I’m seeing more of Act I of N2. But, this morning, via the Anime Group on Gab.ai, I saw something that called to mind my very first literary (and coding) work: the visual novel, OTChi Kocchi. Originally developed in Japan, they are very popular in Asia; typically, they took an idea developed in the West (‘choose your own adventure’) and married it to emergent computing technology. Often mischaracterized as ‘dating-sims,’ with pornography, that a bit like saying that because of the nudes, everything in the Louvre and Vatican should be burnt.
It is not a normal thing for me: reminiscing. In fact, usually, I hate it. Like any old aristocrat, I revel in the images and stories of my family, stretching back hundreds of years, but personally? Feh.
But, this really isn’t personal… like my trad novels, my visual novel – with the amazing illustrations of Will Deonne – is a four-part novel where the reader determines the end of each story. If there are choices, that means it is a kind of game. If it is a game, then it must be possible to lose. Will made me older to that.
Having said all that to say this: in quick succession tonight, I’m posting something that’s never been seen before… the raw background stories of the four main characters that the player/protagonist encounters in OTChi Kocchi. The writing is raw and often half in Python Code, but shouldn’t glimpses behind the curtain be unsettling?
OK Prelude 1/4: Aoi
“Hmph.” Aoi at Nagasaki train platform, surrounded by luggage. ‘At least with high school over, I wont have to run away from home anymore.’ She thinks. ‘Mean Grandma never did want me in their house. And Grandpa made me clean the dojo whenever I beat up his paying students. They were slow, anyway!’
‘Take a year off!’ Grandpa said. ‘See the world! Here, take this money! Send us postcards!’ Silly Grandpa cant even use email! [increasingly agitated] Stupid late train, stupid luggage… “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Everyone on platform stares. She picks up two bags. “There! Panties and snacks! I’m leaving!” She walks out.
She sits on top of one of the lions at Trafalgar Square [look it up], idly kicking her feet. ‘At least the English seem nice; maybe ‘cause they’re islanders like us?’ ‘Those guys in Bavaria were nice, too! They bought me all that beer! I’m sorry I puked all over them.’ ‘That French boy was way to pervy… and smelled like cheese… I wonder what “ruptured scrotum” meant?’ [voice] “Hey!” ‘Maybe I’ll go see that old clock in the pictures…’ [voice] “Hey, you, riding the lion!” Huh? She looks around then down. Another girl who looks very much like Aoi, but for dark gray hooded cloak is waving at her. Aoi slides off the lion’s back and jumps down. “Hey! You’re shorter than me!” “I though you Japs were supposed to be polite?” “That cloak; you’re not a monk are you? They’re stupid.” “Monk? No, not like you’d think” [girl pinches bridge of nose] “Look, I’m Aya. I could smell you across the Square and thought I should warn you.” “Huh? What are you, a dog? [she smells her armpit] Aoi doesn’t smell. [points] That’s so rude!” Aya looks blank. “You’ve no idea what I’m talking about?” “No! I think I want to go!” Aoi turns, Aya grabs her wrist, Aoi’s foot hits—the surface of Westminster Bridge. “Oooo! It’s that clock thing!” “We call it Big Ben.” “Whaaa? Rude kid is still here? Let go of me!” With her other hand Aya appears to tap Aoi on the forehead. Aoi collapses and Aya tosses her onto her shoulder and walks off.
Darkened cellar restaurant. Aya has a salad and white wine. Aoi a huge slab of meat and “Another Fresca!” “Why do you keep embarrassing me?” Aoi clueless. “Anyway,” Aya goes on, “do you think you can remember what I’ve been telling you for three days?” Aoi nods. “The longer your steps, the weaker you’re going to be; you’ve got to keep your strength up.” Another nod. “Food helps, but you’re going to need a mana source…” “Thank you!” Aoi says to the waitress. Aya head in hands. “You are astonishingly gifted Aoi,” she says to her salad, “I’m trying to help you.” “You are! Once we got it sorted that you’re not a rude kid—when did you say you were born?” “1683” “Ooo-er, math is hard! Whatever. You’ve been a big help! And thanks for the food!”
Aya thinking: ‘I’ve never seen anyone like her, and I bet no one else has either. And she’s so clueless! If one of the wrong gangs or guilds gets ahold of her’ shakes head. ‘I know she’s going to be bored with me in one or two more days… what can I do in four or five? Her eye for trouble and reflexes have kept her alive so far, but now she’s out in the world… one thing, there’s one thing I can teach her, and she wont even know what I’m doing; I’ll keep it short, so she doesn’t get bored with me!’ “Aoi!” Aoi looks up, meat dangling out of each side of her mouth, head tilt. “We’re doing one last super-fun thing tomorrow,” I sound like an idiot child, “Okay!” Aoi nods vigorously.
English open countryside. Aya sitting under a tree. Aoi standing a few yards away. “So I recite what I wrote, yesIknowwithbothfeetontheground! Stop saying that! And see it in my mind?” “If you can’t see it, you can’t draw it, and it doesn’t exist.” “Fine, sheesh. Now?” “Now.” Aoi hold up her notepad.
“Little sprites weaving flowers in your mane; What is it that you are, do you even have a name? Liquid brown eyes gaze softly in the light. Could I touch you, mount you, ride you if I might?”
She falls straight down onto her butt. “Oww! What the heck?” Aya stands, brushes herself off. “I have to leave now, I’ve work to do. Goodbye.” Aya thinks: ‘Make this hurt; make her want to see me again.’ “Huh? Leaving? But, I thought we were friends and all and…” “We are friends. In fact, I’d like you to take me home.” “Really? Where’s home?” “Galloway.” Aoi grins, “I can’t walk there if I don’t know where it is!” “Then I’ll show you” Links arms [Aoi’s right, Aya’s left] with Aoi, then touches Aoi’s forehead with her other hand. “Oooo! It’s so pretty there! Ready?” “Not quite. About your poem; look over by the tree.” Aoi turns. “A pony! And look at the silly horn it has! Silly Pony, bye-eee!” She turns forward. “And, step!” And they’re gone.