Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Poll: Whose Story Is This Anyway?

So there's a new poll up. Check the right side of the blog page.

The question might come off as confusing at first. What I really want to know is, when you read/play a VN, whose story do you want told? The main character's? The capturable characters'? Both?

Example: Yo-Jin Bo is a story ABOUT Sayori, a girl who's sent back in time. While the capturable characters are important elements of the story, she's the one with the main character arc. It's her story that's told, not theirs.

Counter Example: Edelweiss is a story ABOUT a bunch of girls that your main character, Kazushi, happens to meet. Depending on which girl you pick, the story is completely different. It's her story that's told - her character arc. Kazushi just happens to be there to help them out and maybe discover something about himself as an afterthought.

So which do you prefer? A story about YOUR character that more or less turns out the same no matter what character you pick? Or many different stories about characters that aren't yours?

Vote! I'll let you guys know what I think in a week or so. <3


  1. DIfficult question. I definitely like it when the main character is important as well, instead of just being *there* for the player to control.

    On the other hand, I don't think you have to have a very static story for it to be about the MC. Fate/Stay Night is very much about Shirou, but all three routes are still very different stories dependant on what choices he makes, and they even branch pretty early on. So one does not have to rule out the other.

  2. My answer was 'both.' Here is why.

    There's a lot of point-of-view characters in visual novels who are grating, or boring. And there's a lot of NPCs who are rehashed stereotypes. So in that way, either category of character can be written poorly.

    But then again, they can be quite good. I have had many positive things to say about male and female point of view characters (such as Shinjiro in Sakura Wars 5, and Merui in RE: Alistair). And there are plenty of NPCs I've admired.

  3. Hmm, I wonder if this is character-driven vs. story-driven? Yes? No? Probably not, but it most certainly helps if your characters' stories are relevant to the main plot. I love strong main characters, so putting the focus on the romancables alone doesn't strengthen a story for me. It irritates me that the MC is just twiddling his/her thumbs, waiting for stuff to happen.