Ven Déc 22, 2017 21:32
Mer Fév 07, 2018 13:02
Apparently Kendo and Marvin play a larger role in RE 1.5. Any word on if they survived the game or met their demise?
Yes, but I can't talk about this. Wait for IGAS's game. They have the details. John and Roy were friends.
Did Ada work as a spy at the mansion, or just assumed the role of a dead women for her cover story?
At first, Ada was just the name of John's boyfriend created by Iwao. She appeared as an Umbrella researcher in BH1.5, an Umbrella spy in BH2, then a spy working for Wesker in CV.
Jeu Fév 08, 2018 18:51
Jeu Fév 08, 2018 21:16
Ven Fév 09, 2018 18:34
Mer Juil 11, 2018 19:02
Sam Oct 13, 2018 22:07
Lun Fév 04, 2019 20:05
Lun Fév 04, 2019 20:23
Ven Mar 08, 2019 23:47
Sam Mar 09, 2019 13:38
Mer Nov 06, 2019 22:26
So anyone who knows of or about Welsh will know that he has a vast knowledge of behind the scenes information. With connections to Capcom and it's former staff Welsh has gathered a truck load of information over the years particularly regarding Resident Evil 1996 version, scrapped games and so much more. Also being able to translate Japanese means Welsh is one of the key players in unlocking a lot of unaswered questions us Western fans may have. So I conducted some what of a Q&A with Welsh. Here are the results.
What can you tell me about the extra mansions in the original Resident Evil? Perhaps the rooms, enemies, plot or anything specifics.
Originally, there were four mansions (also known as houses): 1-The Mansion, 2-The Lodging House (Dormitory), 3-The Crumbling Guest House and 4-The Tower. Artwork and maps were drawn for all of them. Hideki Kamiya handled the map for the tower, but it was cut. The third house was cut earlier. Other cut areas include a graveyard, swamp, lake and two cabins. Oh, and the helicopter was originally located away from the mansion on a platform.
Is there any information on PlayStation Portable available?
There's just a trailer online at YouTube, which shows someone speaking about the production. It includes one piece of artwork that looks like a city street with zombies.
Biohazard City of the Dead is listed at Project Umbrella yet there is no information regarding this game other than it being a supplemental story to Bio3.
I read the design document for this. It's basically the prototype for Outbreak, but with the characters from BIO2 and 3. Some of the characters include Brad's brother, Enrico's ex-wife, the head doctor at Raccoon Hospital, a member of the Big E and Ada Wong.
So Hunk’s SHIP plot is basically he is delivering the G-Virus to Umbrella via a cruise ship. Obviously the ship is attacked but by whom? Any information on this? Perhaps the US government? I do not believe the Rival Company existed at this point.
Everything we know is listed. The only piece of info I found was an interview at an old Tokyo Game Show in which a member of the press said someone at Capcom mentioned it was based on the cancelled version of BH3. Makes sense.
You mentioned to me before about a Jill Valentine scrapped game for the GBA with her infiltrating the Chicago Labs? Is there any for information on this? When it took place? Any other characters? What virus was involved? Why was this cancelled?
Took place directly after the events of BH3. Jill Valentine is charged with treason and her death is faked by the US Government so she can become a "ghost" in a team of Special Forces. It starts in a jungle full of BOW the Government uses for training and ends with her taking down the Chicago HQ, led by Drake Spencer. He mutates at the end. The Japanese daughter of the man who created the Hunter and was killed by Umbrella for trying to leave the company was supposed to appear as well.
Any idea what happened with Steve’s body? Wesker’s report kind of made a big deal about that and other than Wesker acquiring the G-Virus from his body it wasn’t mentioned again.
It was left ambiguous for future games. Wesker extracted the t-Alexia virus from his body.
I am aware that you have a good friendship with several developers so have any of them ever mentioned to you plans they had made for certain characters? Perhaps Jill or Chris?
Yes, for Jill, but those plans were scrapped. See above. I can tell you that she arrives at Chris' hideout in the BH3 epilogue, but he's already left for Rockfort Island to save Claire. He left his knife behind for Jill to find - that's the guidepost.
Is there any known reason as to why Capcom choose to kill Brad Vickers in the beginning of Resident Evil 3?
Kawamura made the decision to explain how Brad became a zombie in BH2.
Rebecca Chambers disappeared and never resurfaced until very recently. Did Capcom ever have other plans for her or was she ignored because of Mikami’s disliking of her character.
Someone said she would have changed her name and appearance, and fought Umbrella from a laboratory using the knowledge she gained about t-virus in the mansion.
Ok I have to know regarding Chris and Jill is there any evidence of scrapped material that suggest they would be dating? From developer to developer Capcom seem to have no consistency regarding this and constantly teasing and then changing their minds.
There may have been talks during different productions, but it was never realized.
In Chris’s RE3 epilogue there appears to be blood on Chris’s knife? Any information on where this blood came from.
I asked about it, but it was never explained. The blood appears in early versions of the epilogue, so I assume it's from an idea they decided to change with the knife being a grave marker.
Any idea at which point Wesker approached Barry during the events of Remake? The fact that Barry loaded a rocket launcher onto the helicopter suggests that Wesker may have blackmailed him prior to the mansion.
I asked Iwao about this. Barry is basically the black cop from Lethal Weapon. Wesker told him Umbrella was monitoring his family and they'd be killed if he didn't cooperate. On the other hand, Kamiya said he'd been blackmailing Barry for a long time, but I'm inclined to believe writer, rather than the lead planner.
Apparently Kendo and Marvin play a larger role in RE 1.5. Any word on if they survived the game or met their demise?
Yes, but I can't talk about this. Wait for IGAS's game. They have the details. John and Roy were friends.
I heard somewhere that Enrico was jealous that Chris rose up in the ranks of STARS so quickly and surpassed him becoming Alpha team’s second in command. He even suspected that Chris was the traitor in the events of the mansion incident due to his disliking of him. Any truth to this?
Paul dug up some info about Enrico being chosen as the leader of STARS, but Umbrella stonewalled it and picked Wesker as their spy. I assume this was accomplished due to their donations to the team and having Chief Irons in their pocket, who was already accepting bribes by this point.
What can you tell me about Arklay City? A small city that appeared in the top right of the Raccoon City map.
