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Uri's 100 Secret Game Tidbits
A while ago, Uri tweeted with a tag to the effect of "1 like = 1 secret detail about your game(s)." To the surprise of maybe no one but her, she woke up to 100 likes and said she'd cut it off there and post them later. And now she has.
A bunch of these were already mentioned in bonus rooms and the like, but there is new info as well, particularly for The Hanged Man. The last 30 or so are for The Hanged Man and will spoil it, so to avoid THM spoilers, don't scroll past the warning!
I originally started making games because I was writing lots of stories, and I wanted to practice making branching paths, which are unique to games.
Insanity isn't actually my first game, it's my second. I'm not showing anyone my first game. It's extremely amateurish, so I have no plans to release it.
I was thinking of making a gag-filled sequel to Insanity. But I stopped thinking that.
Kyouko has a friend who's a model. The friend is naturally large-chested.
My favorite in Insanity is Risa. [I think she meant Riho.]
Insanity is my only game without an English version, but I don't really want one to be made, myself. (Which vgperson is also aware of.)
Miki from Paranoiac is based on Miki Nakatani. She's sort of an unfortunate-looking beauty. My impression of Miki Nakatani herself isn't "an unfortunate-looking beauty," but I was really into Memories of Matsuko, so.
In the ending, Miki went back to her parents' house, and two years later when her mom had gotten better, she returned to her aunt's house. Miura was waiting patiently, so he was overjoyed.
With Paranoiac's atmosphere, I was going for eastern-style horror.
Miki stayed in that house in spite of her trauma there because she was afraid of going against her mother. It's like a jail cell to her.
One reason Miki's mother is so harsh with her is that Miki resembles her mother's younger sister.
Originally, in Paranoiac's bad ending, there was planned to be a superfluous bit about Miura being plagued with guilt over whether he could have saved Miki if he'd paid more attention, and feeling like someone's chasing him down.
Miura works in architectural design. He's still new to it.
Miura is 24. Miki is one year younger.
Miki isn't used to men since her father quickly divorced and left. Other than those like her manager Hayakawa, there are no men she has any contact with, so she doesn't even notice Miura coming on so strong.
Though the study isn't locked, Miki won't enter it at first because she's subconsciously opposed to going in, due to the trauma of finding her aunt's corpse there.
I still haven't seen the Paranoiac movie. I want to (urgently). Wanna go back to Japan soon.
I'm writing a Paranoiac novel. But I'm prioritizing games, so it's getting nowhere. When that settles down, I plan to focus on it.
When I'm done making everything I want to make, I'd like to do remakes of Insanity, Paranoiac, and Mermaid Swamp.
TCM was originally based on a real experience my brother had, but I hesitated to make it into a game given the content, so it took a big departure.
I decided David's name pretty arbitrarily, but thinking about it, it might be because I like the actor David Morse.
David's mother's name is Rachel.
David had a few other girlfriends in the past, but due to his plain personality, they all ended up dumping him, saying "it's boring being with you."
David himself didn't have much attachment to his past lovers, and he'd seen his parents' divorce, so he had no dreams of having a girlfriend or marrying.
Paul took it in stride whenever he was dumped, and was secretly worried about David not making any active effort to get a girlfriend.
So when David got dumped by Shirley, someone he'd really found he liked, Paul was furious. Thus, Paul hates Shirley.
Shirley's name came from Shirley MacLaine. No particular reason, I just watched a movie with her around that time.
David's mother looks pretty old, but she's in her 50's. She used to have light blonde hair, but because of her hardships, her hair went white in her 50's.
David hates his father for abandoning his frail mother. This is why he gets seriously pissed at Keith in TBM for saying "must've put your old man through a lot of trouble." This was also meant to foreshadow THM a bit.
The good ending's title is from the jazz song Bye Bye Blackbird. The Mel Torme version is my favorite, but I couldn't find it online.
The English spelling of Sissi's name was originally just "Sissy," but I realized it was strange when the English version came out [where I, vgperson, opted to change it to Sissi]
, so I officially made it Sissi.
Mermaid Swamp's Rin is canonically very pretty. Beautiful, but highly uncouth.
Seitaro's name was borrowed from a friend. By the way, said friend is very buff and suited for tanktops.
Rin's rudeness comes from her being victimized by perverts and exhibitionists back when she was a quiet girl with undyed hair, giving her a desire to defend herself. Sometimes when she's cornered, her plain-old-girl side emerges.
Rin was born in Kyuushuu, Yuka in Tokyo. Seitaro and Yuuta were in the same high school in Hiroshima. Yuuta went to the same college and major as Seitaro, figuring that he'd be able to graduate by relying on Seitaro's smarts.
The four are all history majors. On summer break, they went out for field work, and the game takes place on their way back.
