Visual Novels with LEGIT interesting/make me to care Protagonist

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It is very strange isn't it?
Most of the times the Protagonists in VN are "blank" characters, ready to "fill" them with a specific personality after a number of decisions we made in the whole game....
But I really love actually to see actual real Protagonist with interesting colorful personalities.
Right now as far I remember the recent games which have these Protagonists are:
Steins;Gate
No one But You
One Thousand Lies

Do you know other games with Protagonist I would care for
*obviously no Spoilers for the suggestions*
Thank you.

Fruit of Grisaia prolly has the best protag in any VN, everyone in that game is a mystery but the protagonist is arguably the biggest one. Can't spoil too much, the story is initially a joke slice of life school situation that turns into a spy and special forces drama half way through.

Be ready for some dark shit, also I'd recommend you get it from Denpasoft.com as opposed to Steam cause they censored it.

Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

Ravinoff:
Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

Truth to be told, even if I liked this game, the Protagonist was very forgetable. Yes, he had an interesting story, but his character was not something special to me at least.
But I digress. It was long I played this game and maybe I don't remember right....

Yuuji from Grisaia seconded from me, he's easily the best character in the entire VN. Michiru is still based girl though.

Others include Kyousuke (the utter sociopath) from G-Senjo No Maou and Kenichi (the absolute weirdo) from Sharin no Kuni, both games from Akabeisoft2 who clearly understand how to make a VN interesting. Their use of a secondary male supporting character is a huge help in both games.

I'm not super far into it but Rei from Chronoclock is fairly interesting. He has the power to turn back time by 5 minutes per hour so it lets the writers be silly with their scenes sometimes since he often has no real use for the power aside from dicking around with it. He turns back time to get an extra 5 minutes of sleep in the morning for example. The girl classified with really awful luck falls off a roof and dies in her introduction scene and he just runs it back for her. Twice.

If you want something big and like mystery, i'd recommend Umineko too. Do install the PS3 version mod for it though, how they expect you to follow your average scene in Umineko without the voices is beyond me. Also Chapter 5-8 is where Umineko gets even better somehow. Fuckin' Erika gets introduced and shit kicks off.

All of these aside from Sharin no Kuni are on Steam, though I believe Sharin no Kuni is in the works sometime.

It's all about Paca Plus. Your girlfriend turns into an alpaca.

Phoenix Wright is a goofball attorney who makes almost miraculous comebacks and wins trials. Pretty much anything but a blank-slate.

TheMigrantSoldier:
Phoenix Wright is a goofball attorney who makes almost miraculous comebacks and wins trials. Pretty much anything but a blank-slate.

I have an issue with people treating adventure games like Phoenix Wright or Danganronpa as VNs. Especially Phoenix.

Sure, they do have a VN style storymode, in the same way that Jrpgs do for example, but these games are a whole lot more about solving things and achieving things through gameplay than just taking in the story and maybe making a dialogue choice once every 5 hours or so of cutscenes.

I point this out because there's a large enough group of people that have come to expect these gameplay elements from VNs, which is a wrong expectation. This causes them to feel let down by actual VNs, purely because of it not matching their expectations and not due to any quality-based reasons. So, all in all, treating these kinds of games as pure VNs is harmful to actual VNs. I'd stick to them being described adventure games ala broken sword or even puzzle games where the puzzle is to figure out how to advance in 999 or who is the killer in danganronpa.

Dreiko:

TheMigrantSoldier:
Phoenix Wright is a goofball attorney who makes almost miraculous comebacks and wins trials. Pretty much anything but a blank-slate.

I have an issue with people treating adventure games like Phoenix Wright or Danganronpa as VNs. Especially Phoenix.

You can say that again. I don't want to derail this thread but people really need to stop giving VN suggestions with Phoenix Wright, Dangan Ronpa, Zero Escape series or even worst Blazblue. Like you said, it sets an unfair expectation for Traditional VNs.

