We Don’t Have A Thread About yIIk and the Offensive Dialogue Keeps Hitting My Twitter Feed


I’m so sorry: our three prior mentions of yIIk, a postmodern RPG, highlight the game as a potential highlight of 2019, an RPG inspired by Earthbound…which of course means somehow it is filled with narcissistic whiteness that just feels like warts.

It may get worse. No, it will probably get worse. I remember hearing allegations of abusers as part of the staff in the past month, so it will almost, definitely, surely get worse.

How does this happen, exactly? How as a culture do we elevate these games in the first place? How do we as people who like to “avoid spoilers” find out the ways these games betray us before we create a culture to uplift them? And, if you’ve played the game and think this game’s being unfairly represented (which, personally, i think seems doubtful given the reviews widely citing an unlikeable protagonist,) how do we prevent a game from being killed by soundbytes?


This one complaint frustrates me because it’s not wrong, but that’s also the point. Alex’s entire story is painfully human and really familiar to me (I’m Latino but raised by a single white mom from a cop family). The self-loathing, the self-destructive habits, wanting to be better, learning to listen to others and show humility, ect. My favorite line in the game is him just expressing by how he feels like he doesn’t deserve to know so many amazing people, and it’s clear at that point he wants to be someone worthy of their trust and friendship.

I actually like that he’s a socially awkward moron who makes some ignorant statements early on, because his arc builds off this early ugliness really well. The cringey self-importance is something I know all too well. I played the game for review and really appreciated it, despite the technical and UI jank. I honestly don’t think the game is anywhere close to deserving being the newest whipping boy for Twitter comedians.

…but I was also not aware of the abuser accusation. Could you go into more detail?


I would, but it’s vague rumors I’ve seen on private twitters for people with more connections than I do; it’s not a subject I’ve investigated. However, I can say these same people knew things were wrong with Nick Robinson almost a full year before everything came out in public.



Had this problem with ROM too, and apparently LocalHost had some scummy behind the scenes horror too. What is happening in indie game studios.


I read there are ethnic slurs in the game, specifically regarding Japanese folks. Did you encounter this and if so, what was the context?
I also saw a screenshot of Satoru Iwata’s grave?
That and these screenshots posted at the top paint a negative picture in mind… but I also hadn’t heard of the game until people started talking about it on Twitter.


It goes to show how absurdly fast information is disseminated these days, or how cut off I am from Games Twitter, because I had only heard of this game literally six hours ago and now I check my feed and it’s like we’re a couple months removed from its release or something.


I don’t remember any slurs, but if any came up, it would make sense due to the game taking place in 1999 and a major element of the narrative being everyone still being closed off. Only two of your party members, Claudio and Chondra, has real experience outside the states, spending some of their childhood in Japan.

As for the grave, it’s a reference, and a weird meta-textual piece of symbolism. There are points where the reality of the game seems to change a little, meant to mirror Alex’s shifting perspective, and this shows up in weird ways like seeing the grave of Sammy, the missing girl, while Arieth from FFVII is praying to it. The game toys with nostalgia a lot, and it has a ton of reference for the classics (Micheal, your first party member, loves SNES era JRPGs and name drops a lot).


What do you mean “Betray us”? It was a game that people were interested in and it came out and it was not that great apparently? That feels less like a betrayal and more like a fact of human existence when we interface with pretty much anything in life. I dunno, don’t get too excited about things?


I bought this and haven’t played it yet. I’ve been very loosely following it for a while because I liked the art style. I wasn’t expecting too much from it, but in the back of my mind I’m still waiting for that indie jRPG that takes what I liked about older jRPGs and modernizes them. It’s like the bait “maybe this is the one!” haha.

I picked it up from Itch. That version isn’t set up correctly to download through their app, so you have to download it from the webpage and run it stand alone. That’s find, but strange considering how easy it is to set up. However, considering how many platforms this game came out on all on the same day, it’s no big deal. Still, a heads up.

I suspect, after seeing stuff mentioned in this thread and from twitter, that I’ll end up pretty mixed on that game. Irreverent writing and throw away references really put me off. Its what made me stop playing Cosmic Star Heroine. But we’ll see! Maybe I won’t find it so bad.

Though that “ginger” bit is pretty cringe-y!


While we on the mod team definitely recognise the necessity for a thread about a game like this, and keeping a place open to discuss the various issues surrounding it, we want to remind everyone not to speculate too much on rumours, especially coming from private twitters. Usually, statements about potential abuse appear on locked accounts so they can stay private for the time being. We don’t want undue speculation without further information, to help protect those who may be victims stay secure until they themselves are comfortable to go public with their information.

We will not be locking the thread, but we will be keeping a close eye on it. Please keep any discussion on that topic to a minimum, until/unless further information is provided by a substantiated source.


What bugs me is how few people seem to realize that’s clearly the point. Even Alex is frustrated by his own corniness in his inner monologs, and he does start growing out of it as the game goes on.


The ginger line is extremely on the nose. Like, he’s literally talking to a POC, making that joke.

I’m interested in this from the perspective of it being a story about a shitty guy who tries/wants to be better but is still kind of shitty, as I think it, like, resonates with some part of me that always wonders whether I’m still the same asshole I was 5 years ago. I’m just really worried about how well it handles it, because it hits kinda close to home and it seems like an extremely delicate balancing act.


Yeah. He’s a sheltered white kid from a well off family in the 1990s. That is exactly how a sheltered white kid from a well off family in the 1990s would sound. He even gets called out on his crap later on, and during the start of his trying to be a better person arc, he’s confronted with the realities of racial injustice, something he was also sheltered from.

As someone who didn’t get into being online (outside browsing flash cartoons and IGN articles) until the age of 18 and grew up in a primarily white conservative family, I can say from experience that the way Alex acts and what he understands of the world at game starts mirrors way too much of my own life for comfort.

This also makes Micheal a great contrast, because while he’s white, he grew up in a financially struggling family and has much more experience with the web (he started the paranormal message board that drives the plot). He adapts much faster than Alex because of it.


Cool, thanks for the explanation. It sounds like the main character is pretty unlikeable at first but grows throughout the game as their world expands? That’s a neat idea but I guess the developers have not telegraphed their perspective/understanding enough.


So I now know what the predator accusations are and they actually hold a LOT of water. But it’s not with the people behind the game, but rather the voice cast.

(TW: Threats of self-harm, gaslighting, emotional abuse, ect)

Long story short, the main character Alex was voiced by Kirbopher.

The post goes in more detail, but my experience with him was that he was friends with one Psyguy, a semi-popular internet personality who was outed during my ScrewAttack days as a predator grooming underage girls. Some of his circle eventually cut off ties with him and apologizes for associating themselves with him (like the guy who made Love and Kuso), but then you have old Kirbopher here.

He’s the sort of guy who threatens suicide to manipulate people into doing what he wants when confronted with someone asking why he’s still friends with a known abuser, and that’s the tip of the iceberg.

But you know the REALLY shitty part?

YIIK isn’t even special in hiring him.

He’s an anime dub actor these days.

He does voice work for OK KO on Cartoon Network.

He’s up there with Vic Mignogna (known creeper who once cried when he was asked to sign a gay fanfiction) when it comes to horrible human beings in voice acting.


I don’t know anything about any abuse allegations and will stay away from that one, but as for how this game got so high-profile, that’s easy. Lots of people love JRPGs - especially 90s JRPGs, lots of people liked Scott Pilgrim and Night in the Woods, and Kevin Smith movies, which this seems to be a weird mixture of.

However, I dunno where the line between “this game is calling out a guy for his 90s shittiness” is and “this game is just 90s shitty”. There’s a reason most Kevin Smith movies aged like Vanilla Ice. (And he’s only been getting worse and worse as time moves us further and further from 1996.)

So I was very interested in this game but reading what I’m reading, I don’t need another entitled slacker white boy story, sorry. I haven’t needed one of those for a long time now.


Just saw this which is enough to turn me off of playing it. Really specific wording but the best case scenario still involves a ton of ignorance


God whyyyy would you do this?


yIIk, more like yUCk. Why, God, whyyyy…


I think you’re right about best case scenario, GraphicViolets, although to be honest I have a hard time reading that shit as unintentional. It just feels so creepy.

There are also some replies there about trans folk getting deadnamed by Doki Doki Literature Club there that I found really eye-opening.