Monster Girls: the Advent 0.31. English version underway!
Okay, this is for all of you waiting for the next English update of Dave's adventures. It's been a long way, but the next version is nearing! Along with some interface improvements, you'll see a new (and hopefully more enticing) sprite for the Nekomata... and the most important: Dave's visit to the prosperous capital of Auren, Neldhal, in Chapter 3. What will transpire there?
We still have to wait a bit to see it... but we're almost there!
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I'm replaying the MGTA game and was wondering about a couple of things. The section in question is when Dave visits the castle of the Infante to treat Meiya to treat her fever illness.
First is around the description of the first person who treated Meiya unsuccessfully and which concerns Dave before he treats her with the green orchid potion. This unknown person is described as a physicist. Now that might be what you actually mean, but I am wondering if you really meant physician.
Definitions (slightly simplified from Wikipedia):
A physicist is a scientist who specialises in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe.
A physician, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a health professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments.You might be trying for something humorous with physicist, in which case that's fine, but I can't help thinking you actually meant physician. If the former, I missed the joke.
My second question relates to Dave's description of the food left for him by the Infante when Dave goes to his room following the first treatment of Meiya. He uses the word "agape". I am guessing you are referring to "an agape feast" with agape referring to the generic Greek word for love.
While completely valid, I'd suggest that this is an unlikely reference for your average under-educated English speaker. I am lucky enough to have a decent education and I still had to look it up, as I could not see how the usual definition of agape fitted.
For most native English speakers, they will see the word agape and think the usual definition:- "wide open, especially with reference to the mouth". In usage: "She was so astonished her mouth fell agape". Caves, doors, gates and other openings can be agape as well, so the reference to food is obscured unless you read the Greek word instead. Some will, a lot won't.
Now this isn't the first time I have learnt something from a H game, all writers tend to have a pretty broad knowledge, and they bring their readers with along them, so if you mean it that way, that is also fine, just be aware it will likely slip under the radar for at least some readers. Not everyone bothers to chase down an odd reference, or even see that they need to.
Otherwise, enjoying the replay. Good work, keep it up.
Hi! Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on all this. It's much appreciated feedback, especially since English is not my first language.
The physicist-physician thing was not intended as a pun, and it's certainly a controversial duo I was struggling with at the time. You're right that, in a strict sense, "physician" should be the choice to refer to the medical profession. Despite this, I found elsewhere that "medical physicist" can be used sometimes in the context I intended, and I thought hard about the term I should use here. The thing is, during our world's medieval age (the analogous setting of the game's world), people who practiced medical treatments were not called "doctors" per se, and in Spanish at least, I ascertained that a word commonly used then was "físico". I don't know whether this comparison would be also valid in English, and my hesitation stemmed mainly from this; but in the end I decided to use the term "physicist" as a means to mimic, in the game's world, this not-so-usual name to refer to someone carrying out medical-like tasks (versus "physician", which in our world and nowadays would be the unquestionable choice). I'm still not sure whether my choice was appropriate, and I could very well change it in further versions of the game, especially after your assessment.
About the "agape" word, I think you're totally right and there's barely room for discussion here. Maybe it can be a valid term per se in the context I used it, but certainly, most English speaking audience could misunderstand or miss its meaning. Indeed, I'm glad to know that some players can learn new things from my narrations, but in this case it's not so necessary to force the cultural thing; so I will probably change it to something more common, like perhaps "banquet".
Again, thank you very much for pointing all this out, for your interest and your obvious commitment in sharing this information with me, I really appreciate it! You're absolutely welcome to comment whatever else you consider, and of course, I hope you have a great time replaying my game.
Just finished replay up to the end of the current public release. I found it most entertaining. I await the next with bated breath.
I see your dilemma regarding terminology. The period setting is somewhat akin to the medieval, when things were not nearly as clear as they are now. In fact, you can see Dave as quite the pioneer in this regard. He wants to push forward out of a dark age.
The term physician might be a bit older than you might expect. Some research on the etymology of the word points it being around as early as 1200 which is solidly in the middle of the medieval. I haven't spent hours on this, but some searching came up with this:
c. 1200, fisicien, fisitien, later phisicien, "healer, one who practices the art of healing disease and of preserving health, doctor of medicine" (as distinguished from a surgeon), from Old French fisiciien "physician, doctor, sage" (12c., Modern French physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from Latin physica "natural science" (see physic). The restored classical ph- spelling is attested in English from late 14c. (see ph). Related: Physiciancy; physicianly; physicianship.
