Nicole vs. Sexual Predators
Previously on Class of '09, we were introduced to Nicole, a self-admitted sociopath with not much of a social life, due to her family moving around a lot. What's more, her father has killed himself, and blamed her for driving him to do so.
For my playthrough of this game, and some future projects, I will be doing things a bit differently than usual: rather than upload screenshots, I will instead link to video footage on my Odysee account, and add a transcript of my commentary below it.
For this game in particular, I will be posting footage of several routes, but not all of them (the game is advertized as having 15 endings).
Here is my commentary-free playthrough of one route:
(Click here if embed isn't working)
Commentary (click to view)
This is how our game opens: with an idiot jock giving the laziest prank idea ever.
This may seem a bit random, but it turns out that the threat of sexual assault, whether from staff or other students, is very real here.
Well, if your "humor" is anything like that blond guy's pranks, then you could definitely use some work there.
Going with him would imply that she cares about him in any degree, so no.
There's a list. She's literally just met this guy, and already has a list of everything wrong with him.
Wow, that was savage! And the thing is, he definitely looks the part for all of these things!
Same goes for you, Blondie McBadPrank.
You gotta cut her some slack. She just watched her dad off himself, of course she's gonna be a bit on edge.
...Maybe there's a lacrosse league in Canada?
Well, "kinda" is good enough for me!
Smooth moves, missy. Now you're going to get in even more trouble.
Funny, cause that's exactly what I was thinking earlier.
Blame Bush? Wow, you're really devoted to this late 2000s theme.
She's a minor. That's not how it works.
The question is, is she being overdramatic, or is this a serious threat?
Apparently, the answer is yes.
This looks like one of those times when the characters are doing the commentary for me. Why am I even here?
I've got a bad feeling about this.
That's not a real term, and even if it was, it doesn't excuse hitting on a minor!
Gone for good? You're spoiling me, game!
With that bio, she may as well be named NotACop1999.
Ageist? Was that word even in common use in 2007?
Firstly, most license plate numbers have numerals in them, how do you work with those? Secondly, I strongly doubt that this man has earned his driver's license.
Yep, that's the police. Called it.
All I can say to that is, you're welcome.
Oh, I see you've recovered from being verbally annihilated the other day.
It looks like her antics have finally earned her some respect.
Not when you Chris Hansened him on day one.
I don't think you need to be romantically involved with someone to leech of them.
Last night? So she didn't call the police on the first night.
And here's the game's first major decision. I think gym class will be less embarassing.
You are talking to someone who took someone else's prescription drugs on the first day.
Now that you're here, she is!
Oh God, he's not even trying to hide it.
If you think I'm gonna let Nicole get manhandled, you've got another thing coming.
Clearly you didn't need it enough to not perv on your students.
Putting a dangerous pervert behind bars is nothing compared to Louis Vuitton.
Pretty good. After suing the gym coach, no one will even think about ogling her.
That may seem harsh, but one of the first people she's encountered since moving her was a literal drug addict. Hell, even her own brother's been trying to solicit minors.
Well, that won't end up backfiring when she's older.
I guess Mr. White has a point here. Spreading chaos and mischief can come later.
Normally, I'd ask you to prove it, but given how brazenly certain male staff members have been acting...
Every week? This is the first time we've met you.
Now that Mr. White's not in earshot, let's have a bit of fun with him.
Judging by her dress, I'd say she's openly something, all right.
Of course Nicole would double down.
Alternatively, getting both of you in even bigger trouble.
For those unfamiliar, Julliard is a school for the performing arts.
Does she sound serious to you?
Just like that, she believes her. Convenient.
If she's threatening to get the law involved, then there's only one thing to do...
Wow, she was serious about taking this court. And is that the principal I see in the jury?
He doesn't look like he'd be able to lift a table that size.
It doesn't look like Nicole's going to win this, no matter how hard she doubles down.
Well, there is the matter of the gym teacher installing cameras in the girls' locker room...'
Last choice! No turning back now!
While in context, this makes sense, and she has a point, it made me realize that quite a bit of Nicole's dialogue can be summarized as "we live in a society." Not that this is a bad thing for a character like her, though.
How is the coach in any position to send her these texts? Shouldn't he be in jail?
Good thing I caught this contradiction before the lawyer did.
Her testimony may leave something to be desired, but she's up against a lawyer who can't perform a simple fact check.
500,000 dollars? Not bad for such a slapdash prosecution.
Thoughts on this route (click to view)
This was the very first route that I played through when I started the game, and there were a number of things about it that stood out to me.
The first was how short it was. If you look at the video above, you'll see that it's only 23 minutes long. I guess this is another thing setting it apart from other dating sims that can take 10 hours or more to complete.
The second was how all of the male characters were depicted. In order: Kylar is a drug addict, Nicole's brother solicits nudes from minors (and gets caught up in a sting operation in the process), and the gym coach is spying on his students. If I didn't know any better, I would come away from this believing that the creator doesn't think very highly of men. (Of course, the female characters aren't much better.)
From this route, I got a feel as to what this game is about. As I suspected from watching the trailers, the game aims to satirize the American high school experience through the visual novel medium. I believe that a character like Nicole -- someone who is utterly detached and apathetic to what's happening around her -- is an ideal choice for a protagonist for a game of this nature.
There is one more thing I wish to bring up.
It turns out that on launch, the game had a glitch causing it to crash whenever the player reached an ending:
This was apparently due to certain filenames being misspelled in the game's code. The glitch got patched a few days after launch, but it made all the saves I made before then unusable. Fortunately, it wasn't much of a problem due to how short this game is, but I really should have known better than to buy the game on day one.