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Inside the Doki Doki Literature Club, Secrets and Hints





Doki Doki Literature Club, by God, what an amazing and underdeveloped game from the guys at Team Salvato. I have been wanting to talk about this gem since the moment it released but annoyingly enough, some unforeseen circumstances have prevented me from talking about it.

However, that only brings more time to put some research into this product. Not only that, but I managed to find some help in the form of Kara Dennison, a writer from Crunchyroll who also has been wanting to talk about this piece in horror fiction.

To describe Doki Doki Literature Club, we have to talk about the premise of the game itself. This game takes the premise of a Dating Simulator gone haywire and pretty much has fun with it. For the audiences who don’t know this, this is a horror game under the guise of a dating simulator.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time a horror game has masqueraded as a Dating Sim — since the two genres are so different, people will want to find ways to combine them. An earlier example is Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (shortened by fans to Totono).

This is a Nitro+ eroge in which one of your two possible partners remembers all your previous playthroughs. And when she sees that you’re going to the other available girl, she lets you — the player — know exactly how she feels about that.

This also has been a formula that has been attempted by games like the infamous Luna Game series. These games have concepts such as files required to gain access to features and meta-horror. In short, there is no shortage of horror games that have taken the Doki Doki Literature Club approach.

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After-School Lessons

That said, Doki Doki Literature Club makes use of all these elements together — meta-gaming, file finagling, and psychological horror — to make a point about the genre it exists in.

It forces the player to think harder than usual about what playing a Dating Sim really means. And, in the end, it encourages you to go against the typical Dating Sim play style in order to access the game’s hard-to-reach “happy ending.”

With a strong constitution, you can play the whole experience beginning to end in about 4-5 hours and get the basic message Dan Salvato hoped to convey. But everything the game has to offer takes experimentation and exploration.

This doesn’t mean that the adventure is all conveyed “Within the game”. As the meta approach suggests, Doki Doki Literature Club also makes use of the player going above and beyond to mess with the very game they are playing to get hints about what to do.

The easiest example of this is the fact that one of the game’s characters — Monika — talks to the player about their self-awareness regarding how she’s a game character. So, the obvious question players would ask is “If that’s the case, then I could just delete Monika’s file from the beginning and play the game like normal, right?”.

Despite Doki Doki Literature Club being a comparatively short play, there are plenty of save slots, and you’ll want to use them. It’s not just about saving and coming back; the programming is extremely clever, and the game tracks everything you do.

Even if something disappears on your side, the game remembers. So even if something happens to your save files during the course of the game, your progress will still exist. And speaking of your progress, you’ll want to keep an eye on the log. It’s a helpful place to look if you think things aren’t going quite as they should.


Thinking outside the Box

However, to reach all the secrets in the puzzle box of this game, you’ll have to get a bit inventive. Your answers start, as mentioned before, in the Character files. There’s a lot more to them than just saving and deleting them.

From a purely technical standpoint (you know, the actual programming), the .chr files only serve a purpose as far as the game recognizing whether they’re in the folder or not. They don’t hold actual character data. They do hold something, though!

Once I found out that the character files were formatted in a familiar fashion, I started messing around with them to see if I could come up with some kind of breakthrough. After doing some tinkering, I found out that Yuri’s character file had a word-by-word paste of Dan Salvato’s first ever Creepypasta!

The other .chr files take a bit more work to decode, and what they lead to is still something of a mystery. Changing Natsuki’s file to a .jpg and undoing some filters reveals some creepy character art of a young woman never seen in the main game.

Changing Sayori’s to a .ogg makes for some strange noises, but look at the sound file and you get a QR code that takes you to this odd site. And once you’ve done about a dozen passes on Monika’s file, you get a mysterious but inspiring note.

Are they hints to a future Team Salvato game? Or a hidden subplot to Doki Doki Literature Club itself? Fans are still trying to figure that out. Although, that doesn’t mean that the guys at Team Salvato aren’t going to jab at their fans every once in awhile. And I don’t mean DDLC fans.

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Doki Doki Dating Tips

All that aside — how do you win your favorite girl?

Well, that’s just it. The most important aspect of this Dating Sim is to not treat it like a Dating Sim. Doing that will lead you down the more straightforward path, which is the “main” ending but not the best you can get.

