Anyone familiar with dating sims and romance visual novels will recognize the term "flag" in that context.
"Raising a character's flags" essentially means that you make choices that improve your standing with that character and which are more likely to put you on his/her route.This terminology is quite common even outside of visual novels in anime.They are also sometimes put under the category of neoromance.The most common objective of dating sims is to date, usually choosing from among several characters, and to achieve a romantic relationship.Many Western players new to the genre miss out on that fundamental aspect of the experience, writing dating sims off as shallow and basic after dipping their toes in.
We’re going to offering some hints at how to get the most out of all manner of dating sims, along with some places to start.
There are other terms, like "affection points" (a slightly different system) which are easy to understand, but "flags" is at least as common as any of those.
What is the reasoning behind the terminology "flag" in this context and where does it originate?
If you’ve ever been curious about the genre, this is your excuse to jump in. Bad ends, like the aforementioned assassination, exist to teach players how to engage with most dating sims.
Since dramatic romances are often the main focus of these games and are necessary to lead the stories along their branching paths, you are expected to fulfill your obligation as a good sport and at least attempt to fall in love.
The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven games (ren'ai games), a subject matter which is stereotypically associated with the visual novel genre.