A visual novel (ビジュアルノベル bijuaru noberu ) video game, also known as a VN, is an interactive fiction video game, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels or tableau vivant stage plays.
In Japanese terminology, a distinction is often made between visual novels proper (abbreviated NVL), which consist predominantly of narration and have very few interactive elements, and adventure games (abbreviated AVG or ADV), which may incorporate problem-solving and other types of gameplay. This distinction is normally lost outside Japan, where both NVLs and ADVs are commonly referred to as "visual novels" by international fans. Visual novels and ADVs are especially prevalent in Japan, where they made up nearly 70% of the PC game titles released in 2006.
Visual novels are rarely produced for video game consoles, but the more popular games have occasionally been ported to systems such as the SEGA Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation, or Xbox 360. The more famous visual novels are also often adapted into the light novel, manga or anime formats. The market for visual novels outside of East Asia is small, though a number of anime based on visual novels are popular among anime fans in the Western world.
In recent years, there has been debate (mainly outside of Japan) regarding the status of visual novels. While many view them as video games, others view visual novels as an entirely new medium of narrative art. 
In recent years there have also been some Western games that resemble Japanese visual novels, most notably The Walking Dead, which can be seen as an American take on the genre.
Visual novels are distinguished from other game types by their extremely minimal gameplay. Typically the majority of player interaction is limited to clicking to keep the text, graphics and sound moving (most recent games offer 'play' or 'fast-forward' toggles that make even this unnecessary).
Most visual novels have multiple storylines and many endings; the gameplay mechanic in these cases typically consists of intermittent multiple-choice decision points, where the player selects a direction in which to take the game. This style of gameplay has been compared to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Most, however, strive for a higher level of plot and character depth than the aforementioned series of interactive children's books. These can be more closely compared to story-driven interactive fiction. While the plots and storytelling of mainstream video games is often criticized, many fans of visual novels hold them up as exceptions and identify this as a strong point of the genre, comparing the quality of writing to literature. 
Some visual novels do not limit themselves into merely interactive fictions, but also incorporate other elements into them. An example of this is Symphonic Rain, where the player is required to play a musical instrument of some sort, and attain a good score in order to advance. Usually such an element is related as a plot device in the game.
Some shorter works do not contain any decision points at all. Most examples of this sort are fan-created. Fan-created novel games are reasonably popular; there are a number of free game engines and construction kits aimed at making them easy to construct, most notably NScripter, KiriKiri and Ren'Py.
Many visual novels use voice actors to provide voices for the characters in the game. Often, the protagonist is left unvoiced, even when the rest of the characters are fully voiced. This is to aid the player in identifying with the protagonist and to avoid having to record large amounts of dialogue, as the main character typically has the most speaking lines due to the branching nature of visual novels.
Visual novels are also known for the amount of dialogues they contain, which on average surpasses that of any other video game genre, including RPGs. Visual novels also, on average, contain more dialogues than even traditional novels, due to the interactivity (such as non-linear plots, multiple endings, and hidden/optional dialogues) requiring more dialogues to be written for visual novels than would normally be required for the more linear traditional novels.
Non-linear branching storylines are a common trend in visual novels, which frequently use multiple branching storylines to achieve multiple different endings, allowing non-linear freedom of choice along the way. Decision points within a visual novel often present players with the option of altering the course of events during the game, leading to many different possible outcomes. A recent acclaimed example is 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, where nearly every action and dialogue choice can lead to entirely new branching paths and endings. Each path only reveals certain aspects of the overall storyline and it is only after uncovering all the possible different paths and outcomes through multiple playthroughs that everything comes together to form a coherent well-written story. This branching narrative structure was largely popularized by YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (1996), and has since been used in many subsequent visual novels such as Clannad and Zero Escape as well as adventure games such as Shadow of Memories.
Because visual novels revolve almost entirely around storytelling and character interactions, this allows the narratives to be much more non-linear than is usually possible in other genres. In RPGs, for example, the choices made often have a limited impact on the overall plot, whereas in visual novels, each choice can often have a big impact on the entire plot, leading to entirely different branches, which are often referred to as "routes" within the visual novel genre. Similarly in Western point & click adventure games, the plots are often quite linear due to their greater emphasis on puzzle-solving.
