Interview of Hideki Kamiya
-Director of Resident Evil 2-

"This time, I intentionally made the King of Sequels"
K: Hideki Kamiya
--: Interviewer -Ayumi Saito-

"This time, I throw up blood"

--: It had been 6 months since the release of Resident Evil 2, How was the development?

Well, this time was my first experience with directing the game, so I had a hard time. When I was in the original Resident Evil's development team, I was just one of the planners so I was kind of trying to bite Mr. Mikami's head off, but this time, everybody tried to bite my head off.....
--: You understood Mr. Mikami's suffer? *laugh*

Yes. I remember I drunk alcohol every night in those really hard working days.
--: It was like "I can't do this anymore"?

Yeah *laugh* As soon as I came back to my place, I opened the bottle.
I worked a long hours because I was so busy, and it was always after midnight when I got back to my place. Then, I had to go to work 9:00 in the morning but I couldn't sleep.....
--: It was like you got nervous?

Maybe, but even I was calm, when I got in the bed , I started to worry. "How should I manage those plans?" "How will I direct the cut scene?" and I started mini-meeting inside of my head. *laugh* In Resident Evil 2 development, we had meetings twice a week with all 40 team members. In the meeting, everybody said "How's schedule going?" or "I'm ready to make this room but map is not done yet?" to me. And when I tried to sleep, that kind of questions and complaint came back and I started think about I have to do this, that and I couldn't sleep. So, I drunk strong alcohol straight and went to sleep.When I did that, I could sleep until morning. I did it everyday.
--: Your health was OK?

One day, I went to a restaurant with my friend and ate too much, then I felt like I was gonna throw up. I run to the rest room and throw up and I saw that it was full of the blood!!!! *laugh*
--: Oh.... no......

I couldn't believe it, but I threw up more and more blood..... I went to the doctor the next day and I went through a health examination... by gastroscope...... I never went back to the doctor to get result.
--: You should go!! ........maybe, if it was serious, the hospital would call you and tell you...... I hope.
K: Yeah, I thought so too. So, I'm just thinking it wasn't serious at all.

--: Long time ago, when Mr. Mikami directed original Resident Evil, he said same thing, It is hard to manage all the people.
K: Yes, "get the game together" is the same as "get the people together", and that was the hardest job to do. We had more than 40 staff member and everybody had a strong desire for expression as a creator, but...
--: Of course, you can't listen to everybody.

Yes, It was hard to chose the way because none of them has a wrong idea.
--: What was your requirement?

Only it matches with Resident Evil 2 world.
This time, the hard thing was to create the composition of all the story, enemy, weapon, motion of the character and cut scene as a consistent game.
--: All the development team staff has strong way of thinking too right?

Yes, when I started the development, we had a lot of conflict, maybe because I was immature as a director. But we developed good trust relationships in the team and everybody's energy went a positive way. It was like "OK, If he (or she) has this much strong idea, just let him do whatever he wants."
By the way, do you have experience with gastroscope?
--: No, I don't.

It was BAD, they have to put it in your stomach from your mouth, and by human's physiological reaction, people throw up whatever is in the stomach, so I couldn't eat anything from the night before and I couldn't drink anything after I woke up in the morning. Empty the stomach then anesthetize throat.
--: anesthetize by shot?

No, you have to drink little by little in 5 minutes. After that, you don't feel anything in the throat. Even drinking saliva, you use muscle in throat but you can't feel anything, so everything goes out from the mouth. Then I felt so scared if I choked, I might die..... I even worried about breathing.
--: I think anesthesia makes people uncomfortable.

Yes, I was laying down on some kind of table and they put a plastic circle thing in my mouth to bit, and they slowly insert the gastroscope in the circle thing and my mouth to my stomach. All the saliva came out from my mouth, my internal organs in the screen..... It was a terrible experience. In the end, they tried to check my intestines and tried to break open into my intestines..... It was a PAIN.
--: Oh, no......

During the time, I said "URRRR....URRRR...." non-stop.. the nurse tried to calm me down.... I thought I was never gonna drink alcohol again!!..... well.... I already drinking now....

"Zapping System"

--: Before, you said the fear and entertainment was the main theme of Resident Evil 2. But one more important item is zapping system.

I know, basically, we had the first idea of zapping system when we developed the original Resident Evil. We thought we could evolve the story.
--: But, I thought it still needed some modification in order to be able to feel the real meaning of "zapping system". For example, the users still have to unlock the same door that already unlocked by other character's story.

Oh! That words hurts me!!
--: I'm sorry.... *laugh*

Well...... If you are in the position if the real world, it makes sense to just unlock the door in only one character's story, but it not good to be a game.
--: Is it impossible to create one totally new stage for other character?

I can say it is almost impossible....
In the movie "Back to the future", the 2nd was kind of another side story of 1st movie, when I saw the movie, it made me more understanding of 1st movie and I wanted to do that. But Resident Evil 2 is a game, not a movie. It was hard to create everything to match the real world.
--: For example?

Well, we have to create all game flow in the story, get key here and use it there or enemy point is here.... we have to think about all of the game flow and zapping system. It was like change here, so have to change there..... It going to be a problem if some of the events didn't happen.... if I made the game to just go through the story, it not a game anymore.
--: I understand, if game flow is too easy, it is just a boring game.

I can say, It gave me a lot of headache.
--: Resident Evil 2 is almost a perfectly good game, so that kind of small bad thing shows more, I think.

Maybe.... I think the zapping system still needs to be complemented, it has lots more potential but we couldn't use it all. So, we have to blush up on the future series.

Interview from: Research on Biohazard 2 Final Edition
Published Date: Sep 1st 1998
Published by: Micro Design

All text translated by doughboy.
Original Japanese text all rights reserved by Capcom and related publishers.
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