Hey, hally, hey, all you rootin' tootin' carrot cakes! Ready to die a million deaths and then die again? Because Arc 4 is here! And it's delivering five jumbo jets' worth of non-perishable pain right to your doorstep!
Now, I know you're all wondering... "Carrot, you didn't even release a progress update devlog, and now you're launching the next arc???" YES. I know this. And I have good reason for it. And that is that I'm a gRaDe-A lAzE. I apologize. I kept telling myself I would do it. But as you can see, I did not. And then it got so close to the launch that it would have just been w e i r d.
BUT I DIGRESS. ARC 4. IT IS FINISHED. IT IS LAUNCHED. IT IS AVAILABLE. IT IS WAITING TO REND YOUR HEART ARTERY FROM ARTERY.
But what is this arc about, Carrot? Well. I'll tell you.
That's the long and short of it really. But I guess I can, you know, actually talk about the p l o t... /derogatory
Let's see. Up to this point in Carrot's Tale of Woe, Iggy has tried calling Genzou and tried calling Orlam. Neither one of these solutions seemed to do the trick, however, considering the uNfOrTuNaTe DiReCtIoN both of these arcs took. So this leaves Gidget, Iggy's beloved friend who has never, ever done anything horrible or uncouth to him while entrenched in her Wonderland-Kindled Iggy-Obsessed Brainfog™. How might our story change were Iggy to try delving into her story?
The answer? A LOT.
This arc is the most different of all the arcs so far! —I say despite likely having said that about every new arc, but throw me a carrot-shaped bone here, I just spent the last three months of my life suffering in the hellish grip of this godforsaken arc and its godforsaken characters and the godforsaken pain it's been plaguing me with. I hope you will be Amused and Delighted at the new fuckerysurprises this arc brings! It builds heavily off of Arc 3, mostly in the fact that it takes some of the Key Events of Arc 3 and multiplies them by 1.21 gigawatts of over-the-top grandiosity and pomp.
My reaction upon seeing the mob of angry fans who've just played Arc 4 outside my door.
So yes, be prepared to see scenes get amplified! To meet new characters! To have your expectations subverted! To finally see all four members of the love square in one room! To see the final part of the atrocity that is the after-prom flashback! And, most importantly—TO GET SEDUCED BY A CANNIBAL. (OK, not really. Not... r e a l l y................... but there's def more cannibalism. This is me we're talking about here.)
I will also say that this arc once again hits quite close to home for me again. In like. Fifty million different ways. Making a lot of it extremely difficult for me to write. Particularly when multiple characters whom my own experiences are strongly based off of are CLASHING in HORRIBLE and HEART-RENDING WAYS. Let's just say they don't call this part of the narrative arc the "dark night of the soul" for n-n-nothing... *w e e p s*
AT ANY RATE. LET'S ROLL OUT THOSE FEATURES BEFORE I FULLY SUCCUMB TO DESPAIR.
4 to 5 more hours of gameplay! (around 45k new words—the longest arc yet!)(bringing the total up to around 183k)(OMFG 183K I'VE CREATED A MONSTER)
A brand-new complete story with ending!
............53 new CGs................. my god...
A new cinematic ending sequence! (tho it is perhaps a bit shorter than the endings of the others IG idk it all depends on how I define the ending sequence really, it's a bit arbitrary)
No new ways to violently die! (sorry, it didn't really fit with the structure of this arc kdjaflsdkf)(but I promise there will still be plenty of violent death)
A brand-new character who is apparently very attractive, I have heard this from many people so it must be true...
New outfits for (some) chars (including an incredibly fabulous GREEN dress)!!
An 8k word finale that's a slip-and-slide straight into the deepest bowels of hell!
Did I mention this arc goes in some... INTERESTING directions?
OH RIGHT. V. IMPORTANT NOTE RE: ARC ORDER.
As I mentioned when releasing Arc 3, I was already contemplating whether I needed to change (i.e., get rid of) the ability to play the arcs in any order. This nuggety nugget of a thought only grew and snowballed the more I worked on Arc 4. SO. With this release, you'll notice the order is set in stone! (Arc 2 --> Arc 3 --> Arc 4) I APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE WHO LIKED THE FLEXIBILITY. But honestly it literally would just not have worked. Why? Let me count the ways~♪
FIRST. Each arc is more different from The Path™ (i.e., Arc 1) than the next. So it would be just a litol bit odd if you played Arc 1, played Arc 4, which is incredibly different, and then played Arc 2, which is decidedly less different.
