Something went wrong. Try again later


    Game » consists of 7 releases. Released Mar 07, 1992

    Horror themed adventure game developed by Chunsoft in 1992 that was the first entry in the company's influential Sound Novel series.

    Short summary describing this game.

    Otogirisou last edited by Bowl-of-Lentils on 03/09/24 11:48AM View full history


    Otogirisou (弟切草, the Japanese name for the St. John's wort flower) is a sound novel, the first of its kind, released by Chunsoft for the Super Famicom in Japan on March 7, 1992. The title marks the very first game to be self-published by Chunsoft, who had only worked with other publishers to create games before then. In the game the player is taken through a multiple-choice story presented through mostly static images and text that are embellished by atmospheric sound effects and music, hence the term "sound novel". The story of Otogirisou concerns a young man, Kohei, and his girlfriend, Nami, who find themselves stranded after their car crashes during a storm and decide to take shelter in an empty western-style mansion nearby. The game was later remade for the PlayStation in 1999 and was re-released on several other platforms over the years including Nintendo's Virtual Console on the Wii and Wii U. A film adaptation was also released in 2001, and can be found in the West under its literal translation, "St. John's Wort".

    Chunsoft created a follow up to Otogirisou in 1994 called Kamaitachi no Yoru, that contained its own original story unrelated to Otogirisou. The company would eventually create many other titles under the their Sound Novel brand name, becoming one of Chunsoft's key franchises for many years. Though Chunsoft originated the term, several other developers would also borrow the sound novel format for their own titles which eventually laid the groundwork for the visual novel genre popularly known today.


    Pre-release screenshot from issue 133 of Weekly Famitsu in 1991.
    Pre-release screenshot from issue 133 of Weekly Famitsu in 1991.
    • Otogirisou only sold about 120,000 copies upon its release but the title's popularity grew over time due to word-of-mouth, eventually selling over 300,000 units and becoming a sleeper hit of sorts.
    • When Otogirisou was initially shown at Nintendo Space World the game contained no background graphics and just displayed text on top of a textured image of a book page. Certain scenes in the story would have graphical effects, like the screen flashing to show lighting or an animated car coming towards the reader, but otherwise the game was literally a novel with sound effects and music. However, after gaming magazines and Chunsoft's marketing partners issued their concern about the lack of visuals, Chunsoft changed the game to have 20 different images that changed based on the scene.
    • During a 2020 interview, Jiro Ishii revealed that he was initially hired by Chunsoft to direct a sequel to Otogirisou during the same period the company was also making Kamatachi no Yoru 2. The sequel never materialized but many of the ideas developed for Otogirisou 2 were later repurposed into an original title called Imabikisou which was produced by Jiro Ishii in 2007.

    External Links

    1. Chunsoft 30th Anniversary Interview translated by Shmuplations.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.