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Old 12-15-2011, 10:20 PM   #26
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I read that some of the dialogue was "re-tooled" to give it a Japanese to English flavour. I guess this means a lot of phrases are going to be subject-verb-object, which might be weird after the super-high quality translation of Ixrec's Amaterasu group.

But! That kind of style coupled with free play is just going to feel wrong. I haven't played a legal VN since Narcissu, if things aren't pirated, it doesn't feel right!

Oh well, I have three-ish weeks to deal with it. My mind will become diamond soon enough.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:34 PM   #27
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Not sure what you mean about the SVO format. I mean, even if the game weren't "retooled" as you're saying, it would still follow an SVO format: because SVO is how we speak in English.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:42 PM   #28
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Sorry, I read some website to come across as smart and cultured, but fumbled on the post. It's not like I've been thinking straight this whole day anyway!

I can't give any examples beyond the one I found online: "I'm in your care again then, I guess." versus "I guess I'm in your care again". Yup, the latter is subject-verb-object, the former subject-object-verb.

I doubt the whole VN is like this, but there are probably phrases in there to give an "un-even" translation feel. Should be pretty funny for those of us who've driven cadillacs (Amaterasu) and golf-carts (Demonbane).
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:47 PM   #29
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But ... we say that in English. Hell, I speak like the first one all the time.

Doppel: Yes you do. And it's a nightmare trying to decode your posts.
Talon:


But no, seriously: that example you gave is really crappy because it totally sounds okay in English. A true example of SOV in English would be something weird like "I the sandwich ate" (I ate the sandwich) or "I to Phoenix Mary flew" (I flew Mary to Phoenix).

Anyway, don't want to derail this thread at the last second when we've kept it so pristine and spam-free all these years. ^^; Unless there's any more news in between now and game day, I'll see you in this thread in three weeks' time!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:47 PM   #30
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So, curious. Is this something I ought to check out?

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It's not like I've been thinking straight this whole day anyway!
You're not alone. Yay three hours sleep!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #31
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It's up to you. Doppel, Vran, and I have been excited for this game for quite some time, so that's at least three two people you'll have to chat with about the game should you decide to play. I'm pretty sure bbb is onboard as well so that makes three.

But what we find endearing or "d'awwww" in this title, you may find misogynistic or creepy. There's really no way to know ahead of time. No one has ever played this game before. With the exception of its first third (and even that I didn't touch), no one outside of the dev team and perhaps their closest friends has had a chance to play any route in this game through to completion. There's no telling what it'll be like.

I'm quite hopeful that the sort of people who would see a project like this through to completion would be kind people who aren't (solely? ^^; ) in this for the cripple fetish. Obviously Doppel and I aren't in it for that, so if that's all the game winds up being, it'll be a colossal disappointment. I'm in it for the romance and the story. I'm also excited to play one of the world's first and few visual novels created by a natively-English-speaking development team. (See, there you go, Doppel. "natively-English-speaking team" instead of "team whose members natively speak English." ) If the romance isn't there, and if the story isn't there, then the novelty factor of it being made by a team of Americans and Europeans will evaporate quite quickly and I'll shelve the game.

But my hope -- my sincere hope -- is that this is going to be a game that people will talk about in a positive light for years to come. And if that's the case, then I see no reason why you shouldn't want to hop right onboard with us. The thing is ... how do you plan to get the game? ^^; You're going home for the holidays, right? So ...

Yuki: To the library! >D

Good luck. ^^; If you need any help getting it, let us know.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:06 PM   #32
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The game comes out January 4, right? I said I planned to come back on the 2nd to catch the premiere of Natsume 4, so that should be good timing for this as well.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:14 AM   #33
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I'm a bit more invested in this game than most, because I was in the original topic that spawned the project and joined the original forums in an effort to work my way onto the dev team. When interest waned, I left, and it was probably for the best, because I had no useful skills to contribute, not even writing. I hadn't played many VNs through 2007 (literally only Fate/stay night, Narcissu, Planetarian and later Ever17) and was useless for most everything else.

