Part 5: (Kojima's Comments)Kojima's Comments
These appeared in one of the Saturn version strategy guides. I don't have the original Japanese text with me at the moment, so if anyone has any questions about something that's said here, I won't be able to look into it for the time being.
For the newspaper clippings and photographs in Jonathan's office, we would first create the images digitally, then make a printout of them and have the anime artists add dirt and other effects, and finally we would have the artists photograph that finished product. We did it this way because animation isn't very good at capturing such small details otherwise.
The explosion of Lorraine's car was redrawn digitally to help hide the "cel" feel it originally had. We used CG for the smoke and flame effects.
For all the signs in the street in front of Jonathan's office, we created them digitally, then used a computer to adjust perspectives and insert them into the background. We wanted to give the scene a realistic look.
With animation cels, you can use a special brush to highlight the surfaces of cars like the ones here, but when you're working digitally, you can go even further and show the reflections of the city lights and the neon signs.
The gunfight in the alley
The signboard on the street features Speed King, a Konami racing game. For whatever reason, in the PC-98 version the signboard had a picture of an iguana on it. The idea of having a man and a woman holding up the signboard came from a real signboard in Namba (Shinsaibashi Bridge, maybe?). I thought about using it here after I saw it there. The figures are seated in the real one.
The smoke was implemented using a calculation routine in the game's programming.
The biker's escape
The muzzle flashes from Jonathan's gun, the gun smoke, and the smoke from the bike were all done with CG.
The color of the alley's walls when Jonathan is first pursuing the biker and their color when they're illuminated by the bike's headlights are different. Did you notice?
We digitally inserted the stars Lorraine looks at when she dies.
The man at the far right looking on is Random from Snatcher. We added him in right before the PlayStation version went gold.
The passage of time on the spaceplane was hard to represent. We wanted players to get a feel for the 48 or so hours it takes to get to Beyond.
I also wrote into the script (particularly with the stewardesses' lines) information that would give players an idea of how different this world that they're heading to is. This includes things someone would need to know in order to live in outer space. I think it goes beyond what a real-life stewardess in this situation would know, but I wanted players to know what Beyond was like before they actually got there. Starting with the 3DO version, however, we've given players the option to sleep until the plane arrives and skip talking to the stewardess, since the PC-98 version was criticized for forcing you to listen to all that information.
You can also see a pen come floating in amongst the seats. We created the pen with CG, then put a mask over the seat in the foreground and made the pen disappear behind it digitally.
Beyond in CG
The scene where the plane arrives at Beyond was originally done solely with animation, but we decided to insert some CG because the animation didn't give you a sense of the scale of the colony, nor the majesty with which it slowly rotates. I think the CG was helpful in showing the size difference between the spaceplane and the colony.
Also, if you look closely in the scene where you're inside the colony looking down, you can see small details showing what its interior is like.
Noriaki Okamura was the game's lead programmer. He still works at Konami. He has since directed the first Zone of the Enders, and most recently designed, wrote, directed, and produced Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights.
The foundation of the game's engine
We were constantly going through this scene when we first got started on the game's engine. It contains the game screen, menus, subtitles, eye blinks, lip flaps, lighting effects - all the basic parts of the engine.
To be continued...