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TexasDice

What is your least favorite type of route plot?

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Just wondering. Feel free to pick some broad terminology, like "bullying" or "mysterious identity" (or call them tropes if you feel like that term fits what I'm describing better). I'm going to take a guess here and say that a lot of respondents would pick the infamous "love triangle", which I personally don't mind as much.

The top of my own list of infamy would definitely be "incurable disease", but I am also very tired of "arranged marriage"- and "heroine has to move away"-stories.

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Keep in mind that you can dislike a premise at it's core, even if you read such stories and thought it was good or great. On the contrary, I would love to hear examples of stories which you liked despite them involving your least favorite type of narrative trope. Oh, and please mind spoilers. 

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Oh, this is weird. I can't think of any tropes that were overused to the point that I hate them. I believe that since I usually read story-focused games [which doesn't make me better than anyone] instead of romance-focused ones, I never get into the risk of reading more of the same - thus, i can't think of an example to add to the topic.

I actually like "incurable disease" when the VN focuses on getting through it and in the drama instead of "loving no matter what". I've just finished watching Air [spoiler? I mean, I can't talk about it without naming it lol] after reading the VN a few years ago, and I think the conclusion of 

Spoiler

Misuzu's route

is very satisfying.

Maybe I have problems with loli routes and "she is my step mother's daughter so she is my sister and we can't date", but I usually avoid these two as the devil runs from a cross.

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1 hour ago, TexasDice said:

The top of my own list of infamy would definitely be "incurable disease", but I am also very tired of "arranged marriage"- and "heroine has to move away"-stories.

yeah, all these. they also kind of blend in together for me since they all involve the heroine potentially going away one day.

 

whats annoying about the incurable disease is the goddamn fact that they never say what it is! just that they feint every once in a while and cough and the only way to cure is with love! :vinty:

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35 minutes ago, mitchhamilton said:

yeah, all these. they also kind of blend in together for me since they all involve the heroine potentially going away one day.

 

whats annoying about the incurable disease is the goddamn fact that they never say what it is! just that they feint every once in a while and cough and the only way to cure is with love! :vinty:

Have you read any Key game? Couldn't find any in your vndb list. You should definetely try Clannad, Kanon or Air.

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Just now, Silvz said:

Have you read any Key game? Couldn't find any in your vndb list. You should definetely try Clannad, Kanon or Air.

if they ever update the character models maybe one day but i have seen the animes. those i dont mind, except nagisas a bit but not as bad as others.

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Just now, mitchhamilton said:

if they ever update the character models maybe one day but i have seen the animes. those i dont mind, except nagisas a bit but not as bad as others.

I  don't think they'll ever do that, and honestly they are not that bad when you get used to them. I mentioned them because they usually have this trope, but I think they're very good on handling those.

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3 hours ago, TexasDice said:

Just wondering. Feel free to pick some broad terminology, like "bullying" or "mysterious identity" (or call them tropes if you feel like that term fits what I'm describing better). I'm going to take a guess here and say that a lot of respondents would pick the infamous "love triangle", which I personally don't mind as much.

The top of my own list of infamy would definitely be "incurable disease", but I am also very tired of "arranged marriage"- and "heroine has to move away"-stories.

-

Keep in mind that you can dislike a premise at it's core, even if you read such stories and thought it was good or great. On the contrary, I would love to hear examples of stories which you liked despite them involving your least favorite type of narrative trope. Oh, and please mind spoilers. 

The 'fake girlfriend' trope.  I want this one to die forever.  It is the most idiotic trope in existence.  It never has non-embarrassing-to-watch results.

The 'reform the protagonist' trope.  This one pops up in a lot of games where the protagonist has a dark past or a hidden job that requires some dirty work, and it usually has the heroine trying to 'reform' him in various ways.  It annoys me about every time it pops up.  I usually like the protagonist just as he is in cases like this, lol.

I don't have any problems with the arranged marriage trope myself.  It doesn't happen often enough anymore to be a major issue outside of ojousama-ge, where it is standard fare.  Heroine has to move away happens even less often...  maybe one in forty new VNs have this one pop up nowadays.  Incurable disease is relatively common, with nakige in particular having a tendency to rely on this trope (without the heroine dying, of course).  However, it is also a matter of execution (lol)...

