Monika (モニカ) is the poster girl of Doki Doki Literature Club!, and one of the five members and President of the Literature Club. Monika is the driving force of the game, instructing the club members to practice writing poems until the club festival which itself facilitates and develops the characters and story.
Monika has extensively long coral brown hair that she keeps in a high ponytail tied back with a large white bow, curled slightly at the ends. Like the other characters, she has two prominent strands of hair beside her bangs that reach slightly past her chest. Her eyes are emerald green. She is of average height by Japanese standards, believed to be the second tallest character, behind Yuri or the protagonist.
She wears the standard female school uniform consisting of a warm gray blazer, brown sweater vest, white shirt, red ribbon, dark blue pleated skirt, black thigh-high socks and white uwabaki slippers with pink tips.
Monika is noted by the other characters to be smart, confident and athletic. She is not as talkative as the other girls, but this is implied to not be through choice. Monika is also known to be quite popular, which causes the protagonist to have an admiration for her. She always has a calm, gentle expression and is portrayed as mature and hard-working.
Monika had previously been a part of the Debate Club but left due to all the inner politics and drama, highlighting a desire for order, freedom of topics and friendliness. The Literature Club, which she founded after leaving the Debate Club, is very important to her. She aspires for it to be a place to showcase and grow everyone's passion for literature. She also has a passion for piano, which she practices frequently after school.
Monika was originally a very considerate and kind person who was always thinking about other people. She openly displays care and concern for her club mates, praising each member's writing style and even comparing them to famous authors and poets. However, it is later revealed that at some time before the start of the game, she underwent an epiphany which made her discover that she was in a game and also granted her the ability to edit the game's variables, changing her attitude towards the other girls because she did not consider them as being "real". She begins taking drastic measures when the other girls prevented the player from being able to spend time with her in the scene in Act 1 where the player has to choose a girl to help for the festival.
In desperation, Monika begins trying to make the other girls unlikable by altering their traits, as she only had the ability to edit variables in the game and did not want to delete/kill the other girls right away because of her lingering attachment to them. She starts with Sayori as she viewed her as the largest threat because she was the main character's childhood friend. Monika's alterations backfire because Sayori's increased depression level causes her to confess her love to the main character in an attempt to find happiness, then commit suicide the next day, regardless of the choice the player made. Monika then decides to delete Sayori's character file because "she is the one who's making this so difficult."
From Act 2 onward, she shows a much more manipulative personality. It is revealed that Monika was self-aware all along and resented having no romantic role in the game, as that meant there was no happy ending coded for her. She also makes her infatuation with the player more obvious and urges them to spend more time with her. Her desire and ambition lead her to become obsessive in this goal, highlighted by the fact that all of her poems are about the player or her epiphany. She also starts to disregard the other characters and amplifies their traits due to the fact of them not being "real". Ultimately, Monika's attempt to make the other girls unlikable led to her accidentally driving Yuri to suicide due to alterations to her personality, then finally her deleting Natsuki in order to be able to spend time with the player alone in Act 3, creating her own "happy ending."
Despite Monika's upbeat attitude in the Literature Club, it becomes increasingly obvious that she is actually sad and lonely, as a result of being aware that her whole world is just a simulation; a simulation in which she can't even achieve what is considered "happiness" (i.e. having her route completed). She is fixated on obtaining the love of player because they're the only "real" thing in her life. Monika's actions are also motivated by her desire to escape the torture she endures whenever someone quits the game, as when that happens Monika is trapped in a hellish void of noise, lights, colors, and screams, unable to move or even think. This is mentioned during Monika's Talk in Act 3.
After deleting Yuri and Natsuki's files, Act 3 will happen, where she creates a world for her and the player, she will explain her motivations about her love towards the player. She will state that the main character does not exist, and that she only loves the player themselves. She will also explain how she amplified Sayori's and Yuri's undesirable traits (e.g. Sayori's depression and Yuri's obsessiveness) to make them less likely to confess their love towards the protagonist. Monika will open the poem minigame once more, except only distorted words of Monika's name are available, and only Monika's sticker sprite is present, with a loud ambience playing in the background. The background is now red with glitches, different from the original desk background during the mini-game. After giving the poem to Monika, she will believe that the player wrote the poem specifically for her, and she calls the player sweet.
