Would be even smaller without all the weird quotes in theo.c
"Stop slacking you lazy bum!",
"slacker slacker lazy bum bum bum slacker!",
"I could search... but I'm a lazy bum ;)",
"sshutup sshithead, ssharpsshooting susshi sshplats ssharking assholes.",
"Lazy bums slacking on your asses."
Interesting. 230,000 seems a surprisingly average wage to be stuck in a net cafe. I think there may be other factors at play - perhaps the part time nature of his job prevents him from being accepted into apartments.
edit: Just my opinion, but I'd say ¥1,000,000 is ... overestimating it a fair bit. Assuming 70,000 rent - a little less than what I pay in a 1DK quite near Shinjuku/Shibuya - 2 months cleaning deposit, 1 month rent in advance, 1 month to the agent, 1 month guarantor, ~20,000 disaster insurance fees, ~5万 to get very basic furnishings (Nittori delivers!) - comes in under half that.
Key money seems to be less and less common. More often than not, it's only one month, or zero with a 2 month cleaning fee.
Basically if you are a salaryman in some respected company (to which you are prepared to sell your soul for the rest of your life) getting an apartment, a bank account or really any service is trivial, since it is assumed that the company guarantees for you.
If you are NOT backed up by a major company you have more or less the status of a bum, and people will refuse altogheter of renting to you, at any condition, or ask for crazy guarantees.
Also a close reading of the article shows the intro dude was getting over twice the income of his fellow cafe residents.
So if overtime goes away and they only need him 3 days/week instead of current 6 days/week, and maybe he loses his temp job entirely for a few months, or gets stuck at 1/2 average income instead of twice for awhile... he could be homeless and penniless on the street in just a couple months. So saving up a very large cushion sounds wise to me.
A long time ago I went into my first bachelor pad expecting to spend X in the first month and ended up spending 2X. Things add up!
I'm a huge fan of old Sierra games but I still have very sad memories of having saved space quest II quite near the end, after having being kissed by the alien - and thus being unable to make few final moves :(
I love that kind of gameplay. That's what draws me to many J-RPGs.
Didn't do X? Can't get Y, no matter how bad you want it.
Most especially so when the game warns you in obscure ways. Plays which reward the player for being investigatory.
Example : A placed readable book on the shelf warns player not to do X if they want Y far before the decision comes about. Or the player has a bad premonition or dream about it. Foreboding which has obvious intent once that player has passed the threshold of no return.
It was stated earlier in the thread, but I think there is real value to setting an atmosphere in a game which rewards the player for being cautious, but curious. For example, the pie you're talking about had no real obvious use until the mob which requires it, right? Unless inventory space becomes an issue, a cautious player would likely hold on to that pie until faced with a challenge where they've tried other avenues. The type of player which tries every item in their inventory to succeed definitely isn't the target for this mechanics.
Reminds me of the colored potion system in nethack.
When well-crafted, it's a great thing to have such irreversible decision points. The fundamental flaw with the pie is it wasn't well-crafted (both in-game and in the larger ecosystem of adventure games at the time; players were encouraged to try everything when stuck, so they might eat the pie even if it wasn't an obvious solution to the current problem. "Can't climb this cliff. Maybe eating the pie will give me wings? That magic stick gives you wings in that other game...").