The incurable disease trope is something that has to be used intelligently and believably to work.  Dekinai Watashi ga, Kurikaesu;  Inochi no SpareTapestryKin'iro Loveriche; and Konakana all use this trope effectively to tell their stories.  However, there are just as many who plop it down just for the hell of it, so I see where you are coming from.  

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Here are a few, off the top of my head:

"Person X used to be passionate about activity Y but stopped doing it because of reason Z"
Just by adding that piece of information, you can be more or less certain that the route is at some point going to kick off some sort of redemption quest revolving around reigniting that former passion. It's usually the protagonist doing it for the heroines, but it can be the other way around too. That said, it's well done and not really an issue in many cases, but there are also times when it feels really forced and the person in question isn't allowed to move on with their life even if they're completely fine with the current situation. I mean, it's not strange to give up on something in real life in favor for something else, but that rarely happens in these stories from what I've seen.

Forced drama. It seems many developers feel like they, to spice things up, have to add some drama to their routes no matter what, which quite often leads to events that feel unnatural or downright stupid. Chiho's route in Princess Evangile is an excellent example. Not only did they already pull the

Spoiler

"adult stabs someone" card in the Rise route, there's also the fact that the whole thing with Masaya's father returning, broke and desperate,

doesn't happen in any of the other routes, although it should (since the choices and events in other routes couldn't possibly affect his behavior).

The "start ghosting the person you like in order to keep a secret or make them long for you" stunt. The most recent one I remember is from SakuSaku, where

Spoiler

Mio had a fight with Yuuma, but rather than talking to each other and clearing everything up, Mio starts ghosting Yuuma because she's convinced that's it's a great idea to put the reconciliation off and instead make up with him on his birthday. Of course, Yuuma doesn't know anything about what she's planning, so he thinks she's ignoring him because she's still mad, which leads to him being completely miserable for days (or maybe even weeks; I don't quite remember).

Technically, I guess this could fall under the previous "forced drama" category.

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The type of plot where a character is ostracized in school for literally any reason. 100% of the time, this is because of rumors or some fabrications. I have never come across a story where a character gets into this scenario for a remotely valid reason, but then again - I don't think this kind of story about someone who's in fact worthy of being an outcast is all that common (because such stories generally involve clearing the character's name and putting an end to all of that).

I generally dislike this story because they always use a random side character or a group of them (this group tends to be literally all the students in school who don't have a character sprite, because why would the author want to antagonize characters that are actually relevant) for the sole purpose of being an absolute annoyance to everyone else and to the reader as well.

IMO, there is nothing interesting about a story like this, regardless of the decisions the characters make. At the end, they either forget all about it, as if nothing ever happened, or change in a random way, as if becoming a new person, which never makes sense. Most of the time, the unimportant characters that caused all of it don't get any repercussions (and that's not even a bad thing, because nobody cares about these characters).

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The route plots that I dislike the most are when really bad things happen to a heroine primarily because she met the protagonist.  He takes her to a restaurant she has never heard of before and she gets serious food poisoning that damages her organs.  He tells her about swimming in the secret cove and she goes there and gets a bad injury.  He gives her a gift and she goes into a burning building/jumps off a balcony to try to save the gift - and it goes as poorly as would be expected.  He teaches her to drive and she gets into a gruesome car accident.  If she had never met the protagonist, her life wouldn't have taken the negative turns that it does in the plot.  That situation is just about as far from the emotions I want to experience in my life as possible.

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21 minutes ago, JJ! said:

The route plots that I dislike the most are when really bad things happen to a heroine primarily because she met the protagonist.  He takes her to a restaurant she has never heard of before and she gets serious food poisoning that damages her organs.  He tells her about swimming in the secret cove and she goes there and gets a bad injury.  He gives her a gift and she goes into a burning building/jumps off a balcony to try to save the gift - and it goes as poorly as would be expected.  He teaches her to drive and she gets into a gruesome car accident.  If she had never met the protagonist, her life wouldn't have taken the negative turns that it does in the plot.  That situation is just about as far from the emotions I want to experience in my life as possible.

Where do you even find these twists? lmao

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2 hours ago, Zidan209 said:

The type of plot where a character is ostracized in school for literally any reason. 100% of the time, this is because of rumors or some fabrications. I have never come across a story where a character gets into this scenario for a remotely valid reason, but then again - I don't think this kind of story about someone who's in fact worthy of being an outcast is all that common (because such stories generally involve clearing the character's name and putting an end to all of that).