I think this map was created for the Outbreak site. Project Omega extracted it for me, or vice-versa, and I later released it online after the site went down. That's all I know.
Is there any information that can be shared from unused Outbreak characters, ideas, or stories?
A lot of the unused characters are available online. Just do a search on google or YouTube. That being said, hackers extracted the Day in Raccoon subtitles. The story goes that two Umbrella researchers (husband and wife, if I recall) escaped to the motel from the underground lab and started killing guests to find a cure to their t-virus infection.
Does Capcom Japan have any type of canon policy for the series?
There was a kind of bible. Not sure if they use it anymore, but there's defiantly notes from other games which they follow. And BH archives is often referred to by designers.
Did John actually survive RE1? I know they thought about bringing his character in if they did a RE2 Director's cut.
Kamiya had an idea to bring him back in BH2. He was supposed to be infected and help the player out because he was Ada's boyfriend, but it was never used to my knowledge. It's mentioned in the BH2 strategy guide in a Q&A with Kamiya.
Did Ada work as a spy at the mansion, or just assumed the role of a dead women for her cover story?
At first, Ada was just the name of John's boyfriend created by Iwao. She appeared as an Umbrella researcher in BH1.5, an Umbrella spy in BH2, then a spy working for Wesker in CV.
In one of the cell phone adaptations for RE1, Jill is seen rescuing a survivor. Was there plans for any mansion personnel to survive?
No, but there were plans to have more civilians running around in BH3. Cell phone games are different teams.
The files in RE1 and remake mentions a few areas we never get to see in game. Was these areas cut?
As far as I know, all the areas in the files are seen in game.
Similarly, other versions of RE1 have rooms unique to that particular version (Pachislot has the secret computer room and one of the cell phone games has a room full of cells, one of which belongs to GT) could there's rooms fit into the canon?
Maybe. Pachislot included Wesker's monitor room, which was included in the story. So I guess that one could be canon.
Any information on the security teams posted at the mansion? There's no real signs of them unless they're meant to be the human shaped cocoons in the caves.
I asked Iwao, and he said it was a small specialized team similar to the SAS. So probably guards similar to the USS in BH2.
Coke or Pepsi?
If given the chance, would you completely remake RE1? If so how?
I thought about it, but at the end of the day, it's too much work. Graphical upgrades are restored content is defiantly possible, but at the end of the day it was cut for a reason.
Is there a reason why UBCS has a public face but the USS don't? Considering the names, wouldn't the other way around make more logical scents?
The UBCS only had a public face when Umbrella broadcasted them saving civilians to prevent the US Government from bombing the city early. This is never shown in the game. The USS, on the other hand, are just special forces under the control of Umbrella executives. The best special forces teams in the world are the ones with the least info available on them. Perhaps USS is similar?
Is there any information on the version of Revelations with the Chris Clone?
Not publically. It's obviously from an earlier plot thread that they didn't follow-up on.
Do you think Blue and Red Umbrella are stupid/lazy names?
I like it!
Is Nikolai alive or dead? I know there's evidence on both but was there ever anything definitely stating one or the other?
It was left ambiguous for future teams to decide on, like Wesker in RE1. However, Code: Veronica seems to indicate he sold the combat data to Umbrella to create its latest BOW, which appear in the game. If he survived, he probably joined a rival company after Umbrella collapsed.
Is there any information on the cut content of Code Veronica?
There was a mini-game featuring Steve, Rodrigo and a BOW fighting game. The European Ashford’s were originally the German Krueger’s. There's some leftover Nazi textures in the game data.
Was there any unannounced RE games in production that was cancelled? Any information on them?
The Gameboy colour game was announced and cancelled, as well as various versions of 4 and 0 for the N64. There's also the GBA game mentioned above and the portable game.
In RE1.5 we see a map of Raccoon City that's not in Archives map. This map is also in RE2 and 3 is it just a left over from early Raccoon City maps? Could it still be just an unseen area? The Fate of Raccoon City mentions a few districts not mapped out after all.
It's the map that appears in the lobby of the police station in 1.5, just a recycled texture. Although it might show a different version of Raccoon City, I suspect it was created with little thought. That's why a different map appears in BH3.
I remember you telling me that Jill originally started out as Rebecca? Does this mean that she played the role of Rebecca in Chris’s scenario and the game was single player or was she a rookie like Rebecca and still had her own campaign?
Her character started out similar to Rebecca. She was extremely intelligent (chemist?) and from Tennessee, if I recall. Also liked horseback riding as a hobby. Her surname was Morrison at that stage.
Tell me a secret about RE1 that you have never told anyone.
All the Hunters are female.
What can you tell me about any original gameplay mechanics that got scrapped from RE1? For instance weapons, items, scenarios, BOWS?
It started off as a first-person shooter. The item drop system from 0 was supposed to appear, as well as a light on each character. There was also a system to barricade yourself in a room so zombies couldn't break in - kind of like the start of RE4.
Why did Capcom find it necessary to move away from Raccoon City?
This is explained in a BH3 interview. Raccoon City vanished, along with the PS1. But they ended up going back on the PS2 with the Outbreak series. Boston was used as a reference for that.
If Sherry is infected with G and the Vaccine Devil then essentially she is a G human right? Why is this not mentioned or used in Biohazard 6?
There was an earlier setting where she had the power to defeat Wesker, but it got scrapped in favour of regenerative abilities in BH6.
How can the Drama Albums be considered non canon when they were written by Flagship? Christine Henri is introduced in the Drama Albums a returning character in RE5.
The RE2 EX files include included info from the Drama Albums to promote the Drama Albums. I don't think they're canon. In the official setting, Umbrella's Chicago HQ ordered the attack on Birkin, not Umbrella France.
In the Fate of Raccoon Drama Album Jill Valentine is reported to be infected with low quantities of the T Virus. Was this ever elaborated upon in any other sources?
Yeah, it's mentioned in BH5. *Edit* Explained what I meant by this question and he basically just said its non canon.
Any information regarding Billy post Resident Evil Zero?
Not that I'm aware of. He probably departed to another country, through Mexico maybe, to escape his death sentence. Or recruited by the Government.
Why did Carlos Olivera deem it necessary to have multiple plastic surgeries?
He had plastic surgery prior to BH3 to change his identity, and maybe afterwards to change it again according to a writer.
