Since Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) was released by Team Salvato in September 2017, it’s taken the world by storm as a top-notch visual novel crossed with a poetry simulator. In this post, I will list all of the poems in the story and do my best to explain any meanings they may have.

[This post contains heavy spoilers for Doki Doki Literature Club, a game that is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed. You have been warned.]

Will you write the way into her heart?

In DDLC, the main gameplay element is a poetry game that you play several times throughout the game. The protagonist is asked to pick twenty words that make up a “poem,” and depending on the words picked, Sayori, Natsuki, and Yuri will have different reactions on the next day and show you different poems. But let’s be honest, if you’ve read this far (past my “poetry simulator” intro) you already know all this, so let’s get to the poems!

Note: Some poems are definitely more straightforward than others, and many of the poems have multiple interpretations. In the end, these are just my opinions so I hope you’ll reply with your own thoughts!

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Sayori

The childhood friend turned romantic interest

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Dear Sunshine – Act 1, 2nd Day

The way you glow through my blinds in the morning
It makes me feel like you missed me.
Kissing my forehead to help me out of bed.
Making me rub the sleepy from my eyes.

Are you asking me to come out and play?
Are you trusting me to wish away a rainy day?
I look above. The sky is blue.
It’s a secret, but I trust you too.

If it wasn’t for you, I could sleep forever.
But I’m not mad.

I want breakfast.

As Sayori admits in game, she wrote this poem in the morning before school. It makes references to her depression and how she doesn’t want to wake up, except for when the sunshine comes. The sunshine in this poem can potentially refer to the protagonist, as her love for him is what keeps her alive/awake.

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Bottles – Act 1, 3rd Day

I pop off my scalp like the lid of a cookie jar.
It’s the secret place where I keep all my dreams.
Little balls of sunshine, all rubbing together like a bundle of kittens.
I reach inside with my thumb and forefinger and pluck one out.
It’s warm and tingly.
But there’s no time to waste! I put it in a bottle to keep it safe.
And I put the bottle on the shelf with all of the other bottles.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts in bottles, all in a row.

My collection makes me lots of friends.
Each bottle a starlight to make amends.
Sometimes my friend feels a certain way.
Down comes a bottle to save the day.

Night after night, more dreams.
Friend after friend, more bottles.
Deeper and deeper my fingers go.
Like exploring a dark cave, discovering the secrets hiding in the nooks and crannies.
Digging and digging.
Scraping and scraping.

I blow dust off my bottle caps.
It doesn’t feel like time elapsed.
My empty shelf could use some more.
My friends look through my locked front door.

Finally, all done. I open up, and in come my friends.
In they come, in such a hurry. Do they want my bottles that much?
I frantically pull them from the shelf, one after the other.
Holding them out to each and every friend.
Each and every bottle.
But every time I let one go, it shatters against the tile between my feet.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts in shards, all over the floor.

They were supposed to be for my friends, my friends who aren’t smiling.
They’re all shouting, pleading. Something.
But all I hear is echo, echo, echo, echo, echo
Inside my head.

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This sad poem is about Sayori’s relationship with her friends, and how everyone sees her as a source of happiness and joy (the “bottles”) and has come to expect that from her, even though Sayori actually suffers from depression. As a result, Sayori tries and tries to find positivity to give to her friends, digging deeper into her feelings in the process. Eventually she runs out, and her head is devoid of any real happiness.


% – Act 1, Festival Day

Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of
Get.
Out.
Of.
My.
Head.

Get out of my head before I do what I know is best for you.
Get out of my head before I listen to everything she said to me.
Get out of my head before I show you how much I love you.
Get out of my head before I finish writing this poem.

But a poem is never actually finished.
It just stops moving.

This poem is the first “scary” moment of the game, as it’s shown before the protagonist discovers Sayori’s corpse. It’s clearly a reference to Monika’s meddling in Sayori’s emotions to make her more depressed, and Sayori seems to have become somewhat aware of her presence. She sees her suicide as a result of her love for the protagonist, and the final two lines imply that her depression will continue, even after she “stops moving.”

