Suikoden director creating new game at Taito

Farewell to the Moonlit Night to feature movielike action sequences and contributions from other notable game creators.

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TOKYO--According to the latest issue of Dengeki PlayStation magazine, Taito is developing a new 3D action game titled Tsukiyo ni Saraba, which translates into English as "Farewell to the Moonlit Night." Slated for release on the PlayStation 2 this winter, the game's main character will be a blond-haired gunman named Crow who uses special movielike action skills, such as time slowdown, to dodge bullets.

A number of well-known game creators are on the Tsukiyo ni Saraba team. The producer is Yoshitaka Murayama, who previously worked at Konami as the director of the Suikoden series. Tsukiyo ni Saraba's characters are being designed by Ryouji Minagawa, who's best known for his manga series Spriggan, and the game's original soundtrack will be composed by Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Xenosaga) and Miki Higashino (Suikoden).

Protagonist Crow inherited the power to go against the flow of time from his late mother, who was murdered when he was still a child because of her powerful abilities as a fortune teller. Since then, Crow was raised by the don of a Mafia organization, and he grew up to be one of its top ranking hit men, pledging to one day seek revenge on the man who killed his mother. Crow eventually became friends with another hit man, named Judas, and together they now handle all the dirty work for their organization.

Aside from Crow, there will be additional characters that can be used as the game advances. The characters can all use special skills, such as slowing down time, attacking enemies all at once, and becoming invincible for a limited time. What's unique about Tsukiyo ni Saraba is that the player's character apparently dies with just one shot, unlike most action games where the character doesn't die until his or her life meter becomes empty.

"I've been thinking for a while if there were any ways of bringing movie-style gunplay action scenes into video games, but the difficult thing was that it wouldn't be much of a game if you died instantly with one quick shot," commented Murayama to Dengeki PlayStation. "And the solution to that was slow motion and motion stopping. I realized that the game’s visuals didn't have to be quick to convey the thrills of gun battles and getting killed with a single shot... When you think about having to dodge enemy shots and shooting back at them, Tsukiyo ni Saraba is kind of close to a shooting game."

After leaving his position at Konami, Murayama told the magazine that he established his own company, named Blue Moon Studio. "I've always felt some discomfort in the structure of the game development field. Rather than making products under a company with a stable [salary], I wanted to work in a strict condition where the evaluations of my games will directly affect my lifestyle," said Murayama. "So I've launched my own company [Blue Moon Studio] to work as a freelance project designer. And about half a year later, I had the chance to talk with people from Taito, and the project started from around there."

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