The branching narratives found in visual novels represent an evolution of the Choose Your Own Adventure concept. The digital medium allows significant improvements, such as being able to fully explore multiple aspects and perspectives of a story. Another improvement is having hidden decision points that are automatically determined based on the player's past decisions. In Fate/stay night, for example, the way the player character behaved towards non-player characters during the course of the game affects the way they react to the player character in later scenes, such as whether or not they choose to help in life-or-death situations. This would be far more difficult to track with physical books, in addition to other common visual novel features such as a large number of save slots and the ability to quickly skip through text that has already been read before to allow greater exploration of the different branching paths. More importantly, visual novels do not face the same length restrictions as a physical book. For example, the total word count of the English fan translation of Fate/stay night, taking all the branching paths into account, exceeds that of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This significant increase in length allows visual novels to tell stories as long and complex as those often found in traditional novels while still maintaining a branching path structure, and allow them to focus on deep stories with mature themes and consistent plots in a way which Choose Your Own Adventure books were unable to do due to physical limitations. Visual novels with non-branching plots, such as Higurashi: When They Cry and Christine Love's Digital: A Love Story, are usually rare exceptions within the genre.
Many visual novels often revolve almost entirely around character interactions and dialogue choices, such as Ace Attorney and Tokimeki Memorial, usually featuring complex branching dialogues and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them. Such titles revolving around relationship-building, including visual novels as well as dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial and some role-playing video games such as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" which influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character. These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations. In certain visual novels, the dialogue choices have a strict time limit to respond to a certain dialogue or certain situation (much like a quick-time event), a mechanic that largely originated from Sakura Wars (1996) and has in recent years been adopted by a few Western story-based games such as Alpha Protocol and The Walking Dead.
As early as 1983, Portopia Serial Murder Case featured non-linear elements, which includes travelling between different areas in a generally open world, a branching dialogue conversation system where the story develops through entering commands and receiving responses from other characters, and making choices that determine the dialogues and order of events as well as alternate outcomes, though there is only one true culprit while the others are red herrings. It also features a phone that could be used to dial any number to contact several non-player characters. The game was well received in Japan for its well-told storyline and surprising twist ending, and for allowing multiple ways to achieve objectives. Another more non-linear early example was Mirrors, released by Soft Studio Wing for the PC-8801 and FM Towns computers in 1990; it featured a branching narrative, multiple endings, and audio CD music.
It is not uncommon for visual novels to have morality systems. A well known example is the 2005 title School Days, an animated visual novel that Kotaku describes as going well beyond the usual "black and white choice systems" (referring to video games such as Mass Effect, Fallout 3 and BioShock) where you "pick a side and stick with it" while leaving "the expansive middle area between unexplored." School Days instead encourages players to explore the grey, neutral middle-ground in order to view the more interesting, "bad" endings.
A common feature used in visual novels is having multiple protagonists giving different perspectives on the story. C's Ware's EVE Burst Error (1995) introduced a unique twist to the system by allowing the player to switch between both protagonists at any time during the game, instead of finishing one protagonist's scenario before playing the other. EVE Burst Error often requires the player to have both protagonists co-operate with each other at various points during the game, with choices in one scenario affecting the other. Fate/stay night is another example that features multiple perspectives. Chunsoft sound novels such as Machi (1998) and 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de (2008) develop this concept further, by allowing the player to alternate between the perspectives of several or more different characters, making choices with one character that have consequences for other characters. 428 in particular features up to 85 different possible endings.
ELF's most famous visual novel, YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (1996), in addition to establishing the branching narrative structure used in many subsequent visual novels, featured a science fiction plot revolving around time travel and parallel universes. The player travels between parallel worlds using a Reflector device, which employs a limited number of stones to mark a certain position as a returning location, so that if the player decides to retrace steps, they can go to an alternate universe to the time they've used a Reflector stone. The game also implemented an original system called ADMS, or Automatic Diverge Mapping System, which displays a screen that the player can check at anytime to see the direction in which they are heading along the branching plot lines. Similar systems have later been employed in more recent role-playing games such as Radiant Historia and the PSP version of Tactics Ogre.
