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DDLC and DDLC Plus: Bugs, Glitches and Exploits for Dummies

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BUGS, GLITCHES AND EXPLOITS FOR DUMMIES

(it's 2020 now and lo-fi ASCII art is so out of fashion, trust me)

[0000] DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

Alright, before we even properly begin this document, some things need to be said. And by "some things", I could very well mean what others consider to be a lot of things. You just don't know unless you've gone through the entirety of things.

First of all, a few words for the sort of person who believes they can just barge into this document, search for keywords like "walkthrough" or "all achievements" and leave if they haven't found what they're looking for. I want this sort of person to know that DDLC hacking is not an endeavor to be taken lightly by any means. At its lightest, it is a hobby that, if pursued, will consume quite a lot of time and effort, and at its heaviest, it's comparable to a full-time, very cerebral job.

This document is the best document that I can possibly construct that can guide a person into this endeavor, with the exception of certain concessions that I cannot discuss right now. Therefore, you can absolutely expect it to dump more technical knowledge on you, all at once, than required by the most demanding professions, and given the amount of stuff discovered by DDLC hackers, if there isn't an undergrad, graduate and PhD DDLC course before the decade is out, I will promptly print the entire hefty document out and eat it all, live on Twitch.

This doesn't mean that I will not try my best to cater to this sort of person, as much as I can. However, this does mean that my help will be very limited in this regard.

[0001] ADDRESSING THE SORT OF PERSON WHO SEARCHES FOR "WALKTHROUGH"

Due to the very nature of the game, which the rest of this document expounds upon, it is honestly quite impossible to write a detailed walkthrough of DDLC that will account for your specific experience and hold your specific hand. Asking for that, really, would be equivalent to asking how to ask a girl out in real life, and as we all romance-deprived loners living in their parents' basements know, a lot of factors come into play, and for the most part, holding hands isn't going to do much here. Some, I think, gather into this "incel" group which tries to define why they, in and of themselves, are "forever alone", but I don't even think that is a leading cause.

Luckily, while one cannot guide you through the entirety of what appears to have been crammed into a single week or two of in-universe material, with all the intricate options and routes, into a concise walkthrough (or a walkthrough of any sorts, really), one can tell you, almost guaranteed, that there aren't even that many choices to make in the long run, and from there, picking the right choice is mostly a matter of common sense.

TL;DR: Don't be a dick to the girls, try and stay faithful to just one of them and roll a d120 for the absence of glitches (yeah, they actually sell d120, and the probability of a glitchless run does seem to be in the rough ballpark of 119 to 1).

While we're in the proverbial TL;DR section, which I suppose you are reading with care, I should also mention that it is quite impossible to spoil this game due to how it's generated, so while this is optional, absolutely do take notes on your first playthrough. Better yet, before you start playing, download OBS and record your entire reaction - just remember to turn the recording off... actually, nevermind, I don't think I can disclose the moment without spoilers and I don't think recording your entire DDLC experience with OBS is a good idea anymore. Still, if you do stick around and become One of Us, invariably, you're going to treasure the notes you made.

[0002] ADDRESSING THE SORT OF PERSON WHO SEARCHES FOR "ALL ACHIEVEMENTS"

DDLC, the free game, does not have any achievements. Hooray; if you've completed the game once, and if you're not interested in becoming a DDLC hacker, you're done with the game forever. Go install some mods or something. I even have a few recommendations for you; the chapter numbers are TODO.

DDLC Plus, the paid game, does have quite a few achievements, including one which requires you to discover all the little secrets that it has. Okay, that's impossible in every sense of the word, but there is a checklist of secrets that need to be discovered, and it gets quite long. A guide for all achievements is forthcoming, and the chapter number is TODO.

[0009] A TECHNOLOGY NOOB'S (AND CONSOLE PLAYER'S) GUIDE TO DDLC

The last sort of person who needs to be addressed is the sort who does want to get into DDLC hacking in earnest, but finds themself either a) intimidated by technology more complicated than opening Chrome or Steam on Windows or b) limited to just mobile devices and a game console with DDLC Plus onboard. And believe me, though this surprises many, that the latter category comprises a significant portion of the modern population, and is only growing every single day.

Luckily, there is knowledge, that DDLC hackers have gathered, that is not useful to someone perusing the game casually, but that is useful to an aspiring DDLC hacker limited to either category I just mentioned. The relevant chapter numbers for such a person are TODO.

That's it. Now that I have addressed those looking for easy answers, they can - and honestly, should - leave now.

cue the audience leaving, Downfall parody style, just before the part where Hitler blows up

[0010] RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE ONES THAT ARE STILL HERE

Well, I suppose, this is where I blow up. However, unlike our favorite dictator, I won't blow up in anger per se; instead, I will blow up with information, since, as mentioned before, there is just Too Much to unpack, as far as DDLC goes.

This is where you simultaneously don't need to worry and do need to worry. Technical knowledge needed to explain the game will be provided, in small chunks, from the beginning of this document to the end. However, there is a lot of stuff to unpack, and getting all flowery purple prose-y simply isn't going to serve us any good, and pretty soon, you might - nay, will - feel like shit is being thrown at you too fast. In that case, the simple advice I can give is to pause the reading, rewind a bit to the technical terms that you failed to understand, re-read their descriptions, perhaps take to a classroom with a notebook (and yes, there does seem to be a dummied-out notebook mode in the game for... I think this is too advanced stuff for now) and really study until you get an A+ on every single subject.

