Student Transfer is the gift that keeps on giving, and the fans give even more!
Seeing as how Student Transfer is easily the most popular topic on this quaint little site, or at least that’s what my analytics tell me, it’s about time to explore and go through a number of fan-created Scenarios. Yes, in addition to supporting an expansive main game filled with collaboratively crafted exploits involving TG, body swapping, mind control, transformation, possession, and more, Student Transfer also boasts a robust scene wherein fans created their own unique storylines using new or established characters. It is something I have wanted to cover for a while, and in the ensuing years, the quantity of them has only exploded, as there are well over 70 of these things. Accordingly, this will not be a comprehensive overview of every scenario released, but rather a sampler of a select few of them, and the start of what I hope to be a semi-regular segment.
Student Transfer Scenario Reviews – Part 1
Platforms: PC(Reviewed), Mac, Linux, Android
Before beginning, I would like to clarify… several things. Firstly, while I am calling this post a review, that is mostly for the sake of convenience and uniformity, as this is not meant to be a formal assessment of any of these Scenarios, and I in no way mean to discredit or discourage the amount of time and effort these people put into their work. Secondly, all of these Scenarios are either included in Version 4.3 of Student Transfer or come from the tfgames.site forums, which require an account to access. But for those who do not want to go through the hassle, I have provided direct download links from the Scenario writer. Thirdly, Scenarios for Student Transfer are all over the place with regards to compatibility, but for this installment, I will be focusing on Scenarios that are compatible with Version 4.3.
Fourthly, all of these Scenarios are very much non-canon and have no relevance to the main game that is Student Transfer. Yes, the game is an open collaborative effort, but these projects are approved and developed beyond the control of the existing dev team. Fifthly, I am a crazy person, so I went and made flowcharts for every Scenario I cover in this post, even the ones that don’t need them. I swear, I spent as much time making these visual walkthroughs as I did actually playing these Scenarios. Sixthly, I am going to jump right into the Scenarios themselves and assume you are familiar with Student Transfer. If not, here’s my latest review of Student Transfer, and you can download the various builds of the game at the official download page.
Always Get the Warranty by urciocello – Download – Flowchart
The MassPoss route in Press-Switch serves as an excellent jumping-off point for a story due to the inherent chaos of an entire school swapping bodies, the wide array of possibilities a situation like that holds, and the potential long-term repercussions of an event like this. As such, I cannot say I am too surprised to see another writer jump onto this concept and effectively recreated the MassPoss route in Student Transfer, but what they chose to do with it is a bit… peculiar. Rather than focus on a more drawn out storyline that focuses on the chaos surrounding the school or the negative repercussions experienced by other characters as they wind up in unfamiliar bodies, it instead focuses on John as he and assorted groups, mostly consisting of original characters, get into a precarious situation that… honestly, all follow a very similar format.
In the original post of this Scenario, the author explicitly stated that this work was created to cater to a very specific fetish of hers, one that is detailed throughout the ensuing 33 endings to be as follows: Man and woman swap bodies through unintentional circumstances, are stuck that way for an indefinite amount of time, and despite some initial tension the man comes to enjoy their new body and life, finding a silver lining or simply enjoying their changes for one reason or another. Or to just list some tags: TSF, MtF, Forced, Stuck, HappyEnd.
Sometimes John learns to like their predicament, sometimes they undergo identity death, sometimes it is temporary, sometimes it involves an in utero body swap, merging, or reality scrambling. There is a bounty of variety and creativity here, a plethora of concepts that riled me up, and quite a number of entertaining, funny, or generally enthralling moments. But hues of narrative repetition become apparent as time goes on, as while the Scenario has a good amount of tonal diversity and involves a lot of characters, the details are so light that much of it blends together and the more wild ideas tend to be lost in the shuffle due to the sheer quantity of concepts on display here.
What is displayed also is not the most polished of affairs, with numerous typos, error messages, awkward animations that looked incomplete, minor text display errors, and no music. Further quibbles can be found stemming from the way the writer handles the Mass Possession concept in general, only undoing its effects in a select few routes and treating the alien remote, the catalyst for these events, as a tool for narrative convenience, malfunctioning, breaking, and changing John around in whatever ways the writer wants it to. All of this, combined with a lack of detail seen in a large number of these routes, which could stand to feature another page or two of details, make the final product come off as very rough.
