By: Derek Yu

On: September 2nd, 2008


Daniel Remar’s Iji is undoubtedly his most ambitious game. It’s also his best by far. No small feat from the guy who brought us Castle of Elite!

In the game you play the titular heroine – a human-turned-cyborg equipped with alien nanotechnology. Waking in a space station in the midst of an alien invasion, she must use her new-found powers to save what’s left of mankind. Somewhere else in the station is her brother, Dan, who guides her via the speaker system.

Iji is broken up into a number of very large sectors, most of which have multiple paths. Depending on what weapons and upgrades you have, you can brute force your way through each sector, or take a more pacifist approach by sneaking around and cracking systems (via a simple minigame). Or anything in between! These choices have the potential to alter the game’s narrative and affect new outcomes.

Combat is visceral and feels good, especially with the game’s excellent soundtrack pumped up. Once again, you have a variety of attacks at your disposal – you can, of course, take on enemies head-on, blasting them with your Nanogun or kicking them to death (if your Strength stat is high enough). Alternately, you can crack an opponent’s defense systems and sabotage their weapons, or perhaps defeat them in other, even less direct ways.

Overall, I’m just really impressed with how much there is to do in this game, and how much choice the player has in each situation. It’s a testament to Daniel’s strength as a designer that very little of it feels forced. And considering that there are also four different difficulty levels and a wealth of unlockable bonus features (some hidden in remote areas of the game), you can bet that you’ll be (happily) spending some quality time with this one. It’s destined to be a classic of some sort.

TIGdb: Entry for Iji

  • Xotes

    Oh, wow, that was fun. Went on a kill-em-all run through and got the One-Woman Army achievement. which made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I’mma gonna try for a pacifist run next.

  • Adalore

    AWESOME, I started hearing the YEAH! when I blew up lots of “bad guys” too… THOOM! eat foot.

    Though theres a few things I’d like, maybe sort of a ahem… walking kick where she takes another step foward while the kick delivers.

    Having quite a bit of fun, just wish I was able to figure out how to shoot off the shockwave thing like in the trailer… and like the police. those guys have no cool down seesh.

  • GeneralValter

    My favorite thing is the Shredder. Also, like Adalore I’ve lapsed into kicking everything to death. EVERYTHING

  • Stij

    Awesome, but there were a few thing that bugged me:

    Not being able to shoot while jumping, or aim in different directions was a pain at first. You get used to it eventually, but it makes the combat feel…stiffer, I guess? Like, there’s not a whole lot of acrobatics going on, just a lot of shooting back and forth.

    Also, it would’ve been nice to make stealth and cracking more useful. Right now, stealth is hard because you can’t crawl or hang off of ledges, and enemies spot you really easily. Having those abilities, as well as some sort of stun gun, would make stealth a lot more fun.

    Don’t get me wrong, the game is great, but I felt a little let down.

    (also, does killing an enemy by cracking them count as a kill for the purposes of a pacifist run? just wondering)

  • [GirlGamers!] Sandra

    The pacifist route is… extremely frustrating. There were times I’d purposefully take a rocket to the face just so that it would kill the scouts all mobbing around me.

    The part where you get the “truce” is ridiculous. If you even so much as bump them they’ll start attacking you, but avoiding them is nearly impossible because they’ll happily walk into a hallway and chill there for 5 damn hours.

    As some other people have mentioned, I felt the character could be more agile. She sort of walks slowly, and there aren’t really any tricks she can perform that have an impact on game play. I think setting up the reflector item separate from the others would be good, so you could bounce projectiles back without switching to it and waiting for it to recharge…

    And why am I getting Level 10 weapon ammo on the first stage?

  • MetalGearLefty

    Does anybody else have the problem where you start the game up and all you get is a black screen and the music? (I’m using Vista by the way.)

  • popopopo

    ” -Certain computers or graphics cards don’t like the gamma special effects, and will slow down or crash when they are used. A way to turn these effects off needs to be implemented.”

    Looks like we’re some of the unluckyones

  • AmnEn

    Well during my first startup I got some “FDD Filter” Warning for the game. Maybe that has to do with the slowdowns.

