Answers by: Published: December 5th, 2007  
Shelby Wills - Producer (Pipeworks Software)
with assistance from Mark Crowe, Pipeworks Studio Design Director, and designers and animators for the game
Conducted by:
Anthony Romero
Anthony: Okay, first off, we have seen quite a bit of the "match" options present for the title, both from the build at the Penny Arcade Expo and an entry on the blog at IGN. Speaking personally, I always found this area to be disappointing on the previous two games, and was very impressed by what has been shown so far. My only question is related to if these options are expected to be there "out of the box" or if some of them stand the chance of being unlockable before the player can utilize them?

The Custom Multiplayer Options available in the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed are something we have wanted to do since Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee.  Happily, I can tell you that they are fully available right out of the box; no points are necessary to access them.

Anthony: The Gotengo is Toho's most popular non-humanoid mech, having appeared in films both inside and outside of the Godzilla series. The craft was seen fleetingly near the end of the E3 trailer for Godzilla: Unleashed, however, nothing more has been seen and hardly anything mentioned related to the ship since. Would it be possible to divulge any more information in regards to what type of role the battleship will have in the game?

Shelby: We use another name for the Gotengo, Atoragon, in Godzilla: Unleashed.  The Atoragon plays a significant and interesting side role in the Story Mode.  It has a developing storyline.  It’s not available for player control, and you could call it a boss.

Anthony: Some gameplay footage was released of Godzilla fighting off Titanosaurus in Tokyo. During the bout, Titanosaurus was revealed to emit a "supersonic wave-like" attack from his mouth. Many have stated this as being a rather odd choice for the monster, considering that it displayed a weakness against supersonic waves in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Is there any background behind this choice?

Shelby: We wanted a unique beam weapon for every monster, so that players could engage in beam fights, no matter what monsters the players chose.  So, for gameplay reasons, we took creative liberties with the monsters that didn’t have beams in the movies, and Titanosaurus was one of those monsters. The sonic beam weapon for Titanosaurus came out of a need to create a unique breath weapon for him. It wasn’t until after we had created and tuned his weapon that someone on the team pointed out the irony of such a weapon in reference to the monster's weakness against sonic waves in the movie.  Storywise, his sonic weapon could be a mutant genetic adaptation in the giant dinosaur brought on by the crystal energy - Titanosaurus’ weakness turned into a strength fits in with his strong, adaptable profile as a member of the mutant faction.

Anthony: For the build at the Penny Arcade Expo, Kiryu's "victory" sequence appeared to end with an odd meshing of the Showa and Heisei Mechagodzilla roars. Is this still present in the final build of the title?

Shelby: One of the more challenging aspects of game development is collecting and implementing quality audio that fits our gameplay needs. Kiryu's victory sequence needed a show-stopping elongated roar, and to achieve that we had to so some audio magic. The Showa and Heisei Mecha roars mixed together gave us the perfect combo for that climactic victory stance. The Millennium series Kiryu sounds we had did not do the move justice. I think we were able to strike a balance for the emotional impact of the gameplay experience while maintaining the integrity of the Toho property.

Anthony: On the topic of the "victory" sequences, Destoroyah was witnessed to have a fairly haunting cackle after defeating his opponent. This roar was not used in either of his onscreen appearances (Godzilla vs. Destoroyah [1995] and Godzilla Island [1997]), so was this a unique creation from Pipeworks?

That's sort of a legacy of Save the Earth.  His laugh got a first pass in Save the Earth when we were trying to make him stand out as more of a villain among the kaiju.  Toho approved the trait for Save the Earth, and it got a revision for Unleashed, along with a new remix of his roar turning it into more of a cackle.

Anthony: The Tokyo stage was shown off, featuring a partially submerged metropolitan level. Was the choice to have Tokyo flooded, versus other possibilities for a tsunami-torn city, at all influenced by the plot of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) in which Tokyo becomes submerged?

Oh certainly, seeing a flooded Tokyo in G vs. Megaguirus was an influence. That, and that fact that Tokyo and other Japan cities have always been particularly susceptible to tsunamis. A flooded Tokyo was also the focus of Toho’s epic disaster film “Sinking of Japan” (2006).

Anthony: A couple of characters went through name changes from the previous two games, specifically Kiryu (previously Mechagodzilla 3) and Fire Rodan (previously Rodan). What was the driving force behind going for the more "version specific" names for those two monsters this time around?

We really liked Mechagodzilla 3’s nickname Kiryu, and received Toho approval to use this name.  The name Fire Rodan was a change requested by Toho to accurately label their trademarked character.

Anthony: Toho has a very strict and thorough copyright process for their intellectual properties. Has this made concealing characters, or potential characters, difficult while the game is in development?

Although the process is rigorous, it helps us to make sure the monsters are true to the originals.  The actual approval process didn’t make concealing monsters difficult, as all parties involved kept the information secret.  The only little early giveaways were sometimes the monster stamps or names on posters or in legal lines, but those weren’t because of Toho – they were more like teasers. :-)

Anthony: On August 28th, a video showing a battle between Destoroyah and King Caesar was released. The conclusion for the movie featured Destoroyah stabbing the Okinawa deity with his horn, which was accompanied by a fairly gruesome sound effect. This is something that has surprised a lot of people as it was unexpected given the general tone of the previous two games; however, it has generally gone over very well with fans. My question is if people can expect other moves that feature a slightly "darker" edge to them, or if Destoroyah is a general exception to the "norm"?

It may have been mentioned before that we’ve tried to go for a somewhat darker tone with this installment.  This can be difficult when we’re still trying to fit into an E10 rating.  In the movies, these monsters obviously have a limited number of moves that they can actually do to each other, but have more of a luxury to rip off chunks of flesh, break bones, explode, or even eat other kaiju. We've avoided making the game "bloody" in any real way, but its hard to argue that certain monsters like Gigan or Destoroyah aren't striking with very visceral weapons specifically designed to maim, including Destoroyah’s horn and Gigan's saw chest.  To compromise, we limited their most vicious moves to their grapple throws, where the opposing monster is completely at their mercy.  To keep the answer short (too late), yes, Destoroyah and Gigan's level of violence are above average compared to the other monsters in Godzilla: Unleashed, but then, we’ve also already admitted that they are pretty mean. :-)

Anthony: Of the revealed characters, is there any of them in particular that stand out as a clear favorite of yours in terms of play style?

A few of us share Mothra as a favorite.  Her special attacks have style – I personally love the “Cry of Peace”, in which she essentially attacks with a rainbow. :-) Beyond her actual fighting moves, flying around with her is sheer joy.  We got some amazing footage of her circling the skyscrapers in Sydney, that I don’t think made it into any of the trailers.  You might be able to see a quick clip of it in the “newsreel” that cycles on the main screen of the UI.  Circling the skyscrapers with Mothra was one of my most memorable and favorite moments when I was just playing around in the game, not necessarily fighting.  Jason, one of our engine programmers, points out that her flight allows her to avoid damage more easily than some of the other monsters, and fighting at range with her beam weapon is a good option for her.

Steve, gameplay programmer: Gigan, despite his vaguely chicken-like appearance, is one of the most powerful and well balanced characters in Godzilla: Unleashed. With the incredible reach of his hook arms and raw speed, this flightless cyborg is able to effortlessly tear his opponents to shreds with various slashing and spinning attacks. The beam he emits from his cyclopean eye is capable of delivering an extra dose of pain to opponents who are either at range, or groveling in the dirt after receiving a severe slashing.
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