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Visual Novels |OT| "I am the bone of my sword..." ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) GAF Visual Novel Community



Hello GAFers, and welcome to a new community OT covering one of the most slept-on genres in the universe of electronic gaming. We speak, of course, of Visual Novels.


The wiki defines it thus:

A visual novel (Japanese: ビジュアルノベル, Hepburn: bijuaru noberu), often abbreviated as VN, is a form of digital semi-interactive fiction. Visual novels are often associated with and used in the medium of video games, but are not always labeled as such themselves. They combine a textual narrative with static or animated illustrations and a varying degree of interactivity. The format is more rarely referred to as novel game, a retranscription of the wasei-eigo term noberu gēmu (ノベルゲーム), which is more often used in Japanese.

Visual novels originated in and are especially prevalent in Japan, where they made up nearly 70% of the PC game titles released in 2006.[4] In Japanese, a distinction is often made between visual novels (NVL, from "novel"), which consist primarily of narration and have very few interactive elements, and adventure games (AVG or ADV, from "adventure"), which incorporate problem-solving and other types of gameplay. This distinction is normally lost outside Japan, as both visual novels and adventure games are commonly referred to as "visual novels" by international fans.

Visual novels are rarely produced exclusively for dedicated video game consoles, but the more popular games have occasionally been ported from PC (or a hardware equivalent) to systems such as the Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation Portable, or Xbox 360. The more famous visual novels are also often adapted into light novels, manga or anime and are sometimes succeeded or complimented by actual video games, such as RPGs or action games set in the same universe.


From TVTropes:

Visual Novels are a niche medium closely related to both video games and anime. They tend to focus on storytelling without any significant form of gameplay, though the line between them and video games can become blurry or downright arbitrary. Though popular in Japan, they're only slowly catching on in the West. However, despite the small community, there's a reasonable amount of fanspeak terms that see little to no use in other mediums.

  • Charage: A charage is a visual novel that, while generally avoiding darker themes or actions, nonetheless may contain a reasonably serious plotline or characterization. The 'chara' comes from the word 'character' due to the focus on developing the characters and relationships. The line between a charage and a moege can be blurry.
  • Chuunige: A chuunige is a visual novel that likes to concern itself with things like dark, mysterious organizations, magic, Power Levels and various similar concepts; i.e. the kind of things that would appeal to a chuuni. While sometimes used as an insult like moege, some of the most popular visual novels like Fate/stay night and Dies Irae fall into this category.
  • Eroge: Eroge is a very broad level term. It simply means 'erotic game' and thus encompasses any game or visual novel containing sexual content. While this lends itself well to the romance or porn-based works which dominate the industry, there are also a sizable number of works that include sexual or romance themes as a sideplot; it's not unheard of for these to receive later "all ages" releases which remove or replace the adult content entirely.
  • Ichaicha: Ichaicha, literally flirting, is the term used for cute romantic moments that occur after a relationship is established. Works that fail to provide these moments can aggravate fans who feel like the buildup to the relationship had no payout after the inevitable Love Confession.
  • Kamige: 'God(-tier) game' - a frequently used term used to describe any great Visual Novel. Naturally, this type of classification is somewhat dependent on the taste of the person using the term, but it's often backed up by things like sale numbers or ratings. What's considered great can change with time, as well.
  • Kusoge: Literally, 'Shit game.' Generally used in a joking manner, it's a term used for any work that is perceived to be of low quality, frustrating or is simply unpopular.
  • Moege: A moege is a common type of visual novel that is generally lacking in serious drama and has nothing major at stake. Instead, it tends to focus on romance and cute girls. At the extreme end, they may have no appreciable conflict or plot whatsoever. The line between a charage and a moege can be blurry.
  • Nakige: A nakige could be considered a kind of utsuge lite. While they can be very sad and are indeed designed to evoke tears – which is where the 'naki' part comes in – they will usually have more optimistic endings and themes.
  • Nukige: A term for a Visual Novel that is largely or solely devoted to sex. These can have decent or even good stories (such as ClockUp's Euphoria), but the primary purpose is just to be pornography, with most of them being Porn Without Plot. By definition, these types of visual novels are essentially banned due to the site content policy.
  • Plotege: A game with a heavy emphasis on drama and action, literally the opposite of Moege. They can cross over with other genres, such as Nakige, Kamige, Utsuge, etc. Tends to not be an exact genre but more used for classification purposes. Tends to have a Fandom Rivalry with Moege as one of these games prevents Moege from being translated and vice-versa, with very little fan overlap.
  • Utsuge: Utsuge is one of the more commonly used classifications. However, it is often applied incorrectly. While the term means depressing game, it's often applied more loosely. More accurately, it is used for stories that have only sad/downer endings or require a great deal of hardship to reach a good ending.

The subreddit r/visualnovels has a nice website with recommendations.

  1. Don't be an asshole
  2. Please spoiler tags major plot developments when talking about important story moments
  3. Obviously do not post +18 content, even in slightly censored form
  4. Comments about ancillary media (e.g. anime adaptations) are OK
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