That being said, I still consider Warranty to be an impressive accomplishment from its creator, especially given how this is their first attempt working on a project of this magnitude and type, and overall I had a great time going through the Scenario, flowchart making and code diving notwithstanding. I get the appeal of randomized variables, but they also make it really easy to miss content. Sure, I could stand to not see another route where John winds up as somebody’s mom. But I would have been pissed if I missed out on the routes where John winds up as a non-binary, transgender, or fully female fusion of himself and another girl whose lives were hybridized, and probably now has two moms because reality was scrambled after the alien remote done exploded.
Carrie The Stalker by Makoto – Download – Flowchart
Despite being one of the first characters introduced in the game, Carrie the lovestruck yandere stalker has remained something of a background character in Student Transfer. As such, it is no surprise to see somebody take a crack at exploring her character by either giving her the magical grimoire or alien remote seen in the main game, allowing her to embark on a number of paths where she can pursue John using her newfound abilities. With the ensuing completed paths depicting her conquests as she murders all hussies who dare to catch John’s fancy, befriends a demon by offering them the souls of innocent children, and even befriends John’s sister Holly in a route that also calls back to the original Murder route.
Ultimately it offers a very chaotic spiel where the protagonist is a mentally unhinged psycho whose impulsive behaviors lead to some rousingly dark situations that can only be reigned in by an outside party. However, the writing on display here really does not do the concept justice. While the effort was clearly made to make the Scenario look nice, with the little kamishibai play performed by the characters being unorthodox and messy yet nevertheless visually entertaining, the script reads like a rough draft that not even the writer went over. I get that writing can be challenging, errors are easy, and words are hard (lord do I know all of this too well), but the quantity of grade school-level errors here can be reminiscent of the NES Ghostbusters end screen at times. Now, I love myself some Engrish and actually enjoy reading machine translations (shout outs to Loggerzed) but for as much fun as murderous body swapping chaos and child soul vore eating are, I find it hard to take your story seriously when you cannot capitalize the name of your protagonist, and talk about how a character was “rapped”.
Connie Offshoot by kinuyasha2 – Download – Flowchart
The Connie route originating in version 2.0 of Student Transfer was a delightful little lark that was rife with use and misuse of the alien remote as John effectively stumbled into a romantic relationship with his math teacher, Connie, an immature individual with a rock-filled rucksack of emotional baggage and some flippant tendencies that, well, basically amount to her raping John. It was a refreshingly developed path when the game first came out, and having replayed it along with this Scenario only cemented its quality. But it is also a route with a wide array of decisions that could serve as branches for wildly different permutations, and that’s effectively what kinuyasha2 did here, with a Scenario that serves as such a complimentary extension of the path that probably could have been seamlessly added into the game… at least before the Murder route was implemented.
This extension offers many more insights into the relationship of John and Connie, which can easily shift between a loving and consensual relationship with two adults… who may or may not have developed incredibly skewed morals, and concerningly active sex drives, due to mental manipulation. Instances where Connie’s rampant irresponsibility, combined with the words of those John trusts, only push him away. Along with a series of elongated bad ends that result in various forms of identity death, dysphoria development, and John coming to terms with their identity as Jane in a variety of ways. It’s actually quite impressive compared to many of its peers, offering lovingly detailed characters and a winding storyline rife with novel twists and plenty of delightful goofs. But what really impressed me about what kinuyasha2 offers here is the presentation.
Student Transfer in and of itself has earned a place amongst Muv-Luv, Lily’s Night Off, and Press-Switch as a visual novel that is rousing with such vigor and ambition that it honestly feels as if it comes from a different generation than visual novels with more traditional presentations. But this Scenario takes things even further! The level of detail and visual energy put into so many of these little ancillary animations, from the subtle shaking of characters as they walk down a hallway, the jittering that characters do as they ponder and pontificate their regularly shifting expressions, and a number of things that I had no idea you could even do in Ren’py. I didn’t know you could zoom in to a background while a character is laying in bed, have sprites spin around like they are made of paper, or flip around the dialog box around. Yet apparently, such amazing feats are possible in this game, and it leaves me with such a deeply joyous and happy feeling. One that is only dampered by the fact that this Scenario is more than a bit confusing when it comes to navigation.
