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- ABOUT -

"A Monster's Insight" is a cosmic horror-themed "debating" visual novel with psychological elements. This game is all about the power of words and how you can exploit them.

Success and failures are determined by stat-raising and obtaining keywords. There are always at least 3 different ways to convince an interlocutor.

This was an entry submitted for a game jam called NaNoReNo 2021 and was made in one month.


- STORY -

You are a monster known as the “silver-tongued”.  Your goal is simple: convince the most powerful cosmic terrors to steal their souls and rule the world.

But will your greatest obstacle be them underestimating you... or your haunting past?


- INTERLOCUTORS-

The game takes place over three conversations with different great terrors of the OUTERWORLD. These are your interlocutors. Use stat raising, INSIGHT and strategy to get them on your side.

This is a game about the power of words so anything goes. Robust chains of reasoning, emotional manipulation or even blackmail are all on the table!



- FEATURES-

  • 7 unique endings
  • 2 different forms of gameplay (visual novel/puzzle exploration)
  • Stat raising and stat checks
  • Multiple win conditions and strategies to use
  • An Assist mode and a Challenge mode
  • Parallax animated images
  • 45,000+ words


- WALKTHROUGHS -

You can find the walkthrough for Chapter 1 here

You can find the walkthrough for Chapter 2 here

You can find the walkthrough for Chapter 3 here

You can find the walkthrough for the endings guide here


- CREDITS-

  • LGM- Music composer/Sound designer


- SOUNDTRACK -

Listen to the incredible soundtrack done by LGM here on soundcloud!

It's also on bandcamp as well :)

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

monster-insight-1.55-win.zip 598 MB
monster-insight-1.55-mac.zip 580 MB
monster-insight-1.55-linux.tar.bz2 575 MB
monsterinsight-thankyou.pdf 89 MB
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Development log

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Comments

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(+1)

even using walkthrough i cant beat this dammd dewilopiteq:C

(+2)

Let me preface this by saying I utterly adore this game. I was meaning to ask, are there any plans to publish the OST on Spotify? Thank you!

(1 edit)

I have an issue with my game where the text "Helps me pick up cues and pointers during dialogue" is stuck on the game screen. I've tried reinstalling and restarting. it's just stuck there all the time except during the starting screen.

Otherwise this game is super cool! Everything is just such good quality and it's so unique and interesting. I've never really cared for philosophy and though stuff, but this game makes it entertaining.

Edit: It went away after entering the second debate thing

(+1)

Cool art

(4 edits)

I love the game, the sound in this game are fantastic. BUT 





SPOILERS:






In Cor muem puzzle, _ _ _ + (last answer minus last letter) + CY = necromanccy which is wrong in the game, the answer is necromancy. There's an extra C isn't there? Since "romance" minus the last letter is romanc and then + CY. I'm on default difficulty

(+1)

Everything about this game scratched an itch I didn't even know I had. Just. The concepts are all amazing. The replayability value is insane and I keep wanting to go back and see what new dialogue I can unlock by shifting a stat here or choosing an option there. The use of word puzzles is also really cool as a mechanic.

I also just really love Cor Meum, what an amazing being lol. I liked how for me the game went from incredibly philosophical/psychological with Fernweh for Weird Company Orientation with Cor Meum to "who this reporter" with Deulithoteq. It was really enjoyable to stream this with my friends!


Word of advice: Don't play Fernweh's bit at night since we ended up going down an incredibly philosophical path and I had zero brain juice lmao.

i don't know

This game's really great, incredibly unique and well balanced in all aspects. I'd love to see a sequel of any sorts.

(+1)

Cannot put into words how much I love this game!!

(+1)

Just finished my first playthrough, I thought it was a really enjoyable experience! I loved Fernweh, and the worm man who's name I can't ever remember either. I'd definitely be interested in seeing more of this universe if another game came out, it was a brilliantly fun time with enough of a challenge to it even on the easiest settings.

Thank you so much for playing my game! I'm glad you enjoyed the world and its universe :)

Haha the worm man's name I came up with last minute as I was writing dialogue, perhaps I should've made it simpler ^^'

(+1)

This game felt so difficult to me since I am also unable to read social cues in real life. I loved the concept and the music and everything but this gameplay is really unsuited to me! I downloaded the entire soundtrack though because it seriously slaps

<3 love that you love the OST!

