Community The Visual Novel Council | All Choices Lead To Here

Ascheroth

Writing in the Megastructure
Nov 12, 2018
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This is the MetaCouncil Visual Novel Community thread. Talk about Visual Novel's you're playing, are looking forward to or want to play, ask for recommendation, shill your favorite ones, etc.

Please look out for your fellow councilors and make sure to spoiler-tag your spoilers appropiately!




Recommendations:

I'm personally not an expert on Visual Novels and know that I haven't read many of the populare ones (yet!), but to start with, here are my personal top favorites.

The House in Fata Morgana

A gothic suspense tale set in a cursed mansion. "The House in Fata Morgana" is a full-length visual novel spanning nearly a millennium that deals in tragedy, human nature, and insanity.
With a length of 20-30 hours, a distinctive art-style, fantastic music, a story that I consider to be one of the best I've ever experienced in any medium and excellent handling of many mature themes and not resorting to cheap pervy stuff, I consider The House in Fata Morgana as an excellent choice for people who are put off by "anime" in Visual Novels.

Higurashi When They Cry

By acclaimed Visual Novel creator Ryukishi07, Higurashi When They Cry is a thrilling horror/suspense/mystery story. It's great. Has a pretty pervy main character though.
There's a mod that adds voice acting from the PS3 version and optionally also the character and background sprites.
Note: The Steam version is sadly not complete yet, as only 6 of the 8 main episodes are available at the moment.

Umineko When They Cry

Also by Ryukishi, Umineko When They Cry is an insanely long murder mystery (80-100) that is absolutely amazing despite some pacing issues.
Also has a godly soundtrack with over 100 tracks. It comes in 2 games (Question Arcs, then Answer Arcs), where each game contains 4 episodes.
Again, there's a mod that adds voice acting from the PS3 version and optionally also the character and background sprites.



There's more I played, but I'm lazy, I hope this will do for a start.
Feel free to add your own recommendations and I'll add them to this post, or maybe we can do it via threadmarks, or we restructure the recommendations into certain genres...

Also if you have a better subtitle, let me know!
 

daxy

MetaMember
Dec 6, 2018
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Yessss. I was waiting for this! Thanks for making the thread.

I've only recently gotten a greater appreciation for the genre, so I've only really played the big names: Steins Gate, 428, Nonary Games, Ace Attorney, and Danganronpa. I recently played through the basic route of Chaos Child and didn't enjoy that very much, but I've also been playing 428 Shibuya Scramble and that has been an absolute gem so it all balances out. Would like to try Muv-Luv as I've heard wonderful things, but I'm waiting for a nice sale. Instead, I've got Steins Gate 0 lined up as my next VN after 428.

I'm aware Clannad is supposed to be a quality VN but I can't handle the art style. If only someone would remake or mod it :')
 
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Ascheroth

Ascheroth

Writing in the Megastructure
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Yessss. I was waiting for this! Thanks for making the thread.

I've only recently gotten a greater appreciation for the genre, so I've only really played the big names: Steins Gate, 428, Nonary Games, Ace Attorney, and Danganronpa. I recently played through the basic route of Chaos Child and didn't enjoy that very much, but I've also been playing 428 Shibuya Scramble and that has been an absolute gem so it all balances out. Would like to try Muv-Luv as I've heard wonderful things, but I'm waiting for a nice sale. Instead, I've got Steins Gate 0 lined up as my next VN after 428.

I'm aware Clannad is supposed to be a quality VN but I can't handle the art style. If only someone would remake or mod it :')
Yeah, I've played none of those aside from the Ace Attorney on the DS and watched the Steins;Gate anime :confounded-face:
I plan on eventually getting to them though.
My VN repertoire is essentially Fata Morgana + Fandisc, 4 episodes Higurashi, Umineko, Doki Doki Literature Club, Narcissu 1 & 2, Aviary Attorney, eden*, Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition, Sound of Drop - fall into poison - and World End Economica.
There's a loooot of big ones I still need to get to, haha.

Right now I'm going through The Devil on G-String, and CLANNAD is also already in my library thanks to Echo's generosity. I don't like the artstyle either, but I'll give it a try.
This sounds interesting.
 
