Origin of Towergirls

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The image behind Towergirls.

The First Charts

Towergirls began (and is commonly most recognized) as a CYOA or Choose-Your-Own-Adventure chart. In the context of 4chan and other similar sites, the term 'CYOA' refers to a text-heavy image describing a scenario or multiple scenarios in which the reader is hypothetically involved in. By choosing options presented within the image, the reader creates their own path within the narrative. These images often spark discussions revolving around the choices made among readers as well as the CYOA itself.

The first iteration of the Towergirls CYOA was created on 4chan's '/v/ - videogames' board. The thread in question revolved around an exploitable image depicting a knight bursting through the door in an attempt to rescue what the knight believes will be a princess. This directly resulted in an image created and posted by the artist Gats where thread-viewers were asked to choose between a kobold, a human, an insect and a skeleton for a princess. This slowly began to catch on, and soon other princesses would be added to the mix.

One of the first versions of the CYOA. Earlier copies have yet to be found thanks to poor archival process of /v/.

After a long chain of threads, the first completed CYOA chart would be posted. Time passed, and every now and again Towergirls would be brought up in similar creative /v/ threads.

The 'completed' first edition of the Towergirls chart. After the creation of this chart, edits were made by other thread-goers, such as including additional characters or altering the palette of Goblin Princess to become more 'green'.

The second edition of the chart was brought to '/tg/ - traditional games' (more specifically, their CYOA general), where CYOAs were considered (comparatively) on-topic for the board. The second edition dropped many of the sexual pretenses presented in the first chart and with thirty-two more princesses, aimed to flesh out more mundane aspects of their kingdoms - leaving their personalities to a simple 'like/dislike' stat. These discussions, while active, inevitably died out as a result of disinterest.

The second edition of the Towergirls chart was left largely incomplete.

While Towergirls threads would pop on occasion, the third edition of the chart wouldn't be made until early 2015, where Gats returned to an ongoing thread with the intent of creating a version of the chart that kept to the style of the original, but was also more erotically charged. This began a design-by-committee process where thread-goers would suggest items, lines, and even character design elements to be thrown onto the cutting room floor. Suggestions would then be filtered by Gats and added to the chart if deemed appropriate. By the end of a two-week process, the job was (for the most part) complete.

Third Edition Charts

The final copies of the third edition charts under Gats. Later additions would be completed after his absence.

Differences Between Charts

First Edition

In the first edition of the charts, the reader took on the role of a solitary young knight tasked with venturing into the lair of a powerful dragon. Later editions would imply other knights were also on this journey, but the first edition would distinctly infer that the princesses you did not save would instead perish. As a result, the kingdoms of the princesses you did not save would attack both you and the kingdoms you associated with, making mechanics such as the wealth and power of the rescued princess' kingdom heavily relevant to your survival.

Other differences included the difficulty modes: Easy Mode had the reader choose only one princess and one of two personal dowries. The alternative was to forgo a dowry entirely to save a second princess. Hard Mode introduced the lair princesses, where the reader would hypothetically be forced to attack the dragon directly to rescue a princess with much higher stats (but only one dowry). Finally, 'Homo Mode' offered four army generals (three male, one female) to be rescued in the place of a princess. This was the most difficult, as all kingdoms would attack as a result.

Second Edition

As a more categorical edition, this chart relied on detailing the national symbols and kingdom-wide aspects of each princess. Every kingdom was implied to have a major export, preferred mount and worshiped religious figure, while granting bonuses in the form of a powerful ability, new minion and a portion of an army. The difficulty modes returned, but came in the form of managing four slots to delegate between princesses and their bonuses. On one end of the scale, Indecisive Mode involved picking four princesses (and no bonuses), whereas Dedicated Mode had the reader pick one, gaining all three of their bonuses in the process. Detail behind these bonuses and other parts of the chart would not be written.

Another interesting point of note is the number of princesses. The idea of generations had yet to be introduced, and instead fifty princesses were added to this chart (as well as two referential cameos). Third edition would see that these new princesses would be altered and split between Gens Two and Three.

Third Edition

The third edition would be the one to bring back a more narrative focus to the text contained with each chart. Of the four images produced, each one detailed the journey of the reader as a knight at three different points of their life as they built their own personal kingdom with the help of those they've rescued. Each successive kidnapping was heralded by a new dragon princess with their own set of motivations. Dowries would return, introduced alongside new mechanics such as lust gifts, worship/renunciation bonuses and companions. After all three 'generations' had passed, the reader would then be rewarded with bonus items depending on their journey, including the opportunity to encounter rare characters such as the dragon queen and the tower princess herself.

Improving The Charts

The threads would continue after the third edition was created with the purpose of carrying this concept further beyond.

This is where my direct interactions with the threads would end. If someone else would like to suggest a continuation, or if you feel this page is unneeded, let me know - Gats