Back to Topic:
If we're putting aside morality, Rance is the most LEGIT Protagonist out there...lol

Blazblue is an actual VN as far as the storymode goes, it has a couple fights here and there but it's a lot more pure VN than all those adventure games lol.

Ravinoff:
Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

I tried playing that, but I could only go so far before I had to stop because I hated the protagonist. Also I find VN boring.

Canadamus Prime:

Ravinoff:
Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

I tried playing that, but I could only go so far before I had to stop because I hated the protagonist. Also I find VN boring.

Fair enough on the first part but on the second while its obviously highly subjective as in based on your experiences I find it is unfair to say VNs are boring as that is a blanket statement and one of pure supposition on your part. You may as well say all story books are boring because the one(s) you read did not appeal.

I have only played or more accurately read 4 VN in my life and they are Katawa Shoujo, Sayan no Uta, Steins Gate and another I cannot remember the name of.

The one I cannot remember I found boring and never finished or indeed played much of but the others I finished and really liked. For protagonists I felt Katawa Shoujos was pretty weak and hardly memorable but I feel they were deliberately not the focus of the game acting more as a vessel than a true character. Still regardless of intent I feel they were weak and not memorable so great if that was the intention and not so good if it was not.

Saya no Utas protagonist was fairly memorable and had a strong purpose for the story but honestly I enjoyed the flow of the story and how he reacted to people around him more than the character itself.

So that leaves Steins Gate and here I feel they have nailed it creating one of the most memorable characters in any medium. A tall order for sure but I loved this guy he is not my favourite character ever made by a few places but he is very memorable. I have (still) not got around to playing Steins Gate 0 yet but I hope he is as memorable in that.

look no further than Fate/Stay Night, sure Shirous a bit of a dipshit with some kinda weird morality, and as far as vn protagonists go he is kinda dull, but even before the start of the first route the first time I played I was already endeared to him and getting through all of the storylines (and some of the better bad ends) only helped me like him more and the sequel Fate/Hollow Ataraxia serves to endear you even to the characters that barely show up in the first game (except shinji. Fuck shinji)

SweetShark:

Ravinoff:
Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

Truth to be told, even if I liked this game, the Protagonist was very forgetable. Yes, he had an interesting story, but his character was not something special to me at least.
But I digress. It was long I played this game and maybe I don't remember right....

I seem to recall him having some good internal monologues.

Maximum Bert:

Canadamus Prime:

Ravinoff:
Katawa Shoujo, maybe? It's pretty great even as someone not hugely into VNs.

I tried playing that, but I could only go so far before I had to stop because I hated the protagonist. Also I find VN boring.

Fair enough on the first part but on the second while its obviously highly subjective as in based on your experiences I find it is unfair to say VNs are boring as that is a blanket statement and one of pure supposition on your part. You may as well say all story books are boring because the one(s) you read did not appeal.

I have only played or more accurately read 4 VN in my life and they are Katawa Shoujo, Sayan no Uta, Steins Gate and another I cannot remember the name of.

The one I cannot remember I found boring and never finished or indeed played much of but the others I finished and really liked. For protagonists I felt Katawa Shoujos was pretty weak and hardly memorable but I feel they were deliberately not the focus of the game acting more as a vessel than a true character. Still regardless of intent I feel they were weak and not memorable so great if that was the intention and not so good if it was not.

Saya no Utas protagonist was fairly memorable and had a strong purpose for the story but honestly I enjoyed the flow of the story and how he reacted to people around him more than the character itself.

So that leaves Steins Gate and here I feel they have nailed it creating one of the most memorable characters in any medium. A tall order for sure but I loved this guy he is not my favourite character ever made by a few places but he is very memorable. I have (still) not got around to playing Steins Gate 0 yet but I hope he is as memorable in that.

