The "thank you 4LS" thread.

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters
LokiAlpha

<intentionally left blank>

Post by LokiAlpha » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:39 pm

I'm not really sure how to describe this feeling. The subject is on the game, but I didn't have a proper subject to name it. I'll go under the same alias I go under throughout the entire internet. Let me start by describing myself.

I am 25 years old, living as a manager for a local Papa John's pizzeria in the United States. I mostly game or watch anime to pass the time of my habitual life. While growing up, I was a bully to other people around me, up until I was in the fourth grade. For whatever reason, I started to realize my bullying was, obviously, hurting the people around me. I started to repress my bullying tendencies. The rest of my elementary school life wasn't much, just idly living. Once I reached middle school, it was another story though. I was extremely lazy throughout my middle school life. I rarely took care of myself, or even went to school. I think the reason was, was because I viewed it as meaningless. It wasn't like I was stupid, or anything. I was actually very intelligent, and exceeded the rest of the people around me. However, because of my hygiene issues, I was bullied. Who wouldn't bully some one who doesn't clean themselves? On top of that, as I was getting older and further into puberty, I was having issues with acne. I grew my hair long, and at the time I had bad hygiene, so of course long oily hair is going to affect my skin in an adverse way. During the very end of middle school, I was practically a loner. I had maybe one friend, but even then, I'm not sure if I considered him a friend at all. Any chance some one could get, they'd pull pranks on me. One time, some one said something to me, and I asked them "What would you do if some one pulled a gun on you after you said that?" This was around the time Columbine had happened. The kid I said that too decided to go to the office and tattle on me. He wasn't scared, he was laughing, along with three others that went with him. Needless to say, I was the one that got suspended from school. After this happened, I only asked myself "Why do organizations that are supposed to educate young adults allow them to do this?"I understand I was wrong for saying something so threateningly, and yet I think I lost all hope for organizations after that point. During high school, my freshman year, I was headed down the same road as middle school. Throughout my freshman year, I was teased. I did take care of myself a little more then, though. I didn't think I smelled anymore, yet people kept bullying me. Sometimes they would take the pencil sharpener and empty it's contents on my head...other times they would try to get me to eat silica gel packets. Either way, freshman year wasn't that great at all. Because of this, my grades started to slip for my lack of care in society as a whole. I ended up having to retake some classes in summer school. That was when I met the love of my life. In an Algebra class during summer school, some one was flipping pennies up in the air, and one landed right next to me. She said to him "Be careful, you might hit that guy." I just looked over that way, smiled, and responded that it wasn't a problem. What followed was something I had never experienced before for six years. Companionship. We started talking after that moment, and it turned out that she liked me a little. However, this story doesn't have a happy ending. Things got complicated. She had a boyfriend which she failed to tell me about. After the two of us got intimate, word got out that we were together. However, I suppose she feared losing her boyfriend, so she cut me off cold turkey. She stopped talking to me completely. After a while, though, she would start talking to me again, and get real close again. However, eventually, she would always go to some one else. This vicious cycle continued, and still continues. However, all it did was shut me down even more than I was, becoming even more anti-social. After graduating high school, I decided to not even continue the social norm of following college and making a future for myself. What was the point? So, I did what I knew how to do; Make pizzas. It was just a part time job at first, but I've stuck with it for the better of 8 years now. As far as my life goes now, it just continues as one long, unchanging loop. I find myself sitting in my room now, looking at probably about fifty Pepsi cans strewn around the floor near my desk, or on top of it. Again, I game and watch anime to pass the time. As I said, I'm very anti-social. For instance, when 9/11 happened, I was disconnected from it. Why should I care about people dying that I have no idea who they are? They're "American" so I should have pride for my country? The same country that literally abandoned me? I didn't care about them, nor about anyone around me crying for the ones that were lost. Either way, I'm getting side tracked here... To the point. In my vast amount of free time, I occasionally decide to pick up visual novels.

That brings me to the point of this thread. I don't play a lot of visual novels, but when I do, I won't lie, it's for the erotic appeal of them. I saw that this one was free, so I thought "What the hell, I might as well see what it's about." I've gone through the Hanako route and the Rin route. There's a reason I chose to go through these two routes, even if I planned on doing the others as well. Out of all of the characters, they seemed to be the anti-social of the bunch. Of course anti-social characters will appeal to me, being the type of person I am. After playing through both routes, I felt...

I felt something I don't think I've ever felt. Honestly, I can't describe this feeling. I've cried watching anime before. I've gotten adrenaline rushes playing games before. How can I cry for something that's not real at all? I'm so disconnected from reality that I can't even cry for thousands of people dying from a plane crashing into a building. How can I get an adrenaline rush from letters appearing one after the other on my screen? I'm so disconnected from reality that I can't even get a rush from watching people get enveloped by a tsunami that could envelop a whole town and more.

Right now, even thinking about the game and the words I've read and understood... Tears are falling down my face. To be honest, I've already forgot my original message since I've started writing this, but what I do know without a doubt is the message I do want to convey. I want the writers; no, I want the staff to know. I've been moved. Everything I've seen, heard, and read... Whether this is sad on my part or just a show of your talents... It is by far the most amazing thing that has happened in my entire life. I think I might scrap my computer and sell it. I'm not saying my current life style is bad or anything... But, honestly, maybe I am? I think it's time to live my life now. Again, for the staff. Thank you.

