Disabled Girl Dating Sim Katawa Shoujo Finally Available

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LilithSlave:
I'm a girl and Umineko no Naku Koro ni is my favourite "weird Japanese porn game".

I'm pretty much a sex addict help me. Next I'll be romancing up pigeons...

Are you sarcastic, or is my information about Umineko not having erotic content wrong?

I'm seriously laughing at the people who discard this as a mere 'porn game for people with sick fetishes'.

It's a perfect example of the human nature that judges before you actually give it some thought, or before you give it a try.

I decided to have a look on 4chan the other day, a place i'd never previously ventured. There was a sticky announcing the release of KS on /a/ with about 300 posts, I thought there was a second coming of christ or /a/ equivalent; another season of Madoka. Took me about 10 minutes just trying to work out what they were downloading.

I like how it title says "Finally Out" as if everyone wanted to play a disabled girl dating sim

Irru:
I'm seriously laughing at the people who discard this as a mere 'porn game for people with sick fetishes'.

It's a perfect example of the human nature that judges before you actually give it some thought, or before you give it a try.

I speak as someone who knows and played dating syms. I repeat, they were all the trend back in my college days; we'd play them together and then discuss the characters and such.

So, yeah, even though I don't play dating syms anymore, I know the genre really well. And precisely because I know the genre so well, I call it for what it is.

1) It's not a videogame.

2) Despite the (usually crazy) plot, and despite how complex it may be, it all boils down to being a DATING SYM. Even the tamest game ever (the Angelique series) deep down boils only to dating a virtual character.

I did enjoy my share of dating syms, I repeat. I still have the whole collection of them because yes, I did actually buy them. Not to mention that I also bought official capture guides (from Japan) and such. And of course I still keep them because it was indeed fun!

All I'm saying is, I know people play those games because they have fun with the story and characters. But keep in mind, the objective of the game is always to get the virtual girl/boy. Don't take them too seriously, or that makes me laugh.

But if I were to play this dating sym about disable people, I wouldn't call it a videogame nor a videogame with a deep story touching important subject. Because it's not. And because I know dating syms well, I know what they are.

Visual Novel =/= Dating Sim, come on are you guys even trying? While the two may overlap (a VN might have dating sim elements or vice versa) they're entirely different things. Let's get this straight:

The difference is that a visual novel is mostly a linear story with choice points that influence the outcome and dating sims are statistic based dating games that repeat the same formula over and over again. Going by these definitions, something like Dragon Age or Mass Effect has more dating sim elements than Katawa Shoujo has.

LilithSlave:
I'm a girl and Umineko no Naku Koro ni is my favourite "weird Japanese porn game".

Its complete lack of porn certainly is tantalizing.

I'm pretty much a sex addict help me. Next I'll be romancing up pigeons...

I'll help you!

With romancing the pigeons, that is.

kuolonen:

Febel:

God forbid someone with disabilities actually understand the problems of other disabled people and thus be more willing to date them, as opposed to only seeking out "perfectly healthy people"

Hey! Stop right there! Dont you dare to bring reason into this comment section. Only kneejerk shallow displays of disgust are allowed here!

Right, sorry, sorry. Um..."GRRR THIS GAME MAKES ME DISGUSTED! NASTY PERVERTS! GRRRR."

Febel:

GreatTeacherCAW:

God forbid someone with disabilities actually understand the problems of other disabled people and thus be more willing to date them, as opposed to only seeking out "perfectly healthy people"

So you are telling me that disabled people only fantasize about having relations (sexual or not) with other disabled people, whom are placed into a nice cozy special school because of their disabilities? Blind people only seek out blind people, etc. I think they'd be more willing to date them because of low self esteem. Aren't you Escapist guys all about SUPER EQUALITY with the weird sexual preferences that go on here? Why must they seek out other disabled people?

I really shouldn't have said "perfectly healthy people" on this forum, with all of the self-diagnosed mental disorders that people throw around like a frisbee. But how is this any different from a game that lets people with cutting fetishes date others with the same? Why is it so damn set on the disabled part? Why can't I choose?

Nope, that's not what I'm telling you at all. I'm saying they might be more eager to seek out someone who understands what they go through. And besides, the game was, from the beginning, intended to focus on the disabiled girls since thats what it's inspiration did. If you want a game with normal girls go check out some other dating sim. Also you used "whom" wrongly.

I think i heard about this game some years agon very demotivational.
I can't tell wether to vomit out of disgust or to give them a pat on the pat on the back for recognizing disabled peoples (albeit as unexpected as it is)

rhodo:

I speak as someone who knows and played dating syms. I know the genre really well. And precisely because I know the genre so well, I call it for what it is. It all boils down to being a DATING SYM... Even the tamest game ever (the Angelique series) deep down boils only to dating a virtual character... But keep in mind, the objective of the game is always to get the virtual girl/boy. Don't take them too seriously, or that makes me laugh... And because I know dating syms well, I know what they are.

