Three Hundred Thousand Tears

a Edutainment by Crescentstar

Commended by BerkaZerka on 5/6/2017 11:27:23 AM

Player Rating6.11/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 54 ratings since 05/16/2017
played 838 times (finished 31)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a SnickersĀ®"

Maturity Level7/8

"anything goes"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 18. If this were a movie, it would probably be R.

To some, it's called the "Forgotten Holocaust of World War II". The atrocities committed in the Pacific theater of war during World War II are arguably the most inhumane and cruel acts done in all of human history.

Play as either Zhaoluo or Li, a pair of stepsisters, along with a touch of enemy perspective.

Endings: 3 Normal Epilogues, 2 Special Epilogue (an altered version of a normal epilogue due to at least one choice), 2 Normal Endings, 2 Death Endings.

Notes:
1. I do not intend to discriminate against any group; I think that all types of people can be very nice and kind, and I'm writing in both sides' possible perspectives, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that the Japanese and Chinese had always had tensions between them, and their bias against the other can be very strong.
2. I've taken some creative liberties with the story, which include making up appearances for real people/characters and the lack of police officers and guards in the camp the protagonist resides in. It is historical fiction after all. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that some of the swear words I used don't really exist in Chinese, but my knowledge in that area is not too good.
3. Information found are on various sources listed at the end of the main path (the most boring path, of course).
4. Although much of it is optional, and because I can't write such things very well, there will be mentions and mild descriptions of violence, gore, rape/forced incest, decapitation/removal of body parts, and other dark subjects. Viewer discretion advised.
5. Update (1): Thanks you, StrykerL, for the critique. I've incorporated most of the tips. Future Updates (?): Extended paths, Hidesada Path.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to TharaApples for beta-reading. :D Also, I'd like to also mention Orange and MinnieKing for (keeping me entertained and) helping each other procrastinate during our time with all this: *gestures wildly*. Of course, for also shoving each other toward the finish line (he he). Oh, and Steve24833: Thanks for a few informational pointers and stuff. Thanks to the people who've given writing advice to me in my time here because they were very helpful.

If you notice anything wrong, incorrect, or otherwise... odd, please let me know! ^-^

Enjoy. :D

Player Comments

Great story. A few spelling errors and one or two tense issues, but otherwise very cleanly written. The story was emotional, and well thought out. It gave just enough descriptors to be able to imagine the writing in my head, as if I were seeing scenes from a movie, while not having so many as to restrict my imagination. Characters were well introduced, and the branching was nice. Not many stories branch as cleanly and clearly as this one. Every time I went down another path, it felt like a whole new story.

Of course, with every light, there is a shadow. I had 2 main issues here. One is the length. While this was a moderately long length, it felt like it could be longer. It just felt like you just ended the story right before the climax, and remedied that by introducing a smaller, less emotional and intensive one. The second I feel like is a common failure for most writers when writing about teenagers and sometimes tweens, so don't feel like you uniquely failed in this aspect: You treated your characters like they were badass soldiers on a death march. At first, everything was fine, you could connect to the characters, and they felt like they could even just come to life if you wanted them to. However, about halfway through, a couple pages after you meet Bayon, Hauxing, and the gang, it feels like they went from these scared teenagers who just lost everything they ever had, the only thing they'd ever had, to these macho soldiers who knew nothing about fear (And fear of the Japs was originally one of the cruxes of the story), and who were willing to put their lives on the line just to kill people invading their homes. I was fine with the change, but I thought it could have been a smoother transition. Or at least had a transition at all. The closest we get to a transition is Hauxing being shot, and that was well after the change from scared to fearless had already happened. A smaller, minor problem I had with this story, was the lack of character depth in minor plot characters (I.E. Miner, Dr. Wilson, etc)

TL;DR Great story, well thought out, must read, but with only a small climax.
-- GenericMan on 7/22/2017 3:23:06 AM with a score of 0
Incredible.

Usually, I don't find edutainment stories to be all that great, but this one is definitely one of the best storygames i've read in a while.

I absolutely love the fact that it's based off of true events, and what made this even better was how well written it was. The writing in this storygame was of course, amazing, and there was a surplus of character development and detail. This made for a very well rounded CYOA, and it covered the event very well and it's definitely entertaining to learn about by reading this storygame.