Quote me correctly I said I FIND VN boring, as in they are boring to me and me alone. Granted I have not sampled every VN out there, but the model itself doesn't appeal to me esp. if it is like Katawa Shoujo where I only get to make a choice every hour or so and the rest of the time I have to follow the unlikable shit around while he acts like an ass. The tipping point for me in that game was when he gets a letter from the girl waaaay at the beginning of the game that kicked off the plot and he just tosses it aside without even opening it and I didn't get any say in the matter.

I've been told VA-11 Hall-A counts as a visual novel, and I quite liked the protagonist from that game. Admittedly she's probably one of the games less interesting characters simply by merit of being a relatively normal person in an otherwise weird cyberpunk world, but that's kinda the charm as well.

Other than that game however the whole 'visual novel' genre is something I've never really tried before. Just figured I'd chime in with the VA-11 Hall-A recommendation because I like that game and think it deserves more recognition.

Shirou of Fate/Stay Night is probably my favorite VN protagonist, though I haven't met many people who agree with me on that. In any case, he has three different versions of a Hero's Journey, depending on route, though it'd be a little hard to avoid spoilers.

I didn't find Kouhei of A Drug That Makes You Dream to be a blank slate at all, even though part of his character arc is him growing out of the rut of considering himself such...might be kinda subtle, though, and he's still overshadowed by the love interests (which is far more a positive statement on Aeka, Mizuki, and Nekoko, than it is a negative one on Kouhei).

Tsukasa of Family Project is a misanthropic jackass for most of the game, though a lot of it comes from bouncing off the personalities of the other characters. Still, he's probably my favorite VN protagonist after Shirou Emiya. In fact, a bunch of Romeo Tanaka-written characters own majority stock in my soul, but that's another topic.

Yuuichi of Kanon is an outright troll. He's fun, and he's got a personality, though not necessarily much growth.

Yukito of Air is also pretty misanthropic and headstrong (and bizarrely prideful for a drifter with only minor telekinesis as a marketable skill). I'm not all that far into the game, yet, but he seems to be mellowing a little. He's also one of the few VN protagonists I've read who will actively resist being played in a compassionate manner (though Tsukasa will, as well, and actually break the fourth wall to complain).

People have already brought up Yuuji of Fruit of Grisaia. Yeah, he's definitely got a personality, even though I'd probably sum him up as a slightly-more self-aware Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic. I actually don't like him all that much, but he probably fits.

I've heard things about the main character in Cross Channel (disturbing things), though I haven't played it myself. Same for Chaos;Head.

I kinda want to throw in an obligatory mention of Shiki Tohno of Tsukihime, but he's still a little blank in the first game (until and unless certain...things happen).

You already mentioned my first choice pick (Steins;Gate) and the only other visual novels that ever really grabbed me the way that one did would be the Zero Escape trilogy

9 persons, 9 hours 9 doors
Virtues last reward
Zero Time dilemma

They do have a lot of puzzles in them though much like the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright games so maybe those wouldn't be your thing if you just want to enjoy the story, but for what it's worth I found the characters and world building fascinating.

Kyousuke from G-Senjo No Maou
Kenichi from Sharin No Kuni
Shirou from Fate/Stay Night
Shiki from Tsukihime
Tomoya from Clannad
Kotarou from Rewrite
Reiji from Kara No Shoujo
These are all strong protagonists with they're own unique back story and motivations I have never once felt like they were just avatars for the player. Though of course they are all still eclipsed by the supporting characters nine times out of ten.
Oh Mary from Shikkoku no Sharnoth deserves a mention since it's very rare to have a female protagonist in a non Otome visual novel

Canadamus Prime:
snip

Ok I was merely mentioning it is a bit silly to base your entire opinions on a type of digital entertainment (not calling them games because I feel VN are closer to books than games) off the back of what you have been exposed to especially if it is extremely limited. They are essentially stories so if you find stories in general uninteresting then I would get why you would find VNs boring but that is a very strange dislike.