(+3)

Amazing. I enjoyed every part of it, and the setting is way too good to just leave at this. I'll give you some ideas, creator. Firstly, this VN doesn't have to be the main focus if you plan on creating another game with this world in mind; it can be a backstory for the world's current order, a prologue. You can create a new story that will directly interact with the knowledge and refrence what we know from this work, but it will, in the end, be another game: different protagonist, different story, different game genre if you so wish. 

I sincerely hope you expand on this world, it's too full of potential to just leave alone, but other than that- thank you for the awesome content.

(+2)

Hi! Thank you so much for playing my game :)

I'm really glad that you're interested in this world (I certainly still am!) and even more grateful that you're thanking me for this content ^_^

(+3)

This game is a hidden indie gem. It is fantastic every way. This desperately needs a full game with more story and characters to meet.  

(1 edit) (+1)

Thank you very much for playing my game! 

This was made very much with a larger world, characters and stories in mind. I'd love to return to it if people wanted to see more of it. 

But for now, I'm consumed by game jams and the need to improve my skills!

(2 edits) (+3)

I liked this game!

SPOILERS, lots of SPOILERS, below....

Fernweh's debate confused the hecc out of me. I got confused after a bit--although I knew the two were talking about reality and what is real, but the nuances flew right over my head and I glazed over :p but it was extremely entertaining to see Fernweh pitch a fit when I failed to convince him, and he chased me out. For some reason, it was so funny hehe 

I liked Fernweh's design! His mistiness was super neat and pretty. I also just love misty purple stuff. Although I screwed up the first time I played vs Fernweh, I found it easy to grasp how to play, and overall I enjoyed the debate unu

For the second debate, with Cor Meum, I enjoyed this one more! I could follow the conversation and digest it on a more deeper level. I also just liked it better, especially when Cor and Meum split apart. I could kind of sense that things would be heading in the Splitting direction, and I eagerly awaited the car crash I knew would happen when Cor and Meum had their lovers' spat. For my first playthrough, Cor blew up Meum, and I didn't feel sorry in the slightest :p Especially after seeing that Cor and Meum turned their hive buddies into meat puppets! I also thought the little bit of lore about Cerebrum was super neat! Cerebrum=brain, and Cor=heart; additionally, one may say the brain "rules over" the heart; and Cerebrum was the better hivemind than CM! I don't know if it was intentional but, I thought the association was cool.

Finally was Deulithoteq. I struggled a lot with this, as I kept on dying over and over, and it was frustrating to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. Exacerbated by this was the fact I had saved over my pre-debate save, so I could only try from the middle ;; eventually, I had to restart the game, and I used a walkthrough. I loved Deulithoteq's debate too!! I thought all the lore was super neat, and the Sun End that I got was satisfying. But I wanted to see MORE! still i understand that u had limited time hehe

The art was top notch! I loved the shading, and the palettes for each debate stage. I liked the misty purples for Fernweh, and the reds and oranges for Cor. For Deu the pinks and greens and browns were very matchy, and pleasing to look at! I loved the pink orb

The music was cool, as well! the sfx especially. the saving noise made me giggle-it sounds just like the doorstoppers on my house that I used to twang and laugh at. 

I also enjoyed the writing! I did have an issue with the first debate, but I feel that would be more of an issue with my ignorance of philosophy than an issue on your part. otherwise, i loved the writing, very engaging and fun to read. i enjoyed the silver-tongue's characterization. they were snarky and their reactions were golden--especially to Fernweh's delusion. the mc's exasperation at FW made me giggle. the parasite Keychee was soo cute and adorable. I wanted to squeeze their cutie cheeks <3 

Overall, this game was very enjoyable, and I loved it! Good job to all the devs, and I hope to see more in this universe, perhaps!!!

edit: also thx for posting the ost!!!! i will listen to it now uwu

(+2)

Wow, first off thank you so much for playing my game and taking the time to put in all this feedback!

I'm really happy that you liked my game and enjoyed it! This world is something I am passionate about, but because of the "time limit" of the game jam I wasn't able to fully expand upon it (perhaps it was too large of a scope for what it was).

I was thinking of adjusting some dialogues (especially the first one with Fernweh as people said it was confusing).

I did all the art/coding/writing but LGM did the music (you can find the full OST on his youtube). Sayumi101 also helped with the buttons on the main menu :)

We really put our all into this, and as much as I did it for the sake of the jam, it puts a smile on my face to know other people appreciate our work too!

