Konami played with time traveling in Shadows of Destiny, a PlayStation 2 game written by Ms. Junko Kawano. Time Hollow shares the time traveling element. Ethan Kairos, the protagonist, discovers the Hollow Pen, a tool that can create holes into the past. With the Hollow Pen in hand, Ethan uses it to find his family after they mysteriously vanished. Actually, Time Hollow shares something else with Shadows of Destiny. Ms. Kawano is the Director of Time Hollow and we caught up with her to tell us more about her latest project.
The Hollow Pen is one of the unique features that distinguishes Time Hollow from other adventure games. How did Ethan get a hold of it and how does it work?
To use the Hollow Pen Ethan must find all the relevant details of crucial events in the past, which include the time, date, place, and key event details. Once this information has been collected and Ethan is at the location of the event the Hollow Pen will begin to glow and allow Ethan to dig holes into the past. As for how Ethan becomes in possession of the Hollow Pen that is something you will need to play the game to find out.
Do the Hollow Pen puzzles have multiple solutions?
Some puzzles have multiple solutions, but normally you should be able to solve a puzzle with one solution. If you play the game several times, you might be able to find other solutions.
I played the demo, but in the full game is there any way to "lose" or get a game over in Time Hollow?
Yes, the Hollow Pen will run out of energy if you dig too many holes in the wrong location. To regain some energy for the pen you can go search for Ethan’s cat, Sox, who will replenish the pen’s energy. The game was designed to appeal to a wide audience of gamers so you might not experience it too often.
How did you come up with the name English name, Ethan Kairos, for the protagonist?
When we were developing the original Japanese version, we decided to use a name that relates to "time."
Then for the English release the name was picked at the producer's discretion and was chosen based on the character's looks.
Were there any scenes difficult to localize because of cultural differences?
Everything from the beginning… The character is drinking miso soup in a Japanese soup bowl in the beginning scene, you know…
What is your favorite scene in the game?
Every scene that involves his pet cat, Sox, is my favorite. Sox understands Ethan even when nobody does and Sox helps him as his partner throughout the adventure. Also the scenes with Sox are very important to the development of the story.
Does Time Hollow have multiple endings?
Basically there is one ending however you might be able to find more if you are very thorough in exploring the city.
How long do you think it would take for someone to play through Time Hollow?
It will take a normal gamer around 8-10 hours to complete the game but if you search every nook and cranny, you should be able to enjoy the game longer than that.
Images courtesy of Konami.