Since the 1980s, visual novels have had a strong impact on the development of Japanese role-playing games,  with visual novels like Portopia Serial Murder Case laying the foundations for RPGs like Dragon Quest. Since the 1990s, there have also often been role-playing video games that feature visual novel style elements. A well known example in the West is Lost Odyssey, a role-playing video game that features a series of visual novel style flashback sequences called "A Thousand Years of Dreams", which were well received in the West. These sequences were penned by an award-winning Japanese short story writer, Kiyoshi Shigematsu.
An earlier successful example, one that popularized the idea of VN-RPG hybrids, is Sega's Sakura Wars series, which combined tactical role-playing game combat with visual novel elements. It also introduced a real-time branching choice system where, during an event or conversation, the player must choose an action or dialogue choice within a time limit (much like a quick-time event), or not to respond at all within that time. The player's choice, or lack thereof, affects the player character's relationship with other characters and in turn the characters' performance in battle, the direction of the storyline, and the ending. Later games in the series added several variations, including an action gauge that can be raised up or down depending on the situation, and a gauge that the player can manipulate using the analog stick depending on the situation. The success of Sakura Wars led to a wave of games that combine role-playing and visual novel elements, including Thousand Arms, Riviera: The Promised Land, and Luminous Arc. The Persona and Devil Survivor series of the Shin Megami Tensei RPG franchise are also often considered VN-RPG hybrids, with Persona 3 Portable in particular being the closest to a visual novel. Another example is Sentou Gakuen, which combined elements of both MMORPGs and visual novels.
It has been noted that various modern Western role-playing games also feature elements similar to visual novels, such as the plot and dialogue segments of BioWare games such as Mass Effect, or the dating sim elements of Fable or Dragon Age.  The Sega-published action role-playing game Alpha Protocol also featured a real-time conversation system similar to Sakura Wars.
Other hybrid genres
Besides VN-RPG, there have also been other types of hybrids combining VN elements with other genres. A common example is combining visual novel storytelling with more traditional point & click adventure elements such as puzzle-solving (for example, Ace Attorney, Zero Escape, and The Walking Dead). Another fairly common example is combining visual novel storytelling with shmup action segments.
Some of the more uncommon hybrid examples include BlazBlue  and Asura Cross which combines versus fighting combat with visual novel storytelling,  and Moero Downhill Night Blaze which combines together elements from both visual novels and racing games. 
The visual novel genre has evolved a style somewhat different from print novels. In general, visual novels are more likely to be narrated in the first person than the third, and to present events from the point of view of only one character. It is fairly common for the primary structural unit to be the day rather than the chapter, with formulaic awakenings and returnings to bed framing each day's events. There are of course many exceptions to these generalisations.
In the typical visual novel, the graphics comprise a set of generic backgrounds (normally just one for each location in the game), with character sprites (立ち絵 tachi-e ) superimposed on these; the perspective is usually first-person, with the protagonist remaining unseen. At certain key moments in the plot, special event CG graphics are displayed instead; these are more detailed images, drawn specially for that scene rather than being composed from predefined elements, which often use more cinematic camera angles and include the protagonist. These event CGs can usually be viewed at any time once they have been "unlocked" by finding them in-game; this provides a motivation to replay the game and try making different decisions, as it is normally impossible to view all special events on a single play-through.
Up until the 1990s, the majority of visual novels utilized pixel art. This was particularly common on the NEC PC-9801 format, which showcased what is considered to be some of the best pixel art in the history of video games, with a popular example being Policenauts in 1994. There have also been visual novels that use live-action stills or video footage, such as several Sound Novel games by Chunsoft. The most successful example is Machi, one of the most celebrated games in Japan, where it was voted No. 5 in a 2006 Famitsu reader poll of top 100 games of all time. The game resembled a live-action television drama, but allowing players to explore multiple character perspectives and affect the outcomes. Another successful example is 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, which received a perfect score of 40 out of 40 from Famitsu magazine.
Content and genre
Traditionally, PC-based visual novels have contained risque scenes even if the overall focus is not erotic (similar to the "obligatory sex scene" in Hollywood action films). However, the vast majority of console ports do not contain adult material, and a number of recent PC games have also been targeted at the all-age market; for example, all of Key's titles come in family-friendly versions, and three have never contained adult content at all. Also, all of KID's titles are family-friendly.