Like I said, there's a lot of detail and character development, which is a very impressive thing. Mainly because storygames with so much description usually lose readers interest about a quarter into reading it. But I wasn't bored for a moment while reading this. The well developed characters with consistent and strongly provided personalities and behavior made it all the more excellent.

The branching was also impressive, and the meaningful choices definitely make reading this worthwhile. I'd no doubt recommend this storygame to new members.

There were a few flaws, however. I spotted a few spelling and grammar issues, but nothing major.

Also, a few of the situations were rather illogical, but still well written nonetheless.

Overall, a beautifully written piece that covers an intriguing historical event. Well done, I look forward to your future storygames. 7/8.
-- MinnieKing on 6/28/2017 5:15:58 PM with a score of 0
To say this story surprised me would be a gross understatement. It's rare to see a CYoA tackle a historically significant event, instead of the usual flights of fancy into damsels and dragons. Further more surprising is the choice of the setting, a time of great sorrow. For the life of me, I have no idea why someone as young as Crescent would be motivated to cover the Nanking massacre as a story, and the fact that the issue is treated fairly sensitively is heartening.

This story is excellent, the characters are well thought out and have meaningful motivations and backstories, and at multiple moments I was admiring the craft put into the setting and the actions of the cast. This story gets a lot of things right. The tone, the graphical descriptions, a good number of the choices, and the flashbacks were all successful in creating a heavy, dark, and yet substantial atmosphere.

I would have liked to have had two more things in particular: The choice to convince/coerce Huanxing to not go (instead of just deciding your own level of involvement), and for the route where you kill a soldier with your own hands to have had a greater impact on the ending. The epilogue endings did not make much sense to me, and I couldn't figure out exactly how they were intended to complete the story. That said, this being historical fiction the strange endings weren't nearly as harmful to the experience as would have been the case in a more speculative/fantasy based genre. The tone was slightly off at moments (good guys out there), which I attribute more to the writer being young than anything else. There were tiny grammatical mistakes (an automobile, your/you're, Our hearts ARE what drives us, understaffed not low staffed), but thankfully they were nothing distracting.

There are a few things that could have been expanded in the backstory to make the story richer. You could have mentioned that the residents were aware of the incidents that had happened in Shanghai to the civilians (which wasn't outright mentioned, making some of the early reactions and Japanophobia seem a bit too extreme without context). You could have mentioned that Nanjing was the capital of the Chinese government of the point, with a population in the couple hundred thousand, and the safe zone was being run by maybe 27 foreigners. You could have mentioned that the government had fled the city yet had made it nearly impossible for the citizens to evacuate. You could have also set the tone by mentioning how Chinese soldiers were found getting drunk around Dec 8-10 in anticipation of the inevitable collapse of the defenders. All are optional content, but add to the richness of the experience.

Once again, I am significantly impressed by the story and the author, and I believe the site is richer for this story. I'd gladly recommend this story to people I know.
-- StrykerL on 5/4/2017 1:22:26 PM with a score of 0
Well-written but could be more engaging. 4/8
-- The_Ghost on 6/1/2017 7:34:27 PM with a score of 0
What a fantastic game. I enjoyed playing this. It was tragic, but also touched my heart. My hat is off to you.
-- them action expert on 5/18/2017 3:50:08 PM with a score of 0
I'm quite impressed by this story. It's an excellent contest entry thematically & a solid addition to the edutainment category. Nearly left a comment after only two read-throughs and would have missed a major story shift had I done so which would have been a pity. Thank you for your contribution. I will be reading your other stories in time.
-- march5th00 on 5/10/2017 9:55:53 PM with a score of 0
Beautifully written and a fairly accurate depiction of one of China's many dark periods of history, particularly strong characterisations :D An excellent story.
-- Will11 on 5/2/2017 10:57:17 PM with a score of 0
This was so visceral! You really felt all the character's emotions and saw what they saw. Really spelt out how human beings could see other humans as 'lesser' and how fragile a grip we have on humanity - how other people's actions can draw us to commit similarly terrible actions. Well done!
-- Nicola Niemc on 4/27/2017 5:14:01 PM with a score of 0
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