As far as knowledge of actual school subjects goes, I'm tempted to say that you'll need to be well-versed in computer programming, but odds are, your usual programming knowledge isn't going to do you any good here, since the vast majority of DDLC is coded in a form of script that was literally created by the same people as the game, from scratch, for the explicit purpose of this project, and just so happens to be unlike any sort of well-known or even esoteric programming or scripting language, which is kind of a big deal for anyone looking to crack the game open like an oversized piñata. Still; if I don't clarify any mainstream programming terms, you are free to hit up any of the multitude of "learn programming" sites and go through them. (If you are wondering which programming language to pick, just go for Python. Not even going into how it's an "easy" high-level programming language that you can easily get into, the "outer shell" of DDLC, the free game, so to say is actually written in Ren'Py, which is a Python library for visual novels and does, by default, allow for inline Python, allowing you to do some basic modding of DDLC if you choose to do so.)

Other than that, another TL;DR (don't worry, we're going to run out of TL;DRable info very soon) is simply: pay attention, brush up on your programming skills and remember that I'm presenting information in a strictly ordered, noob-friendly manner.

Still with me? Still ready to invest upwards of 10,000 hours, which some people seem to have declared the limit at which you can call DDLC your profession and expertise? Well, let's go.

[0020] DOCUMENT READING OPTIONS

This document is presented on two websites, simultaneously:

The content on both websites should be exactly the same, and if you find differences, you are absolutely free to complain at me - however, you'll have to do it at AO3, since my website doesn't allow for comments. Not yet, anyway. I'm picturing a system where you can highlight a paragraph and comment at it, similar to Google Docs, but right now, I wanna remain focused on my primary goal: introducing you to DDLC hacking.

However, in most other respects, the version on my own website, which I often refer to as selfhost, is superior to AO3. On selfhost, I can maintain the precise formatting that I need, including fonts, reading features, etc. In addition, selfhost is specifically designed to be entirely contained with a single file, which can be easily downloaded if you want an offline version of this document, for whatever reason.

With that out of the way, I hope you will consider which website is the best for your needs.

[0030] DOCUMENT STRUCTURE CUSTOMS

Yeah, you might have batted an eye at my strange terminology: chapter numbers. What is going on? Have we already reached the "hard" part of DDLC hacking?

Not really, and let me tell you why. If you would notice from the experience you've had with the document so far, you should see that the chapter headings all look like [**] CHAPTER TITLE. This is just something that I adapted from the writing customs of existing walkthroughs from the distant, distant era of the 2000s, but in addition, there's a practical reason: with this system, the former part, the one in brackets, should be easily searched with Ctrl+F, should you feel the need to look up a cross-reference - or go back to the part of the text that prompted you to look up the cross-reference. And thus, I call the former part "chapter number" and the latter part "chapter name". There is also a rhyme and reason to the chapter numbers I pick, as well as a way to pronounce them, but that is extra, mostly irrelevant reading material, available at [A003] TRIVIA STREAM: HOW TO READ THE CHAPTER NUMBERS OF THIS DOCUMENT.

Alternatively, thanks to the magic of JavaScript (more programming languages may or may not have been involved), the version of the document on my website has a dynamically updating table of contents, allowing you to click through between the chapter and its TOC listing. (That is, unless you have enough screen real estate and the TOC just chills there, to the left, forever.) Another cool thing that this version allows for is dark mode: if you've noticed the little sun doodad on the top right, you can click it and it'll turn into a moon doodad, as well as turn on dark mode, and then you can click it, again and again, to your heart's content.

However, even though the AO3 version of this document might be a little less technologically advanced (due to reasons that should honestly be obvious), AO3, itself, is plenty advanced as a service. You could probably just find a dark mode sitewide skin somewhere, and a complete TOC with real chapter headings is going to require a slightly different hack, that I discovered while writing a similar-ish essay document: presuming you're reading this on somewhere that has the "Inspect Element" mode, enter it and just find a way to enter this to a stylesheet (be sure to "View Entire Work" before executing this):

p, ul, ol, blockquote, div.preface, .meta, #header, #feedback, .landmark {display: none;}
#main {padding-bottom: 0;}

Voilà. All the body text is now gone, and what remains is the headings, providing a table of contents.

Also, briefly on the formatting I use. Code is for the sorts of terms that are used in their common meanings in programming, and therefore, can be perused at your own pace on Wikipedia or elsewhere, while bold italic is for the sorts of terms unique to DDLC and DDLC hacking, which I will properly explain in due time - and if I haven't properly explained them, you are absolutely free to complain at me.

That being said, there is one thing that you still need to know about this document's current structure - or lack thereof.

[0039] NOTICE: THIS IS (CURRENTLY) A WORK IN PROGRESS

To say that DDLC Plus caught me off-guard is an understatement. In addition, to say that this is a completely new frontier for DDLC hackers is also an understatement. Therefore, this document, intended to be a complete guide to both DDLC and DDLC Plus, is very much a moving target, especially in its Plus department. Furthermore, it's not like I can just keep the DDLC part of it unedited, as some new discoveries do affect the original game.

Therefore, this and the following updates, from version 1.51 to a future 2.00, are intended to create a structure that can accommodate the Plus content. Until then, groundbreaking discoveries simply can't be dealt with. No, not even in the non-chron blog.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Originally written material for version 1 of this document is exclusive to selfhost, and is subject to being deleted as it's being replaced with the aforementioned new structure.

Other than that, and with everything else out of the way, I have not one, but two ever-important things I need to tell you, especially in the modern day, and neither of them can really be treated lightheartedly. For those parts, writer personality is simply not welcome.

We'll meet up again at [0100] HISTORICAL NOTE: THE DDLC HACKING COMMUNITY.