You said

Canadamus Prime:
*snip*Also I find VN boring.

The way you wrote that is a bit strange if you meant you found this VN boring reffering to Katawa shoujo the one you were previously talking about thats fine but if you meant you find VNs boring that is what I find a bit strange and seems to stem more from a decision based on lack of data rather than a realisation.

Not that it matters much as I have mentioned earlier I do not read many VNs and while most of the ones I have read I have enjoyed there was one that I did not and so stopped reading.

Maximum Bert:

Canadamus Prime:
snip

Ok I was merely mentioning it is a bit silly to base your entire opinions on a type of digital entertainment (not calling them games because I feel VN are closer to books than games) off the back of what you have been exposed to especially if it is extremely limited. They are essentially stories so if you find stories in general uninteresting then I would get why you would find VNs boring but that is a very strange dislike.

You said

Canadamus Prime:
*snip*Also I find VN boring.

The way you wrote that is a bit strange if you meant you found this VN boring reffering to Katawa shoujo the one you were previously talking about thats fine but if you meant you find VNs boring that is what I find a bit strange and seems to stem more from a decision based on lack of data rather than a realisation.

Not that it matters much as I have mentioned earlier I do not read many VNs and while most of the ones I have read I have enjoyed there was one that I did not and so stopped reading.

Well it's not as though I don't get invested in the story and the characters, but I get frustrated in how little involvement I have in what's going on. So maybe "boring" was the wrong choice of words. Which is funny because I have played VN where choices did come up much more often than in Katawa Shoujo which made that one that much more frustrating to deal with. I guess you could say that Katawa Shoujo turned me off VN.

Canadamus Prime:
I get frustrated in how little involvement I have in what's going on. So maybe "boring" was the wrong choice of words. Which is funny because I have played VN where choices did come up much more often than in Katawa Shoujo which made that one that much more frustrating to deal with. I guess you could say that Katawa Shoujo turned me off VN.

I mean, Katawa Shoujo isn't really representative of most vns (at least the ones I've played) cause its really REALLY short and doesn't have a whole lot of choices in that time

Fate/Stay Night (in the same amount of time as the entirety of Katawa Shoujo) has many more choices and during that time endeared me more to the characters than Katawa Shoujo did (which I understand is entirely subjective)

Death Carr:

Canadamus Prime:
I get frustrated in how little involvement I have in what's going on. So maybe "boring" was the wrong choice of words. Which is funny because I have played VN where choices did come up much more often than in Katawa Shoujo which made that one that much more frustrating to deal with. I guess you could say that Katawa Shoujo turned me off VN.

I mean, Katawa Shoujo isn't really representative of most vns (at least the ones I've played) cause its really REALLY short and doesn't have a whole lot of choices in that time

Fate/Stay Night (in the same amount of time as the entirety of Katawa Shoujo) has many more choices and during that time endeared me more to the characters than Katawa Shoujo did (which I understand is entirely subjective)

I realize that, however I just can't bring myself to play another one. Although looking at the charts there the difference is staggering.

Tsukihime's Shiki Tohno is pretty good. He suffers from amnesia, which is always a bit of a chore, but I like how you learn more about him for every route. He's got a good amount of depth, and he matters as a character to the others. He's not just some random personalityless dude's viewpoint. He's not as out there as Okabe though.

Canadamus Prime:
Which is funny because I have played VN where choices did come up much more often than in Katawa Shoujo which made that one that much more frustrating to deal with. I guess you could say that Katawa Shoujo turned me off VN.

And this is why I never suggest Katawa Shoujo as a starter VN, for the reasons that have been stated by other users. I usually suggest Fate/Stay Night to newcomers.
F/SN is:
-Long Enough to judge your patience (40-50 hours)
-complicated enough (as you can see in the chart) to give some challenge
-Has a variety of Sex scenes to judge your acceptance level to 18+ materials for future suggestions
-Has enough action to keep you on your seat.

