Disabled Girl Dating Sim Katawa Shoujo Finally Available

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Blankdoor:

I can only second this, this is actually my first visual novel, and if the rest of them have story of this quality I might start playing more! I honestly like this game; I feel it's playing off some of my own insecurities. This game has inspired me to think more about the disabled people I know (Which are a lot, epileptic, deaf people, mentally ill to name a few).

The game simply plays differently to different people. I don't think this game should be condemned; it should be embraced by more, if you play it and the subject matter is not to your liking, then, fine.

Just don't judge this game by its cover, or judge the people playing it by the same standards. This game will continue to be interpreted differently by thousands of people for years to come, and if a handful of people are better for it, then why complain. If people use it to fulfil a fetish (it's not deranged or sick, just another fetish like the rest of them) then that's their own prerogative.

My two cents anyway ~Blank

Some ones I recommend are Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night.

@CarlMinez

Holy crap, you are Cooper Lawrence

VanQQisH:

He couldn't have possibly known at the time. And it's because of that moment that everything played out in the end. I still think Hanako's route is the best in the game, personally. I really got caught up in her emotions. It also had the best ending in my opinion, that final scene was really heartwarming.

I did Hanako's route first as I found her backstory and growth to be intriguing. It's the inherent contradiction of desiring both isolation and attachment. Her showing Hisao the full extent of her scars is a powerful scene.

Amusingly, this is the original sketch that inspired the whole project (found in a doujinshi by Valkyria Chronicles character designer Raita Honjou):

http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/image/9.jpg

Boman:
Snip.

This isn't a video game and shouldn't be thought of nor judged like one. It is a Visual Novel. A different genre entirely and one that is severely under-appreciated due to it's more 'adult' audience.

Aiddon:
Snip.

As someone who has always had a crippling complex of my appearance, I couldn't help but feel a really strong connection to her character. Mind you, she has life a whole lot worse than I ever did and I would never claim otherwise. She is a very strong girl.

Also, I'd be wary about recommending Fate/Stay Night to a beginner. What if he ends up in the Heaven's feel route. Then again, I once recommended Saya no Uta to a beginner and he's now read more VNs than I have. Some people will surprise you like that.

I've gone through Emi's storyline so far, getting both the good and the bad endings. (The bad endings are really depressing) Now I've gone with Lilly. It's great to just play/read through and follow this story on whichever path it takes you. It is very emotionally powerful... and you see that these girls are not portrayed as circus freaks or fetish objects, they have three-dimensional personalities.

VanQQisH:

This isn't a video game and shouldn't be thought of nor judged like one. It is a Visual Novel. A different genre entirely and one that is severely under-appreciated due to it's more 'adult' audience.

Yeah. Which makes me want to say read through instead of "play".

As someone who has always had a crippling complex of my appearance, I couldn't help but feel a really strong connection to her character. Mind you, she has life a whole lot worse than I ever did and I would never claim otherwise. She is a very strong girl.

I can connect to the severe social anxiety, I really felt a link with her too.

Huh. I've never really been into visual novels, but so far it's rather interesting. The art amazes me most. The backgrounds are all DRAWN! It took me some time to realise they weren't photos. They're so realistic it's mind-boggling.

So far, so good.

VanQQisH:

As someone who has always had a crippling complex of my appearance, I couldn't help but feel a really strong connection to her character. Mind you, she has life a whole lot worse than I ever did and I would never claim otherwise. She is a very strong girl.

Also, I'd be wary about recommending Fate/Stay Night to a beginner. What if he ends up in the Heaven's feel route. Then again, I once recommended Saya no Uta to a beginner and he's now read more VNs than I have. Some people will surprise you like that.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I've always found scarred women to be a fascinating aesthetic design. Not in a fetishistic way, GOD NO, but just...intriguing, and I don't know why.

Also, if I remember right it's impossible to get either Unlimited Blade Works (my favorite of the routes) or Heaven's Feel the first time around.

