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How Hideki Kamiya nearly ruined Resident Evil 2

Wonderful 101 director explains all in a fascinating Iwata Asks

The Wonderful 101 director Hideki Kamiya has been talking about the development of Resident Evil 2, Okami and Viewtiful Joe in one of the most interesting Iwata Asks interviews ever. Platinum's Kamiya, who worked on The Wonderful 101, discussed his early days as a director with Nintendo's president, admitting that one of his first jobs at the top was nearly a disaster.

Kamiya joined Capcom after sending proposals to major videogames companies, including Nintendo and Namco. Nintendo rejected Kamiya but he received offers from Namco and Capcom and after choosing the latter, he worked under Shinji Mikami as a planner on Resident Evil.

However, when Mikami made him director of Resident Evil 2, things didn't go to plan. "I messed up in a big way," said Kamiya. "As a result of saying okay to everything that came up, it turned out horrible. We had to scrap what we had spent a year and a half making."

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As director, Kamiya had to take responsibility: "So everything that didn't work out was my fault as director. Resident Evil 2 was receiving attention as one of Capcom's new big titles, so the news quickly spread throughout the company. I felt like people were staring at me in the company cafeteria and saying, "That's him! That's the guy who ruined Resident Evil 2!" It was a shock, and very hard."

However, Kamiya believes that the experience taught him an important lesson. "I gave a lot of thought to what had gone wrong. I was making decisions without vision, and amidst all the pressures, I had lowered my criteria for giving approval. And, above all, it was important how I personally suffered the disastrous results of that."

He also admitted struggling with the development of Viewtiful Joe and Okami, which started out with realistic graphics before one of his staff members drew a picture of Amaterasu.

"At the beginning of developing Okami, we were using realistic graphics. I was born in Nagano Prefecture, so I wanted to make a refreshing game that soothes the soul. But if you set it in the vast outdoors, you want to run through it, right? Then you need massive stages and the density of content inevitably thins out.

"Just then, one of the staff members drew the design for Amaterasu, the main character, in a Japanese ink-wash style with a brush-like effect. When I saw that, it struck me as a fitting approach to do it all in the style of Japanese art."

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Read the full interview to discover how Kamiya got into videogames, his school days spent playing arcade games, and more. Kamiya will discuss The Wonderful 101 in the second part of this Iwata Asks. Worth looking out for.

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  1. vtheyoshi Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 12:30

    Thank god Okami turned out how it did.

  2. FoxMcCloud Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 12:58

    Dude where's my explanation? You can't have an article called: How Hideki Kamiya nearly ruined Resident Evil 2 and then have no details whatsoever on how he nearly ruined it!?

  3. MartinIsAwesome Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 15:13

    I've just this weekend completed Okami for the first time and as a result I've seen that very early internal video of Amaterasu in a realistic world instead of the final cel-shaded ink-brush style. The cool thing is that depending on how well you do, a realistic wolf version is one of Amaterasu's alternative skins in the second playthrough! It looks really nice, but a bit jarring against the rest of the world.

    Dude where's my explanation? You can't have an article called: How Hideki Kamiya nearly ruined Resident Evil 2 and then have no details whatsoever on how he nearly ruined it!?


    That's what the link to the full interview at the bottom of the article is for.

  4. FoxMcCloud Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 15:56

    I've just this weekend completed Okami for the first time and as a result I've seen that very early internal video of Amaterasu in a realistic world instead of the final cel-shaded ink-brush style. The cool thing is that depending on how well you do, a realistic wolf version is one of Amaterasu's alternative skins in the second playthrough! It looks really nice, but a bit jarring against the rest of the world.

    Dude where's my explanation? You can't have an article called: How Hideki Kamiya nearly ruined Resident Evil 2 and then have no details whatsoever on how he nearly ruined it!?


    That's what the link to the full interview at the bottom of the article is for.

    Ok, I read the full interview and its exactly as in the article above. I wonder what mad idea they scrapped in the end?

    Okami is a bloody beautiful game, if only they'd release the HD version on Wii U or better yet a sequel! :-)

  5. MartinIsAwesome Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 17:00

    He nearly ruined it because he kept approving every idea presented to him which resulted in a broken game. It was scrapped and presumably rebuilt from scratch. What's the mystery?

  6. Waldy565 Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 18:32

    Do love me some Iwata Asks! This guy looks like he's got quite the resume, will certainly check it out. And this isn't just one fascinating Iwata Asks, this is one of many fascinating Iwata Asks :P

  7. Waldy565 Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 18:34


    Okami is a bloody beautiful game, if only they'd release the HD version on Wii U or better yet a sequel! :-)

    I'll asume you meant on Okami home sequel, otherwise I point you here:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Ckamiden

  8. buddy1983 Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 18:53

    http://www.retrocollect.com/News/is-the-unfinished-a-unreleased-resident-evil-15-about-to-be-leaked-onto-the-internet.html I belive this was how it was going to be

  9. TheVelvetRoom Tuesday 13th Aug 2013 at 20:37

    You can tell he took a lot away from that close call. I only just played RE2 for the first time this year and it actually holds up extremely well. Even once you've exhausted the scares, it's a very fun game to speedrun.

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