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Undertale’s creator conducted an interview with a cult-hit RPG dev, and it’s bizarre

Toby Fox asked Kikiyama only yes or no questions

An image of Yume Nikki’s protagonist, Madotsuki. There is a top-down view of the screen and she’s walking around a dreamy and pink pixelated world. Image: Kikiyama/Playism
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Toby Fox adds a certain playful twist to nearly all of his work. Now, we know his articles are no different. In his most recent installment of his monthly column for Famitsu, “Toby Fox’s Secret Base,” the creator did a games journalism first and interviewed the elusive creator of the indie cult-hit Yume Nikki, Kikiyama. The interview is equal parts bizarre and delightful — Fox only asked yes or no questions — and is definitely worth a quick read for anyone that wants a good chuckle.

The introduction to the interview starts off normally enough. Fox, who mainly developed major indie classics like Undertale and Deltarune, reflects on the lasting impact of Yume Nikki. For those who don’t know, Yume Nikki is a dreamy and ethereal RPG from 2004. The game, which doesn’t have combat, character levels, or a super clear story, garnered a cult-following for its unique artistic vision. Its mysterious creator, who goes by the name Kikiyama, had never once given an interview until earlier this week when they spoke to Fox.

As Fox explains, he didn’t think Kikiyama would talk to him, but put some restrictions on the interview to try and make it more approachable to the developer. For starters, Fox only asked yes or no questions. Also, Kikiyama got to pick the number of questions Fox asked. In the interview, Fox self-narrates his thought process in between Kikiyama’s one-word responses.

A good bit comes in when Fox mainly just wants to know if Kikiyama also enjoys creating little characters. Here is the section, which has been translated by Twitter user Chart, in full:

#4 Did you often draw creatures and scenes in Yume Nikki’s style before you made the game?

Why I asked this question: I used to draw weird creatures all the time during class. To me the art in Yume Nikki felt like something that would be thought about during school or work and scribbled into the corner of a notebook. (in a good way.)

Answer: Yes.

Toby’s response to the answer: I knew it!! I knew you were that kind of person. Well I’ll ask another then, I’m sure you’ve drawn something other than creatures before...

We do get some more informative bits. At one point, Fox asks if Kikiyama played Dream Emulator LSD by Osamu Sato, which was an early era PlayStation game where you could walk through a series of trippy and surreal environments. Kikiyama said yes, so it’s possible it could have influenced the creation of Nikki. Also, at the end, the only question not answered in a yes or no format tells us what Kikiyama’s Denny’s order would be.

It’s goofy. It’s fun. And it’s definitely a whole lot of Toby Fox. You can read the full English version on the translator’s website.

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