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Thank you for the replay. It's really nice to get some feedback on my work.

First regarding Mao route, I did consider adding a route for her, but time just didn't allow it. By the time I finished those five routes I was already twice over the time I was originally planing to devote to making this VN (I worked on it for 13 months and had originally planed to make it in 6). I also considered doing something a long the lines of DLC routes for Mao, Nene and a new character later on, but sales don't justify to do that now.  Maybe someday in a future if I ever decide to do a full remaster... maybe...

As for the story,

In the world of this VN the more one advances spiritually the more one is intelligent, emotional, reasonable/sane, conscious, pretty much everything, and the opposite is also true, so yea the ones who have accepted a virus have so low of any of those that that they are beyond hope and just something to be extinguished witch is clearly understood by characters and the reason why they treat them as such. In this world there are only two possibilities for a future, advance and reach Godhood or case to exist, and virus embraced ones that have descended to such low levels that they have no chance of ever reaching Godhood and could as well not exist as it's only a matter of time before they do stop existing completely (True they already have so low consciousnesses that they current state could barely even be considered existing/living) and during that time they cannot contribute to anything, just destroy and taint everything they touch . They represent the worst of humanity but not in some subjective moral god or evil way more in an being small, pity, way, as if people who are only alive on the outside but completely and permanently dead inside and whatever they do they do mostly instinctively, making a world a worse place just by being in it. This VN doesn't really work in good and evil format, if anything advancing and becoming more is good doing the opposite is bad, everything else just is.  All in Astral aiming to reach Godhood, become creators of worlds, are beyond such concepts of good and evil, black and white.

PS: In Mao's case, broken grammar was intentional, that's just the way she talks. I'm glad you liked it.

Hmm, I'm still not sure if I can grasp the nature of that world. So what if I do not want to ascend (and not descend either of course), but just to live my merry life on Earth, because I like physical things (like physical love, food, drink, a warm breeze in spring, etc.), and because I'm happy with what I have? Do I still have to be eliminated then, even if I never chose to harm anyone? You say it's not "black and white" or "good and evil", but the fact that I have to make progress by force (towards Astral and divinity) or be extinguished is pretty binary in itself. There are no other choices? Feels wrong to me. What about freedom?

So if I want to just live peacefully (and physically), I cannot, because some higher being will always murder me, no matter what I do or don't do. That's kinda... I dunno... I don't get it? So I have to become a god first, then create my own (virus-free?) world just so I can go back to square one and get myself a physical body to enjoy my skinship, meat and beer. ;) And this time, nobody will kill me, simply because I'm far too powerful?!

I just don't get this at all.

Is the virus in this now-godless world the key? If so: What *is* that virus? What is its nature? How does it infect people? When Rena and Ria come to Astral, they seemingly came from a very advanced world (she spoke about phones once?). That means humankind can't be just some mindless mob, they're a thriving high-tech civilization pursuing scientific progress, which doesn't have reaching divinity as a goal, even though it might result in such a thing at some point in time...

The whole concept is very hard to understand (and hence accept) for me. Maybe because of my cultural background, I don't know - I'm from Europe, which has a Christian background and I'd call myself a secular pantheist. Maybe I'm wrong, but parts of your concept remind me of Buddhism. Never liked Buddhism either, it eludes my value system. Like Buddhism teaches us to reach "ascension" by ridding ourselves from all desire. To me, ridding myself of desire would mean death. No desire - no fun - no life.

While Astral isn't the same, the ascension to it it has a similar concept of getting rid of a LOT to get there, even very important things. Maybe that's why I don't like it? Hm.

Ah, sorry for my ramblings, I hope this doesn't annoy you. ;)

I don't mind at all, as I said it is nice having someone to talk to about my work.

I'll try to explain it a bit better.

Regarding no good and evil. Look at it this way, if you ware programing a game that has action in it, let's take a classical fantasy game for example, you would need both good and bad guys in it. Now if those characters in your game come to life, could you really judge/punish the bad guys for being what you created them to be? Even if you ware to give them a free will from begging and they choose to be bad by their own free will, you are still the one who made not only the possibility for them to be bad but also made it necessary for someone to be bad in that world for it to work the way you wanted it.  So in the end bad guys would still be doing exactly what you wanted them to do just as much as good guys. As a creator of worlds you would need to create both good and evil and therefore be above it yourself. Rather than something that should and shouldn't be done, both sides are necessary part of that world, neater less than the other.

Regarding choosing to not ascend, just staying were you are. Well in this world ascending, working on yourself spiritually is as basic as breathing, eating, drinking water, you can't choose not to do it without harming yourself (descending) nor is there any reason why would anyone choose not to do it. So to put your question with those examples it would be "You have to choose between eating or starving to death? There are no other choices? This world is forcing me to eat? What about freedom? " Makes no sense right? Just add to this example a factor that you are a child that grows at it eats and that's basically it.  The only way you can stop growing would be if you die. The only difference is that death in case of not ascending spiritually would be spiritual rather than physical (witch is even worse as in this world when you die physically you are just reborn but when your soul dies you're gone for good) and that this death comes way slower, true dozen of lives.

Virus is like a mental illness that convinces people not to ascend/advance and rather to embrace descending, further speeding up self destruction.

I have no idea where you got the idea that getting to astral requires getting rid of your desires or anything like that. It's actually completely opposite of that. I thought I made it clear in VN that the more you advance the more you are in every way and that that includes the more you can experience. Sure there are temporary setbacks like one can't eat food that doesn't have a physical manifestation and is pure energy until one learns how, but once one does they can experience joy of flavor like they couldn't possibly experience before, not to mention the endless possibilities of flavors that one can create with Godly powers. Advancing is obtaining more in every way, not giving up on things.

Witch is just one more reason why in this world nobody would ever choose not to ascend other than being infected with a virus.

Ok, I see, I think I understand this a bit better now. About the "desires" thing, that wasn't related to your game world directly. That was just an allegory in regards to a slightly similar (but not identical) concept. Or rather, what I thought to be a similar one.

Anyway, if I were to create a world (as a god), I would probably make it a tabula rasa. So in essence, everyone would truly choose their path, I would not predetermine anything for them. Becoming "good" or "evil" (or rather. something in between) would be a choice of those beings themselves, while influenced by their surroundings - so, much like our world. They wouldn't even have to have ethics, if it's not in their nature. And then I would just watch how that universe evolve without interfering (unless I get bored ;).

Anyway, on a logical level, your comparison between growing up and eating and spiritual growth makes sense (both being absolutely natural in their respective universes). Of course, if one were to artificially stop their growth or stop eating and drinking, or start hurting themselves in our world, we would consider that a mental illness as well. So I get that analogy.

I just never made that connection in my mind while playreading, especially since you depicted the "infected" as rather normal individuals. Ah, and also because Diane seemed to be a rather murderous and mad person to me at a certain point in the game.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to explain this a bit better!