  • wormguy

    This game is freakin’ incredible.

  • Rolf Soldaat

    Best Indie game since cave story.

    finished it twice in a row despite having a fever.

  • Cougarten

    god damn last endboss…

  • Erahgon

    Haha, I found a song from Machinae Supremacy in an obscure minigame in the game.

    I knew I heard it somewhere, never beat “Hero 3d” though. What happens if you do?

  • mots

    great game, fucking slowdowns won’t let me play past when you turn on the reactor…

  • PHeMoX

    Funny game and yeah what happens when you beat Hero 3d??

  • Taltos

    Is it possible to get the endgame ranking of innocent? I was able to make my way to the first boss with the truce intact, but I did not see a way to get past the fight without killing him. Is this unavoidable?

  • Pip

    This game is bloody quality.

  • Ultimortal

    Taltos: you need less than 10 kills, not 0. The absolute minimum is 2 as pointed out by the manual, both of them are bosses.

    Due to a bug though, the game currently thinks you need less than 5 kills, not 10, but nothing is earned by getting the Innocent rank so you’re not missing anything important. This will of course be fixed nevertheless.

  • GeneralValter

    Holy shit. I finished the game. I can die happy now.

    That is, after I’m done collecting all the extras.

  • Adalore

    Aye, I ought to play more later, she does feel a bit stiff.

    well if there is a sequel in game style what ever, I hope the character you control can say… run’ish, roll, and maybe run kick.

    And yes, like it’s been said by… (uhh -look-) Sandra, I wish the shockwave thing was on it’s own cooldown, and it’s own trigger key, that alone will make it ultimately more useful.

  • Paolo

    I’ve just beaten it. The bosses are awesome! It’s a real labor of love =)


    Not compareable to GGC but the best game in i’ve played in a while.

  • Rolf Soldaat


    I can’t get less than 3 kills.

    I made Krotera kill himself but it counted as a kill :(.

    other than that I killed asha and iosa.

  • Pyrrhon

    Have you thought about releasing the source code? I would love to see how you created a game as advanced as this in Game Maker.

    Excellent job!

  • shockedfrog

    Rolf Soldaat – have you got all the posters yet? If not, do so – the things you learn on the way might give you a tip about how to avoid one of those kills.

  • Pnx

    Yesterday I picked the game up and played it as a pacifist. I think I got the best ending, dunno though, I’m going to go around and blow everything up this time.
    I got 4 kills…

  • Andy Hull

    This game needs a FAQ or walkthrough, HARD.

  • not you

    Sandra: I’m playing on Extreme, and not only does it bother me that the truce breaks when they walk into you when you’re standing still; apparently, if you get killed by the Komato near the end of the sector, and get revived at the checkpoint, that counts as breaking the truce. T_T

  • GeneralValter

    Alright, I’ve found all the posters. I also reached the super ultra mega secret sector, and it was awesome.

    Also, who here has found the scrambler? It’s frickin’ hilarious to read the dialog with it activated

  • Etaoin Shirdu

    Does anyone know how to get the rocket launcher in sector 2? I can’t figure it out :(

  • shockedfrog

    Scrambler is awesome.

    I’ve still yet to play through Hard/Extreme/Ultimortal. I’ve been looking for all the supercharges, think I’ve got most of them now. The one on level 8 was nice, it was something I was surprised wasn’t included and then I woke up and realised it was. :)

  • Etaoin Shirdu

    Okay, never mind sector 2, I figured it out. The real question is, how do you get the posters in sectors 4, 5 and 6?

    The measure of a great game is how much you want to find the secrets :)

  • Pnx

    Hehehe, if you want tips on how to get the posters try looking at the super secret poster hunters logs in sector 3, you’ll need to figure out how to get in there yourself though.

    I need help though, I’m at the tenth poster but I can’t figure out how to break the glass, I’ve got every single kind of weapon but I still don’t know how to get it, I’m afraid to try nuking it from afar, because I think that’ll destroy the crates and I don’t want to fight asha again.

  • Max

    Does anyone know how you get the supercharge in sector one? I can see a small room on the map that probably holds it, but I can’t figure out how to get to it!

