Hideo Kojima

Zone of the Enders 3 (Enders Project) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360]

Enders Project (also know as Zone of the Enders 3) is a cancelled game which seems to have been planned for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 (and possibly also for PS4 & Xbox One) by Hideo Kojima and Konami. The game would have been the third chapter in the popular Zone of the Enders game series, but it was scrapped at a very early stage in development.

Zone of Enders, the series

The first Zone of the Enders is a third-person shooter / hack and slash type of video game set in 2172 where the player assumes controls of a mecha (known as Orbital Frame) called Jehuty. His mission is to free Jupiter’s colony Antilia from the military force BAHRAM. Its sequel, Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner (know in Japan as Anubis: Zone of the Ender), followed the same style but improved on many aspects, introducing more enemies, abilities and a more immersive environment. ZOE 3: Enders Project was conceived as a direct sequel to Second Runner, without taking place on futuristic colonies but rather in an “ancient civilization”.

“Unofficial announcement” of ZOE 3

The game was ‘announced’ on 25 May 2012 during a Zone of the Enders HD Collection preview event held at the Shinjuku Wald 9 theatre in Tokyo, with many Kojima Productions’s employees and ZOE developers, including Hideo Kojima himself, Yoji Shinkawa (mecha designer and illustrator for the series), Noriaki Okamura, Shuyou Murata, and Nobuyoshi Nishimura. As 4gamer reported, it was not an official announcement, rather a presentation of details about a future project for ZOE, experimenting with different concepts and models.

Quote from andriasang.com:

As detailed at Famitsu.com, Kojima indicated that the game is currently in an early prototyping phase. Producer Ryosuke Toriyama and other key staff are currently conducting tests on what can be done using the internally developed Fox Engine, explained Kojima. Toriyama took the stage and revealed that he and his staff are at the state where they’re making models (real models) and converting them into Fox Engine assets.

 

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker [Beta – PSP]

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was developed by Konami and Kojima Productions, released in 2010 for the PSP. Few info about the beta version are available thanks to Ravi Singh of The Snake Soup:

Around April 8, 2010 Kinsoku Jiko from The Snake Soup forums used the program CodePR to dig data from the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker TGS 2009 demo. While weapons and items that would be seen in the final game were found such as Pepsi and Huey’s Letter, left-over artifacts from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus were found such as the Heart of Justice item.

Recently Ravi Singh has found material posted by Kojima Productions on their blog that is from a build of Peace Walker made prior to the first demo release. Of interest are the different HUDs (including one that is exactly the same as Portable Ops Plus), a different graphic damage meter and what looks like either an item or gameplay feature that allows the player to see the enemy more clearly. There is also a mock-up of what the beta graphic damage meter looked like in action as an animated gif image.

Blog posts are http://ameblo.jp/kp-blogcast/entry-10598028071.html and http://ameblo.jp/kp-blogcast/entry-10591306201.html

Thanks to Ravi Singh of The Snake Soup for the contribution!

Images:

 

Zone of the Enders 2 (ZOE 2) [PS2 – Beta / Concepts]

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is an action game with mechs that was developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2003. Most mecha were designed by Yoji Shinkawa, the character and mechanical designer for the Metal Gear Solid series, with the exception of Lloyd and Inhert who were designed by Kazuma Kaneko of Megami Tensei fame.

From the official Konami website we can read a series of interviews with ZOE 2’s developers and artists, in which to see early designs of the mechs (some of wich were designed by Shinkawa in his school days).

Please let us know if there were any obstacles you had to overcome when working on the animation look.

Shinkawa : What was tough was deciding in the very first days of planning in which direction we would like to proceed. Initially the models had clearer outlines and looked more 2D. The modellers came up with many test models and then we boiled them down.

Unique charasterics of the Orbital Frames are the flowing lines and the silhouette along the legs. How did you come up with these ideas?

Shinkawa : As for the silhouette, I looked over sketches I did as a student, and we were like “Why not go with this!” The energy lines were expressions of shadows used in those sketches. Then Mr. Kobayashi (modeller) and I chatted as said “Let’s make these into grooves!”, “Let’s make them glow!” When we incorporated this in the game, we made the energy lines change color to indicate how much damage you have incurred. It comes down to coming up with logical explanations to make everything work and enjoyable.

I would like to ask you things about “Anubis”.

Shinkawa : As I said last time, it is basically the sketch I did in my school days.

If we look at your old sketched, Anubis hasn’t really changed much.

Shinkawa : It did not have wings, but it always had its spear. (bozzetto)

I guess Anubis was evil since your school days. It now has a really intimidating face.

Shinkawa : The face was not intended to look like this. In my school days, it was a simple dog face. The face on the bottom (energy line face) was actually a bug of the texture screwed up when I viewed an early model of Jehuty. That screwed up texture face is what you see on the bottom. We were like, “Hey, this bug…looks cool!” (laughs)

This is the new Orbital Frame “Ardjet” whose motif is “Geisha”. Why “Geisha”?

Shinkawa : In the rough sketches for the previous gamewas a coffin-shape mech. Director Shuyo Murata wanted to include this in this game. And he wanted the heroine of the game to pilot it. The original sketch I did really looked like a coffin with a skinny fellow like a zombie or mummy inside. It just wasn’t a mech for the heroine. I tried to modify it and turn it into a girly mech. But then I didn’t want to turn it into something too girly. After some trial and error, I ended up with this design that looks somewhat like a Geisha. Its hairstyle and long cape — I hope this looks like a Kimono.

Thanks to John Doom for the contribution!

Images: 

Guy Savage (MGS3) [PS2 – Cancelled?]

As we can read at Metal Gear Wikia, Guy Savage is the name of an easter-egg mini game that can be found in Metal Gear Solid 3. This mini-game was directed by Shuyo Murata (MGS3 writer) as stated in the credits. Guy Savage is a basic hack-n-slash game where the player encounters a vast amount of enemies, and must press the attack buttons repeatedly to defeat them.

While there’s not an official statement, rumors say that Guy Savage was supposed to be a Konami game in development, that was later cancelled. The playable demo that was created as an internal pitch for the project was added in MGS3 just for fun.

Thanks to Userdante for the contribution!

Video:

 

Lunar Knights [DS – Beta / Concept]

lunarknighslogo.jpg

Lunar Knights, known in Japan as “Bokura no Taiyō: Django & Sabata” and abbreviated Boktai DS, is the fourth title in the Boktai series of games developed by Kojima Productions. The ultimate goal in Lunar Knights is to destroy a number of boss vampire enemies, in which the basic mission is to defeat each of them in their respective dungeons. [Info from Wikipedia]

In some of the old screens, we can see a couple differences in the beta-HUD: the feather and the energy bar (for Lucian) had a different color than the final version. In the original artwork, we can even see some unused or different character design. In the video, there are some odd parts: the sword of Lucian looks smaller than usual and the transformations dont have a time limit (probably it’s just not showed on-screen).

Beta HUD:

lunarknights-betahud.jpg

lunarknights-betahud2.jpg

Final HUD

lunarknights-finalhud.jpg

lunarknights-finalhud2.jpg

Images:

Videos:
 

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