CREATOR SPOTLIGHT! An Interview with Makoto Kedouin - The Scenario Writer of the Death end re;Quest™ Series!

28th Jul 2020

Game: Death end re;Quest™ 2 
Platform: PlayStation®4 and Steam®
Release Date:
PS4:
August 25, 2020 (NA)
August 28, 2020 (EU)
Steam:
August 18, 2020
ESRB: M for Mature

    

Death end re;Quest™ 2 launches in less than a month for the West and we are so excited for this next installment of the Death end re;Quest series.

The Death end re;Quest series would not be what it is without the hard work of its creators. We're excited to present the final interview out of 3 featuring the creators of Death end re;Quest and the second installment, Death end re;Quest 2.

Fans can read the first and second interview with the series Producer and CEO of Compile Heart Norihisa Kochiwa and Lead Artist Kei Nanameda on our blog!

Today's final interview features Makoto Kedouin, the Scenario Writer of the Death end re;Quest series! Check out his interview below!

Makoto Kedouin

Team Iffy:How did the collaboration with Compile Heart for the Death end re;Quest series come to be? Did they come to you with a concept right away, or was the scenario something that was developed over time?

Kedouin: Firstly, I want to thank you for this interview opportunity. It all started when Compile Heart reached out to me to share their vision of a story that went in a different direction from their usual Galapagos RPG titles. They were familiar with my work in horror games, manga, and some horror films. We had countless meetings. After many twists and turns, we created Death end re;Quest.


Team Iffy: In comparison to other Compile Heart games, the Death end re;Quest series sets a darker and more gruesome tone. What were some things that inspired you when you came up with the scenario?

Kedouin: I would say I get more nourishment from horror movies than food. It’s what I start every day with, like toast. Lately I have taken most of my influence from suspenseful films where people suffer immense dread, like Ari Aster’s Hereditary.


Team Iffy: The setting of the second game is very different from the original game’s MMO world. Were there any difficulties trying to tie the second game’s story to the first?

Kedouin: We wanted the second installment to be a continuation from the first game. With that in mind, I thought it necessary to strike the perfect balance between newness and familiarity. If we made it a rehash, it would discourage both the creators and the players, but going too far in a different direction was too risky. Some reviewers thought Death end had some brutal depictions, and I also felt like players wouldn’t want something as bleak as Corpse Party again either, so I consulted [the producer] Kochiwa-san. He suggested that I do what I felt was best. If the game was gory, and we were flagged for it, then we would take responsibility for it. That gave me a lot of room to work with in the second game, so I took the world from the first game and added my flair.


Team Iffy: The series talks a lot about hacking and data analysis. When writing the scenario, did you find yourself communicating with actual programmers and/or researching to learn about coding?

Kedouin: For the first title, I conducted several interviews while I wrote the script. Several specialists provided me with their unique insight about terminology and ideas.

Mai hacking into reality.


Team Iffy: Were there any scenarios you wanted to include in the games, but didn’t get the chance to? Would you put them in the next game if there is a third installment?

Kedouin: Actually, there’s so much, but there may be issues with the platform’s rating limitations. For example, the story begins with Mai dealing with a particularly nasty person. The original scenario had a far more graphic and realistic depiction. If there’s a third game, I would love to give it a shot or, if the opportunity arose, reveal them all someday. That said, there are plenty of shocking scenes in the game already, so I’ll leave it for players to decide.


Team Iffy: Are any of the events within the game inspired by true events?

Kedouin:There are a few incidents, phenomenon, locations, and character names that I used as a motif. For my occult fans, I’m sure some of the references in there will summon a smirk.


Team Iffy: What challenges did you encounter tying sci-fi and horror elements into a JRPG?

Kedouin: This may come as a surprise, but I feel like medieval fantasy-RPGs, sci-fi, and the occult all work from a similar basis in thought. With programming, we breathe life into characters, animals, and plants. There’s something magical about that, being able to create life so to speak. In that sense, I feel like all of the elements unify.


Team Iffy:Many of the death ends in the games are extremely gruesome. How do you come up with the death ends? Is there a process you go through?

Kedouin: Throughout at the story, the threat of death is delicate and terrifying, a solemn thing beyond what humans comprehend. Death comes for everyone—good, bad, male or female. Therefore, in this devilish work, I wanted to draw tension by making it so no one’s life is guaranteed. I also jotted several notes about potential ways to die. I stocked up on stories from friends and stories from my own life, and accentuated those stories to think of a grim ‘What if’ scenario.

Death end scene.


Team Iffy: Mai is a lot different from the first game's protagonist given her backstory and personality. Was it a conscious choice to approach her character differently?

Kedouin: I’m so happy you noticed. Due to her harsh upbringing, she has a hard time interacting with others. In that sense, she’s very different from Shina, who’s bright and personable. I thought of it as a contrast between light and darkness.


Team Iffy: Who is your favorite character?

Kedouin: Rotten Dollhart is Mai’s foil. A warm character who surrounds Mai with love. She works well as a character to turn the story’s gears, but she stands alone with her bright personality. I personally think the way she turned out deserves a lot of admiration.


Team Iffy: If you could have a Buggy, what do you think it would be?

Kedouin: I’d take Rottie’s Mosquito, so I could jump from building to building.


Team Iffy: How do you feel about Shina’s growth as a character?

Kedouin: To Mai, Shina is one of the few adults she can trust. Since she’s a bit older than she was in the first installment, Shina’s matured a lot, but even in the first game, she was a working woman. Not a teen. In that sense we didn’t have to change her too drastically. She still has her loving heart, but I think her design is more attractive in this game.

Shina and Mai.


Team Iffy: The character Kajita Rosso is based on one of your actual friends. What was it like writing someone you know, and how did he react to finding out he was in the game?

Kedouin: The friend after whom I modeled Kajita is someone I often watch horror films with. I consult with him often, so he was happy to be included. When I was creating his character design, I wanted to include not only his physical likeness, but also his manner of speaking, so he advised me on some of the character’s personality. As a result, we have Kajita. It was a great experience.

Kajita Rosso


Team Iffy: In the Death end re;Quest series, secrets and cult societies play a large role in the story. Is this a commentary on any real-life counterparts?

Kedouin: I have no real opinion concerning secret societies. However, in a suspenseful story, depicting a secretive community which is closely linked to a strict doctrine makes for great storytelling.


That wraps up the final interview of the three Creator Spotlights! Fans can also read the first game's recap and learn more about the Observers in the Death end re;Quest series on our blog.

Death end re;Quest 2 launches for the PlayStation 4 on August 25 in North America and August 28 in Europe! The Steam version launches one week before on August 18.

Don't forget that you can now wishlist the Death end re;Quest 2 Limited Edition and Standard Edition at our online store! Preorder date will be announced soon.

Death end re;Quest 2 Limited Edition ($99.99):

Death end re;Quest 2 Standard Edition ($49.99):