Killer7 has been a cult classic since its release back on the GameCube and subsequent release on the PS2. After being a bit quiet for all these years, fans are getting another chance at it when it release for PC this fall. We got a chance to sit down with Director Goichi Suda, or Suda51, to talk about the title and its port to PC, along with how it all came together as one of the most surreal titles out there.
[Hardcore Gamer] Does releasing Killer7 now have anything to do with wanting to create another similar title or just aiming to reach a new audience?
[Suda51] It’s more to bring it to new fans. As you know this game originally came out on GameCube, and then also on the PS2. Nowadays it can be difficult to get your hands on one of those systems, let alone the game. Because of that, we definitely wanted to bring it to more modern hardware but beyond that the GameCube version of [Killer7] was developed by Grasshopper. The PS2 version was a port, and there’s actually some differences in there with the content of it. The version we really stand behind is the GameCube and that’s the version I want people to play. So in bringing it to the more modern platform in order for more people to play it, I also wanted to bring the version that I made myself. Of course we asked Capcom for permission, and then we asked NIS America and that’s how it all worked out.
How did involving a mouse and keyboard affect difficulty in gameplay and were there any balance issues?
We’re working with a company called Engine Software from the Netherlands to work on the porting for this game. And we actually had a chance to meet them for the first time recently, while speaking with them what I was told was that someone within Engine said working on this game is like trying to replicate a Picasso piece. But, that said within all of the difficulty that it might imply they’re working really hard to make it really good. So in terms of everything with controls, they’re trying to make it very faithful and not break the difficulty of the game, just doing really good work. So I’m really honored to hear that my work is compared to picasso but at the same time really gratified to see that the company working on it is taking their work very seriously and doing a good job to make a really faithful port.
Were any changes made in porting this version to modern systems such as bug fixes or anything else?
There’s really nothing that’s been added or changed to the game, the only major difference would be of course the original being on GameCube and PS2 it was in 4×3 aspect ratio. However for this one, it’s done 16×9 and also the textures are at a much higher resolution. What I originally promised to Capcom was a straight port, so the only main changes were those two but it’s almost kind of a remaster given the 16×9 aspect ratio and the higher resolution graphics giving it a much clearer, modern look.
There was originally content that had to be cut from the original game, were there any plans to eventually bring that back as an add-on at all?
Yes, about two-thirds of the script I originally wrote for the game was cut. For the time being there’s no plans to add that into this version of the game or even to make a new version of the game. But it is something I’d like to do, however that would have to be discussed with Capcom to make sure all that was done right.
Aside from the content that had to be left out, if you were to remake this game today would you have made any changes?
Honestly, not really. This is a game I feel we made really complete the way it is. From head to toe, it’s all there as I want it to be. As the director talking with the staff that worked on the original version of the game, they all are in agreement about that. So if we were to revisit this game as an actual remake I probably wouldn’t change anything.
There is one thing though. So there’s content that never made it into begin with, however, there’s content that was actually implemented into the game that ended up being locked out. So it’s there, but just locked out. So I thought maybe now if I could go back to my young self and tell him maybe not having that content be available from the first playthrough, but if someone’s going to be replaying it maybe have that content be open and unlocked for them. Already, after you finish it once Killer7 becomes Killer8 and you get one extra character.
Killer7 is known for being a bit surreal and bizarre, were there any inspirations for the atmosphere and enemies?
So, as you know, when this game was made the GameCube was still very new. Especially the controller was very unique. So because this was such a new thing, I wanted to make something entirely new myself. What that meant is that I actually went on a complete media shut out. I didn’t watch any movies, I didn’t read any manga and I didn’t play any games for three years just so that whatever came out in this game was entirely me one hundred percent. So because of that, it’s weird.
Did Killer7 end up inspiring your future games?
Absolutely, the biggest example would be No More Heroes which I made directly after. Like I said earlier, going on that complete media shut down to everything I wanted the pendulum to swing the opposite direction so I could get a media overload and let a lot of things in. If I hadn’t made Killer7, I wouldn’t have been able to make No More Heroes. It being the sort of exact opposite and the desire to make something completely different is absolutely what allowed me to make No More Heroes.
Do you have any hopes for Killer7 being re-released, given that it’s another chance for it to be experienced by new players?
One thing you could say would be that whenever I go to shows I meet a lot of young creators, or other developers for that matter, they often say what a huge impact Killer7 had on them in their careers of game development, game design and all these different areas and how much it meant to them. I begin to realize myself just how impactful it was. What I would hope for this re-release is not just having young people play the game, but having young creators or people who have never even thought about entering the industry be inspired by this so that they could make games themselves. I also really want players to have a chance to see ‘Oh there is a game that’s like this’ because it’s so unique, and see that it’s another take on games.
Who is your favorite of the Seven Killers?
Coyote Smith, I love his shooting motion where he puts the gun sideways. Unfortunately, Coyote Smith is one of the ones who got cut content, he was originally made as a rival to Dan. I feel like Dan got a lot of good presentation in the game story-wise but Coyote never really got it as his rival, so it’s unfortunate that we never got to have that Coyote.
Any plans to port to PS4, Xbox One or Switch currently?
At the moment, no, but it all depends on the sales of this one. So provided it does well, I would definitely like to think about the next step.