School Days HQ is a visual novel/interactive movie from STACK and 0verflow, localised by Sekai Project and published by JAST USA.
It’s a remastered remake of an earlier title from 2005, simply called School Days, and is rather notorious for all the wrong reasons — specifically, its violent tragic bad endings, which I won’t spoil here.
This article isn’t going to describe or analyse the overall plot in depth; rather, I’d like to talk about what School Days shows us about the possibilities and challenges a branching narrative offers to content creators, and what other games might be able to learn from the visual novel genre in general in this regard.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in August 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.