VanQQisH:

Also, I'd be wary about recommending Fate/Stay Night to a beginner. What if he ends up in the Heaven's feel route.

FSN's routes are in fixed order, you don't choose them.
I would recommend it.

But if I would recommend anything specifically after Katawa Shoujo, it would be "Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two". It deals with some very similar themes, and it has BEAUTIFUL art. In fact, I don't recommend it to beginners exactly because of that, that it would spoil them and they would see every other VN later as ugly, but those who already got used to KS, will be fine.

After playing it and actually finishing most of the story lines (I went into this game with so many prejudices that you don't wanna know) I will say that it's impressive. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the stories as they unfold.

Aiddon:

I know this is going to sound weird, but I've always found scarred women to be a fascinating aesthetic design. Not in a fetishistic way, GOD NO, but just...intriguing, and I don't know why.

Also, if I remember right it's impossible to get either Unlimited Blade Works (my favorite of the routes) or Heaven's Feel the first time around.

I've heard weirder things, trust me. I know people who find Balalaika from Black Lagoon utterly irresistible so it's hardly an alien concept.

Duruznik:
Huh. I've never really been into visual novels, but so far it's rather interesting. The art amazes me most. The backgrounds are all DRAWN! It took me some time to realise they weren't photos. They're so realistic it's mind-boggling.

So far, so good.

Are they really? I thought they were photographs with a filter over the top of them. I'm impressed. What impressed me more than that though were the animated cut scenes. They are masterfully done and the music to each fits perfectly.
Especially the piano piece in Hanako's cut scene. I wonder if there is a soundtrack for the game available for download. I will have to look into this.

VanQQisH:

I've heard weirder things, trust me. I know people who find Balalaika from Black Lagoon utterly irresistible so it's hardly an alien concept.

It's more like looking at a piece of art for me. There's just something about the design of women like Balalaika that fascinates me. Maybe it's because I find it gutsy to do something that (at face value) makes a person (mostly women) less physically desirable as opposed to the impeccable displays of airbrushed beauty people are too used to. Another example would be that boss from No More Heroes that had a bazooka leg or Rose McGowan's character in Planet Terror

VanQQisH:

Aiddon:

[quote="Duruznik" post="7.337056.13636762"]Huh. I've never really been into visual novels, but so far it's rather interesting. The art amazes me most. The backgrounds are all DRAWN! It took me some time to realise they weren't photos. They're so realistic it's mind-boggling.

So far, so good.

Are they really? I thought they were photographs with a filter over the top of them. I'm impressed. What impressed me more than that though were the animated cut scenes. They are masterfully done and the music to each fits perfectly.
Especially the piano piece in Hanako's cut scene. I wonder if there is a soundtrack for the game available for download. I will have to look into this.

*Facepalm* You're right.It could be a filter. It's hard to tell. Still, it's got impressive visuals, either way.

VanQQisH:
-snip-

Do let me know if you find one pls. I'd appreciate it, the music was amazing, especially the piano in Hanako's cutscene.

Edit: I'm an idiot, I just realized I wrote exactly what you did about the music... Eh, whatever, please let me know if you find it somewhere.

@Lovely_Mixture No, doing that is like counting the dots on the ceiling, there's too many. Way too many. Too may who post on articles who didn't even read it.

I myself Didn't like the idea itself at the start and I have never been into the genre ...

However, out of curiosty I did end up downloading it (since it is free and everything) and to be honest, I loved it! I was absobed into the story from the start and I loved how each character had their own backstories and mysteries that you can investigate and help them with!

Definitely deserves another playthrough!

(^ My first post in the Escapist forums ^_^)

Is it just me or is that Lelouch VI Britannia sitting in the middle of class... I swear that looks exactly like him.

Oh yeah and il check this out eventually.

Its actually suprisingly good. I've never really got into visual novels, and this is my first :D

Baller195:
I myself Didn't like the idea itself at the start and I have never been into the genre ...

