The newly launched homepage for 4chan developed English language disabled bishoujo eroge Katawa Shoujo / かたわ少女 (or “Cripple Girl” if we render it into English) went live recently, and the game has attracted a great deal of note (mostly derision) from Japanese observers; nonetheless, it looks to be an interesting project, so let us look it over.
The basic pattern the game takes is fairly standard: a visual novel with five female characters, each with their respective play paths; presumably a harem ending is also possible. The only caveat is that, like a great many doujin visual novels, the game will not be voiced.
The characters are as follows:
Lily Satou – 佐藤リリー – Blind
Hanako Ikezawa – 池沢華子 – Disfigured by burns
Rin Tezuka – 手塚凜 – No arms
Shizune Hakamichi – 羽加道静音 – Deaf-mute
Emi Ibarazaki – 茨崎笑美 – Both legs amputated
Something for everyone, then.
A release date has not been announced.
The game looks to be tastefully and sensitively realised, if we excuse it its rather jarring name, rather than a purely guro work, although a final verdict will have to wait until release.
The site explains the process by which the game came about:
The New Year of 2007 was bound to be business as usual for the /a/ board of 4chan until on 4th of January, Anonymous posted an omake page from a doujin by Raita of doujin circle Zettai Shoujo, detailing character art for a dating sim he dubbed “Katawa Shoujo”.
For reasons we will never know, someone’s genius idea of actually realizing Raita’s idea of the game caught on like wildfire and soon suggestions ranging from tender love stories to depraved sex fantasies were running amok in the thread.
The insane idea of creating an actual original game, based on nothing but a single picture and the sparse ideas Raita had written in the margins titillated the imaginations of Anonymous so much that people became truly serious about the fledgling project.
Soon, there were development forums and for the next months, ideas and suggestions were flying around, with people trying to flesh out their ideas, drawing sample art, writing sample text, trying to control the chaos of dozens of people arguing and bickering about the direction of the game.
From there, the most active people began the actual game developement as a working group named Four Leaf Studios and the project truly took off in the summer ’07.
Your first port of call is of course the official Katawa Shoujo site.
Via Itai News.