The first ending many people experience when playing notorious pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend involves being ambushed by ninjas for "failing to display sufficient intimacy with the birds." You are unceremoniously killed and brought back to the main menu to start over from the beginning or are forced to resume from an earlier save point.Dating simulation games like Hatoful Boyfriend most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story.He pointed out the lack of gravity a character's death has in these kind of games, stemming from seeing the main character and surrounding characters die so many times and how to work with it."So basically, rather than the desire of 'I don't want the character to die, so I'll try to avoid it,' we put emphasis on the desire 'I don't want this story to die as is, so I'll try to avoid it,'" he explained.It’s a troubling view of human relations in general but it’s one that simple gameplay mechanics can handle.
Seasoned players of dating sims endeavor to experience all the junctures, all the good and the bad, ultimately seeking out their best of all possible worlds.
While the tools offered by these games tacitly encourage narrative manipulation, such as skipping of prior-read text, jumping directly to decision points, massive amounts of save slots, gallery completion percentages, and new game plus content, unfortunately the user experience design isn't there to train someone completely new to this experience.
And this is where us in the West run into misconceptions about the depth of these games.
Many folks never see Hatoful Boyfriend subtly transform into its final revelatory route that blows everyone's minds.
It isn't a good game because it’s hilarious to date pigeons, it's a good game because of what it does to you after you become attached to all the pigeons and then play again one last time in order to "fulfill the promise." The epilogue is the real story.
Your character may speak of destiny and true love, but you as the player know better and are keeping a meta tally of all your conquests.