Goichi Suda is an eclectic developer, he’s famous for his original approach to games, characters and stories. Someone call him the Quentin Tarantino of the industry, but sure there is even a bit of Christopher Nolan in his works. Like a cocktail where violence, dark humor and exciting plots merge together leaving the player drunk, shocked but enthusiast at the end of the experience. Actually we’ve seen the remastered of the first title he worked on after leaving from the historical Human studio and founding Grasshopper Entertainment: The Silver Case. This visual novel (which we reviewed by praising its narrative, full of atmosphere and plot twists) showed how could be interesting a bit of retrogaming when there are cool ideas behind a game, ideas that goes far beyond than mere graphics.
So, we thought that could have been interesting to have a little chat with Suda-san, asking him about the chances to see more remastered edtions and what could be the franchise he’s dreaming to work on.
Memories and identity seem to be a hot topic of your main characters. Some of them suffer an identity crisis or don’t remember important parts of their past. Does it mean something to you or it’s just a plot device you like to use?
Video game protagonists are flawless, rounded characters, but I strive to depict something more human. Sometimes I’ll spend time creating each one in my head, sometimes the character will just form itself independently and sometimes I’ll base it on an existing personality. The important thing is that these are real, human men and women.
Actually hardcore gamers showed interest for The Silver Case because they were intrigued about playing titles from your early years as developer. In addition to Silver Case: 25Ward, there could be a chance to see a remastered or a remake of the Twilight Syndrome games, so?
The rights to Twilight Syndrome are currently owned by Spike Chunsoft. If a remaster of the series were on the table, I’d encourage people to direct their questions and requests to Spike Chunsoft.
(actually Spike Chunsoft is developing a remake of Banshee’s Last Cry, another investigative/horror series from the 90’s, very popular in Japan, for Playstation Vita. Editor’sNote.).
Lily Bergamo became Let it Die. However the character design and the setting of the game looked interesting and particular. Do you think it could be used for a new project?
Hmm, I’m not sure. Try asking GungHo.
(GungHo Online Entertainment is the publisher of Let It Die, the new free-to-play game published on Playstation4. Initially this project was intended to be different one: Lily Bergamo. E.N.)
Your characters and stories are renowned for being, very often, above the limit. There is a border even you don’t dare to cross? When do you say to yourself: “okay, it’s better to stop here, I’m going too much further.”?
I’ve never really thought about the need to “draw a line”. When confronted with the question of whether or not to enter the “red zone”, my own feeling is that an idea or scenario that does not enter that zone can’t be a very good one. However, I don’t include meaningless violence and nudity when it serves no purpose to the game.
If you had an unlimited budget and a complete freedom about themes, what kind of game would you like to do?
A historical game set in Japan. It would be a samurai story set in an open world, with the feel of an Akira Kurosawa movie. You would get on your horse and ride from castle to castle. The design is already finished.
If you could get the chance, there is an affirmed franchise you would like to direct? Like, for example, do a “Suda-version” of Call of Duty, Super Mario or Assassin’s Creed, and what would be your personal touch, to it?
Of course, if it were possible there are many games I’d love to work on. If it were “Call of Duty” the subheading would be “Rising Sun” (as the rising sun is the symbol of the japanese flag, E.N.). But for we Japanese to make a game with the Pacific War for its setting is to take on a challenge both mentally taxing and demanding great responsibility.
To work on the Legend of Zelda would be incredible, though I imagine my lifespan would shorten with the burden of such a responsibility.
I love the Batman games and I would love to make an adventure based on Batman Black and White (a graphic novel, E.N.). Someday I would like to work on Japan’s most famous robot anime, Gundam.
Thanks to Playism, Meghan Bridges and Goichi Suda for this interview
La versione italiana dell’intervista e uno speciale sulla carriera di Suda51 è reperibile a questo indirizzo