Kinuyasha2 was actually generous enough to create their own flowchart for their route, but I decided to recreate it, mostly for cosmetic and clarity purposes, only to discover that the flowchart itself was not entirely accurate. So I had to dive through the code, consult it as I played, and find a couple of errors. Such as missing information, unclear variables, inaccessible content, and so forth. Between reading the code, rearranging all the nodes, and playtesting the permutations, I think I spent over 6 hours on this route, excluding the time I spent enjoying the story itself. I mean, I thought that the Antics route was the ultimate in terms of being a perplexing user-unfriendly visual novel, but this is pretty high up there too.
I complain, and believe I am justified in doing so, but this route did represent a great learning experience for me, where I discovered the Variable List behind the developer menu (Shift+D) and the console commands (Shift+O) so I could just set the burdensome Focus and Attraction points however you like by entering $ cFocusPoints = X or $ cAttractionPoints = X. Hell, maybe I’ll actually put all of the things I’ve learned by fiddling with temperamental Ren’py games to use and actually make my own Student Transfer Scenario one day… Or I could just keep writing my novels.
Dream Girl by CaptainCaption – Download – Flowchart
Between the releases of Student Transfer 1.0 and 4.3, barely any work has been done on the path where John summons the demon Circe. But that has not stopped Scenario writers… or rather the writer behind the Mistaken and Connie paths of Student Transfer, from approaching the subject matter in their own way. As the title implies the Scenario follows John as they predictably mess up their wish to real boot their idealized unspoiled waifu, but they are naturally turned into their dream girl instead… because demons are big fans of bamboozling people.
What’s currently available is very light, only detailing the first evening and morning of John’s new life as a college student and bartender, wherein they are tasked with piecing things together while dealing with the consequences of his poorly worded wish and hyper-specific fetishes. Considering this is coming from a long-standing member of the dev team, the quality on display here is on par with the main game, aside from the lack of music, offering a visually compelling and well-written affair with a number of nifty insights, careful details, and chuckle-worthy lines. Overall good stuff, and I’d like to see more.
Helping Zoey by Jasmine359 – Flowchart
Serving as something of a reinterpretation of the undeveloped Zoey Swap route in the base game, Helping Zoey finds John placed in an unfavorable predicament in trying to aid the Kiyoshi-obsessed Zoey in pursuing her inexplicable love. Being transformed into her and forced to spend the ensuing day in her shoes, where they predictably run into a winding path of scrambles that either has them coast through this uncomfortable situation, fight back against Zoey, or get into a situation where his very concept of identity is at risk. Either due to the unexpected malice of Zoey herself, who takes to the power of the alien remote quite easily or by a third party.
What’s here is ultimately good stuff that aligns itself well with the base game while boasting a similar level of quality, barring the delicate hand of an editor, but there are some elements that don’t fare quite as well. Such as John’s overplayed displeasure with the act of being a girl, his strong fixation on his penis, Katrina’s fondling of John while he is in Zoey’s body which was just… a bit strange, and a section where John prances about in Zoey’s naked body for an extended period of time and then masturbates. Zoey is presented as a teenager, appears to have sexually matured, and the dev team has a rule where they will not accept Scenarios depicting children in a sexual manner, yet included this in version 4.3. I don’t have a problem with this stuff, but I’m sure it’s a major turn-off for some people… in both ways.
Quibbles aside, the scenario offers a solid concept that I am happy to have seen explored, and look forward to where it can go if taken to an extreme, either by the dev team itself or the scenario writer, whenever they manage to finish the update they have been working on over the past two years. Wait, updates? Does that mean I am going to revisit these Scenario as they keep getting updated? I guess I can revisit some Scenarios after they’re completed but… I probably should have thought of this more than not at all.
Also, this Scenario is no longer available for direct download as the provided link no longer works.
John, Interrupted by Weebee – Download – Flowchart
A path that I have been waiting to see updated since Version 3.0 came out has been the “Jane Route” where John avoids all opportunities to use the alien remote and ends up using it to turn himself to his female alter ego. I specifically wanted this because there is a semi-developed route that was prepared leading up to V3, but it has not really been worked on since then. Anyways, somebody thought about pivoting away from the Runaway Jane outcome by having Holly burst in to see John Jane-ing it up, and let things progress from there. The ultimate storyline the writer settled on centers around John revealing the remote, or at least its ‘gender’ change function to his mother and sister, while stating a willingness to try it out for a while, mostly as a way to figure out what the deal is with mid-retcon Holly.