SECOND. Each arc has started building off of each other in New and Delightful ways, not only scene-wise, as I mentioned earlier (with certain scenes introduced in one arc expanded upon in the next), but also character-wise (especially considering the chars seem to be remembering more and more each time, which may or may not be having An Effect on their rapidly deteriorating psyches). Also the aforementioned subversion. I would not be able to sub any verts if there were no verts to sub.
THIRD. The character interactions in Arc 4 WOULD DEFINITELY NOT have the sheer emotional impact if you haven't played through all the previous arcs and know everything about the characters that you already do. THERE IS A REASON THIS IS THE GRAND CLIMAX OF THE MIDDLE ARCS.
So, as you can see...
Those who saved on either the Arc 2 or Arc 3 ending screens will have a choice when they load up their save files because I'm a horrible dev who doesn't think ahead and include all the correct variables I might need to ensure you're not stuck and have the ability to play both Arcs 2 and 3 no matter which order you took. But those who start a new game fresh from the beginning will be locked into a single path.
I-... I got a little sweaty working on the CGs for this arc...
BUT ENOUGH RAMBLING. You're all here for the heart-wrenching goodness anyway. Let's get down to the sweaty deets.
The install for Arc 4 should be the same as for all the previous arcs.
If you haven't played Our Wonderland before: You don't need to do anything special! Just download the game and play from the beginning. Since the order is now S E T, you'll play Arc 4 after completing Arc 3, because that is the way numbers work.
If you have played Our Wonderland before and have a save file: You'll want to download the new Arc 1 - 4 version of the game, copy over the "saves" folder from your previous version of the game, and paste that into the "game" folder of the new version of the game:
Actually, I'm not even sure if this is necessary any more given that Ren'Py should automatically load your old saves...... so you can also try it without doing this and it will probably still work. HOWEVER, if for whatever reason it doesn't work, this method should ensure all your data is transferred over smooth as pop.
As previously mentioned, whether your final save is after Arc 2 or Arc 3, you'll be given a choice asking whether you've completed both the previous arcs, and answering yes will start up Arc 4! Do let me know if you have any questions though!
Actual photo of you from the future after finishing Arc 4. (Omg Carrot, how did you get this.)(owowowowowo)
OK. Now, on to the content warnings. AND HERE IS WHERE I REALLY MUST IMPLORE YOU TO READ. Because Arc 4 really ups the ante on the intensity and I don't want anyone going in unprepared.
Similar to what I did for Arc 3, I'm adding a few new general content warnings (i.e., outside the spoiler cut) for Arc 4. This is now the complete list of general content warnings:
Strong adult language
Strong graphic violence (both illustrated and textual)
Sexual violence/assault/unwanted sexual advances
Disturbing and potentially triggering elements
(for Arc 3) Topics involving suicide, self-harm, and self-poisoning
(for Arc 4) Strong sexual themes, very uncomfortable sexual situations (extra strong)
(for Arc 4) Intense and disturbing scenes with violent imagery (extra strong)
(for Arc 4) Bullying and harassment, bigoted comments related to gender
(for Arc 4) Drugging
YES, I REALIZE THIS IS A LOT OF NEW GENERAL CONTENT WARNINGS. That is because I cannot impose on you enough that Arc 4, particularly the finale, gets incredibly intense and dark, even more so than the previous arcs, which is saying a lot!!11!!1 Though there is no nudity/on-screen sex/NSFW content in the game, Arc 4 in particular has some strong overarching sexual themes (and very uncomfortable ones, at that, considering this is Iggy, the ace bean, we're talking about). That coupled with the sheer intensity of the disturbing scenes has me personally recommending this arc for those 18 and up, as I really do not want to potentially deeply affect anyone in any horrible ways. Movie-wise, it'd probably still be rated R, BUT I JUST REALLY WANNA IMPOSE. IT IS VERY INTENSE. TRUST ME. Please please please make sure you're prepared and def check out the more-detailed content warnings if you're at all worried. Also, please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you're unsure about anything and want more details!