Renkinjutsushi
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Re: <intentionally left blank>

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:20 pm

I'm not trying to be flip or insulting... This is just my advice and opinions.

I think what you are feeling is Empathy. Real, deep empathy for another human being. It doesn't matter that it's a fictional story. It doesn't matter that these characters aren't real people - they are depictions of humans, and to the extent you have a real emotional connection to them, that is something to cherish.

Remember what you feel right now and use it as an impetus to change your life. Try new things. Go out and meet people. Treat them well; like you would want to treat Hanako or Rin if they were real people. I think you will find that eventually, if you keep it up, they will start to treat you the same way. You will make friends, and maybe you will find love. Not to say it won't be hard. Not to say it won't take time. But if you care enough, you can make a real change in your life. Take it one day at a time, and at the end of the day ask yourself:

"Have I treated others the way I want to be treated? Was I honest with them? Was I honest with myself? Did I tell those I care about how I feel about them?"

If the answer is "yes," then feel legitimately proud of yourself. If the answer is "no," then try harder tomorrow to achieve those goals. Don't lock yourself out of the rich and satisfying life that you want to have.

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Re: <intentionally left blank>

Post by Genesis » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:27 pm

Many of us know how you feel, my friend. We get to know the characters, their past and present. We get to see them develop. Many of us know the types of pain they've went through - whether being alone, losing a loved one, being bullied or hurt. We can connect.

Katawa Shoujo is, to many, something more than a visual novel. To myself included. I connected with the characters and I felt for them.

You're not alone in what happened in your life or what you felt with Katawa Shoujo; we can understand.


and, reading Renkin's post, too, I agree with him as well.
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V_nce
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Re: <intentionally left blank>

Post by V_nce » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:33 pm

I KNOW THAT FEEL BRO

Tilting Clock
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Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by Tilting Clock » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:45 am

You guys are the epitome of one-upping yourselves, 4LS.

First, you pour your hearts, energy, and five years of your time to crafting something that easily surpasses professional works in its quality.

Then, you go one better and give it away for free, demanding that it be free, in fact.

After that, when it's obvious that fan reaction is great enough that people literally want to just throw money at you, you tell them to invest their money in people who need it.

Then you do, nothing. I don't see ads flying around. I don't hear spotlighting for projects you want to promote with this kind of fame. You let the work stand on its own two legs and give its fans a place to sort out just what it all means.

I've got my eyes on you guys. Never gave visual novels much consideration for my writing career, but you're gonna have to put me down on the staff when I catch wind of your next project. Right now, I'm just a fan espousing my love of your work, but in due time, you'll see that this writer means business.

Electronicbard6

Thank you!

Post by Electronicbard6 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:54 pm

Just finished Emi's route and mus say that KS gave me amazing experience.
Thanks to everyone of you who made this happen, it's very unique, strong and profound story wich gave me many insights and
helped me to improve way I percive life. You guys rock!

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Eclipse
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Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by Eclipse » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:14 pm

I'm going through 100% and I just wanted to say that Shizune's bad ending was actually one that hit me the most.
It's amazing writing, and so are all the other routes.
Amazing game.
"Don't die!"
~Anonymous

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Sethkowns
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Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by Sethkowns » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:17 pm

Thank you 4LS
"I was warned that he was not only invincible, but strong enough to probably destory the building with a punch, or at least knock over the painting hanging in the hallway." Hideaki

Favorite Routes in Order: 1. Hanako 2. Lily 3. Emi 4. Kenji 5. Rin 6. Shizune
Game completion: 100% and aiming to still redo everyone's route.
Favorite Girl: Hanako!!!!!!!!

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Danze
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Entranced. Only way to put it.

Post by Danze » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:47 am

So I completed my first playthrough of KS today. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I feel strongly compelled to share my thoughts on this experience.

First, a little back story. I've never played a visual novel before. I only found out about the game after seeing it posted it on Kotaku a couple years back, when it was in development. Then again early this year when it was finished. I've also never written a review of a game nor really a review of anything else for that matter. I don't write blogs, heck, I don't even write to begin with. And I definitely don't share personal thoughts with random people. After finishing this...story, however, I feel differently.

This game, which I don't even want to call it that, more of an experience than anything else, has been the most entrancing thing I've come across. I've never been so emotionally invested in a story as I was with KS. No book, movie, game or anything similar has ever had this emotional of an affect on me. I downloaded the game on a whim after moving out of my apartment. Without droning on too much, I left home when I was 18 for someone I met online (in this case, World of Warcraft. Yeah, I know...) Moved literally across the entire country for someone who turned out to be not exactly whom she made herself out to be before my move. I've been here for the last 4 years and at one point the relationship became stagnant and unbearable. I moved out only to get stuck in the same unpleasantness with the same person again. This time it was worse than before. Everything splintered at one point and she moved out, then I followed suit. Now separate, I'm looking at the last 4 years as bad memories and time spent without achieving anything. I came out here with an outlook that put a great deal on emotion and I was a real romantic. Over 4 years I've lost most of that, replaced with a cold outlook and a lack of any real romantic emotions that make me forget what they even feel like. Seriously, it's been so long that I feel like this is how I've always felt, just didn't realize it.

