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Lies of P originally featured a mission based on ACAB

Pinocchio says ‘No’ to the cops

It began to feel like a fever dream to me. I distinctly remember the early promotional image for Lies of P featuring a puppet strung up to a gate like a crucifixion, yet I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. I remember the image vividly because while I had not thought much of it, my editor Kirk came into chat one day and pointed to the ‘APAB’ slogan written on the puppet's chest. “I like to think it means ‘All Puppets Are Bastards’.” he said, and we all laughed, thinking there was no way that someone would so brazenly put that in a game.

Before Gamescom this year I was offered an interview with director Ji-Won Choi, and the first thing I thought of was how I so desperately needed to know what APAB stood for, and if the image was indeed imagined since I could no longer find it. However, I didn’t want to make this a moment like when beloved Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto was asked “Is Tingle gay?” – he’s just a weird little guy if you’re wondering – and so I decided I would only ask this if we built a rapport throughout the interview.

Lies of P APAB

The interview was conducted through a translator as Choi speaks very limited English, and my Korean is almost non-existent, but despite the barrier, I felt that he was enjoying answering my questions. I prefaced by saying that my question was rather silly, but as soon as I said APAB Choi’s face lit up immediately. Not only was this confirmation that the image was real, but that there was a story behind it let me know that I was really on to something.

The translator relayed my question, and while Choi was talking in Korean one sentence came out in fluent English “All Puppets Are Bastards.” I couldn’t contain my excitement. While there are likely 10 people in the whole world who care about this image, I cared, and I was there in that room. The mystery of the crucified puppet had been solved, but even better, Choi was able to dispel the mysteries surrounding that image and why it is so difficult to find on the internet.

“That was one of the messages we were going to use in the game, but we ended up taking it out,” Choi explains. “We took it out eventually because we wanted everyone to enjoy the game exactly how we intended it to be enjoyed, and not judged based on any trends. We really wanted the world that we designed to be interpreted by the players exactly how we aimed it to be, so we took out factors that could be a little risky.”

“We respect everyone who might want to play this game, and we wanted everyone to get the best experience out of it. But you did see it right, it was ‘All Puppets Are Bastards’.” It’s easy to see why it was taken out, but it seems Choi was originally passionate about the messaging as it was included in a promotional image. Still, if you want to believe in All Puppets Are Bastards, just keep it in the back of your mind while playing Lies of P from September 19, 2023.