But I could probably handle it now. Like Alternative Takeru, if I suddenly awoke and it was 2007, I would have done things differently. But now, I can only enjoy the finished product and imagine what could have been...

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But what we find endearing or "d'awwww" in this title, you may find misogynistic or creepy. There's really no way to know ahead of time. No one has ever played this game before. With the exception of its first third (and even that I didn't touch), no one outside of the dev team and perhaps their closest friends has had a chance to play any route in this game through to completion. There's no telling what it'll be like.
Well, I have. That was three years ago, so I've forgotten a lot, but it's actually keenly written and not disturbing at all.

It has the potential to be a 9/10 or 10/10 novel. Intuitively, this makes sense, as this VN wouldn't have come to life for free if the dev team didn't want to explore some interesting ideas. The main theme of KS is pretty simple - "crippled people are still people!" and one can imagine that KS breaks a lot of stereotypes.

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Obviously Doppel and I aren't in it for that...
I wasn't originally, but I'm curious to see how the H scenes go. H scenes normally suck, so maybe Americans know something about porn that the Japanese can't figure out. As said earlier I feel there's a lot of potential for hot AND funny scenes, I'm hoping for Rance-style H. Though, Hisao is no Rance.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:15 AM   #34
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I've been paying a little attention to this for the past few years, so it's good to see there's a set release date. Of course, I'll be playing this as well.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #35
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Ho ho ho! Merrrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas! Look what Santa brought for us:


The artbook and player's guide for Katawa Shoujo! The latter appears to be in Japanese only, but the former has both Japanese and English versions available. I would expect / hope that the player's guide will see a group English translation eventually.

They're cute, but nothing terribly special. The player's manual is actually little else than a Japanese-language roadmap to the English website, so that Japanese fans can figure out how to get the game and get it working on their computers. (LOL! The tables have been turned! ) The first half of the book does have some basic information on the girls and the game itself but it's nothing terribly in-depth and certainly nothing that would make you think "player's guide" in the traditional sense (i.e. a walkthrough). The artbook is sadly lacking in official (and higher-quality) artwork and consists mostly of fan submissions that range in quality from pretty durn good (but not epic or anything) all the way down to abysmal 5-year old kid-caliber drawings. Neither is very long. But as a fan, it's nice to have these all the same. And it was nice of the Katawa Shoujo team to release these PDFs for us at the risk of upsetting the Japanese fans who paid upfront for physical copies of these at Comiket.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:51 AM   #36
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It's out, btw. I'm downloading as I speak.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:27 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big bad birtha View Post
It's out, btw. I'm downloading as I speak.
I've been chatting on Skype with a friend all night. We had a good chat, but I ended up not seeing the update until roughly an hour after it had gone up. Got the torrent set up, continued chatting with my friend, and got the file within mere minutes. I set it to seed to a ratio of 2.000, but apparently that might have been too much: it's now 2:20am, about thirty minutes or so after I initiated the download, and I still have only seeded to a ratio of 1.752. (Though my upload speed has picked up since ending the phone call, it seems, and my ETA is only 5 minutes before seeding is completed.) Ordinarily, I seed to a ratio of 1.000, but for this, I figured I'd make an exception since (a) it's launch and (b) it's special. But it looks like loads of others had the exact same idea: and right now there are 4512 seeds to only 2575 leechers. That's roughly two seeds for every one leecher, but it isn't the ratio that's most impressive: it's the absolute numbers. ~7,000 people were so interested in this that they had to have it at launch? And not only that, but 4500 people all seeding at once jesusfuckingchrist!!? This is pretty great news. I'll be really interested to hear what the figures are for the Japanese-language version come tomorrow evening.