(1 edit) (+1)
M

My partner and I enjoyed your game! Really unique in art and style of game. Really like the dialogue also. Really felt like the characters while we voice them. Keep the good and looking forward to other games you've made.

(+1)

Thank you so much for playing my game! I'm really glad that both of you enjoyed it :)

This game was made for a game jam, but I hope to create larger projects at some point!

I got an error message when I answered vena cava in the questioning section of cor meum. I think the defined name of The person talking was misspelled. I can screenshot the error message if you think it would help.

Hi! If you have any bugs then please send a screenshot to arkicade@gmail.com :)

(+2)

i love this game so much, from the unique and cool artwork to the awesome soundtrack (which i've been listening to on youtube), this game is definitely one of my favourites ever. i loved all the different aspects of it, especially the 'insight' minigame. usually, i'm not a big fan of stat-raising games, but i loved everything about a monster's insight. i will be recommending this game to everybody i know. great job ! 

(+1)

Thank you so much for playing and for your incredibly kind words! I'm glad that you liked it so much :)

(+1)

omg thank you for replying ! you're like one of my fav gamedevs ever i never thought u'd reply

(+2)

really great atmosphere, world building and dialogue. this is a solid foundation for a cosmic world.

Thank you for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed the world, it was a lot of fun to create :)

(-5)

DATE: APRIL 21, 2021. [Julian Date #111.]

 

This Game is... confusing. I had to play it for half an hour before stopping, since my mind felt like risotto. What we have here is an ambitious Concept that could not possibly have been executed believably and relatably in one month, I'm afraid.

A nameless, unseen Monster distinguished for his "silver tongue" is tossed into a series of face-to-face interactions with a diverse smorgasbord of unsightly, misshapen ghouls and spooks. Each of these abominations is allegedly depicted as an autonomous Individual with a unique Personality, Psychological Defences, and Weaknesses. The objective is to employ a spectrum of manipulative "skills" in the pursuit of an undefined and vague ideal. Players are encouraged to deconstruct each conversation in order to assert some sort of dominance over the stubborn and unyielding N.P.C.'s, though the motivation and the justification for doing so is never made apparent.

The first source of confusion must be the Soundtrack. Clearly, the mixing and mastering took some work, yet its applications reduce all of that effort to waste. The sound effects are gruesome and loud, as is the Music. Hip-hop drums with loud bass frequencies disrupt a Tutorial section whose writing feels like a manual. Saturated ambient echo effects loop incessantly without much in the way of development or variation, though it's all much too intrusive to feel ambient and undistracting.

It does not help that the prose is somewhat turgid and hard to follow. There doesn't appear to be any distinct rhythm to any character, nor any kind of character to the rhythm. Each monster speaks as if rattling off data in a Soviet propaganda film. To add to this Orwellian nightmare, it becomes a real struggle to find any one consistent POINT to these dialogues. Hope is fleeting when the first prospective client, whose identity fluctuates between being an Individual and a Group, begins to make statements of an epistemological and a metaphysical nature. I may come back to this part after upgrading my Protagonist's "Intellect" to the greatest possible status, because this rather dimwitted sociopath does not seem to know how to engage in an ordinary discussion at this point, preferring to divert his attention to minor, distracting details as though he were Holden Caulfield. The Mist Colony proceeds to develop some potentially engaging lore about the various levels of ontological/epistemological Hell, but my pseud of a Protagonist simply dismisses him internally as a self-centred Solipsist rather than a Cartesian: a bizarre turn indeed when confronted with the classic "Evil Genius" meme we all know and love. The lore is wasted on the point of view, since we don't SEE these various stages in action but must be TOLD what they are. Perhaps none of us are innocent of doing this, but it would help to offer some actual diversity in terms of characterization, storytelling, and scoring if we are to work our way up to this freshman lecture.