At the end of Outbreak in a cut scene that shows the remains of Raccoon City after the bombing it mentions that something had survived the blast and remained in Raccoon City, any information on this?
No. The mansion was originally closed off by the Government at the request of Umbrella. Maybe the city was similar. I assume it was a biohazard zone for several years after, kind of like Chernobyl.
Could you tell me anything about the scrapped scenarios for Outbreak?
See above. Birkin and the USS were meant to appear in Below Freezing Point, but it was cut down considerably.
What was the bomb that was used to destroy Raccoon City? All I know is that it was a prototype.
In the Outbreak scenario, multiple missiles were fired from an Army base in Dallas, Texas. In BH3, it's an experimental thermobaric (?) bomb. Other sources mention nuclear, but I don't think nuclear is canon. Not by former staff anyway.
Hope you enjoyed.
"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"
October 30, 2017 at 11:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply
Interview by Colvin. Translated by News Bot & Colvin.
Kenichi Iwao (岩尾賢) contributed heavily to the conception, design, writing, and game mechanics of Resident Evil. From steering beta scenarios away from a science fiction influence, to writing the game's most celebrated files! Iwao-san can be credited with creating Resident Evil's famous logos, characters and cut-scenes, including the iconic 'zombie head turning' scene.
CHE: Kenichi-san thank you so much for speaking with us today. How did you initially get into game design?
KI: I liked game-books and tabletop RPGs such as 'Dungeons & Dragons' and 'Traveller'. I also liked video games and believed that video games would replace movies and television as the main source of entertainment.
CHE: How did you first become involved with Capcom?
KI: I was hired as a planner for Capcom and joined the Biohazard team three years later, when I was 25 years old.
CHE: What sort of planning work were you responsible for?
KI: I did scenario planning, game system, sound planning and character planning.
CHE: How long did a typical Capcom scenario take to write at that time?
KI: It took about a month just to write.
CHE. Which Capcom games did you work on prior to Biohazard?
KI: I worked on Disney's Magical Quest 3 starring Mickey & Donald (I created the basic design draft of the game), Demon's Crest and Breath of Fire III. After I left Capcom, Final Fantasy XI, Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, Wings of the Goddess, Final Fantasy XIV, EIN HÄNDER, Parasite Eve 2, and Blood Brothers.
CHE: Who coined the term 'Survival Horror'?
KI: It was Mikami-san who coined the survival horror term.
CHE: How did you end up working on Biohazard and what do you recall from those first few days?
KI: I entered the Biohazard team at Mr. Mikami's request. I joined when they were designing the first characters. Mikami-san originally thought of a simpler worldview of defeating a mad scientist in a mansion and rescuing a good scientist. He spoke about saving a doctor, who would hide throughout the mansion, at every stage. Nothing had been decided. When I heard Mikami-san's story it sounded like Rockman (Megaman) and I thought it wasn't suitable for horror. I persuaded Mikami-san that an action game type setting, similar to Rockman, didn't match horror. Seeing the proposal, I thought this is no good. I thought that I had to start over from the beginning.
CHE: What do you consider to be some of your major contributions to the game?
KI: I wrote the storyboard events for the opening and ending scenes. Mikami-san was the cinematographer for those. However, his work ethic was to discourage me, and the contents changed considerably from the storyboards I wrote after the scenario. I also wrote most of the text, such as the diaries, and newspaper files. And set the names, organizations, science, firearms, monsters and others. As I'm a fan of Queen I also included the "MADE IN HEAVEN" jacket into the game!
CHE: In an old GamePro interview, Mikami mentions that he wrote 40 pages of script and flowcharts. Did you use those as a base for 'Biohazard'?
KI: Mikami hadn't written a 40 page scenario, at least I never saw it. I was only told about the scenario of the Rockman-like scenario to rescue a doctor. I informed him that in this situation he wouldn't be able to get the desired adult demographics. I wrote the scenario from scratch, but it's true that I made the scenario centered on a flowchart. I made it so I could see the amount of workload in each segment.
CHE: You mentioned earlier that opening and ending movies deviated considerably from your storyboards?
KI: The contents changed considerably from the storyboard that I wrote for the scenario.
CHE: Are the storyboards that appear in the 'True Story Behind Biohazard' the ones you wrote?
KI: They are not the original storyboards. I did write the scene where the zombie looks back though, I remember this well.
CHE: Did Mikami advise or help out?
KI: Mr. Mikami was not involved with the storyboards however Kamiya helped out.
CHE: Did you propose any of the game's CG scenes?
KI: I imagined the first zombie encounter scene. Mikami-san neither thought or selected this part actually. It was the scene where a Zombie would appear for the first time. We had limited man-hours to be able to create the scene. I decided to show an act of cannibalism and zombie insanity and brutality at once, to make you think that it was fine even when shot. The zombie's vacant eyes were key.
CHE: The man in the newspaper in the censored overseas version looks like a member of the development team!
KI: The picture from the OP movie is me and Kamiya, but Mr. Mikami was the director of the movie, so I do not know in detail. There seems to be a possibility of a staff member in the photograph, but I do not remember.
CHE: Who decided to use the Moonlight Sonata?
KI: That was definitely me. The reason was the music had a 'night moon' theme and I think it was related to an episode of a composition with a blind girl giving directions.
CHE: Were you involved with the game's English dialogue?
KI: I didn't participate in the English version checks. It was disappointing, I feel sorry toward the players. Nakaya-san showed it to me after it had reached a finished translated state, that I couldn't revise under the schedule. Was it kept from me as I was already working on other projects or were they afraid of complaints from me, or some other reason, I'm not sure. When he came to show it to me while seeming sorry and apologizing, I praised just one part concerning some lines. He said, very pleased, "I didn't expect to be praised by Iwao-san." I still remember these exchanges clearly. Regarding the other parts, I didn't complain, but since he knew I was a perfectionist, I guess he thought about what I'd think.
CHE: Is it true that the eye in the title screen was inspired by Hitchcock's Psycho?
KI: Perhaps. It was definitely Mikami-san who decided it. Well there is an interesting story. During development a photo of my eyes was used for it. Because my eyes were big. A picture of my eyes was used for the eyes in the title screen (of the beta) for a while. Mikami said my eyes were so big that he wanted to use them...
CHE: Did you handle the game's items?
