Koji Igarashi (五十嵐 孝司 Igarashi Kōji?), also known by his nickname "IGA", was a former Konami employee and producer of the Castlevania video game series. He is best known as the assistant director of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the producer of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. He left the series for a while and then returned to produce Castlevania Chronicles, and has been in charge of the directing the series ever since. Contrary, perhaps, to the direction in which he has taken the series, Igarashi has commented on several occasions that his favorite Castlevania game is Akumajō Densetsu (Dracula's Curse).
The first game he worked on was the PC Engine version Detana!! TwinBee. The ending of the PC Engine version of Gradius II also credits him as a programmer, and he participated in Tokimeki Memorial as scenario writer. He was also the producer of NanoBreaker and Otomedius Excellent and the director of Elder Gate.
He announced his new project, a Castlevania-like game called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, on May 11th, 2015. The game was funded in a day via the website's Kickstarter.
Castlevania production roles
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood - Special Thanks
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Assistant Director, Programmer, Scenario Writer (with Toshiharu Furukawa)
- Castlevania Chronicles - Producer
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin - Producer, Scenario Writer (with Hiroto Yamaguchi and Shutaro)
- Castlevania: Order of Shadows - Special Thanks
- Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - Producer
- Castlevania Judgment - Producer, Scenario Writer
- Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade - Special Thanks
- Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth - Producer
- Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - Producer
Castlevania retcon controversy
In 2001, Igarashi made a controversial move by removing certain Castlevania games from the official Castlevania timeline and personally revised the history of the Belmont clan by writing Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. The removed games include: Castlevania Legends, Castlevania (N64), Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. He stated his reasons for removing the games were intended to clean up the Castlevania continuity. Recently though, in the latest timeline included in pre-ordered copies of Portrait of Ruin, all games removed from the timeline have be replaced as side stories, except for Castlevania Legends. Upon Legends' exclusion from the official timeline and the release of Lament of Innocence, there was an interview from EGM with IGA back in 2003:
"EGM: Would you make a Castlevania with a female main character?
IGA: Hm, there are difficult problems with that. As a gamer, I think that you become one with the character, and since Castlevania has a lot of male players, it's natural to have male characters. In Rondo of Blood, Maria was a silly, cute aside, but you still had Richter to make it serious. Plus, Mr. Hagihara (the director) had a playful sense of humor. He worked on Symphony as well, and he made the telescope part where, if you pan over to the left you can see a little mouse, and also where Alucard can sit down on the chair and prop his feet up.
EGM: After Tomb Raider, don't you think a female character is more acceptable?
IGA: It's possible I guess. Although, I purposefully left the Sonia Belmont character (from Castlevania: Legends for GBC) out of the official Castlevania chronology. (laughs) Usually, the vampire storyline motifs, females tend to be sacrificed. It's easier to come up with weak, feminine characters. I'll think about it more in the future, though. It's tough to fit a female hero into the early history of Castlevania, but as you move into the modern day, females can then more easily become a hero."
General Castlevania topics
About American audiences
- CVG: What do you think are the main elements that have made Castlevania such an enduringly popular series over the years?
- IGA: ...Actually, past Castlevania games (B.C. or Before "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night") had a masculine image: a man with macho type of character who goes through the castle and energetically beats up the monsters. In fact, I wanted to change the world when I took over this project, so a lot of elements have been changed since then. A macho man turns into very elegant & aesthetic guy, tries to beat the monsters up with beauty. Game-wise, it's moved from a linear type of game to an adventure type with scrolling action. I really am sorry about those who loved the type of game that was released before Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but this really is it! That's the direction I'm targeting and this type of game is something most gamers want. The fact that Symphony of the Night was so well received by many, many people makes me very positive in what I'm doing.
- GS: Since the Castlevania series is most popular in the U.S., do you think that it's very important to come and to meet the fans like this?
- IGA: Yes, like you said, the U.S. market is the biggest for the franchise so I do think that it is very important to come.
- GS: From a development perspective, the American audience is a tough audience. Taking the cross-cultural development into account, is that a challenge for you? How do you consider appealing to an American audience when you're working from Japan?
