Community The Visual Novel Council | All Choices Lead To Here

ExistentialThought

Coffee Lover ♥☕
Feb 29, 2020
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Played through a few routes of Majikoi. Pretty good slice of life. It sounds like it's sequel and alternative routes are not going to be localized. Importing is a no go for me at the prices I see. Digital is DMM only with regional DRM and a high price to boot. :blobweary:

I wonder if JAST will target a Steam release with Muramasa.
 
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boop beep

boo
Dec 6, 2018
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Steam Deck will be the ultimate VN machine, period. I am going to move my entire collection into it.
Right now, I'm doing the whole streaming to PS Vita thing, but yeah. I don't know if it's my eyesight going or what, but that screen is starting to feel smallish.

I wish we could get Steam Link on Switch tbh. 90% of my use cases would be met by just that. I've got a launch model, so I could conceivably just put homebrew and Moonlight on it, but that's something I'll save for EOL.

On a more visual novelly note, I started and finished the freeware version of Doki Doki Literature Club the other day. I had some ideas about where it might go beforehand, but I certainly did not expect that. Pretty neat. Might grab the paid release down the line. Not sure.
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
I wonder if JAST will target a Steam release with Muramasa.
I hope so too, but the way Steam approves adult content for Japanese VNs in the past 5 years or so makes it a crapshoot. But I suppose as long as Steam Overlay works with it, I'm not too fussed about it.

Steam Deck will be the ultimate VN machine, period. I am going to move my entire collection into it.
It will be nice to just shut off my living room PC and continue reading in the bedroom with SteamPal since the game saves will be on Steam Cloud. With my current SteamLink setup I sometimes forgot to shut it off.
 

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
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I played one route of Muramasa in the past, and it has a LOT of fucked-up scenes. So it is definitely not recommend to people who prefer lighter story.
Right now, I'm doing the whole streaming to PS Vita thing, but yeah. I don't know if it's my eyesight going or what, but that screen is starting to feel smallish.

I wish we could get Steam Link on Switch tbh. 90% of my use cases would be met by just that. I've got a launch model, so I could conceivably just put homebrew and Moonlight on it, but that's something I'll save for EOL.

On a more visual novelly note, I started and finished the freeware version of Doki Doki Literature Club the other day. I had some ideas about where it might go beforehand, but I certainly did not expect that. Pretty neat. Might grab the paid release down the line. Not sure.
Yeah, now Steam Deck would be the single solution to these problems. I am so excited.
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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I'll probably end up buying [UWSL][UWSL]Full Metal Daemon Muramasa[/UWSL][/UWSL] on [UWSL][UWSL]JASTUSA[/UWSL][/UWSL] anyway. If a VN is on Steam but available from the publisher/developer i've been buying that version instead and as most of them have been having Sales alongside Steam i hasn't cost me much more.
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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From the little I know about Narahara's style of writing, it's that it can be really out there from a lot of stuff you've read before, a bit similar to Masada's style of writing for stories like Dies Irae. Like Dies Irae, this VN definitely won't be for everyone.
 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
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From the little I know about Narahara's style of writing, it's that it can be really out there from a lot of stuff you've read before, a bit similar to Masada's style of writing for stuff like Dies Irae. Like Dies Irae, this VN definitely won't be for everyone.
Yes, this is part of the reason. I am interested to see how they translate some of the phrases into English.
 

skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Yes, this is part of the reason. I am interested to see how they translate some of the phrases into English.
Dies Irae has an outstanding localization, and from what I've seen of Moogy and Makoto's work previously, I'm confident Muramasa's TL will be excellent as well. Especially as we know they've been working on this for years so there's no worry of it being a rush job either.
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
I mentioned this in Discord, but I'm interested to see what they've done with the ADV text boxes in the game. The vertical arrangement worked really well to give the impression of characters facing one another and conversing.





Simply reorienting the text boxes into horizontal position could result in empty spaces in between and I imagine redrawing the assets are out of the question.
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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That will be interesting to see how they design around that especially for a language like English where reading top-down is a bit of a strain for prolonged periods. It's fine for signage but there aren't many examples of vertically aligned works of any length that i can think of so most people wouldn't be used to that orientation in the first place.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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I mentioned this in Discord, but I'm interested to see what they've done with the ADV text boxes in the game. The vertical arrangement worked really well to give the impression of characters facing one another and conversing.

[...]

Simply reorienting the text boxes into horizontal position could result in empty spaces in between and I imagine redrawing the assets are out of the question.
There are some screenshots on the page ZKenir linked and the answer is that the text-boxes are still vertical:
It's a bit of a trade off, since the English text needs much more horizontal space, but the alternative would be an even greater departure from the original.
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
There are some screenshots on the page @ZKenir linked and the answer is that the text-boxes are still vertical:
Ah, right. Looks like they've republished the press release. It was an empty page when I visited it the first time. I suppose this is a bit of a trade-off, indeed. I can imagine these text boxes will go on top of the characters images if there's a particularly length passage.

