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Doki Doki Literature Club

If it's a video game it goes here.

Moderators: LawBeefaroni, Arcanis, $iljanus

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paulbaxter
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Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by paulbaxter » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:22 am

There was a recent reddit thread on "best game that you aren't playing," and this one was mentioned repeatedly.

The basics: it's a free download. On its surface, it's a Japanese dating sim. There are warnings that it should not be played by children or the easily disturbed. HEED THOSE WARNINGS.

The only other thing I'll say is that when you get to the screen that says "End", the game is not over (though you might wish it to be). Best experienced without knowing anything else about it.

Download it here.
No sig, must scream, etc.

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Smoove_B
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:24 am

Also available on STEAM for free.

paulbaxter
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by paulbaxter » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:24 am

Yeah, I was just about to edit that in.
No sig, must scream, etc.

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baelthazar
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by baelthazar » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:45 am

Just finished this.

Holy shit.

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Lordnine
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by Lordnine » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:45 am

I watched a play-through of this on Youtube some time ago. Was kind of neat but it's not exactly original at this point and I think some other games have pulled off a similar experience in more involving ways.

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baelthazar
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by baelthazar » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:46 pm

Lordnine wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:45 am
I watched a play-through of this on Youtube some time ago. Was kind of neat but it's not exactly original at this point and I think some other games have pulled off a similar experience in more involving ways.
Oh, I agree, but I think it does something very interesting that some of the others do not. I will put it in spoiler tags, so as not to ruin the impact.
Spoiler:
Where this one stood out as opposed to something like Pony Island was that, if you look past the "crazy AI Monika" aspect, you see a game that both critiques the "dating sim" genre and discusses real-life depression and suicide with a semi-fantasy horror veneer. For example, it is unclear just how much Monika altered her fellow characters to achieve her goals. At one point, she says that she accentuated the flaws of her friends to make them unlovable, so that you would forget them and spend more time with her. So that indicates that the happy exterior common to Anime dating sims was hiding complex issues. Sayori seems to actually be depressed, Natsuki is insecure and abused, and Yuri is repressed, obsessive, and possibly always a cutter. Monika may only be ramping up these issues rather than creating them.

The fact that it is all juxtaposed with saccharine cuteness inherent in the dating sim genre adds to the "wrongness." I remember the first time I clicked a depressed word and Sayori's sticker jumped up in the poetry minigame. Then watching as Yuri's jumped for both "dark" words and sexual words. I went for Yuri and her story gives an uneasy mix of repressed lust and self harm even without Monika's meddling.

I think it also works to lampoon the older Hentai dating sims (I am reminded most of True Love), where the protagonist ignores major flaws and relationship issues to try to bed a girl. Often girls in those sims had dialog indicating body image issues, repression, obsession, etc., but this was seen as "normal girl talk" for the player to exploit on his way to sex. That was always a pernicious and terrible part of those types of games, and I think this one points that out.

Lastly, Monika herself is less evil than she is trapped, broken, depressed, and obsessed. The game won't let her have a happy ending (she is never among the dating choices). So she tried to make her own, but that fails. At the end, she "deletes" it all, a sort of programming suicide. It sort of reminds me of the old movie "The Butterfly Effect."

So yeah, it is not totally unique, but I think it adds some interesting pieces to this type of game. Sorry for the wall of text, but after playing it, I felt the need to talk about it, since it stuck with me.

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Hipolito
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Re: Doki Doki Literature Club

Post by Hipolito » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:48 pm

I finished this game recently. If you haven't played this visual novel yet (it's still free), and there's a possibility you might, go ahead and do so before reading my impressions here.

This game reminds me of the movie The Exorcist (bear with me here) in that the first half is pretty languorous and there's little to indicate that anything's wrong. It lulls you, even bores you. Then, when things get going, it's relentless, brutal, and untrustworthy. One senseless shock happens after another, giving you no time to recover or make sense of what you're seeing. The game plays on our anxieties of computer glitches, giving malevolence and meaning to what we usually dismiss as random annoyances.

But even the slow and mundane first half has notable moments. In the Yuri path, the detailed description of simply sitting next to her and reading the same book together, along with the subtle changes in her facial expression, heighten the tension to erotic. The poetry is good, as is the soundtrack. The game also has some interesting observations on how people's personalities develop.

There's a load of hidden meanings, random events, and easter eggs, and I went down a YouTube rabbit hole to see them all. I also replayed the game to see the "special ending," which took a lot of time and some guidance from walkthroughs. It wasn't really worth the effort, though.

This game has renewed my interest in visual novels, especially horror ones, and I look forward to playing many more. On my wish list are Higarushi, Umineko, We Know the Devil, Mad Father, Kara no Shojo, Zero Time Dilemma (the last game in the Zero Escape trilogy), Saya no Uta, and Danganronpa.
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