Stuck? Confused? Scared? Curious? Read this! Whatever questions you might have about Doki Doki Literature Club, chances are this comprehensive FAQ answers them!
Q: What’s the deal with the content warning? What kind of “highly disturbing content” should I expect? Is this just some mindless gore fest?
A: Well, if you REALLY have to know:
This game’s genre is Psychological Horror, emphasis on Psychological. Despite starting out as a cutesy, lighthearted dating sim, the deeply unsettling situations it eventually puts you in are designed to make you highly uncomfortable, constantly on on edge, never quite sure what to expect. While this game does expose you to some amount of macabre imagery, none of it ever devolves into gruesome mutilations for the sake of cheap shock value, and at no point in the game are your headphones ever blown out by an obnoxiously loud scream. The scares here are more subtle than that.
Q: Is there nudity in this game?
A: No, this game contains no nudity, full or partial. There are several sexually suggestive lines of dialogue, though.
Q: OMG a weird image / random text file and stuff are appearing in the game’s install directory!
A: Yes, nice catch! At certain predetermined points in the story the game will indeed put some interesting files with cryptic hints and messages in its install folder. For that reason it is a good idea to play in windowed mode so you can keep an eye out for them, because they won’t stay there forever!
Q: Nooo! My choices in game have led to something bad, and now I can not go back to fix everything because my save is corrupted?
A: That is by design. Keep playing, the game has only just begun! And also, there is something you need to know about this games endings – Remember, you haven’t reached one, until you’ve seen the end credits! Also, for the record, regarding the choices you made: you couldn’t have prevent the tragedy!
Q: After I’ve beaten the game, it tells me it is corrupted and asks me to reinstall. Is this normal?
A: Yes. However, you don’t actually need to reinstall the game, as it only pretends to be corrupted. All you have to do to restart it is delete your saves located in:
Alternatively, you can delete the file named FIRSTRUN located in the “game” folder within the install directory. You will then be prompted to delete your saves next time you launch the game.
Q: How many endings are there?
A: There are two main endings: a normal ending, and a special one, that you’ll have to work a little harder to achieve. Bear in mind, however, that an ending is an event followed by the end credits. There is also a so called “secret” ending, which is basically a glorified Game Over screen, albeit a cool-looking one. See below info for details (beware, spoilers!)
Remember – if you haven’t seen the credits roll, you have not reached an ending!
Q: Which one is the Normal ending, and which is the Special one?
A: Without spoiling much, in a Normal ending the last thing you see after the credits roll is a goodbye letter from a certain in-game character. If, instead, you see a special message from the developer, that’s how you know you’ve achieved the Special ending.
Q: Ok, so I already got a normal ending. Is it really worth going through the whole thing again in pursuit of a Special ending?
A: Well, I can only speak for myself, and for me – yes, it was most definitely worth it. Upon re-reading the novel from the beginning, I was quite surprised how much foreshadowing there was, how much weight some of the most casual, inconsequential lines gained with hindsight. There is an element of randomness in place to ensure that your second dive into the “hellish” part of the game is not quite the same as the first!
If none of the things I just said sound even remotely interesting to you, if are perfectly content with how the story ended, then I guess you’re better off checking it out on youtube or something.
Q: How do I actually achieve the elusive Special Ending?
A: Long story short – you need to have witnessed every single CG scene in the game.
There is a total of 10 CGs that you need to “collect”: 3 CGs with Sayori, 3 CGs with Natsuki, 3 CGs with Yuri, and one final CG with Monika in the void.
Bear in mind, that every CG except Monika’s needs to be collected during the first (non-glitched) phase of the game!
Here are some condensed, step-by-step instructions on how to do that:
- Delete your old saves or “reinstall the game” as described in Corrupted Saves section
- Start a fresh new game
- Save at the beginning of the 1st poem minigame
- Make sure every single poem you write is for Natsuki
- Pick Natsuki to help out with the festival
- After Natsuki leaves, load the save you made at the 1st poem minigame
- From now on, write poems only for Yuri
- Help Yuri with preparations for the festival
- After Yuri leaves, load the save you made at the 1st poem minigame once again
- Write poems only for Sayori
- Pick whoever you want to help with the festival
- Tell Sayori you love her
All set! Now let the events of the festival day play out, and proceed to the next (glitched) phase of the game, until you finally get Monika’s CG. Make sure you actually see the her CG before deleting her file!
It doesn’t really matter what choices you make during the glitched phase, you’ll be forced to spend time with Yuri regardless of what you do, but I’d suggest you dedicate your first poem to Natsuki to get a bit more dialogue!
Q: I’m stuck in what appears to be an endless dialogue consisting of entirely of black bold gibberish text! How do I get out? I’ve been clicking through it for like an hour and it still won’t go away!!!
A: Just press the Skip button and it will be over before you know it!
Q: I am trapped in an empty room with Monika who just keeps talking about random stuff! How do I get out? Does she ever get bored?
A: You need to do exactly the same thing she admitted having done to other characters: delete monika.chr file from the “characters” folder in the game’s install directory! She has lots of very interesting things to say before she starts repeating herself, though!
Q: Whoa, wait, so I have to tamper with actual game files in order to progress through the game? What happens if I start deleting/restoring character files at random points in the story?
A: Short answer – absolutely nothing. Potential for file manipulation is, sadly, extremely limited. First of all, monika.chr is the only file deletion of which can produce an effect, and there are only three points where the game will perform a check for Monika’s file:
- At the very beginning of the first playthrough, if monika.chr file is not detected, Sayori will freak out and you’ll basically get an instant Game Over;
- During an endless date with Monika, deletion of her file is necessary to advance the story;
- At the very beginning of the third playthrough, if you try to bring Monika back after she’s restored the world, she’ll tell you to stop playing with her heart, and delete herself again.
Q: Aw, bummer! But what happens if I set character files as “Read Only” to prevent the game from deleting them?
A: Same thing – it won’t make any difference. The game will fail to delete the files, but the story will proceed as normal.
Q: So, is that it? Is this all I can do with the files?
However, even though there are no more ways to use this files to influence the game, the files themselves hold many secrets!
For instance, did you know that sayori.chr is an audio recording that holds a mysterious QR code? That monika.chr and natsuki.chr are image files? That yuri.chr holds an encrypted text?
Oh yes, you wouldn’t believe how deep the rabbit hole is! There is an entire thread on Reddit dedicated to unraveling this game’s mysteries, but you’re more than welcome to try and solve them on your own!