Interview With Kronos
After making several forgettable fighting games early in the
PlayStation's life-cycle, Kronos Digital Entertainment finally struck gold
with the critically-acclaimed adventure game, Fear Effect. With Fear
Effect's prequel, Retro Helix, only a few months away from release, Master
Gamer's Editor in Chief Ivan Trembow took the opportunity to speak with
Kronos' president Stan Liu.
Ivan Trembow: How far back does Retro Helix's story line go before the
events of the original Fear Effect?
Stan Liu: We start off a couple of years before the original game, and then
move back and forth in time within the story.
Ivan: It seemed to me that there was a clear emphasis placed on the story
line in the original Fear Effect. Will this be the case with Retro Helix,
or is the emphasis being placed somewhere else this time?
Stan: We've learned a lot from doing the original Fear Effect. In Retro
Helix, we've improved on the weaknesses of the first game and made the fun
stuff better. However, even with all these improvements, in my humble
opinion, the star of the original Fear Effect was the story. So this time
around, we are again putting quite a bit of emphasis on the story itself.
Ivan: What was the rationale behind the decision to make Retro Helix a
PlayStation 1 game rather than a PS2 game?
Stan: We want to take our time and really learn the ins and outs of the PS2
before we create a game for it. The original Fear Effect pushed the PSX to
its limits because our MotionFX engine was based on three generations of
PlayStation programming know-how. We want to make sure that we're utilizing
all of the PS2's capabilities when we put the next-generation Fear Effect
title on it.
Ivan: One of the most common complaints about Fear Effect is that it's too
short. Is Retro Helix going to be a longer game?
Stan: Yes! The original game has about 500 cameras and close to one hour of
narrative cinematics. In Retro Helix, we'll have about 800 cameras and
close to two hours of narrative cinematics.
Ivan: Is there some kind of rule requiring all of Fear Effect's female
characters to show cleavage?
Stan: Hmm... well, there are no rules like that. Why? Do you have a
problem with cleavage?
Ivan: No, I would just prefer that games be sold on their gameplay rather
than cheap sex appeal. Anyway, which systems do you plan on supporting in
Stan: We plan to support the PS2, Xbox, and Dreamcast.
Ivan: Who actually owns the rights to the Fear Effect franchise, Eidos or
Stan: Kronos owns the Fear Effect franchise, and we grant Eidos the
exclusive rights to the license.
Ivan: What's next for Kronos after Retro Helix is complete?
Stan: Sleep! Plus, we are in pre-production on a Fear Effect title for the
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