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(2 edits) (+2)

[mild spoilers, finish OTL before reading this comment]

I'm writing to say say thanks for this nice little game.

At first I didn't get much out of it. I didn't find the characters particularly endearing and I didn't find their actions realistic. Teenagers generally aren't that self-aware of their feelings nor talkative about them (at least not any I knew) and some average guy isn't going to suddenly have three attractive girls literally throwing themselves at him. The story felt like a lot of background filler building up to something which never quite happens.

Then you did something no author ever does: You explained the story.

The clear factual delivery of The Hidden Truth was fantastic. It precisely describes the background, characters' motivations, and message really well. I then understood the story and what you were trying to communicate a lot more. It was great!

It was also nice reading your English blog entries and Itch/Steam threads. Turns out I'd "got" most of it like the twist with Claire, Ziva's friendship breakup and her whole Holden-Caulfield can't-save-everyone story arc, the wolf story representing this story within itself, but I'd missed some of the subtle points like the characters' name origins and the sun/moon comparisons, so it was good of you to fill in the gaps.

I then read the story again a second time with that knowledge, which I can only liken to rewatching Fight Club right away after your first viewing because you now know the Narrator and Tyler Durden are the same person. I found the story a lot more light-hearted and enjoyable the second time around.

I didn't think I was that enamoured with any of the characters, but looking at them again these weeks later as I write this comment, I do miss hanging out with them. You managed to bring up that conflicting feeling I had towards the end of high school, both hating constant attendance but not wanting something so familiar to end and for "real life" to start. I imagine every school student in the world has felt that to some degree.

I don't think I got any great epiphany or emotional takeaway from the OTL story which I hadn't already considered myself before reading it, but I'm fine with that. It was good entertainment and to have spent these hours exploring something so thoroughly feels like a good expenditure of time. I'm glad to have read it.

I like your earlier comment that authors often don't make their stories clear and that's very pretentious of them, that there should be a clear "correct" literary answer to a story, and I appreciate the effort you've made to explain the parts of the novel that you want explained. I'm not any sort of analytical genius and I've always wished for authors to do exactly what you've done. I guess my favorite character in the OTL "mythology" is Keinart :P

Again thanks. I'm really looking forward to Lotus Reverie.

PS: Bulbasaur is the best starter Pokemon.

(+1)

You were doing great until that PS...

Thank you a lot for your message and your time to read it not only once, but twice! I really appreciate the message and your own experience with the novel. It is really useful to me as an author. Hope to see you around for when Lotus Reverie comes along :)