Who is Kokona Haruka?
Why has she been featured in so many videos?
Will Kokona be removed from the game in the future?
That's what I'm going to talk about in this video.
For you to understand why she exists in the first place,
I need to explain where Yandere Simulator's character models came from.
Before I started working on Yandere Simulator, I was developing several other game prototypes.
Each prototype had the same problem; eventually, I couldn't continue developing the game,
because I didn't have the necessary character models or animations to make the game I envisioned.
I decided to look through the Unity Asset Store to find a character model that came with every animation I'd need to make an entire game.
I came across this model - a very affordably-priced anime schoolgirl.
This made me ask myself, "What kind of game could I make using a schoolgirl as the main character?"
My friend suggested a delinquent simulator, but I thought that idea sounded too tame.
I tried to envision the most extreme version of that idea,
and imagined a game about a serial-killing schoolgirl.
That's what inspired me to create Yandere Simulator.
When I implemented the first few students, they were straight-up clones of Yandere-chan with different-colored hair.
I wanted them to look more unique, but I didn't have any hair models.
The only hair model I had was Yandere-chan's ponytail.
So, I decided to improvise; I ripped off her ponytail and stuck it on different parts of her head, to create 5 unique hairstyles -
right side-tail, left side-tail, pigtails, tri-tails, and twintails.
But there was one student remaining who didn't have a unique hairstyle.
I was running out of creative ways to stick Yandere-chan's ponytail into a girl's head,
so I decided to try something different with the one remaining girl who still needed a unique hairstyle.
The first thing that came to mind was a twin-drill hairstyle,
so that's the type of hairstyle that I gave her.
One of my biggest weaknesses is coming up with names for my characters.
Because I had absolutely no idea what to name these girls, I simply named them after characters from K-ON.
The girl with purple drills was named Nodo Mana after Nodoka Manabe.
Eventually, I decided that it was weird to name everybody after a K-ON character,
so I turned to a list of popular Japanese girl names.
Because Yui is the most popular name and Rio is the second most popular name,
the first girl was named Yui Rio.
And so on.
The 6th girl got the 11th and 12th most popular female names in Japan - Kokona Haruka.
The next feature I wanted to test out was the ability to customize physical features.
So, I gave every girl a different bust size.
The first girl, Yui, got the smallest size and the last girl, Kokona, got the biggest size.
Saki and Kokona had the most unique hairstyles - and the largest bust sizes -
out of all the game's characters, so they stood out more than anyone else.
When I needed to choose two characters to demonstrate the game's first elaborate feature - faking a girl's suicide-
I decided to use Saki and Kokona because I knew that their unique appearances would make it easy for people to locate them and remember them.
Demonstrating the suicide feature required me to give Kokona a personal problem that could be linked to her suicide -
her problem was implied to be domestic abuse, making her a tragic character.
At the time, no other girl had personal problems or voiced lines,
or any sort of personality whatsoever, so Kokona instantly became the game's most unique and noteworthy character.
Because Kokona was the only interesting and memorable character in the game at that point in time,
I continued using her as a test subject for the game's elimination methods,
and I gave her a routine that would allow the player to murder her in various ways to test out all of the game's elimination methods,
and made her the star of several scripted events that presented the player with deadly opportunities.
Eventually, it became a tradition to always use Kokona to demonstrate the game's latest features.
Even though she was featured in most of my videos, I didn't think of her as a main character who had a role in the game's story;
I always thought of her as a guinea pig for testing new features.
I had no intention of allowing her to remain so noteworthy in the final game.
I always intended to turn Kokona into a normal background character once the game's first official rival had been implemented.
''The Kizana Question ''
I designed Yandere Simulator's rivals by thinking of unique ways for a person to die.
For example, when I imagined a death that could take place on a stage during a school play,
I decided that one of the game's rivals should be the president of the school drama club.
I decided that she should be arrogant, conceited, egotistical, self-centered, and snobby.
Someone who thinks of herself as royalty and expects to be treated like royalty.
Her name is Kizana.
I decided to give each of the rivals a color - and because purple is associated with royalty,
I gave Kizana purple hair.
Because the twin-drill hairstyle is associated with elegant, regal, high-class characters,
I decided to give her twin drills.
There was a deliberate attempt to give Kizana a different silhouette than Kokona.
Kokona's silhouette looks like this.
The idea was for Kizana's silhouette to resemble the shape of a heart that had been split in half.
But the artwork and model from the Rival Introduction Video don't create that impression.
Maybe a more exaggerated hairstyle would have helped to differentiate the two characters.
Anyway, I didn't think that the similarities between the two characters was going to be a big deal.
I thought it would be easy for people to just forget about Kokona once the real rivals had been implemented.
However, Kokona had become much more popular than I predicted.
Kokona was just a guinea pig to me, but the fans had become quite attached to her...
and a lot of people thought it was weird to have two significant characters with such similar appearances.
To solve this problem, I have several options.
I could remove Kokona from the game so that Kizana is the only character with that type of appearance,
or I could change Kizana's name to Kokona and make Kokona an official rival,
or I could try to find a way to make Kokona and Kizana co-exist in the same setting.
I don't like the first two ideas, so I'd going to try to find a way to allow them to co-exist.