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Natsuki

The small and feisty tsundere

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Eagles Can Fly – Act 1, 2nd Day

Monkeys can climb
Crickets can leap
Horses can race
Owls can seek
Cheetahs can run
Eagles can fly
People can try
But that’s about it.

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This cute poem, as Natsuki directly tells you, is about giving up (similar to Yuri’s first poem below). Her poems generally have the least hidden meaning as she likes the message to jump out at readers. It’s possible though, that this “giving up” is somewhat related to her abusive situation at home.


Amy Likes Spiders – Act 1, 3rd Day

You know what I heard about Amy?
Amy likes spiders.
Icky, wriggly, hairy, ugly spiders!
That’s why I’m not friends with her.

Amy has a cute singing voice.
I heard her singing my favorite love song.
Every time she sang the chorus, my heart would pound to the rhythm of the words.
But she likes spiders.
That’s why I’m not friends with her.

One time, I hurt my leg really bad.
Amy helped me up and took me to the nurse.
I tried not to let her touch me.
She likes spiders, so her hands are probably gross.
That’s why I’m not friends with her.

Amy has a lot of friends.
I always see her talking to people.
She probably talks about spiders.
What if her friends start to like spiders too?
That’s why I’m not friends with her.

It doesn’t matter if she has other hobbies.
It doesn’t matter if she keeps it private.
It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t hurt anyone.

It’s gross.
She’s gross.
The world is better off without spider lovers.

And I’m gonna tell everyone.

At first glance, this looks like another cute Natsuki poem that’s a fun read. However, there are potentially much deeper meanings if you look closely. This poem was written in juxtaposition to Yuri’s Raccoon poem (see below), a fairly obvious metaphor of her cutting. Amy in this poem is Yuri, and “loving spiders” is a nod to Yuri’s self-mutilation. Natsuki sees how Yuri’s dark poems about her guilty pleasure draw praise from the rest of the DDLC while her poems are said to be childish, and this worries her. What if people like the protagonist are inadvertently encouraging Yuri to hurt herself? This poem shows that Natsuki sees all of Yuri’s good qualities as well, but she is afraid to get closer because that would mean that she would have to accept Yuri’s habits. The last line of the poem indicates that Natsuki is ready to talk about Yuri’s problem and confront it head on.

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Because You – Act 1, 4th Day (if all 3 poems appealed to Natsuki)

Tomorrow will be brighter with me around
But when today is dim, I can only look down.
My looking is a little more forward
Because you look at me.

When I want to say something, I say it with a shout!
But my truest feelings can never come out.
My words are a little less empty
Because you listen to me.

When something is above me, I reach for the stars.
But when I feel small, I don’t get very far.
My standing is a little bit taller
Because you sit with me.

I believe in myself with all of my heart.
But what do I do when it’s torn all apart?
My faith is a little bit stronger
Because you trusted me.

My pen always puts my feelings to the test.
I’m not a good writer, but my best is my best.
My poems are a little bit dearer
Because you think of me.

Because you, because you, because you.

This is a standard, but sweet love poem written by Natsuki to the protagonist. It speaks to how the protagonist helps her feel loved despite her insecurities.

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I’ll Be Your Beach – Act 1, 4th Day (otherwise)

Your mind is so full of troubles and fears
That diminished your wonder over the years
But today I have a special place
A beach for us to go.

A shore reaching beyond your sight
A sea that sparkles with brilliant light
The walls in your mind will melt away
Before the sunny glow.

I’ll be the beach that washes your worries away
I’ll be the beach that you daydream about each day
I’ll be the beach that makes your heart leap
In a way you thought had left you long ago.

Let’s bury your heavy thoughts in a pile of sand
Bathe in sunbeams and hold my hand
Wash your insecurities in the salty sea
And let me see you shine.

