REBORN - Interview @ Capsule Computers
Capsule Computers interviewd Elemental Labs about their cancelled kickstarter REBORN.
Q. There are many different mythologies and legends that can be drawn upon, so why did you choose to focus on Japanese lore for REBORN?
A. I started tinkering with computers and playing video games at an early age. Playing games like The Killing Game Show on the Commodore 64, Blazing Lasers on turbografx 16, Rivercity Ransom on the NES, and Final Fight, Street Fighter II, and Final Fantasy games on SNES all had a great impact and influenced my childhood years. As I got older, I started tinkering with cars—specifically Japanese imports—and my affinity for Japanese culture grew from there. I was fortunate enough to take many trips to Japan over the years and make a great many friends there. Furthermore, I travelled through much of the country, learning and absorbing its rich and dynamic history and folklore. Japan is truly a spiritual place that is alluring because of its traditionalism juxtaposed with modern society. Therefore, making an RPG about a samurai in a cyberpunk world just seemed to mesh with my experiences perfectly.
Q. With many different samurai to choose from, especially those from the Sengoku era, what led to the decision to base the main character off of Miyamoto Musashi?
A. Every culture has its own folk heroes; for example, America has Davey Crockett, England has Robin Hood, and France has Joan of Arc. Japan has numerous samurai folk heroes, but Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most well-known. He is iconic not only in Japanese history, but also in the field of martial arts. Businessmen in Japan often adopt the philosophy of his book, THE BOOK OF 5 RINGS, when conducting business despite the fact that Musashi wrote the book to describe his philosophy regarding combat.
Q. The contrast between traditional Japanese lore and the advanced technological powers and augmentations created by Nexus Roku is stark. What led to the idea between traditional vs futuristic conflict?
A. I wanted to make a samurai game centered around Musashi, but rather than having it take place in 17th century Japan, I thought a hyper-modern setting would be an interesting approach. One day, I was having coffee at Night Owl (a quaint little coffee shop in downtown Fullerton) with Eric Thuan. I was telling him about the game’s concept. We came up with the idea that one of the themes we could include to make the story balanced, rich, and dynamic, was to explore themes of self-discipline and progress—maxims of many forms of martial arts—juxtaposed against technology, which is supposed to make life easier for all mankind. That is why we decided to inject WuXing and the five Chinese elements of nature.
SP/MP: Single + MP