However, most of these games are later re-released with the addition of erotic scenes, or have a sequel with such. For example, Little Busters! was first released as an all-ages visual novel, but a version with erotic scenes titled Little Busters! Ecstasy came out later, and though Clannad is also all-ages, its spinoff Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life is not. One notable exception to the rule is Myself ; Yourself, which never had an ero version, though it did contain mature content not suitable for younger audiences. Another example of this is Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Some of Japan's earliest adventure games were erotic bishōjo games developed by Koei. In 1982, they released Night Life, the first commercial erotic computer game. It was a graphic adventure, with sexually explicit images. That same year, they released another erotic title, Danchi Tsuma no Yuwaku (Seduction of the Condominium Wife), which was an early adventure game with colour graphics, owing to the eight-color palette of the NEC PC-8001 computer. It became a hit, helping Koei become a major software company. Other now-famous companies such as Enix, Square and Nihon Falcom also produced similar erotic games in the early 1980s before they became famous for their role-playing video games. While some early erotic games meaningfully integrate the erotic content into a thoughtful and mature storyline, others often used it as a flimsy excuse for pornography. The Japanese game Pai Touch! involves the protagonist gaining the ability to change the size of girls' breasts, and the adventures that ensue in trying to choose which girl to use the power on the most.
In 1986, Square released the science fiction adventure game Suishō no Dragon for the NES console. The game featured several innovations, including the use of animation in many of the scenes rather than still images, and an interface resembling that of a point-and-click interface for a console, like Portopia Serial Murder Case, but making use of visual icons rather than text-based ones to represent various actions. Like the NES version of Portopia Serial Murder Case, it featured a cursor that could be moved around the screen using the D-pad to examine the scenery, though the cursor in Suishō no Dragon was also used to click on the action icons.
Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) was inspired by Portopia Serial Murder Case to enter the video game industry, and later produce his own adventure games. After completing the stealth game Metal Gear, his first graphic adventure was released by Konami the following year: Snatcher (1988), an ambitious cyberpunk detective novel graphic adventure that was highly regarded at the time for pushing the boundaries of video game storytelling, cinematic cut scenes, and mature content. It also featured a post-apocalyptic science fiction setting, an amnesiac protagonist, and some light gun shooter segments. It was praised for its graphics, soundtrack, high quality writing comparable to a novel, voice acting comparable to a film or radio drama, and in-game computer database with optional documents that flesh out the game world. The Sega CD version of Snatcher was for a long time the only major visual novel game to be released in America, where it, despite low sales, gained a cult following. Nevertheless, many Western gamers may have already gained familiarity with the visual novel format through Kojima's more popular Metal Gear series, which present much of the plot through codec conversations that are presented in a very similar manner to visual novels. 
Following Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Kojima produced his next graphic adventure, Policenauts (1994), a point-and-click adventure notable for being an early example of extensive voice recording in video games. It also featured a hard science fiction setting, a theme revolving around space exploration, a plot inspired by the ancient Japanese tale of Urashima Taro, and some occasional full-motion video cut scenes. The gameplay was largely similar to Snatcher, but with the addition of a point-and-click interface and some first-person shooter segments. Policenauts also introduced summary screens, which act to refresh the player's memory of the plot upon reloading a save, an element Kojima would later use in Metal Gear Solid. The PlayStation version of Policenauts could also read the memory card and give some easter egg dialogues if a save file of Konami's dating sim Tokimeki Memorial is present, a technique Kojima would also later use in Metal Gear Solid. From 1997 to 1999, Kojima developed the three Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series titles, which were adaptations of Tokimeki Memorial in a visual novel adventure game format. Other acclaimed examples of science fiction visual novels include ELF's Yu-No (1996) and 5pb.'s Chaos;Head (2008) and Steins;Gate (2009).
A popular subgenre of visual novels is the nakige ("crying game"), also known as utsuge ("depressing game"). The main purpose of such a game is to make the player feel for the characters and make them cry due to emotional scenarios which serves to leave a bigger impact on the player after the game is over. These games often follow a similar formula: a comedic first half with a heart-warming romantic middle followed by a tragic separation and finally (though not always) an emotional reunion. This formula was primarily influenced by Leaf's visual novel To Heart, released in 1997, and was further developed in the 1998 title One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e, developed by Tactics. After One was complete, the development team quit Tactics to form Key where they developed their first title Kanon, also based upon on this formula. According to Satoshi Todome in his book, A History of Adult Games, Kanon was "heavily hyped [and] had gamers impatient until its release. It was only one game released by Key so far, and yet [it] had already sent major shockwaves around the industry. And yet another game [Air], two years later, sent even more shockwaves. Air was equally hyped and well received."