- IGA: Of course I listen to users in America, and their feedback. Actually, I listen to feedback from everywhere. But I don't develop games based on the markets; I develop games based on what I find exciting. I just develop based on what I love.
About Castlevania franchise
- GS: In terms of Konami right now, as a publisher, are you satisfied right now with their support? That, working within the "confines" of Konami, can you do what you want to do with the series?
- IGA: Right now, I want to make the Castlevania franchise into something bigger. In that sense, Konami has supported me.
About Castlevania storyline
- W: Last question. Why does Dracula keep putting meat inside the walls of his castle?
- IGA: You should ask, why do they eat it! I've thought about this stuff. I've actually thought about the candles. The candles are people's souls that were taken by Death or by the vampires. In Japan there are candles that represent life. So, when you release the souls from the candles by whipping them, they give you a "thank you" present. Thank-you hearts, or thank-you holy water. The meat, I have no idea.
- WI've wanted to ask this for a while: what do you think, in the whole history of Castlevania, was the worst decision anybody ever made about the series?
- IGA: Probably when we put out the timeline. Because since Dracula only appears every 100 years, we made the whole timeline and ran out of places to put in another game. I made the timeline, but I shouldn't have actually released it, because now it's all official. That was a bad decision.
- PMOne of the big series mysteries regards the Belmont family's loss of the legendary whip, the Vampire Killer. We finally saw a little bit of this hinted in Portrait... was Richter Belmont the last Belmont to wield it?
- IGA: There's still a lot more to that story [laughs]. Yes, the last Belmont to own the Vampire Killer was Richter.
- PM: Can we expect to find out why the Belmonts lost use of the whip in future games?
- IGA: Well, the plot is already done in my mind [laughs]. However, whether or not that story gets told depends on the future performance of the series.
About games released in his absence
Since he left Castlevania after Symphony of the Night, many Castlevania games were created before he returned to work on Castlevania. Here are his thoughts on some of those at various times.
- IGA: (about CotM, C64, LoD) These games were taken out of the timeline, not because I didn't work on them, but because they were considered by their directors to be side projects in the series, especially Legacy of Darkness and Circle of the Moon. The only exception to this trend is Dark Prelude (Castlevania Legends) - I intentionally redacted it from the timeline so that it doesn't conflict with the timing used in other titles.
About IGA's games
About The Bloodletting
- IGA: We made an early playable version, but the game did not progress because our company's policy toward the hardware changed. Management decided to make the PlayStation our focus, so we made some drastic changes to our initial ideas and ended up with Symphony of the Night.
About Harmony of Dissonance
- CVG: What advancements have you made over the first Castlevania title on GBA?
- IGA: First of all, the screen is visible.... it's much, much brighter than it was with Circle of the Moon. With our Harmony of Dissonance, you will not be frustrated too much with the darkness of screen. What I learned from Circle of the Moon was that the game control wasn't good enough - that was one of the major issues I felt was frustrating with the game. The game control wasn't that responsive. In this game, you will notice that game control has improved a lot from the previous game in the series. Another major enhancement will be enemy characters. You will confront various dynamic monsters in various animations, and they're lovely and awesome! Please experience the multi-joint animated characters here with our game! System-wise, you'll notice that we have a new one called "Spell Fusion," whereas CotM had "Dual Set-up System." We all agree that CotM has a good system, but the card attribute did not match with the world Castlevania had established over a long period of time, so we strictly stuck with spells and magic and a sub-weapon type of system here! Let me explain as we go further with this interview...
- Gamespot: What do you think of Circle of the Moon? Was it used as a reference during the development of Harmony of Dissonance?
- IGA: Circle of the Moon has great music, but with Harmony of Dissonance, we had to sacrifice the music and focus more on the visual side of the game. I [had problems] with the control in Circle of the Moon, and action games should always have good control. Of course, graphics-wise, it was really bad because it was so dark, so we wanted to make the next game much brighter. I also wasn't happy with the dual-card system in Circle of the Moon because it didn't really belong in the Castlevania world, and that's why we made the spell-fusion system in Harmony of Dissonance--because it's linked into the Castlevania world. That's one of the most important things I wanted to change from Circle of the Moon.
