Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club released on Steam a bit over a week ago. It's 100% free, and a nice short download. Almost 7000 reviews on Steam, "overwhelmingly positive". You all should play it.

Take the up-front warning very seriously. Other than that, try to avoid reading anything else about the game going in.

Spoiler:

Just to be clear: This game is intentionally subversive. It is not your typical "dating sim" game. It definitely does have mature (non-pornographic) content, though, and is worth the experience.

If this turns into tentacle porn...

I saw romance novel type stuff, but nothing like that. I agree the game is strange. And not for the easily disturbed.

garion333 wrote:

If this turns into tentacle porn...

It does not turn into tentacle porn.

Spoiler:

Honestly, tentacle porn would be less strange.

I finished the game last night (saw credits roll) after about 4 hours. The story is really sticking with me, more so than I thought it would. I had an epiphany while trying to fall asleep, to try something else in the game; haven’t had a chance yet to see what happens though.

Finished one route which is probably the main route you get first time if you aren't trying to go to crazy with choices. Took 2 hours and was definitely worth playing for that.

SPOILERS SPOILERS

Spoiler:

Sayuri reveals she likes you but really struggles with depression. You confess to her and then she hangs herself. Some of the stuff about depression and relationships felt really honest and real. I appreciated the perspective. I don't know for sure if I'll go and play through all the routes. I may just read summaries because I'm satisfied with where I ended up.

Hey Tuffalo? You're missing a lot. Seriously. Don't read summaries. You haven't even gotten to the best part!

Spoiler:

There's a "New Game Plus" that shows up on the main menu after that ending.

Don't forget that you can click the "Skip" button whenever it's lit up, to skip over dialogue you've already seen.

You're not done until you see credits roll.

Spoiler:

Probably. Maybe there's more after that, too.

Got it. I'll be sure to get credits now. It's always weird with visual novels and whatnot to figure out exactly what to do with routes without looking up a guide which is what I was trying to avoid.

Edit: Ahhh, starting back into it and seeing where it's going with this...

30 minutes in, just played what I could before bed.

I know I'll eat these words later, but gosh darn I love how cute this is. VNs in this style usually bore me, or make me groan but the beginning is just...lovely? I don't want it to get scary

I think I'm on the path for the dark haired girl.

All right, I got to the credits. That was good.

...What the hell? I let my guard down and that ending just completely obliterated me.

Was on the Yuri path, but made a quick decision after a bit more of the plot was revealed and reached the Sayori ending.

Sayori ending spoilers

Spoiler:

Yeah, ok. Finding out about her depression really hit me hard. Then finding her dead in her room after that sweet moment beforehand was brutal. I'm really intrigued with the .txt file the game points you towards, and how it's corrupting my second playthrough.

Yuri speculation

Spoiler:

She's self-harming, right? The poems seem to suggest that. The interest in knives, and seeing her quickly roll down her sleeve all points towards it.

General mild spoiler about the theme of the game, probably safe but I thought I'd be considerate. Definitely safe to click if you're aware of the unseen aspect of the game:

Spoiler:

I'm keen to keep reading more. The themes are a little hard for me to swallow, especially considering my partner's bipolar and self-harm history, but it's definitely a special VN. So far it doesn't seem to forced, but I'm gonna need to take a breather.

Spoiler:

I thought the game's twist might have been that it was a cutesy game that actually dealt with mental health seriously. But with the Pony Island'ing at the beginning of Yuri's story, it seemed that instead it was going to be glitch-horror about Monika killing the other characters. And sure enough, I'm now stuck in a room with Monika JUST MONIKA

Quite a few laugh-out-loud moments in this game. I'll finish (?) it tomorrow.

Rolled the credits on it. Very good stuff.

Spoiler:

A great mix of the unsettling tension of The Static Speaks My Name with Pony Island-style fourth-wall-breaking. It's a game with some disturbing content, but the game is more about the nature of video games than the actual content of the story. Which is to say, it made me laugh too often for me to consider it psychological horror—some of them were pretty macabre laughs (e.g. realizing, when Natsuki showed up, that I spent all weekend next to Yuri's body, whether catatonic or by Monika's manipulation), but more often I was applauding the dev's cleverness.

YouTube'd the "good" ending, and read a Steam guide and reddit thread for all the secrets.

I'm trying to get all the routes so I can click on everyone's spoiler stuff! Agh! I wanna know what you're saying!

Quick spoiler-free question to those who have played the whole thing. Is it actually a choose-your-path game, or is it railroaded? I'm on the second playthrough and I'm starting to think my decisions might not have actually mattered much. I don't mind at all because this is getting absurdly terrifying, but it's making me curious.

This is going to be in my top 5 this year, for sure.

I agree with your assessment, Gravey. As I mentioned on my "finished any games" post, I spent a good amount of time swearing at this game and laughing about it. Very enjoyable stuff.

Glad to see you're making progress on this A_Unicycle! I can't wait until you're able to click on those tantalizing spoiler buttons above! To answer your question, it's mostly railroaded, except at the very very beginning, I believe.

A_Unicycle wrote:

I'm trying to get all the routes so I can click on everyone's spoiler stuff! Agh! I wanna know what you're saying!

Quick spoiler-free question to those who have played the whole thing. Is it actually a choose-your-path game, or is it railroaded? I'm on the second playthrough and I'm starting to think my decisions might not have actually mattered much. I don't mind at all because this is getting absurdly terrifying, but it's making me curious.

