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Biohazard’s Producer Famitsu Interview

by Bakudan Yoshinoya - March 18, 2002, 4:03 am PST
Source: Famitsu

PGC brings you the first half of Famitsu’s interview with Biohazard’s producer, Shinji Mikami.

Discuss it in Talkback!

The latest issue of Famitsu features an interview with Biohazard’s producer, Shinji Mikami, regarding GC’s Biohazard, which will be available in Japan in a couple of more days. Turn off your lights, grab your safety blankets, and read on.

Famitsu: What were some difficult parts about remaking Biohazard?

Mikami-san: The most difficult thing was that among the staff that played the game before, everyone held their own ideal concept of Biohazard. For example, depending on each person, this statement, “If we change this, then it’s no longer Biohazard,” is interpreted differently. Some of our staff were diehard fans of Biohazard. They were rather picky in things like, “This has to be an FMV,” or “The message in on the loading screen must be in English.”

F: Oh, the screen in the beginning where the game is reading the save file, right?

M: Yes, yes.

That was because back then the loading time was long and a black blank screen continued. As a result, after thinking long and hard, we inserted the message. This time around, the GameCube’s loading time is short, and although it’s not necessary, the staff said, “Put it in!”

F: What about when you open the doors to enter rooms?

M: It was necessary, so we put it in, but you could skip it.

F: On the other hand, was their any part that you are persistent, that you will not give in to?

M: Yes, there’s a big part. Like how we do we create tension and make the game come alive?

F: Can you be more specific by what your mean?

M: Although you are creating a sense of thrill for players, for example, in one scene a zombie’s head pops up and flies towards you, and makes you scream, “Whaa!!!” And if you proceed, another zombie comes out suddenly, and you scream again. It is true that by employing this technique, you provide a sense of thrill to the players. However, wouldn’t you think the rhythm becomes plain this way?

In Biohazard, for example, after an intense shooting, a zombie suddenly pops out. Perhaps it is these delicate parts that I am very persistent about. As long as we stick to this concept, the staff is pretty much free to do whatever they like with the rest.

F: We were REALLY surprised by the enhanced graphics

M: That is the nature of our staff. However, it is not just about pretty graphics, but rather, when we focused ourselves about making graphics that people would like, we produced even better graphics.

Nevertheless, since Biohazard is a horror game, in order to create a realistic atmosphere, we inserted many filters. If we did not insert these filters, the graphics may have looked even better, but it would make the game less horrific. Then it feels like the world inside the game has died, or that time has stopped or something.

F: So it could also be said that you made sure that the game was not too pretty.

M: You could say that. We are more focused on the atmosphere over the showy graphics.

For games like Biohazard, and games such as Onimusha or Dino Crisis that originated from it, it is very important to create the atmosphere in the respective world such as a prehistoric dinosaur setting or a samurai setting. Biohazard is without a doubt a horror game.

That is why we must prioritize the realistic atmosphere. That is why we minimized the amount of colors on a single screen. If we increased the colors, we could have created graphics that anyone would be very impressed by. However, after all this is Biohazard we are talking about here.

F: When you first publicly showed the game, we had the impression that you did not focus on the flashy shooting battles.

M: Yes.

It was because as we produced sequels, Biohazard looked like it was moving toward the shooting game genre. That probably originated from the idea of making a game that could easily be accepted typically.

This time, we returned to the original point, and we really made the game for people who like survival horror type of games.

Check out the second half of the interview!

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