The success of One and Kanon on Key's formula to create a "crying game" was later adopted by other visual novel companies which were influenced by this formula to create their own "crying games". Examples of this include: Kana: Little Sister (1999) by Digital Object, the Memories Off series (1999 onwards) by KID, D.C.: Da Capo (2002) by Circus, Wind: A Breath of Heart (2002) by Minori, Snow (2003) by Studio Mebius (under Visual Art's), and Katawa Shoujo (2012) by 4Leaf Studios.
One of the most acclaimed visual novels of this subgenre was Key's Clannad, written by Jun Maeda, Yūichi Suzumoto, Kai and Tōya Okano. Released in 2004, its story revolved around the central theme of the value of having a family. It was voted the best bishōjo game of all time in a poll held by Dengeki G's Magazine, and is considered the "Citizen Kane" of visual novels, as "the visual novels's magnum opus for showing what the form could achieve," elevating the medium to a level on par with other forms of literature.  It served as the basis for a successful media franchise, with adaptations into a light novel, manga, animated film, and acclaimed anime series.
In 2008, several visual novels by Key were voted in the Dengeki poll of ten most tear-inducing games of all time, including Clannad at No. 2, Kanon at No. 4, Air at No. 7, and Little Busters! at No. 10. In 2011, several visual novels were also voted in Famitsu's poll of 20 most tear-inducing games of all time, with Clannad at No. 4, Steins;Gate at No. 6, Air at No. 7, Little Busters! at No. 10, and 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de at No. 14.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry) was a 2002 horror-themed visual novel by 07th Expansion, influenced by the "crying game" subgenre. Ryukishi07 of 07th Expansion mentioned in 2004 how he was influenced by Key's works during the planning of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. He played their games, among other visual novels, as a reference and analyzed them to figure out the reason why they were found to be so popular. He figured that the secret was due to how the stories would start with ordinary, enjoyable days, but then a sudden occurrence would happen leading the player to cry due to the shock value. He used a similar model for the basis of Higurashi but instead of leading the player to cry, Ryukishi07 wanted to scare the player with the addition of horror elements. Other examples of a horror-themed visual novels include Animamundi: Dark Alchemist, Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Ookami Kakushi and Imabikisou.
Sound Novels is a trademark of Chunsoft, which used the term for its novel games such as Otogirisō, Kamaitachi no Yoru, Machi and 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de (which received a perfect 40/40 score from Famitsu). Sound Novels were the origin of the "novel"-type game genre. Both genres share the style and gameplay. However the term "Visual Novel" is used by non-Chunsoft developers partly to avoid Chunsoft's trademark and partly to emphasize its focus on visuals rather than sound. As later entries in Chunsoft's own Sound Novel series have strengthened its visual expression with 3DCG and real-life graphics, the latter difference have pretty much disappeared.
Despite what the term may imply, not all sound novels have voice acting; the "sound" being merely background music and sound effects. An example of this is the original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series for the PC, which billed themselves as "sound novels". Another variation of the sound novel is the audio game, the most notable example being Superwarp's Real Sound: Kaze no Regret, which consists entirely of sound rather than visuals.
Visual Art's, the major visual novel house that publishes Key's works (among numerous other brands), has recently released a series of works called Kinetic Novels, which are notable for being an experiment in online content distribution. Most of these fall into the completely linear category, lacking any choices at all; as a result, some fans have begun using the term to describe other non-interactive titles.
As of 2007, all major visual novels are produced in Japan.[original research?] Only a few have been licensed in the United States and other countries; a majority are eroge, with Hirameki's now-discontinued AnimePlay series as notable exceptions. In addition to official commercial translations, a vibrant fan translation scene exists, which has translated many free visual novels (such as Narcissu and True Remembrance) and a few commercial works (such as Umineko no Naku Koro ni and Policenauts) into English. Some French and Russian translations exist as well.