You have Battler as your avatar right? Given what you said, what did you think about Ange and her subplot in Umineko? (Also I only finished the question arcs so far, so please avoid any details that come up during the answer arcs)

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1 minute ago, Zalor said:

You have Battler as your avatar right? Given what you said, what did you think about Ange and her subplot in Umineko? (Also I only finished the question arcs so far, so please avoid any details that come up during the answer arcs)

That was episode 4, right? I didn't really enjoy reading about Ange's situation. It was kinda dragging, I didn't sympathize with her a whole lot and her interactions with Maria were just annoying (because I hate Maria). They just went too deep into describing their mindsets and how they're changing their attitude towards life.

Spoiler

But given Ange's circumstances, I don't think that her escaping into her own little world was all that weird.

In Umineko's case, her situation in school wasn't something like a plot development, it just served to show the readers how she was suffering, how she was alone in the future world and why her overall attitude is so stoic and cold. So it was basically a character introduction, since she only showed up that late into the story. As I said, I couldn't really sympathize with her, as she was a completely new character, so I didn't really care about all the bullying. But if I have to make an opinion about it - it was not uninteresting like it would be in a different VN with a school setting, because it served an important role. However, the narration just went too deep into everything, so that's why I think it was dragging, because it wasn't about a character that was already a part of the story.

 

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The time loop is certainly my least favorite plot type. I think only Stein's Gate did it right, because the whole story was pretty much about time travel theory. But most others just use it as a cheap way to unnecessarily stretch the length of their story by reusing plot arcs, and that gets repetitive very soon. Most VN's are already slow - no reason to make it even worse and drag them down to snail pacing by repeating stuff over and over again.

That's not to say that I'd dislike all titles with time loop, some are actually quite decent, but most of them would be better without it.

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I'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone, but I'm kind of sick not only of arranged marriage plots but generally of the "defying the parents" drama, whether its about marriage, career or whatever. I know it's a very realistic trope, but as the main source of conflict and/or character development for a heroine it just lost all appeal to me a while ago, mostly because of how much it's done not just in VNs but media in general. Crystalline is a good example of using it in a way I loathe, because the already bland central heroine got her "character arc" through her parents opposing her becoming a knight... And it felt exactly just as empty and superficial as everything else in that game.

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I think I can always try to find some justification from almost all of plot type if I want to, so I can't exactly call which is the least favorite type of plot to me. That said, I can say that I wouldn't be able to find the justification for some suffering that was triggered by masturbation. What I want to nitpick is Tsuki, in that basically the plot is going downhill thanks to the MC being caught up masturbate and decided to move only to get possessed by a demon after his (Stupid) self-inflicting suffering. I also encounter the same plot in first Imopara with Michika's route near the ending, in which the MC decided to not masturbate and suffer because of that in order to proof his (Masochist) love to Michika. Granted that it's in order to prove his love, but still enough to made me insult him by change his name to 'Hornyman'.

To summarize here, I don't know though if I'll be able to find more type of plot that I wouldn't like in the future, but I'll say that I did find 'the suffering because of masturbation matter' plot is quite problematic.

Edited by littleshogun

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4 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

I'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone, but I'm kind of sick not only of arranged marriage plots but generally of the "defying the parents" drama, whether its about marriage, career or whatever.

Oh, I feel you.

What bothers me a lot in these kinds of stories, is that the only ending they ever seem to go for is the "I did a bunch of things, so now your DAD accepts me and everything is fine"-ending. Would it really be so bad to actually play out the story in which the couple elopes? I assume this is yet another "Japanese thing", where doing your own thing and fulfilling your own desires against your parent's wishes is frowned upon in society and that's why the authors never do it. 

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Who gives a shit about social norms in those cases? Life isnt always so easy that you can change a persons mind about someone so having different ending scenarios is a good thing and very realistic. Limiting creative freedom because of social norms is a very bad thing to do. I dont think many readers would pull out their pitchforks because a couple in a vn eloped and started a happy life free from the bonds of a controlling family.

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I can't stand childhood abuse plots where the abuser gets a redemption arc, usually a parent. They get bonus hate points when it's about a single parent and when the rationalization is something like "they only wanted the best for their children".

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My least favorite route plot?  That would be where the route has no dramatic tension and is just a vehicle to deliver H-scenes or other "feel-good" fluff.  A lot of games just tack "routes" on to check a feature box and don't feature any meaningful divergence from the main plot.

Edited by sanahtlig

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