Before killer7 and No More Heroes, Grasshopper Manufacture’s first game was a visual novel where you investigate a series of mysterious murders called The Silver Case. Siliconera spoke with Goichi Suda about creating his first game as Grasshopper Manufacture, what’s next for The Silver Case series, and his thoughts on making action games.
The Silver Case was one of your earlier works. When looking back what are you proud of and what do you wish you could have done differently?
Goichi Suda, Director: While I was working through the remaster, I got to meet my young self again. When I was playing it, I could appreciate every single scene and these were fine tuned by me. It was great to see how much work that I put into the game.
To answer your second question, it was the text speed and movement. When we remastered it, we made the game and text move a little bit faster.
What ideas did you have when creating Tetsugoro Kusabi who is in The Silver Case and later Flower, Sun, and Rain?
When I created him he was about 30 years old and I created him as how I wanted to see myself in the future. He’s kind of brash, he’s cool and that’s the ideal person that I wanted to be then. Now I’m 49, older than Kusabi, and what I would really like to do is see where Kusabi is now.
The Silver Case is a dense story with a lot of philosophy weaved into each chapter. What do you want people to take out of the story?
It’s a game where you follow a case and at the end there are a lot of things that happen and it’s shocking. In life, there are a lot of mysteries that don’t make sense and the idea of searching for answers is something I want people to take away. The story of The Silver Case focuses on crime brought about by the state of society. Having people think about that even from a modern perspective is something else I would want people to take from the game.
What is new in PS4 version?
Akira Yamaoka and Erika Ito worked on 10 different remixes that are new to the PS4 version. There are new scenarios written by Suda51 and Ooka-san.
What can you tell us about these new scenarios?
Ooka-san wrote Placebo and he was able to write [Yami] chapter 6 to the Placebo side.
The other scenario is called Whiteout and this is a prologue or a preview for the next game in The Silver Case series. It’s not a full chapter, it’s a preview that you can play it in 10 minutes or so. Whiteout is how me and Mr. Ooka are building up the lore to create the next chapter it takes place between 2004 and 2009 [when The Silver Case 25 Wards is set].
Will Whiteout or future games in The Silver Case universe tie the loose endings together?
Yeah, exactly that is what I would want to do. This is a little bit off topic, but when David Lynch ended Twin Peaks there were these threads that were left open and mysteries that left people wondering what happened after. As a fan, [of Twin Peaks] I’m excited to see where those with the new story and what new mysteries are added. In some ways, The Silver Case is like that and I would like to continue to produce more stories that follow the The Silver Case, but we’ll see how the PS4 version does.
Would you like to follow up The Silver Case with Whiteout or releasing The Silver Case 25 Wards in English?
I would like to release The Silver Case: 25 Wards next.
While you are well known for action games like No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw, you created visual novels in your early career like The Silver Case and Moonlight Syndrome.
I’ve been making action games for close to ten years now. With action games, the genre has reached a formula when it comes to actual combat. If it’s a hack and slash game, it’s distance between you and your enemies that matters. If it’s a game that focuses on combat from far away, it’s a gun game.
Generally speaking, within those two types of action games there are two styles. One is where you are overwhelmingly more powerful like a Warriors game and then there are games that are more balanced where you have to use your entire arsenal to beat your opponents. Maybe one idea I would like to try in the future is to have a game where you aren’t strong at all, where you are very weak and need to defeat powerful opponents.
I don’t know if this would work, but it would be interesting to have an action game with a lot of text. On the other hand with visual novels, there is a lot of room for gameplay improvements and it would be interesting for me to experiment with those.
That sounds like it could be an idea for next entry in the No More Heroes series.
Travis is incredibly powerful it might be difficult to try out that experiment with him. But, now that Travis is coming back and he has an opportunity to face new enemies and one of those could be really powerful so you never know.