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The Protagonist is the main protagonist of Doki Doki Literature Club!. He is a member of the Literature Club and Sayori's childhood friend. The protagonist uses whatever name the player gives him, but he is a separate entity from the player.

In Act 2, after the first few lines and the game script gets rewritten, the protagonist will have no memories of the events that happened in Act 1, acting as though Sayori never existed. In Act 4, he has no memory of any events that occurred prior to Monika restoring the game.

Appearance[]

Protagonist's sketch

Official concept sketch of the protagonist obtained in Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!

The protagonist's largest appearance is shown once in Act 1 when Sayori hugs him. Only his back is visible, revealing that he has short, dark brown hair and pale skin. His arms also appear in Acts 1 and 2.

He is slightly taller than Sayori, possibly about Monika's height. If the protagonist chooses to write his first poem for Sayori, the player can see from the actions and perspective of the protagonist that he's slightly taller than her.

He wears the standard issue male school uniform consisting of a warm gray blazer, brown sweater vest, white shirt, red necktie, dark blue pants, white or gray socks and white uwabaki slippers with sky blue or pink tips. When Sayori hugs him, it is shown that his casual top is a black shirt.

The protagonist's facial features are also not shown in the game. However, his face is revealed in a piece of artwork obtained in Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!.

Personality[]

The protagonist was designed to function like a typical visual novel protagonist. He acts blunt towards Sayori, his childhood friend; teases Natsuki, the tsundere; is warm to Yuri, the shy girl; and falters around Monika, the popular girl. According to Dan Salvato, he is deliberately given very little focus.[2]

More specifically, the protagonist is an underachiever, preferring to play video games and watch anime instead of applying himself and having friends. Despite this, when he does interact with others, he tries to be kind and thoughtful. He takes note of how people around him are acting and feeling, although more subtle things may go over his head. He is shown to be clever and observant in Act 1.

He tries his best to help even when he is out of his depth, as seen when he tries to ease Sayori's depression, despite not understanding it.

He shows a distaste towards those who are judgmental, shown by a scene in Natsuki's route, and in Yuri's route, he is accepting of Yuri's interest in knives, highlighting an open-minded personality.

The protagonist is true to his word and always attempts to keep his promises; he works harder if he knows people are counting on him.

Although the protagonist's primary interests are self-oriented, he does show a liking towards "cute girls", deciding to join the Literature Club on the basis of cute girls attending.

Quotes[]

"I see an annoying girl running towards me from the distance, waving her arms in the air like she's totally oblivious to any attention she might draw to herself. That girl is Sayori, my neighbor and good friend since we were children. You know, the kind of friend you'd never see yourself making today, but it just kind of works out because you've known each other for so long? We used to walk to school together on days like this, but starting around high school she would oversleep more and more frequently, and I would get tired of waiting up. But if she's going to chase after me like this, I almost feel better off running away. However, I just sigh and idle in front of the crosswalk and let Sayori catch up to me."
~ The protagonist's introductory sentences


"I gently open the door."
~ The protagonist's last thought before everything goes horribly wrong

Trivia[]

  • As of Act 2, the protagonist slowly begins to stop reacting to the ever-breaking game world as Monika tries to reach out to the player and guide them in her direction.
    • This reaches its peak during Act 3, where the protagonist is always speechless and only has the single choice of "Yes" when Monika asks him to be her everlasting lover.
  • Monika is the only character who does not have a romantic interest in the protagonist, as she instead falls for the player controlling the protagonist.
  • The two times characters have confessed their love to the protagonist, they both died.
    • Furthermore, both deaths are suicides caused by Monika tampering with the characters' settings.
  • The protagonist has been subject to modifications by Monika. This is evident when the protagonist attempts to say the name of the remnant Sayori in Act 1.5 (which instead comes up as randomized Unicode) and when he does not mention such at all throughout Act 2 so the script can proceed without game-breaking bugs. This leaves only the player the eligibility to witness the uncanny that transpires.
  • Dan Salvato does not see the protagonist as a real character in the game.[3]
    • This view is reflected by the Mails of Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!, in which the protagonist is revealed to be a user interface created by Monika to allow members of Team Salvation to interact with the simulation.
      • This also explains why the protagonist is not present in any of the Side Stories, as they take place in an alternate simulation in which Monika is not self-aware.
        • As Metaverse Enterprise Solutions employees note, the protagonist is an artificial creation of Monika's, that was only created because she knew she was in a game and needed a way to communicate with the game's player.
  • If the player tries to not name the protagonist in the console versions (such as PS4), the game will automatically give the name "Player" to him.

References[]

  1. Age statement by Dan Salvato on subreddit Discord
  2. Dan Salvato's AMA – "Was the protagonist intended to be a huge jerk from the start, or did that develop over time?"
  3. Dan Salvato's anniversary stream – "I don't imagine him as a character in the same way as the other characters. He's just a blank slate that says whatever is convenient."
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