Originally published September 5, 2022.
A Soundless without gore you can see…!!
Out of all the new features in Final Verse, the violent images filter has arguably been floating around in my head the longest. It first came to mind when I saw peoples’ various reactions to a certain torture scene that happens early in the game, and then came to mind again when I saw that much more hardcore visual novels like Fraternite offered such an option.
I genuinely felt it would be a useful thing to have. Everyone has different tolerance levels when it comes to this sort of thing. I’m sure there’s some people who have wanted to read Soundless or will read Soundless in the future, but don’t really want to see really violent illustrations of people getting hurt. I can sympathize with people who feel this way; I have hyper-empathy, and one of the ways it manifests is feeling pain when I see it explicitly depicted visually. I often have to look away or peek through my fingers for movies like Saw or visual novels like euphoria. If I did not make Soundless, I probably would have had to do the same thing if I read it, especially when it comes to a certain late-game picture.
The way it works is that, when one of the images designated as violent appears, a piece of code will switch over to a different image. Sometimes this is just a black screen, but other times it’s one of the distorted abstract backgrounds people who have already read Soundless might be familiar with. For certain graphic sprites, the image is replaced with a silhouette that’s rendered using in-engine effects. Image descriptions of what was censored are also subsequently removed, since there’s no longer any image to describe. However, the scenes themselves still exist in their entirety as well as all the gross sound effects, so do be careful.
If you are new to Soundless but don’t like gore and images of violence, or would like to reread it but found the images hard to stomach, I highly recommend turning the filter on. Upscaling the images caused certain details to become much more obvious. And if the early 2023 art update is carried through with, the resulting pictures are likely to look even more graphic, because I have improved.
A quick note about this feature is that, while the images are censored in-game as you come across them, the violent CGs do not remain censored in the CG gallery (though their buttons do have a giant red exclamation mark over them to indicate they have violent content). The game will warn you when you access the gallery for the first time with the filter on about this.
Next issue: About accessibility, part 1!