Theory: Magic mushrooms were to KIKIYAMA what alcohol was to ZUN.
I understand why this seems like such a wild theory to most people. I think I downloaded it back in 2006 or 2007 to see what the Uboa stuff was about, but I put it aside until recently at least, when I got into psychedelic drugs beyond just pot. If you haven't tried the stronger psychedelics (mushrooms, LSD primarily), then there is probably not going to be any way you will have any insight into this. I am glad Madotsuki-chan stayed a fixture on /jp/ through the reactionfaces, or else I might not have been reminded of the game.
I should preface this by saying I'm a responsible drug user, and it's about intellectual and personal pursuits for me. We are talking, like, Aldous Huxley drug use, not Charlie Sheen drug use. When I started using psilocybin, more commonly known as magic mushrooms, it very immediately became clear to me that this game was inspired by drugs. Not only that, but the biggest shocker I've discovered yet is that the game seems to be intuitive while under the influence of strong psychedelic drugs in a way that it is not when played in an ordinary state of consciousness. By intuitive, I mean, I seem to be able to figure out where to go and how to interact with the game world with the same sort of reasoning process that the game's creator had, or at least the process that he expected players to have. When I played the game without drugs circa 2007, I had no idea where to go and generally felt completely lost in the game world, and often bored. Now I feel very differently.
It seems clear to me that KIKIYAMA was influenced by either psilocybin (mushrooms), LSD, or both, and possibly other psychedelics as well. The kind of primal, archaic art style found in much of the game, is one that is commonly associated with the psychedelic experience.
Now, it's easy to just write the theory off, especially if you have never done drugs. But if you have done them, you may agree with me that the imagery in the game is so strongly representative of the kind of primal, archaic sights of the psychedelic experience that there is no question that this was their inspiration.
Magic mushrooms were not always illegal in Japan. They were only criminalized in 2002 due to the World Cup 2002 (soccer) being held in Japan that year . They were common enough that you could buy them from vending machines near love hotels, and they were extremely cheap. ApparentPost too long. Click here to view the full text.