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Kojima-Mikami Interview 
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This is an old interview from June '01, posted on Core Magazine online, but I thought people might still be interested in reading it.

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Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and Devil May Cry producer Shinji Mikami recently sat down with HyperPS magazine in Japan to discuss their upcoming games. Considering playable demo versions of both games were released this spring in Japan, both Kojima-san and Mikami-san were asked to comment on each other's work.

HyperPS: Demos of both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Devil May Cry were released this spring. What do you think of each other's project?

Kojima-san: Devil May Cry is much more of an action game than Biohazard. I think it will be very popular outside Japan.

Mikami-san: Oh, so it's another game made for foreigners, huh?! [laughs..]

Kojima-san: Well, I was wondering how you would combine melee-style weapons like swords and guns together in the same game.

HyperPS: What did you think of the overall presentation?

Kojima-san: Is the main character supposed to be David Bowie?

Mikami-san: [laughs..] The game was originally supposed to be a Biohazard title, but we decided to change the design and gameplay system and eventually differentiate it completely.

Kojima-san: Game design isn't an exact science, so it's understandable that development proceeds from ideas and concepts. From there, you can fiddle around with the gameplay specifics and the elements which make the game interesting. By doing that, the game will continue to evolve.

Mikami-san: Yes, but our director Mr. Kamiya is the type of person who will include any and every idea. So who knows how the game will turn out. [laughs..]

HyperPS: It looks like you're paying particular attention to the background detail in Devil May Cry?

Mikami-san: Recently, one of our designers stayed up all night playing the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo on 'Hard' mode. He thinks the backgrounds in Devil May Cry are pretty good, but he suggested we try a more structured approach, like in MGS2. We didn't give in to his suggestions. [laughs..]

HyperPS: Mr. Mikami, what was your impression of the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo?

Mikami-san: The original was good, but the sequel looks incredible. The movie scenes and camera work are well done, but the use of different viewpoints balances everything. I was genuinely impressed, as was our staff.

Kojima-san: Really? Well, hopefully it will sell as well as Biohazard and Onimusha. [laughs..]

Mikami-san: The demo version is very popular overseas already, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. [laughs..] Maybe this time you'll sell a million copies here in Japan. I often conduct surveys of our staff and ask them what games they plan to buy. Based on those results, I can usually tell how well a game will sell. Based on the number of people who plan to purchase MGS2 at Capcom alone, I'd be surprised if it didn't sell a million copies domestically.

Kojima-san: That's very encouraging, let's hope the players agree with you.

HyperPS: Metal Gear Solid 2 and Devil May Cry are both receiving praise as action games. Do you have any preferences when it comes to action titles?

Mikami-san: I think the Metal Gear series has a strong concept, balance, and good action.

Kojima-san: Objectively speaking, it's hard to make an action game that's stylish and appealing.

Mikami-san: The way the action is evenly paced in Metal Gear is very appealing. So is the action in Devil May Cry, where the protagonist is very strong and cool.

Kojima-san: The action in Metal Gear isn't always evenly paced.

Mikami-san: Well, that's not good. [laughs..]

Kojima-san: Right now we're having trouble with where to put Snake's hands when he's performing an action but not holding anything. If he's holding a gun it's no problem because he just continues holding it.

Mikami-san: When you did the motion capturing, you filmed him holding a gun, right?

Kojima-san: Yes, but depending on the player's actions, he doesn't always hold it.

Mikami-san: That can be problematic -- we had similar trouble when developing Biohazard.

Kojima-san: It becomes even worse when Snake encounters an enemy. It looks like he's trying to drive his fingers into the body of the bad guys. It's not like he's a Special Forces guy either. [laughs..]

Mikami-san: Sounds pretty bad.

Kojima-san: By giving the players so much freedom, we create problems directing the action.

Mikami-san: On a different note, I think you're good at blending elements of humor and drama in your games. It's like a horror film director building tension through a shower scene. We're [Capcom] not very good at that.

Kojima-san: You did pretty well with Biohazard and Onimusha.

Mikami-san: That's because the subject matter is so dark. [laughs..] Maybe they're not dark enough, even though they deal with serious apocalyptic type themes. Sometimes I think they should be scarier.

Kojima-san: Some users might be put off by that approach. With Metal Gear Solid, many people criticized us for including the Psycho Mantis character. If we had taken him out though, it just wouldn't have been the same. Because of things like that, I'll never make a real hit game. [laughs..]

Mikami-san: I wouldn't have wanted you to change that. While working on Biohazard, some of the staff would complain that a boss was too hard, and they'd suggest we change the settings. But that's not what Biohazard's all about. [laughs..]

HyperPS: What things do you want to try on the PlayStation 2?

Mikami-san: I hope Devil May Cry becomes a long running series on the PlayStation 2. If I have the chance to work on another title, I'd want the map designs to be realistic, but I'd want the graphics completely original. I'm interested in doing something symbolic.

Kojima-san: I want to do the next Biohazard.

[Everyone laughs..]

Mikami-san: You want to work on Biohazard 5?

Kojima-san: Sure, I love zombies.

HyperPS: If you had the opportunity Mr. Kojima, what would you do?

Kojima-san: I'd make it look like a Romero film with people being eaten, and you could turn into a zombie.

Mikami-san: We've wanted to do that since the original, but the control was too difficult.

Kojima-san: For example, say a zombie appears in a village of about 500 people, our hero goes in to save them. You'd have to find the people that haven't been turned into zombies yet and save them, it would be fun.

Mikami-san: You could make it into a network game. The more users that logged on, the more zombies would appear, and the game would get progressively harder.

HyperPS: From a player's perspective, that's something I'd really like to see.

Kojima-san: You could always just put a demo version of my latest game in with the next chapter in the Onimusha and Biohazard series.

Mikami-san: Yeah, sure. [laughs..] In that case, we'd ask that Metal Gear Solid 2 be published by Capcom. Otherwise, how can we compete with it? [laughs..]

Kojima-san: Well, Metal Gear Solid 2 will hit shelves this winter.

Mikami-san: We [Capcom] have a lot of planning to do for a counterattack. [laughs..]

-- Translation Asst. Walt Wyman


Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:45 pm
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That was an excellent read, thanks =)

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Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:57 pm
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Agreed, a great read. And possibly an early idea for Resident Evil Outbreak at the end.


Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:53 pm
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I was thinking of Dead Rising =P

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Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:42 pm
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Snatcher wrote:
I was thinking of Dead Rising =P


Could be, but i'd say more Outbreak as Dead Rising didn't have much to do with Mikami, it was mainly Keiji Inafune. Plus, you can play as a zombie in Outbreak, it is a network game and there are more zombies (they respawn faster) when there are more players in the server.


Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:07 pm
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True.. I let myself wander in the Romero movie similarities

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Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:30 pm
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Second Lieutenant

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I love how Dead Rising mentions that it isn't related to Dawn of the Dead on the front cover XD


Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:43 pm
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Snatcher wrote:
I was thinking of Dead Rising =P


So was I, actually. =P But a good read nonetheless.

DT


Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:48 pm
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I love reading this. I still dream of Kojima/Suda/Mikami collaborations sometimes to make myself forget that I've wasted my life. :lol:/:cry:

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