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Ends can be fairly bittersweet: a good end can involve the couples in a long distance relationship or a deathbed confession of love, but it does involve the couple getting together.
In most games, the relationship between the avatar and the potential suitor is measured in a meter.
The cheap price of the game helped spread it to the popular consciousness.
Popularized by a Let's Play on the website Quarter to Three, Hatoful Boyfriend took the Internet by storm, as shown by a massive amount of fanart and fanblogs on sites such as Tumblr and Pixiv, and helped bring dating sims back into the public consciousness.
While Hatoful Boyfriend uses many typical dating sim characteristics and many character archetypes featured in dating sims, it is notable for one parodic option: all of your suitors are birds.
Despite Western thought, dating sims are not necessarily pornographic.
In fact, pornographic dating sims are a sharp minority in commercial dating games.
Modern games have optional "social link" features, where you can build up relationships between supporting characters granting different benefits.
These are often found in Tactical RPG games, where unlocking a social link can boost certain stats.