The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.
A notable landmark was Jast's Tenshitachi no gogo (1985), a precursor to the modern dating simulation.
These came to national attention in Japan in 1986 with the release by d B-soft of 177, a game where the player takes the role of a rapist.
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Prior to 1985, girls were generally drawn either as normally proportioned adults or super deformed children.
Some games involved elements of force and brutality.
To be accessible to a more mainstream audience, it contained no erotic elements, seeking instead to create a "romantic" atmosphere.
Sega's popular bishōjo game series Sakura Wars also first saw publication in 1996 for the Sega Saturn; like Tokimeki Memorial, it contained no erotic elements.
Particularly notable in this respect are Leaf's To Heart (1997), and Key's Kanon (1999).