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Ascheroth

Ascheroth

Writing in the Megastructure
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How will we annoy lashman with anime now?
Ascheroth Drop whatever you're doing and read Muv-Luv Trilogy.
That's easy. We just ping him in every post lashman

Damn, you've been shilling hard for Muv-Luv. I'll think of picking it up in the summer seal.
So much to play :notlikethisblob:
 
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ZKenir

Minamoto-no-Raikou gives me life
May 10, 2019
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Interestingly NekoNyan has been the only VN company that successfully managed to "overturn" a rejection/ban with Hello Goodbye, Chuee back then said that they had to resubmit after further censoring it, that reply on retrospring was deleted and he replied to someone else with this

chuee answered What did you have to change to get HGB back... | retrospring

"I don't think we can talk too much about the process of getting it back on, but yes, the steam version is censored."
 
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Knurek

OG King of Weeb
Oct 16, 2018
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I'm thinking which VN I should play now...
I'd include Higurashi here, but waiting for Mangagamer to release rest of the main chapters has been terrible.

So, so, so much good stuff out there...
 

ZKenir

Minamoto-no-Raikou gives me life
May 10, 2019
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My next one is going to be Damekoi, kinda interested in trying the Steam link app now that's iOS, but first i need to wrap up the games i'm currently playing
 

Knurek

OG King of Weeb
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My next one is going to be Damekoi, kinda interested in trying the Steam link app now that's iOS, but first i need to wrap up the games i'm currently playing
I love my Win 2, it's so much better than using streaming.
(Tried both on CFW Fat Vita and OLED Phone, couldn't handle the junk, lack of playtime counting and occupying the desktop for that/battling with wife over bandwidth)
 

ZKenir

Minamoto-no-Raikou gives me life
May 10, 2019
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Utaware were 2 of my favourite VN, genuinely loved the cast, I know Zan is just a musou but I am really excited at the idea of spending more time with those characters, also I wanna play as Atuy so bad...
 

Knurek

OG King of Weeb
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I liked the first game more than the two Vita sequels, dont @ me.
 

「Echo」

漂う夢のまにまに
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Mt. Whatever
Interestingly NekoNyan has been the only VN company that successfully managed to "overturn" a rejection/ban with Hello Goodbye, Chuee back then said that they had to resubmit after further censoring it, that reply on retrospring was deleted and he replied to someone else with this

chuee answered What did you have to change to get HGB back... | retrospring

"I don't think we can talk too much about the process of getting it back on, but yes, the steam version is censored."
Bleh. Hopefully someone will make a decensor patch. :x

Everyone should play Heaven Will be Mine:
I'm naturally suspicious of OEL VN's, but if it's anything like their previous "We know the devil" this should pretty interesting as well.
=================

Here are some lesser known recommendations from me:





 

ZKenir

Minamoto-no-Raikou gives me life
May 10, 2019
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if anyone likes Dies Irae they might want to read Wilhelm spin off game set before Dies Irae (but best read after), just be aware that Wilhelm is not a nice person, this is the last game from this franchise we'll ever get since light is dead.


also some more chuuni stuff since I'm mostly into that




warning about Gahkthun, it has adult content
 

「Echo」

漂う夢のまにまに
Nov 1, 2018
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Mt. Whatever
But I already listed Shadows of Pygmalion.




Anyway if the Dies Irae business scheme doesn't bug you, there is also this...


Where Episode 1 is free and then the others are DLC you pay for. I haven't read this one myself yet, but the reviews are pretty good and one of my friends who played the Vita version said she loved it beginning to end even with all the fanservice. She just thought the history aspects and gender-bending of famous Samurai heroes was great.
 
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Kvik

Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
Thanks for the thread, Ascheroth !

I liked the first game more than the two Vita sequels, dont @ me.
Everyone already knew you played Uta1 for the lewds.
:wd_p:

warning about Gahkthun, it has adult content
Dearie me, this is a wholesome christian server. Already wishlisted.




I'm currently playing Death Mark. It wasn't a bad game as far as horror VN goes, more creepy than outright scary.


I'll post my overall impressions when I finish it this weekend.
 

uraizen

Competitively anti-competitive
Oct 7, 2018
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Can I recommend Saya no Uta? Because I'm gonna ... and I am.

Play Saya no Uta.
 

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
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I approve of the recommendations in the OP, especially Higurashi and Umineko.

I'd also suggest

The pacing is inconsistent, but the payoff is absolutely worth it.

And if you like the concept of that, then you will most likely also enjoy the same director's (Takumi Nakazawa) Infinity series, consisting of Never7, Ever17 and Remember11. I actually like the last one best of those in some aspects, though it remains sadly incomplete due to development constraints.

