Tag Archives: narrative

Visual Novel Maker: First Steps

Now that we’ve had a whistle-stop tour of Visual Novel Maker’s main features, it’s time to delve into how it all works.

Today we’ll be taking a look at how you can get started with the application using its built-in resources. In subsequent articles we’ll look at importing custom resources and creating new characters, but for today we’ll primarily be focusing on the core functions of the program, getting a playable game up and running as soon as possible.

Let’s dive right in, then!

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Waifu Wednesday: Shizuka Masou

This week’s waifu is once again drawn from the extensive cast of the Rance series, and is a character who has been part of the brutish hero’s saga almost since the very beginning.

First appearing as an antagonist in Rance II: The Rebellious Maidens, Shizuka has been a fixture in the series alongside her best friend Maria Custard ever since.

She’s an important figure to Rance’s complete narrative arc as well as one of the most consistently popular heroines in the series — evidently a clear case of “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen” in full effect so far as the audience is concerned!

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Waifu Wednesday: Sill Plain

Now our exploration of the Rance series is well underway, it’s only fitting we celebrate some of its excellent female characters.

And where better to start than the protagonist’s perpetual companion (and slave) Sill Plain?

Sill has been a fixture in the series from its inception through to its current status, acting as Rance’s long-suffering sidekick and primary romantic interest despite her status as a slave. She’s one of the series’ most beloved characters, and the perfect counter to Rance’s shameless, brutish nature.

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Rance: The “Discworld” of Eroge

One of the most remarkable things about Alicesoft’s Rance series is quite how detailed its lore is.

This might not be something you expect to hear about a series of 18+ games with rather a lot of sexually explicit content, but just a few minutes with a Rance title will make it abundantly clear Alicesoft takes this franchise very seriously indeed. At least, so far as ensuring its lore is internally consistent; as a series with absurdist (and often black) humour at its heart, Rance is anything but “serious”.

This combination of a significant humorous component with deep, well-crafted lore established over a long cycle of individual works particularly brings to mind Terry Pratchett’s influential Discworld series. And if we look a little more deeply into that lore we can see a number of similarities along the way, particularly in terms of how things the audience will recognise from modern life are blended with the conventions of fantastic fiction.

NOTE: A hanny from /vg/ helpfully pointed out that the original version of this article used terminology from the original Japanese versions and fan translations. It’s now been updated with terminology from MangaGamer’s “official” translation to prevent confusion for series newcomers!

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Doki Doki Literature Club: Cute Girls Write Poems

I normally don’t bother with spoiler warnings here on MoeGamer, since it should be fairly apparent that in the process of analysing certain works in depth, “spoilers” are something of a necessity.

I will, however, make an exception in the case of Doki Doki Literature Club, a Japanese-style visual novel from independent Western developer Team Salvato. This is a game that is best experienced completely and utterly blind, so if you have the slightest interest in a visual novel that subverts expectations and makes astonishingly good use of its medium, I recommend you go play it through now before reading any further. It’s completely free, can be cleared in an afternoon, and is available either via Steam or itch.io.

Beyond this point lie hefty spoilers, so consider yourself warned!

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Fate/stay night: The Friction of Real and Ideal

Fate/stay night’s final route Heaven’s Feel is a culmination of everything that has come before.

Longer, more complex, more challenging and concluding with a definite sense of “finality”, it’s a fitting end to an enormously ambitious visual novel — as well as just the beginning of something that would go on to become a worldwide phenomenon.

So let’s dive into the Holy Grail War for one last time and see where this epic (in every sense of the word) ends up…

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Fate/stay night: Struggling with Oneself

Unlimited Blade Works, the second of Fate/stay night’s three distinct narrative routes, concentrates on the concept of the struggle between oneself and an ideal.

It’s a story with an altogether different feeling to the Fate route, featuring a great deal more internal conflict.  And not just for the protagonist Shirou Emiya, either, but also for many of the people around him — most notably heroine Rin Tohsaka.

In fact, this time around, it’s only really Saber, who had plenty of her own struggles in Fate, who gets off relatively lightly (in terms of mental and philosophical challenges, anyway — though she does spend much of the story being physically and sexually tortured). Everyone else has a lot of very serious and meaningful questions to try and answer before the two weeks in which the story unfolds come to a close.

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