“Most of the short stories by Murakami happen in a very calm and realistic setting and the introduction of a strange and unexpected character or a small event will break the atmosphere and change everything. Suspense and fright are very clear elements that have been ingrained in my mind while reading Murakami’s stories,” Saedi explains. “These feelings, and also Murakami’s knowledge about music and many aspects of technology, made me think that a videogame can be made by combining them.”
When you play Memoranda, those small surreal moments start to appear almost immediately. There’s an item that will disappear from your inventory and mysteriously appear back where you found it, and at one point you’ll come across a missing person’s poster that features both a human and a humanoid elephant. These moments are both jarring and familiar; they’re weird, but small enough that they don’t necessarily feel completely out of place.
Saedi found this sense of strangeness a perfect fit for an adventure game, a genre that’s already home to surreal experiences like the classic Grim Fandango, or more recently, titles like Botanicula or Broken Age. It also happened to be Saedi’s favorite genre, and was the only kind of game he played when he was younger. “I probably could not have made any other type of game,” he says.