Those 3 games were written by Uchikoshi of Zero Escape fame, by the way.
And to close the circle, the same dynamic Uchikoshi and Nakazawa duo will return with Death March Club. Hopefully in 2020.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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Most of my favorites have already been listed, but I'll give a shout-out to a few EVNs that I've played recently:


A free "prologue" to an upcoming visual novel. The art is what caught my attention, but it also features a great cast of characters and an interesting setting and story that makes me eager to read the next chapter. However, the prose gets purple at times and the story does contain some quite disturbing content (see the description store page), so it might not be for everyone.


Heart of the Woods is a supernatural yuri VN with a fantastic cast of characters. While it is very funny, it also gets really grim at times. It is also also one of the most polished EVNs that I've read and it is clear that a lot of love has gone into it.


Be the Dad you always wanted to be and date the dads you've always wanted to date. Comes packed to the brim with puns, dad-jokes, and assorted wholesomeness. It is not perfect (in particular, one of the dateable dads is a married man), but all in all it is a damn charming game.


Can I recommend Saya no Uta? Because I'm gonna ... and I am.

Play Saya no Uta.
Saya no Uta is amazing.
It is probably the most unsettling VN I've read, thanks to how well it combines art, sound effects, music, and writing.

But it is also a god damn tragedy that it is an eroge.
I'd love to recommend it to a number of people, but that is simply not possible due to the presence (and nature!) of the adult content.

Even if the adult content puts you off from reading this VN, I would still recommend watching the first few minutes on Youtube. That alone is enough to give you a taste of what makes it so special.
 

uraizen

Competitively anti-competitive
Oct 7, 2018
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I think anything but straight up CP is okay to discuss here.
Just don't post NSFW pics.
Do that in the Steam thread
.
Oh yeah, they might get jealous if I keep all the goods in here.

Saya no Uta is amazing.
It is probably the most unsettling VN I've read, thanks to how well it combines art, sound effects, music, and writing.

But it is also a god damn tragedy that it is an eroge.
I'd love to recommend it to a number of people, but that is simply not possible due to the presence (and nature!) of the adult content.

Even if the adult content puts you off from reading this VN, I would still recommend watching the first few minutes on Youtube. That alone is enough to give you a taste of what makes it so special.
That counts as an eroge? I need to recommend more eroge to people, then.
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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That counts as an eroge? I need to recommend more eroge to people, then.
I would think so that it could safely be classified as an eroge (plot with porn). Every VN with adult content mentioned in this thread so far falls into that category. And while it has a fair number of h-scenes (three to four scenes in about the same number of hours), I certainly wouldn't classify it as a nukige (porn with plot).
 

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Every attempt I make at reading a VN ends in disaster. I often not read them regularly enough and lose the desire to continue, and reading ocd doesn’t help.

I read every fucking route of 999 before being fed up with the fact I had to replay a lot of interactive sequences in order to reach the true ending and giving up.
This breaks my heart, I really want to like VNs.
 

ZKenir

Minamoto-no-Raikou gives me life
May 10, 2019
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------------------------------------------------------------

Now Denpasoft



-----------------------------------------------------------

According to Steiner Baldr Sky news is coming


-----------------------------------------------------------

Dearie me, this is a wholesome christian server. Already wishlisted.
my warning was mostly because it's titled "steam edition" and people might think it's an all-ages release and they might think it's safe to play in a public place such as on a tablet or laptop during a flight, just pointing out that it kinda isn't, although you can see the lewd scenes (which are very vanilla) coming from a mile away

edit: added denpasoft
 
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Kvik

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Downunder.
my warning was mostly because it's titled "steam edition" and people might think it's an all-ages release and they might think it's safe to play in a public place such as on a tablet or laptop during a flight, just pointing out that it kinda isn't, although you can see the lewd scenes (which are very vanilla) coming from a mile away
Lol, I'm just joking around because my comment is the reaction I sometimes get when recommending VN with lewd stuff in it. :wd_p:


But yeah, I understand what you mean. Not many people are actually reading the adult warning label on the Steam page (myself included.)
 
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Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
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I thought Saya no Uta's concept was fascinating, and it was well worth reading. Of course I can understand that it's absolutely not for everyone.


One VN that hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread that I also found quite interesting in terms of setting is Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo. I played a fan translation of that, but the kickstarted official Western release should be available on Steam any day now (since February :p). It's a pretty old game, originally released in 2005, but it's not like VNs age much mechanically or even on a technical level.
 
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Knurek

OG King of Weeb
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It's a pretty old game, originally released in 2005, but it's not like VNs age much mechanically or even on a technical level.
Oh, but they do.
Older games don't get such fancy things as full auto mode, smart read text skipping, quicksaves, not to mention general increase in art asset resolution (OG Sharin is what, 4:3 480p?)
 