  • Genisi

    I absolutely love the graphical style used in this game. It’s a sort of Out of This World / Prince of Persia sort of thing. The game is pretty fantastic. Once I beat the game, I’m going to be combing the levels for any secret areas.

  • Pnx

    Well I managed to get the tenth poster and completed sector z, it was kinda fun, though I did die 9 times. I suppose the only thing left for me to do is complete the game on extreme and try to find out how not kill two of those bosses.

  • Valkyrie

    I got the posters, but I must be misreading the logbook in Sector 3. I’ve looked next to every lift in Sector 1, all two of them, and can’t find anything. The only new thing I found this play through was the end boss pre-charge (which adds on another 5-10 minutes with my lag).

  • White

    Valkyrie: There’s a logbook in sector 9 that will give you another hint to Sector Z’s location.

  • Tijn

    Just had to give my compliments. I just can not believe this was all created with Game Maker. Wow! That sure explains the lag, though :(

    But seriously, what a great atmosphere, what a great polish, a work of love in all respects. Just when you think: Well, here he probably stopped creating more for this game, other sections and plots pop up… All the time! Had a friend watching the last section and endfight, just as amazed as I was.

    Thanks for a great story and a great game! Really!

  • coloFool

    I have to agree – great game, astonishing level of polish for a GM Game with some great ideas and level design.

    But I also have to second that Iji feels a little bit stiff, since she can’t shoot in mid-air or when crouching. Also a low kick would have been great.

    All in all: really great job!

    But damn is that last boss tough. Maybe I just haven’t found his weak spot yet, but I can’t even crack his first version. That foot stamp combined with the death ray is really hard to dodge and my rocket launcher is always empty too soon. Any hints on beating this guy?

  • Xotes

    One thing: The Resonance Deflector. When he fires one of those charged shots at ya at the end of his barrage, you use it and VOILA, it reflects and does massive damage to him.

    ‘Sides, if he pulls out the death ray foot stomp, you let him gather too many of the energy ball things. And that is bad.

  • Bubbinska

    Great game. I’ve played through once and am now working my way through again to get all the posters, supercharges and hopefully a pacifist (or close to) rating.

    Has someone produced an FAQ, walkthrough or guide yet?

  • Etaoin Shirdu

    Max: Look around for walls that can be broken with a rocket launcher. Of course, you don’t have a rocket launcher in stage one…

  • Oddity

    Is there one supercharge in every sector? I’ve found seven of them so far, but several runs through the remaining sectors (5, 7, and X) haven’t turned up anything.

  • Pnx

    Damn it, how is it that you get a pacifistic way to not beat those bosses?

  • http://del_duio.sitesled.com Del Duio

    Another Rush fan, hooray!
    I knew there were at least 4 of us.

  • shockedfrog

    I’d be happy to help out anyone who’s writing a walkthrough, or to start one myself, but I’m a bit concerned that anything a walkthrough for this game could say would end up just spoiling it. The logbooks already offer excellent tips, and it’s not like some games where difficulty in obtaining a certain thing means other things are inaccessible – the extras in Iji, most of the fun is in finding them.

  • Andy Hull

    shockedfrog- What would be nice though is a guide on what stats to increase in what order so that the secrets are all available…

    Its super frustrating to already have spent your points, and realize that you need a STR of 3 or TASEN 3 and you have no way to get it without restarting from one or more levels back. I am in no mood to play through the game again to get a secret that I can’t get because I didn’t stat level correctly. :-

    (I could be mistaken, and there could be a way to get every secret with even the base level stats… but I am pretty sure not…)

  • Nic

    If you’ve played through the game at least once and have been diligent in reading logbooks, point distribution shouldn’t be a worry anymore.
    (also, you can unlock posters through single-sector plays)

  • Dominic White

    There’s a book quite near the end (that is very hard to miss) that tells you how to respec your skills if you have a setup that won’t get you where you want to be.

  • Andy Hull

    Argh! So there is a way to respec your skills, but you won’t tell me, so I have to play through the whole game again anyway to find out!

    lol. :)

    Seriously though, thanks for the tip. I stopped reading all the log things when I realized it was going to double the time it would take to play the game. srsly lots o text in this game.