Remember the “Y2K” hype? I was more interested in playing Pokemon: Blue Version on my GameBoy Color than I was in the news in 1999, but I do vaguely remember my 5th-grade Computer teacher in suburban New Jersey assuring us that everything would be fine. The idea that computers all over the world would be rendered useless by a calendar year ending in “00” sounds like something a conspiracy theorist would think up, right…?
Soon, I’ll have my chance to find out. YIIK: A Postmodern RPG puts the player in the shoes of Alex Eggelston, a young, jobless graduate in suburban New Jersey who finds himself obsessing over conspiracy theories. The year is 1999, and our hero can’t forget the video he saw of a young woman who enters an elevator and vanishes. He decides to meet up with other online conspiracy theorists to crack the case. YIIK promises a somewhat dark story with Earthbound-like humor in its parody of hipster culture. There are over 25 hours of gameplay, with minimal grinding, and a full voice cast.
YIIK is described by its creators as a Japanese-style, turn-based RPG. To keep the combat engaging, the player must play Wario Ware-like mini-games to boost attacks. It is possible to get through the game without succeeding at the mini-games; the Ackk rep we spoke to at PAX East compared YIIK’s combat to Paper Mario. The gaming world seems to be moving away from the classic JRPG format, but it’s appropriately retro for this title. The art style was based on the failed Megaman Legends for the N64. It’s colorful and crisp, and may also remind players of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
The creative talents that worked with Ackk on YIIK include some familiar names. I’m excited to see that Toby Fox of Undertale fame contributed to the soundtrack. Hiroki Kikuta (The Secret of Mana) and Michael Kelly (VA-11 HA-LL-A) also composed music. Ackk wanted to avoid the trap of redundant RPG music, so the soundtrack is over 5 hours long. Anime fans may be pleased to hear that Clifford Chapman of Attack on Titan is in the voice cast.
I’ve played many JRPGs since the days of Pokemon: Blue Version, but few of them have been made by indie developers. Fewer still have let me use a vinyl record to attack my foes. YIIK: A Postmodern RPG looks to be a quirky, smart title with a lot of potential. The game has no official release date yet, but is projected to come out for PS4, PSVita, Steam, and Wii U early this year. That is, if the computers don’t all go haywire at midnight.