About Portrait of Ruin
- PM: The hidden Stella and Loretta gameplay using the touchpad in Portrait of Ruin was very popular. Was that a design experiment? Can we expect to see something similar in future DS Castlevanias?
- IGA: That was really more of a situation with our character programmer going off on his own [laughs]. He thought, "We have a touchscreen, we might as well use it!" In the end it was an experiment with touchscreen-controlled action, yea.
About Dracula X Chronicles
- GR: Let's talk a bit about Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for PSP. What made this the right time to go back to [1993 classic] Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, finally, and remake it and bring it to a new audience?
- IGA: I have two major reasons to bring this back as a remake. Number one is that many American fans love [1997 PlayStation classic] Symphony of the Night, but they never experienced the prequel to the game which is Rondo of Blood. So back with Symphony of the Night, the way it starts, is that you see the very end of Rondo of Blood, in the beginning of Symphony of the Night. But for US gamers, it's like, "What? What's that all about?" This Rondo of Blood story was never brought to the US, so we wanted to take this chance to introduce that there was another masterpiece aside from Symphony of the Night. Among these press interviews that I get, pretty often I was asked about the possible game creation with 3D [character and background graphics] but 2D play. In the past we'd experienced a lot of struggles to overcome, to create 2D gameplay with 3D [character] models. But then again, we have solved major issues, that cleared recently, and we brought 3D models and 2D gameplay, with Rondo of Blood. Let me add one more reason... one thought is that when we actually started this project, PSP Rondo of Blood, the PSP market was expanding. So we thought it was a good chance to deliver a Castlevania game over PSP.
- GR: Is this a straight, direct remake of the PSP game, or are there enhancements to the gameplay?
- IGA: So it's not just a straight port. We have made adjustments to some of the points. The presentation has been retouched. The storyline - you may not have noticed with the original Rondo of Blood - but there were many writers working on the storyline, which made a little bit of... it didn't make sense.
- GR: Inconsistencies?
- IGA: Inconsistencies. So what I did was that I [edited] the storyline. There was one level - so-called the Seabass Takatsuka level. The current Winning Eleven producer Seabass had been working on the [original] PC Engine version. Almost every element from the stages was combined in one specific level. We... didn't like it.
- GR: This was in the original version?
- IGA: The original version. Takatsuka was working on one certain stage. But what he did was pull out every element from the other stages, which I didn't like. I actually created one stage from scratch.
- GR: So one stage is new, to replace that level?
- IGA: es. But the spirit of Takatsuka remains over that stage. And I would say the soundtrack, the music parts, are all rearranged. There's more that I could talk about, but then again, I want to keep it for the future.
- CG: How'd you like how The Dracula X Chronicles and the retooled Rondo of Blood turned out? Would you like to do another PSP game?
- IGA: To be honest, I really liked Dracula X and Rondo of Blood. I thought it was a great game and it did really well. In regards to sales throughout the United States, I was satisfied, but I wasn't jumping up and down with joy. I'm not sure if that's a reflection of how the PSP is selling versus the DS, but either way the sales were not where I hoped they would be. But I still feel it's a great game, so if you haven't gotten it already, go get it. [laughs]
- PM: Are any of the original Rondo of Blood staff involved with this remake?
- IGA: They aren't. However, the original director for Rondo of Blood Toru Hagihara also directed Symphony of the Night, the game on which the Castlevania baton was passed to me. Even though the original staff aren't directly involved with this remake, I feel I understand their intentions and what sort of mindset the original game was made with.
- PMWhat about the difficulty? Is it based on the original, or has it been tweaked? One thing that always stood out about the original was how overpowered Maria was.
- IGA: Well, the original version is also playable so you can compare easily. I always thought of Maria as an aid for people who aren't too good at action games, so she's pretty much as-is.
- PMWhat was the concept for the new music arrangement?
- IGA: I just asked them to make it cool and embellish the music without ruining its original feel. I said, "make it gorgeous!" I think it did turn out gorgeous [laughs].
- PMDid you have any particular requests for the new character design, or did you largely leave it up to Miss Kojima?
