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As this episode is about Resident Evil, and the RE games are all about biopunk and survival horror, we’d recommend that you give this episode a skip if you are with little ones.
Alex and I has a discussion at 1 hour and 16 minutes about a Japanese word which, when said backwards is the name of a female body part. We don’t translate it but, if you listen hard enough, you’ll know what it means
it’s a loan word from English
Please listen responsibly
Back in April, we had the chance to interview Alex Aniel (aka cvxfreak) about his upcoming book “Itchy, Tasty: An Unofficial History of Resident Evil”, and all of the weird and wonderful stories that were involved in the making of the first generation of Resident Evil games. Alex lives in Tokyo, works in the video game industry, and was able to interview a number of the key staff members for his new book, you see.
Seeing as how Squidge and I are huge fans of the Resident Evil games, we just had to chat with him about his book. But before we did that…
Alex’s Recent Games
Final Fantasy VII (2020)
remember, we recorded this back in April
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Resident Evil 4
Which had us talking about whether Code Veronica should be the next game to be remade
there were rumours at the time that RE 4 would be the next game to get the remake treatment
what could potentially lie in store for us in Resident Evil 8, and Alex drops some knowledge on how the GameCube games, an the Resident Evil 2 remake came to be.
And we have a discussion about timezones and how difficult it is to get international business and software relating to timezones right.
Squidge’s Recent Games
Final Fantasy VII (2020)
Resident Evil 3 (2020)
Jay’s Recent Games
An Itchy, Tasty History of Resident Evil
The main portion of the show is all about Alex’s upcoming book; which (at the time of writing these show notes) is still on Unbound
And some of the things we end up talking about might shock you
if you’ll allow me to go all "BuzzFeed" for a moment
So one fascinating thing that I found out from my editor is that, apparently in the UK, people call flashlights "torches"
And because of the lockdown unfortunateness, the book might end up being delayed a little. But I’ll point out that this episode was recorded in April, so that may no longer be the case.
We then talk about how the working title
subject to change
of the book is “An Itchy, Tasty History of Resident Evil”, and how that comes from a wonderfully absurd moment in the first Resident Evil where someone dies, in the 2nd person, across a series of journal entries.
Keeper’s Diary: A Quick Overview
The text of that entry reads:
Interestingly, the original Japanese reads
which means “tasty horse” and is an intentional misspelling of かゆい うまい
which actually means “itchy tasty”. There’s also an interesting thing here about the inclusion of spacing between the words, which is something that written Japanese doesn’t tend to have. I’d recommend taking a look at this page for more analysis on it. Or indeed backing Alex’s book, as it will no doubt be covered in it.
We then talk about the content of the book
without giving everything away, obviously
including a section all about Sweet Home, which has an interview with the creator of Sweet Home, Tokuro Fujiwara. And Alex drops some knowledge on us which might seem a little weird at first:
Funny enough […] the creator of Sweet Home, Tokuro Fujiwara was inspired to make Resident Evil after seeing the original Star Fox and Virtua Fighter running in full 3D
He also tells us that it’s more a book about the history of the production of the games, rather than a history of the canon of the games, which I’m all for. I love learning about how games are made
especially the ones that I love
And to get a taste of that, it’s worth reading the Polygon excepts from the book:
Naturally, we discuss the Director’s Cut Dual Shock soundtrack debacle. For those who don’t know what I mean by the debacle:
Due to the recent changes at Twitter, we are unable to embed tweets at this time. We apologise for the inconvenience.
take a moment to read the thread for a little history; we also talk about it in this segment
And of course Alex talks about it in the book. And apparently, some of the folks involved in the games had never heard the piece we were talking about.
He also shares an anecdote about that piece
the dooty doot piece
which was originally in the book, but was removed for “taste” reasons.
A Question of Versions
We talk about the cover art for the original Resident Evil:
And we also mention the UK boxart for the Director’s Cut Dual Shock edition:
And that the Director’s Cut was released because RE 2
at least, the version we now know as RE 1.5
How Did You Get Into Resident Evil?
We then asked Alex about his history with the series. It turns out that Silent Hill and Code Veronica were his way into the series. Not a bad place to start, I must say.
It was distrubing. And it was my foray into satanic, occult, grotesque, any word that kind of fits in that framework. But I loved it, which sounds really strange to say.
‘nuff said, I suppose.
What Set’s The Book Apart from Youtubers?
So Alex speaks Japanese
and really well, too
and considering that he lives in Tokyo and that the majority of the folks who have worked on the RE games only speak Japanese gives him the one up over the English language only YouTubers and bloggers.
As one of the few bi-lingual Resident Evil fans, I try to use that as an asset to help the community.
Here is a 5 and a half hour long video of Alex and Carcinogen interviewing Hideki Kamiya about the original Resident Evil 2
I’d recommend skipping to 18:54 to get directly into the interview and commentary
The fact that Alex has tried to keep his opinions out of the book actually puts him ahead of the majority of YouTube/Blog Resident Evil documentary makers
at least, in my opinion
as the majority of them don’t hide the fact that they are just opinion pieces.
Which Games Are Covered In The Book?
Everything that I would call a "milestone release" gets a chapter, or at least a section in the book