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Doki Doki Literature Club! review
Exceptional
by Bibo

(MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS)

Doki Doki Literature Club is a scary game. It isn't a game about monsters chasing you, it's a silent danger slowly dancing around your perception on itself. I think we can all agree that we can contribute DDLC's success to its innovative way to integrate the "4th wall break." This makes the game extremely scary and rightfully so, the whole point of the 4th wall break is to violently spit you out of the immersion and make you realize that the window you've been mindlessly staring into isn't one way. This upon numerous jumpscares, ominous distorted music, and extremely unsettling dialogue leads this game to stand above any other horror game when it comes to making me feel uncomfortable.

But this isn't what makes Doki Doki Literature Club scary.

It's a game about problems and our inability to fix those problems. It's the slow realization that Sayori is so depressed that you are her lone reason to keep going and the crushing feeling of ignorance you felt after her confession, It's knowing Natsuki throws a half-assed smile on her face knowing that this moment of serenity had in this classroom is only a short refreshing breathe before coming home to experience hell, It's knowing that under those long sleeves and silky hair are the countless scars left behind by no one other than Yuri herself. DDLC's monster isn't a grotesque abomination chasing you, it's the feeling of absolute helplessness.

But chances are that when referring to monsters in this game only one name comes to mind, Monika. She manipulated everyone to insanity, she drove Sayori to give in and kill herself, she made Yuri stab herself to death in a passionate display of love for you, and God only knows what the hell she did with Natsuki. Monika is, objectively, a horrible person. However, a person nonetheless, not a monster. Just like everyone else in this club, she too has a problem.

She was alone. Her reality was swept out from under her, leaving her into a violent free-fall of knowledge and understanding, she now knows the truth. Nothing here is real, her friends, this world, and even her own existence. Although, one thing was real, us. Like she mentioned in one of her poems, the screen we've been looking at for hours now isnt a screen, its a window. Unlike the others, we aren't given a single opportunity to interact with her. No matter what, we are constricted to only the rest of the club. Maybe this was some form of punishment, the cost of knowing the weight of the world and the horror of its weight being so unbelievably light.

A common misconception I see people make about this game is the extent of Monika's manipulation. None of the feelings about suicide, abuse, and self harm were planted by her, they were always there. She wasn't pulling any strings throughout the entire story, she cut them loose instead. She knew the evil within all of them, what extents they would go to just to keep their head above water. But just like drowning, you'll pull anything and anyone down to stay afloat. Like the monsters they all were by design, they fought and slowly killed each other over their one shared salvation, us. 

But why weren't we off put by this? Why weren't we turned away immediately at the sign of a monster hiding deep below the surface in all of them? We wanted to help, thats why. We spent over 2 hours with them sharing personal experiences, writing poems for each other, and even being romantically involved in whoever suited your fancy, it was hard NOT to care. But you can't help, the game doesn't even give you the options to help. Like a deer stuck in headlights, you can only watch it all unfold. 

No matter what you chose to do in a struggle to help and save those you cared for, they all die. Leaving you with just Monika, alone with the beast in its nest. But she did it, despite her curse and suffering, rose up against the prewritten will of her binary universe and got her so longed for ending. Isn't this a happy ending? No one else was real after all, they're all just a bunch of 1's and 0's with prewritten dialogue. We couldn't accept it though and neither could her. But out of an act I can only describe as a fit of ignorance, we killed her. We killed her simply because we didn't understand. 

So where does this leave us? Back to another day walking to school with...Sayori? Monika's death saved all those she has so wrongfully done by, THIS must be my happy ending. This short breathe of euphoria is interrupted by Sayori thanking you for killing Monika, it all makes sense now. Just before you can lash out at your screen for giving you this false sense of hope, Monika denies you this reality. We're left with the whole club once again meeting their demise to the "Delete from File" command and a short dialogue from Monika BEGGING you to not go again. There can be suffering had at this place, she cares for those stuck in there and the only way out was a mercy killing. This was her reality, one we tried so hard to deny. The credits roll to a song Monika wrote for you called "Your Reality." The game ends with all your game files being deleted, begging you to never return. We left with nothing other than a heart heavy with disappointment.

