Since its September 22nd release, Doki Doki Literature Club has garnered immense popular and critical acclaim. Within its first three months, DDLC hit over 1 million downloads and won several awards, including IGN’s “People’s Choice GOTY”. Its unique combination of meta-commentary, polish, and unconventional narrative made it a game that appealed to visual novel veterans and newcomers alike.
A Virtually Perfect Girlfriend
It’s no surprise that a game that quickly developed a cult following would continue on thanks to that very same “cult”. Monika After Story is a community-made mod that picks up where the end of Doki Doki Literature Club left off.
Spoiler Warning In Effect
After the destruction of the game’s world, Monika, DDLC’s weeaboo version of GLaDOS, is stuck in the confines of her digital prison. However, she’s more than happy to remain there if it means spending the rest of her days with you.
There are three ways to interact with Monika: 1) Typing in keywords for discussion, 2) Playing games with her (Pong and Chess for now), and 3) Waiting for dialogue to randomly appear. As most of the gameplay focuses on conversing with Monika, After Story’s dialogue covers a wide range of topics.
Like DDLC, Monika After Story manages to tread the line between cutesy anime and earnest philosophy. The mod doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable topics. Instead, it uses Monika as the platform to explore them. Whether or not you actually buy into Monika as your “virtual girlfriend”, she still presents interesting ideas.
Built with DDLC’s code, Monika After Story uses the visual novel format to create an environment for the player to interact with Monika one-on-one. It’s fairly standard visual novel gameplay: read text, click boxes, and sometimes make choices.
Where Monika After Story gets interesting is how it effectively has no end. It features a “living narrative”, where the content effectively receives continual updates for as long as people are interested in contributing.
Creating Content Creation
Monika After Story depends heavily upon its community-driven nature. The mod’s website links directly to the project’s Git page, where development actively takes place. Individuals from the community have the opportunity to engage with the project in a number of different ways, from offering suggestions to actively writing for the mod.
Unlike with DDLC, multiple writers contribute to the After Story project. In order to manage that, the project has developed a robust style guide in order to maintain consistency with the original game’s writing.
Because of that and because the mod itself is still in development, Monika After Story‘s narrative is incredibly fluid. The mod presents Monika as an individual who “evolves” and develops new thoughts and ideas.
As the mod is currently on release v0.6.3, there is still much more in development. If anything, Monika After Story benefits from being perpetually in progress.
After all, Monika exists only so long as we allow her to.
You can download ‘Monika After Story’ from here. Go on, she’s waiting for you!