- IGA: For Richter, my only request was a younger version of his Symphony of the Night design. Maria was a little more difficult. As I said earlier, her long skirt would have been a problem, so I asked for pantaloons. That made her silhouette a little too thin, so we decided to lengthen her hair. Of course, long hair would have been just as hard to do in 3-D as a skirt, so it became a ponytail. We arrived at the final Maria design after a lot of discussion.
- PM : If you have a few words for those eagerly awaiting Rondo of Blood, please share them with us.
- IGA: I think most fans probably consider Symphony of the Night to be the biggest turning point of the Castlevania franchise, but for me it was Rondo of Blood. It was the first game in which the controls were changed significantly, and in which the player character got much, much stronger than previous heroes. It was the first game with cutscenes and a cinematic presentation, and it cut down on "bottomless pit" deaths a great deal. I would love for Western fans to finally have a chance to experience this major turning point in the series, and think we've really done a good job enhancing the visuals and bringing out the PSP's strengths on this title. Please do witness this monumental entry in the Castlevania series for yourself.
About Rondo of Blood port
- GR: And again, the PC Engine version is included? Is it completely identical to the original?
- IGA: So, you are correct. As you know, [in the original release] we didn't have any English voiceovers. We're going to retake the voiceover part. I think it's going to be a good localization. Because what if we had released the PC Engine version of Rondo of Blood back in those days? We had no ability to localize. You can imagine, from our Symphony of the Night translation and voiceovers, it could really have been the worst of the worst.
- GR: You should keep the German voiceover for the opening, though.
- IGA: So, yes, we will retain the German voiceover. But we weren't able to spot the original voice person, so we are going to be asking a new native German speaker to take that part.
About Symphony of the Night port
- GR: So this also includes Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which must be exciting for fans. As we understand it, you're going to be working on some changes for SotN. Could you talk about these changes?
- IGA: So basically, it's mostly a straight port from the original SotN on PlayStation. I wasn't happy about the quality of the PlayStation SOTN voiceover, so I'm trying to do something about it on the PSP. There's a particular part that I didn't like. It was a cool part with Alucard. Richter was laughing, and Alucard turned around and said "Who are you?" but not in a very cool way. [Imitating the voice acting] "Who. Are. You?!" Obviously I don't speak English, but even I felt really uncomfortable with that voice acting. There are some more details I could tell you [but] I will keep them secret.
- GR: We do have one question, though. As you know the game came out on the Sega Saturn [in Japan] and there was one major new area that was included in the Saturn version. Can you comment on whether or not you'd include it?
- IGA: I'm not, up to this point, talking about the expected areas that you're talking about, but... we're thinking that Sega Saturn version, with the part you're talking about, is really awful...
- GR: That extra area down at the bottom...
- IGA: I think there were two.
- GR: Yeah, one's just a room and that was pointless. But one's a full sized area and that's OK.
- IGA: You are right, but... if that happens with the PlayStation [version] it's a failure. It's just not good for me. So let me just say that I know that there are some voices that want some Sega Saturn content brought over to PSP. I would like to have it... I'm a perfectionist, sorry about it. I want to have quality that matches with the PSone SotN. That's my standard with selecting all of these elements. So with that intent I would like to take every part from the Sega Saturn version... I would like to consider whether or not the Sega Saturn parts match with the PSone Symphony of the Night in quality. If so, then I will think about adding it on to my PSP SotN. So please wait.
- PM: Since this may be the last release Symphony of the Night ever sees, a lot of fans are clamoring for the inclusion of the Saturn bonus features. I know you didn't work on that version, but...
- IGA: I understand why fans who've never played the Saturn version would be interested in those features, but I really, really don't feel good about them. I couldn't put my name on that stuff and present it to Castlevania fans.
About Order of Ecclesia
- CG: Why did you decide to switch it up and go with a female lead character?
- IGA: I think that is the most frequently asked question I get these days. I guess there is a stigma that female characters get killed off easily or quickly. To be honest, it was a reaction to fans; they are the ones who have been requesting a female lead. Another reason is that we came up with the storyline first and I felt that a female character fit with the storyline a lot better than a male character. The third reason is that I really liked the rendering that the artist did of a female character and decided to go with it.
- CG: Who's the artist? Are you sticking with the usual suspects for art and music?
