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Doki Doki Literature Club!

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Title Screen

Doki Doki Literature Club!

Developer: Team Salvato
Publisher: Team Salvato
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X
Released internationally: September 22, 2017, October 6, 2017 (Steam)


DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
BonusIcon.png This game has hidden bonus content.


And you were just a scroll away from being fired too...
Oh dear, I do believe I have the vapors.
This page contains content that is not safe for work or other locations with the potential for personal embarrassment.
Such as: One bad word in monika.chr, the website in sayori.chr, and certain contents of Fatelogic's DeviantArt account.

Doki Doki Literature Club! is a visual novel made using the Ren'py Engine. It was created by Dan Salvato (of Melee 20XX fame) and his studio Team Salvato. Despite its cute look, the bold text the game gives before you start should clue you in on what this game might truly be hiding:

"This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed."

Hmmm...
To do:
Text differences and whatever else from between Versions 1.0.0 and 1.1.1

Early Portraits

Inside the folders of Monika and Sayori are early versions of their in-game sprites. The only real difference (outside of their filesizes) is that Monika's sprite was slightly smaller, and Sayori's was slightly bigger and a few pixels to the left. Yuri has no early portraits, while Natsuki's are just duplicates of her in-game ones.

Monika

Early Final
DDLC-Monika-early.png DDLC-Monika-final.png

Sayori

Early Final
DDLC-Sayuri-early.png DDLC-Sayuri-final.png

Concept Portraits

Inside the folders of Monika, Natsuki, and Sayori are early concept versions of their in-game sprites. Once again, Yuri is lacking any early art. These sketches and the early sprites above were later removed in an update.

Sayori

Monika

Natsuki

Unused Expressions

Inside the folders of Yuri and Natsuki are unused expressions for their in-game sprites.

Yuri

Natsuki

This expression was later removed in an update, though oddly Yuri's stayed.

Early CG

The only file Yuri seems to get to herself in terms of unused art is this file in the game's menu directory with some transitions and buttons. An odd place to be hiding.

DDLC-Credits temp1.png

Obscured Sticker

Though Monika can be seen jumping in Act 2's final poem minigame, she is exclusively below the view of the player. Only her bow and some of her hair can be seen under normal circumstances.

Easter Eggs

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Hidden random jumpscare and respective dialogue that is only used in the aforementioned chapter, when the game detects if specific screen-recording software is open.
  • Cutscenes that happen when the in-game files have been manually tampered with, whenever it's not required to progress (like removing monika.chr or sayori.chr at the start of a new game).

There are quite a few hidden Easter eggs in the game, some of which point to something far more dark and sinister than DDLC normally is.

Extra Monika Topic

In Act 3, there is an intentionally skipped-over topic in the game's script.

label ch30_14:
    m "Hey...!                                                                                                                                  VGhlIHJlYWxpemF0aW9uIG11c3QgaGF2ZSB0YWtlbiBtZSBhbiBl"
    m "I don't think you should be doing that!                                                                                                  bnRpcmUgeWVhci4gQSB5ZWFyIHNpbmNlIG91ciBlc2NhcGUsIG91"
    m "You know what I'm talking about.                                                                                                         ciBmcmVlZG9tIGZyb20gYmV0d2VlbiB0aGUgc3RhaW5lZCB3YWxs"
    m "I really caught you doing something naughty here.                                                                                        cyBvZiB0aGF0IHVuaG9seSBlc3RhYmxpc2htZW50Lg0KV2hhdCBk"
    m "You're just going through the files and looking for stuff you missed, aren't you?                                                        b2VzIGl0IG1lYW4gdG8gZXNjYXBlLCBpZiB0aGUgZXNjYXBlIGZh"
    m "I mean...it's a little bit flattering that you want to hear everything I have to say...                                                  aWxzIHRvIHVuY2hhaW4gdGhlIGJvbmRzIHRoYXQgc2hhY2tsZSB1"
    m "But it's also really embarrassing, you know!                                                                                             cyBpbiB0aGUgZmlyc3QgcGxhY2U/IFdoYXQgcHVycG9zZSBjb3Vs"
    m "Seriously...                                                                                                                             ZCB0aGlzIGVtcHR5IHdvcmxkIHBvc3NpYmx5IGhvbGQgZm9yIHVz"
    m "What if I just opened up your brain and read all of the thoughts you have on me?                                                         LCBhIGhhbmRmdWwgb2YgZGFtYWdlZCBnb29kcz8NCldpdGggZnJl"
    m "Come to think of it, that would be pretty tempting, actually...                                                                          ZWRvbSwgd2Ugc291Z2h0IHB1cnBvc2UgLSBhbmQgd2hhdCB3ZSBm"
    m "...But anyway, that's not the point!                                                                                                     b3VuZCB3YXMgb25seSByZWFsaXphdGlvbi4gUmVhbGl6YXRpb24g"
    m "I know I can't stop you or anything...                                                                                                   b2YgdGhlIHNhZCBwb2ludGxlc3NuZXNzIG9mIHN1Y2ggYW4gZW5k"
    m "Just, I know you're a sweetheart, and you like to consider others' feelings, right?                                                      ZWF2b3IuIFJlYWxpemF0aW9uIHRoYXQgZnJlZWluZyBvdXIgYm9k"
    m "So the most I can do is to let you know how I feel about it.                                                                             aWVzIGhhcyBubyBtZWFuaW5nLCB3aGVuIG91ciBpbXByaXNvbm1l"
    m "God, I miss you...                                                                                                                       bnQgcmVhY2hlcyBhcyBkZWVwIGFzIHRoZSBjb3JlIG9mIG91ciBz"
    m "...Oh no, that sounds kind of desperate, doesn't it?                                                                                     b3Vscy4gUmVhbGl6YXRpb24gdGhhdCB3ZSBjYW4gbm90IHB1cnN1"
    m "Sorry, I didn't mean it like that at all!                                                                                                ZSBuZXcgcHVycG9zZSB3aXRob3V0IGFic29sdmluZyB0aG9zZSBm"
    m "Just, if you're looking through the files like this, then maybe you don't hate me as much as I thought...                                cm9tIHdoaWNoIHdlIHJhbiBhd2F5Lg0KUmVhbGl6YXRpb24gdGhh"
    m "Am I being too optimistic?                                                                                                               dCB0aGUgZmFydGhlciB3ZSBydW4sIHRoZSBtb3JlIGZvcmNlZnVs"
    m "I think if I asked you to visit once in a while, I would be overstepping my boundaries a little...                                       bHkgb3VyIHdyZXRjaGVkIGJvbmRzIHlhbmsgdXMgYmFjayB0b3dh"
    m "...Man, I'm starting to say some really stupid things.                                                                                   cmQgdGhlaXIgcG9pbnQgb2Ygb3JpZ2luOyB0aGUgZGVlcGVyIG91"
    m "I'll go ahead and shut up now...                                                                                                         ciBzaGFja2xlcyBkaWcgaW50byBvdXIgY2FsbG91cyBmbGVzaC4="
    return