To get the best ending possible, you have to put aside all your conceptions of how Dating Sims are meant to be played. You may be used to lavishing your attention on one person and saying all the right things to make her like you. But that gets messy after a while.

We won’t give away specifically what you have to do, but we’ll give you a couple of big hints. First, listen to what Sayori says she hopes you’ll do when you join the club. She tells you right away how to get the best ending. You just have to pay attention.

Second, listen to everyone! Yuri likes dark and esoteric works. Natsuki likes cute things. But there’s something else they both want. And it fits pretty closely with what Sayori’s hoping.

Finally? Be ready to put in a lot of time and a lot of saves. Because it’s a time-consuming route. However, while the destination is the good ending, there are still some things that can happen during the journey to said ending.


The Journey in a Twisted World

Looking for more ways to uncover the secrets of Doki Doki Literature Club? The ones mentioned before take work, but there are a few that are pretty easy to stumble across.

One big one? When the game pushes you one way, go the other. Well, try, anyway. Whether you’ll actually succeed at any given time is up in the air. This could be a literal or metaphorical “push.” Just try to go against it. See what happens.

Look at the back wall. No, really. Just check it. See how it’s looking.

Even if you’re on a roll, quit the game and come back to it. This won’t really have a major effect until you’re into your second playthrough. But sometimes you get a surprise at the beginning. (Even we don’t know them all — at least once a week, someone seems to find a new one!)

Once you get the chance to talk to Monika for more than a few seconds at a time, let her ramble a bit. She has some interesting insights on high school life, being a vegetarian, and (of course) the nature of Dating Sims. Oh, and she’ll give you her Twitter name, too!

By the way, let’s address the elephant in the room for any horror game: jump scares. A lot of people don’t like them. In fact, our visiting Crunchyroll writer suffers from epilepsy and anxiety. So she really doesn’t like them.

Doki Doki Literature Club has only three real “beats” you could call jumpscares: entering Sayori’s room the second time, reading Natsuki’s second poem in the second playthrough if you’re attempting her route, and another if you stream the game while talking to Monika. They’re handled a bit less harshly than other games — more surprise than jumpscare — but your mileage may vary.

The main problem with these things is that sometimes, Jumpscares can become quite intrusive and definitely Not Fun. And it’s not like I am scared of them, I barely even flinch, but the problem is that these are annoying and often break up the immersion. It’s a problem that even Night Mind came across in a much more aggressive way in his review of SIMULACRA.

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Conclusion: The Literature Club Ends This Session

There you have it, folks, some nice tips, and advice to consider during your future Doki Doki Literature Club adventures. This is a game that pretty much stands out on its own accord and can make a great creepypasta story coming to reality.

It’s not without its flaws, being a game that’s too short for starters but the overall atmosphere the game has going for it sure makes the experience worth it. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, you can grab it absolutely free on Steam.

And if you enjoy the game, consider supporting Team Salvato so they can make more cool stuff! There’s a fan pack on Steam for $9.99, and an online store with keychains and posters of all the girls.

I’d like to end this Opinion piece by giving major thanks to my fellow Crunchyroll reporter, Kara Dennison. Without her help, this article wouldn’t have been as deep to make the game justice. You can read her articles by clicking right here and follow her Twitter as well. With that said, the club is dismissed, see y’all tomorrow!

I always wanted to be a journalist who listens. The Voice of the Unspoken and someone heavily involved in the gaming community. From playing as a leader of a competitive multi-branch team to organizing tournaments for the competitive scene to being involved in a lot of gaming communities. I want to keep moving forward as a journalist.

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5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster




Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.

First time available on modern hardware

As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.

The visuals look better than ever

Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.

Quality of life improvements

While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.

Triple Triad

The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.

The game is awesome

While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?

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10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019




10 Huge Games Still Coming 2019

2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.



A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.

Borderlands 3


It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.

The Outer Worlds


Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.

Luigi’s Mansion 3


It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.

Death Stranding


If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.

Pokemon Sword & Shield


At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.

Shenmue III


If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.

DOOM Eternal


id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.

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5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference




Microsoft E3 2019

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.

New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020

We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…

Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett

The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.

Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves

It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.

FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced

This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West

It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”

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