According to the Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog, the highly-anticipated 4chan-made hentai game, Katawa Shoujo, is completed. After five years of development, the game is now available to download for free on their site and blog. The development group, named Four Leaf Studios, consisted of twenty-one volunteers from across the globe, in addition to innumerable contributors throughout the years.
The idea for the game came in January of 2007, when a sticky in the 4chan anime board sparked interest. A sketch of the game had been included in the pages of the extras section of the doujin Schuppen Harnische, released by the artist RAITA of the circle Zettai Shoujo.
The idea was for a game about disabilities set in a Japanese high school, but with nothing having come of it in seven years, members of the /a/ community decided to take it upon themselves. By April, a core development team was formed, going by the name of Four Leaf Studios. For the next five years, Four Leaf Studios created the story, art, music, programming, and direction for the game. With the release of their brainchild, the story of Four Leaf Studios has come to a close, with no planned future projects.
The story follows protagonist, Hisao Nakai, after he is forced to move to a new school after a congenital heart defect hospitalizes him for a long time. There are five main paths the player can take, corresponding to the five main female characters, each path following the storyline pertaining to the character.
According to the blog, “The story is told through the perspective of the main character, using a first person narrative. The game uses a traditional text and sprite-based visual novel model with an ADV text box.”
Your five potential soul mates are:
- Emi Ibarazaki, a happy-go-lucky girl who had her legs amputated below the knee after an accident, but finds that her new prosthetic legs have helped her reach new heights of abilities on the track team.
- Hanako Ikezawa is extremely reclusive with severe social anxiety. A traumatic fire when she was young burned down her house, killed her father, and left her physically and emotionally scarred. She is, however, very close friends with Lilly.
- Lilly Satou has been blind since birth, and is extremely responsible, caring and maternal, especially towards her best friend, Hanako.
- Rin Tezuka is creative and philosophical. A birth defect and subsequent surgeries left her arms tiny stumps, making it difficult for her to do the things she likes, such as painting, but she makes do with her mouth and feet.
- Shizune Hakamichi is deaf and mute, but still manages to be a fearsome taskmaster, skilled manipulator, class representative, and a fair and just leader.
Sounds like a pretty typical harem H-game, with girls who have polarizing personality traits and the vulnerable, new-comer male protagonist who can woo them. Since it’s made by 4chan, I would advise readers to proceed with caution, but early players have given it good reviews, commending the writing and art. Check out the video below, and decide for yourself.