Commercial English translations of contemporary Japanese visual novels were uncommon, though some games with visual novel elements had been officially translated into English for release in the Western world. These included Hideo Kojima's Snatcher and Capcom's Ace Attorney series. Multiple arcs of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni have been translated by MangaGamer and ported to Apple's touch screen products. This translation has been approved by original author Ryukishi07.
In recent years, Japanese visual novels have been released in other countries more frequently, particularly on the Nintendo DS handheld following the success of mystery titles such as Capcom's Ace Attorney series (which began on the Game Boy Advance in 2001), Cing's Hotel Dusk series (beginning in 2006), and Level-5's Professor Layton series (beginning in 2007). The success of these games has sparked a resurgence in the adventure game genre outside Japan. GameSpot has credited Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in particular for revitalizing the adventure game genre. The success of the Ace Attorney series was followed soon after by the even greater success of Level-5's Professor Layton in 2007. Both have since become some of the best selling adventure game franchises, with Ace Attorney selling over 3.9 million units worldwide and Professor Layton selling over 9.5 million units worldwide. Their success has led to an increase in Japanese visual novels being localized for release outside Japan, including KID's Ever 17: The Out of Infinity (2002), Cing's Another Code series (2005 onwards), Marvelous Entertainment's Lux-Pain (2008), Chunsoft's 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (2010), and Capcom's Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (2010).
- List of anime based on video games
- List of video games based on anime or manga
- List of longest video game scripts
- List of video games with most endings
- Adventure video games
- Bishoujo game
- Graphic adventure video games
- Motion comic
- Otome game
- Ryu Umemoto
- Text-based video games
- ↑ Cavallaro, Dani (2010). Anime and the visual novel: narrative structure, design and play at the crossroads of animation and computer games. McFarland & Company. pp. 8. ISBN 0-7864-4427-4.
- ↑ Lebowitz, Josiah; Klug, Chris (2011). "Japanese Visual Novel Games". Interactive storytelling for video games: a player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and storie. Burlington, MA: Focal Press. pp. 192–4. ISBN 0-240-81717-6. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QUrarEcvaO8C&pg=PA194. Retrieved 2012-11-10. "Visual novels (or sound novels, as they’re sometimes called) are a popular game genre in Japan."
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ray Barnholt. The Weird World of Japanese "Novel" Games. Retrieved on 2011-03-08.
- ↑ AMN and Anime Advanced Announce Anime Game Demo Downloads. Hirameki International Group Inc. (8 February 2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-01.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Chris Klug; Josiah Lebowitz (March 2011). Interactive Storytelling for Video Games: A Player-Centered Approach to Creating Memorable Characters and Stories. Burlington, MA: Focal Press. pp. 194–7. ISBN 0-240-81717-6. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QUrarEcvaO8C&pg=PA194. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- ↑ The First Free Visual Novel Engine Released, Softpedia
- ↑ Cavallaro, Dani (2010). Anime and the visual novel: narrative structure, design and play at the crossroads of animation and computer games. McFarland & Company. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-7864-4427-4.
- ↑ 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors Review, IGN, 16 November 2010
- ↑ Brent Ellison (8 July 2008). Defining Dialogue Systems. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
- ↑ John Szczepaniak (February 2011). Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken. Retro Gamer. Retrieved on 16 March 2011. Reprinted at John Szczepaniak. Retro Gamer 85. Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved on 16 March 2011..
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 John Szczepaniak. Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier. Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved on 16 March 2011. Reprinted from "Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier". Retro Gamer (67). 2009 .
- ↑ John Szczepaniak. Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier. Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved on 16 March 2011. Reprinted from "Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier". Retro Gamer (67). 2009 .
- ↑ Eisenbeis, Richard (28 August 2012). How A Visual Novel Made Me Question Morality Systems in Games. Kotaku. Retrieved on 28 August 2012.
- ↑ Commodore Wheeler. EVE Burst Error. RPGFan. Retrieved on 3 September 2011.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 428 – The greatest experiment in non-linear story telling. Destructoid (17 December 2009). Retrieved on 27 August 2012.
- ↑ WooJin Lee. YU-NO. RPGFan. Retrieved on 3 September 2011.
