Good evening. This is Clockwork Toyoda. Thank you for visiting.
This blog aims to bring you the charms of Siren: Blood Curse. Today we will be unravelling the mystery behind the "archive items" that are the basis for informing you of the truth of the setting and story. I interviewed the game's producer Keiichiro Toyama, and he told me about things from behind the scenes, and things that you might have missed. What he told me was very interesting, so I will convey it as it was. For the next five days we will be discussing the 45 items that can be obtained until the end of Episode 11. Today we will start with items 1 to 9!
Toyama: This is a kind of archive that changes, with information being added as you progress through each episode. I know this is only the first one, but there are lots of things I can't say because they're spoilers (laughs). Since this is the very first archive it's the one that symbolises the game.
Toyoda: The writing inside isn't written in shibito characters, is it?
Toyama: No, it's not. The Book of Deliverance in-game was compiled by the villagers based on a certain book - in other words, it's a copy. If you take a close look at the writing it looks like the alphabet, and there's something like a spider, and...
Toyoda: That's okay! That's enough! We're getting into spoiler territory so let's stop there (laughs).
Toyama: This was in the interview we did with Famitsu too, but in the bottom left of the screen you can see a frog.
Toyoda: Its nickname is Frog Sensei (laughs).
Toyama: For that shoot we wanted to actually use the actors, but couldn't get our schedules to match up and ended up just showing legs. We wanted something in that space in terms of composition. So we said to the young designer, "Your job today is to catch some kind of animal," and what that turned up was Frog Sensei (laughs). We actually had three Frog Senseis. We let #1 and #2 go after their performance, and I heard there was a third one born (laughs). The one we used in-game was #2. Frog Sensei wasn't performing properly so we had to shoot over and over, and ended up shooting from 2am until dawn... We used Naoko Sato, in charge of the scenario, for Melissa's legs, and because Frog Sensei kept messing up she started getting really angry (laughs).
Toyama: This is the archive item from which you learn Howard's birthday and blog URL. It may seem strange to have addresses written on driver's licenses in terms of the time period, but we wanted it to be that way in the game (laughs).
Toyoda: Linking to the real world has been an element since the first game, right?
Toyama: Yes. Howard's blog details his actions up until heading for Hanuda. Oh, the leather jacket Howard wears was the one Soji Abe wore in Siren 2. Did you notice?
Toyoda: Huh!? I had never noticed that.
Toyama: By the way, the word "BRAMBLES" written on Howard's sweatshirt is the name of the basketball team at the high school he goes to. Before we settled on this name it was "BULLETS", but it turned out to be the name of an actual team that existed once, so we had to change it really quickly... We had to redo it right at the end, too, so it was really troublesome.
Toyama: We went to a police museum to do research, and I think we managed to reprodue that era in Shimada's uniform and ID. "Seiji Funayama"'s drawing and letter were done by the designer with his left hand. By the way, the designer's name is Seiichiro Funayama. He went and put himself in (laughs).
Toyoda: Shimada's character stands out. He looks like a glutton, but he also shouts out, "YOU!" in Episode 1... (laughs)
Toyama: That kind of thing was scenario manager Sato's doing. At first he was the character who came through the most, and then turned into a total joke character (laughs).
Toyoda: Since he's going to be compared to Officer Ishida from Siren no matter what, there's quite a lot of strength in his character background. Oh, speaking of Ishida, I've heard that he turned into a half-shibito so quickly because he was drinking alcohol...
Toyama: That's incorrect. That's not how it was, rather one of the proposed theories as to why. There's no way we could say that drinking makes you turn faster, could we? (laughs) Before the siren goes off there are already signs that the real world and Other World are mixing. So, since Ishida was already susceptible, he was affected by it before the siren went off too. Shimada has already left the real world by the time Howard stumbles upon the ritual.
Toyama: This was put in to give some background. Hmm... there's not really much to comment on (laughs). You could say this about the other archives also, but we took this photo imagining that it my be perhaps a proposal left on Melissa's work desk. We created all of the archives to conform to the place they are used or obtained, so I think that if you're conscious of that as you look them over you will see them from another perspective.
Toyoda: She has a voicemail from the producer listed in the proposal, John Titer. Did you enlist a voice actor just for that?
Toyama: Yes. The person who was in charge of English-language direction performed it for us. He was really skillful, even doing the voice of Howard's friend.
Toyama: We took the phone around a few abandoned houses, put it down and took photos, then set up the design afterwards.
Toyoda: You purposely went around to the actual places to take photos?
Toyama: We did. And on the day it was snowing heavily (laughs). We shovelled away the snow and somehow managed to get the shot. So the background is that of an actual abandoned house.
Toyoda: Was the lecture cancelled because he decided to go to Japan for research?
Toyama: No, it was because it was unpopular and there weren't enough people (laughs). The seminar pamphlet is based on something that would be put up on a corkboard. The design has a thumbtack right through the top.
Toyama: Recording the video for this archive was a real hassle.
Toyoda: Uhhh, this is... the Jackalope Man, right?
Toyama: He only appears right in the right hand side of the screen, just a tiny bit, but the art director was really certain about what they wanted to do, saying, "You can't call that a Jackalope Man!" and we had to keep doing it over and over (laughs).
Toyoda: Ahahaha! Even though the Jackalope Man isn't a real thing (laughs).
Toyama: All you see of him in the game is this black mass, but the costume was really well-made. It felt like a waste so we had him appear in the live camera for "Searching for Hanuda", but I heard that even then you couldn't really make out the costume (laughs).
Toyoda: You even had a script written for this short bit, right?
Toyama: Sato and a member of staff called Eric worked on the script. I wrote the design and plot. At first we were going to have a cliff, and there would be what looked like a Jackalope Man doll fall from it, but I was told, "There are no cliffs, so how are we meant to make that work?" and had to settle for the way it is now (laughs). Oh, the two involved in the skit - the man on the right wanted to write "ruler" (天下者 / tenkamono) or something like that on his clothes but got it mixed up and wrote 添加物 (addition) instead, and the man on the left thought that 心が太い (kokoro ga futoi, "brave-hearted") was a good phrase so wrote 心太 (tokoroten) instead. Kind of like foreigners who like Japanese culture but make mistakes.
Toyoda: That's too much! (laughs) No one will have noticed that (laughs)!!
Toyama: This was made out of clay.
Toyoda: Going to all that trouble again? (laughs) How big did you make it?
Toyama: (Holds out hands) About this big.
Toyoda: So about 30 centimetres. There are characters engraved into it too.
Toyama: Yeah, it has characters on it too. You pick it up on the fire watchtower, so we took photos of it in a high-up place, conscious of lighting and angle, and then finally matched it up with the scenery.
Toyoda: You put way too much thought into this (laughs). Now that I think about it, they're different from the shibito characters in Siren, aren't they?
Toyama: They're different. The ones at the top are numbers, and the 26 below that correspond to the alphabet.
This was the motion capture being captured for the action scene inside the car. At the time Emma, the actress who plays Melissa, was actually pregnant, and though she was in her "stable" period she was watching the scene excitedly. She said she was okay and told me not to worry. (Toyama)