YIIK Dev Responds to Claims of Plagiarism

Earlier we reported on accusations that YIIK: A Postmodern RPG had plagiarized lines from popular Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Now the game’s creator Andrew Allanson has responded to our contact.

“YIIK contains quite a few homages to the writer Haruki Murakami. Our intent was to include little nods to Murakami’s lesser known works as tributes. Within the game, the tributes served a narrative function,” Allanson said.

“As the game revolves around the themes of broken reality, much of what the protagonist Alex experiences is colored by the lens of fond or strong memories,” he added. “We picked out a couple of novels, films and video games to become the subjects of Alex’s memories that influence his reality in-game, through the allusions we talked about. Some of these appear as more subtle homages to other authors like Chuck Palahniuk, Thomas Pynchon, David Mitchell. Since it looks like people are asking specifically about the reference to After Dark, let me try to explain our intentions as best I can.”

The explanation behind the offending scenes in our previous report is the “Proto Woman character speaking the words from the novel is part of a distorted reality being presented to Alex,” and as such “they’re not a character from the regular, grounded reality Alex believes he knows. A regular person would have been written to speak with the intention and knowledge that they were quoting a book. Instead, the role ‘Proto Woman’ plays is more like a pseudo ‘narrator’ of After Dark.”

Lastly, Allanson elaborated a bit on the homage:

The idea is, Alex has read After Dark, and his fondness for the novel is seeping into his reality with vocal and physical manifestations calling his attention back to the passages of the book now living in his subconscious. In that context, we thought it would not be in-character for “Proto Woman” to cite that their words hail from Murakami’s novel, since they don’t have the awareness that their words are actually an excerpt from a book.

Also, it was our intention for Alex to be utterly bewildered by the things that he’s seeing and hearing all around him. Certainly the YIIK player might realize these are words from After Dark, but we thought it would be difficult for Alex to consciously realize in that moment that he was listening to a direct excerpt of the novel.

In short, it seems Alex’ subconscious and the ever-crumbling reality resulted in strange beings like Proto Woman being able to use elements of his subconscious to communicate. These include Alex’ memory of the book After Dark.

YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is out now on Windows PC and Mac (via Steam), as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can also find our review here.

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.