All About El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron’s Whimsical Design

By Spencer . July 19, 2011 . 3:27pm


The origins of El Shaddai come from the Book of Enoch. The game? That idea was from Ignition’s headquarters in Europe and was decided before Sawaki Takeyasu, lead designer, started working on the title. "Once we received the theme, the team began to brainstorm. We wanted to create a look that did not represent a single country or culture. Our goal was to design a distinct, one of the kind type of world, and we started with a fantasy art for the game’s visuals," Takeyasu said to Siliconera in an interview.


Takeyasu and the team at Ignition Japan designed the game with a trippy watercolor look. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is peppered with visually striking scenes like Enoch, in a 2D perspective, leaping on waves to get from one area to the next. While El Shaddai has 3D combat scenes, a good chunk of the game is 2D platforming. The development team stuck to the original plan throughout the entire design cycle, but there are a few elements Takeyasu mentioned that didn’t make it in the final game.




"If I could go back, I would add more gimmicks to the game. There were a few things I was testing to make the design even more adventurous. Because we lost programmers and we had to finish the game by a deadline there were gimmicks that I was ready to implement, but didn’t make it in," Takeyasu revealed. "These were small things, but I think they would have made the game richer. For example, one idea I was planning is when Enoch needed to climb up players could build something like a staircase out of a tower of blocks. Another thing I was planning was to have Enoch break through wall after wall to get through one area to the next."


El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron soared to popularity in Japan thanks to a meme where Lucifel asks Enoch if he’s wearing enough armor. The Internet phenomenon was a surprise, but a welcome one according to Takeyasu. "Because Ignition is a small publisher, especially in Japan, people wouldn’t notice a new game from them," Takeyasu said with a humble tone. "The video phenomenon over the Internet really helped us get the El Shaddai brand recognized and I’m very thankful for the fans for helping us with this."



With El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron finished, Takeyasu and I started talking about the new hardware announced at E3. "I like the PlayStation Vita. I think this is because I like hi-tech gadgets," Takeyasu said while pointing to his white iPad 2. "The way you can use the device with the touchscreens and other control schemes are fascinating."


"How would you make an El Shaddai game for Vita," I asked.


He paused for a bit before answering, "It would be interesting if you could make a sliding motion on the screen and you could wipe or change the colors. I think, I would do something like that if I had a chance."

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  • AnimusVox

    I can’t wait till this comes out, but I’m glad it was delayed do in part that I am looking forward to Catherine aswell.

  • I really like the design of the game. The watercolored world, I think is very original.

  • I’m very excited for this. I thought the demo was really good and the game has one of my favorite art directions, probably the best since Okami or Valkyria Chronicles IMO.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll sell all that well and possibly be overlooked by most, but I’m hoping that it’ll at least achieve cult status assuming it turns out well.

  • Eddie

    From an artistic point of view the game looks excellent. All the colors go well together and I also like the high contrast with black and white. I just hope the gameplay holds up well. Its good to see games with a different kind of art, El Shaddai, Alice, etc. I need a break from all the bald space marines.

    • runesong

      You and me both, Eddie.  Variety is the spice of life!

  • sandra10

    “It would be interesting if you could make a sliding motion on the
    screen and you could wipe or change the colors. I think, I would do
    something like that if I had a chance.” Dang it, Ignition, give this wonderful man a chance! And don’t push him on deadlines either, his “gimmicks” sound pretty cool.

    • Exkaiser

      They’ve kinda gotta push him on deadlines.

      Ignition needs to make money, after all. ( ´_ゝ`)

      • sandra10

        Giving a developer time to make a better product can translate into making more money.

  • imaguni

    Going from the demo alone, the game is gorgeous and I actually think that the screenshots don’t do it justice! It is at its most beautiful in motion. Looking forward to playing more of it, I’m really excited for this game!

  • puchinri

    I’m so excited for the game~. And I hope that if not for an El Shaddai game on Vita, then some other game (on Vita and/or Wii U~?) that they make a game just as gorgeous and with the color sliding thing.

    Are we getting a dual audio ver by the way? The EN voices aren’t bad, but our Lucifel has nothing on Japan’s. ♥u♥
    If we’re not getting dual audio, is there another version with dual audio or subs at least?

    • El Shaddai has dual audio.

      • puchinri

        Awesome~! Thanks for that, Spencer.

  • WyattEpp

    Played the demo and loved it; it’s really tight and has great rhythm. 

    However… well, I know I can’t be the only person who’s incredibly disappointed that no one can seem to spell “Lucifer”…

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