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View Full Version : How to figure out who the main girl is in a visual novel


DragonmasterX
2006-04-05, 17:08
In my first playthroughs of both Air and Clannad, I got bad endings.

This made me realize the visual novel player, right from the beginning, has to cheat with online flowcharts and has to decide early on which girl to go for to get a satisfactory ending.

Is there supposed to be a "main" girl in visual novels? In Air, it was obviously Misuzu. The TV shows and movie kind of emphasized that. But how do you figure out who the main girl is for other visual novels?

roxfan
2006-04-05, 17:24
The first girl in the character list?

DragonmasterX
2006-04-05, 17:27
Is that a 100% rule that always holds? Does it hold for Ever17(my next visual novel to play)?

http://www.kid-game.co.jp/kid/game/game_galkid/infinity/ever17/chara.html
田中 優美清春香菜(Wow, six kanji in a name! That's badass!)
Tanaka Yubiseiharukana 

thecrackdealer
2006-04-05, 17:42
There are different ways. The number 1 female lead will usually have extra senarios/"true paths" associated with them, as is the case with Misuzu, or Inori (Mem Off 4). Other times, they will be central to the story no-matter what, such as Touko in Tenshi no Inai Juunigatsu. Another good way is the check the opening movie, the #1 lead will usually have the most screen time.

I don't think Ever 17 has a #1 lead. I could give arguement for 2 of the characters being very important, but not enough to distingush them from the other female leads.

AstCd2
2006-04-05, 18:40
This made me realize the visual novel player, right from the beginning, has to cheat with online flowcharts and has to decide early on which girl to go for to get a satisfactory ending.

While the latter is inevitably true, I think most games tend to be pretty forgiving with regards to your choices. With some noted exceptions, it's pretty simple to arrive at a 'good' if not 'best' ending even without a guide, so long as you understand where the story is heading and make sensible choices accordingly.


Is there supposed to be a "main" girl in visual novels? In Air, it was obviously Misuzu. The TV shows and movie kind of emphasized that. But how do you figure out who the main girl is for other visual novels?

In terms of storytelling technique, I don't think there's any golden rule that there's 'supposed' to be a 'main' heroine. Players tend to see certain heroines as 'main' because:

(1) their story is the one that is most integral to or best ties together the themes of the game;
(2) their story reveals more of the 'plot' (insofar as a common plot exists); or
(3) they appear in a prominent position on all the promotional materials

but it's perfectly possible to tell a good story without any designated 'main heroine' (Leaf's Kizuato being a good example).


Other times, they will be central to the story no-matter what, such as Touko in Tenshi no Inai Juunigatsu.

While the encounter with her at the beginning of the game is certainly important, I'd dispute the assertion that she's 'central' to any scenarios other than her own and Sakaki's. I certainly felt that Tenina was a game where the so-called 'sub-heroines' presented more interesting angles on the themes than the 'main heroine'.

Carl
2006-04-05, 21:05
The choices required to get a good ending in AIR make no sense. I've never had any problems getting a good ending at least a reasonable amount of the time, except with Key games.


But because I play Key games for the story an not the game (such as it is), I don't have any qualms about looking things up in their particular case.

zalas
2006-04-05, 23:47
And Team Baldrhead has a tendency to make you play through all the character's scenarios before you can play the scenario of the main heroine -_-; Sometimes you even have to play through her scenario twice to get the true ending -_-;

Lantis
2006-04-07, 18:39
And Team Baldrhead has a tendency to make you play through all the character's scenarios before you can play the scenario of the main heroine -_-; Sometimes you even have to play through her scenario twice to get the true ending -_-;
Yeah, I hate that. That's why I gave up on Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi, in order to get Neo's true end, you have to get the endings of all the other girls. MO sorekara was a "little" better, to get Inori's true you had to get Inori's normal end and just 2 other endings (instead of all)

zalas
2006-04-07, 19:48
And Team Baldrhead has a tendency to make you play through all the character's scenarios before you can play the scenario of the main heroine -_-; Sometimes you even have to play through her scenario twice to get the true ending -_-;
Yeah, I hate that. That's why I gave up on Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi, in order to get Neo's true end, you have to get the endings of all the other girls. MO sorekara was a "little" better, to get Inori's true you had to get Inori's normal end and just 2 other endings (instead of all)
Usually CTRL+walkthrough suffices, but Baldr Head stuff have action scenes between <_<;; so like it takes forever...

Weave
2006-04-08, 20:59
usually, the main girl is the one on the box.

In case of multiple females, choose the one centered.

In case of [insert ridiculously large number here] sisters, choose the first one you meet.

In case of extreme emergencies, choose the one with the most fanart.

procyon
2006-04-08, 21:03
In case of [insert ridiculously large number here] sisters, choose the first one you meet.


I assume this also applies [insert to ridiculously large number here] sets of twins. :)

Carl
2006-04-09, 00:58
In case of [insert ridiculously large number here] sisters, choose the first one you meet.


I assume this also applies [insert to ridiculously large number here] sets of twins. :)
One woulks hope the twins would all be sisters. If not, I've bought the wrong genre of game... ^_^;

2006-04-09, 16:36
While the encounter with her at the beginning of the game is certainly important, I'd dispute the assertion that she's 'central' to any scenarios other than her own and Sakaki's. I certainly felt that Tenina was a game where the so-called 'sub-heroines' presented more interesting angles on the themes than the 'main heroine'.

Guess I'll just have to disagree.

Also, if the protagonist has a girlfriend/former girlfriend and that person is made clear at the beginning of the game, then that person will probably be the #1 female lead. It certainly was true for the memory off series, even if I wish it wasn't so. I never like the "main girl" as much as most of the other girls in games, and I can think of few, if any, exceptions.

Yeah, I hate that. That's why I gave up on Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi, in order to get Neo's true end, you have to get the endings of all the other girls. MO sorekara was a "little" better, to get Inori's true you had to get Inori's normal end and just 2 other endings (instead of all)

Memories off 3 was pretty unique in that it had 2 paths for the true end, and thus 2 "main girls". Plus, Kanata > Neo, end of story. :P

thecrackdealer
2006-04-09, 16:37
^^^^
That was me.

bbcjoke
2006-04-09, 17:37
Sometimes I wonder that too.
I mean, who is the main girl in Kannon?
Nayuki is the one who appears in most Kannon stuff, as well s the first one to appear in the game - but Ayu seems to keep most of the "past experience" of the main character, Yuuichi.

Haeleth
2006-04-10, 03:50
Ayu and Nayuki are both central to the plot, but Ayu's the only character who appears on the front of every Kanon game box, and she's also the one who gets special treatment in the OP. That's pretty conclusive, I think.

inuyasha9854
2006-04-10, 08:45
That, and we have Ayu being the single most popular character ever. She has more appearances outside of the game than any other character from any other game.

omgwtflolz
2006-04-10, 09:58
I think it's usually pretty obvious who the main heroine is unless there isn't one.