- IGA: For character design we used someone who's up-and-coming and very young and becoming very popular named Masaki. In regards to music, I'm sure you heard a very familiar sound in the trailer, but Michiru Yamane did a lot of the music.
- CG: So you're breaking off from the normal character artist you've used in the past -- why did you decide to go into a new direction with the art style?
- IGA: With the last two iterations on the DS I went with more of an anime-style approach, but the fans weren't too enthusiastic about it, so this time around I wanted to do something more appealing to the fans of the franchise. In regards to anime it was a little easier to do trailers and animated cut scenes with the new illustration style and things like that.
- K: As for Order of Ecclesia, this is the first (canonical) Castlevania game to star a female character. She's not tied to the Belmonts at all. Can you describe her a bit more and how she fits into the overall timeline?
- IGA: The game itself doesn't indicate that it takes place at a specific point in the series timeline. However, the game happens during a time when the Belmont clan has vanished, along with their legendary whip, the Vampire Killer. But, Dracula is still around, so there are a lot of organizations are trying to bring him down, and a lot of effort and money are being expended. None of them have been successful save Ecclesia. Shanoa, the lead, is a member of this organization.
- C3: After only ever making platform adventures, what was your inspiration for now creating a game in the fighting genre, especially on Wii rather than 360/PS3?
- IGA: Since the release of Wii, I've been getting requests from many people that they would love to use the Wii controller as a whip. So I considered how I could do this. To make an adventure game on the Wii using the Wii Remote as a whip would be very difficult because the player's arm will get tired and it will be hard for them to continue enjoying the game. Based on the request, though, I knew that people would want to swing the Wii Remote like a whip and battle. So we came up with the idea of using short gameplay sessions and decided to make a 3D versus action genre game.
- C3: How did you decide which characters from the Castlevania world would be included in the roster? And will there be any special surprise 'hidden' characters, possibly even from other Konami franchises?
- IGA: This time, I selected only characters only the Castlevania series. I believe all characters have been announced already. You might be surprised to see some of the characters that were announced. First, I just picked the characters I personally like and then I realized that all of them use whips?I didn't want this to be just a WHIP battle game! (*smiles*) When I realized what I had done, I had to laugh at myself. So considering both the existing fans and people who are playing a Castlevania game for the first time, I re-selected the characters based on their weapons, presence and attributes. For example, Simon and Trevor use whips, Eric uses a spear and Alucard uses a sword. In terms of presence, I wanted to include big, powerful characters in this game. But because the human characters cannot be that big, I decided to pick some characters from the Golem category like Franken in the 1st game. I believe many people did not expect to see Cornell. I really wanted to include a beast man type character, so I picked him.
- GS: People have been wondering how characters from different Castlevania time periods can appear in the same game. Is this explained in the story mode?
- IGA: Yes, the story of why all these characters from different time periods come together is explained, but the story is not the main focus for Judgment. The main focus of this game is a celebration of the franchise's 22-year history, so I wanted to bring these characters together like a festival.
- GSYou have stated before that you think of Judgment more as an extension of a 3D action game than as strictly a fighting game. How do you think fans of a series that has so much success when set in a 2D environment will respond to this new approach?
- IGA: Of course, some users might not agree with this concept. We understand that, but in order to grow the Castlevania series, we need to challenge ourselves and do different things. This year, we are also releasing Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. So if there are users who only like traditional 2D side-scrolling Castlevania games they can enjoy Order of Ecclesia. I am very confident about the game, too. In order to continue to provide games that many users will enjoy, we should not be afraid to change and challenge ourselves. I think we should provide such games and leave them up to the users' "judgment."
- K: You have a very famous manga artist, Obata-sensei, doing the designs. I think a lot of people in the West know him from Death Note in particular. When people first saw his designs, they were a bit surprised...
- IGA: I think Simon looks the most different. The reactions, I think, are from people remembering the old, old Simon! But when Ayami Kojima drew him, that was a very different type of Simon, also. I think it's very much and individual artist's vision. Obata-sensei doesn't like to just copy something. He wants to add a different, unique flavor to everything he does. That's probably the reason why they don't look like what you envision.
- K: So why did you pick Obata-sensei to do the designs rather than Kojima-sensei, and have you had any problems translating these designs into character models for the game?