Apparently some people have already beaten one or more paths to the game. I think this is crazy. I also think that, assuming the routes are about the same length as those you'd find in any other game (like Ever17 or Remember11, not so much like FSN since those are some mega-beefy-long routes ^^; ), this defeats the entire purpose of playing the game in the first place. The point is to enjoy the game, not to race to the finish. But whatever: to each his own! I'm sure that we here at UPN will have a much more fun time of things as we play through at our own respective paces and discuss things as we go along.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:32 AM   #38
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The demo covered almost everything except the character routes, so I've been skipping what I've already seen.

I'm pretty upset Lelouch "transferred" out of Class 3-3. -_-
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:42 AM   #39
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Oh? I chose not to play the demo because I didn't want to be stuck with a cliffhanger ending. :o So I have yet to experience any Katawa Shoujo. No idea what to expect from the quality. Am optimistically hoping it'll be as good as KID stuff, but maybe that's too much to expect from a team of amateurs? We will see.

Beautiful artwork over on the blog right now celebrating the release of the game. But with it comes some unfortunate if not surprising news. Quote:
With that, the story of Four Leaf Studios is finished. As a single entity, we will not be producing another game. But even though our story has ended, you will now be able to experience a new story; the story that Four Leaf Studios existed to create.
That's really too bad to hear. "Never say never" and all that, but it's a real shame to think that after they all honed their respective talents to get here -- the artist became a better drawer, the author became a better writer, the programmer became a better coder, et cetera -- that they're each going to go their separate ways now. It would have been nice if they could have stuck around to make even one more game, even if it were only a sequel to or a second version of this original game (should it warrant a sequel or a second version), instead of disbanding so promptly and officially. Who knows, though: maybe "FourLeaf Studios" is going away in name only but will de facto be back in a few years' time under a new name and with 90% of the original team back on board. One can only hope.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:54 AM   #40
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I'm disappointed to read that but am not surprised.

Most VN groups really bank themselves on a single title or idea, then milk that idea for all its worth. It's sort of rare you get a writer who's part of a group that experiments with different ideas. Since the group is a doujin group without intent to earn money, they don't have much incentive or coinciding interests to keep the group together. All they had in common up to this point was producing KS.

KID was a bit different. The writer of Ever17 wasn't the same as Never7 and Remember11. KID was dedicated to certain type of stories and assembled a staff to conform to sculpt with that intent. KID never had a single title that they derived multiple spin-off stories off of.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #41
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Super Duper Initial First Impressions:


This is amazing. I have said "OH MY GOD! " or "This is amazing! " or "Wow! " no fewer than five times already and I'm only 0h10m into the game. Had to save my progress, turn the program off, and come here to post.

Writing: I'm very impressed with the writing so far. It feels very professional. KID grade or better. Now, before Doppel has a heart attack ^^;, let me just say, I'm only comparing the tone, vocabulary, sentence flow, making the mundane seem exciting, etc. I'm not saying anything about ...

Plot: So far, I haven't seen too much of the story. But what little I have seen has been very good. That was one hell of an opening scene. It feels like the Madoka of romance visual novel openings. "Not quite what you were expecting, eh? "

Graphics: My impressions here range from "Holy fucking shit " to "not bad. Not great, but not bad." Examples of the former are the CG of the hospital room, the CG of the school gate, and the opening video with the clock and EKG. Examples of the latter are the picture of Hisao with the girl who confessed to him and the character sprite (sprite? ) of his homeroom teacher, Mutou. All in all, I'm impressed, and from the look of things, the graphics could easily end up proving to be better than either Fate/Stay Night's or Remember11's. Very impressive stuff. Whoever did some of these will certainly have a job waiting for him in visual novel animation should he so choose to pursue it.

Music: Very nice stuff. Sets the tone wonderfully, very pleasant to listen to, doesn't get annoying after it loops for the nth time, and above all else is not intrusive in the slightest. This may change as I play more of the game and get to hear more of the music, but so far, I'm very impressed here too.

Can't wait to keep playing. Awwwwwwwww at Hanako in the picture I posted. lol @ Haruki (a.k.a. the genderbent version of Suzumiya Haruhi) sitting there in the front row. I had forgotten all about this from back when they first released the demo for the game. Priceless!
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #42
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I buckled down and started playing normally after a while since when I played the KS demo, I was but a padawan and had very little VN experience to draw from when evaluating the writing.

Thus far, I haven't been blown away, a clear difference from how I felt several years ago. The opening confession scene is still great, though.

I really wanted to ask BBB about this because he's more familiar with slice of life settings. All I have to draw from is...Muv-Luv Extra? YU-NO? Sharin and G-Senjou? Only in Extra's case would I really cite characters as the driving focus.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #43
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0h32m in. Misha and Shizune are pushing for me to join the student council, I can tell, though they haven't officially popped the question yet. (Right before I saved, Misha was all, "You like to read? Too bad! The Lit Club is all filled up!" and Shizune's all :3-faced and, "Yes, that really is too bad ... :3". hahahahaha)

Really, really loving this. So far, it doesn't feel like it's going to be as epic as Remember11 felt like it was going to be when I was 30 minutes into it, but so far Katawa Shoujo feels a lot more fun. I'm grinning from ear to ear while playing this. It's just very, very fun. Only time where I haven't been smiling is the scene where we met the nurse. I don't know if it was the quasi-sinister music or the long, slit-like smile he has, but I get the impression that he may be something of a villain or antagonist in this game. Speculation:

Spoiler: show
Wouldn't surprise me if he has his eyes on one or more of the girls and if, in order to get back at Hisao, he withholds Hisao's meds or swaps them with placebos or something.

But aside from his scene, everything's been all smiles.

I don't know if I've docked onto any routes yet (very unlikely), but I'm amazed at just how one-sided my experience has been so far. It almost feels like the Misha & Shizune Show with occasional cameos from Hanako. I haven't even been given the opportunity to talk to her yet, and as for the other three girls, I haven't even seen them yet, much less formally met them! Assuming I'm still on the general path, which I think I am, that's going to end up being one pitfall of Katawa Shoujo: that it's going to make me feel really, really awkward ditching Misha and Shizune to instead spend more time with any of the other four girls. The way the game starts off, it almost feels like you're meant to pair off with Shizune. I feel like I'm gonna break her heart by telling her, "I don't want to be a part of your stupid student council. I'd rather spend time being lovey-dovey with Hanako." ^^;

One interesting thing that's happening, and I'm not sure to what extent it was deliberate and to what extent it wasn't, is that it's very hard to tell when Misha is translating for Shizune versus when she's speaking for herself. I've had to really pay close attention to whenever they have Shizune saying "..." right before Misha talks. Ordinarily you just assume that the person who is speaking is speaking their own mind. But with Misha and Shizune, those rules no longer apply.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #44
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You're pretty far from where the character stuff branches off. I had forgotten just how difficult it is to deal with Misha and Shizune because it's tough to tell where Shizune's dialogue ends and Misha's begins. The impression is the two have the same personality given through Misha, but I'm hoping (expecting) that Hisao learns to sign and can talk with Shizune directly, giving him a straight route into what she's thinking.

I taught a deaf student in my AP European History workshops, and it wasn't nearly as difficult to deal with him as it is for Hisao and Shizune x Misha.

Also, why is Misha so fat? She's not in the character art-book but there's no denying she's round in the novel proper.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #45
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She's not fat! D: She's delightfully plump. [/differences of opinion]

Current progress: 0h52m, 4% completion - in the library

Spoiler: show
Misha and Shizune:
As expected, they were pressuring me to join the Student Council. I ended up playing the game of Risk with them (from the look of things, I think we all do, right?) and I decided to play defensively, thinking that Shizune was trying to psych me out. Maybe the player loses either way, I don't know, but in any event, I got a very detailed and choice-appropriate response from Shizune and Misha out of my choice, which was refreshing since most VNs usually give you only one or two throw-away screens' worth of choice-specific response at best before moving on.


Lilly:
So then I go upstairs looking for the library and met Lilly. Going into this game, I expected Lilly to be one of my least favorites. But I gotta say: I'm really diggin' her from this first encounter. She's no Hanako, but she's no slouch, that's for sure. Really looking forward to exploring her route later. But first things first ...


Hanako:
"YES! YES! " I shouted as I discovered Hanako in the library. Why all the excitement? Because: Doppel's always harping about "you should play the game as you really would if this were real life and not as if you're trying to wind up with a specific girl" and yet it's so delightful that when I do I still end up getting what I want. I did it with Ever17 and got Tsugumi (and not a single Bad End along the way to boot!) and now I've done it here with Katawa Shoujo. My intention from the beginning has been to try and get into the literature club and/or to pair off with the girl who likes reading since it seems like something I'd do if I were in Hisao's position. And would you look at that!? Hanako's the bookworm! >D<

Doppel: *shakes fist at Talon for getting what he wants even when he plays the game as if he were playing it in real life*

Well, it's not a done deal yet. I could always make decisions that drive Hanako away. So who knows. But I'm going to pick the choices as I naturally would and we'll see what results from here. But fuck yeah! One step closer to the Hanako path, baby!
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #46
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I'm not too far into it myself. I had to go to sleep right after it finished downloading. So right now, I'm after class on the second day. It's about lunch, and the deaf and screaming chubby invited me to lunch.

Initial impressions: I'm not too terribly impressed. I mean, I thought the first scene where the main character literally HNNNNGGGed was kinda amusing, and the background art's surprisingly good, but otherwise, I'm kinda indifferent. I think the best parts of this will be when we actually get into the character routes, so I'm anticipating that.

Also, this title has one huge flaw for me, and that is....The enter key doesn't progress with the text!
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:39 PM   #47
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Yeah, I prefer using Enter to using mouse clicks, too, especially since (from overuse over the years) the key I have mapped to do left clicks on my 360 controller (which I use as a remote control for my PC) is sticky and sometimes click-click-click-click-clicks in rapid fire, but ... it's not the end of the world. Wouldn't call it a "huge flaw." More of a small nuisance, really. And probably something which could be easily fixed with a patch or in a v.1.x or v.2.x should they ever decide to do any upgrades to this game before truly calling it a wrap.

"The screaming chubby" ... aww, am I the only one who likes/can tolerate Misha here? ^^; I think of her as a squishier, less annoying version of Kushieda from ToraDora. The "WAHAHAHA~!"s of Misha's, every time I hear 'em, I hear 'em in Horie Yui's Kushieda voice. I mean, just look. Isn't she just like Misha?

Girls interested in so far (ranked in order of interest): Hanako > Shizune > Misha > Lilly
Girls neither interested in nor disinterested in so far: Emi (haven't met), Rin (haven't met)
Girls disinterested in: ---

Rankings and category placements can and probably will change as I continue to play.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #48
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Current progress: 2h25m, 10% completion

Starting to wonder (rather optimistically ^^; ) if that percent completion is just for Act 1 or if it's for the entire game. I'd like to think that I've got tons of game left to explore, but seeing as there are only five routes beyond the common route, if that percent completion is for the game overall, then I'm certainly quickly approaching the route branch-off points. All the same, the game continues to be wonderful. I'd really put its writing a peg above FSN's and right around the same level as KID's. It's good writing. With very few words, the writer has really been able to give you a good sense of who these characters are and has brought them to life.

Spoiler: show
Emi:
So, I met Emi in the hallway chest-bump scene. I don't see why Doppel's most excited about this one. Sure, it'll be neat from a disability perspective to explore her route, but she seems to be the token spunky cheery loli in a cast of characters who are predominantly older. (Which is to say, the impression I get, and correct me if I'm wrong but, is that Misha, Shizune, Lilly, and Hanako are all seniors, that Rin is either a senior or a junior-sophomore, and that Emi is the only freshman.) I dunno. She seems ... nice, I guess? But she seems like a kid. Not like a romance-able. W/e, to each his own, I guess.