I've spent the last few days playing this game and the surge of emotions I've had have been...surprising to say the least. I started the game out of curiosity, just to see what it was all about. I made the pathway choices that felt natural, ones that I would make if I were in that situation. Wasn't trying to go for a particular girl, just went with what felt natural. I ended up locking into Emi's route. I suppose the first emotional pull in was the athletic angle. I had never, ever worked out or had been athletic in my entire life until January of this year. My family visited me and helped pull me out of the last of my terrible situation as far as living went. Feeling slightly free of an emotional weight, I decided that I wanted to try running. I hate running, always have. I have no idea what even compelled me to want to run to begin with. But I made use of the gym in my apartment complex as well as running on the golf course that bordered it. Within a few weeks I fell into it pretty well. I was drawn to Emi because of her cheery attitude but felt connected because of the running.

The running connection was only the first one. Her general positive outlook stirred me but the back-and-forth sarcastic jabs that she and Hisao trade...it felt surreal. I'm a smart-ass a lot of the time, and so much of the dialogue that was Hisao's felt exactly like things that I would be saying to Emi. It felt too close to real. Around the time that you begin becoming romantic physically with Emi...I'm not sure what happened. I felt so drawn in and genuinely entranced by the whole thing that I began to realize that I've had no romantic or physical affection for years. A game was making me realize how empty my own love life was. About halfway through Act 3 I began to feel seriously down. Just flat-out depressed. Partly because everything with Emi seemed so right yet I knew it was not real, and partly because I knew that this experience would end at one point.

I managed to play more and make it through more of the story, although not without some gut-wrenching when conflict arose and I worried that things might end badly. Though again, after making some decisions that just felt like ones that I would make in real life, I ended up getting Emi's good ending on my first try without reloading the game one time. I feel very satisfied with how everything ended and while I want to playthrough other characters and see how things end, I feel like my first playthough was just...perfect.That's it. I want to put the game down after ending how it did and never touch it again just because of how attached I was and how right everything felt with me when I hit the end. But this game has made me feel better. It has literally brought emotions that I haven't felt in years to the forefront and my outlook doesn't feel quite so hardened and bleak. Never did I think that a game of all things could elicit such a response as this, but it has.

I want to sincerely thank everyone at 4 leaf studios and everyone who was involved in making this story. You have made something very profound and after seeing some of the threads and responses here it seems I'm far from alone in that opinion. It feels just as much something that allows you to look inside yourself as it is a game with a great story. Without being too cliched, a work of art.

If you have taken the time to read any part or all of this, I thank you. I've never expressed opinions and emotions like this but it feels good to write and share this experience with other people. Seriously, thank you.
"The last thing you'll never see"

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The O.H.L.
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Re: Entranced. Only way to put it.

Post by The O.H.L. » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:05 am

You're welcome. And welcome to the forums btw.
Thank you for sharing your story here, what's even funnier is there is an entire thread dedicated to this sort of thing, I've even posted my own story there. It's called Hanako's Broken Heart Club.

You are also not the only one who feels that 4LS needs higher praise.
Once again, welcome to the forums, and enjoy your stay.
Guess who's back, back, back, back again.
Not that I ever made any great contributions, but oh well, too bad.

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gRaViJa
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Re: Entranced. Only way to put it.

Post by gRaViJa » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:24 am

Great for sharing this man :) I had more or less the same experiences while playing Emi's route as my own (and others have too) and many decided to share their stories or even change their lives. Since you're a runner i hope we'll see you in the running thread someday ;)
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Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by Megumeru » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:04 am

Thanks for moving the 'old' forum into the 'new' forum, 4LS!

now I can abuse the refresh button for something in a much faster rate... :twisted:
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
Yes, I write stories. Currently working on: The Haunting: A Love Story

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Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by Silentcook » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:28 pm

Ya gotta thank PyTom for that, not us.

Also:"abuse refresh button"? >:|
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Meh

Most beautiful thing i have ever read.

Post by Meh » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:53 pm

Most beautiful thing i have ever read.

It's like a mirror in which you can see your own soul. I'm not exaggerating here, not really. Aside from a valuable new viewpoint to look at things and some very interesting stuff to think about... There is a lot one can learn from oneself while pondering about thoughts you are having while reading this vn!

I think about my life a lot differently now as opposed to before. This might just make me a better person one day. But until then it surely will help me deal with life better.

So, thank you 4 leaf studio, and everyone contributing!

SniperUnit6

Re: The "thank you 4LS" thread.

Post by SniperUnit6 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:54 am

This is the FIRST VN I've ever read.
Im not a bookworm but this is the first time I read very long texts.

A hugggeee thanks to all the who made Katawa Shoujo game - Big or small contributions.

All I can say is Thanks a LOT - yes a LOT.
I can't describe how I felt when I read my first ending.
I woke my emotions than anything else.

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