KI: I decided all the weapons & ammunition, and was especially particular about the grenade rounds. Likewise with the wound healing spray and lighter. I think the medallions and ink ribbons were also me but I might be wrong. I don't think the medicinal herbs were from me.
CHE: What are some key game-play mechanics you introduced?
KI: I incorporated ammo & supply scarcity, game-play based on avoidance, and horror direction emphasizing sound.
CHE: Did you watch any horror films for inspiration?
KI: Yes, I also like scary movies. The Aliens series are my favorite movies which I saw as a child, and they influenced me a lot. The Flamethrower and image of the Tyrant were influenced by it. At the time Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Commando was also very popular and it provided influence, especially with the rocket launcher.
CHE: Can you list any scrapped elements of the game?
KI: Zombies being able to open doors. Players barricading themselves in a room. Killing Zombies with landmines. Placing items on the ground.
CHE: Did you propose the tower or graveyard & church that got scrapped?
KI: I think that those were me. I insisted on placing a graveyard, since I used to love old European cemeteries (catacombs etc.) from long ago.
CHE: Do you remember any other locations that got cut?
KI: I remember that most of the courtyard was cut. That was a shame.
CHE: Can you describe a specific event that got cut?
KI: I do not remember their individual stories. Enrico was alive, and had a role of giving players information (about Wesker). I remember there was a dialogue scene with Rebecca. The event was cut by about half from what I initially planned.
CHE: An early beta scenario involved Bravo team at the start, searching through Arklay Forest. What were they there for?
KI: I think they were looking for zombies.
CHE: An early draft of the plot centered on a group of civilians whose plane crashed deep in the forest. Who made the decision to change the cast to Special Forces?
KI: If my memory is correct, the Special Forces were decided by Mikami-san. However he was trying to put in Terminator-like cyborgs, so I altered it. I thought it wouldn't be horror if the hero was too strong. Mikami-san said "strong and cool ones go over with a bang with players for main characters." For me I thought that wasn't true. Actually in movies there are cases of establishing fear even in strong heroes.
CHE: There were originally four playable characters?
KI: The hero could be chosen from four people. Gelzer was a giant cyborg, Ed had outstanding physical abilities and was a cheerful man. Even if the two were clearly attacked by zombies, they appeared okay and that might soften the fear.
CHE: Two characters were scrapped, a cyborg named Gelzer and Dewey. How did these characters come about?
KI: It was me who wrote Gelzer and Dewey. I didn't remove Dewey but I recall removing Gelzer. While I wrote them I thought that they lacked a horror image, and were far too strong compared to the zombies, thus lacking in reality. I initially wanted to make Barry black, but Kamiya was strongly opposed, so I made him white.
CHE: So you scrapped them in favour of a more realistic setting?
KI: Yes, I made the decision to scrap them. He (the cyborg) looked as tough as Robocop, but the theme of the game was terror and the science-fiction elements had gotten too strong.
CHE: Is it true that Mikami created Gelzer as the character to hold up the ceiling in the suspended ceiling room?
KI: He put more emphasis on traps. I wrote Claymore mines to the specification of trying to place landmines.
CHE: Biohazard music composer Akari Kaida mentioned that the rooms ceiling was originally spiked!
KI: That's what I recall, if I'm not mistaken.
CHE: How did you plan on using Claymores?
KI: At the time within the staff, only I knew about the Claymore mines. I remember I passed around papers to the staff that explained the Claymores. I thought it'd be refreshing to beat a zombie with a Claymore and wanted to put it in by all means, but had to give up in relation to the schedule.
CHE: Like Barry, Gelzer was also meant to be a traitor. Whose idea was it to introduce a character who betrays the cast?
KI: I remember, it may have been Mikami's idea to let one member betray the protagonist. He was very focused on that particular scenario. I knew that Wesker was going to become a traitor; however to save memory and time for other cut scenes, many ideas for the foreshadowing scenes were cut from production. So we tried to not add any more story elements in the game.
CHE: Are there any features in the game that were cut?
KI: There was a lot, but the most disappointing thing is that you could prevent zombies from entering rooms by creating barricades.
CHE: Can you explain how you created Umbrella?
KI: I came up with the name and design. I was told to make the enemy a huge multinational company immediately as soon as I joined. This was because a feeling of scale wasn't reflected in a story about a cult. With some of the novels I'd read in those days, there was a story of a pharmaceutical company president, and I think I had it in mind. I considered whether to make the enemy a national organization or a giant company, then whether it was a military company or a pharmaceutical company (biotech company), and I thought of a setting where the Umbrella Corporation had infiltrated the state.
I designed the logo with the meaning of 'Protecting the world from viruses with an umbrella', and also at the same time with a behind-closed-doors meaning 'Ruling the world with viruses under an umbrella'. I drew it on paper and had a designer make an ink copy, directly instructing the logo design to the designer, and it was finished on the spot in minutes. Concerning the colors, I had neither Japan nor Nazis in mind. It was just a simple, bright and flashy image. Like the umbrella Tom and Jerry spread out on a beach. It exudes reality rather than a scary logo, and I thought it looked rather creepy.
I like Caesar's words, "All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures." I think Umbrella is a company which started as advocating an ideal to protect people with an umbrella. However, the means occasionally forgot that purpose and went out of control.
CHE: What is the difference between Umbrella Corporation and Umbrella Pharmaceuticals?
KI: The former was a conglomerate, the latter was intended to be a company within it. The former spans a variety of industries including military industry, medical industry, bio industry, etc. However, it's certain that the latter is the largest company among the former.
CHE: Old advertising ads that appeared overseas seem to suggest that Umbrella was part of the US Government?
KI: No. It is not my intention. However, I thought that the Umbrella Company is penetrating inside of the Government.
CHE: Umbrella ordered Wesker to destroy the lab in a manner that appeared accidental. The explosion and subsequent forest fire seems like a logical cover-up!
KI: That's right. Fire is the most common, but effective, method of destroying evidence.
CHE: What is the connection between Umbrella and Raccoon City?
KI: In North America there are towns with raccoons living on roofs and in sheds in real cities. As such, I envisioned Raccoon City as a city where forest and human living areas were close. It has a rich abundance of surrounding nature with plentiful species. I think that was also Umbrella's intention. It was a silly name that fit the horror setting.
CHE: Did the bizarre murder cases reach the media outside Raccoon City?