Rin:
This is probably the character I am now officially the least interested in. Not only do I not handle missing limbs well, not only do I not care for boyish women, but Rin's personality is a total turn-off for me. Not really a fan of the Quiet Eccentric character archetype. She seems like a nice enough person, don't get me wrong, but IRL Rin is already the first person on my list I could cross off in terms of wanting to hang out with them. Not because of her disability, not even because of her boyishness, but because of that personality. Major turnoff for me. I just ... don't deal with people like her very well. It's not the quietness (see: Hanako). And it isn't the eccentricity either (see: Misha). It's the combination of the two. An example that comes to mind is from School Rumble. Remember the quiet gunslinger girl, Takano Akira? Same exact character archetype. Boyish + Quiet + Just Plain Weird. That combo. Just ... it isn't for me. But I can respect that it is for some people. I can respect that not everyone would preference Hanako or Lilly or Shizune, so whatever.

Shower scene with Kenji, and Kenji in general:
So, I haven't commented on Kenji yet. I really like him. He's this game's Sunohara, but I think the staff did a great job of making him distinct enough from Sunohara so as to avoid claims that Kenji is a "Sunohara clone" while at the same time making him similar enough that he's just as much fun as Sunohara was in Clannad. The running gag with the feminist conspiracy is pretty funny -- I wonder what our resident female will think of it? -- and I absolutely loved the extreme heights he took it to in the shower scene. I forget the exact line, but the part where he says "motherfuckers" was just priceless. If the team had stayed together, I could easily have seen a smaller (like, a one-path-only) spin-off title starring Kenji.

Emi & the track:
So, the school nurse showed up again. Creepy-suspicious dude, I'm telling you~. Anyway, he says we have to exercise. So off Hisao goes to the track. And runs into Emi. There's no denying how bubbly-cute Emi is, and I'm really interested to see her path. That stated, I'm not interested to see the R18 side of things with her. Hopefully it's brief and tactfully done. Or something. Probably will end up railroading through it, though.

CAT FIGHT:
Oh my. :o That was some scene. Shizune was really tearing into Lilly and I thought it was very inappropriate. But, as per Doppel's advice that we choose our options based on how we would really do things IRL, I opted to go for the second choice, the one that's like, "Hey! Leave me out of this! I helped you, remember?" instead of the first choice, the one that's like, "Hey! Don't you think you're being a little hard on Lilly and me?" I did it because, IRL, I'd want everybody to be friends and would try to neutralize the situation by not picking sides. But in the end, as FourLeafStudios humorously pointed out to me, you wind up winning nobody over when you do that. And all the wrath of both Shizune and Lilly came pouring down upon me. Well, mostly Lilly, who I'm sorry to see felt betrayed by what she perceived as me throwing her to the wolves Shizune and Misha. I was kinda glad, though, to see that it +1'd my Shizune meter ...... only to then discover in the classroom scene that Shizune wasn't happy with me, either, and had Misha embarrass me during class as revenge. ^^; Shizune's one scary woman!

Current rankings are:
Interested: Hanako > Shizune > Misha > Lilly
Neither Interested nor Disinterested: ---
Disinterested: Emi, Rin

Obviously it's quite noticeable that there's no room at the top of the screen in the menu library for a Misha path, but I'm not abandoning hope entirely yet. She could end up being this game's Coco for all we know. Doubtful. Very doubtful. (If you asked me to bet, I'd say 90% "no path, they meant what they said" to 10% "path, SURPRISE! ".) But I'm still not abandoning hope. Needless to say, I'm avoiding the forums, too, so I don't find out from others one way or the other. So if you know the answer, don't you spoil me either!
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #49
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Two friends (Malcom, TLC) asked about Katawa Shoujo and they feel pretty repulsed at the concept. Malcom even knew a girl with Rin's disability but still isn't too keen on playing. I'm not sure how to write out the logic to persuade them, since TLC in particular is outright disgusted by the idea - "this game is saying disabilities are OK unless the girls are cute."