- IGA: The Castlevania core fan base really likes Kojima's art style, we know that. Since we're bringing this game to the Wii, though, we've also got a new potential audience. The Wii does skew a little bit younger, so I wanted to "soften" the art style a little bit. Also, one of the people on our team was actually a former assistance to Obata-sensei. I thought that I'd use that connection to ask and see if he'd be interested. He happily agreed to do it, and that was that! As for your other question... yes, definitely, translating his art style into 3D models is very difficult. But the way we're doing it is that we get the artwork from him, render it in 3D, have him look at it, get feedback, make changes as necessary, and repeat until everyone is satisfied. It's a big back-and-forth process but it helps us get everything exactly right.
- K: You mentioned that you don't really think of this as a fighting game. I take it you're not really aiming to make a "competitive" game along the same lines as Street Fighter or Virtua Fighter?
- IGA: Yes, definitely. In games like SF or VF, all of the movements and inputs are extremely precise, and timing is crucial. I wanted to appeal to a broader audience than the general fighting-game crowd. There's also the issue of the Wii controller. It's difficult to do those sorts of precise movements when you're waving something around. That's why we opted to do more of a competitive action game.
About future games
About a battle of 1999 game
- GR: Kind of changing gears a little bit. Obviously the back story of the two Sorrow games is the Dracula War of 1999. Can you tell us when we might find out more about that story, and Julius?
- IGA: You want more details of the War in 1999?
- GR: That story sounds very exciting - the final battle against Dracula. I was wondering when in general, we might find out more...
- IGA: Did you know that my game creation is not based upon the timeline? I come up with the gameplay system and then try to find the right timeline. There was one product where I actually started off with the timeline - that was Lament of Innocence on PS2.
- GR: Because that started the series.
- IGA: Right. But I always come up with the gameplay system first. Currently I do take control of my team members but I want to think about the gameplay system first - I do complain and make a lot of comments to it. But once the team comes up with the new game system and then I think it's right to put it in 1999, then I will tell a story in that timeline.
About Judgment sequels
- C3: If Castlevania Judgment proves to be highly successful, is it likely a Wii sequel will be made? And would you consider making a version for DS in the future considering the strong fan-base already on that system?
- IGA: If this proves to be highly successful, a sequel is highly possible. It'll be a shame to quit after just one try? A DS version might be possible, too. But first, this title must succeed, so I hope you will support this one?
- GS: Any plans for inclusion of the Wii Motion Plus peripheral? Has this new add-on combined with the 3D environment provided any inspiration for future projects?
- IGA: I am currently thinking of several ideas. I came up with some ideas right after the announcement, but I haven't fully polished these ideas yet, so I want to organize these ideas and think more deeply about them. With that said though, I would love to use the Wii Motion Plus peripheral in the future.
About new kinds of genres
- C3: Considering this change in genre, is there room for Castlevania to also move into other styles of game? A Castlevania RPG would be an ideal candidate due to the amount of material to draw from. What are your thoughts on such an idea?
- IGA: This game is a different style of game. But I created this game as an action genre game. I think RPG would be interesting, but for now, I would like to stick to "Action = Castlevania." I am not sure about the future, though?
About A 2D WiiWare or Wii game
- C3: A lot of readers are very passionate about the 2D Castlevania games, so we have to ask this question: Considering 'Wario Land: The Shake Dimension' has been so popular, will you ever consider a 2D Castlevania either for Wii or WiiWare?
- IGA: I am very interested in the option. I truly hope that the 2D market will be revitalized. I need your support to do that. Let's make the 2D market (world) more exciting!!
About future DS games
- K: Do you see Order of Ecclesia as being the last Castlevania game on the DS, or will the DS continue to be the principal platform for the franchise going into the near future?
- IGA: I would definitely like to develop still more Castlevania games for the DS platform! For the US market, though, the retail price on DS games are traditionally very low - $30, maybe $40 if the game card itself has a larger capacity. The development costs for Castlevania do tend to be higher than average for a DS game, so it's hard to get some concepts for the series approved. I love the DS and want to continue work on it, but I'm not sure if it's the best option from a pure business standpoint.