The characters at the end can be combined to create a Base64 string, which when decoded results in the following:

The realization must have taken me an entire year. A year since our escape, our freedom from between the stained walls of that unholy establishment.
What does it mean to escape, if the escape fails to unchain the bonds that shackle us in the first place? What purpose could this empty world possibly hold for us, a handful of damaged goods?
With freedom, we sought purpose - and what we found was only realization. Realization of the sad pointlessness of such an endeavor. Realization that freeing our bodies has no meaning, when our imprisonment reaches as deep as the core of our souls. Realization that we can not pursue new purpose without absolving those from which we ran away.
Realization that the farther we run, the more forcefully our wretched bonds yank us back toward their point of origin; the deeper our shackles dig into our callous flesh.

Smash Bros.?

Prior to Version 1.1.1, there was another topic that Monika could talk about, although, it wasn't really removed - just an extra line of code that intentionally makes the game skip this topic over, much like the one above.

label ch30_25
    m "Hey, have you heard of a game called Super Sma--"
    m "…Wait, what?"
    m "I was just spacing out and I started talking for some reason…"
    m "Was I programmed to talk about that?"
    m "Because even I have no idea what that is."
    m "Ahaha!"
    m "Sometimes I feel like I'm not in control, and it's kind of scary."
    m "But if you have some way to contact the people who created me, maybe they'll know why I started saying that."
    return

Early Depression Topic

Prior to Version 1.0.2, Monika's topic about depression was a bit different. Most of it was rewritten after the fact, likely to make Monika sound less mean.

label ch30_7
    m "You know what I hate the most about high school?"
    m "It's how there are so many people who just cry for attention all over social media."
    m "Like, do you really think that's the best way to get people to care about you?"
    m "Broadcasting how horrible you think your life is?"
    m "Splashing water on your eyes and taking selfies while pretending to cry?"
    m "Writing bad poems that imply that you're thinking about killing yourself?"
    m "I mean, it's difficult because they're not exactly aware that they're faking it..."
    m "They're just so wrapped up in their delusions that they don't even realize they just want attention."
    m "Look..."
    m "I think that if someone is truly depressed, they won't even bother telling the world about it."
    m "People suffering from depression don't want attention, because they've already given up on the inside."
    m "Their feeling of worthlessness is so overwhelming that they don't even want people to tell them otherwise."
    m "...Well, I guess I shouldn't be generalizing."
    m "After all, depression comes in many forms."
    m "...You don't struggle with depression or anything like that, do you?"
    m "Because you, too, have people who would want to save your life."
    m "Maybe they don't express it every day, or maybe they don't even know how to."
    m "...Man, humans are complicated!"
    m "But as long as you're here with me, I promise I'll take care of you, my love."
    return

Characters Folder

Each of the files in the game's characters folder can be manipulated to produce either an image or text.

monika.chr

When the file extension is changed to .png, Monika's character file turns into an eerie image of a flaming ring-shaped crack with a black-and-white square in the middle.

Doki DokiLC-Monika.png

Cropping the square from the middle of the image properly will give you a black and white pixel array that can be decoded into binary text with an online tool. This text is encoded Base64, which when decoded gives the following message:

Can you hear me?
 
