About the Game
Yume Nikki is an adventure game from the Japanese indie developer Kikiyama. Yume Nikki was first created in 2004, however, Kadokawa Corporation and Active Gaming Inc. have recently announced the plan on releasing an official reboot of the cult horror game. It is scheduled to be launched on Steam and Playism at the end of February this year.
Yume Nikki is Japanese for “Dream Diary”, the game itself is about a Japanese woman named Madotsuki, who goes out and explores surreal out of this world landscapes in her dreams. In these dreams, Madotsuki can collect various
“effects” that will then change her appearance and sometimes even give her some sort of ability. There is however, no actual goal to the game itself, but players will try to collect all of these effects. While in these dreams, Madotsuki will encounter a series of hostile beings and abstract psychological art.
For quite some time, Yume Nikki was shared in English through different fansites or even through direct download links. It is also a game that can be found quite difficult to really wrap your head around on how to really “win”. Yumme Nikki isn’t really a complicated game per say, its just that there is no actual direction or actual “goal”. Once the player jumps into the first dream, the player is on their own. From snowscape mountains, pitch black darkness to spectrums of colourful symbols, players are expected to just explore and try to find something.
Marketing Brilliance and the Classic Cult Scheme
Now heres where the game gets branded as a cult classic. Over the years, Yume Nikki’s developers, known only as Kikiyama, released new builds on their website. Once Yume Nikki teached version 0.1 back in 2007, Kikiyama disappeared and the website suddenly stopped updating. A year later, Yume Nikki took off in the west and collected a cult fanbase due to its unique, unusual visual effects and the very oppressive,terrifying tone which creates a mysterious mix.
Nobody really knows about Kikiyama, nobody knows the company’s whereabouts, age, or even who the people actually are. Fans have only found a contact for them and an email address from a readme file encrypted in an earlier version of Yume Nikki. Despite the mysterious whereabouts and lack of actual updates from the company, fans still post and write about the game. Fan art, blogposts and even reaction videos about Yume Nikki can be found throughout the internet, theres even a cozy subreddit thread.
The reboot of Yume Nikki appears to be a 3D adventure game that contains the influences from the original Yume Nikki game and other recent indie horror games. It will feature returning characters aas well as characters that the creator, Kikiyama cut from the original game.
The game is said to also contain no actual dialogue, just like the classic 2004 original. Yume Nikki’s release has built up the topic for some fans, but people still are unaware about who Kikiyama really is.
Before the big news of this long awaited reboot, it was thought that this Kikiyama may have died in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as people claim that their last ever reply to an email was before the earthquake hit.
A couple weeks ago, a countdown timer for the official release of Yume Nikki’s reboot has already started and has at least made fans know that the creator is at least active. Whether or not dissapearing for over a decade was all part of Kikiyama’s plan to create hype, it is still something big for the fans. The mysterious question mark on the whole point of the game along with the question mark on the actual creators, has probably added fuel to the fire.
Yume Nikki: Dream Diary will officially launch on the 23rd of February, after 16 years of wait. RPG Makers Kadokawa has stated that they are collaborating closely with the original creator, Kikiyama. Exactly how much Kikiyama is involved with them is still a mystery. Without a doubt, the original and reboot will always be something to try out.