Are we too kind?

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Stereotype
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Are we too kind?

Post by Stereotype » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:52 pm

Warning, there are major spoilers in this thread, so be careful. I warned you, so I won't spoiler tag it.

Finally having finished the game, I am looking back on all that has happened. It makes me realize I am not at good at relationships at I thought I was. Thinking through it, I think that in the end, are we to nice? Let me explain separately with each character.

Emi - Emi and Rin are the exceptions to the topic. Emi was my first route, and I think she was what led me to fail on Hanako, Lilly, and Shizune. Her route was mainly focused on the idea that she wanted to push people away that she loved, so they don't get too close to her. In the end, the biggest decision is whether to donwplay it or talk to Misha. If you downplay it, you end up giving up on the relationship you and Emi have. I think at this point in the story, Hisao kinda "forgot" that he loved Emi and that as hard as it was to do so, he needed to get close to Emi to really connect. When you talk to Misha, she reminds you that just because something is difficult, doesn't mean you should give up. You end up finally talking to her, and sorting it out. I think the idea here is that sometimes, to be nice, you have to do something that the person may hate, maybe even ruining your relationship, but helping them as a person.

Hanako - Let's get through with this one, because this one is the most obvious. This character is a classic white knight character; by that I mean many white knights are attracted to this character due to her backstory. I find it even funnier, that it tortures the white knights the most. I am no liar, I have white knight inside of me. In fact, I think that's how I approached relationships before I played this game. And I'll quote one of the replies I saw on the forum (Sorry, cannot remember who, but kudos to you anyways <3), Hanako was a heavy dose of reality. If you remember, the last two decisions for Hanako, were to either call it a day, or ask to go to town, and whether you give her space or comfort her. White knights will obviously have an attraction to the first decision of each. However, as you most likely know, by choosing these decisions, you get the bad ending from Hanako. This was the time we hurt someone else, by being too clingy trying to be kind. (Keep in mind I have not gotten Cut Petals yet)

Lily - She was (at least, what I imagined) to be the perfect relationship character. It is the idealistic relationship that we would all want. The nice decisions seemed to work on the best, and it made me feel right inside. I felt this character was natural, and that's what made it amazing. Which explains, when we forget that just because something is natural, it doesn't make it easy or simple. There were also two changing decisions in this, deciding whether to wave her off, or to address the issue. This is the decision I messed up on. I thought the issue was too trivial to bother Lilly with, and I let her continue. The second decision was whether to talk about the letter or not. I think not many people chose wrong, but I may be wrong myself. As you know, Lilly has been invited to return to her family, and she takes it. I kept on hoping that it would turn out okay, but it didn't. This path was one of the situations where your decisions don't change the other person, but they change you. Either way, Lilly still accepts going to Scotland. But it is Hisao's decision whether to chase her or not. By not addressing the issue in the first place, or discussing his past (the letter), Hisao didn't connect or get a chance to have her understand him, and as such, he didn't connect enough to chase her. This was one of the moments where we hurt ourselves for being too nice.

Shizune - Before I start off, she obviously didn't have many decisions, but the decisions you made, were most possibly the most important ones throughout the game. The decision that decides it all, is whether to comfort or refuse Misha. This was my third path, and I knew that if I comforted her, that I would lose. I think many people that played this path knew this, but did it anyways. I did too. On this pathline, I am with the White Knight part of me. As much as Shizune meant to Hisao, I think that just because you had to lose something important, you made the right decision. In the end, Misha never connects the same, but I think she is truly right with herself in the end (I think I am going to invoke rage here). As much as being nice here was the right thing to do, it shows us that being nice, and maybe even doing the right thing, doesn't come without consequences.

Rin - I just finished this now, so I think my emotions are going to get in the way. These paths were a tangle, so I can't give you a cut and dry which path is right or wrong (Even with a flowchart right next to me o.o). This was one of the routes that you had to put your emotions aside for. If you want to be on equal terms with Rin about your relationship, then you end up choosing choices like "Then Explain" and "But aren't you happy with people taking interest in your paintings?". Obviously Then Explain (And I haven't played either routes yet, so some leeway here please) forces her to try to say what she can't. In the end, if you are so focused with understanding her, then you abandon her. The other choice, ignores her feelings. This decision shows you are worried about her as an artist, which she isn't comfortable with. I think this makes her feel as if you are trying to understand her art, when she doesn't understand herself. The other decision, asking her if she found someone, leads her to think about what she wants to do, instead of asking who she is. In the end, I think that 4LS is trying to show us here that understanding someone isn't always necessary for you to be happy. And in the end, by letting her figure out herself who she is, you come to an understanding that it isn't about who she is, it's about doing what you want, or "need" to do, even if you don't know yourself along the way.

