Three Hundred Thousand Tears

a Edutainment by Crescentstar

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

Player Rating6.28/8

"#81 overall, #5 for 2017"
based on 124 ratings since 05/16/2017
played 2,936 times (finished 117)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length6/8

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

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

I hate to say it, but this is an ambitious but poorly executed story. I struggled to reach a single ending, and by that point had no interest in going back for more.

This is unfortunate, because I went into this story expecting I would rate it a 7 or an 8. I was impressed by the length of the story (33,000 words) and the bold choice in subject matter. How could a writer interesting enough to tackle a story of such potential do anything less than wow me with her storytelling skill?

The answer turned out to be too simple: flat writing, an absence of necessary detail, and a dependence on cliched phrases.

I followed Zhaoluo's path, choosing to bomb something, ending up with my friends writing for a newspaper, and a final scene of people touching each other. What, why, how, or where, I can't say, because some of those scene-setting, character-building details simply weren't present, and after a while I ceased to care altogether. I was just slogging through page after page to an end link, because the writing was lackluster and was not engaging.

And this is a major disappointment, because this storygame has so much potential. The actual setting, war-torn Nanking, is filled with human pathos and tragedy, and the decision to base a storygame here struck me not only as unusual, but downright bold on a site overloaded with wannabe dungeon masters.

But throughout my reading, I had the distinct sense I was reading a rough draft, not a polished story -- a rough sketch instead of a masterful work of art. I wasn't particularly concerned about the characters, because they weren't drawn sharply enough, and I couldn't imagine the refugee camp in which they lived, because too few details had been provided. Strike that: details is probably not the right word; there wasn't enough **insight**. Trying to follow along was like watching an excellent movie... on a dingy screen, with the volume turned way down. I could kind of guess there was something good happening, but I could make out too few details to truly appreciate it.

So I started this storygame expecting to rate it a 7 or an 8, but in the end I gate it a 5. The only reason I rated it that highly is because I admire the writer's attempt to tackle such a long story on such an interesting subject.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 8/27/2019 8:32:02 PM with a score of 0
This was a very sad story. A very good and well written one, but very sad.

So this story is about the Rape of Nanjing (Nanking), which is probably the most well known event of a relatively unknown theatre of World War 2. In 1937 the Japanese Empire officially invaded China starting the Second Sino-Japanese War. By December of 1937 the Japanese captured the Chinese capital of Nanjing and began committing numerous atrocities on Chinese civilians. We play as one of those civilians in this story.

Pretty much right off the bat you can tell things aren't going well for the Chinese. There are gunshots out in the streets, our family is worried, and it's just not good. Our stepmother is going into labor so somebody has to run to the Red Cross to get help. This is where we choose between playing as Li or Zhaoluo. (I played as Zhaoluo as my most recent playthrough so I'll mostly be focusing on her story.) So Zhaoluo runs to the Red Cross camp in the safe zone and starts heading back home with a doctor. But when we return, it's far too late. Our family has been raped and butchered and now we are one of the countless refugees of the war. Our life in the Red Cross shelter has us meet numerous other orphans, each with their own horrifying tale. Some are meek, some are kind, some are angry and a some are simply dead inside. They were all written very well and provided different perspectives on how war effects people. Eventually a choice comes up. Some of the orphans want to wage a guerilla war against the Japanese forces while others just want to wait it out. We can either help with the guerilla fighting, oppose their plan, or do nothing. Each leads to different results with some being (in my opinion) better than others. But eventually the Japanese make it to the camp. We survive the war, but not without suffering greatly.

I think you picked an interesting subject to cover. In war, not just World War 2, the impact on civilians is often overlooked. Tales of bravery and heroic battles are told while the suffering of the average person is widely ignored. You managed to portray one of the most horrific incidents of the Second World War in a way that was both impactful and respectful. This incident is something that should be learned about, not swept under the rug. War is awful. And while the heroic deeds of soldiers should be remembered, it cannot come at the cost of ignoring those who suffered due to a war they never asked for. This story does a wonderful job at portraying those poor people who suffered.

Now, as for the writing, I don't really have any complaints. It was all very good. My only real complaint is that the ending felt a bit rushed in a way. The Japanese pretty much enter the camp and then about a page later we learn what Zhaoluo is up to post war. It just felt like it went by a bit too quickly. But that's just my opinion.

So overall this was a fantastic story about a very important historical event. I think it was very well written and managed to be both informative and respectful. Great work Crescentstar.
-- TurnipBandit on 8/25/2019 1:30:43 AM with a score of 0
That was a really awesome read! Probably one of the saddest games on the site… Which is good, because I love depressing games. (Kind of put me in mind of Grave of the Fireflies, which is one of my favourite films, so bonus points for that.) I think I found this one particularly tragic because my goal was to save both of the sisters… Which you can’t do… So no matter what path I took, the ending was always super sad.