At this point in the game, the player will be able to read Monika's Talk where she talks directly to the player, instead of the protagonist. It is shown that nothing about Monika's apparent kindness and politeness is an act, and she even offers the player some genuinely good advice from time to time.
If the player then decides to delete Monika's file, she will immediately vanish, and search for her file in a panic. When she finds out the player deleted her, she will be mad at the player and tell them that they "completely, truly make me sick." After a small pause, Monika tells the player that she still loves them. She will then feel the weight of her actions, realize the horrible things she has done to the other girls, and state that even though she knew they were not real, she still saw them as her friends. Monika then restores the game, saying that if she really loves the player, she will bring back what they would have wanted. Monika is then absent for the rest of the game, until the final part of the normal ending.
If the normal ending is achieved, Sayori becomes self-aware, and glitches the game back to the room Monika stayed in on Act 3 for only the main character and herself. Monika will then delete Sayori, saying “No...I won't let you hurt him.” Monika states that there is no happiness in the Literature Club, and then deletes the entire game. The song "Your Reality" will play while the credits roll, which is inferred to be the song Monika wrote for the player. The game's CGs will be deleted during the credits, and a bittersweet letter from Monika will be shown, thanking the player for joining the Literature Club. The game will now be rendered unplayable until it is re-installed or the "firstrun" file is deleted.
If the good ending is achieved, Sayori will thank the player for spending time with all of the girls. Monika will still delete the game, but the CG's will not be deleted, and a letter from Dan Salvato thanking the player for playing his game will show instead.
Over the course of the game, it is revealed that Monika is self-aware, a result of her position as the leader/president of the Literature Club.
This position grants her numerous abilities, listed below:
- Monika is aware that she is a character in a game.
- Monika is aware that the protagonist is a separate entity from the player.
- Monika is aware when the game has been turned off.
- Monika can edit the other character's files and thus influence their actions or personality.
- Monika can continue to exist even when her files have been deleted, however, she will only be able to speak through text boxes.
- Monika can see if you're using Steam or another similar application to play the game.
- If the player is recording the game while playing, Monika will be aware of this and attempt to jump-scare anyone watching after falsely leading up to one.
- Monika can learn the name of the administrator on the computer in an attempt to find your real name.
- Monika can delete and add files such as "hxppy thxughts.png", "have a nice weekend!" and "iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.txt".
- Monika can detect if the player adds her character file back when she resets the game.
- Monika can precede the game's UI (such as the dialog box).
Writing Tips of the Day
- "Sometimes, when you're writing a poem - or a story - your brain gets fixated on a specific point. If you try so hard to make it perfect, then you'll never make any progress. Just force yourself to get something down on the paper, and tidy it up later! Another way to think about it is this: if you keep your pen in the same spot for too long, you'll just get a big dark puddle of ink. So just move your hand, and go with the flow!"