Throughout all of these plotlines, I think they connect to create one moral, that I'll explain here. In most games, you want to be the classic white knight that helps them out in the end. But this game wants to show reality as it is. By trying to be that kind of guy, that most people take heart to nowadays, it can push the people away farther than you ever thought. Sometimes, people do need space to right themselves. You can't do everything for someone and expect them to be okay. They are people too, and need to find themselves, by themselves. This doesn't mean being supportive. Supporting someone means not necessarily understanding them, in fact, it may be the opposite. It is acknowledging that you don't know them, or what they are going through, but no matter what, you are there for them. It seems contradictory to my previous statement, but you don't have to go to someone to be supportive, I think the best way is when they go to you, when they really acknowledge they can't do this themselves, and need someone. Sometimes, they may not even know they need someone else, and that may be the time to be persistent (God it's hard to connect this, Hanako and Emi are so different). In the end, you have to decide for yourself, that based where you are in your relationship, whether you have been together for awhile, or you are just falling in love, whether you do either of these. In the end, it's your choice for yourself. In fact, you may lose the relationship you have, but do the right thing nonetheless, even if it hurts the person.

And for the finality to the moral (Sorry for the super long moral, didn't realize it would be so long), these decisions don't only change the other person. In the end, they change you. And your decisions, and how they change you inside, will truly decide whether you are really meant for each other. Because if you don't change inside, it's time to decide whether what you have is real.

Simplified moral (I don't blame you if you rather read, quite a bit up there): Sometimes the best decision is to stand back, and push harder when it matters, but let the person develop for themselves. Because the old moral is true when you think about it.

Nice guys finish last.
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Xanatos
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Xanatos » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:14 pm

...That's a lot of words for "Don't white knight" and none of them explain why you're asking the titular question.
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Stereotype » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:19 pm

That's true. It made sense in my head, but it's been a jumble lately. I think there's a little more than "Don't white knight", but it's just the details. And what I meant by title is that the choices that lead to the bad ending in three of the five routes are what I would consider the kind choices. I may shorten that wall of text, just trying to get my thoughts down in words.
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Xanatos
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Xanatos » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:31 pm

Stereotype wrote:That's true. It made sense in my head, but it's been a jumble lately. I think there's a little more than "Don't white knight", but it's just the details. And what I meant by title is that the choices that lead to the bad ending in three of the five routes are what I would consider the kind choices. I may shorten that wall of text, just trying to get my thoughts down in words.
Rin: "Badger Rin about how you can't understand her and it pisses you off."

Lilly: "Hide information and never tell the truth about yourself ever."

Shizune: "Fuck her best friend."


...Which of these are the "kind" choices? :lol: The only kind choices that lead to bad ends are Emi's and Hanako's, and even then it's not the choice that does it, it's Hisao's tactless and overbearing nonsense that the writers pre-programmed into him for those scenes. :lol:
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Stereotype
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Stereotype » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:53 pm

Xanatos wrote:
Stereotype wrote:That's true. It made sense in my head, but it's been a jumble lately. I think there's a little more than "Don't white knight", but it's just the details. And what I meant by title is that the choices that lead to the bad ending in three of the five routes are what I would consider the kind choices. I may shorten that wall of text, just trying to get my thoughts down in words.
Rin: "Badger Rin about how you can't understand her and it pisses you off."

Lilly: "Hide information and never tell the truth about yourself ever."

Shizune: "Fuck her best friend."