Yuuta is in the rakugo research club. Seitaro plays bass in the light music club. Rin and Yuka aren't in any clubs.
Rin and Yuka met at their college entrance ceremony. They were sitting next to each other and had the same major. Yuuta came up to flirt with Rin, and somehow Rin and Seitaro got in an argument, and that's how they all met.
The group gets lost at the start due to the poor guidance of Yuka in the passenger seat. Seitaro tried to take her place midway, but Yuuta insisted that it was good to have a girl in the passenger seat, and so she stayed there.
I got the idea of involving Ophelia from a Natsume Soseki book. Maybe it was Sanshiro?
Mermaid Swamp's theme is contrasting elements being put together. East and west, earth and water, men and women, love and hate, etcetera.
TSM is based on Metallica's Enter Sandman.
Sophie's name comes from Sophia, meaning a smart girl.
Sophie goes to a Catholic school because I wanted to draw her in a uniform.
Lullaby was originally going to be named "Lala" by Sophie, from "lullaby." I don't really remember much about that, but yeah, I dropped it.
The fairy world is made up of things that Sophie knows. As such, Sophie has knowledge of the fairies that show up. (There are lines like "Dwarf? A fairy good at making things, I assume?")
The Sandman is originally German, so Sophie and Richard were planned to be German too. But I changed my mind thinking of how hard it would be to find voice actors with good German accents for the next game, TBM. The fairies were also planned to all be of German origin.
TSM's Unicorn is black because I had a certain image in mind for him. He's more of an enemy of maidenhood. So he also has lines like "I'll run you through with my horn!" I wanted him to be a contradictory entity rather than a typical unicorn.
Lullaby changing back from David to his real appearance is because by losing the pink jewel that is her romantic love, Sophie's dependence on David is also gone.
Richard and David are similar in their gentleness. So maybe that's why Sophie liked him.
In a bad ending, Sophie becomes the Queen of the Night, which is someone she has prior knowledge of. (Lines to that effect show up if you read The Magic Flute in the bookstore.) Having to live in a world where night never comes, Sophie unconsciously pictured a queen who ruled over the night.
Lullaby turns into Sophie's mom in the good ending because as Sophie falls asleep, she goes back to being like a child and wishes for her mother to be there with her.
If you want to know why TBM was so flashy: Back when I was making TCM, I had ideas up to the fourth game, but considered it likely I could give up on it before then, so I made TBM flashy so that I could end on it if need be. *scummy grin*
Since creating the game, writing the script, and VA recordings all happened at the same time, I was working with the TBM voice actors for a whole year. I'm really very sorry...
Keith was originally going to be a cold detective on the outside, but a violent scumbag at home. Upon thinking about it, I saw how there'd be no help for him even in a happy ending, so I decided against it.
I pictured Helena as being like Nicole Kidman from Bewitched. I made sure to tell this to her voice actor, Serene. But my poor English resulted in misunderstandings, and there had to be many retakes.
TBM's opening "Are you asleep?" scene and David saying toward the end "Are you asleep?! Get a grip!" are connected. Keith goes from "I was just thinking," his head full of responsibilities and regrets, to "I'm awake" in the latter half.
The scene of David lending his lighter to Keith foreshadows later events. It represents David showing Keith the way.
Sophie is dressed so fancily because she's ecstatic to be going on a trip. Vacation!
I was nervous about finding a suitable voice actor for an old gentleman like Richard, but Winter was an astonishingly good fit. I could say the same for other parts as well, but he surprised me the most.
I didn't know most of the voice actors beforehand, but I did know about Dick's VA, Manly. Someone recommended his Mermaid Swamp Let's Play to me. Dick serves to unravel the story at the end, so I thought his clear way of speaking was perfect.
Keith's actor Neon told me he was surprised I was a woman. Which in turn surprised me.
Lance and Keith actually have pretty similar personalities. (Their sarcasticness, I guess?) If things were different, maybe they could've gotten along.
Lance is fond of Helena because of the above.
Lance, Richard, and David fill the roles of mirrors that reflect Keith's real face, hidden beneath his emotionlessness. Lance reflects Keith going along with his desires (Keith when he was younger), Richard shows his face as a father, and David shows his face as a husband.
David/Shirley and Keith/Helena show contrasting relationships as couples. David/Shirley trust each other and stand back to back, while Keith/Helena use themselves as shields to protect the other.
TSM has a scene where the Boogie Man (?) touches Sophie's shoulder. TBM has a similar scene, but this is meant to mislead. Saying "we've met before" and all that is just a lie by the "Boogie Man who dressed up as a monster" to try and scare Sophie.
You can't see the Boogie Man's face in the above scene because the face Keith sees and the face Sophie sees are different. The face Sophie and the others see is the one it changes into in the good ending final battle.
