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Otogirisou was a standard adventure game but had multiple endings. In 1996, the new software publisher Leaf expanded on this idea, calling it a visual novel and releasing their first successful game, Shizuku, a horror story starring a rapist high school student, with very highly reviewed writing and music. However, in 1997, they released To Heart, a sweetly sentimental story of high school love that became one of the most famous and trendsetting eroge ever.To Heart's music was so popular it was added to karaoke machines throughout Japan—a first for eroge.According to Satoshi Todome's A History of Eroge, Kanon is still the standard for modern eroge and is referred to as a "baptism" for young otaku in Japan.Although many eroge still market themselves primarily on sex, eroge that focus on story are now a major established part of Japanese otaku culture.
In some of the early erotic games, the erotic content is meaningfully integrated into a thoughtful and mature storytelling, though others often used it as a flimsy excuse for pornography.
FM Towns also received many games, more so than Sharp X68000 or MS-DOS, whilst the MSX platform (which had many eroge games in the 1980s) was nearing the end of its lifetime by now.
Eroge was much less common on consoles - only NEC's PC Engine series had officially licensed adult games, and from the mid-90s, Sega's Saturn.
Both Nintendo and Sony disallowed adult video games on their consoles.
Games also started to appear on Windows as it grew in popularity. In it, before any eroticism, the user has to first win the affection of one of a number of female characters, making the story into an interactive romance novel. Soon afterwards, the video game Otogirisou on the Super Famicom attracted the attention of many Japanese gamers.