Yet, apparently you don't know anything about VISUAL NOVELS. You just wrote down the entire genre as "pathetic nerds sugar-coating the name of dating syms", even if your definition of Dating sims is objectively wrong for most of them.

First of all, there many of them, such as Higurashi, where there are no romantic options AT ALL. It's just a horror/thriller story, where no one hooks up with anyone No kissing, no sex, no dating. And it's a Visual Novel. There are others, like Fate/Stay Night and Ever 17, where the main suspense/adventure plot is oly supported by some romantic subplots, in the same way as it is common in every other genre. And then there are stories like Katawa Shoujo, where the main plot IS a romance, but your statement about the "objective" to "get the virtual girl" is still ridiculously wrong, since they follow the Visual Novel execution, and rather than a simulator where you plan the details of a date, they are as linear text just like any other romance novel, except that there are also pictures and music. Some visual novels don't even give the option to choose routes.

As darkmind35 said, Mass Effect or Dragon Age are closer to Dating Sims than a Visual Novel, that is closer to actual novels. Or rather, comic books.

Seriously, I think it's much more insensitive to say that such a game shouldn't exist. I've seen a couple people say it already, but don't handicapped people deserve to be loved as well? A lot of people seem to have a problem with the fact that the game revolves entirely around dating the handicapped girl...would you rather there be a game that only has one handicapped girl as a possibility amongst an assortment of otherwise goddess-class anime girls? What are the odds of the girl in the wheelchair getting picked over the bouncy class president/head of the girl's swim team?

RJ 17:
Seriously, I think it's much more insensitive to say that such a game shouldn't exist. I've seen a couple people say it already, but don't handicapped people deserve to be loved as well? A lot of people seem to have a problem with the fact that the game revolves entirely around dating the handicapped girl...would you rather there be a game that only has one handicapped girl as a possibility amongst an assortment of otherwise goddess-class anime girls? What are the odds of the girl in the wheelchair getting picked over the bouncy class president/head of the girl's swim team?

Actually, I think it would be pretty good. Weakness is moe. There is also a classic "ill girl" archetype common in stories, though that's not a specific disability, just a perpertually bedridden girl.

Also, as I sid, there are already other visual novel heroines like the half-eyed, anterograde amnesiac Chihiro in "ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two", though that's an entirely linear VN plot, so her being picked is not a question.

Disability in Visual Novels is not a new thing, this one only got publicity on gaming sites because it's a very hyped western work.

Calling Katawa Shoujo a "Dating Sim" is one of the most fundamentally inaccurate descriptions of it I've ever seen, and really quite unfair to it and others of the same genre. There's a reason these games are known as -Visual Novels-, with emphasis on "Novel". Anyone who has read a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book would know that Visual Novels are identical in concept, except that the medium is electronic, and you click instead of flip pages (I'd say VN's have images to match, but I remember the CYOA books have images too). It's really no different from reading a romantic story book written by, say Nicholas Sparks, except if his books was a CYOA with built-in music.

All stories revolve around the fact that they have a specific setting for them, no matter what you do. Why wasn't the Illiad set in modern day Europe with fighter jets and nuclear weapons, or why isn't Pride and Prejudice set in the Stone Age, or why is X-Men a story about mutants instead of a story about normal people? Katawa Shoujo isn't any different from its story being set in a school for the disabled. But as the story itself shows, there's a very good reason why it's done so. If Katawa Shoujo wasn't about crippled people, its entire story would fall apart quite easily, such is how well crafted its story is (weak as it is in some of the routes).

People here say the girls aren't defined by their disabilities, but I think that's a misstatement. No, the girls aren't all about their "defects" (the term Hisao, the main character uses), but it's hard to imagine the girls being anything without their defects. However, their conditions complement and shape their personality in ways that are both logical and not overbearing, they accentuate their person rather than define it (ex. Lilly is precise and careful, not just because she's blind, but because she was once in a strict Catholic all-girls school). And KS goes to show the practical effects of each disability, while at the same time showing that these characters do not use their disabilities as excuses not to be the best they can be - Shizune is a deaf-mute requiring her friend Misha to translate everything she says, yet is a highly dynamic student council president, Lilly is blind yet inquisitive and kind, Rin has no arms yet is a painter and artist etc... These are very fleshed-out personalities, despite being born out of stereotypes, and not at all exploitative or demeaning. I've seen more thought put into this game on the treatment and perception of people with disabilities than in many other mainstream media I've seen. The game makes a very good point: while people with disabilities will always have needs that non-disabled do not have, they are people like you and me first and foremost, and their disabilities will only be a big deal if you let yourself think it is.

