After 5 years of development to the day, Katawa Shoujo is now complete.
The Internet, January 4th 2012 - Four Leaf Studios is proud to present the full release of Katawa Shoujo, free of charge. It's been five long years until this day, with a multinational group of twenty-one developers working on art, music, writing, programming, and direction, to say nothing of the innumerable contributors to the project both past and present, but it's finally here.
Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel set in the fictional Yamaku High School for disabled children, located in modern Japan. Hisao Nakai, a normal boy living a normal life, has his life turned upside down when a congenital heart defect forces him to move to a new school after a long hospitalization. Despite his difficulties, Hisao is able to find friends — and perhaps love, if he plays his cards right. There are five main paths corresponding to the 5 main female characters, each path following the storyline pertaining to that character. The story is told through the perspective of the main character, using a first person narrative. The game uses a traditional text and sprite-based visual novel model with an ADV text box.
The story of Katawa Shoujo is a long one, spanning over a decade. In December of the year 2000, the doujin Schuppen Harnische was released by the artist RAITA of circle Zettai Shoujo. One of the pages in the extras section of the doujin contained a sketch imagining a game about disabilities set in a Japanese high school. If not for later events, that may well have been the end of it. With the sticky in 4chan's anime board in January of 2007, though, interest was suddenly sparked in the idea within, and the idea of creating this game came about. After months of brainstorming, but little progress, a core development team by the name of Four Leaf Studios was formed in April of the same year. With this, Katawa Shoujo was set on the path to its final creation.
Four Leaf Studios is a volunteer group of twenty-one developers from around the world, having come together for the sole purpose of developing Katawa Shoujo. Hailing from many different countries, backgrounds, and professions, Four Leaf Studios became committed to working towards Katawa Shoujo as an entirely free game, with no money involved in the project.
With that, the story of Four Leaf Studios is finished. As a single entity, we will not be producing another game. But even though our story has ended, you will now be able to experience a new story; the story that Four Leaf Studios existed to create.
We hope you enjoy Katawa Shoujo.