Life Changing Moments #4 – In Denial of What?

Even after running WinD for about 2 years, I still don’t know what we were in denial about. None of the original members remained after about Episode 12 of the first series of Higurashi, leaving the question eternally unanswered.

Higurashi’s influence on me, however, is still burning brightly. I’m currently listening to “Naraku no Hana” (Flower of Hell), one of the many great OP songs from the show. I have more Higurashi merch in my possession than I care to admit. Had I the time, I would happily sit down and re-watch all 52 episodes plus the 3 OVAs back-to back.

Higurashi did two things that led me to becoming part of 4LS.

Firstly, it re-kindled a flame inside of me that I had nearly snuffed out with overtime and beer. Higurashi moved me so much that I wanted to move others in similar degrees. I wanted people to compose great songs and draw great art to accompany my stories. I wanted people to feel how I felt, to experience the vicissitudes of life at my hand.

Secondly, it pulled me deeper and deeper into the “anime” subculture, until one day, this happened:

<meowshi> Hey Crud, have you checked out Katawa Shoujo? I think you’d be into it?

Well shit. The young QCer, Meowshi, who was almost constantly kick/banned from the staff channel, brought Katawa Shoujo to my attention. Originally, I thought of the project as a bit of a joke. My original thought was that the Rin “Good” end would result in her metamorphosing into a dolphin and swimming away into the sunset.

I originally put my hand up to be involved in the music side of things. I had this strange idea that I knew how to compose, and at the time I was working as an audio engineer and had access to the equipment that would have let us record the soundtrack live.

But in the interim, I started reading the “scraps” that people were posting. Most of them revolved around various sex scenes, but there were some good ideas in there. I put my (then) current writing project, Arctic Gale, on hold, and started posting scraps of my own.

The one that sealed the deal, however, was ~Bad End~. Still heavily influenced by Higurashi, I wrote a short piece in which Hanako, thinking that she was betrayed, strikes out at Rin and Hisao, murdering them both. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t so stable at the time. And then something awesome happened.

Kekekeke’s rendering of ~Bad End~

Kekekeke, upon reading the story (and probably at my request), made a quick sketch of the scene. Suddenly I felt that wave of emotion – someone had taken something that I had written and turned it into a great drawing.

That image super-charged my ambition, and within about 3 months of it being posted I had taken control of 4LS with TcDohl, and together with the rest of 4LS we started working on the game. That story is covered a million times over in blogs, so I will leave it there.

So that, my dear readers, is the 5-part story of how I came to be involved in Katawa Shoujo. From Les Mis, through Excel, Haruhi and Higurashi, I can now, for the first time, realise the chain of influence that led me to writing Hanako in the way I did.

Sure, there were personal events that happened during the writing, but that’s a topic for another post!

PS, for those that are interested:


8 thoughts on “Life Changing Moments #4 – In Denial of What?

    1. That would be about a 3.5 year long post about banging my head against a wall, and then a 2 year wait for the epilogue wherein I realise the wall was my own ego…

      But we’ll see. As of last night I have run out of “original” writing for Arctic Gale, so I now get the chance to write from scratch again, as opposed to half-heatedly editing old text…

  1. Funny how things go in a circle. When I joined WindFS, it was mostly because it was the only group that would take me in back then… And due to mysterious circumstances, I find myself staring at this post within a month of it’s posting.

    I wasn’t really part of the “core” group back in 2007 or so, but you guys didn’t really seem to be denying anything from my perspective. Ichigo69 was always nitpicking, Wing, gains and yourself seemed to be the main people getting things done, but those were some good and fun times…

    Speaking of which, I’ve yet to play through #KS anything past alpha1, heh..

    And I’m still on your skype list.

    1. WinD was fun. I think we got lucky with Higurashi (BTW we finished the TL on Outbreak today. Many hard sentences therw…), but the other series were mostly aboit haning out and chatting.
      So far I’ve met Wingless, Gains and Arctic Wolf. That’s more than 4LS (only Suriko and Raide.. and maybe you could count Hir).

      And you must be the only person on this blog that hasn’t read KS and is only really here for A Runner’s Afternoon Parts 3 & 4…

      Good to hear from you again!

      1. I’ll get around to finishing KS and reading all your works.
        Going through Asimov’s and Clarke’s works at the moment.

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