I discovered the game some many months ago...Looking for visual novels to play. I'm a fan of the genre. I read up on this odd game seeming focused on the crippled...Interesting if potentially tasteless premise. It drifted from my mind until recently when I remembered it and decided to play it...
I downloaded it. Then promptly ignored it.
Eventually, I did begin playing...The first thing I noticed was an option to disable adult content. I recently did so for just a moment to see what effect it had...If alternate scenes were used or something. No such thing...Just some really ridiculous pictures over the content in question. Got a raised eyebrow and a chuckle out of me.
That experiment done, I reset my game and kept the content enabled for a few reasons:
A) That content was not obligatory. It was put in by choice. To disable it would be to tear out chunks of the intended experience.
B) No such options exist in other games with adult content. It seemed to me the option only existed because this content was focused on the crippled. To disable it seemed offensive: "I'd watch if it were normal people, but I don't want to see gross cripples."...Merely my perception, of course.
C) The pics chosen to censor it were really ridiculous. XD
D) Curiosity as to how the...Activities...Would be affected by the various conditions of the characters.
Anyway, content enabled, I set off intent on no particular path, just getting a feel for the game...Not long after, I found myself exasperated by Misha and convinced Kenji was out of his freaking mind (hilarious though)... . I stared a few minutes in dejection...Then tried a new game.
This time, I planned to go for Hanako's path, on account of I have a thing for those timid sorts...Protectiveness and all. The burn scars reminded me of someone as well...However, having no clue what choices lead where, I ended up inadvertently detouring down Emi's path...Which was fine. She's good company. Got the bad end...It was, again, depressing. I immediately replayed for the good end.
Today, I figured out ( ) how to branch off into Hanako's path...Got the bad first (deliberately this time) and was...Very shaken. Replayed for the good but still see some missing scenes in the library...I'll get them eventually. Upon finishing the good end, I shut the game down and looked up this forum.
Somewhere in between Emi's bad route and rousing from my dejection to replay the game...I turned inward to my thoughts as I am wont to do, being an introvert and all...And the following thoughts came to me after some rather deep introspection. I wrote them down to remember...They sounded important...They sounded like a resolution, or a realization, or closure...Something that I have been oblivious to...That I never thought about enough to know...But that I desperately needed to learn about myself, to leave behind my demons...I don't know why I am compelled to repost it all here but...I simply have to share:
"Been playing a lot of Katawa Shoujo. First ending,…Second didn’t go much better, thanks to that stubborn legless chick. The music’s very relaxing…The sort of pleasant, soothing music that gets me thinking too much. So I turned inward for a while to be alone with my thoughts.
And I think I figured something out. I’ve always enjoyed games like this…Though most would hesitate to call them games. They forgo the action, the gameplay, the complex fictions and all that other game-like stuff to focus on characters…I like that. I like characters. There’s something…Bleak…About my enjoyment. I get very much too into things, too emotionally affected by what should be irrelevant fictional matters. I suffer more effect than the best-written tale should ever have upon a person. It’s just scripted text in the end. But…I know why it has this affect. I can drink every morning then run the buzz off until I’m pouring sweat but running from problems never solves them and I am a far stronger man than that. I have to face the depressing fact head-on. And this is the fact: I’m living vicariously through such things. Because I know no other way.
I was diagnosed with autism early in life. Cerebral palsy too. The autism was high-functioning but…It still showed its symptoms. I never found socializing easy…The palsy didn’t help, forcing exclusion from overly-physical activities. The cruelty of my able-bodied peers was the worst, naturally.
I could have gotten past my own obstacles…The palsy and the autism…But I couldn’t get past theirs. The harassment, the taunting, the constant attacks both physical and otherwise (from peers and family, mind you)…I became isolated. I became distant…Cold…Walled in, away from people. And I never quite tore that wall down…I got it down enough to at least have passing acquaintances but…Never more. Never anything worth the stay. I’ve always known events in my past left me damaged…But I think I understand the full extent of it now.
I live through these little games. I forge temporary connections to these ultimately passing characters. These fictions. I even emote vicariously through them…Because it’s all I know. I don’t have people…I never have. I have nobody to flesh out my world…I feel nothing for the passing acquaintances I meet and I barely feel a thing, if indeed I feel anything at all, for the few to whom I might very generously apply the label of “friend”…They never stay long anyway. They can’t. There’s nothing to keep them around…No connection…Because I just can’t create one.
I can’t forge any proper connections with people. I’ve tried many times. But no matter how much tape you put over a severed wire, it won’t make any new connection. It’s damaged goods. I’m damaged goods…I get what I need vicariously through fictional people because my connection to real people is too frayed for me to fix it. And honestly…I’m okay with that, mostly. I enjoy the company of these people, fiction though they are…I like them. I connect with them more than I ever have with real ones. They’re simpler, kinder, less fickle and less prone to all the destructive flaws of humankind…I have no need to worry that they will turn cruel, grow distant, betray, or otherwise damage me in the ways so many others have in the past. They are what I long for but repeatedly try and fail to get in reality. Sometimes, when reality is too bothersome, they give me things that simply cannot be found in reality these days. Simplicity, peace of mind, no complications, no ulterior motives…When reality is too jaded, these people remain pure. Fiction though they are, I adore these people for the time they’re around because they are what I could never find or have from the real ones...Only because I can't connect to real people like them...Or because real people simply aren't as pleasant, as is my overwhelming experience. For the time I know them, I truly do love these people because they’re a connection where only severed wires remain.
I live a less-than-healthy social life that way, perhaps. And I’m fine with that. It gets to me sometimes, reflecting on why I live this way…All the damage I’ve endured and why my attempts to repair myself failed time and again…Where I went wrong…Sometimes I can’t take it. Sometimes I’m on the brink of truly dark and terrible places…Sometimes I go over that brink into blackest waters and desperately, desperately need help…But when those times come, when I need to push through a bad place, I grit my teeth and bear it.
I’ve tried fixing myself in many ways. I’ve tried undoing the past. I have failed too often to keep track. I am damaged, I can’t repair it, so I grit my teeth and push on through it. I live through fiction and temporary connections to made-up people because it’s the only way I know. The only way I can.
And I am perfectly okay."
I'm very prone to introspection...But I've never gone that deep before. Something in this game drove me inside...To a place where I needed to be. I feel strange coming out of that place...Content knowing I really am okay with this way of life, that I truly do prefer it despite the occasional "what if?" ...But also strangely numb, as I often feel after deep emotional turmoils (such deep internal discoveries also always bring out tremors...Those are unpleasant but scarce). The combination is a sort of unsettled tranquility...Or is it tranquil unsettlement? Or something else entirely alien to me...My thoughts are flowing now in a manner I can only call Rin-like. I imagine this sort of thought process being Rin at her Riniest...It's a pleasant way to think. Every line flows so simple from the mind, so fluid, though not necessarily connected from one thread to the next...Like a literal stream of consciousness...It is very pleasant. But very confusing in a way. Nonetheless, KS drove me to examine a deep inner place that needed examination. And for the first time, I think, in so many years...
I have peace of mind.