The Boogie Man's face is painted on to represent that he's hiding his real emotions. This is why the graffiti "face" changes. Underneath the bag, his face was emotionless like Keith's.
The Boogie Man isn't wearing a necktie around his neck, but rather a rope.
David did intend to buy Paul a souvenir during TBM, but that was neither here nor there once the incident happened, so Shirley suggested buying a banana being sold at the docks. ...I was thinking of including that as a bonus scene.
TBM's brutal difficulty made working on it hard for me as well. I vowed to never make a game that hard again.
*SPOILERS FOR THE HANGED MAN BELOW!*
After the incident in TBM, Keith went to counseling for a while. He's gotten much better as of THM.
After nearly dying in TBM, Keith figured he should write up a will and testament, so he became Richard's client (since he works for a credit company).
THM is unlike other games in the series in that the titular "man" is not directly the villain.
THM's title has three meanings. 1) The tarot card (and its meaning of "trial"). 2) The hanged corpse (suggestion of suicide). 3) The Happy Murders (sacrificing others to make yourself happy).
I consider THM to be a game where I took on quite a few challenges. I wanted to make it a game that felt somehow idyllic, but with a sense of madness. (It's not, though.)
The games in the series are written with rather contrary motifs. TCM vs. TBM, TSM vs. THM. For instance, TSM ends like "it's okay to just stay a kid and not push yourself to be an adult," which contrasts with THM's story of "accepting meetings and goodbyes, growing from a child to an adult."
I pictured THM's Will as sort of a late-bloomer. So he's short, and his voice hasn't fully cracked even at 14.
Will was originally based on a certain celebrity who had a gloomy adolescence, but achieved great success as a result of it. But that took the story in all sorts of directions, so I dropped it, and he just became a boy whose future potential was an unknown.
The things Will saw as a child were basically "imaginary friends." (The Hanged Man's corpse and a rat named Pop do exist, so strictly speaking it's not quite that.)
Will is highly sensitive and imaginative. In childhood, he assigned personalities and stories to events around him and his own feelings, which complemented the real world. The result was as aforementioned.
(81 Addendum) Mime: Born from the fear of something being there in the dark. (Fear of unexplained events)
(81 Addendum) Murdoc: Born from the irritation of being unable to properly get along with others. (Imperfect communication skills) Even when trying to befriend others, he just gets teased, further isolating him.
(81 Addendum) Misery: Born from his sadness due to being alone. By the way, she has no relation to Alice Stanley from the hospital. You just see Misery in the hallway because reading Alice's letters reminds Will of his feelings of loneliness.
(81 Addendum) Billy: Reflects lonely Will's desire for someone he can put his absolute trust in, since "animals don't lie." Having some paternal elements assigned to him, he sounds a bit controlling sometimes.
(81 Addendum) Pop: Assumes the role of "an ideal father," which Will sought as he was beginning to come to terms with his father's death. So he doesn't get pushy or try to restrict Will's actions like Billy does. He teaches Will lots of things and affirms him.
(81 Addendum) Also, Pop is in part broken off from Will's more matured side. So when he's with Pop, he can just follow him, but when he's gone, he has more childish thoughts and personality.
Thinking of THM's story in terms of the above, maybe "killing your father" is necessary to mature. The painting that appears in-game in a book of paintings is "Oedipus Killing His Father."
Pop's name comes from "poppa," as in "father."
Of the strange creatures Will sees as a child, Old Billy is the only one to appear in any bad endings. Because Old Billy is a more controlling father figure than Pop, and he tries to protect Will by keeping him in his room.
Depending on how you look at it, everything Will sees and hears in the abandoned building could also be interpreted as his fear causing him to mistake things. (Like Sophie casually opening the gate he can't open just being that he's too afraid to go ahead.)
Sophie became a college student and started working at a cafe. Regan went along with her for some reason, so they work together.
The friend who likes tarot Sophie mentions is Anne from TSM. TSM's character bios mention that it's her hobby.
Keith wears two rings in TBM as well. The silver one is his platinum wedding ring, the gold one is the present from his son.
Keith says in THM that he goes drinking with David sometimes, but it's usually David who invites him.
David's position up to the middle of the game is intended to be similar to the Hanged Man's. Will sees him as a portent of a dark future.
The next game for the series (spinoff 1) is planned to be a short serious one. It should be done fairly quickly.
Spinoff 2, planned to come after the above, is planned to have elements of comedy. The content might be tough for some people.
I figured I wouldn't have 100 of these, so I pulled a bunch from my THM design notes. It was difficult, honestly.
Posted May 17th, 2017
#the crooked man, #the sandman, #the boogie man, #the hanged man