KI: Even if it was reported, it wouldn't have been seriously received at that point. Also in those days there was no Internet... oops, rather, it wasn't popular!
CHE: How did the Raccoon Police close off the road to the Arklay Mountains?
KI: They put 'CLOSED' signs and placed a police presence.
CHE: Who were the people frequently lost in the mountains?
KI: They were hikers, hunters, and youths searching for monsters.
CHE: Who was the female hiker who became the first victim of Cerberus?
KI: She would've been adventurous. I think she climbed the mountain alone, as a missing person's report wasn't issued. Therefore, unfortunately, she would be attacked by those 'dogs'. But fortunately she seemed to avoid infection. Otherwise Raccoon City would've become a disaster earlier.
CHE: What happened to the other people reported missing?
KI: I think I envisioned that they were bitten by zombies or Cerberus.
CHE: Was the murder of a family of ten in the opening an isolated case?
KI: I believe that it was an isolated case, it would've been considerably in the suburbs.
CHE: Is there a reason why you set the game in 1998?
I remember this vividly because I spent time pondering about it back then. Everybody was into creating modern futuristic products in 1996. I wanted to make Biohazard with a realistic story with the possibility of such events happening or happened in real life. However in 2000 and later, I remember we were exploring more futuristic environments, although in reality it was just a few years ahead, and I wanted to avoid using the year 1999 in the timeline due to an apocalyptic boom back then, and it made the plot look cheesy. Therefore, I used the most realistic and futuristic year, which was 1998.
CHE: What sort of countermeasures did the lab's staff take at the start of the outbreak?
KI: Some researchers knew what was causing people to turn into zombies, but could initially treat it. The rest of the staff who were only partially informed about the nature of the research flew into a panic.
CHE: The outbreak occurred in the early morning hours of May 11th. Coincidentally, your birthday is also the 11th of May!
KI: Ah... Perhaps I did choose to set it on my birthday, how embarrassing!
CHE: Was there anything intended for the capsules in the laboratory?
KI: Yes, I assume they were supposed to feed the Hunter fetuses.
CHE: What inspired the self-destruct sequence?
KI: I was inspired by the Alien movies and Return of the Living Dead. It was a sufficient amount of explosives to destroy the residence and facility, but it wasn't nuclear.
CHE: How was the aquarium destroyed in the basement of the dormitory?
KI: I don't really remember, but I think it was blown up.
CHE: Was the insane staff member who blew himself up a researcher or guard?
KI: He was a researcher.
CHE: What is the story behind the researcher who was gunned down by security guards?
KI: Every day, he was losing his humanity so he tried to seek help from the outside world.
CHE: Did the researchers know much about the mansion's traps?
KI: I believe they mostly weren't aware.
CHE: What is the backstory behind the slideshow in the media room?
KI: I don't remember details, but the last picture was taken by a researcher of importance to Umbrella. Others seem like a simple catalogue to present the results to the head office.
CHE: Which of the game's files did you write?
KI: I wrote 'The Keeper's Diary', 'Researcher's Will', 'E-Mail To The Security Chief', 'Plant 42 Memo', 'FAX', and 'Scrapbook'.
CHE: Did you write the scrapped 'Trevor's Notes'?
KI: I believe Saga-san wrote those parts rather than I. He supported me because I had other work.
CHE: Did you conceive Umbrella's founder Lord Oswell E. Spencer who appeared in Trevor's Notes?
KI: I have a feeling that I wrote him.
CHE: Judging from the mansion, it seems he was quite an art collector!
KI: I'm not rich, but the hobbies of the mansion's owner is similar to my own. I love Middle Age European and African art very much.
CHE: Who did Umbrella send the 'Fax' to? And what was its purpose?
KI: Not everyone in the Umbrella Corporation were bad people and did not know all the information. He sent a report as a businessman for the company.
CHE: In Umbrella's e-mail to Wesker, they order him to recover B.O.W. embryos. Do you recall what room they were meant to be housed in?
KI: A larger design was planned for the laboratory. Either way, there's no doubt that the embryo storage site was the lab.
CHE: What does the term "X-DAY" refer to?
KI: I recall that it was the day to completely eradicate evidence.
CHE: What does the special security force in the 'Laboratory Security System Materials' file refer to?
KI: I don't know whether it reached me exactly. However I think they were probably small-group combat specialists organized having envisioned such situations. Thinking on their appearance, I imagined spec ops like the SAS.
CHE: In early versions of Biohazard, John's full name was 'John Clemens'. This was cut from the retail game. Was John Clemens inspired by the doctor in the film Alien 3, who has the same name?
KI: I was a fan of the movie although I am not sure it was on purpose, perhaps a coincidence.
CHE: Was he meant to be the last survivor, as the date of the file would suggest?
KI: Yes, I think so.
CHE: Can you give any details on the woman Alma in the in-game file 'Researchers Will'?
KI: Alma was the name of a villain character in a game I made earlier. I like the name Alma.
CHE: Can you tell us who compiled the news clippings in the "Scrapbook"?
IK: I believe it was left by a researcher.
CHE: Is the man in sunglasses mentioned in the files meant to be Wesker? If so what was he doing during the outbreak?
KI: Yes, it's Wesker. He initially would've been dealing with handling the situation after the fact.
CHE: Did you draw the artwork that appears on the Organic Chemistry file?
KI: It was so long ago that I drew them, but there is no doubt that my rough sketches were used in the game.
CHE: Did you name any of the S.T.A.R.S. members?
KI: For Barry, I wanted a name that was easy to remember so I made it alliterate. As Kamiya strongly insisted on Chris, he thought it was better than 'Beam', and it was approved. Redfield I remember attaching it. For Albert Wesker, it is cool and not so personal. I thought of the name, and attached it. I took Joseph from a manga; it is a reference to 'Joseph Joestar' from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Frost, hmm, I do not remember. I remember Kamiya attached the name Jill. 'Valentine' was from a baseball coach in Japan at the time. I took it from Robert John Bobby Valentine. For Rebecca Chambers, I think that I took the name from the movie of the same name.
CHE: Were there more events planned for the other S.T.A.R.S. officers?
KI: Yes. The story of the other S.T.A.R.S. members was cut considerably.
CHE: Do you remember what they were?
KI: Several of the B team were alive, talking, showing them turn as zombies, and planning to use them more for uncovering the situation.