At least in F/SN's chart case, it's pretty straightforward, choose the wrong option and you're dead. Compare that to Yu-No, which the game forces you to get certain items in one route, to progress in another, while that item won't have any use in the former route.

Also obligatory guide to choosing what VN to play (Katawa Shoujo is dropped completely from the list, it was a starter VN back in the 2012 version lol)

On Topic, I'm still saying that Rance is the most LEGIT Protagonist.

Kaimax:

Canadamus Prime:
Which is funny because I have played VN where choices did come up much more often than in Katawa Shoujo which made that one that much more frustrating to deal with. I guess you could say that Katawa Shoujo turned me off VN.

And this is why I never suggest Katawa Shoujo as a starter VN, for the reasons that have been stated by other users. I usually suggest Fate/Stay Night to newcomers.
F/SN is:
-Long Enough to judge your patience (40-50 hours)
-complicated enough (as you can see in the chart) to give some challenge
-Has a variety of Sex scenes to judge your acceptance level to 18+ materials for future suggestions
-Has enough action to keep you on your seat.

At least in F/SN's chart case, it's pretty straightforward, choose the wrong option and you're dead. Compare that to Yu-No, which the game forces you to get certain items in one route, to progress in another, while that item won't have any use in the former route.

Also obligatory guide to choosing what VN to play (Katawa Shoujo is dropped completely from the list, it was a starter VN back in the 2012 version lol)

On Topic, I'm still saying that Rance is the most LEGIT Protagonist.

F/SN has sex in it? I would never have figured that.

Canadamus Prime:
F/SN has sex in it? I would never have figured that.

Yep, though luckily not a whole lot (two scenes in the first route, one in the second, four in the third...all of them hours apart). I don't think they're that bad, but there's enough of a combination of shaky writing and shaky translation to make them a good tolerance test for sex scenes in relatively serious works (i.e. anything more highbrow than Do You Like Horny Bunnies?).

NeutralDrow:

Canadamus Prime:
F/SN has sex in it? I would never have figured that.

Yep, though luckily not a whole lot (two scenes in the first route, one in the second, four in the third...all of them hours apart). I don't think they're that bad, but there's enough of a combination of shaky writing and shaky translation to make them a good tolerance test for sex scenes in relatively serious works (i.e. anything more highbrow than Do You Like Horny Bunnies?).

On topic, but what about Tsukihime? is Shiki not interesting enough to qualify for this thread?

Izanagi009:

NeutralDrow:

Canadamus Prime:
F/SN has sex in it? I would never have figured that.

Yep, though luckily not a whole lot (two scenes in the first route, one in the second, four in the third...all of them hours apart). I don't think they're that bad, but there's enough of a combination of shaky writing and shaky translation to make them a good tolerance test for sex scenes in relatively serious works (i.e. anything more highbrow than Do You Like Horny Bunnies?).

On topic, but what about Tsukihime? is Shiki not interesting enough to qualify for this thread?

Not sure. I liked him for the most part, and later works expand and explain parts of his character. But setting aside Nanaya and his budding tsundere nature towards Arcueid, he's still pretty mellow in his first appearance...that might actually be enough, though.

Besides, I love Tsukihime (which my avatar might have given away; Kagetsu Tohya was such a blast to play), but for some reason I have the worst luck recommending it to people. Of everyone I've directly[1] convinced to play it, I think one person got through the whole game. Everyone else got bored or frustrated, or was driven off by the background art. It's made me kind of paranoid about doing so.

[1] No idea how many I convinced via my first, extremely-rough, review.

Tsukihime and all those type moon stuff is too dense to play off of a minor thing such as someone else telling you to do so. You need a lot of self-generated motivation to dive into those things.