However, out of curiosty I did end up downloading it (since it is free and everything) and to be honest, I loved it! I was absobed into the story from the start and I loved how each character had their own backstories and mysteries that you can investigate and help them with!

Definitely deserves another playthrough!

(^ My first post in the Escapist forums ^_^)

Welcome to the Escapist! My only advice is you stay out of the basement.

Also, talk about a memorable first post- posting on a thread about a disabled girl dating sim. :D

BlackSaint09:
Is it just me or is that Lelouch VI Britannia sitting in the middle of class... I swear that looks exactly like him.

Oh yeah and il check this out eventually.

It is, but they cut it out of the full release probably because it was way too obvious

Hmm, I'm intrigued...

But at the same time I have to ask why the escapist has become increasingly ok with content like this making the news... I mean that editorial was one thing, but this isn't an editorial...

Duruznik:

Baller195:
I myself Didn't like the idea itself at the start and I have never been into the genre ...

However, out of curiosty I did end up downloading it (since it is free and everything) and to be honest, I loved it! I was absobed into the story from the start and I loved how each character had their own backstories and mysteries that you can investigate and help them with!

Definitely deserves another playthrough!

(^ My first post in the Escapist forums ^_^)

Welcome to the Escapist! My only advice is you stay out of the basement.

Also, talk about a memorable first post- posting on a thread about a disabled girl dating sim. :D

Haha, Thanks! I will keep that in mind xD

And no regrets! I didn't expect to ever like a dating-simulator, but this one proved me wrong! And it only felt right that I would let others know how good it is before judging like I did at the start :P

Aiddon:

BlackSaint09:
Is it just me or is that Lelouch VI Britannia sitting in the middle of class... I swear that looks exactly like him.

Oh yeah and il check this out eventually.

It is, but they cut it out of the full release probably because it was way too obvious

I think it's just kind of a fun joke they had going.
Riitsu from K-ON! is in there as well.

Kakashi on crack:
Hmm, I'm intrigued...

But at the same time I have to ask why the escapist has become increasingly ok with content like this making the news... I mean that editorial was one thing, but this isn't an editorial...

Increasingly? Were you even paying attention during John Funk's reign, AKA the newsmaster of Eroge and Pokémon?!

About 4 hours in now. It is still extremely "meh". Everyone keeps praising the writing. Why? Sure, it may be slightly better than most VNs, but it certainly isn't anything to swoon over in the writing world. Do you people ever actually read anything?

VanQQisH:

CarlMinez:

I don't have to play the bloody game to have the right to say that I think this is an awful way of handling a delicate issue, given its genre alone. And I'm pretty much that most experts and people within the disabled community would agree. Nor do I think that they'd be particularly impressed with a few gamers claiming that it actually has a, what did you call it, a romantic storyline?

You are aware, aren't you? That several experts and disabled folk had a helping hand in advising on this game? You seem pretty adamant for someone so poorly educated on the context.
You know, you could always try the game and actually form a valid opinion based on evidence you have seem yourself rather than on sheer speculation.
It's a very nice game, nothing groundbreaking but still very unique in it's premise and development. It's completely unique in those regards, so any self respecting gamer would consider it worth seeing with their very eyes.
And I'm sure the many experts and disabled people of the world can do without your pity. They are human too, is it really that bad that someone in the real world would fall in love with and enter an intimate relationship with a blind girl? Or a burns victim? Wouldn't that be a heartwarming thing to see? To know there are those out there who are willing to look past such things? Or should we forever ostracize anyone with a disability and refuse them any form of human contact? Why should it be any different in a game? I'd have to say, your opinion on the matter is a little... disgusting in my opinion.

I'm not sure if you're too eager to jump into another debate to actually read the comments you're replying to or what's going on because I'm not sure what you're trying to prove.