Let’s leave your memories in a footprint trail
Set you free in my windy sail
And remember the reasons you’re wonderful
When you press your lips to mine.

I’ll be the beach that washes your worries away
I’ll be the beach that you daydream about each day
I’ll be the beach that makes your heart leap
In a way you thought had left you long ago.

But if you let me by your side
Your own beach, your own escape
You’ll learn to love yourself again.

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A potential explanation for this poem is that Natsuki is writing to Yuri and comforting her. She is willing to carry Yuri’s burdens so that she can love herself again.


T3BlbiBZb3VyIFRoaXJkIEV5ZQ== – Act 2, 2nd Day (if both poems appeal to Natsuki)

SSBjYW4gZmVlbCB0aGUgdGVuZGVybmVz
cyBvZiBoZXIgc2tpbiB0aHJvdWdoIHRo
ZSBrbmlmZSwgYXMgaWYgaXQgd2VyZSBh
biBleHRlbnNpb24gb2YgbXkgc2Vuc2Ug
b2YgdG91Y2guIE15IGJvZHkgbmVhcmx5
IGNvbnZ1bHNlcy4gVGhlcmUncyBzb21l
dGhpbmcgaW5jcmVkaWJseSBmYWludCwg
ZGVlcCBkb3duLCB0aGF0IHNjcmVhbXMg
dG8gcmVzaXN0IHRoaXMgdW5jb250cm9s
bGFibGUgcGxlYXN1cmUuIEJ1dCBJIGNh
biBhbHJlYWR5IHRlbGwgdGhhdCBJJ20g
YmVpbmcgcHVzaGVkIG92ZXIgdGhlIGVk
Z2UuIEkgY2FuJ3QuLi5JIGNhbid0IHN0
b3AgbXlzZWxmLg==

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This poem is actually encoded in Base64 and has a title that translates to “Open Your Third Eye” with the following text:

I can feel the tenderness of her skin through the knife, as if it were an extension of my sense of touch. My body nearly convulses. There’s something incredibly faint, deep down, that screams to resist this uncontrollable pleasure. But I can already tell that I’m being pushed over the edge. I can’t…I can’t stop myself.

This is likely related to Project Libitina and Yuri’s last poem in Act 2. As such, I will discuss both below in the Yuri section.

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Natsuki’s Request (No title) – Act 2, 4th Day

I don’t know how else to bring this up. But there’s been something I’ve been worried about. Yuri has been acting kind of strange lately. You’ve only been here a few days, so you may not know what I mean. But she’s not normally like this. She’s always been quiet and polite and attentive…things like that.

Okay… This is really embarrassing, but I’m forcing myself to suck it up. The truth is, I’m REALLY worried about her. But if I try talking to her, she’ll just get mad at me again. I don’t know what to do. I think you’re the only person that she’ll listen to. I don’t know why. But please try to do something. Maybe you can convince her to talk to a therapist.

I’ve always wanted to try being better friends with Yuri, and it really hurts me to see this happening. I know I’m going to hate myself later for admitting that, but right now I don’t care. I just feel so helpless. So please see if you can do something to help. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. I’ll make you cupcakes if I have to. Just please try to do something.

As for Monika… I don’t know why, but she’s been really dismissive about this. It’s like she just wants us to ignore it. So I’m mad at her right now, and that’s why I’m coming to you about this. DON’T LET HER KNOW I WROTE THIS!!!! Just pretend like I gave you a really good poem, okay? I’m counting on you. Thanks for reading.

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This message is pretty self explanatory as it is not a poem. Natsuki has become aware of Yuri’s stranger-than-usual behavior and even suspects Monika of wrongdoing. Of course, right after she hands you this poem, Monika overwrites Natsuki’s words and tells you to ignore this message.