The mess is muddled more so, as aforementioned, by the extreme ambiguity of who is speaking to whom. The Protagonist is never shown, to the beast of my knowledge. He is never given a name or gender except "Silver-tongue" and "You"; I must default to the generic "he" only because I do not wish to call myself an object, and the Second Person implies I have artistic license to project my own gender UPON him. Part of the problem is that the non-playables are often referred to as though they were Groups, Colonies, or Hive Minds, despite behaving as if they were mere Individuals fighting to preserve their own autonomy in Hegelian/MacIntyrean fashion. I understand that it has become fashionable to surrender time-honoured grammatical Law in favour of the incidental ambiguities in the English Language, but, like MOST forms of manipulation, this is no excuse. Either the Monster is a Group, or it's a Person. If it is a Person, yet to call the person "it" is much too mean, at least a writer should give SOME thought to the Monster's Gender Identity; it's not like any of us really inherit a personhood which is independent of our assigned roles, and those roles traditionally play a much greater part in our social integration than the secondary roles we assume online and among friends. Besides: it's not like one intent on MANIPULATING the N.P.C.'s will be tempted to regard them as anything other than Instrumental Objects possessing Individual Egos, and knowing the Monster's Sex/Gender would of course be far MORE effective in bypassing outward, self-defined forms of autonomous identity by hacking the Personal Unconscious. Were this Game a Foucaultian exploration into the Will and its relation to Identity, I would permit it its conceits, but since the Protagonist clearly has NO interest in honest conversation, the pronoun usage comes off as pretentious and all-too "millennial". Even using the generic "he" would have made more sense... you know, as MOST literature does.

 

None of this is to say that I was not disappointed by virtue of this Concept's Potential. Like many overrated Games, it gets downloaded because its premise is intriguing. Unfortunately, this Concept has yet to be Developed to Perfection. Everything is boiled down and expressed as though the audience were ten years of age, which I HOPE is not the target demographic. It reads like a Design Document rather than a Game, and that is why I had to stop playing: not only because I came in expecting a Psychological GAME, but ALSO because this piece of software retains so many of the elements OF a Game, from its deliberately sloppy visuals to its overproduced sounds, that I cannot rightfully begin to guess at where the Developers were GOING WITH IT.

I don't mind having to guess; that can be part of the Fun!! Even a Game made deliberately to "feel unfinished" has that timeless Zen quality which leaves a lot to our Imaginations. Yet the Game was presented as though it were a Completed Work. Its Science must wait on its Art to reach fruition.

 

Rinzai Gigen,

Subliminal Mind Games.

[({R.G.||S.M.G.)}]

(+1)

Thank you so much for playing the game and for the in depth review! 

Within the game it does say that Fernweh is a Cartesian/Agrippan skeptic in one (I'm guessing you didn't get to that point). The point of the dialogues though depends on what you do (so it may be a bit vague), you can engage in their philosophical debates, you can blackmail them or you can try and distract them.

Even though it may lead to conversations being muddled, it allows for multiple viable strategies and for varied gameplay (there's 6 different ways to beat the first interlocutor). But I see where you're coming from and I'd love to expand upon this concept!

This game was made for a game jam so things were a bit rushed (it's like an amuse bouche of the idea), but it means a lot to me that you took your time to write so much! :)

(+4)

Very interesting indeed, there's definitely hundreds of hours poured in making this, the game play and the music will definitely make it enjoyable to play it. The puzzle are kinda hard to understand for non-native English speaker from my test though.
(1 edit)

Hi! Thank you so much for checking out my game, it means a lot :)

In case you have any troubles then feel free to look at the walkthroughs https://arkicade.itch.io/a-monsters-insight/devlog/239390/walkthrough-chapter-1

If English isn't your native language, then I'd recommend playing in Assist Mode (although you going for Challenge mode straight away is very impressive!)

(+1)

Okay thanks! But I'm going to enjoy the journey!~

(+2)

Part 2!~

Going straight to Fernweh and the CHASM, and I must say the dialogue is indeed interesting!

(+1)

Part 3!

Sorry I was busy with college so I've a little time to play it! And also I've to restart playing it three times because of the lag and freezing~ (it's not you it's me! My laptop are on the low end of spec!)


Either way Cor Meum's done!

(1 edit) (+1)

Finale~


I finally finished the game~

Got the Sun Ending!


I must say this is a really interesting game! There's puzzle to solve, calming and funky beat of musics, unique characters with different personality, and a lot of replayability! It can be expanded even more!


Though there's a problem with consistency of stages burden on low end machine. On normal dialogue there's little to notice lag, but when we enter the puzzle section there's a huge lag spike that it even freezes! But of course this is for a very low end machine! You did not need to listen to this, because you don't have to target all audience. Either way, great game!