I see your links to physicist here. The rest of this page may well be of interest as well as it shows the progression of physica (Latin as in natural science ) to physician. Physicists were once called natural scientists or even natural philosophers.
See it here: etymology of physician
Here's the equivalent page for physicist: etymology for physicist
Food for your deliberation. Personally, I still favour physician, it will confuse English speakers quite a bit less and with an origin in the mid-medieval (as fisicien or the like) it isn't too far out of place.
I endorse completely the substitution of banquet for agape. English readers will grasp that instantly.
Since I am picking "lint" off your work I might as well note that baptism might not be the ideal term when Dave names the catgirl. (And a great name he comes up with too - good job, Dave. She just about bursts with pride). But baptism just isn't quite right, it has too many other connotations. I am sorry to say I have no other ideas. "Naming" sort of doesn't do it justice. In principle, what happens at this point has parallels to baptism. The catgirl goes from a nameless monster to an individual with an identity and some purpose, and the story develops that line. I still think that baptism isn't appropriate though, and it may offend even??
One final thing, the MC. For all his enlightenment, Dave is, in many ways, the classic clod of a H novel MC, incapable of seeing what surrounds him. For example, he has a slime girl companion who risks physical harm for him on a regular basis , yet asks nothing more than conversation and the chance to accompany Dave. In return, he treats her appallingly. On top of that, the poor woman is constantly naked due to her physical composition. You can't help but feel some sympathy for her position.
Then there's the succubus girl Dave has eating out his hand, with nothing more than her steadfast belief in Dave to complete the mission. Finally, we have a wild catgirl who bowls up out of nowhere, and for little benefit to herself and quite some risk as well, pulls the trio out of dire trouble with that spider girl. This catgirl isn't stupid either. She instantly recognises the potential of a monster girl human alliance and in joining the expedition is well along the way of eating out of Dave's hand too. And for her trouble gets little more than distrust and cold treatment from Dave. This catgirl talks of "deals" as well, the possibilities of that idea all going blissfully over Dave's head.
To add insult to injury, Dave's is portrayed gleefully feasting on roasted venison, when in reality his companions are likely going hungry to some extent. I hope he is due for a giant epiphany fairly soon.
Keep up the good work.
Have to have patience for next release.
I'm really grateful for your dedicated and invaluable help in this regard, as well as the rest of your comments. A deep enough research job in etymology and historical matters, that I'm sure will come in handy not just now, but in later stages of the game as well. I'll make sure to delve into it as the story progresses, particularly when the time comes to translate other finished chapters into English.
I think I'll come to agree with you regarding the word "physician". Since, as you point out, it doesn't seem out of place in the medieval age, all my doubts are cleared. "Physicist" will become "physician" in the script, and this way, English speakers won't be confused either.
For what you say, "baptism" won't have such an easy solution. Either way, I don't feel (or I don't want to think) that it will offend players if that's what you meant; after all, people who download these games know fully well what to expect from them. Not something to be careless about, anyway, and I certainly try to always be on guard with things that could result in potential offenses in some cases. All that said, "baptism" is still the closest I can come up with to refer, once more as you point out, to the circumstances being depicted when the Nekomata joins the group, and the tone of this moment in the story.
I am also happy to read people's thoughts on the game experience itself, more so when they are elaborate and insightful like yours.
I understand why you could see Dave as the classic clod MC, and in a sense, I'm not intending to move too far away from that perception, seeing as this is, in the end, an H game (even if I'm not planning to make it too nukige; very much the opposite in fact, when the story advances further). As a side effect, and taking into account Dave's temper, I also see how a number of players will see him as nothing short of an insensitive asshole. But this is precisely Dave's nature, and I'm hoping to convey, as the story moves forward, that he's in fact far from being a dick character. This development will be indeed one of the guiding threads of the story as a whole. And, of course, players developing a degree of sympathy for the cast of Monster Girls is yet another element in this game.
As you correctly state, Dave is, no more no less, a pioneer who wants to push forward out of the age and world he happened to be born in. Most of his demeanor and apparently insensitive attitudes stem actually from his deeply and, sometimes, exaggeratedly cautious and circumspect nature. He lives in a world with Monster Girls, which, like it or not, are potentially dangerous beings; and Dave knows this full well, even when, at the same time, he doesn't know much else about these creatures. And these knowledge gaps are precisely what make Dave so distrustful, and keep him from being a bit more empathetic with the "special" companions whom, one way or the other, are starting to gather around him.