I'm not claiming to be anything else than "adamant" nor to be "educated on the context", whatever the heck that supposed to mean. I made it clear that my original comment was not some sort of valid opinion given evidence or an invitation to a debate for that matter, it was a personal opinion given what I knew at the same. And the only reason I've been replying to this horde of nasty retorts I've gotten is to clarify just that.

But to be honest, I can't say that the arguments I've been presented with so far have done much to change my opinion. I still don't see a dating simulator featuring the choice to date and fuck disabled characters rather than just "normal" kids as the statement of equality that most people on this thread is praising it of being.

And even if it was then fuck what a sad world don't we live in?

Now I don't care if this game features more text than the lord of the rings trilogy or the longest digestion period ever. It sure as hell not going to convince me to give it a chance. Now you seem rather convinced that this game, if anything, is going to help the disabled community and I find that hard to believe, but If I have to play the game to prove you wrong then it's not worth it.

As you can tell by my post count I don't visit Escapist often, but after playing this game I eventually got led to this thread. As a frequent /v/ goer I've become interested in this VN after what seemed to be an explosion of popularity on the board. After playing it I come to /v/ to see other's reactions. Eventually I stumble upon this image, I think it speaks for itself on how touching the game really is.

http://i.imgur.com/fyIS8.jpg

I think the issue is what has been said multiple times already. Despite the fact that they've made a game exclusively featuring handicapped persons, it's still a form of discrimination. The better (as far as I believe) route would be to instead include a handicapped person or persons in a regular dating sims.

I have not played it, but I'm downloading it as we speak. I may edit my comment later.

VanQQisH:

Aiddon:

I know this is going to sound weird, but I've always found scarred women to be a fascinating aesthetic design. Not in a fetishistic way, GOD NO, but just...intriguing, and I don't know why.

Also, if I remember right it's impossible to get either Unlimited Blade Works (my favorite of the routes) or Heaven's Feel the first time around.

I've heard weirder things, trust me. I know people who find Balalaika from Black Lagoon utterly irresistible so it's hardly an alien concept.

Duruznik:
Huh. I've never really been into visual novels, but so far it's rather interesting. The art amazes me most. The backgrounds are all DRAWN! It took me some time to realise they weren't photos. They're so realistic it's mind-boggling.

So far, so good.

Are they really? I thought they were photographs with a filter over the top of them. I'm impressed. What impressed me more than that though were the animated cut scenes. They are masterfully done and the music to each fits perfectly.
Especially the piano piece in Hanako's cut scene. I wonder if there is a soundtrack for the game available for download. I will have to look into this.

That is because the animated scenes were done by Mike Inel, he is an amazing animator, i highly suggest you go look at his deviantart page if you like the in game animated scenes,

I can safely say that this game is pretty tasteful.
It doesn't have many explicit scenes, and the whole disabled subject is handled very well. Girls aren't defined by their disabilities, neither are they just "Normal girls who have no legs". Each of them has a rich and vibrant personality.
For example, Shizune is a strict member of the student council, who gives it her all in practically everything she does. She gives off a serious atmosphere, but is actually pretty immature. She's very smart, completing her work for the MC and her best friend pretty much every time they are in a group. She's excellent at Risk and Chess. She has a rivalry with Lily, whom she hates due to Lily's refusal to put all her effort into anything. As the leader of the Student council, she took on more and more things to try and get more responsibility and give the students a greater voice. This ended up driving away most of the Student council. She loves stuffed animals.

Now guess which girl that is. Most of you can't, because the whole thing is handled tastefully. But the disabilities do play a part in the story, for example, Shizune is deaf, and the first part of the story revolves around the Main Character trying to learn sign language in order to be closer to her. She also has very little friends, because so few people understand her.

I do think this is an amazing game, and it really proves a point how most people say the game is "Sick and twisted" despite having a premises that should be perfectly fine in an equal society.

CarlMinez:

I'm not sure if you're too eager to jump into another debate to actually read the comments you're replying to or what's going on because I'm not sure what you're trying to prove.