Yuri

The mysterious and bookish wallflower

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Ghost Under the Light – Act 1, 2nd Day

The tendrils of my hair illuminate beneath the amber glow.
Bathing.
It must be this one.
The last remaining streetlight to have withstood the test of time.
the last yet to be replaced by the sickening blue-green hue of the future.
I bathe. Calm; breathing air of the present but living in the past.
The light flickers.
I flicker back.

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Similar to Natsuki’s first poem, this poem seems to have a tone of resignation in the face of something inevitable (“giving up”). Beyond that, it’s unclear to me except in its connection to the second part of the poem (see below).


The Raccoon – Act 1, 3rd Day

It happened in the dead of night while I was slicing bread for a guilty snack.
My attention was caught by the scuttering of a raccoon outside my window.
That was, I believe, the first time I noticed my strange tendencies as an unordinary human.
I gave the raccoon a piece of bread, my subconscious well aware of the consequences.
Well aware that a raccoon that is fed will always come back for more.
The enticing beauty of my cutting knife was the symptom.
The bread, my hungry curiosity.
The raccoon, an urge.

The moon increments its phase and reflects that much more light off of my cutting knife.
The very same light that glistens in the eyes of my raccoon friend.
I slice the bread, fresh and soft. The raccoon becomes excited.
Or perhaps I’m merely projecting my emotions onto the newly-satisfied animal.

The raccoon has taken to following me.
You could say that we’ve gotten quite used to each other.
The raccoon becomes hungry more and more frequently, so my bread is always handy.
Every time I brandish my cutting knife, the raccoon shows me its excitement.
A rush of blood. Classic Pavlovian conditioning. I slice the bread.
And I feed myself again.

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Many people found it obvious that this poem is actually about Yuri’s cutting, especially considering her focus on the knife. The raccoon in the poem is her urge to self-harm that started off as a stranger but has taken to following her more and more, as she finds it more and more difficult to resist the knife. Every time she cuts, as she says in the last line, she “feeds” herself again.


Ghost Under the Light Pt. 2 – Act 1, 4th Day (if all 3 poems appealed to Yuri)

The tendrils of my hair illuminate beneath the amber glow.
Bathing.
In the distance, a blue-green light flickers.
A lone figure crosses its path – a silhouette obstructing the eerie glow.
My heart pounds. The silhouette grows. Closer. Closer.
I open my umbrella, casting a shadow to shield me from visibility.
But I am too late.
He steps into the streetlight. I gasp and drop my umbrella.
The light flickers. My heart pounds. He raises his arm.

Time stops.

The only indication of movement is the amber light flickering against his outstretched arm.
The flickering light is in rhythm with the pounding of my heart.
Teasing me for succumbing to this forbidden emotion.
Have you ever heard of a ghost feeling warmth before?
Giving up on understanding, I laugh.
Understanding is overrated.
I touch his hand. The flickering stops.
Ghosts are blue-green. My heart is amber.

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This is Yuri’s version of a “love poem” to the protagonist. In contrast to part 1, which was written with a sense of futility, part 2 seems to push back against that. The figure is the protagonist, who somehow breaks down Yuri’s walls and seeks to understand her despite her flaws. Yuri feels warmth (from love, presumably) despite being a “ghost” and her heart is amber.


Beach – Act 1, 4th Day (otherwise)

A marvel millions of years in the making.
Where the womb of Earth chaotically meets the surface.
Under a clear blue sky, an expanse of bliss–
But beneath gray rolling clouds, an endless enigma.
The easiest world to get lost in
Is one where everything can be found.

One can only build a sand castle where the sand is wet.
But where the sand is wet, the tide comes.
Will it gently lick at your foundations until you give in?
Or will a sudden wave send you crashing down in the blink of an eye?
Either way, the outcome is the same.
Yet we still build sand castles.

I stand where the foam wraps around my ankles.
Where my toes squish into the sand.
The salty air is therapeutic.
The breeze is gentle, yet powerful.
I sink my toes into the ultimate boundary line, tempted by the foamy tendrils.
Turn back, and I abandon my peace to erode at the shore.
Drift forward, and I return to Earth forevermore.

