Eschatos Official Page Bonus Interview
—Please tell us the history of the Eschatos development.
M-KAI: I had actually been involved in making a completely different STG for Windows, but in the middle of that Qute talked to me and asked if I would try making a game for the X360.
—Please tell us about the difficulties you had in making Eschatos.
M-KAI: I had become used to playing games where the bomb was designed to be an emergency save. But some of the design ideas I had for this game were “shield, not bomb”, “wide shot range limitations”, “the enemy appearance and patterns must be randomized to a certain degree”, and “stages where the player’s view would change at predetermined points.” So I struggled to create a game that had design elements that I wasn’t familiar with.
I remember especially worrying about the visibility during the 3D perspective parts. Also, unlike most current STGs, Eschatos has a system where you can’t progress to the next stage until you’ve defeated all the enemy formations or let them escape, so I had to pay extra attention to making sure the backgrounds syncronized with the action. Since there are many parts where the length of the background changes depending on how quickly or slowly you defeat the enemies, I worked really hard to make everything appear natural. I also spent a lot of time developing and adjusting a scoring system that would be simple, not too puzzling or complex, but also wouldn’t be totally boring or extraneous.
—Please tell us about the difficulty of the game.
M-KAI: People had said Judgment Silversword was too hard, so at the start of development for Eschatos we added a Normal and Easy mode where things are much easier. So if players clear Normal mode once and feel something is lacking, I would definitely like them to try the Hard mode. From the start I programmed Eschatos with the Hard mode as my base, and the Advanced Hard mode is the one I played the most as well. Hardest mode is unlocked as you play the game, but it contains parts that were done almost half-jokingly, so please don’t worry if you can’t clear it.
—Please give us some simple strategy tips.
M-KAI: Compared with the Wonderswan series of games I made, the shield has a more important role here, so if you learn to use it, you can defend against most attacks. But if you move around with the shield out, it becomes easier to accidentally collide with the bullets stopped by the shield, so please be careful. Also, by picking up the bullet cancelling flash items that occasionally appear, the difficulty of the game will greatly change.
—Regarding Cardinal Sins and Judgment Silversword, is there anything you’ve updated from the original WonderSwan versions?
M-KAI: I developed these using the WonderSwan source code, which I ported to the X360. Since this was a source level port, I was therefore able to keep most everything the same, down to the original sprite flickering. I did have to recreate the slowdown by hand, but I was able to adjust it to my satisfaction, I think. I also added online ranking and achievements.
—You asked Yousuke Yasui to compose the soundtrack for Eschatos this time. What did you think when you heard it?
A track from the Eschatos OST.
M-KAI: After I consulted with Qute, we asked Yasui to write the soundtrack. He also helped out with getting the image of the game as a modern STG, so I am very glad he worked with us. To be honest when I first heard the stage 3 and 4 BGM it was very different from what I had expected, but after test playing the level many times, I now can’t imagine any other music fitting! I remember the whole development staff being very excited each time he would bring a new track to us.
—Have you thought about what your next project will be?
M-KAI: It hasn’t been fully decided yet whether I’ll be developing for the X360 for my next game, but I’d like to make a “90s” style game. (laughs)