A couple of rough comparison shots.





 
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Myradeer

Rayon de Soleil
Apr 17, 2019
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Expanding horizontal dimension of the box was understandable compromise because I can't imagine how one can viably write vertical English text, but it does make position of face image to look super awkward.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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I wouldn't recommend getting it, but there's a new Winged Cloud bundle on Humble:

 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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Yeah, i saw it yesterday. I have the previous Sakura Bundle from years ago but there's still 10 games in that bundle i don't have but as you say i've read that most of them are meh. I haven't played any yet but i know that Sakura Dungeon is the one i see mentioned as being a decent game.
 

MomoVideo

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2021
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Help me out people. I like story-heavy games but I never tried VNs. Can anyone recommend me a good entry point for VNs, most preferably with an adult cast and maybe darker themes?
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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MomoVideo Damn, you should have asked last week when Steam, JAST, Denpa and others had their sales on. You could have saved tons of cash.

Hmmm, I haven't played many Darker, Adult VNs but i'd say have a look at the standard ones that will be mentioned.
There's also a genre called Nakige or "Crying Game" which is aimed at sad stories or stories to make you feel things which would tend towards more mature/adult themes like loss etc.

House of Fata Morgana
Saya no Uta ( Song of Saya)
Zero Escape Series
Steins;Gate Series
Wonderful Everyday is one that Meta VN crew recently played and apparently that makes you think.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Danganronpa Series is very story heavy but also more of a "game" game than a VN but it definitely blurs the lines and covers mature themes.
Ace Attorney Series - lighter but still deal with murder etc.

The regulars will be able to give you a more refined list and maybe remove the first two games as from what i've heard they are... hmmmmm. Dark indeed.

Bear in mind that the VNs on Steam will have most of the, hmmm, "naughty" scenes removed or heavily censored if that matters to you. I think most of the "horror" or "graphic" scenes are left in so you don't lose that context or shock scenes.

Hopefully someone can suggest some free games for you to try out. There's a ton of short, free VNs made using RenPy for example that might be good for you to try before you start spending cash.
 
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Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
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Help me out people. I like story-heavy games but I never tried VNs. Can anyone recommend me a good entry point for VNs, most preferably with an adult cast and maybe darker themes?
I really like True Remembrance: trueremembrance.insani.org. It's a free game, and not super long, from what I remember.

I think the first Visual Novel I played, either this or Tsukihime, and I think this is actually a better game, at least far more consistent, whereas Tsukihime has some incredible highs, but also some pretty bad moments, usually when it turns into outright porn. Like, I'm not saying a game being porn is bad, it just creates this insane whiplash when in one moment the game is a very serious drama, with complex characters and world building, and in the next moment it has the hero wanting to bone his step-sister (stay classy, Natsu) and having pretty explicit sex scenes with people.
 

skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
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Help me out people. I like story-heavy games but I never tried VNs. Can anyone recommend me a good entry point for VNs, most preferably with an adult cast and maybe darker themes?
Ace Attorney is my go to recommendation. Not too long, inexpensive to own the first trilogy, and some enjoyable courtroom/investigation to break up the constant barrage of text for people not used to the medium. Hits really well on both the comedic scenes and some heavy moments. There's also stuff like AI: The Somnium Files, and the Zero Escape Trilogy (999, VLR, ZTD) as well for good entry points. The Utawarerumono trilogy is also fantastic with the 3rd game being a personal favorite of mine (and one of the only pieces of media to make me cry).

If you have a PS4 look into Aegis Rim: 13 Sentinels, which is an iincredibly out there scfi-fi epic while simultaneously being a really fucking amazing visual novel/RTS hybrid.

Someone also mentioned The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass, which I haven't gotten around to reading yet, but sounds fantastic and might be something that you're probably looking for.

While I'm not a personal fan, Fata Morgana is one of the most highly rated VNs for good reason. It's incredibly dark and at times, really hard to stomach, but there's very little quite like it in this medium.

The science adventure novels like Steins;Gate, Chaos;Head Noah, Chaos;Child, and Robotics;Notes are all also great VNs. I haven't gotten to reading them yet since I'm waiting for Chaos;Head Noah's fantl to finish before i binge the series, but I know many who can speak to their quality. If you do look into picking these up, look into the committee of zero fan patches for the Steam versions of these games. They fix a lot of the translation errors and spelling that exists since outside of S;G these titles unfortunately got pretty middling translations.

