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Castlevania: the mega-interview

GR: So this also includes Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which must be exciting for fans. As we understand it, you're going to be working on some changes for SOTN. Could you talk about these changes?

KI: So basically, it's mostly a straight port from the original SOTN on PlayStation. I wasn't happy about the quality of the PlayStation SOTN voiceover, so I'm trying to do something about it on the PSP.

There's a particular part that I didn't like. It was a cool part with Alucard. Richter was laughing, and Alucard turned around and said "Who are you?" but not in a very cool way. [Imitating the voice acting] "Who. Are. You?!" Obviously I don't speak English, but even I felt really uncomfortable with that voice acting.

There are some more details I could tell you [but] I will keep them secret.

GR: We do have one question, though. As you know the game came out on the Sega Saturn [in Japan] and there was one major new area that was included in the Saturn version. Can you comment on whether or not you'd include it?

KI: I'm not, up to this point, talking about the expected areas that you're talking about, but... we're thinking that Sega Saturn version, with the part you're talking about, is really awful...

GR: That extra area down at the bottom...

KI: I think there were two.

GR: Yeah, one's just a room and that was pointless. But one's a full sized area and that's OK.

KI: You are right, but... if that happens with the PlayStation [version] it's a failure. It's just not good for me.

So let me just say that I know that there are some voices that want some Sega Saturn content brought over to PSP. I would like to have it... I'm a perfectionist, sorry about it. I want to have quality that matches with the PSone SOTN. That's my standard with selecting all of these elements. So with that intent I would like to take every part from the Sega Saturn version... I would like to consider whether or not the Sega Saturn parts match with the PSone Symphony of the Night in quality. If so, then I will think about adding it on to my PSP SOTN. So please wait.

GR: Almost ten years ago, SOTN originally came out. It's set the tone for the next ten years of Castlevania. Do you ever feel that it limits what you can do with Castlevania, to stay true to that game?

KI: The basic concept of delivering this title over PSP is to deliver Rondo of Blood that was never released in the States - not Symphony of the Night. Many of the gamers in the US, or outside Japan, tend to think that SOTN is one of the Castlevania titles that made a drastic change to the series. But personally speaking, I think Rondo of Blood was the title that actually started branching out from the past Castlevania series. Therefore I wanted to bring Rondo of Blood this time.

And soon after we narrowed down to work on Rondo of Blood, as you know this is a linear type of game. And it has a little short gameplay. I came to think it might not be bad to add Symphony of the Night to the game. At the same time I was thinking of reworking SOTN because I didn't like the voiceovers, as I mentioned. So that's why it is compiled together this time.

So I highly suspect that many Castlevania hardcore game fans, instead of Rondo of Blood, they might have wanted Symphony of the Night with 3D graphics and 2D gameplay. We calculated that. But we realized it's going to cost a huge amount of money, plus a long period of time in development. So we thought "why not just start off with Rondo of Blood as a test case?"

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