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Characters represent persons, animals and things within a visual novel. Any character in a visual novel, no matter how obscure their role is, may be added to the database, although it is recommended to at least add the more important characters first. When adding characters, try to be complete: That is, try to add as many characters of a single visual novel, rather than adding a single character to many VNs.
You can link two (or more) characters with an "instance relationship" when they are, in some way, the same person.
- The two characters seemed to be different people, but were actually the same person. For example, Arsene and Henriette.
- One of the characters is an older version of the other.
- One character transforms into the other. There does not need to be a way for them to transform back. For example, Kaoru (Male) and Kaoru (Female).
- The two characters are the same character in different universes, timelines or realities. For example, Tohsaka Rin in Fate/stay night and in in Fate/extra.
- The two characters are the same character used by different developers. This may result in different interpretations of the character or different art styles. For example, Emiya Shirou in Fate/stay night and in in Happy Valentines Day.
- Spoilers about the character need to be hidden. This may be done by creating a character entry with incorrect or incomplete, but non-spoiling information. This is linked to another entry for the same character with complete, but spoiling information.
- It is preferable to avoid using instances just to hide spoilers if other methods would be effective. These methods include marking traits as spoilers and hiding information within spoiler tags in the character description.
- If the two characters to be linked by an instance are not sufficiently different, they should just use one character entry. For example, Alice (lamia) and Alice (human).
To link two (or more) characters with an instance relationship, you must choose one character to be the "main character". All others will be "instance characters". (Do not confuse this with a character's role in a visual novel.) Usually, the most often seen or least spoiling character should be the "main character".
Do not fill the "Instance of" field when editing the "main character", but fill it for the "instance characters". If the instance relation is a spoiler, make sure to mark it as such when editing the "instance characters". If the existence of a character in a visual novel is a spoiler, see the Visual Novels section below.
- Name (romaji)
- Name of the character, in the latin alphabet. Check out the general editing guidelines for information on name order and romanization. Whenever the romanization provided by the developer or the publisher conflicts with the VNDB editing guidelines, in all instances the latter trumps the former. This does not apply to works whose native language is already employing latin alphabet (or its derivatives). In such instances the names should be entered as is, even if they are using non-standard typography.
- Try to use the full name when known. If the full name is not known, then use either the first or last name. If even that isn't known, use the name that is most commonly used to refer to this character in the story. In the case the character is never referred to with a name or title (e.g. it's the protagonist), "Unnamed" can be used as name.
- In some cases the full name is a spoiler, see the chapter on instances above for some ways to handle that.
- Original name
- The actual name of the character, in the case it is not officially in the latin alphabet. Leave empty if it's the same as the "Name (romaji)". If possible, try to include a space between the given name and the surname.
- Other names this character is known by, such as nick names used by other characters within the story. Since this field does not have any option to hide spoilers, you shouldn't include spoilery names here. It is possible to mention such aliases with a [spoiler] tag in the description.
- A short description of the character. While it is advised to keep the spoilers to a minimum, you can use the usual formatting codes such as [spoiler] to include spoilers while hiding them by default. When using a description from external sources, check out the general editing guidelines for quoting rules.
- Character's sex. This is usually rather straightforward, but there are some odd cases: (Reverse) traps should have their biological sex filled out here. Futanari should be marked as "both".
- If the real sex is a spoiler, which is sometimes the case with traps, the sex field should correspond to a character's apparent sex as presented by the narrative. For example, if we are led to believe by the story that a character is female, with a later revelation to the contrary, the sex should be marked as 'female' in order to minimize the spoilers within the database.
- Where the character's actual biological sex is unknown, which might be the case in some all-ages titles, the character's assumed gender should be entered into the sex field.
- See the chapter on instances above if the character "transforms" between a male and female version.
- Month and day of the character's birthday. Note that a year is not included.
- Bust / Waist / Hips
- BWH measurements, if known. This information should either come from the game itself or from a reliable source (usually the official homepage). Don't try to guess these!
- If the official source does not provide this information as a natural number, the number should rounded to allow its use in the database. If the official information is not in the metric system, convert the numbers and round them before entering.
- Height of the character, in cm. The above note on natural numbers and the metric system also applies here.
- Weight of the character, in kg. The above note on natural numbers and the metric system also applies here.
- Blood type
- Blood type, if known and applicable. This makes little sense if the character isn't a human.
There is a lot of freedom with regards to uploading an image to a character entry, but the following is a list of things to keep in mind:
- The image must be "safe for work", according to the VN image guidelines. You may add creative sensoring to make an image safe if otherwise no image for the character is available.
- The image must be official, i.e. it must be extracted from the VN itself or from the official homepage. Fan art is definitely not allowed!
- This image should be chosen from an image that is showing the most common clothing and facial expression the character wears through the game.
- Screenshots of the in-game sprites (tachi-e) are preferred, including any background art; Raw sprites or cuts from CGs are allowed, too.
- The image must at least include the head (assuming it has one) and shoulders of the character. Full-body shots are fine, but legs are generally not that interesting yet cause the overall image to shrink dramatically.
- The image will be cropped to 256x300, but it is recommended to do this cropping manually before uploading to ensure that all character images of the same VN have the same width. This consistency looks better on the character listing on the VN page.
See the Tags & traits page for guidelines on the traits.
A character should always be linked to at least one visual novel entry, but may be linked with more when it appears in multiple visual novels.
If a character appears in all releases of the visual novel, with the possible exception of trial releases, then simply keep one release and leave it at "All / others". In other situations, mention explicitely in which releases the character appears and which role they have in that release. Multiple releases can be added with the same role and spoiler information.
If a characters' role or the entire existance of that character in the visual novel is a spoiler, make sure to mark it as such.
The following roles are available:
- The (or "a") protagonist. The person through which the story is told. Note that a significant portion of the story has to be told through the eyes of the character for it to be considered a protagonist. Some visual novels may switch perspectives for a (relatively) short amount of time, but this does not always make the character a protagonist.
- Main character
- A character that plays a major role in the story or gets a lot of screen time. In general, a herione with an own route always qualifies and so do sidekicks/classmates that are very often seen.
- Side character
- A character that plays a minor role or does not get a lot of screen time. This is often the case for characters that appear only in a single branch or a single part of the story, although this is not a mandatory.
- Makes an appearance
- This role is used for characters that only appear in the story for a short while and have only very little to no lines of dialog. Often used for cameo appearances.
Note that there is no distinct line between these roles, and one could have endless (and often rather pointless) discussions about the actual role of a character. Simply assign the role that you think most naturally fits the character. To get some inspiration, look around for characters in other visual novels that play a somewhat similar role.