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Famitsu interview (January 1998)

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Famitsu conducted an interview with four of Resident Evil 2's staff members, Hideki Kamiya; Shinji Mikami; Yasuyuki Matsunami and Jun Takeuchi (director; producer; CG modeler and motion designer, respectively) in January 1998. It was later translated into English by the gaming magazine Tips & Tricks.

Interview

Famitsu: That means it is all up to the player which pattern he wants to use?

Mikami: Yes, but if you play twice, that will be sufficient. Enthusiastic gamers can enjoy the game by changing characters at the halfway point.

Famitsu: Depending on which character a player chooses and how he plays influences the later scenario. Oops, did I say something I shouldn't have?

Mikami: No, that's okay.

Famitsu: In the sequel, the character's animation changes when he or she [incurs] damage.

Mikami: We changed it because in the first game, you never knew your character's health condition unless you opened the sub-screen. Also, I was thinking that [limping and moving slow] could be used to create tense situations that you've never seen. For example, a situation where your character has an injury and cannot run becomes even more intense when some fast enemy like a dog tries to attack.

Famitsu: Is Raccoon City in the United States?

Kamiya: Yes. Where is that (asking the others), a mountainous part or Southwest region?

Mikami: No, it was a Northwest region.

Matsunami: Well, we really don't care where.

Mikami: It was some countryside.

Famitsu: So, it's basically a city where there are no tourists.

Mikami: That is correct; there are no sight-seeing spots in the city. The economy is supported by a big pharmaceutical company... Umbrella.

Famitsu: Can you give us the lowdown on Umbrella?

Mikami: Umbrella is a large corporation buying out and merging with many smaller companies. Over 30% of the Raccoon City population is employed by either umbrella or one of their subsidiaries. Umbrella also happens to be one of the key investors in the S.T.A.R.S. organization.

Famitsu: I noticed there isn't much modernization to the city. Old buildings like the Raccoon Police Station are everywhere.

Takeuchi: We used many modern buildings in version 1.5. When we restarted development, that changed, too.

Kamiya: The structures changed from concrete to wood. We changed everything from the structure of the buildings to the textures.

Takeuchi: We were told to upgrade the quality since we were remaking the game. It took longer than before.

Matsunami: Since we changed the look, we could not use many of the elements we had before.

Famitsu: So you changed a whole lot?

Matsunami: Yes, we had to gather new data when we decided to remake the game. We said, "Let's go see these types of buildings.".

Famitsu: Did you travel to the Northwest region of the United States?

Matsunami: Can I say this (asking the others)?

Takeuchi: About illegal data gathering?

Mikami: Yeah, you can say that. We researched here in Japan.

Takeuchi: We found a very old, Western-style building somewhere close.

Famitsu: Where?

Matsunami: Well, we kinda snuck in and took pictures. The cameraman got caught and was scolded. But because of these pictures, we were able to create buildings with [the right atmosphere].

Kamiya: In Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya, there are a lot of old Western-style buildings. We just rushed in and took pictures.

Famitsu: I was surprised at the appearance of the female zombie in the game.

Mikami: Her voice was done pretty nicely, right? Did you hesitate shooting her?

Famitsu: Yes, but I felt I had no choice.

Mikami: In part 2, there are many more types of zombies; around ten different ones.

Famitsu: I was very surprised when the dog zombies crashed through the windows in the first game. Are there many scenes like this in the sequel?

Takeuchi: Yes.

Matsunami: But we got criticized for over-doing it, and we were asked to cut down on those types of scenes.

Mikami: A lot of things appeared by breaking glass, so I told the staff not to use the same methods over and over.

Famitsu: Let's talk about zombie movies. There's George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead and Sam Raime's Evil Dead (known as Zombie Guts in Japam Jim). Any influences?

Mikami: Among those, Romero's movies are the most scary, because zombies resemble humans so much. I also wanted to have some refreshing scenes just like the last scene in Jaws.

Famitsu: So will there be a Bio Hazard 3?

Mikami: We don't know yet... (smiles)

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