I have been slowly trying to catch up on a backlog of Films, TV Programs & YouTube shows. To demonstrate just how bad the backlog is. I’m currently catching up on Metadating, which was one of the shows on the 1st year of Geek & Sundry back in 2012?. (I know right.) So Metadating did a 2 part show on “Katawa Shoujo”
Katawa Shoujo is a bishōjo-style visual novel by Four Leaf Studios that tells a story of a young man and five young women living with varying disabilities. The game uses a traditional text and sprite-based visual novel model with an ADV-style text box running on the Ren’Py visual novel engine. The game is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND.
They had split it into two 2 hour episodes so that they could show the game and discuss it while playing part of the 1st act, then give everyone a chance to play the game themselves (Its a Free Cross-Platform Game) and then they could play some more and discuss it in the second episode. I started playing while watching the second episode, where I discovered if you really messed up your choices YOU CAN DIE!
Luckily, unlike one of Metadating’s Presenters I survived without dying.
So the game starts with a quick back-story to explain what is going on and why you are now in a new special school. After this you are introduced to your new school and get to meet each of the main girls. You have to meet them all to make an informed choice right?
The Game/Story then progresses with you learning about the school, the people, etc.. Every so often you are given options, and what you pick influences the story, like those old “Make your own Adventure” books.
The Game is in 4 Acts.
- Act 1: Meet the Girls and get interested in one (If you fail you die)
- Act 2: Get to know your Chosen Girl and move from friendship onto Romance
- Act 3: Troubles and if you do not do well, A BAD ENDING
- Act 4: If you get to Act 4 you get a Good Ending.
- Also you can die at any time you totally mess up.
Playing Act 1,
I had picked out the girl I wanted and was playing to get her. She was a shy little thing, and at one point I thought I had won. She had stayed behind after class because I was finishing up some homework (I did mention it was set in a school). Her best friend came looking for her, and after a whispered conversation left leaving the girl in the class. She kept looking at me, and seemed to be waiting for me to notice her and talk to her.
Real Life me went “YES. I got the path I wanted, come on notice what’s going on”
Character me did his homework, nodded at the girl and left!
This annoyed me as being male I generally need to be hit with a baseball bat with the words “I like you” written on it to notice these things, and yet character me was more oblivious than real life me. I calmed myself down with a beer, and in spite I refused to share with character me.
It turns out, that making the choices I had, which in turn influenced the personality of the Character I was playing made me better suited for the personality of a different girl, rather the the one I had picked after quick first impressions. And the game had realised this. Who knew that the best match for you is not necessarily the first person to catch your eye?
This was too deep for both real life me and character me, and we had another beer.
Without any Spoilers. Act 2 went along fine, and I started thinking “Humm, OK my character could get along with this girl”. Act 3 was a bit touch and go, and I strongly suspect I almost ended up heading towards the BAD ending where we split up. But my overall brilliance let me slip into Act 4 and the Happy Ending…
Overall the story was interesting, and I have since seen the flowchart of the various ways the story can change based on your choices and am even more impressed with the writing. I am tempted to play the game again, with different answers to see just how much the path/story changes based on a single moments decision. (It’s the Multiverse people!)
You can download the game Legally & For free from :- http://www.katawa-shoujo.com/download.php