- "Sometimes you'll find yourself facing a difficult decision... When that happens, don't forget to save your game! You never know when you might change your mind... ..or when something unexpected may happen! Wait...is this tip even about writing? What am I even talking about? Ahaha! ...That's my advice for today! Thanks for listening~"
- "Sometimes you'll find yourself facing a difficult decision...when that happens, don't forget to save your game! You never know when...um... Can you hear me? Tell me you can hear me. Anything. "Please help me." ...That's my advice for today! Thanks for listening~"
- "Sometimes when I talk to people who are impressed by my writing, they say things like 'I could never do that'. It's really depressing, you know? As someone who loves more than anything else to share the joy of exploring your passions... ...it pains me when people think that being good just comes naturally. That's how it is with everything, not just writing. When you try something for the first time, you're probably going to suck at it. Sometimes, when you finish, you feel really proud of it and even want to share it with everyone. But maybe after a few weeks, you come back to it, and you realize it was never any good. That happens to me all the time. It can be pretty disheartening to put so much time and effort into something, and then you realize it sucks. But that tends to happen when you're always comparing yourself to the top professionals. When you reach for the stars, they're always gonna be out of your reach, you know? The truth is, you have to climb up there, step by step. And whenever you reach a milestone, first you look back and see how far you've gotten... And then you look ahead and realize how much more there is to go. So, sometimes it can help to set the bar a little lower... Try to find something you think is pretty good, but not world-class. And you can make that your own personal goal. It's also really important to understand the scope of what you're trying to do. If you jump right into a huge project and you're still amateur, you'll never get it done. So if we're talking about writing, a novel might be too much at first. Why not write some short stories? The great thing about short stories is that you can focus on just one thing that you want to do right. That goes for small projects in general - you can really focus on the one or two things. It's such a good learning experience and stepping stone. Oh, one more thing. Writing isn't something where you just reach into your heart and something beautiful comes out. Just like drawing or painting, it's a skill in itself to learn how to express what you have inside. That means there are methods and guides and basics to it! Reading up on that stuff can be super eye-opening. That sort of planning and organization will really help prevent you from getting overwhelmed and giving up. And before you know it... You start sucking less and less. Nothing comes naturally. Our society, our art, everything - it's built on thousands of years of human innovation. So as long as you start on that foundation, and take it step by step... You, too, can do amazing things."
- Monika is purposefully designed to be suspiciously out of place from the very moment the menu screen is introduced:
- Every girl wears white knee-highs except for Monika, who wears black thigh-highs.
- Every girl except Monika wears white and blue shoes, but Monika's are white and pink.
- Furthermore on these two points, Monika is positioned so close on the Title Screen that her legs up to the black thigh-highs don't even make it into the frame and cannot be seen at all, hiding her differences at first. This could be a form of foreshadowing.
- Every girls' name except Monika's ends with an "i" and is explicitly the rōmaji anglicization of transcriptions originating in the Japanese language.
- Every girls' sprites except one of Monika's have them facing slightly side-on. Monika's primarily used sprite has her looking directly frontward at the protagonist.
- Monika is the only girl to never be shown outside of school or in a casual outfit. She later states that she knows this and is jealous of the other girls for having them, as well as wishing she could have "worn some cute clothes for you."
- Monika is the only person to talk to the player for a little while before reading their poem. Unlike the other girls who would immediately read the player's poem after choosing them.
- Monika is the only character in the game to have her voice connected explicitly to the credited individual for the vocals (Jillian Ashcraft) because of direct dialog presented before and during the credits.
- While every other character's illustration in the main menu has them doing a pose of some sort, Monika's illustration has her extending out her hand, this could be seen as a welcoming gesture for new players into her club, however it could also possibly be her reaching out to the player.
- Monika is the only girl to hold a pen in the main menu. This could symbolize her being the only girl to be able to write in the game's script.
- Monika is the only girl with a realistic hair color (coral brown) while the other girls have an unnatural hair color (coral pink, pastel pink, or dark purple)
- Monika is the only girl with a white hair accessory while the others have a colored hair accessory. She is also the only girl with fully tied hair (Sayori and Yuri's hair are loose while Natsuki's hair only has small sections tied).
- It has been noted that Monika has a bow accessory like Sayori, extensively long hair like Yuri, and tied hair like Natsuki.
- Monika and Sayori, the only girls who experience becoming Club President and therefore becoming sentient, are also the only two girls to smile on the Title Screen and have a natural eye color; green and blue, respectively.
- Monika's version of the song "Okay, Everyone!" debuts only the piano, fitting for her character as she plays the piano.
- Monika is the one who authored the game's description. This is revealed to the player during Act 3.
- Monika's birthday is the same day Doki Doki Literature Club! was initially released.
