A visual novel (ビジュアルノベル, bijuaru noberu), often abbreviated as VN is a type of interactive fiction game featuring writing, music, and sounds (sometimes voices for dialogue), accompanied by static graphics. They are much more prominent in Japan than elsewhere, and often are eroges, though not always.

Visual novels often revolve around drama and romantic interactions between characters. These characters, from time to time, are loli. Whether the main heroines of the game are all loli or just one depends on the game itself. A VN may have many loli, where all are pursuable heroines, or no loli at all. Often a loli will be a minor supporting character, a major character— yet not a pursuable heroine, or maybe even the protagonist.


Most visual novels involve very little player input, resulting in an experience similar to reading a book with pictures, hence the name visual novel. Almost all visual novels use a format with the background and characters behind a box where all the text is displayed. The text in the box can be character dialog, thoughts, narration and general information about the plot or setting. In some visual novels the character's thoughts and dialog are read aloud by voice actors. The box is also sometimes used to allow the player to make choices that may impact the story and the ending. Most visual novels have multiple endings that are decided based on the player's decisions, giving the visual novel more replay value for players who want to see every ending. Although visual novels follow this format most of the time, many will have computer generated video scenes, usually used for fight scenes and H scenes. Some visual novels contain minigames or puzzles that the player must finish to move forward in the story or achieve a certain ending.


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