Some of us, not feeling content with this heavy heart, went back. Maybe theres a way to fix this? A way to right everyones wrongs, I know everything now, there must be a way! There isn't. You beat the game again only to be greeted with a thank you from the whole cast but most importantly, a goodbye. Everyone still dies, you killed Monika AGAIN thinking that this was still the right choice. It isn't until that black transition screen to bring you into the credits that you realize the window you were once looking into stopped becoming a window a long time ago and instead, a mirror. You knew what her reality was like her, you took it head on knowing everything that will happen and bearing that weight exactly like her, hoping for a happy ending alongside her. It was all in vain, you couldn't fix their reality, let alone her reality. All you're left with is Your Reality...and it's a really sad one.

"There's a little devil inside all of us."...
               -Monika
«Blew my mind»
«Liked before it became a hit»

Other reviews9

This is so great. I stopped after playing just before act I ends and played the remaining part just few days ago. I didn't know the first part was intentionally left that way to be similar to other visual novels. The point of the story got through so well and it is also implemented innvovatively. I'll spoil if i tell anything else .Just give it a try
«Blew my mind»
A short horror visual novel. The less you know before starting the better. Just be prepared to read a lot. Trying it doesn't cost anything so why not?
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Doki Doki Literature Club! Harmless Name, I told myself. I like Visual Novels, I thought to myself. I also love Animes, that's absolutely true. But this Visual Novel, took me to a new Level of like from Visual Novel. Why is this so? Let's Put it that way ... If you expect a Game differently than it actually is and this one is plowing the fucking Brain into the Meat Grinder, then such a Game has done everything right. Yes, I know that for some, a Visual Novel is not a Game, but that doesn't matter here, it can also be a Movie or a book, or just a Novel, Manga, Documentary or anything else. "This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed." What is supposed to happen already great, many have certainly said to themselves at this Game name and were smashed to the Bottom of the Facts. I'm not going to tell anything about it here, just write this Review and give a Thumbs up. What else should I do? The Game is free and damn good. One of the few Games that don't cost a Fortune and shows you how good Games can be if you just Think about what the Customer might like. And that's what the Reviews show now, because they speak Volumes when it's deserved. Pro: + free + wtf + Sound + story + Monika... oh Monika + Moni a + M n k + oni a Contra:-"This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed." Conclusion: Anyone who likes to watch Animes or is also on Visual Novels is welcome here. After all, it's free and you can watch that. I'm always someone who pays tribute to free Games (which are good, or could be good for others) and gives the Thumbs up. Love for this Game has grown and this Game definitely deserves it. Well, some People will not like it, but that is the way it is. Not everyone can please it, because the Tastes are different. I definitely make a Recommendation here, because first some Developers can cut a Slice here and because that plays out, Forgiveness is worth reading. For more Reviews of me Subscribe here and at pleasure also like to join my Group. Aus eigener Sache: ══════════════════════════════════════════════ Zensur in Games? No thanks! Unfortunately, not all Games that are available on Steam and have been censored are marked accordingly. If You want reliable and up-to-date Information on the Censorship Status of Games, check out for UNCUT! Pass and follow the Curator To get humble about Censors in Games. Zur Website [www.foruncut.com] • Zum neuen Forum [www.foruncut.com] ══════════════════════════════════════════════
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Depressing, but sweet. So, bittersweet. I liked the depressing parts as well as the sweet parts. It's interesting, too. Mentally stimulating, not just emotionally stimulating. Heed the warnings. I wouldn't be surprised if someone has killed themselves over this game. But if you honestly think you can handle it, play it now!
«Beaten more than once»
Honestly, I’m not into visual novels, I always thought they are boring. But this game is a unique experience. Play this game even if you’re not a fan of VN - it’s amazing.  
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
The game is done right with all its visuals, sounds and so on but there are many better projects on the market currently. This game just tries to scare you but it fails like a cheap movie. Of course, it’s free and maybe I’m too tough but for me the game isn’t interesting at all.