The Essence of Monsters was a Capcom staff blog published 26th June 2009. It is the tenth in a series of some twenty-three blogs detailing the development of the game.
This week’s theme is monsters.
Life and death duels with monstrous, dimorphic creatures called Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) developed by the Umbrella Corporation are what Resident Evil has always been about. I love monsters like the ones in Aliens and Predator, so I really get into my work.
There are some monsters in the Resident Evil series that have really come to represent the series. Of all the scenes from Resident Evil 2 in Darkside Chronicles, but perhaps the most memorable scene was where we met the creature known as the “Licker”. With its bizarre skinless appearance as it prows walls and ceilings, its long tongue, and sharp claws, no doubt this creature has caused grief for more than a few players.
Now, every type of monster has its own scary essence.
Sure, zombies have a scary appearance, but it’s what we know about zombies that make them distinctively terrifying: They are the walking dead, their death is contagious, they gorge on human flesh, etc. It is their basic essence, which conveys all of that fear to the player.
The Lickers I mentioned before are already very scary in their appearance – with their extendable tongues, their sharp claws, and their exposed muscle structure. But I think the thing that makes them truly terrifying is that they are blind hunters that creep along the ceiling and sneak up on their prey.
We set Darkside Chronicles around the horror concept. Monsters are scary, and we set out to make the most of their ability to convey fear.
Lickers also appeared in Umbrella Chronicles; however, I wasn’t completely satisfied with how they conveyed fear in RE2. So, for this game we recreated their models from scratch. We emphasized their muscular limbs that give them their super-agility, and accentuated the features that inspire terror, like their bared canine teeth and brains visible through their skulls.
However, true terror has to do with more than just appearance. The fright of a monster standing there in front of you all of a sudden is enough to leave you powerless. To be able to see something means that eventually you will understand what it is you’re dealing with, and that takes away from the terror element.
Using sounds and the atmosphere to convey the presence of a monster invokes fear. In this game, having the Licker sneak up on you in the darkness and attack you is how we spell fright.
Please look forward to meeting the Licker. It’s a monster whose essence we were particular about.
■Yasuhiro Seto’s Profile
Lives in Osaka, but doesn't speak the local Osaka dialect.
Has directed titles such as RE: Umbrella Chronicles and Beat Down.
A fan of horror movies, especially the unforgettable masterpice, "Phenomena."
Enjoyed that movie so much that he decided to use the band Goblin in the
- ↑ RESIDENT EVIL / The Darkside Chronicles TALING EVIL. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31.