CHE: What sort of activities were S.T.A.R.S. involved in prior to the mansion incident?
KI: In addition to the activities of a SWAT team, they also worked on rescue missions.
CHE: Was Raccoon City the only branch of S.T.A.R.S?
KI: Do you mean their jurisdiction? I think that it was Raccoon City and its surroundings. Raccoon City seems much bigger than the small city I imagined, at least when I look at the later work.
CHE: Each S.T.A.R.S. member had a position such as RS (Rear Security), BUM (Backup Man), LDR (Leader) and so forth. Are these influenced by an actual police organization?
KI: Yes, I decided the organization and equipment with reference to SWAT and SEALS etc.
CHE: Did S.T.A.R.S. assist in the Raccoon Police's rescue efforts in the mountains?
KI: No, as S.T.A.R.S.' numbers were limited I think they were trying to gather intel first.
CHE: So Chris' original name was going to be Beam Markyurio!
KI: It was Kamiya that re-named him 'Chris', it was me who attached 'Redfield'. Kamiya first tried to name Chris 'Beam', but since it was a strange name, I opposed and changed it. The name Beam is a very strange name for the Japanese people. It reminded me of a beam gun used by a robot in a Japanese animation. Strange names, settings, appearances are not suitable for horror games. Amazing things in horror are external factors, and fear is hindered if the hero is concerned. It was a mistake from that point of view.
CHE: Can you describe Chris and Barry's relationship?
KI: I think I had the films 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Dirty Harry' in mind. Barry was someone who would sometimes guide and sometimes pacify Chris, who tended to be reckless.
CHE: Jill Valentine was originally called Jill Morrison. Are you the one who named her?
KI: I like the musical band 'The Doors' (lead singer Jim Morrison), so it seems possible that it was me. Clearly, I do not remember who added 'Jill Morrison'. Ultimately, it was me that made it to 'Valentine'. I remember this.
CHE: Some early artwork notes that she is also half-Japanese!
KI: That's right. I think that Jill was half Japanese.
CHE: Before Jill's scenario was made, she was an AI-controlled character. Is there a reason why this feature got cut?
KI: Jill separated from Chris a lot at the beginning, as I remember it. In those days, I think there was a concern about the amount of man-hours it would take.
CHE: Was Barry ever meant to be a playable character like Rebecca?
KI: I don’t think that it was at the stage when Barry was created.
CHE: In the opening scene in Jill's game, Barry says, "Chris is our old partner, you know". What is their history together prior to joining S.T.A.R.S.?
KI: I think they were supposed to be partners during a period as police officers before the formation of S.T.A.R.S.
CHE: How did Wesker blackmail Barry into helping him? What exactly did he say to Barry to make him betray his teammates?
KI: I think that this may be received as it is. He probably told Barry that the subordinate of Wesker was surveying his family. Barry’s family was threatened and used by Wesker. But he did not want to endanger his teammate’s lives. It is certain that I was the one who made this scene. (Jill's game where she overhears Barry and Wesker talking in the dormitory)
CHE: How long had he been blackmailing Barry for?
KI: I think that it was before the events of Biohazard.
CHE: What led to the creation of the character Rebecca Chambers?
KI: Rebecca is too young, but this was for the Japanese people. And I set it because I wanted a character with a weak persona that I would want to protect.
CHE: What is the full story of Wesker including his ultimate goal and duties in the mansion as researcher and chief security officer?
KI: I imagined that he was in a special forces setting. Unmarried with no siblings, but was born into an ordinary American middle-class family. However, he was already too formed and believed the world to be worthless. He was a genius with scant feelings. He enjoyed ordinary family vacations, even displayed excellent grades in sport, but his heart was always cold and he was acting to blend himself into society. He was a clear-headed but tragic individual lacking human emotions. The only way he could live was to self-affirm his intense elitism.
Wesker was using the giant organization Umbrella and had his own separate ambition to create a second humanity of his own design. For that reason he believed that the Tyrant, which produces the Tyrant Virus, would also be useful as a resource to threaten Umbrella. Umbrella's aim was to sell the Tyrant to every country as a weapon and take advantage of every nation's weakness and substantially control them, but as they advanced that plan, Wesker aimed for another objective... To filter humanity using the Tyrant... he was scheming mass extinction and forced evolution. Ultimately the Tyrant was going to gain the ability to manipulate the virus and design living things. It was a “Creator.”
We must remember that the development of science not only presents our dream visions for humanity, but also accompanies great risks. The future world at the time when the first Biohazard released was over a generation ago, but it it becomes more and more feasible every day. Progressive biotechnology may be the modern fire of Prometheus. Wesker had an external mission to protect the laboratory from outside interference and an internal mission to monitor the researchers. Wesker wanted the power to eventually influence at least a large country and it would've been necessary to demonstrate the Tyrant as trading material. At the time I was investigating the 'Subway Sarin Incident' in detail, and I think I was probably greatly influenced by it. I believe Wesker was conducting research focusing on biological weapon prevention and protection measures, vital research for Umbrella.
CHE: Did the other S.T.A.R.S. members know that Wesker was headhunted by Umbrella?
KI: It was Umbrella Company that pulled him out. Other members did not know. I think that he was recognized as an excellent and cool boss.
CHE: How did Wesker collect combat data on S.T.A.R.S. members?
KI: He monitored each individual with cameras set up in the mansion.
CHE: Is there a reason why he left his orders behind in the trophy room?
KI: Why did Wesker make such a mistake? He is also a human being.
CHE: Did Brad flee in the helicopter because he heard gunshots or because he saw Cerberus?
KI: I think both.
CHE: Was Forest being pecked to death by crows inspired by the Hitchcock movie 'The Birds'?
KI: I love Hitchcock's films so I can't deny being influenced by them. Many of the members were set up to convey the threat of each enemy, as was the case for Forest. Some of the dead members would have survived but we didn't have time to create the events and gave up.
CHE: How exactly did Umbrella control B.O.W.'s?
KI: B.O.W.'s are rabid but I thought to give them intelligence because they are logical as weapons. Although the human-based Hunter and Tyrant can understand simple words, unneeded emotions for combat have been removed. But because their educational periods were short, they have the impression of violent infants.
CHE: What separates the zombies in Biohazard from zombies in horror films?
