Doki Doki Rainclouds is a Doki Doki Literature Club mod that explores Act 1 from Sayori's perspective. It does a good job portraying her depression, unlike some other mods (cough Exit Music cough We Are The Literature Club cough), and contains no egregious failures. I'd certainly recommend it to anyone interested in DDLC mods. That said I do have several criticisms:

  1. None of your choices matter at all. A VN without choices is fine, but a VN that gives you choices and gives you the impression that it's going to matter only to reveal that all the options transpose fully in just a few lines is a little annoying.

  2. It's a big suboptimality that most of the clubroom scenes from the original were copy-pasted in with little or no changes except the addition of a few interspersed thoughts by Sayori who apparently follows MC around and eavesdrops on all his conversations. It works to show Sayori's reaction to the stuff they say and how almost everything ends up being hurtful in some way, but it would have been much better to verbatim-copy less of the original game. For all this time following her as POV, we still haven't learned what Sayori reads in the Literature Club.

  3. It's revealed that all the girls are actually only sharing their poems with MC, and not with each other (or at any rate not with Sayori). I get that it would've been a lot of extra writing to fix this, but it's really not believable.

  4. The mod retcons several small things about the base game for seemingly no reason. For one, Monika is intending to kill Sayori from the start, whereas in the original game it's stated that at first she just wanted to make the other girls unlikable so the player would choose her. She probably didn't even start tampering until at least day 3 (where Sayori first asks a suspicious question), and even then didn't actually intend to kill Sayori until near the end. Another retcon is that Sayori physically meets up with Monika for their weekend prep work instead of just helping her online.

  5. Sayori's weekend meeting with Monika was also a let down. It's kind of unfair for me to make this a criticism since the mod did a good job in general with Sayori's arc and I'm really just criticizing that this scene didn't live up to the rest, whereas if another modder made this the scenes would probably all be this bad. But this should have been a great scene that would contribute significantly to pushing Sayori over the edge. Instead nothing really happens between them except Sayori has some scary visions and Monika offers disingenuous sympathy.

    Here's what you should have done for this scene: keep the online meeting; Monika and Sayori are text chatting and before they start work they get into some conversation about Sayori's depression. Monika may explain that she "figured it out" because it "was kind of obvious" and say "I'm really worried about you". The core of the scene would go like this (unattributed lines are narration):

    Monika: "Have you considered killing yourself?" (Sayori has probably started thinking about it recently and was ashamed that such a thought would even occur to her.)

    My heart stops. I blink, staring at the screen for a few seconds.

    This can't be happening...

    I shed a tear.

    Sayori: "Monika, please..." (Note the lack of any indignance. It shows how Sayori's already in such bad condition than she can't feel any anger at Monika for suggesting such a thing. She's almost lost the ability to judge anyone but herself.)

    I'm shaking. Monika, you can't do this to me...

    Monika: "I'm serious. If you're not enjoying your life and you don't think your friends are enjoying having you, why shouldn't you just go?"

    My jaw drops.

    Monika: "Isn't that just better for everyone?"

    (Sayori screams, closes out of the chat application and runs away. Monika ends up doing the work by herself, and later tells Sayori "Don't worry about it. The final product is worse as a result but I'm sure it'll be okay." Sayori considers asking her to confirm that she meant what she said online, but is too afraid of the answer.)

    Maybe that script needs some editing, but this could have been a beautiful scene. Instead CykaDev mostly wasted it.

  6. Finally, that there's no way to stop Sayori from committing suicide despite that she is now the player character sends the message that she didn't ultimately have a choice to resist the rainclouds. That's a horrible message for this mod to send because as soon as you say Sayori didn't have free will in that situation, you say that she actually didn't kill herself in any meaningful sense, which would make her story so much less tragic and destroy almost the entire point of this mod.

    It's worth noting that simply removing all the fake choices from the mod would have completely fixed this, since it would have erased the feeling that Sayori is "the player character" rather than just the POV character in a read-only story.

There are several cool game file secrets. The link to the full ARG solution is here (it's posted in CykaDev's discord server).

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