I'm not claiming to be anything else than "adamant" nor to be "educated on the context", whatever the heck that supposed to mean. I made it clear that my original comment was not some sort of valid opinion given evidence or an invitation to a debate for that matter, it was a personal opinion given what I knew at the same. And the only reason I've been replying to this horde of nasty retorts I've gotten is to clarify just that.

But to be honest, I can't say that the arguments I've been presented with so far have done much to change my opinion. I still don't see a dating simulator featuring the choice to date and fuck disabled characters rather than just "normal" kids as the statement of equality that most people on this thread is praising it of being.

And even if it was then fuck what a sad world don't we live in?

Now I don't care if this game features more text than the lord of the rings trilogy or the longest digestion period ever. It sure as hell not going to convince me to give it a chance. Now you seem rather convinced that this game, if anything, is going to help the disabled community and I find that hard to believe, but If I have to play the game to prove you wrong then it's not worth it.

But it's not a dating simulator. It is a visual novel with a linear progression of story, no different from any other novel except it has pictures, music and you are able to guide the story to a limited extent with a set of choices provided at key points in the plot. You seem to be of the opinion that sex is some kind of goal in this game, and that is flat out wrong. The FACT of the matter is that this game centers on the characters and their growth as young adults learning to cope with each other and their own limitations. Even the (rather short) sex scenes spend seventy five percent of their time focusing on the emotions occurring rather than the actual fucking. "You" aren't even the one doing the fucking. The main character (Hisao) is. If this was a dating simulator, you'd be able to input your own name and... well, simulate dating. There is no difference between this and a romantic movie or novel that features a sex scene in it.

I know you aren't going to give this game a shot. That's okay, Visual Novels are not for everyone. But please stop labeling it as something it isn't. That's not an opinion, that's an false statement.

I'm not saying that this will benefit the disabled or harm them. I'm just correcting some false assumptions you seem to have made. Because after all, it must be impossible to include sex in a story or game and have it be handled tastefully, maturely and with respect to the subject matter at hand, right?

Now having played down every path, with good, and both bad endings for each but one girl. Got it right the first time, and didn't have the heart to make anything go badly with her..

I can honestly said this is some of the best writing I have seen in a game. Not only in script, each scene, every second of music, and the character art itself is just filed down to something near resembling perfection.

This might be the fangirl in me of dating sims/visual novels, but this is without a doubt the best visual novel(I refuse to call it a dating sim, as once chapter one is over, the girl is already decided, so there isn't much "dating" to be had in the usual term) I have ever played. I love it, and everybody in it to death.

Thank you four leaf studios.

/fangirl rant over

Actually no. I forgot: The sex.

This might be one thing that bothered me most having read over the forum, mentions of sexplotation and fetishes, this is not true. Not one bit. I can't really say much about sexplotation except that no, it isn't true.

As far as fetish on the disabled goes.. If you find have it, you will think about that, fair enough. But not once, not for a single second of the story is this novel in any way catered to those fetishes, the disabilities are there, sure.

And for atleast one of the characters the physical disability is a core story element. But never once is it brought up as flavor for the sex scenes, or as catering to the fetishistic.

Again, thank you four leaf studios. For making this novel. For making me cry and squee with happiness.

Alright. End rant.

I want to thank the Escapist for introducing me to this VN. It's the first VN I've ever read through, and it was very powerful.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever been more emotionally invested in anything from any other kind of media, and I've read a lot of books and played a lot of games.

As others have stated, I was skeptical about this when I read the title of the article. After reading through it, since it's free and all, I immediately retracted all previous skepticism.

Baller195:

Duruznik:

Baller195:
I myself Didn't like the idea itself at the start and I have never been into the genre ...

However, out of curiosty I did end up downloading it (since it is free and everything) and to be honest, I loved it! I was absobed into the story from the start and I loved how each character had their own backstories and mysteries that you can investigate and help them with!