However, that original intention is soon sidetracked the following day wherein John goes to school as Jane, where they are tasked with presenting themselves as an entirely different person without rousing too many suspicions, as represented by a series of small choices and variable checks that results in a labyrinthine flowchart in order to properly represent things. All of which amounts to a take that feels more than appropriate given the subject matter and situation present throughout the game, and while the writing is a bit rough in spots, it does align nicely with what the base game offers. However, in its current form, it is a bit light on meaningful content or major plot progression, yet serves as a strong base that I would like to see the writer continue to develop over time.
My only major gripe, aside from the flowchart salad that is navigating this Scenario for so few distinct outcomes, stems from the approach taken with the presentation, which is more comparable to a more typical visual novel, being more conservative with expression changes and, aside from a little jaunt up invisible stairs, it’s pretty plain visually. But considering the writer of this Scenario has vision issues, this is more than understandable.
Remote Possibilities by EvilBlender – Download – Flowchart
The very concept of a device that can alter one’s mind, body, and overall life with just a few selective button presses is a genuinely terrifying one when placed in a realistic context, and that is especially the case when the individual wielding this great power is an unknown entity. That is very much the core concept behind this Scenario, which is set as a sort of follow-up to the Ordinary Life Ending from the base game, wherein John neither gets the spellbook or alien remote. Except the alien remote did wind up in somebody’s hands, and it is just a question as to who.
What ensues is akin to a more classic mystery story, but the criminal could literally look like anybody and is capable of doing just about anything on account of the memory manipulation capabilities of their deific doohickey. Their only potential weakness stems from their drive to indulge in mischief, malice, and assorted mayhem, particularly the kind centered around the genre-savvy ensemble of John, Kiyoshi, Katrina, and Kyoko as they put whatever cunning they collectively have together in order to see through the cracks left by this nefarious Swapper.
It is certainly an intriguing concept that spins so much of the base game on its head by wildly depowering the main characters and forging an unpredictable antagonist, and what the writer does with this concept is spin a variety of intersecting paths mixed in with inconsequential divergences that may or may not unravel into unique branches. It is quite sprawling for what it is, and while none of the permutations exceed a single day of content, the level of detail seen throughout each path is impressive, and amount to a rousing assortment of body swapping centered chaos where John and the K-Buds are put at each other’s throats, trying to hold onto what bonds they have while tolerating the meddling of The Swapper and holding onto their resolve… or not.
Overall, I really enjoyed what this Scenario had to offer, found the focus on the group dynamic of the four to be endearing, and quickly became intrigued by the preposterously difficult whodunit the storyline presents. Though, I do have a small package of bugbears with it. Such as Kiyoshi being very… Kiyoshi throughout the entire affair, Katrina pulling in a few character traits that I genuinely don’t remember her having, a general fondness for references that is neither consistent or particularly endearing and some of the language choices. While I do find the Scenario to be well written and largely in-line with what the base game offers, hearing these San Fransokyo teenagers spout “oit” or talk about how something is “taking the piss” was odd. Also, I’m pretty sure that “cummon” is not an accepted alternate spelling of “c’mon”.
Stuck by MissCelle – Flowchart
While most Scenario writers seem content with creating spiraling Student Transfer fan fiction, the game itself could easily function as a platform for body swap and TG fiction. Or really any fiction, but then you’re marketing it to a very niche audience. Anyways, Stuck follows some sap who is miraculously granted the ability to swap bodies, but with a catch that the power is passed on to whoever the last ‘swapee’ is. An intriguing idea that could easily veer into an assortment of outlandish scrambles, but it is limited to two paths, an exceptionally brief one where the protagonist switches bodies with a random proto-version of the maid character Elizabeth, and another newly introduced transgender character as part of a path that grabbed my attention, but not for the best reasons
Despite the author’s seemingly good intention of incorporating transgender themes into a story about body swapping, the storyline they came up with quickly begins tripping over itself and down the stairs of problematic language. Look, I’m not one to get into a hissy fit about politically correct language, but for a Scenario that subtly gives a shout-out to gaffs, and tries to be open-minded, this is not a good look. Pro tips for righting trans characters: Don’t have them use the term “real girl” to describe ciswomen, change pronouns when their stated gender changes (gender, not sex), and maybe don’t have trans characters steal someone else’s body before putting the burden of transitioning on the person whose body they just stole. I have a pretty high tolerance for this stuff, but if you’re trying to be progressive, maybe do a bit more research.