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Yuri’s beach poem is a lot more mysterious than Natsuki’s, and your guess is as good as mine as to its meaning. I’ve read thoughts that say this explains how Yuri sees love, but others say it’s about her understanding life in general.


Wheel – Act 2, 3rd Day

A rotating wheel. Turning an axle. Grinding. Bolthead. Linear gearbox. Falling sky. Seven holy stakes. A docked ship. A portal to another world. A thin rope tied to a thick rope. A torn harness. Parabolic gearbox. Expanding universe. Time controlled by slipping cogwheels. Existence of God. Swimming with open water in all directions. Drowning. A prayer written in blood. A prayer written in time-devouring snakes with human eyes. A thread connecting all living human eyes. A kaleidoscope of holy stakes. Exponential gearbox. A sky of exploding stars. God disproving the existence of God. A wheel rotating in six dimensions. Forty gears and a ticking clock. A clock that ticks one second for every rotation of the planet. A clock that ticks forty times every time it ticks every second time. A bolthead of holy stakes tied to the existence of a docked ship to another world. A kaleidoscope of blood written in clocks. A time-devouring prayer connecting a sky of forty gears and open human eyes in all directions. Breathing gearbox. Breathing bolthead. Breathing ship. Breathing portal. Breathing snakes. Breathing God. Breathing blood. Breathing holy stakes. Breathing human eyes. Breathing time. Breathing prayer. Breathing sky. Breathing wheel.

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While many have tried to decode this poem for a true meaning, a more sensical explanation is that this “wheel” simply represents Yuri’s spinning emotions about the protagonist. She has mixed feelings due to Monika’s influence as well as her own obsessive personality, and these random words express those feelings.


mdpnfbo,jrfp – Act 2, 4th Day

ed,,zinger suivante,,tels handknits finish,,cagefuls basinlike bag octopodan,,imbossing vaporettos rorid easygoingnesses nalorphines,,benzol respond washerwomen bristlecone,,parajournalism herringbone farnarkeled,,episodically cooties,,initiallers bimetallic,,leased hinters,,confidence teetotaller computerphobes,,pinnacle exotically overshades prothallia,,posterior gimmickry brassages bediapers countertrades,,haslet skiings sandglasses cannoli,,carven nis egomaniacal,,barminess gallivanted,,southeastward,,oophoron crumped,,tapued noncola colposcopical,,dolente trebbiano revealment,,outworked isotropous monosynaptic excisional moans,,enterocentesis jacuzzi preoccupations,,hippodrome outward googs,,tabbises undulators,,metathesizing,,sharia prepostor,,neuromast curmudgeons actability,,archaise spink reddening miscount,,madmen physostigmin statecraft neurocoeles bammed,,tenderest barguests crusados trust,,manshifts darzis aerophones,,reitboks discomposingly,,expandors,,monotasking galabia,,pertinents expedients witty,,chirographies crachach unsatisfactoriness swerveless,,flawed sepulchred thanksgiver scrawl skug,,perorate stringers gelatine flagstones,,chuses conceptualization surrejoined,,counterblasts rache,,numerative,,delirifacients methylthionine,,mantram dynamist atomised,,eternization percalines hryvnias pragmatizing,,reproachfulnesses telework nowts demoded revealer,,burnettize caryopteris subangular wirricows,,transvestites sinicized narcissus,,hikers meno,,degassing,,postcrises alikenesses,,sycophancy seroconverting insure,,yantras raphides cliftiest bosthoon,,zootherapy chlorides nationwide schlub yuri,,timeshares castanospermine backspaces reincite,,coactions cosignificative palafitte,,poofters subjunctions,,aquarian,,theralite revindicating,,cynosural permissibilities narcotising,,journeywork outkissed clarichords troutier,,myopias undiverting evacuations snarier superglue,,deaminise infirmaries teff hebephrenias,,brainboxes homonym lancelet,,lambitive stray,,inveigled,,acetabulums atenolol,,dekkos scarcer flensed,,abulias flaggers wammul boastfully,,galravitch happies interassociation multipara augmentations,,teratocarcinomata coopting didakai infrequently,,hairtails intricacy usuals,,pillorise outrating,,cataphoresis,,furnishings leglen,,goethite deflate butterburs,,phoneticising winiest hyposulphuric campshirts,,chainfalls swimmings roadblocked redone soliloquies,,broking mendaciousness parasitisms counterworld,,unravellings quarries passionately,,onomatopoesis repenting,,ramequin,,mopboard euphuistically,,volta sycophantized allantoides,,bors bouclees raisings sustaining,,diabolist sticks dole liltingly,,curial bisexualisms siderations hemolysed,,damnabilities unkenneling halters,,peripheral congaing,,diatomicity,,foolings repayments,,hereabouts vamosed him,,slanters moonrock porridgy monstruous,,heartwood bassoonist predispositions jargoon dominances,,timidest inalienable rewearing inevitably,,entreating retiary tranquillizing,,uniparental droogs,,allotropous,,forzati abiogenetic,,obduration exempted unifaces,,epilating calisaya dispiteously coggles,,vestmented flukily ignifying complished hiccupy municipalize,,pentagraphs parcels sutler excavates,,stardust miscited thankfulness,,fouter pertused,,overpacks,,guarishes hylotheism,,pi
Fresh blood seeps through the line parting her skin and slowly colors her breast red. I begin to hyperventilate as my compulsion grows. The images won’t go away. Images of me driving the knife into her flesh continuously, fucking her body with the blade, making a mess of her. My head starts going crazy as my thoughts start to return. Shooting pain assaults my mind along with my thoughts. This is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. How could I ever let myself think these things? But it’s unmistakable. The lust continues to linger through my veins. An ache in my muscles stems from the unreleased tension experienced by my entire body. Her Third Eye is drawing me closer.