Here's one idea that I've come up with:
Our newest clubmember doesn't seem to realize how things work around here.
She actually thinks she can steal MY hairstyle!
It doesn't matter if she had this hairstyle before me!
Now that I'm using it, it's officially MINE!
There's only enough room for ONE set of purple drills in THIS school!
I'm not going to discuss this with her directly; such matters are beneath me.
Make yourself usefull and go have a words with her.
Tell her that she needs to do something ORIGINAL with her hair...or else.
Kizana saw Kokona's hairstyle, decided to copy it, and then demands that Kokona changes her own hair.
This demonstrates the type of person that Kizana is; unoriginal and selfish.
If the player chooses to help Kizana bully Kokona into changing her hair,
Kokona's appearance will be different from that day forward.
This prevents the player from being confused about which character they are looking at when they see a girl with twin purple drills.
Another option is to let Kokona keep her hairstyle, and give Kizana a new hairstyle.
But...what kind of hairstyle should she have?
What would be most appropriate for her?
I have an idea.
But first, let me explain something:
I want the player to instantly know what club a character belongs to, just by looking at them.
I don't want the player to kill someone, then learn later that they killed a member of the Occult Club,
and get frustrated when the Occult Club shuts down.
For this purpose, all members of the Occult Club look similar to one another.
You instantly know which club would shut down if you killed one of them.
This is something I want to have for all clubs.
I want everyone in a club to share visual traits so that you instantly know what club a character belongs to.
For the Drama Club, I'm picturing all clubmembers with purple hair.
Kokona and Riku would be members of the Drama Club.
I'm imagining that every girl in the Drama Club has drill hair.
The newest member, Kokona, has only two drills.
Another girl who has been in the club longer would have four drills.
And Kizana, the leader of the club, would have six drills - or more.
And here's one more idea that I've come up with:
Kizana cares a lot about her appearance.
She always wants to look her best - but she can't make up her mind about what type of hairstyle she should have.
So...on every day of the week, she wears a different hairstyle.
Sometimes she might have drills in her hair, but not always.
One of her hairstyles would be a twin-drills hairstyle, but it wouldn't be the only hairstyle she wears.
Perhaps the solution that I use in the final game will be a combination of all three ideas.
Kizana will change her hairstyle every day, AND demand that Kokona change her hairstyle,
AND there will be a hairstyle hierarchy in the Drama Club based on the number of drills in a girl's hair.
And last, there's one other thing to mention.
For anyone who isn't satisfied with any of these solutions and outright dislikes the concept of Kizana having purple hair in the first place,
I'll include some sort of cheat code that changes her hair color and eye color altogether.
I've already explained that Kokona will turn into a normal student with no special events attached to her once the game's first official rival is implemented.
But...that won't be the end for Kokona.
I believe that, before the first week of gameplay begins,
there should be some sort of optional playable tutorial that teaches players the basic mechanics of the game.
For more than 2 years, Kokona's role has been to teach players about the various features of Yandere Simulator.
So, she seems like the perfect character to guide the player during the tutorial.
On the first day of school, after Yandere-chan encounters Senpai and becomes attached to him,
Yandere-chan will pass by the school's drama club.
Kokona, a member of the club, will stop Yandere-chan and ask her for help rehearsing scenes for an upcoming play.
If the player agrees, then Yandere-chan will enter the Drama Club and help Kokona rehearse scenes for a stage play about a serial killer.
Yandere-chan will pretend to be the killer, and Kokona will pretend to be the victim.
Yandere-chan will perform scenes that involve stabbing, disposing of corpses,
mopping up blood, and other core mechanics that every player needs to know about.
Perhaps performing these actions is what makes Yandere-chan comfortable with the idea of solving her problems through violence,
perhaps this is what gives her the idea to eliminate her rivals lethally.
In other words, Kokona could be considered responsible for all of the deaths that will occur over the course of the game,
because she planted the idea for murder in Yandere-chan's mind.
Usually, I think it's a bad thing when game developers are already planning or developing downloadable content for their game
before they have finished and released the core game.
Something about it feels...unethical.
But, it's fun to imagine potential DLC rivals for Yandere Simulator.
Maybe, one day in the future, I'll make a video about the types of characters that would make cool DLC rivals.
Perhaps one of these DLC rivals could be Kokona.
A girl who has been forced to re-live one week of her life over and over and over,
trapped in a time loop where she was forced to die in countless horrible ways.
After dying thousands of times, she's become an expert at avoiding Yandere-chan.
She wants to break out of the time loop...and there's only one way to do that...
Kokona has lived a very unusual life for a video game character...but I'm not ready to let her rest just yet.
There is still one last thing I need to use her for.
There is a very twisted type of elimination method that I've wanted to implement for a long time.
Putting it into the game now would require a lot of animations and would further delay Osana,
so instead of actually adding this feature to the game right away, I'm just going to create a video that conveys the idea.
The elimination method in this video will only get added to the game AFTER Osana, IF the idea gets enough support.
Kokona will be the star of this video.
It's probably going to be the last time she'll meet a tragic fate in my videos.
Even though Kokona is going to lose most of the traits that make her special once Osana is implemented,
I won't forget her, and I will give her a small role in the final game.
I hope you enjoyed this retrospective on Kokona.
Thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator.