I’m so mad.
We finish the dungeon, but at what cost?
There’s some more weird surreal stuff in the dungeon, which is neat but also at this point, the dungeon is just kinda too long. In the final part (well, not counting the final room that I think I cheesed?), you have to gather people to be guillotined. More specifically, you have to get a sacrifice from a room of men and a room of women. Kinda weird that the guy sacrifice is happy to go along with you while the woman sacrifice is hysterical and needs to be placated by a baby before she goes along with you. Truly a game respectful of women.
Anyway, for a brief period of time, I got to see Alex get a cold guillotine death sentence dropped on him, fulfilling an accidental prediction.
Alex and Essentia ends up finding a Japanese man named Yuzu Imajo in Essentia’s dungeon, who’s implied to be one of Essentia’s past lives. Yuzu really wants to kill Alex, but he also acts weirdly homoerotic toward him and I couldn’t tell if it was a joke or not. Speaking of which, anyone that kissed Rory, hit me up, because I’m curious if it’s sincere or a gay joke.
Anyway, because he’s Japanese, he of course fights with a katana. After getting him down to half health, he hops into a mech, but it’s not like that meaningfully changes anything because every enemy in this game attacks in the exact same goddamn way. YIIK is perhaps the only game where I’m unimpressed by an enemy getting into a mech. I also like bo en and the music theme here is his contribution to the soundtrack, but honestly, it’s one of his weaker works.
Enough of Essentia’s Mind Dungeon though, it’s time to go to a secret part of Alex’s, which houses the portions of his mind divided among everyone else that shares his soul. It’s then revealed that Alex’s current reality is soon going to end. Various other forms of Alex have played direct roles in the ends of their realities, either being a direct cause of that world’s end or allowed it to end through inaction.
And then the game goes into the most disgusting shit I’ve heard from this game. Essentia acknowledges that different versions of Alex have hurt different versions of her many times in the past… and she chooses to help him confront the coming apocalypse anyway because she loves him.
There’s just so much wrong with this. For one thing, this is just abuse apologism. What Essentia’s saying is, “hey, you abused me in the past, but you were sometimes nice to me, so I’ll stick around.” This is just fucked. Victims should not stick with their abusers because they occasionally do the right thing!! This is even a tactic abusers use on their victims to get them to stick around, you stupid goddamn hack writers!!! This is not a good thing!!
But!!! The game portrays it as a kind, heroic act, which leads into the second problem. The whole thing reflects the harmful concept of men pushing their problems on their (usually female) spouses, expecting them to fully fix them instead of working through their problems. Don’t worry about your problems Alex, because Essentia will stick by your side and help you through them even though you don’t deserve anything in your miserable fucking life. She’s here to help fix his flaws in spite of the consistent history of different Alexes being abusive toward different versions of her, and that’s just okay????
Sure, throughout the whole thing, Essentia’s going on a spiel about how the better person is someone that fixes their mistakes instead of somebody being perfect, which would be a good moral – but it all falls apart because Alex is too easily forgiven! He doesn’t actually change his attitude toward everyone, everyone just lessens their standards toward him!!! Everybody keeps choosing to work with this stupid asshole even though he fucks up constantly and consistently!!!
Like, his apology toward Rory was nothing, and the fact that the apology itself is optional makes it feel insincere. Oh, and by the way, I actually learned something else fucked up while I was researching this! If Alex is consistently a dick to Rory, he kills himself offscreen in chapter 5 – but aside from losing him as a party member, there’s no narrative consequence whatsoever, despite the game supposedly being about becoming a better person! It doesn’t even factor into the multiple endings! You can’t write a narrative about a shitty guy becoming a better person if he can push a guy toward suicide without consequences, you dumb motherfuckers!!!!!!
In all of this, consider the fact that you, the player, is going to be a Soul Survivor of Alex. I mean, let’s be real, the name entry screen at the beginning matches up with the party one-to-one and alternate selves with the names you picked will probably show up, like at the end. Kaitie, Jawnsunn, I’m so fucking sorry I did this to you.
But anyway, this and the fact that all the Alexes are pieces of shit carries the implication that the game is calling you, the player, a piece of shit. It’s bad for two reasons. Like for one thing, no, the player is not a piece of shit, how dare this fucking game judge you morally when it has all this gross shit in it? But on the other hand, what if the player actually is a piece of shit and identifies with Alex? Well, don’t worry, because everybody will forgive you real easy and your own Sammy/Vella/Essentia will come along to fix you right up. Fuck YIIK, dude.
And another thing about this whole mess is that it shoots down one of the central themes of the game. Throughout the game everybody’s telling Alex that not everything is about him, that he should care about other people. But everything is literally all about him. Alex’s alternate self created the conflict that brought Vella to his reality! His alternate selves are tangled in all the past lives of Essentia! He is literally the cause of the end of the world in other realities and it’s up to the current Alex to save future ones!! Do you not see what you’re fucking writing!!! Do y’all have any self-awareness whatsoever!!!???
I’m emotionally defeated playing this game. There is little good to be found here. Go to hell Alex. Go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell
go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell