The story behind the story.

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Feb 13, 2005 at 7:20 PM
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This was taken from Gamefaqs.
"Well, Koudelka was the first game the team made up of X-Square employees ever made. Kikuta (of Seiken Densetsu 2 & 3, and Soukaigi soundtrack fame), helped to direct, and compose for this game. Shortly after it's release the team had a large fight over the direction they wanted to take the sequel. Kikuta left, a long with a few other key members, and Sacnoth went on to develop Shadow Hearts for the PSX. Shortly after development began, the PS2 dev kits became available, but purchasing them as a small team was rather impossible. Aruze moved in and absorbed Sacnoth's team, and the game was moved to PS2 development. Aruze was eventually purchased by a much larger corporation during SH: Covenant's development life, and a lot more money was given to the production, so the remaining Squaresoft members were more accurately able to reach their goals.

Koudelka is distinctly different in style from it's sequels due to the directing; Kikuta wanted a dark, gothic horror with an odd pacing and a cinematic style. They also went down a more Seiken Densetsu/SaGa path in the way the game worked instead of the traditional FF gameplay style. When Kikuta left, the team went to using a more FF system for SH, and it's sequel. They lost over time the horror aspect, and went for a more mass appealing story."

I wonder how much of this is true...and how much of it is from the rumor mill grind...
 
Feb 20, 2005 at 3:39 AM
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Should never explore this place when I've got time to kill . ^^
Something I stumbled on:
http://www.ocremix.org/detailcomposer.php?compid=8

Then, the man himself - his home page. You've GOT to click about; his BBS has some English and he says he's working on more English entries... yeahhhh.

http://www.zephyr.dti.ne.jp/~deadtech/


Hiroki Kikuta. A computer game creator and famous composer living in Tokyo, Japan. He's been working in the gaming business for about ten years now. He was employed by the renowned company SQUARE from 1991 until 1998. During this time he was involved in the creation of many popular Role Playing Game titles, such as the "Secret of Mana" series for the SNES, he was the musical genius behind these wonderful soundtracks.

After this time, Hiroki Kikuta organized a new game design studio, SACNOTH, with an investment from another well-known company, SNK. He took the position of CEO, and produced a new project called "KOUDELKA". "KOUDELKA" is an RPG for the SONY PLAYSTATION with a heavy focus on CG movies and stories. It is a horror RPG, set in the 1800's at the cursed Nemeton Convent in Wales. Hiroki Kikuta wrote the scenario, designed the historical background, and directed all of the high-polygon CG movies and events. Each of the characters in the story speak with their own voice. Also, motion-capture technologies were used to digitally reproduce the performance of the actors. "KOUDELKA" was released on December 16, 1999 in Japan and during the summer of 2000 in North America. Unfortunately, the economic condition of SNK was worsened by depression and he was not able to operate he's company any longer. So, he retired from his position, and is now searching for a new investor or a new project which he can join.

And for those who don't want to click:
from: http://www.zephyr.dti.ne.jp/~deadtech/resume.htm

PROFILE

Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Hiroki
Kikuta. I am a computer game creator living in Tokyo,
Japan. I have been working in the gaming business for
about ten years now. I was employed by the renowned
company SQUARE from 1991 until 1998. During this time
I was involved in the creation of many popular Role
Playing Game titles, such as "Secret of Mana" for the SNES.
After this time, I organized a new game design studio,
SACNOTH, with an investment from another well-known
company, SNK. I took the position of CEO, and produced
a new project called "KOUDELKA".

"KOUDELKA" is an RPG for the SONY PLAYSTATION with a
heavy focus on CG movies and stories. It is a horror
RPG, set in the 1800's at the cursed Nemeton Convent
in Wales. I wrote the scenario, designed the
historical background, and directed all of the
high-polygon CG movies and events. Each of the
characters in the story speak with their own voice.
Also, motion-capture technologies were used to
digitally reproduce the performance of the actors.
"KOUDELKA" was released on December 16, 1999 in Japan
and during the summer of 2000 in North America.
Unfortunately, the economic condition of SNK was
worsened by depression and I was not able to operate
my company any longer. So, I have retired my position,
and I am now searching for a new investor or a new
project which I can join.Hiroki Kikuta

RESUME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PROFILE
Hiroki Kikuta
E-mail > deadtech@zephyr.dti.ne.jp
Homepage > http://www.zephyr.dti.ne.jp/~deadtech
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDUCATION
University of Kansai (OSAKA) philosophy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EXPERIENCE
1991-1998
SQUARE inc. (JAPAN) manager
"Romancing-Saga"
"Seiken-Densetu2"(Secret of Mana)
"Seiken-Densetu3"
"Soukaigi"
1998-1999
SACNOTH co.,ltd (JAPAN) CEO
"Koudelka"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SKILL
Producer/Director/Scenario Writer of Computer Game
Producer/Director/Designer of Computer Graphic
Producer/Director/Editor of Computer Graphic Movie (also Story Board and Layout)
Producer/Director of Motion Capture
Producer/Director of Comic
Producer/Director/Composer/Arranger of Music (also Soundtrack of Game and Animation)
Designer of Website (Now You are looking)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AND from IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0452882/

Visit the data base for information on the English performers of Koudelka. They don't seem to have the Japanese ones (altho I'll look again more deeply)

And just from ye old online Encyclopedia:
Nationmaster.com
Encyclopedia: Hiroki Kikuta

Updated 9 days 23 hours 34 minutes ago.

Hiroki Kikuta (菊田裕樹), born 1962 in Aichi prefecture, Japan, is one of the more known composers of video game music. Perhaps not for prolificness, but rather the quality of his work. His major works are the second and third installments in the Seiken Densetsu series, Koudelka, and Soukaigi.


Discography
Seiken Densetsu 2 Original Sound Version (1993)
Seiken Densetsu 3 Original Sound Version (1995)
Soukaigi Original Soundtrack (1998)
Koudelka Original Soundtrack (1999)

I think I'll run along now. God knows what else I'll stumble on. *remembers there was some comment about "items" and they're reality quotiant or some such... yeah. More research.
 
Feb 20, 2005 at 5:46 AM
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You are dangerous.....I like that about you XD
 
Feb 20, 2005 at 5:54 AM
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Lest I seem a complete slacker:

Hiroki Kikuta, most known for composing the music to Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu III (also known as Secret of Mana II) while working at Squaresoft, created Sacnoth in 1998 with funding from the gaming company SNK. Koudelka was to be his magnum opus to show Square he could make a succesful game. Unfortunately, Koudelka received poor critical reviews and little word of mouth. Additionally, the game was released towards the end of the PlayStation I's lifecycle, with more interest being shown in upcoming PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast games at the time. Most people agreed that the game showed some promise, but had serious flaws. Kikuta resigned from Sacnoth over accusations of poor micromanagement as well as the financial failure of the game. Aruze Entertainment took over control of Sacnoth after SNK folded.

The initial plot of the game centered around 3 investigators coming to Nemeton Monastery in Wales: Koudelka, a young girl with supernatural powers; Edward Plunkett, adventurer; and Father James O'Flaherty, sent by the Vatican to recover a special tome of knowledge. The monastery was used as a prison in the 1700s, and more recently as the site of a dark ritual from the stolen manuscript that Father O'Flaherty seeks.

The style of the game was a composition of survival horror games such as Resident Evil, and tactical RPGs with a grid-based system for combat.

Link here
 
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