The main controversy of this entire piece though is that this game has sex scenes. And yes there are sex scenes, that is indisputable. However, there is an option to turn them off, and the majority of them are tasteful examples, and not particularly glorifying, nor fetishisizing - in fact, most of the scenes give minimum focus on the particular disabilities at all. The conditions are only covered in the sex scenes when they logically have to, rather than being the centerpiece. And for most of the routes except one, you can actually cut out all of the sex scenes and still have a 100% complete story. Even with that sole exception though (which occurs in my personal favorite route), the sex is used as part of the story in a bittersweet manner that appeals more to the heart than to the crotch, and which is used as the springboard for much emotionally heartbreaking character development. In fact, if anyone were to get into Katawa Shoujo thinking to use it as a "fapping tool", it would be very difficult to do so. No, not because the girls are disfigured or have disabilities, but because by the time you get to those scenes (once you finish 75% of the game) you've come to know and respect the characters so much that the sex scenes feel entirely unnecessary, a feeling the story supports.

What strikes me the most about the game though is how much people with actual disabilities can relate to at least one aspect of either the story or a character. For me, it was Hanako's route, about the shy introverted girl with scars covering half her body. I was diagnosed with autism at a very young age, and though I had lots of support to overcome it it's hard not to have shreds of introversion. While my condition is different from the aforementioned character's, reading through Hanako's story was like looking at a mirror of my past self, of my thoughts and actions on how I was as an introvert, right down to her exact line, "I... don't like people, so I don't mind not having many friends.", words I have said at one time or another. And I've heard of testimony from a lot of others with at least a form of disability or know someone with disabilities who've played the game, and agree with the sentiment: there is much in this story that's relateable.

Objectively, Katawa Shoujo isn't something that I'd call a "Masterpiece" by any stretch due to a couple of slips in the story writing, but the fact that it has made me laugh, cry, and most of all think is something I would not attribute to something made simply for "cripple porn fetishists". This is a labor of love, not lust.

Finally, this game was not made in Japan despite the origin being Japanese art. This game was made by an grassroots international team who simply take inspiration from their love of anime and manga.

I think it's good the game was made, why not make a dating sim about disabled people?

The thing that weirds me out is the people who are going to buy it, do people go out looking for love IRL and it just happens to be with a disabled person or do they go out with the intent of getting a disabled person?

The same as will people just buy this game for teh lolz or what?

omega 616:
I think it's good the game was made, why not make a dating sim about disabled people?

The thing that weirds me out is the people who are going to buy it, do people go out looking for love IRL and it just happens to be with a disabled person or do they go out with the intent of getting a disabled person?

The same as will people just buy this game for teh lolz or what?

It's free, no one buys it. And most of the fans who were waiting for it are general visual novel fans, who are interested in that the writers can do with this particular setting.

After playing the whole way through one of the routes, it becomes clear that this game is definitely not porn.
In fact, the more physically intimate moments in the route I played seemed to be handled rather...awkwardly, and you can tell that the authors weren't entirely comfortable with having to write them in at all.

omega 616:
The thing that weirds me out is the people who are going to buy it, do people go out looking for love IRL and it just happens to be with a disabled person or do they go out with the intent of getting a disabled person?

Unfortunate as it may sound, 'dating sims' don't train you to become better at dating.

Interestingly the idea for this game came from a quip in a doujinshi by the character designer of Valkyria Chronicles

Colinmac93:
People were actually waiting for something like this? Dating sims always came across as creepy and stupid to me, but this one is just taking the piss.

Edit: Actually, I wanna know why all of the physically disabled people are all in the one class. I bet there's some strange reason for that in the game.

From the description it seems to be that the main character attends a school for the physically disabled because of his heart condition.

omega 616:

The thing that weirds me out is the people who are going to buy it, do people go out looking for love IRL and it just happens to be with a disabled person or do they go out with the intent of getting a disabled person?

It's a linear written story, not a simulation. It has a word count of 400.000, almost as much as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's a romantic novel about a boy with a heart condition, trying to fit into this school for disabled students, and falling in love. It is pretty hyped among people who are interested in a serious, unique romantic story.

darkmind35:
Visual Novel =/= Dating Sim, come on are you guys even trying? While the two may overlap (a VN might have dating sim elements or vice versa) they're entirely different things. Let's get this straight:

The difference is that a visual novel is mostly a linear story with choice points that influence the outcome and dating sims are statistic based dating games that repeat the same formula over and over again. Going by these definitions, something like Dragon Age or Mass Effect has more dating sim elements than Katawa Shoujo has.

It amazes me how many people get this wrong. One would assume that the names of the genres speak for themselves, i.e. dating sims being actual simulations of dating and visual novels being, well, lots of stuff to read with visual context.

Imperator_DK:
I'll help you!

With romancing the pigeons, that is.