The idea to KS is to treat the characters as normal because the pretty much function normally. I'm not sure how to induce a logical override of an emotional repulsion that some people get from a story like this.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Two friends (Malcom, TLC) asked about Katawa Shoujo and they feel pretty repulsed at the concept. Malcom even knew a girl with Rin's disability but still isn't too keen on playing. I'm not sure how to write out the logic to persuade them, since TLC in particular is outright disgusted by the idea - "this game is saying disabilities are OK unless the girls are cute."

The idea to KS is to treat the characters as normal because the pretty much function normally. I'm not sure how to induce a logical override of an emotional repulsion that some people get from a story like this.
I don't know if you misquoted or if he misspoke or what, but what does he mean by "disabilities are OK"? OK to what? To be repulsed by? To turn a blind eye to and still love the person? To treat as normal? What does he mean? He's obviously taking issue with the difference between Katawa Shoujo's girls (who, despite their various physical deformities, have still been drawn to look mostly physically beautiful) and real-life physically deformed women. But what is this issue that he's taking?

If he believes that the game would be insulting to real people who have physical deformities or handicaps, I think he needs to seriously STFU and playtest the game. At only 420 MB to download and 900 MB of space needed to install (420 installation executable co-existing with 475 MB of extracted/installed data), completely free of charge and 100% legal, he really doesn't have any leg to stand on if he won't even at least give the game a try before condemning it. Reminds me of religious radicals who protest a movie as being blasphemous before they've even seen it because "they know" that it would be blasphemous ... and, lol, it turns out that the movie is actually not blasphemous (according to their beliefs; maybe to others', sure, but not to their own). Anyway, my point is, 3 hours into the game so far, I have been very satisfied with the level of professional maturity and realism that has gone into this product. All of the girls feel like authentic young people who have had physical disabilities for some time and who have already come to grips with it while the main character is someone who has only just become physically disabled and who is still coming to grips with that. His dialogue is very tactfully done and, as I play through the game, I can't help but to feel that I would be feeling or thinking some of the very same feelings he's feeling or thoughts he's thinking. And the girls' dialogues are even better. None of these girls is being portrayed as powerless (maaaaaybe with the exception of Hanako, but hers is precisely meant to be the story of a traumatized girl who learns courage and steps out of the shadow back into the light). Lilly is incredibly powerful. So is Shizune. So is Emi. So is Rin. Sure, Rin needs Emi's help to get clothed in the morning, but aside from that, Rin has been shown as ridiculously capable, a true testimony to real-life women who are born without arms but can still do amazing things. For a real-life example, here's Jessica Cox, an Arizona woman born without any arms who, amongst other things:
(1) has a black belt in tae kwon do
(2) has a pilot's license for civilian aircraft
Here she is on Youtube.

And what I'm saying is, Katawa Shoujo is the story of girls like these. So if your friend thinks that it's all about:
(1) creepy amputee fetishism or
(2) idolizing moeblobs while cruelly neglecting real-life physically disabled women,
then he's dead wrong. He's wrong about Idea 1 because, lol, I don't think a single one of us here is into that. And he's wrong about Idea 2 because the game's creators clearly wanted to challenge players' preconceptions about real-life disabled people and to start looking at them, and themselves, differently.

I dunno. If he's not willing to even give the game a fair shot, then there's no reasoning with him. Like, I could understand if he was saying, "I don't want to play because I hate anime-style games." This is definitely an anime-style game, and we'd be lying to him if we told him any differently in a bid to get him to play. But if his reason for hating it is, "I don't think I'm going to like how they portray disabled individuals," then I think he's mistaken.
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