I'd recommend staying away from the nearly 100+ hour juggernauts like Baldr Sky, Muv-Luv, Muramasa, Dies Irae, Higurashi/Umineko, etc. for your first go around. Not that they're lacking in quality, as even with my personal gripes with some of these titles more than others, they all stand as some of the highest points of the medium. But they can be tough for newer players thanks to their occasionally erratic pacing or difficult writing styles (and sometimes even a combination of both). VNs like those are best read once you're more accustomed to what to expect from the medium.

One thing to keep in mind is that visual novels is a really wide and expansive medium of entertainment, similar to anime/managa/tv/etc. Even if you don't jive with everything, there's always something out there for everyone considering the wide number of genres they touch upon.

There's also a genre called Nukige or "Crying Game" which is aimed at sad stories or stories to make you feel things which would tend towards more mature/adult themes like loss etc.
You're thinking of Nakige, Nukige is uh....something much different involving adult themes.
 
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MomoVideo

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2021
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EdwardTivrusky Yeah, my bad. VNs did not cross my mind during the Steam Sale, but it doesn't matter. If the game looks solid then I don't mind paying a slightly higher price. I recognize some of the games you mentioned, but its my first time hearing about the others. House of Fata Morgana for example immediately peaked my interest it looks like something I might enjoy. As for nudity, I don't really care if the game is censored or not. For gore scenes, I think it would actually impact my enjoyment if it was censored :blobevening:
Thanks for detailed answer and great list.

Knurek I appreciate the recommendation. Although I agree that you can't beat the price, I'm not interested in strictly romance games. It's just not my cup of tea 😢

Mivey Thanks a bunch, I will check out the True Remembrance! As for the other game, yeah... your recommendation doesn't sound appealing 😅
 
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MomoVideo

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2021
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skLaFarebear Woah, so much stuff to go through, thanks a ton! I adore the graphics of the Aegis Rim, I wish I could play it, but sadly I don't own PS4. Maybe someday it will arrive on PC :confounded-face: The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass indeed looks interesting, I wishlisted it immediately :thumbsupblob: I will have to take a closer look at the other games too.
I will also remember your advice about those long games ( I would prefer to play shorter games first anyway). Thanks again for very detailed reply :photoblobheart:
 

Knurek

OG old coot
Oct 16, 2018
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Knurek I appreciate the recommendation. Although I agree that you can't beat the price, I'm not interested in strictly romance games. It's just not my cup of tea 😢
Cupid is... uh... not a romance game in the way you read it. No genki high school girls you can romance there. It's just set during the romantic era
To quote the store page:
WARNING: MATURE CONTENT. This game contains disturbing imagery, violence, flashing images, sudden and loud noises, mature themes, and strong sexual content. Viewer discretion is advised.
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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MomoVideo If you're delving into VNs i'd say go to the first page of the thread and scan through, people posted a lot of links to VNs in the first few pages.

Here's a couple of links to definitions of VN Styles/Types that may help you decide if you're interested in a VN or not. Even Western VNs will descibe themselves by these terms or at least the fans will so they're handy to keep in mind.

A Guide for Japanese Visual Novel Terminology - Fandom Wiki
A guide for Visual Novel Terms - SweetMonia

Obviously some VNs will have elements of a bunch of these themes/terms/genres/whatever, just to make life hard.
Also, if something says it is a "Kinetic Novel" then it has no choices at all but they have more presentation like animation, effects, music etc to make up for it. Sometimes.

edit: I also found these free Phoenix Wright fan-made games from earlier in the thread. they're made using PyWright a Phoenix Wright Game Engine in Python. Mad.


 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
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What's so good about Muramasa?
  • Set in fictional Meiji era-like Japan. A clash of old and new, power struggle, and generally an atmosphere of sadness and despair
  • Story centers on themes including sin and punishment, the meaning of killing etc.
  • Mecha battle with heavy focus on sword combat
  • An unconventional choice system tie to a major plot twist
As I mentioned before, the story is overall very dark, has fucked-up moments including [UWSL]gang rape and torture[/UWSL], and very graphical. Story is long and has in-depth discussions on the themes. I stopped after finishing one route because the game is very heavy, so be prepared.
Oh nice, reminds me to give out a warning.

DONT READ SPOILER ON CHAPTER ONE. Or at all.
 
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skLaFarebear

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  • Set in fictional Meiji era-like Japan. A clash of old and new, power struggle, and generally an atmosphere of sadness and despair
  • Story centers on themes including sin and punishment, the meaning of killing etc.
  • Mecha battle with heavy focus on sword combat
  • An unconventional choice system tie to a major plot twist
As I mentioned before, the story is overall very dark, has fucked-up moments including gang rape and torture, and very graphical. Story is long and has in-depth discussions on the themes. I stopped after finishing one route because the game is very heavy, so be prepared.

Oh nice, reminds me to give out a warning.