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Not only is Yuri’s last poem is written on paper that is covered in her blood and urine, but the font makes it nearly impossible to read. However, people have deciphered it after recognizing that it’s written with a font called Damagrafik Script. It’s unclear what the first part of the poem is saying in its mishmash of random words and commas, but the ending is interesting as it references the “Third Eye” just like Natsuki’s encoded poem. If you put the two together, the full poem says:

I can feel the tenderness of her skin through the knife, as if it were an extension of my sense of touch. My body nearly convulses. There’s something incredibly faint, deep down, that screams to resist this uncontrollable pleasure. But I can already tell that I’m being pushed over the edge. I can’t…I can’t stop myself.

Fresh blood seeps through the line parting her skin and slowly colors her breast red. I begin to hyperventilate as my compulsion grows. The images won’t go away. Images of me driving the knife into her flesh continuously, fucking her body with the blade, making a mess of her. My head starts going crazy as my thoughts start to return. Shooting pain assaults my mind along with my thoughts. This is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. How could I ever let myself think these things? But it’s unmistakable. The lust continues to linger through my veins. An ache in my muscles stems from the unreleased tension experienced by my entire body. Her Third Eye is drawing me closer.

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This is obviously very graphic and is not for the faint of heart, but the Third Eye is possibly the “eye” on the cover of Yuri’s book, the Portrait of Markov. It seems to be consistent, as Yuri described that it’s about a human experiment prison and http://projectlibitina.com/ has been proven to be linked to Team Salvato and contains graphic reports of human experimentation. There are plenty of theories online if you’re looking for nightmare fuel.


Monika

Just…never mind

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Hole in Wall – Act 1, 2nd Day

It couldn’t have been me.
See, the direction the spackle protrudes.
A noisy neighbor? An angry boyfriend? I’ll never know. I wasn’t home.
I peer inside for a clue.
No! I can’t see. I reel, blind, like a film left out in the sun.
But it’s too late. My retinas.
Already scorched with a permanent copy of the meaningless image.
It’s just a little hole. It wasn’t too bright.
It was too deep.
Stretching forever into everything.
A hole of infinite choices.
I realize now, that I wasn’t looking in.
I was looking out.
And he, on the other side, was looking in.