0_0 I...I don't even...that's a joke right? That's not actually real...is it?

OmniscientOstrich:

Imperator_DK:
I'll help you!

With romancing the pigeons, that is.

0_0 I...I don't even...that's a joke right? That's not actually real...is it?

It's both, really.

It's a real game, but "Bird's love" would be an obvious parody of the "Boy's love" romance games sold in Japan to women and gay men.

You really can find the strangest things when it comes to visual novels, but then there's also something like Katawa Shoujo (or this other game The Escapist reported on), which is by all accounts a quality story (regardless of the pornography implemented in, or at least attached to it).

Imperator_DK:
It's both, really. It's a real game, but "Bird's love" would be an obvious parody of the "Boy's love" romance games sold in Japan to women and gay men.

Ohhhh, right, it's a yoai pardoy, yeah I see what they did thar. :3

Imperator_DK:
You really can find the strangest things when it comes to visual novels, but then there's also something like Katawa Shoujo (or this other game The Escapist reported on), which is by all accounts a quality story (regardless of the pornography implemented in, or at least attached to it).

Hmm, so it's more a story with porn, then a porn with story in a sense? (If you couldn't tell already, I'm rather unfamiliar with the subject matter, beyond the odd reference/jibe in something like Lucky Star XD) But yeah, strange is definately the word.

OmniscientOstrich:

Hmm, so it's more a story with porn, then a porn with story in a sense? (If you couldn't tell already, I'm rather unfamiliar with the subject matter, beyond the odd reference/jibe in something like Lucky Star XD) But yeah, strange is definately the word.

Definitely. It's about 99% plot, 1% porn. And that's not an exaggeration, maybe it's an even lower rate. There is basically less sex than in an average Hollywood movie, except that when there is, it happens to be more graphic.

Just try out this one, it's free anyways. The first hour of the story gives a pretty good idea about it's style.

My friend convinced me to download the game about a few hours before this was posted XD
I'm not a huge dating sim fanatic, but honestly it's a lot more like a book with illustrations than a video game. To top it off, the backgrounds are FREAKING AMAZING. I honestly thought some of them were pictures till I looked really close to my screen to see the brushstrokes. Plus, its a really well written story. I'd definetly recommend this to anyone in need of something new to read, and you can always turn the adult content filter on if that's not (given that it often isn't) your thing.

OmniscientOstrich:
...
Hmm, so it's more a story with porn, then a porn with story in a sense? (If you couldn't tell already, I'm rather unfamiliar with the subject matter, beyond the odd reference/jibe in something like Lucky Star XD)

Yep. And if it's like most other quality visual novels (at least those of them which feature explicit content, which far from all visual novels do), then it'll be 99,9 % story, and 0,01 % porn.

...not that explicit erotic depictions need be merely "porn", they can have plenty of artistic merit to them, and be an integrated part of the story. But when solely/also aimed at arousal, then there's of course also a "porn" aspect to it. And most games which feature sex do seem to have that purpose as well in doing so (not sure about Katawa Shoujo though).

You guys have no idea how the way you defend dating syms by stressing on calling them "visual novels" has me utterly amused. Well, I also pity you a bit, but I'm mostly amused. XD

rhodo:
You guys have no idea how the way you defend dating syms by stressing on calling them "visual novels" has me utterly amused. Well, I also pity you a bit, but I'm mostly amused. XD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_sim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_novel

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DatingSim
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VisualNovel

Downloaded it and read through (not really "played" seeing as its a visual novel) a couple of the stories. There's definitely substance there - they obviously put a lot of effort into making it.

i must say, when i saw the title, i was worried it meant "mentally disabled", which would have been awful, but now i can breath a sigh of relief.

fascinating concept, though, i would definitely check it out if dating sims appealed to me in the slightest.

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

Alterego-X:

rhodo:
You guys have no idea how the way you defend dating syms by stressing on calling them "visual novels" has me utterly amused. Well, I also pity you a bit, but I'm mostly amused. XD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_sim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_novel

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DatingSim
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VisualNovel

Keep deluding yourself if that makes you feel better. :)

as an overall eroge from anons from 4chan it's not that bad of game. I don't call the dating sims people "there not unless you play shitty flash games from new-grounds" However I am still surprised this finally did come out after being in that four year limbo. When I have the chance I will do a review of game but I am holding off until I have seen most of endings.

This aside I love the visual novel market/eroge's and If openly recommend this game for anyone to play if you are new to the genre. Now excuse me will i go off an finish little busters from key/visual arts...

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

Let me guess. You didn't actually check out HOW it is handled in the plot.

4 Leaf studios? So basically this game was developed by 4chan, and it is exactly the kind of thing I would expect to see from them that doesn't involve appallingly illegal pornography. That being said, kudos for making something original.

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