"Visual novels"

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"Visual novels"

Postby Keffria on Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:23 am

(I figured this belonged here, since they're generally "anime-style". And also because this forum is so dead! It's very sad...)

Now, if you're like me, the first thing you think when someone says "doujin game" or "visual novel", is "porn". Sort of like the general rule that "it's not really fanfiction if it doesn't contain ridiculously unlikely man-love".

But, lo and behold, there are "visual novels" out there that aren't pornographic! I wandered over to Clone.Manga (some very weird stuff over there, by the way) through someone's link page, and from there, stumbled upon Narcissu and Until we meet again, two very short pieces. (It should be noted, however, that the bulk of Insani's projects are pornographic in nature... *sigh*)

"Narcissu" deals with a couple of terminally ill twenty-somethings who steal a car and go on a road trip; "Until we meet again" is realy short, and relates a young man's encounter with a strange woman and a little girl on a train. I can't say that either of them was "spectacular" or anything, but they were interesting... Reading them, I felt like I was reading a webcomic, but with the added bonus of sound.

Soo.... Who has anything to say on the subject? Has anyone tried their hand at this format? Does anyone know of another good (preferably non-pornographic ;)) one?
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Postby ManyWorlds on Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:22 am

I dunno. My little knowledge of visual novels and date-sims comes from reading Megatoyko...
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Postby Wp on Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:47 pm

I've always associated "doujins" with fanworks of professionally developed works and not necessarily pr0n. How are these any different from a normal fullpage webcomic though? For example, FAUB could read very easily like a "visual novel."
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Postby Keffria on Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:28 pm

Well... From what I gather, "Doujin games" aren't usually fanworks - the name just refers to computer games which (like their comic counterparts) are created by non-professionals (and not always for profit). A lot of them are of the "dating sim" variety, and many of the most famous (infamous?) of them are very male-oriented and pornographic in nature. The ones I mentioned in my first post are doujin games, and both of them are distributed freely.... But they're not porn.

"Visual novel" (aka "kinetic novel", apparently...) is sort of a sub-category, referring to doujin games (or professionally-produced games, for that matter) that don't have an interactive component. Like I was saying, they *do* read very much like webcomics, or any other comic, for that matter. You're presented with static images, below which is the text of the "novel". You read it, the images change periodically, and hopefully, you are moved by the story. :wink:

Really, there are only 2 main differences between a visual novel and a webcomic: (1)There is usually accompanying music, and (2)The ratio of text to images is much higher. In the webcomicking field, we usually try to "show and not tell", whereas in a visual novel, there's a helluva lot of stuff to read. I suppose the amount of action would depend on the novel in question, but the above two didn't contain much of any action - or, if they did, it was all presented via text. In fact, the images in both were *very* sparse; I suppose, like real novels, they try to get you to use your imagination. (P.S. - play the "unvoiced" version of Narcissu if you try it out; it really is better when you can imagine the girl's voice.)

So, uh... Yeah.

Oh, apparently "Planetarian" isn't 18+ either... But it's also not free, and in spite of its non-porn status, it looks like something geared towards males anyway... :P
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Postby Wp on Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:30 pm

So it'd be kind of like Levi's Hopscotch?
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Postby Keffria on Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:42 am

Actually, yes; I hadn't even thought about that! And the tone is remarkably similar, too...

Levi could make a fortune! ... Or, y'know, distribute novels for free. Whatever.
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Postby MixedMyth on Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:46 pm

Games that don't have an interactive element? You mean like Xenosaga? :lol:

I kid, I kid. I even enjoyed that game. But the game deserved that nonetheless.

Actually...from what you describe, it sounds very much like Broken Saints.
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Postby Keffria on Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:56 am

MixedMyth wrote:Games that don't have an interactive element? You mean like Xenosaga? :lol:

Did it get any better after the first game? I mean, yeah, it had a certain charm to it, but when you get the option to save *during* a cutscene because it's so bloody long... Yeah.

Yup, Broken Saints is very similar, too. :D
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Postby Risky on Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:24 am

Keffria wrote:but when you get the option to save *during* a cutscene because it's so bloody long... Yeah.
Woo, final fantasy 7! So full of cutscenes, the sequel was a movie!
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Postby ManyWorlds on Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:07 am

Risky wrote:
Keffria wrote:but when you get the option to save *during* a cutscene because it's so bloody long... Yeah.
Woo, final fantasy 7! So full of cutscenes, the sequel was a movie!

lol
The cut-scenes in FF7 were NOT too long... :evil:
You just have a short attention sp- ooh, shiney! :P

So what I'm getting is that visual novels are basically illustrated novels. On a game system, or computer, or whatever. Like Terry Pratchett's "Last Hero".
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Postby Keffria on Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:07 pm

Yup! Except that they're much more pretentious, and they're from JAPAN, so you know they're COOL! :D

You say Terry Pratchett has something like that...? Hmm...
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Postby Risky on Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:31 pm

ManyWorlds wrote:The cut-scenes in FF7 were NOT too long... :evil:
You just have a short attention sp- ooh, shiney! :P
The cut-scenes in the second town fit the line of conversation... that is, they had several chances to save During the cut-scenes.
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Postby MixedMyth on Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:51 pm

Dude, FF7 had maybe one long cut scene. THat being the backstory one shortly after Midgar. Other than that, they were mostly fine. Xenosaga had quite a few half hour cutscenes and a couple that were at least an hour long. It got so bad that as part of a promotional for the second game, they gave away DVDs of the cutscenes of the first. I barely noticed the game was missing. :D

This might make you think that I hated the game. Actually, I like the Xenosaga series- mostly for plot and characters. Though I still prefer Xenogears (even if reading all that text makes my eyes bleed).

As for the second game, Keffria, no...if anything there was MORE movie and LESS gameplay. I enjoyed it regardless...even if a Cathedral with a Virgin Mary figure makes an odd boss monster. O_o But that's the Xeno series for you.
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