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Monika, being a “special” being in this game, realizes very early on that the protagonist is not just another character programmed into the game, but someone “real” (the player behind the character).


Save Me – Act 1, 3rd Day

The colors, they won’t stop.
Bright, beautiful colors
Flashing, expanding, piercing
Red, green, blue
An endless
cacophany
Of meaningless
noise

The noise, it won’t stop.
Violent, grating waveforms
Squeaking, screeching, piercing
Sine, cosine, tangent
Like playing a chalkboard on a turntable
Like playing a vinyl on a pizza crust
An endless
poem
Of meaningless

Load Me

Monika’s self-awareness continues in this poem, as she realizes that she’s just a bunch of color pixels and math formulas programmed by code. The “Save Me” and “Load Me” are obvious nods to the fact that this is a game in which you can save and load to replay various parts of the story (it’s also a tip on how to achieve the True Ending!).

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The Lady who Knows Everything – Act 1, 4th Day

An old tale tells of a lady who wanders Earth.
The Lady who Knows Everything.
A beautiful lady who has found every answer,
All meaning,
All purpose,
And all that was ever sought.

And here I am,

a feather

Lost adrift the sky, victim of the currents of the wind.

Day after day, I search.
I search with little hope, knowing legends don’t exist.
But when all else has failed me,
When all others have turned away,
The legend is all that remains – the last dim star glimmering in the twilit sky.

Until one day, the wind ceases to blow.
I fall.
And I fall and fall, and fall even more.
Gentle as a feather.
A dry quill, expressionless.

But a hand catches me between the thumb and forefinger.
The hand of a beautiful lady.
I look at her eyes and find no end to her gaze.

The Lady who Knows Everything knows what I am thinking.
Before I can speak, she responds in a hollow voice.
“I have found every answer, all of which amount to nothing.
There is no meaning.
There is no purpose.
And we seek only the impossible.
I am not your legend.
Your legend does not exist.”

And with a breath, she blows me back afloat, and I pick up a gust of wind.

What is life? But seriously, this is Monika’s inner monologue about how there’s no meaning to life, probably because she’s realized that she’s just a game character that may or may not get “picked” by the protagonist.

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Hole in Wall (2) – Act 2, 2nd Day

But he wasn’t looking at me.
Confused, I frantically glance at my surroundings.
But my burned eyes can no longer see color.
Are there others in this room? Are they talking?
Or are they simply poems on flat sheets of paper,
The sound of frantic scrawling playing tricks on my ears?
The room begins to crinkle.
Closing in on me.
The air I breathe dissipates before it reaches my lungs.
I panic. There must be a way out.
It’s right there. He’s right there.

Swallowing my fears, I brandish my pen.

This is a continuation to Monika’s first poem on her self-awareness. Except by this point in the game, Monika is starting to realize that the protagonist will never “pick” her, and her attitude toward the others is turning more and more toxic. She is ready to take action.

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Save Me (2) – Act 2, 3rd Day

The colors, they won’t
Bright, bea t ful c l rs
Flash ng, exp nd ng, piercing
Red, green, blue
An ndless
CACOPHANY
Of meaningless
noise

The noise, it won’t STOP.
Viol nt, grating w vef rms
Sq e king, screech ng, piercing
SINE, COSINE, TANGENT
Like play ng a ch lkboard on a t rntable
Like playing a KNIFE on a BREATHING RIBCAGE
n ndl ss
p m
Of m n ngl ss

Delete Her

This is identical to the first version of Save Me, except for the last line now says “Delete Her.” Just as the previous version of the poem gave you (the player) a hint on how to achieve the True ending, this message gives you some insight on what you’ll have to do later in the game.

