VN of the Year 1999

1990s are over. And to commemorate that I've made a video playlist of all the openings/demo/endings with singing/energetic instrumental from 1990s here Visual Novel Openings 1990s
I'll be making such playlists for each new year starting with 2000 since each year is going to have over 100 such opening/ending/demo themes.

Second Windows era year is behind. It failed to bring such a game that I'd announce Vn of the year 1999 right away. Instead, it brought a number of quality galge and some quirky cryptic games that I personally had a good time unwinding. 
Let's prolong the chart.
VN per year
19917540 (53%)35 (47%)
19928049 (61%)31 (39%)
199312146 (38%)75 (62%)
199415561 (39%)94 (61%)
199518058 (32%)122 (68%)
199618383 (46%)100 (54%)
199720291 (45%)111 (55%)
1998303133 (44%)170 (56%)
1999441164 (37%)277 (63%)
Windows years show a rapid increase in number of games, almost 50% total growth overall compared to 1998. In 1999 there's a shift towards blocked games, mostly because of nukige number increase.

Let's look at year 1999 highlights:
  • It becomes a habit to issue first press edition with some omake inside and then regular edition.
  • Doujin fan games make an appearance. Notably there is one doujin game for "One" and as many as three doujin games for "Kanon" in 1999. And Comic Party is notable for this movement.
  • There was a short momentum of console games transition to PC with H scenes added (Kiss yori...), but it did not gain much continuation.
  • In 1999 child pornography law came into force in Japan and from that time every single heroine in the games suddenly turned 18 years old. But appearance might suggest otherwise - such heroines started to be called loli.
  • Year 1998 was notable mostly for graphic advances (thus the small number of masterpieces), but it hit the limit and in 1999 there is much more attention to the scenario.
  • Nakige as class did not exist till 1999. But throughout the year it gained a universal spread and multiple magazines were making the list of the best nakige of 1999.
  • Command selection ADV is almost extinct this year. Even Adam:The Doublefactor went for point-and-click instead.
To choose the game of the year 1999 let's observe the masterpieces presented:
  1. Captain Love
  2. Comic party
  3. Elemental Arts
  4. Green
  5. Kanon
  6. Kazeoto, Chirin
  7. L no Kisetsu: A piece of memories
  8. Mamatoto ~a record of war~
  9. Memories Off
  10. Refrain Love 2
  11. Silver Jiken
  12. Spark!
  13. Tokimeki Memorial 2
So, thirteen. A very solid selection. I don't really have a personal favorite here. And there is no such work that I'd say - yes - it' perfect. Taking out cryptic, simulation, rpg, bakage and ero-centered works we basically left only with Captain Love, Kanon, L no Kisetsu, Memories Off, Refrain Love 2 - a bunch of pretty normal galge. And among those Kanon quality level is significantly higher and thus Kanon is the Vn of the Year 1999.

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Lisa J. Pegasus said...

Congratulations on completing the 90's! :D

I wonder, when you move on to the 2000's, will you focus on moe/chara-ge games or completely ignore them? Because, those games started to get REALLY dull in the 21st century...

kivandopulus said...

And I thought I was already paying as little as possible attention to moe/chara-ge :D

It's difficult for me to stamp a game as moege right away - I'm always looking for a twist. And when I've read enough to make up a firm opinion, it's easier to just retell what I've learned and move on. I definitely would not play one myself (unless there's an English video walkthrough of it - I even had to watch Air walkthrough since I have too much junk time while on transport).

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