.
>>32453 Hard to say, above average I guess. The style of writing felt closer to an actual novel than most other VNs I've played. With the exception of a few obscure words and kanji the vocabulary isn't too hard, but there are a lot of metaphors that might trip up beginners, plus the unreliable narration later might make things hard if you're not familiar with the language. I'd say give it a shot after you've read one or two visual novels or manga series and see how you do. If it's too hard just read more material until you're able to go through it smoothly.