And, as always, here is the more-detailed breakdown of content warnings (I have learned how to make a nice clicky-thing to hide them now). These contain spoilers for obvious reasons, so don't click if you don't want to see. As I mentioned, though, if you're at all concerned about the general content warnings, I do recommend checking them out just in case:
Arc 4 Detailed Content Warnings
Disturbing/potentially triggering elements (cannibalism; lots of thoughts about things related to marital duties, obligations to one's partner, etc.; someone wanting to "fix" an asexual person; comments and themes surrounding body and gender dysphoria)
Scenes of violence and torture (someone is shown to have been horrifically mutilated and tortured with their legs amputated and their eyes having been removed; someone is threatened and cut with a large knife; someone is strangled to death; someone is stabbed through their neck with scissors; someone's head is stomped in; someone is bludgeoned to death with a metal object)
Strong sexual themes, very uncomfortable sexual situations (someone is touched or forced to touch someone in ways they're not comfortable with; sexual comments are made about someone, which makes them somewhat uncomfortable; someone is made to feel guilty and ashamed for not wanting to have sex; someone attempts to initiate sexual intercourse despite the other person being reluctant and uncomfortable (no sexual intercourse actually happens); someone is threatened with a knife in a way that has somewhat sexual overtones; there is implied off-screen sex between multiple sets of people (the sex is consensual); someone drugs someone else and attempts to have sex with them against their will, i.e., corrective rape (though no rape/sex actually happens))
Intense and incredibly disturbing scenes with violent imagery (things already mentioned in the violence and torture section but just an extra added note that much of it is incredibly visceral and emotionally charged)
Bullying and harassment, bigoted comments related to gender (someone is repeatedly bullied and has demeaning comments directed at them; someone is sexually harassed with their face forced into someone's (clothed) crotch; someone is made fun of for using a certain bathroom and for not looking like their assigned gender at birth; someone is yelled at for wearing underwear of the opposite gender; bigoted comments are made towards someone from a parental unit for wanting to bind their chest)
Drugging (someone drugs someone else and attempts to have sex with them against their will, i.e., corrective rape (though no rape/sex actually happens)
TRULY do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about anything! I am always happy to provide even more details about any particular scenes you might be worried about or provide screenshots, etc.
I just......... like this shot........
Omg this release devlog is getting positively monstrous, I apologize. I promise I am finishing up!!! UHHHHHH. ONE SUPER LAST NOTE THAT IS ALSO KINDA COOL.
Do you know Spooktober???? It's a super cool month-long game jam for spoopy VNs that takes place next month! I am about........... 95% sure I'm going to join (I have the story planned out in my head, but I kinda wanted to wait until after the Arc 4 launch to make sure I had the E N E R G Y before making any final decisions). It will be a litol fun side story with the OW characters (and by "litol" I mean no doubt overly ambitious, and by "fun side story" I mean irreverent ridiculousness that will likely suddenly get extremely dark without warning). Though I want to make it in such a way that even those who haven't played the OW main story will be able to enjoy and have fun with it, there will also be a lot of groovy cameos and references (and perhaps even a tie-back to the main story???) for all of those following the OG game. Mostly I think it will just be some sillay fun to play around with the chars after the ABJECT HEARTBREAK AND TRAGEDY that is Arc 4, so.
Here are some little concept sketches I've done so far:
SO YES. I will start posting more updates about it once I make the final decision and the jam starts in September! I am pretty ~ excited ~ about it and hope that people will enjoy it teehee.
Then, of course, after the jam, it will be time to dive into the hellscape that is Arc 5! Hard to believe I've finally reached the home stretch of this silly little not at all horrific horror game I began working on just a little over a year ago. Thank you SO SO SO MUCH everyone who has joined me on this journey so far. I wouldn't be here without all of your support and love!!
My friend and I have been enjoying your game and debating over where things are going to end up. I like how you made the central themes of the story tied to problems faced by members of different slices of the LGBTQIA+ community including aces and (I suspect from what little we know of Bucks) Aros who aren't often given a central role in much of the media out there. You've done a fantastic job of showing the headspace of people dealing with the pain of growing up in a world that pushes them into certain roles they don't fit in or that forces them to hide or be ignorant of themselves.
It's true this chapter was relatively light on the gore... but the suspense and horror were still fully realized. Playing Habanera during the dance with Gidget was a perfect choice given the song is something of a foreshadowing of the treacherous nature of love sung by a woman who is simultaneously unobtainable and a chaser of men who are unobtainable. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I loved it. It fit the scene perfectly and just really encapsulated the moment where the feelings between Gidget and Iggy were out of sync. Your descriptions of Iggy's nausea and repulsion at the thought of being forced to go beyond hand-holding and hugs hit right in the gut as they should. I winced in sympathy throughout this whole arc because while I've personally never been in Iggy's position, I've heard many, MANY stories of the pain caused by denying yourself to make someone else happy.
I'm really looking forward to the next chapter and keeping my fingers crossed that maybe we'll learn more about Buxley's deal.