Dave knows as well something important: no matter what it seems, Monster Girls are not human beings... something that some people in the game's world seem to be blissfully unaware of. (Note that you yourself used the word "woman" to refer to the Slime Girl, and this is just one of the main aspects I'm playing with and exploring in this narration. In the same line, what a Monster Girl considers "benefit" or "risk" to herself may very well not fit with human standards at all). And since Monster Girls are not human beings per se, you can't take for granted normal or even "safe" reactions when dealing with them. This is true and reasonable enough, and Dave knows it very well. But, how far can he really take his apprehension and his distrust? Can he take it at face value at all times? Where's the frontier between being cautious and being obsessive? That's set to be one of Dave's main dilemmas. And, maybe, just maybe, he'll end up finding out that Monster Girls can have more human traits than he thinks... and, what would be even more surprising: maybe they can have positive traits never found in humans...
That's the gist of it, and even when I enjoy it, I don't really want to keep talking and end up spoiling things. As one would expect, I'm keeping to myself some key details that, sooner or later, will come to shed light on the big picture. Anyway, part of that epiphany for Dave may not be too far off... Chapter 5 will be the starting point in that regard. But just that, the starting point...
As I said, I'm busy with my other game as of now, so yes, we'll have to be patient... but I hope to keep moving forward the English version of "Monster Girls: the Advent" as well.
Thanks a lot for your help and words of encouragement, it really makes my day!
See you around!
Thanks for taking the time to comment. Very interesting.
I remain unapologetically fond of Alba despite her being "not human", and I stick by my comment about seeing her as a "woman". (This says a lot about effort put into character development for what is a H novel.) When others consistently stand up for you, when they really need not, it sends a powerful message. Actions speak louder than words. Dave and Alba had a rough start for sure, but that would not be the first relationship with a rough start. Agreed, monster girls are dangerous, but so are humans given the right circumstances, even more so as a collective. And some monster girls seem to act out of desperation to some extent. Desperation is a bad master, and if that element is removed, outcomes and behaviour can be quite different!
In terms of reality, humans are going to have to get used to the idea of entities that are clearly not human but displaying plausible signs of humanity, or subsets thereof. It may be that significant hurdles remain for AI, but progress is being made. Exploring relationships with non-human "humans" has been a theme of fiction for a long time, and can help condition thinking (Asimov's "I robot" series, for example). The idea that monster girls have higher callings than humanity aspires to is also a fascinating idea. Well worth exploring. You never know, we may see the same thing in AI in time.
Seems like this novel has a plan and a future. I look forward to the next episode. I have other thoughts, but I think I will just let you play it out. Too much here could lead to spoilers, enough for the moment.
Is your other game "And now, time to study"? I hope so, as that had potential too. It is quite a while ago I played it. When I first played it, there were jarring moments. When I get a spare minute, I'll replay it and see if there is anything where specific comment might be useful.
Catch you in the future,
Your thoughts are interesting, perspicacious, and show just how involved you are with the story, so as a writer I couldn't be more glad. Players having a fun and deep experience is the ultimate goal here, after all.
Alba, indeed, is a good example of how much I always intend to develop characters in a story... even when said characters aren't humans, and even when the background is supposed to be that of an H-game. I must admit that I myself am incredibly fond of Alba since the very beginning, as the first Monster Girl character I ever created, and I enjoyed especially writing her events in the first two Chapters. Inspiring the sympathy of players towards Monster Girls is the first and necessary ingredient in order to explore every interaction and development that will come in the future. I'm hoping this to be an exciting, challenging and, at times, endearing experience.
Exploring the limits of humanity is clearly one of the most exciting endeavors I want to carry out in "Monster Girls: the Advent", and I'm having a great time writing about this and other themes, that will also be present in the story. True enough, if Monster Girls are in principle dangerous creatures, humans don't fall short at all, and as a big community, they can even pose a greater threat in some key departments. This idea will show itself over time, little by little... but manifestly enough.
That's correct: "And now, time to study" is my other game; in fact, I started writing it before MGTA. The setting is obviously different, but it contains quite some other interesting ideas to explore as well, in a seemingly usual school-themed visual novel.
Have a nice time playing, and I'll be here for any other comment whenever.