- ↑ Radiant Historia Gives Off a Distinct Chrono Trigger Vibe, 1UP
- ↑ To those of you that asked about Radiant Historia, Destructoid
- ↑ Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, GamesRadar, 15 February 2011
- ↑ Fear, Ed (17 March 2008). Harvard's Rubin on translating 360 epic Lost Odyssey into English. Develop. Retrieved on 2009-01-30.
- ↑ Sakura Wars ~So Long My Love~ Interview. RPGamer (2010). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
- ↑ Jeremy Parish (8 May 2009). Sakura Wars Comes to America, But is it Too Late to Matter?. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2011-05-18.
- ↑ Spencer (17 March 2010). Alpha Protocol Has A Touch Of Sakura Wars. Siliconera. Retrieved on 7 March 2012.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Pesimo, Rudyard Contretas (2007). "'Asianizing' Animation in Asia: Digital Content Identity Construction Within the Animation Landscapes of Japan and Thailand". Reflections on the Human Condition: Change, Conflict and Modernity – The Work of the 2004/2005 API Fellows. The Nippon Foundation. pp. 124–160. http://www.apimal.org/blogcms/media/13/File/Pesimo.pdf.
- ↑ Jones, Matthew T. (December 2005). "The Impact of Telepresence on Cultural Transmission through Bishoujo Games" (PDF). PsychNology Journal 3 (3): 292–311. ISSN 1720-7525. http://www.psychnology.org/File/PNJ3(3)/PSYCHNOLOGY_JOURNAL_3_3_JONES.pdf.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 水晶の龍 – SQUARE ENIX. Square Enix Japan. Retrieved on 2008-05-26. (Translation)
- ↑ やーきゅーうー、すーるなら!? 「水晶の龍（ドラゴン）」. ITMedia (22 August 2006). Retrieved on 2008-05-26. (Translation)
- ↑ Kasavin, Greg (21 March 2005). "Everything is Possible": Inside the Minds of Gaming's Master Storytellers. GameSpot. CNET Networks. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
- ↑ Retroactive: Kojima's Productions, 1UP
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Kurt Kalata, Policenauts, Hardcore Gaming 101
- ↑ Mark Ryan Sallee. Kojima's Legacy: We reflect on the influence of Hideo Kojima's 20 years in gaming. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-08-20.
- ↑ Hideo Kojima Speaks, IGN
- ↑ Todome, Satoshi. A History of Adult Games, chapter 3 (Japanese). Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
- ↑ (in Japanese) pre-Clannad. SoftBank Creative. 15 April 2004. ISBN 4-7973-2723-5.
- ↑ Dengeki G's Magazine top fifty bishōjo games (Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved on 3 June 2009.
- ↑ 【アンケート結果発表】感動して泣いてしまったゲームはありますか？. Dengeki. ASCII Media Works (15 October 2008). Archived from the original on 7 May 2012 Retrieved on 7 May 2012.
- ↑ Romano, Sal (29 December 2011). Famitsu's top 20 list of tear-inducing games. Retrieved on 24 February 2012.
- ↑ Ryukishi07 (9 July 2004). Key's Essence is Actually...(Bitter Smile) (Japanese). 07th Expansion. Retrieved on 15 May 2009.
- ↑ キネティックノベルについて (Japanese). kineticnovel.jp. Retrieved on 2007-01-06.
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 Kurt Kalata, Snatcher, Hardcore Gaming 101
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 Layton Series Hits 9.5M, Ace Attorney 3.9M, Gamasutra
- ↑ Gameplay of the Week – Two new engaging DS adventures hit the spot, The Olympian
- ↑ Kurt Kalata, Sotenga, Jason Withrow, Phoenix Wright, Hardcore Gaming 101
- ↑ Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2010-07-27.
- VNDB.org – A comprehensive database for information of visual novels
- Visual-Novels.net – A site dealing with the latest visual novels from Japan, forum and downloads
- Visual Novel Fan Translations
- VisualNovelGames.com – A site with Visual Novel Games made mainly for Western audiences
- vNovel.info – A site offering visual novels playable right in the web browser
- Visual Novels at the Open Directory Project
- Analysis: How Fate/Stay Night Goes Beyond Binary Choice , Gamasutra
- Soundscapes – Back to Basics with Visual Novels
- Creation engines