So, I've been slowly trying to translate bits and pieces of the venus mode artbook and figured I'd share some interesting trivia from the interview at the end of the book with Soejima and Hashino:
- They both say that one of the main influences behind 2 of the main characters (Catherine and Vincent) is the film Buffalo 66.
- One of the foundations for Catherine's initial appearance was Christina Ricci's Layla in Buffalo 66.
- The main character of the game, Vincent got his name and a similar appearance from the main actor and director of the film, Vincent Gallo.
- If you've seen Buffalo 66 or just simply look up the basic plot and aware of all of Catherine's story, there are actually quite a few parallels there between the 2 pairs of characters in the game and the film there.
- These are the reasons why Vincent and Catherine's initial concept art designs found in the book remain fairly consistent with a few gradual changes further into production.
- In comparison, Katherine did not appear to have one particular person or appearance to be based on which is why her concept art and design has a fair bit more variation and is a bit more different to her final appearance.
- When asked about what they felt was the 'true' ending of the game, they said they found the freedom ending when Vincent goes to space the most thematically appropriate and refreshing, the idea that Vincent now gets to decide his own future.
- The staff liked the idea of having one final spoiler being revealed to the player as a reward for the players who finish this last final challenge of Babel, Axis Mundi.
- There is an intentional mixture of American and Japanese cultural influences in the setting and characters. While there is no clear data on which _atherine is more popular, when looking at the players who have a first playthrough the vast majority have a ‘law’ playthrough. However, this seems to be because of the idea of staying loyal to their girlfriend or because of the responsibility of taking care of a child rather than the actual character of Katherine herself.
- When asked which _atherine they prefer, they say if only judging by appearance, Catherine. They discuss how the game has a sort of subtle science fiction setting feel in the near future with space tourism and some of the hints of advanced technology whereas with the true Catherine ending it delves more into pure fantasy setting with the gods and demons and such. They discuss ideas of there being a space colony setting in the main game with sort of realm of spirits or underworld hidden.
- They had a clear intention to prepare such a world that can be viewed and interpreted in many ways. They wanted each player to have a sense that the story will become their own through their own initiative of the game, which means there are a few ambiguous parts of story open to interpretation of the players.
- They mention that they initially had an idea of the Catherine-Katherine conflict to actually take place on a cliff but in the end it just didn’t fit so it happened in Vincent’s room. They always envisioned a story taking place over the course of about a week.
- They discuss Vincent’s claim to Katherine that his cheating was an illusion and the legitimacy of such claim. They discuss if played through with a pro-Katherine mindset, the interpretation of Catherine being a succubus and a form of illusion can fit. However, the dialogue of "It is not cheating" had a bad reputation among female staff. It seems like the opinion from Mutton matches that of the female staff- "If it felt like cheating, then it’s cheating".
- Vincent was initially an even less likeable character until the end, but when writers asked for the opinions of the other staff- they said that they found this character too unlikeable and that they don’t want to play as this character. Because the whole premise of this story being based on cheating could not be changed, it was at this point when the writers decided to come up with this idea of the ‘cull’ to separate indecisive men from women in their time of fertility and worked on making Vincent a bit more likeable.
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