Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club Main Menu

Overview

Today we’re doing something different. We’ve done Figure Fridays, but I have no more figures to show currently so instead we’re going to be looking at an anime themed game.

Doki Doki Literature Club is one of the best games to come out in 2017 and you can download it for free on steam. Just a warning: your antivirus may catch this game, but don’t worry, it’s safe to download. I had no issues downloading the game, but I heard that other people received a warning from their antivirus.

As you may be able to tell from the main menu, this is a visual novel which takes place in a high school literature club. Throughout the game you’ll be able to read poems written by the other members of the club and they’re actually better than I would have expected. Natsuki’s poems were probably my favorite because they were very simplistic and funny.

While I’ve watched playthroughs of other visual novels, such as Nekopara, Doki Doki Literature Club was the first one I actually played for myself. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are many other visual novels which will ever be able to keep me entertained in the same way this one did.

Characters

The first character we meet in the game is our childhood friend Sayori. Her personality is very bubbly and she seems to have a lot of energy although she does seem to enjoy sleeping in. Sayori is the one who initially gets us, the player, to join the literature club.

Next is Natsuki. She’s a tsundere character who likes cute things, although she won’t admit it. She is also interested in manga which she considers a form of literature which isn’t taken seriously enough. Finally, her poems are often easy to read and somewhat childish, but I thought they were also some of the best in the game.

Yuri is the third member of the literature club. She’s really into reading books and seems to be shy around new people. Her poems tend to be more on the complex side and because of this she and Natsuki don’t always see eye to eye.

The last member is Monika, the president of the literature club. She’s the popular girl who we know from class who we wouldn’t normally try to talk to, but in the setting of the literature club she’s just Monika.

**Spoilers Ahead**

Playthrough

Doki Doki Literature Club is more of an experience than a visual novel so if you have not played the game yet and are planning to, I highly recommend playing the game instead of continuing on with this review.

If you do play through the game, make sure to keep playing until you hit the ending credits. The game may seem like it’s over at various points, but those are actually just the breaks between the different parts of the game. Below I’ve broken the game into these four different parts to talk about, but as I mentioned, this will spoil the game from here on out.

Part 1: The Literature Club

So at the start we meet Sayori and the other members of the literature club. This is a fairly standard beginning, and for the most part the first part of the game plays exactly like you would expect it to. All the members of the club write poems and based off the words you select for your poems you can impress the other member of your choosing.

At this stage, however, you can only choose between Sayori, Natsuki, and Yuri if I remember correctly. President Monika is unfortunately off-limits even though she seems to be the one most people are initially interested in. Sayori is also in the unfortunate position of being the childhood friend without much going on so players tend to be drawn to Natsuki or Yuri.

I decided to go for Natsuki because I thought it was funny, and the one playthrough which I watched after completing the game went for Yuri. Because of this I don’t actually know what would have happened if you selected Sayori, but something tells me the end of part one would still be the same.

Sayori hangs herself in her room because we didn’t love her enough.

Sayori’s Death

Part 2: Post-Sayori

So now that Sayori’s arc is over we’re taken back to the main menu, although this time Sayori isn’t featured with the other three girls. Instead there is a glitched-out collage of pieces of the other three girls where Sayori once was. This is where the real game begins.

Remember how I mentioned that this game might be caught by anti-virus software? That’s because this game actually manipulates the game files as you play. If you went into the game files at the beginning of the game you’d see that everything was there, including files for each of the four girls, but if you go into the game files now, you’ll notice that Sayori is no longer there.

Sayori has been deleted from the game.

So with Sayori gone, we continue onward in our quest to woo either Natsuki or Yuri and nobody other than the player has any memory of Sayori. Now there are multiple “glitches” in the game which show up in the form of strange messed up text or other strange visual glitches affecting the characters themselves.

It is in this part that we truly get to choose between Natsuki and Yuri. As far as I know, this is the only portion of the game where the player’s choice actually affects what happens in the game. If you choose Natsuki then you get a mini Natsuki arc, and if you choose Yuri you get a mini Yuri arc.

Oddly enough, even though I chose Natsuki I don’t really remember out of the ordinary happening with her. It was basically just a date involving some cupcakes being made or something, but maybe I’ve blocked out what happens due to trauma; who knows.

Yuri on the other hand isn’t as innocent as Natsuki. We find out that she’s a masochist who likes to cut herself. Oh, and she’s crazy if that wasn’t already apparent.

It’s during this part of the game that we lose both Yuri and Natsuki. Yuri, like Sayori kills herself, but in typical Yuri fashion by stabbing herself. Then, after we are forced to sit there and look at Yuri’s body for a very long time, Natsuki gets brutally deleted from the game by Monika who has been aware that she’s in a game this whole time.

Yuri’s Death

Part 3: Just Monika.

Now we’re in the third phase of the game known as “Just Monika.” As the name implies, it’s just Monika left and every choice in the game revolves around her. We then get to a never-ending screen of just Monika in which she has some randomized dialogue every minute or so, but other than that it’s just her staring at us.

While I initially thought that Sayori’s death at the end of part one was the end of the game, I similarly thought that this screen with Monika was also the end of the game because there are no more choices left for the player. You can close the game, but when you open it again you’re just faced with Monika like before.

However, there is a hint in some of her dialogue. She mentions how she’s glad you never deleted her from the game. If you thought that this game was meta because it tampers with its own files as you play, then just wait for part four.

Just Monika.

Part 4: New Meta

To proceed to part four you have to close the game, open the game files, navigate to the characters folder, and delete Monika from the game. Now that’s what I call meta.

After Monika has been deleted you can open up the game again and there will be some dialogue from her about how she can’t believe you would do something like that to her before she disappears. Then the game seemingly resets with Sayori, Natsuki, and Yuri back in the game, although this time it’s Monika who’s missing.

Sayori is now the president of the literature club and we get a proper ending to the game. But then, when we least expect it, Monika speaks to us from beyond. Turns out she wrote us a song because even though she killed the other members of the literature club, she’s still best girl in the end.

Conclusion

So now that Doki Doki Literature Club has been completely spoiled for you, I think it’s only fair that I give my rating of the game. This game is a 10/10 for so many reasons.

The first part of the game was already pretty good before things got crazy, but the fact that this game goes where no visual novel has dared go before is what really makes it a 10. The manipulation of game files was one of my favorite parts of the game and there are even bonuses for those who regularly check the game files while playing.

Sure, if you’ve read this far then the twists and turns of the game have been spoiled, but it’s a free game and I strongly recommend giving it a try because as I mentioned earlier: this game is an experience.

The final credits of Doki Doki Literature club feature a version of the main menu theme with lyrics sung by Monika. This song can be found here on the official YouTube channel of the game developer.

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