Also, I couldn’t find a direct download link for this Scenario, but it should be pre-installed in Student Transfer Version 4.3.
The Ghost of Jack Mallory by Blortle – Download – Flowchart
Much of the central conflict within Student Transfer, the base game and certain Scenarios, comes from the limitations imposed on the powers these characters have been provided with. John can either have access to a high-powered alien remote or ancient tome of magic, but they cannot be used indefinitely, and are physical objects that he can be separated from. But what if such limitations were removed and instead John, or some other character, and the ability to indulge in these fantastical powers freely? Well, the end result might look something like this Scenario, which is quite simply a skeleton of a series of branching storylines wherein the vindictive and audacious Jack Mallory perishes, but lives on as a ghost, freely possessing people and accessing their memories.
A novel concept for sure, but what Jack ultimately chooses to do with these newfound powers is rather… petty and a bit sad, really. Throughout the entire Scenario, he does little more than creep on his former students, calling them sluts and whores while taking their bodies for joyrides involving masturbation, drug use, and petty high school power-struggles. This limited scope for the character is not helped by the fact that the Scenario currently boasts a number of interesting branches the story could follow, while not developing any of them beyond a vague set-up, or quickly discarding them because… the writer got bored, I guess. Oh, and this Scenario appears to have been abandoned so it’s probably never going to get much better.
The Heaven We Were Promised by Lotus – Download – Flowchart
If you could distill what I love about TG, body swapping, and generalized transformation down to two categories, they would be the following: Goofy sexually-charged shenanigans that veer into obscenely outlandish outcomes and melancholic analysis of what it means to be a person and the bountiful minute and gross differences that constitute an individual’s body, mind, and overall existence. The latter of which describes The Heaven We Were Promised to a tee. Serving as something of an off-kilter reinterpretation and recontextualization of the magic and science routes, blending them into one while putting a heavy spoonful of the author’s own creative spice to it, for better or for worse.
The beginning segment, prior to making any committed choice, has John routinely pontificating about the profound opportunities he had been provided, boasting an erudite and flowery vernacular and a level of introspection that… honestly feels a bit out of character for somebody who is so prone to making dumb decisions. While I do find him to be a lot more well rounded when taking into everything seen within canon into consideration, this approach struck me as unprecedented, and unnecessary, as if the writer were attempting to nudge the player into adopting a comparable level of verbosity. Only for such efforts to wane when entering the main component of the current build, where John uses his alien spellbook with verbally powered magic to transform himself into a mute girl.
A transformation that I found to be handled with an impressive level of care, taking plenty of time to delve into the more minute details of this newly introduced character’s body and John’s thoughts on it as he gradually identifies the myriad of differences it shares with his own. All before he eventually uncovers traces of psychological stigma that lurk within his newly shaped and reformatted brain, allowing him to gain a more intimate understanding of what it is like to be someone else. Yet just as John veers towards the dark depths of despair, he is given the opportunity to work on his relationship with Setsuna, which reverberates with such a sweet and innocent twang that it was hard for me to not wallow in how adorable the two were getting near the end. Coupling this more serious and resolute narrative with a soundtrack that helps emphasize a more somber tone all results in a Scenario that could easily shape up into being something truly special and remarkable as time goes on.
So that’s the first sampler of Student Transfer Scenarios. Some were wonderful, some were good, some were… okay, and together they showcase a level of dedication and love for this game that should not be understated. I wanted to get through a few more, but these things take far longer than their estimated reading time implies, flowcharts are time-consuming to create, and I have a schedule to maintain. A schedule that I have recently modified to include a second exploration into this vast world of fan-made content sometime before the end of summer. But that’s all for now. So until next time, see ya.
…Oh, and be sure to recommend me some Scenarios if you can, because I honestly have not been following the ST scenarios community for years, and have no idea which ones are supposedly good or not.