WOW bravo! Thank you so much for playing the whole game for your letsplay channel! I really appreciate it :)

Looking back, I didn't expect that my game would be so long (ended up being about ~4 hours) but it was incredibly fun to make and it's been a blast watching your playthroughs, reactions and keeping note of bugs to fix in the patch.

This world can definitely be expanded upon and this game is a small taste of all the ideas I've got cooking up in my mind! Again, thank you so much for playing for so long and getting all the way through ^^

(+2)

Awesome game, definitely going on my list of favorite games!

Hi! Thank you very much for playing, happy to hear you enjoyed it :)

(+1)

i love everything about this game, a very fun concept with dope art and the cutest existential eldritch fog monsters around. Sadly got stuck on chapter 2, it just kept saying my puzzle answer was incorrect despite it most definitely being correct. I tried the other routes with the walkthrough but it seems the puzzle just doesn't let me progress. 

(2 edits)

Hi! Thank you so much for your feedback, I'm really happy to hear you liked the game :)

As for your issues, try downloading version 1.3 (as the walkthrough was made for this new version).

For chapter 2, there are two different answers you need to input (two tablets), make sure that you're inputting the correct answer for the correct tablet.

If that doesn't work, then email me at arkicade@gmail.com with screenshots describing the bugs you find in the game.

(+2)

thank you, I didn't figure out that you have to input them separately i guess. Just finished the game and it was fantastic!

(+2)

The music is incredible, I couldn't decide whether to actually play the game or simply vibe to it. Great job!

(+1)

Thank you so much!!!! That means a lot!

(+4)

Game really focuses on interaction and it's nice to know that with the right stats, you can actually influence and in a small part influence the narrative.

Here's my channel for other games I have played. http://www.youtube.com/c/Levont

(1 edit)

Thank you so much for playing! I'm glad you found this game to be interesting!

EDIT: In version 1.2 you start off with more stats and Chapter 2 is made easier :)

(1 edit) (+4)

This is so fantastic- The atmosphere is very polished and the gameplay is so much fun (I personally loved the 'manipulation' gameplay over the word puzzles, but that's just my preference). The OST reminded me of VA-11 Hall-A at times, it created such a nice ambience along with the really sweet art style. Some of the dialogue went towards 'abstract' or even slightly pretentious(?), but that's not to say it wasn't my cup of tea at all.

Mostly, I just love the concept altogether. The very many endings are a great touch too, it makes the "tactics" you use as a player feel very personal. 

EDIT: That being said, I have yet to obtain every ending- word riddles are not my forte, embarrassingly. It might be helpful to have a puzzle guide available!

(2 edits) (+1)

Wow parvati thank you so much for playing!! And I'm very glad you enjoyed it :)

I see the VA-11 Hall-A comparisons but LGM mostly used Danganronpa, Hylics and Dj Shadow for inspiration (and of course, lofi hip hop). 

I wanted to ensure that there were multiple endings but also multiple "journeys" or strategies to use, so each player's experience can be unique.

Again thank you so much for your feedback! 

EDIT: Walkthrough for Interlocutor #1 is up!

(+1)

Thank you for the walkthroughs! I can totally see the Danganronpa and Hylics influences too, both of which I love. I shared the game with quite a few friends, and I hope to see more people enjoy this game.

(1 edit) (+1)

Thank you so much! I hope to see more people enjoy the game too :)

Also, I'm mostly commenting to say that Part 2 of the walkthrough is out!

(+2)

Great story all around, and the logic puzzles were so much fun to solve! Got the sun ending on my first try, and I must know out of the 7 endings, is this the best one?

(+1)

Hi! Thank you so much for playing :)

I'm glad you liked the logic puzzles, I wanted to add some diversity to gameplay apart from "click to read more text"!

Yes the SUN ending is the best ending! (great job btw) If you get a SUN, MOON, BLOOD and VOID ending there's a little secret ^^

I plan on releasing walkthroughs for the game soon to cover all endings.

(+3)

holy cow this was SO COOL

thank you so much for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed it ^^

(2 edits) (+3)

Very excited for this one! Will let you know my thoughts once I complete it :) 

EDIT: Finished! All endings and secret stuff. Really loved the worldbuilding, premise and overall story. Puzzles were interesting too.

Thank you so much for playing ghost! :)

I'm glad people seemed to like the puzzles, and I tried to make the world feel different from other fantasy/sci-fi settings.

(+2)

This was an absolute blast!!! Thank you for the opportunity!

Thank you so much for the incredible OST :)