Visual Novel Theatre: OMGWTFOTL

I’ve had more than a few people call me ‘manly’. But what does that even mean? Is it even possible to define a trait or ideal that encompasses in some way nearly half of the human population? There are some who consider manliness to be the ability to provide for and serve others. There are some who consider manliness the act of being burly and old-fashioned. And there are some who consider manliness being ludicrously excessive and wild.

And you know, that last one may not be entirely accurate, but it does make for some good experiences.

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OMGWTFOTL (Odious Manly Genuflection With Terrible Fury, Only True Lamentation) fits pretty squarely into that last definition. This is a quick and simple freeware visual novel about the glory of excess and random humor. It’s very, very small. You can see everything this story has to offer in about a half-hour’s time, and it only has like five CGs and two background tracks. In fact, I’m making an effort here not to spend more time building this post than I spent going through this visual novel. But for that half-hour? It will rock your world. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have this magnificent lumberjack beard when I started playing through it. That’s what this game will do for you.

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Plot? What do you care about plot?! There are skulls to be shattered. Fine, so OMGWTFOTL starts out with you in the middle of a fight with Osaka Bancho, a beast of a man who brought to heel 300 Kansai street gangs, raped your sister, and gouged out your best friends eyes. He wants you to genuflect. In fact, that’s what the game’s all about. Genuflection. Don’t do it, though. Well, I mean, you can, but that would fit well into the Odious Manliness and the Terrible Fury of the game’s title. From there, the VN pretty much plays out in a sort of stream of consciousness format. Random ideas are just spit out all over the place, with only the barest attachments to each other. Where the story starts has absolutely no bearing on where it ultimately ends, and very little on what occurs between points A and B. It’s all random humor. And if you’re into that, OMGWTFOTL does it among the best in the business.

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One of the really valuable things about such a short visual novel is that the writers are able to have every single choice lead you on a different path. There are a number of decision points in the game. Every single one of them, even the initial title screen, offers you the option to genuflect. And you can always take it. If you’re some sort of namby pamby. If you’re Sick Wicked like me, though, you’ll find yourself ending the fight with Osaka Bancho in one of three ways. Or you might die along the way. There’s plenty of opportunity for that. But at least your death will be sweet. After that, well, the world is your oyster. Maybe you’ll find love. Maybe you’ll learn something. Maybe you’ll storm an American military base naked with nothing but a katana. Who knows? You will, if you give this story a try.

And, I’m hitting about a half-hour of posting and editing for this half-hour game, so I’m calling this post right here. OMGWTFOTL: If you like random humor, if you like the Internet’s flavor of ‘Manliness’, you’ll like this game. Find it here.

Inspiration for the Legend of Zelda Currency?

Anyone with even a passing interest in the art of videogames has probably crossed paths with a Legend of Zelda title at some point in her life, and through it, become familiar with the multicolored gems that pass for money in the game’s world, the rupees.  Where did they come from, though?  That question has haunted many a child with way too much time on their hands since the days of the NES.  Was it just a mistranslation of ruby?  If so, why weren’t they usually red?  Obviously, rupees are the real world currency of India and a handful of other nations.  Yet Legend of Zelda is very much a western-style fantasy, produced by a Japanese team, and has little, if any, Indian elements.

Recently, I stumbled on something that may shed some light on the subject.  Or, more likely, it just muddies the water a bit more.  Apparently, in my family, it’s a tradition to give infants money that they’ll never be able to use.  Sometime between my second and third birthday, judging by the dates on this stuff, my grandparents on both sides of the family independently decided that I was really bad at saving money, so they thought they’d teach me a lesson by giving me money I could never possibly turn into Batman toys.  Silver dollars commemorating big national events, exotic foreign currencies, that sort of thing.  I wasn’t very interested, on account of I was freakin’ two, so my parents just stored it all away until I grew up a bit.  Some time ago, I started wearing shirts with collars on them even on my off hours, which apparently means I’m now adult enough that I can finally have the presents I was given two decades ago.  I confess, I’m a bit more interested in them now than I was then.  One piece in particular caught my eye.

Japanese Rupee

Turns out the Japanese government, hosts of the Legend of Zelda Development Squad, officially banked rupees themselves for a time.

It’s fairly well known that Japan was involved in World War II largely with the aims of increasing their territory and control.  They had taken over a number of countries, and one of their first moves was always to confiscate all the national currency they could get their hands on and replace it with cash backed by their own banks.  This note was part of the invasion money for their occupation of Burma, in use from 1942 to 1945.  So, there you have it.  The Japanese Rupee.

Could this have inspired Nintendo in the creation of the Legend of Zelda’s world?  Probably not.  But maybe it did!  You can’t prove otherwise!  At least, it’s an interesting thought to hold, right?  Right?