I come from the fighting game side of things so I have known melty blood for over a decade now but I had no interest in the series at all but a year ago I got into fate due to Saber being a guest char in a game I got (nitro+ blasterz) so I figured I might as well check out Tsukihime too since the worlds are somewhat connected.

Point being, without that kind of drive and motivation, people will lose interest way before the story gets good.

Now, on the matter of Shiki being a good main char or not, he's a little bland early on and I only really liked him in one or two paths. He was more of a vessel through which the heroines shine, and good at that, but not that great otherwise.

Dreiko:
Tsukihime and all those type moon stuff is too dense to play off of a minor thing such as someone else telling you to do so. You need a lot of self-generated motivation to dive into those things.

I come from the fighting game side of things so I have known melty blood for over a decade now but I had no interest in the series at all but a year ago I got into fate due to Saber being a guest char in a game I got (nitro+ blasterz) so I figured I might as well check out Tsukihime too since the worlds are somewhat connected.

Point being, without that kind of drive and motivation, people will lose interest way before the story gets good.

Now, on the matter of Shiki being a good main char or not, he's a little bland early on and I only really liked him in one or two paths. He was more of a vessel through which the heroines shine, and good at that, but not that great otherwise.

Speaking of fighters, isn't Sion from Melty Blood also in Under Night In Birth?

Izanagi009:

Dreiko:
Tsukihime and all those type moon stuff is too dense to play off of a minor thing such as someone else telling you to do so. You need a lot of self-generated motivation to dive into those things.

I come from the fighting game side of things so I have known melty blood for over a decade now but I had no interest in the series at all but a year ago I got into fate due to Saber being a guest char in a game I got (nitro+ blasterz) so I figured I might as well check out Tsukihime too since the worlds are somewhat connected.

Point being, without that kind of drive and motivation, people will lose interest way before the story gets good.

Now, on the matter of Shiki being a good main char or not, he's a little bland early on and I only really liked him in one or two paths. He was more of a vessel through which the heroines shine, and good at that, but not that great otherwise.

Speaking of fighters, isn't Sion from Melty Blood also in Under Night In Birth?

Yeah, the two games are made by the same company.

Tsukihime and all those type moon stuff is too dense to play off of a minor thing such as someone else telling you to do so. You need a lot of self-generated motivation to dive into those things.

That makes a lot of sense. No wonder I've had much more success with shorter games like Yume Miru Kusuri...

Dreiko:
I come from the fighting game side of things so I have known melty blood for over a decade now but I had no interest in the series at all but a year ago I got into fate due to Saber being a guest char in a game I got (nitro+ blasterz) so I figured I might as well check out Tsukihime too since the worlds are somewhat connected.

Heh. I was the same, actually, for both Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night. I was lucky enough to be in Japan around the first release of Melty Blood: Act Cadenza (then checked Wikipedia and started wondering what this whole "visual novel" thing was), and then again years later when Fate/Unlimited Codes first came out in arcades. If I ever get around to reading Umineko, it will be exactly the same, since I played Ougon Musou Kyoku first.

Well I liked takeru from muv luv alternative. Regular guy having to learn to be a soldier and experiencing trauma first hand.

Dreiko:
Tsukihime and all those type moon stuff is too dense to play off of a minor thing such as someone else telling you to do so. You need a lot of self-generated motivation to dive into those things.

I come from the fighting game side of things so I have known melty blood for over a decade now but I had no interest in the series at all but a year ago I got into fate due to Saber being a guest char in a game I got (nitro+ blasterz) so I figured I might as well check out Tsukihime too since the worlds are somewhat connected.

Point being, without that kind of drive and motivation, people will lose interest way before the story gets good.

Now, on the matter of Shiki being a good main char or not, he's a little bland early on and I only really liked him in one or two paths. He was more of a vessel through which the heroines shine, and good at that, but not that great otherwise.

Yes, this is one of the reasons why I only played one route: I lost interest very early...
I know the other routes get even more interesting, but I will wait for the remake in the future.

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