How To Make Corpse Party: Book Of Shadows Scary And Other Questions

By Spencer . October 22, 2012 . 5:11pm


Xseed announced they will bring over Corpse Party: Book of Shadows today, which means we can finally talk about the sequel! Corpse Party: Book of Shadows picks up right after Corpse Party. The story was made internally at Mages instead of by Team GrisGris and they also changed the viewpoint to a first person perspective for Book of Shadows. In this interview, we talked to producer Yasuhiko Nomura about the changes and asked him what he thinks is the most important element for a horror game.


How does Corpse Party: Book of Shadows connect to Corpse Party?


Yasuhiko Nomura, Producer at Mages/5pb: Corpse Party has a lot of endings including a true ending and a loop ending. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows picks up from the true end, but it also accounts for some of the endings too. It’s structured in a way that it sort of brings all of the stories together.



Why did you want to continue Corpse Party with Corpse Party: Book of Shadows?


One of the main motivating factors is some of the characters in Corpse Party die very quickly without much back story. For example, [names removed since it’s a spoiler]. We wanted to follow up and enhance that story with more background for the characters so they don’t feel as one dimensional.


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Why did you drop the sprite style from Corpse Party in favor of a new graphic style?


Corpse Party was a PC game created by GrisGris that we ported to PSP. Book of Shadows is a game we created ourselves from scratch. We wanted incorporate our experience working on a lot of adventure games into Book of Shadows, our original Corpse Party title.


What is the scariest part in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows?


It’s hard to pinpoint any one part, but we thought a lot of the horror elements in Book of Shadows are not what you can see, but what is implied, what you can hear, and what you think is coming. Those were the scariest parts of Corpse Party and we wanted to incorporate all of those elements into Book of Shadows too.


Even though GrisGris wasn’t behind Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, it was Mages, a different developer we wanted to keep in similar enough that players from the original Corpse Party will be satisfied with similar elements in Book of Shadows.



One of the elements in Corpse Party was going around and checking items. Reading descriptions and figuring out what their uses are and for clues. Book of Shadows does this as well, which fit well with our adventure background. Although we wouldn’t consider this a visual novel since you can move around and check items. Corpse Party had a lot of skeletons to check, but I don’t think it was necessarily that scary. That is was one element I wanted to make scarier in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. There are lots of skeletons as well, but this time we gave it more of a realistic feel.


What is the most important element you need to make a horror game feel scary?


I would say the most important element is sound and background music. Even when something is not necessarily going on on-screen we can create an eerie environment just by the sounds and music we play or don’t play.

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  • JazzyMan123

    Whoops, nvm.

  • WingsOfEternity

    I really want to see how they can make it scary without the SNES-like RPG gameplay. Those chases were really what got my heart pounding.

    • This game is a bit less scary than the first, but a bit more “unnerving,” if that makes sense. Its story goes much farther than the first game’s, and the events that happen are a lot more unsettling and unpleasant, giving you this constant sense of dread — but in a good way! ;)

      I’d say the first game is creepier, but the second game tells a better story. It’s kind of like the Paranormal Activity movies, if you’ve seen them — the first is creepy, while the second is just awesome because of how it connects TO the first, and the cool twists they added to the plot that you really didn’t see coming.

      Higurashi no Naku Koro ni vs. Higurashi Kai would be a good comparison as well.

    • Barrylocke89

      I half agree with you. For me, the chases and escape sequences were more like the climax of the game’s terror. 

      I feel like it was really important that the game first set the mood with the music, plot, and incidents that were creepy, but not life threatening (such as finding the skeleton girl sitting in that chair early on in the first chapter). 

      Those things helped to build the tension. That way, whenever the game finally dropped the bomb and had you running for your life, you were adequately scared, and doing what it took to not die.

      I do wonder (and hope) that Book of Shadows will be able to recapture some of those same feelings.

  • z_merquise

    Glad that we got this game in English. I guess the 1st game did sold well.

    Though I actually prefer the retro RPG-styled exploration, this one looked so good too.

  • revenent hell

    I am so happy about the news that we will be seeing this here in the states…..I think this is the best christmass gift I could get in october lol :D

  • Barrit

    Isn’t Corpse Party going on sale for $10 tomorrow on PSN? I may pick it up if so. 

    • Yep! As soon as PSN updates, Corpse Party is half off.

      • That’s definitely my time to pick it up. Cannot wait!

  • MiniTaurus

    …but we thought a lot of the horror elements in Book of Shadows are not what you can see, but what is implied, what you can hear, and what you think is coming…

    hit on the spot! And the detailed describing text about how someone die is scary too.. D:

  • Raze

    What is the most important element you need to make a horror game feel scary?”I would say the most important element is sound and background music.”

    So true…Lol…
    You know…Like Slenderman games….
    If you play it with sound it will be more scary…
    And if you add some comedy music like “give me $20” you will laugh of it…Haha…

    The music in corpse party is giving us ‘the scary vibe’…
    The ghost isn’t really scary though…

  • MadSova

    Completed japanese version not so long ago. So I give a little advice. Play with headphones. Soooooooo much scarier that way…

    • Barrylocke89

      This advice also goes for people that plan on picking up the first one with the sale too.

      MadSova (or anyone else that knows the answer): Does Book of Shadows have the same binaural effect that the first one had? 

      • Yep! In fact, if you beat the game, you unlock a mode where you get to mix and match binaural audio files spoken during its 8 chapters to create your own custom conversations. Which can ONLY end well, of course. ;)

        • Barrylocke89

          Well that unlockable seems VERY…exploitable.

    • 猫 黒

       This.  Favor noise-canceling headphones over earbuds or anything that leaks sound.  And play at night.  When I played the first this way, I was scared shitless from the aural experience alone.  The experience is so much better than e.g. playing in the day with speakers.

  • Daniel Narvaez

    You know, what they REALLY should do is totally disregard every horror-element and make it purely action with guns, every vehicle imaginable, explosions, and a QTE every 5 seconds.

    You know, like how Resident evil did it. Yeaaah.

  • piichan

    Great that we’re getting this….so any news of the hakouki fandisc being released on psn as well?

  • Göran Isacson

    Agreed about the sounds being imperative- some of the sound effects in the first Corpse Party were just… oooh dang.

    that aside, man aren’t these pics alone some heavy spoilers? Or am I just totally misinterpreting all these scenes of characters dying in gruesome ways?

    • Are scenes of characters dying in Corpse Party spoilers at all? I mean, depending on which ending path you get, PEOPLE DIE. It’s kind of an inevitability of the game! And there’s nothing saying these screenshots come from proper endings (nor that they even necessarily lead to the depicted characters’ deaths). ;)

      In short… I wouldn’t worry! You’re not being spoiled on anything from these screenshots.

  • Areuto

    I got goosebumps just thinking ab0ut this game again… CAN’T WAIT!

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