Like the first legless man to compete in a marathon, few expected it to finish, but it has finally happened: Katawa Shoujo, an indie visual novel developed by the former 4channers at Four Leaf Studios, is finally out, after five-odd years in the cooker. The game was inspired by a single-page concept illustration (check the gallery) released by Zettai Shoujo, a Japanese circle that counts among its members Raita Honjou, the lead character designer for the Valkyria Chronicles titles.
In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, Katawa Shoujo translates roughly to “Disability Girls”, and follows the life and love life of Hisao, a formerly healthy boy who has to attend a private school for kids with disabilities after contracting a bad heart condition. There he can meet (and court) several young ladies, including Lilly, who’s blind, Shizune, who’s deaf, Emi, a paraplegic amputee, Hanako, who has some nasty burn trauma, and Rin (pictured), who has no arms to hug you with.
Get the game here, it’s free!