DONT READ SPOILER ON CHAPTER ONE. Or at all.
I've already muted Muramasa on twitter. Just need that pre-order link from JAST and I'm good.
 

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
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I just impulse bought the Japanese copy Clockwork Leyline trilogy because they only cost $11 on DLsite. Well, the possibility of starting them in near future is pretty slim because I kinda want to leave every VN to Steam Deck...
 
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Myradeer

Rayon de Soleil
Apr 17, 2019
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There's only four visual novels I would comfortably give score of 10/10, and Muramasa is one of them. Absolutely recommended unless one happens to hate serious action genre itself.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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I draw a blank here. Last time I looked into VN there was this new game telling the story of four male friends at the end of the world.
Looked quite sad.

Any idea what it is and if it was good ?

edit. It was Mamiya, I just had to look back a few pages, stupid me :cryblob:
 
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tetel

Junior Member
Jan 7, 2020
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How good are the Infinity series localizations? Slowly finishing Higurashi (at the start of EP7) and have been thinking about going into those next. Also, do I have to go for PSP versions - I know there are PC versions available on DMM but remember reading that you can't patch them to English.
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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skLaFarebear

MetaMember
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How good are the Infinity series localizations? Slowly finishing Higurashi (at the start of EP7) and have been thinking about going into those next. Also, do I have to go for PSP versions - I know there are PC versions available on DMM but remember reading that you can't patch them to English.
Never7 and Ever17's are quite old and uh....not so good featuring many translation errors and typos galore, but it's all you have if you want to read them. Remember11 used to be in this category alongside being a much more buggier game, but just a few months ago some fans made a "Gestalt" patch for the game here.

This has everything from bugfixing and typo fixing to a whole translation check performed on the game and it's significantly improved from the screenshots I've seen from it. I haven't read R11 yet, but it definitely shot pretty far up my backlog after this patch dropped. Unfortunately, R11's new patch still runs on top of the old TLWiki patch which is for retail versions of the game. Your best bet is to honestly just purchase the game on DMM then acquire working versions through other means if you want to play them.

Edit: Well actually checking the infinity series reddit, even ever17 recently got a fan patch here that was just updated a few months ago as well featuring TLC/bugfixing/etc. like R11 had gotten, and also seems to be much easier to install than R11's patch. I'd recommend checking the infinity series reddit in general as they probably know more about obtaining/installing the games than I do.
 

Myradeer

Rayon de Soleil
Apr 17, 2019
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Hmmm, FataMoru, Muv-Luv Alternative, and 428 ?
Clannad, Rewrite, Fata Morgana. I actually don't mind reading diverse genres as long as the game can keep me engaged. Honourable mentions are Kira☆Kira, Gekkou no Carnevale, and Cross†Channel.

I actually didn't play 428 yet due to it being pretty expensive. Muv-Luv Alternative is nearly perfect but I couldn't enjoy it fully due to its positive viewpoint toward Empire of Japan; Muramasa actually suffers massively from this problem with its one-dimensional weeevil weeeevil Westeners. which goes completely against one of its major theme. However, the game is so good to make up for this weakness, would have been 11/10 work otherwise.
 

skLaFarebear

MetaMember
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I actually didn't play 428 yet due to it being pretty expensive. Muv-Luv Alternative is nearly perfect but I couldn't enjoy it fully due to its positive viewpoint toward Empire of Japan; Muramasa actually suffers massively from this problem with its one-dimensional weeevil weeeevil Westeners. which goes completely against one of its major theme. However, the game is so good to make up for this weakness, would have been 11/10 work otherwise.
One thing I really like about Muv-Luv TDA is that it's much better at showing other nations like the U.S and U.N. in both a positive and negative light as well as the Japanese Empire. It's cast and the script in general feels a lot more "tolerant" of other nations and their characters thanks to the circumstances of the world in addition to it's somewhat diverse and more adult main cast. While it still highlights Japanese nationalism and pride in an often positive light, it also isn't scared to take a take a few jabs at it along the way.

Listening to Kouki talk about other countries and their cultures in the Muv-Luv streams, you can tell he's come a very long way in his mindset compared to when he wrote Alternative.
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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I draw a blank here. Last time I looked into VN there was this new game telling the story of four male friends at the end of the world.
Looked quite sad.

Any idea what it is and if it was good ?

edit. It was Mamiya, I just had to look back a few pages, stupid me :cryblob:
I read MAMIYA when it released and very much enjoyed it.
It's a strange VN that deals with some hard hitting themes, and it was right up my alley.
There's a demo for it on Steam if you are curious.

I do have complaints, namely that it ends with a sequel hook/cliff-hanger, that the engine is shit, and that you unlock the what-if stories by playing a "gacha" game. If you read it and get to that point where you can unlock what-if stories, then just let me know and I can post a fully unlocked save.
 
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