Definitely deserves another playthrough!

(^ My first post in the Escapist forums ^_^)

Welcome to the Escapist! My only advice is you stay out of the basement.

Also, talk about a memorable first post- posting on a thread about a disabled girl dating sim. :D

Haha, Thanks! I will keep that in mind xD

And no regrets! I didn't expect to ever like a dating-simulator, but this one proved me wrong! And it only felt right that I would let others know how good it is before judging like I did at the start :P

I know the feel, heh. I'm 5 hours in, and really getting into it. It's weird, because I always kinda looked down on this whole genre. It's like becoming a Brony all over again.

The wriing so far is pretty solid, and the characters likeable. I like how they're essentially treating the disabled folks just like any other characters, instead of falling into the cliche tropes of either makng them pitiful sacks of misery or super-human overcompensators.

Downloaded, played, and suddenly it was tomorrow and I was crying.

Just finished my first route (Hanako) and let me just say that anyone who thinks that this is a fetishtic game is sorely mistaken. I genuinely enjoyed the interactions with the girl and the troubles that the main character and her had to face. The good ending was brilliantly well done and tugged at my heartstrings in all manners that heartstings could be tugged. Frankly I don't think I have the heart to go for Hanako's bad ending because I love the character so much. However I am mentally exhausted after being put on an emotional roller coaster and I'm going to need a break before the next route (Lilly). I'm happy that I picked this up as my first VN.

/end 2cents

CarlMinez:

Now I don't care if this game features more text than the lord of the rings trilogy or the longest digestion period ever. It sure as hell not going to convince me to give it a chance. Now you seem rather convinced that this game, if anything, is going to help the disabled community and I find that hard to believe, but If I have to play the game to prove you wrong then it's not worth it.

The problem isn't that you don't think that it will *help* the disabled community. I don't think that, either. And it's OK, because it's not supposed to be a great anti-ableist tract, just a heartwarming story for Visual Novel fans to enjoy.

The problem is this:

CarlMinez:

This is probably, regardless of the motivation, the worst, most clusmy and insensitive way to handle this issue imaginable.

Basically, you are mixing your own tastes, with stements about a whole MEDIUM, and which issues it shouldn't be allowed to treat certain themes, based on your vague stereotypes about how that medium works. That's exactly the kind of bullshit that has been holding back all kinds of media and art. "I don't know how it is executed, but I heard that it's medium is known to be vulgar, so I will just make it clear that it is a bad work."

And this is the kind of thing that you can't just cover up with an "imho". "I'm disturbed by the idea of sex senes with high schoolers, so I won't read it" is a resonable opinion, even if you have never seen a sex scene with a high schooler, you just KNOW what you fel about the issue. But "This work is insensitively, clumsily, badly executed" isn't the kind of thing that you should say when you are only vaguely aware of even the work's genre or medium, let alone it's style.

You DON'T KNOW if it's pornographic, you DON'T KNOW if it's insensitive. You even seem to have trouble grasping it's genre.

Aiddon:

@CarlMinez

Holy crap, you are Cooper Lawrence

We are being too kind. At least Cooper Lawrence admitted that she "misspoke" about Mass Effect, when it was pointed out. CarlMinez seems to have a trouble with even believing that it's players are better at identifying a game's genre or medium, than himself who read an article about it.

In a "Sexual" sense this game can be considered disgusting (I mean that as in a person playing it simple because "It's Hot" or something like that.)

However in a purely romantic sense, I can see this game as being positive and actually rather heartwarming. It's treating the disabled as, well, people. They have emotions and, despite any disabilities, can fall in love like the rest of us. If anything, I'd say it's more offensive to say this game is wrong/should be banned. It's basically saying that people with disabilities shouldn't get romance stories or fall in love and should, instead, just be shoved off to the sidelines because either it's "icky" or because you fear that someone, somewhere on the planet gets kicks out of romancing the disabled.

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