I can’t really think of much negative to say about this game, ‘cos honestly, I don’t really think there is anything negative to be said. The only thing I can think of (and this is just me being nit-picky) is that, to me, Li never really felt like the protagonist. Perhaps I’m being biased because I read through Zhaoluo’s path first, but to me, Zhaoluo felt like a much more fleshed out character. Just little things like how she constantly keeps her guard up and her complex relationship with her father (even after he passes away) just really make me feel like she’s the character I’m meant to relate to. With Li’s story on the other hand, I kind of felt like the role of protagonist jumped from Zhaoluo to Zhen to Kuyue, with Li remaining as the “little sister” character that everyone goes out of their way to protect. But perhaps I just found it harder to relate to her because she’s so young. Either way, Zhaoluo I felt was a very strong protagonist.

Also, I’m still pretty confused about Zhen’s character and what his story was. Can’t really tell if he was a Japanese soldier that went rogue or if he were a regular Chinese soldier who managed to steal a bunch of stuff from the Japanese. I also wondered if perhaps he was the same Japanese soldier that the player got to briefly control at the beginning of the game… Couldn’t really figure it out either way, but he was an interesting character for his brief time in the game, so it’d be good to know.

In summary, I think this story beautifully and heart breakingly captures all the worst horrors that war entails. I also think the fact that the endings all range from hopeless to bitter-sweet, without a single “happy ending” in site does the game a lot of credit. Obviously, war devastates countries and the lives of everyone it touches, so I think it’s pretty accurate that the happiest ending a character can hope for is picking up what little they have left and trying to make a life out of it. You’ve written a brilliant story game, and if three hundred thousand people played this game, I’m sure it’d draw a tear from all of them. :’(
-- Avery_Moore on 8/24/2019 5:10:40 PM with a score of 0
This story really starts out with a strong pace. There is no slow build up. There is no initial world-building. It throws you directly into a pivotal moment, which I think helps hook the reader. Some stories that start with action is fitting. Others feel forced. I think this was more fitting than forced. The amount of links of the first page only add to the madness. I really didn't know what I got myself into upon hitting the “play” button and that is in line with the way the story starts out.

One thing that was really distracting was the dialogue punctuation. Part of it was proper. Most of it wasn't correct, which brought me out of the story a bit. It's one of those things that you can't unsee after noticing. I suppose it's not a huge deal, but anything that prevents the reader from experiencing the story to fullest should be mentioned.

Three Hundred Thousand Tears feels to me like it could be summed up in the old saying: out of the frying pan, into the fire. It seems like tragedy after tragedy happens. It starts out bad, then gets worse. Luckily, there is a bit of a revenge element build in. It starts off fast and keeps a fast pace. I probably wouldn't count it among the top stories of the site, but it's definitely not a bad story to play through.
-- ninjapitka on 8/25/2019 1:43:45 AM with a score of 0
It is difficult to capture the events of war in the viewpoints of the civilians involved - but this story did so nearly flawlessly. There were several grammatical mistakes here and there, but there was no noticeable issue. Amazing story.
-- Ficsean_Chef on 4/20/2019 8:49:16 PM with a score of 0
This was a good story on the rape of Nanchang or something like that.
Although I don't think you should have done it from the Japanese's perspective. They also did it to Korea and other parts of Asia as well.
They also did supposed human experiments and killed pregnant women and shot at medics.
-- ZombieWriter9188 on 1/1/2019 9:58:26 PM with a score of 0
Wonderful story, great imagery and building of character personalities. As far as historical accuracy goes, I found every point was accurate. The "shooting competitions" at the Yangtz river, support of John Rabe to the refugees of Nanking, the fliers dropped ordering surrender in 24 hours; to name a few were historically accurate. Also, the backstory at the start was very informative and well written. I observed very little to no typos in the whole story. The best part about this were the realistic emotions of the protagonist. How the different choices we make changes her views drastically, the emotions and feelings she felt when her family was murdered. In fact, the fact that the characters were very well developed, to a point where they meant something to the reader and when they were suddenly murdered; the pang and guilt that the protagonist felt could really resonate with the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


-- ShoujoAddict on 12/23/2018 12:49:59 PM with a score of 0
Pretty good, I liked it (for historical fiction)
-- Austinc on 12/14/2018 2:03:41 PM with a score of 0
This story brought tears to my eyes
-- princess wansley on 12/11/2018 2:04:11 PM with a score of 0
nice.
-- PaulaAnneMason on 11/3/2018 8:14:38 AM with a score of 0
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