Highlights of the interview between Castlevania producer, Mr. Igarashi, and Dengeki inside.
The April issue of Dengeki GameCube features an interview with Mr. Igarashi (AKA “Iga”), Castlevania’s producer. Read on for his comments on the upcoming GBA version of Castlevania and his thoughts on GameCube.
Dengeki: The series title has changed to Castlevania, what is the reason? (editor’s note: Dengeki is referring to the Japanese title. The series was originally called Akumajyou Dracula, which meant the evil castle Dracula)
Igarashi: The name Akumajyou Dracula is very well known. However, when we developed for overseas, we decided to make the title consistent. At that time, we took “castle” and “Transylvania” and combined them to make a new word. It was a name that we thought the overseas would accept rather well. In addition, the word “Dracula” limits the final boss to Dracula.
Unlike what many people are expecting, we would like to make a game that is not centered on Dracula. In another words, to focus on Dracula who only awakes once every 100 year, the theme of the game becomes very narrow. This time, we want to place our effort in other areas.
D: This time the story takes places 50 years after Simon. So the boss will not be Dracula?
I: You will find out after you play the game. This time it is different from before as a castle not known to exist rises out of nowhere. The story begins with gamers wondering, “Is this Dracula’s castle? What is it?”
Gamers will also face situations where they wonder what Belmont and company are doing when Dracula is not present, and they will have to hunt down the enemies that have awaken with Dracula.
D: It’s not a side story, right?
I: We developed the game with no intention of making it a side story. It should fit in the big picture.
D: It feels like the difficulty in the GBA version has lowered to appeal to a wider audience.
I: I personally believe that this game appeals to a much wider audience.
We adjusted the game so that gamers that did not play the series because it was too hard would be able play and clear the game. We decided to develop the game with the direction of making an action game that anyone can play. Although I cannot reveal specific details, this time we have implemented a system that will make item-collecting gamers happy.
The series started to take on a change from the PC Engine version that was released in 1993. Changes were apparent in the Symphony of Night. As we lowered the difficulty level, we also changed the visual images. The existing artwork does not do enough for the dramatic appeal of the game. To resolve this problem, we asked our illustrator Kojima to create slicker character images.
We also strived to make sure the background did not look blocky. Overall, we have improved the graphics.
D: So what do you think about the GameCube?
I: First, I think the GC/GBA link is very interesting. We are currently exploring the possibilities. I cannot comment on whether we will develop for the GameCube in the near future, but it is evident that there are a lot of interesting elements, which we would like to do something with. It is not only limited to the GameCube, but we are also exploring the possibilities of 3D. Also we are also thinking of online network possible. Within this framework, it looks like each hardware will get the appropriate type of game.
D: As for the 3D genre, N64 received 2 games.
I: For some reason, I was not involved with the N64 version. I think when making 3D games, there are many techniques and ways on how the system and perspective can be done. From all these ways, we will choose the appropriate one. The N64 version will not have much influence on future games.