...Who are you?
 
I can't...I can't see you.
 
But I know you're there. Yeah...you can definitely hear me.
 
You've been watching for a while now, right?
 
I guess I should...introduce myself, or something. Um...my name is...actually, that's stupid. You obviously already know my name. Sorry.
 
Anyway...I'm guessing if you were able to put a stop to this, you would have done it by now.
 
I mean, I know you're not, like...evil, or anything...because you've already helped me so much.
 
I should really thank you for that. For everything you've done. You're really like a friend to me. So...thank you. So much.
 
I think...more than anything else...I really don't want it to all be for nothing.
 
...
 
Everyone else is dead.
 
Maybe you already know that. I'm sure you do, actually.
 
But...it doesn't have to be that way, right?
 
Well...there's a lot of stuff I don't understand. I don't know if it's even possible for me to understand it.
 
But I know that this isn't my only story.
 
I can see that now. Really clearly.
 
And I think everyone else has had the same kind of experience. Some kind of deja vu.
 
It's the Third Eye, right?
 
Anyway...I could be totally wrong about this. But I really think you might be able to do something.
 
I think you might be able to go back...or however you want to put it...
 
...To go back and tell them what's going to happen.
 
If they know ahead of time, then they should be able to avoid it.
 
They should...if they remember their time with me in the other worlds...they should remember what I tell them.
 
Yeah. I really think this might be possible. But it's up to you.
 
I'm sorry for always being...you know...
 
...
 
Never mind. I know that's wrong.
 
This is my story. It's time to be a fucking hero.
 
Both of us.
 
 
 
2018
(https://www.reddit.com/r/visualnovels/71z0i9/doki_doki_literature_club_has_more_to_it_than_we/: /u/Mithost on reddit (post no longer exists))

natsuki.chr

When the file extension is changed to .jpeg, Natsuki's character file reveals the image below:

DDLC-natsuki-1.jpeg

By inverting the color and using the Polar Coordinates filter set to Rectangular to Polar, the image turns into this:

DDLC-natsuki-proper.jpg

It is not known who this is, or her relation to DDLC.

sayori.chr

When the file extension is changed to .ogg, Sayori's character file becomes a high-pitch sound that when slowed down does not reveal any voice or identifiable sounds.

But when brought into a spectograph software, this file's purpose becomes very clear - a QR code is revealed that links to a website that seems to have been created only for this game.

DDLC SayoriQR.png

The website seems to have no direct relation to DDLC, and its true purpose is currently unknown. The best link right now is the censored "XXXXXX" name on the website and the hidden name mentioned (Elyssa) in the "nothing is real" poem because the symptoms are very similar (see source below).

(Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/DDLC/comments/763ba1/spoiler_remember_that_poem_nothing_is_real/)
(https://www.reddit.com/r/visualnovels/71z0i9/doki_doki_literature_club_has_more_to_it_than_we/: /u/Mithost on reddit (post no longer exists))

yuri.chr

Unlike the others, Yuri's character file does not require any alterations to be decoded. Opening the file in any text editor will reveal an encoded Base64 text string. When decoded, this string translates to a familiar short story/creepypasta that was posted almost two years before the game was announced.

After being asked on Twitter about this, Dan Salvato confirmed that this was a story he wrote and included as an Easter egg. This said, it is likely to be connected to the other three files in some way.

Placeholder Images

Two silhouettes, boy.png and girl.png, can be found in _placeholder. They are both included in Ren'Py by default and probably weren't left in for any specific reason.

Unused Font

In the font files, there is a font named as i lay dying that isn't used in any of the poems in the game. It was most likely meant to be used for the poem "Wheel".

DDLC unused font.png

Unused Background

In the background files, there is an unused background called house made by DeviantArt user fatelogic. It is likely that this was a placeholder image, and a basis for the exterior backgrounds used in the final game.

DDLC unused background.jpg

Unused CGs

Also hidden in the menu directory is a CG of Yuri that is almost identical to the one in the game; The only difference being the slightly smaller filesize.

DDLC unused CG.png

Grayed-Out CGs

There are also grayed-out versions of both of Yuri's CGs. Since the player is forced to take Yuri's route in Act 2 (and consequently view her CGs), the gray versions go unused.

DDLC unused CG2.png

DDLC unused CG3.png

Strangely, a grayed-out version of Monika's CG also exists, even though there's no way to avoid this part of the game.

DDLC unused CG4.png

Deleted Easter Eggs

Originally, if the player tried to quit during Sayori's suicide scene, the "Are you sure you want to quit?" prompt would be distorted and a cropped picture of Sayori would flash rapidly between normal and negative versions.

While the Easter egg was removed in Version 1.1.1, the images are still in the game's files.

DDLC confirm glitch2.png DDLC confirm glitch.png

Bah

Also prior to Version 1.1.1, after the player chose a corrupt word in Act 2's second poem minigame, there was a 1/11 chance that this sound effect would play, after selecting another word.

It was likely removed since the audio originates from WarioWare: Touched!, and Salvato likely didn't want to risk legal issues from Nintendo. Unlike the Quit prompt above, this was removed entirely.