Over the past few months, the official Twitter for Ape Escape has been posting short recollections from the game’s staff on the making of the game, as part of the 20th anniversary. The most recent one was from Soichi Terada, the composer behind the tracks for the entire series.
Soichi Terada, composer: “From 1995 to 1996, I was creating drum ‘n bass and jungle original songs and remixes with sumo as a theme, and announced my own music label. It was named Sumo Jungle, and I think that the development staff listening to my music was the reason they approached me to compose for them.
When I heard about what the game was about, I was really excited because I played the PlayStation a lot. I remember the dev team showing off demo footage. I’d never seen a controller with analog sticks before, so it was like anticipating a new, unknown sort of fun.”
Additionally, late last year, a few key animation frames for the game’s opening movie were shown off. The staff explained that they had to redraw the contents quite a few times to properly convey the characters, time travel theme, but also keeping a ‘summer vacation’ tone. You can also see an early version of Casi behind Natsumi in one of the shots.
Ape Escape first released in North America for PlayStation in May 31, 1999. It released a little later in Japan on June 24, 1999 then in Europe on July 2, 1999. Former SIE President Shuhei Yoshida talked about the development of the game back in September, and whether there might be a new title.