Eila

Junior Member
Jan 21, 2019
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2005 VNs weren't so bad. But late 90s and early 2000s VNs, on top of QoL enhacements, do suffer from lack of CG/CG variants. Mostly because they had to fit it all on a CD. It's just not as cool when you spent and hour looking at the same 5 sprites to get to a CG scene and it's a still picture.
 

Kvik

Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
I've finished with Death Mark. It's a neat little Horror VN. If you're a fan of Asian horror cinema like I am, this game follows its conventions, while also not overstaying its welcome.

The game is making good use of its artwork, and while there's very little animation in it, it's still pretty unnerving when you play it in the dark, alone.
There are a lot of neat little touches in the game which were meant to scare the players such as abrupt door knocks, bloodstains which present one moment and disappear the next, or you might see something only when the torch is illuminating a certain area. It certainly helps the atmosphere a lot.

The gameplay is pretty simple, apart from item combinations, and normal dialogue selections, there are "Live or Die" dialogue selection which can result in an immediate game over if the wrong option is chosen. And there's a "boss fight" of sorts at the end of each chapter. The game is relatively easy and the clues are pretty straightforward. Getting the good end at the end of each chapter normally requires you to obtain a certain item, or bringing a certain partner to a boss fight, for example.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with it. However, the game is rather short (approximately 15 hours), and there's very little dialogue between your party members so you won't grow too attached to them, not until the last chapter, at least. Although the story itself was quite interesting, I can't really recommend this at its full price. I'd definitely recommend it at $20-$30 price point, though. I also have to mention that there's a little technical issue which will make the game crash to desktop at the end of its penultimate chapter. I have to remove ReShade to get past it.

Some final screenshots.







Next is Muv-Luv Extra.
 
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Ascheroth

Ascheroth

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Alright, just finished G-Senjou no Maou clocking ~15 hours.

Quite enjoyed the game.
The big twist in the last chapter annoyed me.
I initially believed the main mystery of the game was Maou's identity, but it seemed to be so obviously Kyousuke's split personality that I thought it had to be a red herring. As the game piled more and more scenes up that were confirming this though, I started to think that the Mystery of Maou's identity wasn't actually the point of the game, but instead the psychological nature of this and the contrast between the relationships of the two personas to the same people and I was really intrigued by this and was curious how the hell they were going to resolve this.
Well they resolved this by making Maou a different person, welp. I didn't really feel outsmarted but instead lied to and that felt pretty annoying so that reveal definitely did not have the intended effect on me, probably the opposite.
Thankfully the climax was good enough to overshadow that part though.
 
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「Echo」

漂う夢のまにまに
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Mt. Whatever
Alright, just finished G-Senjou no Maou clocking ~15 hours.

Quite enjoyed the game.
The big twist in the last chapter annoyed me.
I initially believed the main mystery of the game was Maou's identity, but it seemed to be so obviously Kyousuke's split personality that I thought it had to be a red herring. As the game piled more and more scenes up that were confirming this though, I started to think that the Mystery of Maou's identity wasn't actually the point of the game, but instead the psychological nature of this and the contrast between the relationships of the two personas to the same people and I was really intrigued by this and was curious how the hell they were going to resolve this.
Well they resolved this by making Maou a different person, welp. I didn't really feel outsmarted but instead lied to and that felt pretty annoying so that reveal definitely did not have the intended effect on me, probably the opposite.
Thankfully the climax was good enough to overshadow that part though.
I'm really glad you liked it and the code didn't go to waste! (y)

I only wish the JP audio was included instead of a separate purchase. >_<
 
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Kvik

Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
I've finished with Chizuru's route in Muv-Luv Extra. I didn't really expected it to turn out the way it is. One minute I was laughing at Yoroi's crossdressing, the next I was gnashing my teeth at the locker room bullying .

It turns out well in the end, but it feels kinda sad how Meiya moved away and Sumika closed her window forever.. I'm looking forward to do the other routes.

Also, I have the R18+ patch installed and stumbled upon Marimo-chan's Jinguuji-sensei's happy bad end. That was
 
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Knurek

OG King of Weeb
Oct 16, 2018
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I'm really glad you liked it and the code didn't go to waste! (y)

I only wish the JP audio was included instead of a separate purchase. >_<
I kind of like the system though, wish more VNs would use it.
Some folk don't care for voice acting, why should they pay for it?
 

Theswweet

Dirty Weeb
Mar 12, 2019
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Shame that the only way to get the voice acting for Umineko on PC is through legally questionable means, because the VA is 10/10.