- In one of the Special Poems, specifically Special Poem 4, an unknown writer cuts themselves, saying they understand how an omitted person feels now after doing it. The writer is implied to be Monika, with the omitted person being Yuri. Dan Salvato later confirms this in the 1st year anniversary for DDLC, stating: "This poem was written from the perspective of Monika, because– this is around the time where Monika is really starting to experiment with mortality in her universe. And, you know, she's so casual about the whole thing, because at this point she feels so detached from [...] the universe that she's in, that it's almost like it doesn't even matter to her anymore. [...] The feeling of her [...] feeling physical pain– or doing that sort of thing to herself– she describes it as exhilarating because it's something that is allowing her to feel something in this universe that has become so incredibly meaningless to her."
- Monika exhibits some hypocrisy, besides telling on a sarcastic manner, for designating Yuri to be the yandere archetype despite showcasing the common actions a yandere would do, which is to remove the competition by any means necessary and force the player into a situation that they cannot deny to keep them captive by Monika intentionally until the end of existence. What separates Monika from being an actual yandere is her acceptance of being rejected and allowing the player to live life without her and with the possibility of partnering with another.
- Monika's description of what she experiences when the game is closed is due to deallocation of her memory by the operating system. When a program is no longer active, it frees the memory to be used by other programs, which will eventually overwrite parts or all of the newly freed memory.
- Monika has a Twitter account under the alias lilmonix3.
- Monika's favorite color is emerald green because she feels a "special connection" to the color of her eyes serving as part of her identity, which could be a reference of the expression "green with envy."
- Monika's favorite day of the year is Valentine's Day.
- Monika is a vegetarian because she wants to contribute to lowering the carbon footprint of the planet, which is usually caused by meat factories and other industrial markets.
- Although she can find out the device's administrator name, she will not reveal this name if the player is recording on certain streaming programs.
- Monika states that she does not know much about the player, including if they are a boy or a girl. Despite that, she still calls herself their girlfriend, an inconsistency interpreted as hinting ambiguous bisexuality or pansexuality. She calls the player her "boyfriend" in the same act afterward, however, another inconsistency conflicting the previously stated and hinting more toward a preference to heterosexuals. This could mean two things:
- Monika has preferences, but they are second to being the player's perfect girlfriend no matter the conflicts.
- Monika's interest originates from the fact for what the player represents as a real-world entity with infinite choices in life, rather than an autonomous programmable capable of only a finite set. Dan Salvato hints that Monika tries to love the player as they are, and her love depends if the player loves her or not.
- Monika stated that she would have deleted herself if the player had not shown up. Soon after, when talking about introverts she says she can be "anything the player needs her to be", understands people really well, and "nothing would make her happier than being the perfect girlfriend for you."
- She repeatedly mentions the phrase "Just Monika" through another character or by making the game itself omit the phrase via a textbox/dialog box in an attempt to limit the player's choices or at first convince the player Monika is the better person to focus on.
- If Monika's character file is backed up before the player deletes it and adds it back at any point before starting a new game in Act 4, a text box will pop up when the player starts Act 4 stating that the player is being cruel to her and that she does not want to exist anymore and will consequently delete her own file afterward.
- Despite being deleted, if the player attempts to load a save file from another act, Monika will still appear and prevent the player from cheating.
- Monika's birthdate the same as game release date, appearing before such date but "in beta", and the statement by Dan Salvato on subreddit Discord (now deleted)
- Concept height and statement on canon height
- Satchely (DDLC's character artist)'s tweet about Monika and Sayori's hair colors
- "It's not like Monika is a horrible person. I think she is a very considerate person and is always thinking about other people. When those people are not real and it's just a game and she's effectively being tortured by being trapped in the game and she begins taking drastic measures and that what gets to her." -Dan Salvato, twitch.tv
- Monika tweeting on her favorite day of the year here, here, and here
$ stream_list = ["obs32.exe", "obs64.exe", "obs.exe", "xsplit.core.exe", "livehime.exe", "pandatool.exe", "yymixer.exe", "douyutool.exe", "huomaotool.exe"]
- If you are the sort of person who strives to be someone deserving of Monika's love, then that's what she loves about you. Only someone who has lost all hope in themselves is the one condemning Monika to her own sad, unfulfilled fantasy. If you believe Monika loves you, then you've found it in you to love yourself a little bit, and that's what she would want more than anything.
– DDLC Reddit AMA