...Which of these are the "kind" choices? :lol: The only kind choices that lead to bad ends are Emi's and Hanako's, and even then it's not the choice that does it, it's Hisao's tactless and overbearing nonsense that the writers pre-programmed into him for those scenes. :lol:
Rin: All routes do the exact same thing, except Explain you abandon her. The one where you choose to not try, but to be okay, would be the closest to kind of the three choices

Lilly: I was addressing the first big decision, which seemed so trivial (I think it had to do with sleeping in...?) that I just waved it off, not wanting to make a big deal or bother her about it. Sacrificing your own needs and wishes to make other people more happy. I am going with kind again

Shizune: TBH there is no way to tell she is going to randomly fuck you. Unless you've already played it, then it would seem like the nice thing to do. Although Hisao's decision isn't kind, the player's would be.

And where does it come in that being kind gives you the bad ending in Emi's arc? I think the big decision was discussing it with Misha, which I guess you could consider it not being kind, because you are giving her your issues, but she did ask. <Obv prejudice here.

I can see where your viewpoint is coming from, but again, it seems as if it is coming from Hisao's poor decisions, not the player's.
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:06 am

By not addressing the issue in the first place, or discussing his past (the letter), Hisao didn't connect or get a chance to have her understand him, and as such, he didn't connect enough to chase her. This was one of the moments where we hurt ourselves for being too nice.
I always got the impression that Hisao's choices didn't so much determine whether Lilly understood him or not (after all, Lilly ends up leaving Yamaku no matter what options you take) but whether Hisao was able to be honest to HIMSELF about his issues. If he isn't, that head-in-the-sand habit will grow and he'll end up watching his girlfriend walk out of his life without being able to determine what went wrong. If he does come clean about his issues to Lilly, he'll have gained just enough self-reflection to have that discussion with himself after Lilly leaves Yamaku and is able to bring himself to go after her instead of chickening out yet again. In this case, it isn't really about being nice or not nice but about being able to take a good look in the mirror or go out of his way to maintain an illusion of harmony. (which Lilly also has trouble with, I might add)
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:15 am

And where does it come in that being kind gives you the bad ending in Emi's arc? I think the big decision was discussing it with Misha, which I guess you could consider it not being kind, because you are giving her your issues, but she did ask. <Obv prejudice here.
No.
The "big decisions" in Emi's path are whether or not to accept advice from others in general. This mainly means Mutou, Nurse, Meiko.
If you botch up those, Hivemind was nice enough to offer you Misha as a last way out - as opposed to, say, Lilly's path where botching up a single choice would send you on a no-return trip to the bad end.
Rin: All routes do the exact same thing, except Explain you abandon her. The one where you choose to not try, but to be okay, would be the closest to kind of the three choices
I never understood, why the first bad end was even included in Rin's path. The "then explain" option leads to an argument and to a bad end. However the exact same argument happens on the path to the good end as well - it happens no matter what you choose. That's why the first bad end of Rin's path always felt more like a bug to me than a "real" bad end.
The really important decision - and to my mind the only important decision of that path is the very last one, (In fact I think her path would have been even better if that had been the only decision.) and that is about determining about whether or not you managed to understand her a bit by that point. It's not about being kind to her or not, but to see if you understood why exactly Rin felt bad about the exhibition.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Xanatos
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Xanatos » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:01 am

Stereotype wrote:TBH there is no way to tell she is going to randomly fuck you. Unless you've already played it, then it would seem like the nice thing to do. Although Hisao's decision isn't kind, the player's would be.
To be honest, all of that is nonsense. It's very very easy to tell she's going to fuck you unless you never learned basic things about life, society, literature, film, etcetera (context and euphemisms are both things that exist). :P The player's decision would be to fuck her, which isn't kind to Shizune.

And Emi's bad end comes down to pursuing her during the dinner scene. Kind intentions, only ruined by Hisao (and Emi, really) being a dick about it. The talk with Misha is just "Hey, you fucked up that last part, here's Misha to give you another shot".
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Stereotype » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:43 am

Xanatos wrote:
Stereotype wrote:TBH there is no way to tell she is going to randomly fuck you. Unless you've already played it, then it would seem like the nice thing to do. Although Hisao's decision isn't kind, the player's would be.
To be honest, all of that is nonsense. It's very very easy to tell she's going to fuck you unless you never learned basic things about life, society, literature, film, etcetera (context and euphemisms are both things that exist). :P The player's decision would be to fuck her, which isn't kind to Shizune.

And Emi's bad end comes down to pursuing her during the dinner scene. Kind intentions, only ruined by Hisao (and Emi, really) being a dick about it. The talk with Misha is just "Hey, you fucked up that last part, here's Misha to give you another shot".
Are you saying that you knew you would fuck Misha? If so, you need to get your mind out if the gutter :P. No social cues told me they would randomly have sex. In the other pathlines, like Emi's, he'll hug and comfort them.

Like I said, I have extreme favoritism, but (and I can't remember for sure) wasn't choosing to talk with her mother also lead to the good ending? And I imagined that by pursuing her, you would comfort her, not be some jerk.

Off topic, my autocorrect on my phone assumed I would put Kenji instead of jerk, lol.
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Xanatos » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:50 pm

Stereotype wrote:No social cues told me they would randomly have sex. In the other pathlines, like Emi's, he'll hug and comfort them.
I'm saying everyone who knows linguistics and literature should have known it. :P

Other pathlines don't have incredibly blatant contextual clues screaming "SHE'S GOING TO FUCK YOU!"

Hell, immediately prior to asking for "comfort", she throws herself all over Hisao and makes it very clear she wants him in bed. :lol: I remain utterly perplexed as to how so many people were surprised by it. I just imagine people wandering out of a massage parlor, baffled as to why their "happy ending" was a handjob instead of the masseuse just saying "And they lived happily ever after." as they all walked out the door. :lol:

Forget too kind. I'm placing bets on too innocent/naive. :P
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Guest Poster » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:12 am

The use of the word "comfort" as a euphemism for sex is several generations old. Even if you're blind to the context of the situation, some knowledge of history could have clued you in on the fact that comfort has a second meaning.
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:18 am

Are you saying that you knew you would fuck Misha? If so, you need to get your mind out if the gutter :P. No social cues told me they would randomly have sex. In the other pathlines, like Emi's, he'll hug and comfort them.
I guess KS really was the first Visual Novel you read^^°
I agree with Xanatos: It was obvious what "comfort" would entail.
"Comfort" is a widespread euphemism for sex, that's why prostitutes are also known as "comfort women." The term was also used for women forced into prostitution by Japanese troops during WW2.

By the way, the top result urban dictionary returns for comfort is:
"The act of deflowering a lesbian with your penis."

And of course, there's TV-Tropes.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Guest Poster » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:05 am

In other words, this is one hell of a populated gutter. :lol:
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Stereotype » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:03 am

Okay, right off the bat, urban dictionary is NOT a reliable source :lol: . This is the first VN I played, and I knew it was 18+, but i didn't expect you to both have sex eith Shizune AND Misha. I guess I missed this euphanism as I grew up. Maybe I am naive xD. However, I don't agree that her previous actions made it obvious she was wanting sex. She was in a state where she needed to get her troubles out, but she needed someone else to be there for her. Assuming comforting her was a face value meaning, it would still fit in and make sense. So I guess the final ruling is that only naive/innocent people would consider it the nice route. Or, like guest said, one hell of a populated gutter xD.
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Xanatos
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Re: Are we too kind?

Post by Xanatos » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:57 pm

Stereotype wrote:Okay, right off the bat, urban dictionary is NOT a reliable source :lol: . This is the first VN I played, and I knew it was 18+, but i didn't expect you to both have sex eith Shizune AND Misha. I guess I missed this euphanism as I grew up. Maybe I am naive xD. However, I don't agree that her previous actions made it obvious she was wanting sex. She was in a state where she needed to get her troubles out, but she needed someone else to be there for her. Assuming comforting her was a face value meaning, it would still fit in and make sense. So I guess the final ruling is that only naive/innocent people would consider it the nice route. Or, like guest said, one hell of a populated gutter xD.
Urbandictionary isn't a reliable source? I'd argue it's the best source around when it comes to obscure euphemisms. It taught me what a Cleveland Steamer is, for better or worse. :lol: And really, trying to smooch then blatantly falling all over Hisao while in bed didn't make it obvious? What would then?

Though I wasn't aware of the "The act of deflowering a lesbian with your penis." definition...Even better here. :lol:

The nice route is Kenji's. It's the only one where nobody is horribly unhappy at any point. Sure, Hisao's a little angsty, but that's nothing. And he dies drunk at a picnic, so I doubt he had time to process unhappiness there. XD
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