KI: The zombies in Biohazard aren't exactly dead. While they may have lost their sanity, the process itself is gradual and there are all sorts of complications before one becomes a zombie. There were probably those who killed themselves rather than turn. It is also incorrect to say that the zombies in Biohazard have simply no intelligence, the man-made virus controls them from within their very cells by rewriting their genes. They have become a different creature, and their function is to further spread the virus. There are different kinds of dramatic situations and purposes we can use for these kinds of characters.
CHE: Did Wesker release the Hunters that S.T.A.R.S. members encounter?
KI: That's correct, Wesker released them. The Hunters were isolated in the laboratory.
CHE: How did you come up with Greek mythological code names for the enemies?
KI: I chose Greek code names for the enemies because they were names that ordinary people were likely to know. I like mythology, but I thought there would be less realism if I borrowed from more obscure myths.
CHE: Besides the Umbrella logo, did you work on any other artistic designs for Biohazard?
KI: I also sketched the researcher's pictures of Plant 42.
CHE: So rather than abandon the dormitory and try to escape, the researchers decided to study a gigantic plant monster!
KI: I believe they made a sacrifice to study the evolution of Plant 42 that was beyond their imaginations.
CHE: Did Henry Sarton himself fall victim to Plant 42?
KI: Yes, my writing was to suggest this.
CHE: Is there a reason why Plant 42 changed so dramatically from concept art to retail?
KI: I remember that it was due to the fact that the production time was too short, that’s why the room was reduced.
CHE: Can you detail the story of the outbreak accident that leaked the Tyrant Virus?
KI: The accident in the lab wasn't intentional, but what occurred was inevitable. Wesker intended to conduct combat testing of the bio-weapons, at the same time that he disposed of S.T.A.R.S. The virus leaked out of the Tyrant, the carrier of the virus. In the setting that I imagined, the Tyrant was able to command zombies that had been created by the virus. That's why it was 'Tyrant'.
He can directly infect with the T-Virus using his nails, or spray it from his back to infect the air. Even if he doesn't bestow it by his own hands, his subordinates (Zombies) do. He is sent into an enemy country or into the backward support forces of an enemy army by helicopter or submarine. After that, he turns people he comes into contact with into Zombies, amassing an army of the undead. When the commander's objective is achieved, for example, let's say the enemy country surrendered, in that case he would issue the Tyrant an order to gather the Zombies to one place and slaughter each other. On top of that the Tyrant would be recovered after incineration.
The zombies produced by the Tyrant and the fear in people that Zombies manifest were going to create substantial wealth and power for Umbrella. To be exact, the Tyrant had the power to control the virus, which ruled their brain and body, rather than controlling zombies. Tyrant T-002 was the ultimate weapon that creates Zombies. A reason armies dislike war is that there are often more injured troops than dead soldiers.
CHE: Why did Umbrella order Wesker to dispose of the precious Tyrant?
KI: The Tyrant embryo was cloned in advance and transported elsewhere. It was the company's most important secret so they wanted to dispose of what was left.
CHE: According to supplemental material, the Tyrannized man was a prisoner. What kind of person did you imagine him to be?
KI: I think that he was a violent man with a strong sense of pride.
CHE: Why did the Tyrant attack Wesker?
KI: While the Tyrant was restrained, an unplanned will formed. The anger of itself being created led it to attack Wesker.
CHE: Why does the Tyrant differ from the B.O.W.'s named after Greek mythology?
KI: Tyrant was the ultimate weapon that could obliterate enemy troops with zombies in a single stroke. When naming it I imagined my favorite dinosaur, the T-Rex.
CHE: Is the Tyrant Virus an RNA virus in your original setting?
KI: That's correct. I based it on the concept of gene transfer using retro-viral vectors. It was supposed to be an ideal virus that could design creatures as one wished.
CHE: How did you decide on a virus as the source of the biohazard?
KI: There's this thing called the 'Theory of Evolution through Viruses' that was introduced by a Japanese medical researcher. In short, it's the idea that viral infection promoted the evolution of living creatures. I read it, thought it interesting and incorporated it into my work. Nowadays it's been discredited though...
CHE: Did the 1989 Famicom title 'Sweet Home' influence your work?
KI: Yes. However, when designing the title's game system, I was influenced more by 'Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress', (for example the limited supplies). I think Sweet Home is a good game. By the way, Oda-san is a big fan of Sweet Home and gave it to me free of charge. But concerning the item limit I remember that I pushed for cooperation and I decided the number of bullets in each gun. The NES was booming in Japan at the time and many staff only knew NES games, there were few who knew this MSX game.
CHE: What other inspirations did you take from Alcazar?
KI: I decided to show the remaining bullets of the guns, that was influenced by Alcazar. Also since I'm a gun enthusiast, as you know, I changed the names to real company names or model numbers, not just 'Pistol'. However if we used the maker's name today without permission, we might get sued by the industry, so I'm afraid to use it!
ALONE IN THE DARK
CHE: Is it true Biohazard was inspired by Alone In The Dark?
KI: Yes, it's my favourite game. The expression of horror was wonderful and it became a reference in Biohazard's production. A lot of people on the team played it. Initially Biohazard was influenced by it too much, so I made conscious changes. We had a lantern in the concept design stage. I wanted the character to use a flashlight (stroboscopic light) too, but technical problems prevented it from being included. It's undeniable that the team played Alone In The Dark as a reference. People who claim otherwise are mistaken.
CHE: Despite being influenced by Alone in the Dark, Biohazard isn't a direct response, as many people claim; moreover, its based on the game system of Sweet Home and started off a first-person shooter. But is it fair to say that Alone in the Dark immediately led to the cancellation of Biohazard's first beta build with a first-person perspective?
KI: I remember that it was not immediately after.
CHE: Did you play-test the first-person perspective version?
KI: There might have been a time in which it was certainly being considered. I don’t think I ever played it. Either way, it changed significantly with the appearance of Alone in the Dark.
CHE: Did any other works influence Biohazard besides Alone in the Dark and 'Alcazar?
KI: House of Hell (From the 'Fighting Fantasy' series of role-playing game books by Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone. The cut-scene where Jill tries to overhear Wesker & Barry talking from behind the residence door, is based on these books), and Nightshade (NES action- adventure game).
PARASITE EVE 2
CHE: The event messages in Parasite Eve 2 are a bit more detailed than Biohazard. Were you restricted back then?
