You probably remember the popular visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club for its unique approach to the horror genre through the use of breaking the fourth wall. But was that the only reason for its soar in popularity?
A Peaceful Beginning
The game began just like any other visual novel – characters were revealed one by one (all of them being “waifus”), the atmosphere was easy to become immersed in, and the storyline was simplistic and easily followable. The main thing that set it apart from other visual novels was its incredible soundtrack. Every song from the Doki Doki soundtrack is a certified banger, and every scene is beautifully coloured with a unique vibrancy because of this. At this point in the game, it’s nothing more than a day-by-day literature club simulator. The MC is your average lonely high school student and the girls are all your usual stereotypes. That is until things start to get strange. Really strange.
Something Doesn’t Feel Right
Towards the middle of the game, an ominous vibe starts to be given off. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you can tell that most of it revolves around Sayori. Yuri and Natsuki are still acting relatively normal at this point in the game, it’s Sayori who has changed the most drastically. She becomes less and less talkative and energetic, and even straight up doesn’t go to school on some days. Fans of the game will know what happens next, when the MC makes a tragic, unfortunate discovery in Sayori’s bedroom. At face value this was a result of Sayori’s masked depression, but truthfully, it wasn’t.
The Puppet Master Revealed
With Sayori no longer being in the game, the next two to act out of character are Yuri and Natsuki. Natsuki would become more hostile and Yuri would become more and more obsessed with the MC. After Yuri meets her devastating end, the puppet master steps out from behind the curtain – Monika. Monika had been accessing the game’s files and making changes to Sayori, Yuri and Natsuki’s personalities as an attempt to make them more unlikeable in the eyes of the MC. She did this so she could have the MC all to herself. Her plan failed though, and she realised that the only way that she could get the MC to like her was to erase the other girls from the game. So, she did just that.
What Makes Doki Doki Different
With the main story up until just before the ending now covered, let’s discuss what makes Doki Doki so unique. Monika’s breaking of the fourth wall is not something that you see often, even less so back in 2017. Her awareness that she’s trapped in a game and has access to the game’s files is such an amazing twist because it gives you the feeling that you’ve been being watched this entire time.
After Monika deletes the other girls and traps you in the space-classroom with her, she quite literally feels omnipotent as she stares at you from across the table. At this point, she’s not looking at the MC, she’s looking at you. She even outright states it while you’re talking to her. Monika is aware of the real world and wants to escape to it in order to be with, well, you, but she can’t because she’s trapped inside the game.
The feeling of confusion mixed with amazement that this scene gives you as Monika unveils all that she’s done throughout the game is unrivalled in any visual novel, and by extension any game.
In the end there’s only one thing you can do – delete Monika’s character file just as she did to the other girls. You literally cannot progress to the ending unless you do this, every time you reopen the game you’ll find yourself sat in the same seat across from the beautiful but cunning Monika. Once you delete her, the game restarts and Sayori takes the role as the one who is aware that she’s in a game, prompting Monika to use the last of her strength to shut the entire game down. And well, that’s it. End of the game. The game closes out with Monika’s original song “Your Reality” and the credits roll. It’s a bittersweet ending knowing that something as warm and enjoyable as the literature club had no other fate but to be destroyed forever, erased from existence.
To sum everything up, It’s fair to say that the reason that Doki Doki Literature Club took the world by storm was due to its deceptive nature and its sheer uniqueness. There have been parody songs written such as The Stupendium’s “Why Did I Say Okie Doki?” Check it out if you haven’t already, it’s a great song. There have been fanmade DLCs made for the game such as Blue Skies and Rainclouds, each of which have their own original soundtracks. Blue Skies gives players a deeper insight into what it would’ve been like to romance the girls without Monika’s intervention, and without the game’s horror aspects at every corner. What do you guys think about this game? Did you like it? Dislike it? Let us know in the comments eblow!
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