This is going to be in my top 5 this year, for sure.

I think there are some paths you can go on, but the main one to get the credits is where you...

Spoiler:

get into a loop with Monika where the only way out is to delete her character file in your Steam folder.
After you do that and start the game back up it gets weird and you get the credits.

Excellent, I just did that (was so cool!) So I'll get to the credits after work today.

Just had the pleasure of clicking all of those spoilers, wonderful!

@tuffalobuffalo

Spoiler:
Sayuri reveals she likes you but really struggles with depression. You confess to her and then she hangs herself. Some of the stuff about depression and relationships felt really honest and real. I appreciated the perspective. I don't know for sure if I'll go and play through all the routes. I may just read summaries because I'm satisfied with where I ended up.

I loved this. I loved this so much. Her depiction of depression felt so genuine, and hit me so hard. That transition from silly schoolgirl hit me like a tonne of bricks. Suddenly her always being late made sense, and I had to pick her over the other girl. Similarly, I didn't have the desire to find all routes after my first full playthrough. I'm happy enough to read a little bit about them/watch it on youtube.

@Gravey

Spoiler:
made me laugh too often for me to consider it psychological horror

Most unsettling game that ever made me laugh! I get what you're saying. I was grinning like an idiot at how clever the writing was. I especially loved the scene where Yuri is dead for the entire weekend, and you're just sitting there watching her the entire time. "Oh, that must have been boring".

I've never played a game in this genre before, but your cryptic and positive comments have made me download it. I am very curious to play it!

Mario_Alba wrote:

I've never played a game in this genre before, but your cryptic and positive comments have made me download it. I am very curious to play it!

It's the second best visual novel I've ever played (I've only played two, and the other one was The Senpai).

Second best next to Steins;Gate for me. As much as I loved this, it's pretty damn hard to top that one. Seriously, play it.

Anyway, I managed to get a few friends interested in Doki Doki. One didn't "get" it, and I can't convince him to keep playing. Another is just a few moments before the first reveal, but still thinks I'm tricking him.

The last left about 10 messages on my phone, with growing concern. Slowly seeing her realize what was happening was hilarious. The final message was "I NEED TO TRAUMATIZE MY WIFE WITH THIS"

Mission accomplished, I guess!

Hmmm... I just finished the game with the first ending Tuffalo mentioned, so I just got an "end" title card with no credits. However, the game seems to have glitched, my save files have disappeared, and weird characters are appearing on screen. Is this normal?

In any case, I'm really enjoying the game. I'm curious to see what happens next...

Mario_Alba wrote:

Hmmm... I just finished the game with the first ending Tuffalo mentioned, so I just got an "end" title card with no credits. However, the game seems to have glitched, my save files have disappeared, and weird characters are appearing on screen. Is this normal?

In any case, I'm really enjoying the game. I'm curious to see what happens next...

Yep! That's normal. If you get stuck let us know. Very, very light spoiler that might help you move along if you're interested.

Spoiler:

Quitting and restarting the game can do things and doing things outside of the game can affect stuff.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Spoiler:

Quitting and restarting the game can do things and doing things outside of the game can affect stuff.

What? WHAT? Hahaha. I closed the game, restarted it, and started playing, and... Man... I'm only a couple of minutes into the new game, but yeah, I guess it's "normal"...

Thanks for the quick reply! I need to go back to the club now!

Okay, I just finished it for real. I really liked it, so thanks for the recommendation!

Just rolled the actual credits
Umm wow, don't know what to say.

Spoiler:

The part where I actually had to delete a file in my steam folder... that was the first time I ever had to do that in a game.
Also does this have an actual "good" ending?
I think I followed Sayuri path first, followed by Yuri.
The only way the game could be even more trippier is if it deleted itself of the hard-drive.

Fastmav347 wrote:

Just rolled the actual credits
Umm wow, don't know what to say.

Congratulations! Regarding your spoiler, yes there is.

There's also one other "fun" thing you can do after finishing the game, for a slightly different ending:

Spoiler:

1) Restore all the game files (Steam -> Validate game files, or something like that).
2) Delete Monika.chr
3) Start a new game.
It kinda freaks out a bit.

I might try the thing in the spoiler later, but

Spoiler:

I'm pretty satisfied with the way things ended, I ended up just reading up on the "true" ending

This kind of game is definitely not for me...

Played till the second poem-round and couldn't be bothered anymore, read all your spoilers here and I am glad I didn't play through. Gave me not more than a 'meh'.

Guess that mandatory reading of Nietzsche and Sartre back in college ruined me...

After hearing someone mention this I decided to blast through it last night and I’m glad I did, because the whole thing was mind numbingly vanilla and boring right up to the first ending. Once it I got there I was instantly intrigued and stayed up until 2 AM just to finish it all.

Spoiler:

That Sayuri scene caught me totally off guard, and I think I’m a little traumatized by it. I can’t even think about it without getting creeped out and I was scared all night I’d have nightmares. After that point I had my guard up so it was fine but man they really revealed their hand in such a perfectly impactful way — maybe a little too perfect.

FINALLY got to the credits, this game infuriated me so much, but then, I do believe it paid off. I still have mixed feelings.

I thought it was very cool that

Spoiler:

they included your character name in the credits, I hope everyone stuck around long enough to get that little perk.