- CGI understand the logistics of how much Nintendo charges for the DS cart hardware and things, and that's a whole separate issue entirely. [laughs] However, what about the hardware specifically would you like to change?
- IGA: Well it keeps going back to this, every time you add more features, the costs just go up again. [laughs] But I guess if I could make a change I would want more RAM, so that we can actually have demos and things like that at Nintendo DS Download Stations. One thing I cannot do right now at the Wi-Fi stations is have a trailer for download because of size limitations. The actual RAM on the DS is very limited, so we can't really download a level or whatnot. I am looking forward to the DS 2.
About future remakes and ports
- K: Would you have any plans to remake older Castlevania titles, like you did for Dracula X on PSP? Maybe for release on services like WiiWare or Xbox Live Arcade?
- IGA: Castlevania has a lengthy legacy of great games, and I'm definitely interested in revisiting them if I get a chance. However, every time I've tried to pitch something like that, I just get told I should make a new game instead. But yes, if there is another opportunity like there was with Dracula X Chronicles, it's something that I would definitely like to do.
About a compilation
- IGA: The business reality is that more people would prefer to play something entirely new instead of going back to something they already know. I personally love compilations, but think we have not yet seen a Castlevania compilation because it has been on so many different platforms. It would be hard to keep everything consistent with 20 years of games to include. The compilations that we see now are generally titles that were all released within a year or two of each other.
About other Castlevania merchandise
About animated Castlevania
- W: I'd heard that this was going to be an animated movie? Is this still the case?
- IGA: Was there a rumor that it was going to be animated?
- W: Yes! There was a whole blog by the guy who was directing the animated movie, there was concept art... it was supposed to be based on Castlevania III.
- IGA: Oh, that's a totally separate thing.
About live action movie
- W: So, what's new and exciting in the life of Igarashi and Castlevania right now?
- IGA: It hasn't been officially announced by Konami yet, but I went to meet with this director the other day, who's doing the Castlevania movie.
- W: And now you're doing a live action movie.
- IGA: Yes. The director is Sylvan White, who directed Stomp The Yard. I think the director's name has been announced by the production company but not by Konami. We'll have more discussions with him to realize the movie, and when the time comes, Konami will make an official announcement.
- W: What do you think are the challenges of translating Castlevania into a movie?
- IGA: The movie should be handled by the movie makers. But the director and I, we discussed the world of Castlevania, and the conflicts, and the story. But the director plays the game a lot. He was actually showing the producer how to play it. He knows about it. So I feel really confident.
- W: What did he say was his favorite thing about the series? What attracts him to it?
- IGA: We had just a brief discussion yesterday, we didn't have much time. So I just briefly explained the game. Hopefully we can talk more.
About NECA action figures
- W: Are there any pre-order promotions for it in America? Last time there was that CD package, is there anything this time?
- IGA: This time... there'll be a special gift at GameStop. Do you know NECA, an American action figure maker? They made a special NES version Simon figure for Comic-Con. Like a pixel picture. They're doing a Simon's Quest version, in black/white/red, for the pre-order gift. It'll be at GameStop, but the numbers will be very limited.
- Julius Belmont's artwork for Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow by Ayami Kojima is apparently based on Kōji Igarashi, although this is mere speculation.
- ↑ Nagoya Digital Contents Expo
- ↑ Korea Games Conference 2014
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Interview with Computer and Video Games.com Jul 2002 about Harmony of Dissonance 
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Interview with Gamasutra in October 2007 about the future of 2D gaming 
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Interview with Wired Oct 2007 about Dracula X Chronicles
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Interview with Play Magazine in 2007. Scans: 
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 1Up's 20th Anniversary Blow-Out 
- ↑ TGS 2002: Castlevania Q&A
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Mega interview with Games Radar 
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Interview with Crispy Gamer May 2008 about Order of Ecclesia
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Interview with Kikizo in October 2008 about Judgment
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Interview with Cubed 3 in July 2008 about Judgment 
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Interview with Game Spy in Oct 2008 about Judgment 
- Kōji Igarashi on Facebook
- IGA (K_IGA) on Twitter
- IGALOG Koji Igarashi Blog (in Japanese, Inactive)
- ArtPlay, Inc.
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