The Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises have both become legendary in the gaming world since their debut in the mid-late ’90s. Although one is undoubtedly flourishing more than the other right now (if you don’t know which one, then we can’t help you), both have had a major impact on the horror genre and gaming as a whole.
In a rather lovely surprise, Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama have got together to reminisce about the “good ol’ days” when 3D gaming was just just starting to take off and the survival horror genre was born. Both seem quite open about their respective experiences within the gaming industry and it’s clear that Mikami’s involvement with the Resident Evil franchise inspired Toyama with his work on Silent Hill.
You can watch the full video below, but we’ve compiled a few of our favourite quotes for your enjoyment.
Upon discussing Silent Hill, Toyama and Mikami joked about “copying” small details from Resident Evil:
Toyama: Obviously, there was no point in simply imitating Resident Evil with Silent Hill; it wouldn’t make any sense to make a copy. There was a challenge to try making all the backgrounds with polygons, however when asked about small details, we would simply tell them to copy Resident Evil.
Mikami: *laughs* It’s a famous technique when the director is busy. When you’re just too busy… I did that myself in the past. “Sure, just do the same thing as that”, then I would focus again on the bigger picture.
Mikami then went on to speak about his frustration with earlier zombie films and how this influenced his thought process with Resident Evil:
Mikami: I would watch zombie films as well when I was a student, before joining Capcom. It actually confirmed that zombies weren’t the most scary thing there was out there. Zombies from back in the day were stupid, they were slow too. When I first saw Dawn of the Dead, I remember thinking of how I would survive, I would get mad at characters dying because of their stupid choices. I figured that in a game, you could build up your own choices. You would see that in Friday the 13th as well. You always get these characters running away together where one of them trips and hurts their ankle. I always think how I would leave that person there and leave.
Toyama and Mikami then reminisced about the freedom of game creation back in the ’90s and the subsequent studio reunions:
Toyama: It’s hard to convey how the old days were, when I first started as a director, I would do anything. I started at a level where we were told to copy Resident Evil in case we didn’t know something, I was looking at other games to see how they worked, our organisational structure was close to zero. We were all about the same age, in our twenties. There was no concept of schedule or budget. We could make whatever we wanted; if it worked, great, and if not, that was okay as well. Obviously this brings its own lot of problems, but I feel lucky I could experience these times.
Mikami: We had more freedom working on games back in the day compared to now. The environment was hell, though. Simply put, it was as if we were all being young and reckless. Being reckless when young creates the stories that makes our drinks taste better when we’re adults. It’s just so fun going out to drinks with people from that time. Like a class reunion, then some!
Toyama: It’s more than a reunion.
There you have it! We strongly recommend watching the whole video when you can; it’s a fascinating insight into the minds of two of the industries most influential figures. Let us know in the comments what you make of their conversation.