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Doki Doki Literature Club

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Seemingly tame visual novel isn't

One+of+the+things+you+do+to+win+the+girls+over+is+write+%22poems%22+for+them.+Notice+one+of+them+is+missing.
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Doki Doki Literature Club

One of the things you do to win the girls over is write

One of the things you do to win the girls over is write "poems" for them. Notice one of them is missing.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the things you do to win the girls over is write "poems" for them. Notice one of them is missing.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

One of the things you do to win the girls over is write "poems" for them. Notice one of them is missing.

“This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed. Individuals suffering from anxiety or depression may not have a safe experience playing this game.”

If you see this warning on a game where the start menu has a bunch of cute anime girls on it, you know it is going to be interesting. That game is “Doki Doki Literature Club”, an indie visual novel created by Dan Salvato and released in 2017. In this game, you play as a faceless male protagonist who joins a literature club with four incredibly cute girls named Sayori, Natsuki, Yuri and Monika. It starts as a dating simulator where you have to win the girls’ affection, but then you find your childhood friend hanging from a noose, and it flips into a crazy psychological thriller that is sure to shock you.

spoiler warning

The soundtrack is not particularly amazing, but one of the scare tactics the game uses in Act 2 (the act where things start getting weird) is making the music glitch out. For example, when the act starts and the game tries to load Sayori (the girl who died at the end of Act 1 and was subsequently deleted from the game), it loops one second of the cheery music playing in the background, making it a bit less cheery. The most popular song, “Your Reality”, plays over the end credits. It is very soothing and bittersweet out of context, but since it is sung by the same girl who just tried to hold you hostage in a floating classroom in the sky, you will actually be screaming “Bad touch. Bad touch. Stranger danger.” at your computer.

That is not the only way the game scares you. It also uses a lot of glitches and ramps up the characters’ personalities. You could be having a witty conversation about manga with Natsuki when her eyes and mouth turn into black pixels and gibberish fills up the text box. Yuri is timid and kind in Act 1, but in Act 2, she becomes fervent and obsessed to the point where she writes you a poem written in unintelligible handwriting and covered in red and yellow stains. Of course, whatever happens in Act 2 is nothing compared to Act 3.

It is impossible to talk about this game without talking about the meta (which is gamer-talk for when the game becomes self-aware). It is most important in Act 3 when Monika, the only girl who doesn’t have a playable route, deletes all the other characters, holds you hostage in a floating classroom in the sky, and confesses her love for you. Not you, the faceless male protagonist. You, the player. The only way to escape is to go into the game’s files and delete Monika. If that is not unique, I do not know what is.

I am not sure whether I like this game or not; I am too scared by it. I guess it can be pretty fun if you are into that stuff. This game is available on Steam or on the official Doki Doki Literature Club website, and it is absolutely free. Have fun getting traumatized, and brace yourself.

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About the Writer
DaphneT, Copy Editor

My name is Daphne Tett. I am a junior and just joining the Crimson Connection staff this year. I am also in French club and Cy Woods Theatre Company. My...

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