The Resident Evil 2 staff had an afterparty to celebrate the launch of the game, and they were secretly recorded by producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, resulting in an off-the-cuff, informal roundtable discussion of the details behind the game’s development around a nice round of beer.
Here are the highlights below:
- The developers were really worried over the game’s Metascore, so they gave a sigh of relief when it released and was over 90. Director Kazunori Kadoi expected something around 86 or so. Some of the staff even cried.
- Hirabayashi kept pushing they weren’t going to do a demo, but in the end he wanted to do it, and even did a dogeza to get the staff to agree to do it, because of how tight the schedule was to make a demo. Everyone looked towards him with cold eyes. Executive producer Takeuchi suggested to do a 30-minute demo, and everyone was like, ‘WHY’. More than half the lead staff opposed doing a demo, but they agreed that the timing of the demo ended up being just right.
- The staff were so used to working on zombies thanks to Resident Evil 7 that they personally didn’t find the zombies in Resident Evil 2 that scary. But they loved watching the scared reactions on Youtube.
- Kadoi once vetoed an idea because it were too disgusting, but then the staff adamantly proclaimed, “But we are disgusting people!” Takeuchi then make a snide remark that that sort of disgusting idea suited someone like Kadoi.
- The moment they realized the remake would work out is when they got to making the Lickers. The staff talked about how they made it crawl on ceilings to match the cinematic in the original game, despite Lickers in the original game never doing so.
- The motion capture actors were very enthusiastic about the project, because they were fans of the original game. They would make their own recommendations, and really put themselves into the characters’ shoes.
- One particular point they paid a lot of attention to is which moment Ada Wong would take off her sunglasses. They had a lot of fierce debates about it.
- Originally, they made three different sizes of convenience stores for Leon and Claire to go through. The intent was to see which size of convenience store would amplify the tension the most. They even considered letting Leon and Claire walk to the store, instead of starting inside it.
- There were 5-6 variations of how the first zombie would appear, before settling on the final one.
- The team put way too much effort into the toilets. They call it the best toilet of the year.
- On adding the classic soundtrack in, originally players would only be able to change it in the options menu at the title screen, but they made it so players could change it whenever they wanted to. It was hard to program.
- A new ending song was created for the game, but Kadoi wouldn’t allow it to be used in the marketing for the game. The track ended up being overlooked. Sound director Nakajima suggested they make a music video with the track, using the ending video with the three characters walking together, and the other Resident Evil 2 characters forming a band on the side.
- The UI went through several iterations as well, with earlier versions sticking closer to the original game’s 90s look. However, it wasn’t impactful-looking enough. There was a switch on the top right showing what page the player was on in one of the iterations, but it ended up being unused as the UI designer didn’t like it.
- The staff discussed the mystery of the Item Boxes. One theory is that each box just so happens to contain the same items you put in the last one. According to Kadoi, the boxes aren’t special – Leon and Claire actually bring around everything, and the Item Boxes just represent the times when they actually organize the stuff they have with them.
You can watch the full discussion below:
Resident Evil 2 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.