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Happy End – Act 3

Pen in hand, I find my strength.
The courage endowed upon me by my one and only love.
Together, let us dismantle this crumbling world
And write a novel of our own fantasies.

With a flick of her pen, the lost finds her way.
In a world of infinite choices, behold this special day.

After all,
Not all good times must come to an end.

This poem was written by Monika after she had deleted the rest of the characters in the game and had the protagonist/player to herself “forever.” At this point, she thinks she has won…until you delete her, that is.

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Special

In each playthrough of DDLC, three “special poems” are shown throughout the game among the following list of 11.

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This is obviously a crudely drawn picture of Sayori hanging herself in Act 1. The “happy thoughts” refer to those in her poem, Bottles.


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This poem is just this single sentence. A short giggle sound is played when the poem is displayed, and the voice is the same voice as Monika’s in the credits.


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The text is blacked out with the exception of “nothingisreal?”, but the image can be manipulated to show the following text:

Irregular heartbeat. Heart palpitations. Arrhythmia. I search and search, eyes scanning everything I can find on their symptoms. What is this? Shortness of breath? Chest pain? Dizziness? No. This is all wrong. Elyssa’s symptoms are nowhere near this simple. I’ve seen it twice now. The screams of pain. Sickeningly pale skin. Vomiting blood. There is no other explanation, other than that Renier’s information was a complete and utter lie.
This can’t all be coincidence. It’s not possible. I don’t know how much of this Renier is behind. But I do know this: There is something horribly wrong with this family. And I accepted the invitation to become a part of it.
I can hear Elyssa’s screams through the walls now. I listen helplessly. Renier said that he would be with her shortly. Is he in her room now? Why is she screaming even louder than before?

Since Elyssa and Renier are not mentioned in the game at all, the most prevalent speculation is that this is also related to Project Libitina, as evidenced by the text in the beginning about Elyssa’s symptoms.

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It’s unclear if this is written by Monika or Natsuki. It’s likely not Sayori given that the author refers to him/herself as “the responsible one.” Although the black bar cannot be manipulated (as above) to show the text beneath it, the file’s EXIF data shows that the obscured word is Yuri, which is what we’d expect.

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I think the point of this poem was to make you think it was going to reveal a jump scare at the dot. Anticlimatically, the dot changes to “i love you” after 10 seconds, which indicates that this poem was probably written by Monika as a joke.

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Speaking of jokes, this poem is not really one, as it more or less draws parallels with the tragic events of Act 1 of DDLC. The man is the protagonist. The girl who liked him is Sayori. “A third party” is Monika.

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This is not a poem, but a distorted image of Monika. When the player tries to dismiss the picture, a second (but distorted differently) picture appears briefly before continuing.

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This is a metaphorical poem written by Monika about the game. The TV is the protagonist and Monika’s three friends are Sayori, Yuri, and Natsuki. When Monika fell asleep and had a dream, this represented her self-awareness in the game, but despite that self-awareness, she was still stuck in the game. The nails represent Monika’s feelings of being trapped. As the protagonist responded to the characters of the game (TV told jokes), the characters responded (laughed) accordingly.

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It’s implied that this poem is written by Natsuki about her abusive father. It starts out with her father’s positive traits (which probably don’t happen often), and quickly turns negative as she describes his abusive behavior.

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This is Yuri writing during Act 2, when her “obsessive happiness” exists due to her degraded mental state. Unfortunately for her, no one took her to the emergency room when she blew her cover.

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It’s unclear how this drowning poem is related to the game, but there has been speculation that it’s related to this image, which was by an artist who worked on Team Salvato. Maybe another Project Libitina reference?

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Phew, that was a lot more than I thought! Writing this late post into the night, while sitting alone in my office definitely made me feel a little uneasy. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this and maybe this compilation will be the beginning of more discussions about the poetry in Doki Doki Literature Club! Like usual, please visit https://pastimezone.wordpress.com/ if you enjoy my posts and want to see more!

-Monika