AHHHHH!! Thank you so much for this lovely comment!!! I really enjoyed reading it and I'm glad you and your friend have been enjoying talking about it hahahahaha. It's funny because some of the directions this game has ended up going were not super planned way back when I was first thinking up the story and writing the first bits, but started to grow as I not only got deeper and deeper into the story and chars but also kept putting more and more of myself into the game, too. I'm really glad that you're enjoying it so far and all the stories of the chars! It really means a lot ahhhhh dkfjalsdkfjalsdk 😭💕
As for the song................omg?? I actually hadn't even thought about all of that. I tend to base my music choices mostly on vibe—listening to song after song until I find one that I feel fits the scene in my head (or sometimes simply happening upon a song that I fall in love with and that actually helps inspire certain scenes or parts of scenes, as well). That is really neat hearing that, though! I'm kinda jazzed that it would turn out to give even more meaning to the scene, since that's pretty much the dynamic I was, indeed, aiming for with that scene 😍 (admittedly, this would not be the first time someone has pointed out something I've written or done has some kind of deeper meaning attached to it than I had even noticed... GAH💦💦)
At any rate, thank you so so much for playing and for your lovely words!! I hope you'll enjoy Arc 5 when it finally comes out!! (And I hope I won't lose my mind producing it... LOOL) 💕
Wow...this has got the be the most personal feeling of the arcs. Like, my carrot, my fellow human: take a break after this. It feels like this time, you are not exaggerating the pain this arc put you under, and I want you to be healthy and, most importantly, alive.
I say all of that knowing you're probably doing all of that already. But still, just felt it needed to be said.
OK, personal note aside...
THIS ARC WAS AMAZING AND I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY AND PROUD YOU HAD THE COURAGE TO PUT IT TOGETHER.
When someone tells me, "I don't feel comfortable with sex," I feel like I can honestly respond, "I get it," after experiencing this chapter. If one isn't comfortable and is just thrown into it or forced to do it, whether by themself or by others, it is deeply horrifying and not something I would ever wish upon even my worst enemy.
Like, I feel like this is the benchmark for "artfully and tastefully-put-together morality play regarding why sex is a choice" - and it makes me sad knowing most people will never see it just because of how obscure it is.
I could go into how Cecil is the opposite of Gidget's mother, in that when he says, "This isn't you," it's because he truly cares for Gidget and wants what's truly best for her. I could go into the sheer perfection of the audio and visual choices. I could lament in length how Gidget, so obsessed with fulfilling her mother's selfish wishes, failed to realize Gidget gave her the man she actually wanted. But the arc speaks for itself.
Like, the only criticism I have is the blood and gore lack the visceralness of the previous chapters. It sounds strange to say, but I've found you know how to execute such things in an artful way. It's gross, but it's appropriate. Yet given the subject matter, and given just how personal this arc clearly was for you, Carrot, I don't mind it at all - in fact, I feel a bit like a masochist just for mentioning it.
Also, looking forward to The Arc Where Everyone Else Joins Orlam in Remembering, And In Which Orlam Tries to Become Destiny (God).
This arc was, indeed, quite personal for me. In like. A myriad of ways, to be honest. Which is why it made some parts of it quite difficult to write at times GAHHH. So I'm actually quite glad some of that came across. I get nervous enough releasing these things and how people will react to them already—even more so for the ones that hit really close to home, ahhhhHHHHHHH. I may or may not have been shaking slightly during the launch dkalfjsldkfja
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!!! Especially the art and music! I got a little UNHINGED in my drawing escapades and definitely drew way too much, but there were just some scenes I really wanted to nail down exactly how they played out in my mind and the only way to do that was to draw a bajillion things hahahaha. I'm just glad that after over a year of drawing these chars it is starting to get a bit easier and faster doing the art, because it feels like each arc requires even more art than the previous ones!! And the music, too. I spent a long time living with and listening to stuff to find what really resonated with me for the scenes.
LOL IT'S TRUE. There is a lot less gore in this one. And in general it feels a lot less "horror"-y than the previous ones. I think because it all gets relegated to the finale with everything before it being drama and build-up. That was one of the things I worried about with this one tbh since it's a bit of a different approach from the ones before. But also at least in my head and heart it felt necessary for this arc to work. Arc 5 will see a return to the fantastical horror elements en masse, though (with an even greater emphasis on the fantastical). So hopefully people won't be too disappointed if that's what they're into the most 🤣
AT ANY RATE.
Thank you for playing and for your lovely words!!! It means a lot hearing all of your thoughts, and I'm really glad that you enjoyed it!! 🥰