KI: I wanted to give more detailed messages even in Biohazard, but I didn't have the time.
CHE: Did you intend for the mysterious beasts (Cerberus) described in the papers to be UMA, like in Parasite Eve 2?
KI: Yes, I think so.
CHE: Rumour has it that the Parasite Eve 2 was created by the Biohazard 1.5 team!
KI: That is not accurate. It was after they made 2, they joined me.
CHE: We noticed Biohazard references carefully hidden throughout Parasite Eve 2!
KI: Your observation power is truly amazing! I did not know this until now. If I knew, I would have punished the staff. Many background staff of Biohazard also participated in Parasite Eve 2. The BG staff of Biohazard and Biohazard 2 had an invite from me to come work on Parasite Eve 2. However I do not agree with using BG materials from other games. It is not good, I do not agree with this.
CHE: So you were disappointed by the quality of the live-action cut scenes!
KI: Many staff including me, were disappointed. I think Kamiya and Oishi were angry.
CHE: Did you leave any notes behind for the staff of Biohazard 2?
KI: Biohazard 2 had many similarities to the concepts I left behind. Especially the first version. I believe they inherited some of my ideas, Oishi was still there…
CHE: Are you referring to the Biohazard 2 prototype known as 1.5?
KI: No. Later, it was only the details of the bigger picture. Such as setting the stage in Raccoon City or making zombies in a city. I have only heard about the story of 1.5. When I played 2, I remember feeling some of my viewpoints were gone.
CHE: Do you think your setting was adopted well for the sequel?
KI: At the stage of (the first) Biohazard, Raccoon City was a bit more of a rural town.
CHE: Did you have any plans for the sequel yourself?
KI: I had decided in detail the role and purpose of the monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation. The staff did not inherit my ideas for the sequel.
CHE: Yoshiki Okamoto, general manager at the time, went uncredited for his role. Mikami refers to him as more of a villain in several interviews. Is it true that he tried to have Biohazard discontinued?
KI: Yes, it's as Mikami-san said! Okamoto-san criticized Biohazard quite severely and tried to stop the project.
CHE: Did you work with Koji Oda?
KI: Oda was still a member when I joined the Biohazard team. He thought up the title 'BIOHAZARD'. I don't clearly recall whether I joined when Oda had decided the title, but he consulted with me about the title.
CHE: Did you work with Jun Takeuchi?
KI: I decided many things with Takeuchi-san, he and I conversed about guns in particular. We like realistic guns. I chose major weapons and talked a lot about the gun effects with Takeuchi-san. The 'M18 Claymore' can be cited as an example of a rejected weapon. I wanted to use this weapon to play 'protect a friend', who wasn't able to move. Aside from that I definitely thought of the 'Artillery Luger' (Lange Pistole 08).
CHE: Did you work together on any other parts of the game?
KI: Probably, I think we became friends after joining the Biohazard team. Since he also liked guns he responded to my detailed instructions on guns, such as ejecting the cartridge casing.
CHE: Did you participate in development at the same time as Katoh and Kadoi who joined the team in mid-1994?
KI: Mostly, I remember it was around the same time.
CHE: Do you recall what planner Hiroki Katoh was responsible for?
KI: Katoh-san conceived the puzzles along the way.
CHE: How was the late Masahiko Kurokawa involved in the game's production as supervisor?
KI: He was my immediate superior but wasn't involved with this project, only his name appeared. I know he died years later. I pray his soul rests in peace.
CHE: Did anyone assist you with the scenario?
KI: Event designer Takashi Nakaya assisted with writing the dialogue.
CHE: Biohazard was pretty innovative for its time. A foreboding mansion with a secret laboratory, two separate scenarios with Chris & Jill, and viral weapons creating zombies!
KI: After quitting the company, my subsequent work and name was erased from the staff roll. So I was surprised that you came to me.
CHE: Looking back at how the series then progressed after your departure, Mikami-san was heavily criticised for biohazard 4. Would you agree?
KI: The game was interesting, but the world view was broken.
CHE: During development of Biohazard you moved to Breath Of Fire 3. What happened to prompt this move?
KI: Yes, that's right, I was reluctant because I wanted to keep working on the Biohazard. It was probably around the end of 1995. Mikami-san told me he didn't like me acting like a director. He once told me "Ken-chan (his way of referring to me), who is the director? I am. Ken-chan deciding everything, coming to Ken-chan for questions, isn't that odd? I was talking with Ikehara about wanting you moved to Breath 3, won't you?"
At the time I considered it an excuse because I was the head of the scenario team. I was very disappointed and protested as there was a lot I left unfinished, but it was an order, and already decided. I made up my mind to leave the company but when I left the team I had finished most of the design, so I was relieved. Furthermore, I was erased from subsequent credits, I was an inconvenience for them. Mikami-san later apologized to me. I got scolded just after the release. He shocked me when he was heavily criticized by the chief editor of a certain magazine, and said that it was my fault!
CHE: Did you receive the CESA '96 best scenario award?
KI: Yes, it was my first scenario award. I was in the hall as an employee of another company. Before going to the award ceremony, Mikami-san said that this award was mine. Do you know the manga 'The Men Who Made Bio Hazard'? To my surprise, in that manga things I had done were written as being done by Mikami-san! Since I was too annoyed at the time, I kept the magazines featuring the manga.
I don't think the staff that stayed in Capcom told the truth! Likewise, Mikami-san and Kamiya-san, using it as an attraction, publicized the story dramatized in those comics. Even now, I still remember well when Biohazard was nearly finished development, and Mikami-san negatively said "What a game Ken-chan has made!" He had no confidence until he got a high score in Famitsu! (It was also Mikami-san who brought Famitsu's praise in front of me). In fact, I heard V-Jump gave a rave review.
However, I don't dislike Mikami-san. I believe it was Mikami-san's competence that could see the game through to completion after I left the team. In addition, having already left the company when Biohazard won the scenario award at Tokyo Game Show, Mikami-san met me later at the show and told me "Ken-chan, you should've actually appeared in the award ceremony." Since I did too much of a director's work, Mikami-san made it a reason in the final stretch and removed me from the staff! I was dissatisfied with it, left the company and went to Squaresoft. As other staff knew about it, several later joined me.
CHE: Do you have a message for the fans?
KI: I thank all fans who have played. There's no superior joy to knowing this game was a thrilling experience in your life!
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