IGN Interviews Igarashi
Date: 15 May 2008 (Updated 16 August 2021)
We sit down with the Godfather of Castlevania. Where will the series take us now?
After his on-stage demo of the latest chapter in Castlevania history, series producer, and key creative leader Koji Igarashi met up with IGN to discuss the future of Konami's now 20-year old franchise. He speaks on the latest addition to the series, Order of Ecclesia, comments on the recent "Wii Connectivity" screenshot leaked from the game, and talks about the future of Castlevania as we know it. Will we see a Wii version? Is the era of 2D over? Are there any chances for a Symphony of the Night 2? We sit down to find out.
IGN: First of all, congratulations on the announcement of the third Castlevania DS, Order of Ecclesia. How does it feel to be back on the system, and showing off a product with such an immense fan base watching?
IGA: Thank you. Well the team has obviously experienced the release of the last two games, but I can tell you we're really trying hard to do some incredible things with this version.
IGN: During the presentation you mentioned that Order of Ecclesia takes place in a time where the Belmonts are all gone. That makes this the most futuristic entry thus far for the series, correct?
IGA: In regards to the timeline, this game takes place right after the era of Richter Belmont, where the last Belmont disappears with the whip. That's where the series fits overall in the timeline; right after the era of Richter Belmont.
IGN: Wait. Does that mean no Vampire Killer whip this time around?
IGA: [Laughs] Yes, that one probably won't come out this time.
IGN: This is now the third chapter of Castlevania on DS. How challenging has it been to keep things fresh throughout three GBA games, and now three DS titles. Fans of course want Symphony of the Night over and over, but each game still has that need to feel different and unique, right?
IGA: Very true. Things like the left and, right hand attack system was used in Symphony of the Night, if you may remember, so there are some similarities. With regards to the storyline though, this is a very different experience from the normal Castlevania experience, but I think fans will really like it.
IGN: In the progression from Symphony of the Night until now, we've seen a huge mass of different battle systems. There have been soul systems, magic systems, card battling in Circle of the Moon, and soul harnessing in the Sorrow series. How did you come across the whole "glyph" concept, and is this a way to blend the best of everything into one large experience?
IGA: The main thing I really focused on in regards to how I wanted this version to play, was the feeling of it taking time and causing tension to grab these new skills away from enemies, sometimes in the heat of battle. Instead of just killing enemies, grabbing their weapons, and using the items right away, I wanted that feeling you get when you're actively pulling away the magic and taking time to absorb the new powers. So that certainly ties into the whole design on my end.
IGN: The new game has an all-new look, and an all-new lead character. How many bosses and enemies will make a return this time around? Is it a blend of old and new, or are you really stepping away from the original enemies?
IGA: Well in regards to the main monsters in the game, we've brought back some familiar faces along with the new, so as you can see in the trailer you're still battling skeletons and traditional Castlevania enemies, but this time around with bosses I think you'll be very surprised. They will be quite different.
IGN: We've got a few questions on the finer points of the game. In Portrait of Ruin, character switching was an integral part of the game. Will that make a return again, or is this a solo mission?
IGA: Well, the development team is always pushing to do something new; they get bored really easily, so we're always changing things up. This time around though, there isn't really a switch system, no.
IGN: As a quick note, we're loving the idea of a female lead again. The last time we had that was Castlevania Legends!
IGA: [Laughs] Yes we're very excited for that as well. It was a huge request from the fans.
IGN: So there's no character switching, but there will still be online for players, right?
IGA: Yes, that is making a return in the form of head-to-head and shop mode via Wi-Fi, but we'll give you more details on that very soon.
IGN: Well we hate to ask, since I'm sure you've been asked a million times, but what was with the "Wii Connect" option on that first screenshot of the game? It was everywhere on the internet.
IGA: Ahhhh yes. Well, that's a secret. We'll have to wait on that for now. [Laughs]
IGN: Did someone get fired over that one?
IGA: Well, things happen. [Laughs] Please erase that from my memory.
IGN: Well, we do have to bring up one more thing, as the fans are asking like crazy. What do you have in mind for the future of Castlevania, specifically when in regards to the Wii? Also, do you feel that Castlevania works better as a 2D franchise than a 3D one? It has been very well received on PSX, then on GBA, and now on DS.
IGA: First let me answer the question about 2D and 3D. As you know, the 2D and 3D gameplay has been completely different, and I felt that on DS that 2D was best-suited for the platform, so that's why we stuck with it in 2D for all three games. It was the right type of game for the right system. In regards to the Wii, there's not really much I can say right now. I'm looking at the system, and we're looking to expand the franchise, so I'm sure that in the coming weeks or months you'll be hearing something new.
IGN: This will be our final question. We're huge Castlevania fans, so we feel the need to ask this one. Regardless of platform or future direction for the company itself, do you feel that you can take what you did in Symphony of the Night again, and take the magic of that incredible 2D experience and duplicate it again now, or has the era of 2D ended, so to speak?
IGA: I think that development for 2D in regards to the Wii or any other system is very difficult to do right now, but there are other avenues we can use to explore the 2D progression of Castlevania such as WiiWare or downloadable content and whatnot. So no, I don't think it's really a dead thing.
IGN: But if you were making your amazing, epic game, you wouldn't go for a crazy, over-the-top 2D spectacular like Symphony of the Night?
IGA: In regards to that, I've been doing 2D, and we've done it very well, but with 3D it's something that I want to move into, and I think it needs to be done. It has been frustrating for me, but there's something I've got to do for that.