Special Guest! Scenario Writer Etsu Tamari

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PGTV

Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Etsu Tamari from Konami’s Kojima Productions, I was the scenario writer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

The MGR blog posts here are mainly for the development staff at PlatinumGames, as you can probably tell by the shining “P” up at the top. Since this is a collaborative work, however, I’m making myself an honorary member of the team.

And why not? I mean, I have a seat with my name on it at Platinum’s office. I haven’t shown my face there recently, but for a while I was spending at least one night a week in Osaka. Around November, I think I spent more time over there than in Tokyo. I still lose to our cutscene director, though; he moved there.

When I explain all that travel to people, they usually ask me, “Isn’t the scenario supposed to be finished a little earlier than that?” I always tell them a game scenario isn’t something you just write and then never touch again. Well, depending on the person or the project, I’m sure sometimes you finish writing a scenario and are told not to mess with it again, but that’s not how we do things with the Metal Gear series. That’s not how we could do things, in order to have Metal Gear stay Metal Gear.

Even if a game has a good story, if the gameplay sucks, it’s shit. Making gameplay interesting requires a repeated process of creating something and tearing it down. For example, the game’s maps might look interesting on paper, but once you try working them into the game itself, you might realize they’re boring. That happens a lot. Written plans will never convey how the game truly feels, and as such, will never be an indication as to whether or not a game is actually fun.

So you can write plans on paper or in excel, and you can have meetings brainstorming all the ideas you like. The results, however, are equivalent to air; you can’t give substance to something just by arguing and discussing it. With making games, I’ve realized you just won’t understand how something is until it’s actually in front of you.

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Whenever I had doubts when writing, I’d look to this: the scenario for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Next to it is part of Rising’s Abkhazia chapter.

If your game doesn’t have a strong link between the scenario and gameplay, obviously making a change to the gameplay shouldn’t affect the scenario. With the Metal Gear Series, however, this is a different story.

All the background info you get from each codec, every line said from each enemy, everything needs to be carefully integrated into the game. Only through this can the player actually feel like he’s Raiden, and has entered the world of Metal Gear Rising.

So even after you’re done writing the main story, you have to stick around and write codecs and enemy dialogue as the game is being made. If any changes are made to the game itself, you make adjustments, think of codec text that might better fit the situation, talk things out with planners or designers whenever you run into any trouble… it takes a lot of persistence to make it right. That’s why I kept finding myself in Osaka, over and over again.

In the end though, thanks to those business trips, and to Saito-san’s undying love for all things Metal Gear, I think we made a game that had a perfect fusion of PlatinumGames and Metal Gear.

In the pre-release events we’ve been doing around Japan and North America, we’ve received a lot of feedback that this game lives up to the Metal Gear name. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed! The game is also full of the PlatinumGames brand excitement and has a story you don’t need to be up on the rest of the series to enjoy. For Platinum fans and action fans alike, this could be a good first step into the Metal Gear universe.

As crazy as it sounds, I actually got asked in an interview a few days ago, “Why does this game feel so Metal Gear?” I could only respond, well, that’s because it is Metal Gear!

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is out in stores now! Be sure to check the game out yourself!

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10 Comments Add Your Own

Blem Posted on March 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Tamari!
As soon as the credits started I started looking for the scenario writer because I was so impressed by how well the story was put together.
You did an amazing job. I can't wait to see what you do next.

ACE ASHUN Posted on March 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

AWESOME READ. IT'S NOT A GAME YOU JUST PUT DOWN AFTER COMPLETING IT, WHICH I LOVE. YOU ALL DONE A FANTASTIC JOB . THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING A GREAT GAME TO WELCOME US INTO 2013 :)

TheAugust Posted on March 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

It really turned out fantastically. Its standalone nature from the previous MGS games really makes this game shine, and this is coming from a huge fan of the series! The story and its characters have moved on, and where it has taken us is awesome and unforgettable. This game absolutely deserves a sequel!

amit Posted on March 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Really interesting stuff, I would like to hear from the localizer (or localizers, if there's more than one.) The English script was really good and funny. Did you do it in house at Platinum or was the work outsourced?

FAUNA Posted on March 6, 2013 at 6:04 am

I just completed METAL GEAR RISING, a mind-blowing masterpiece in every way. By the way, directly after finishing the game, I watched the Kojima-san cut MGR launch trailer. It is one of the most breathtakingly incredible works of art I have ever witnessed! Who did the music for it? Beautiful… I thank you so much PG* & KP for blessing us with this opus of a game. I still can't believe it exists..

biorhytm Posted on March 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

The game was breath-taking! Thank you for your astonishing creativity. Waiting for more ;)

Dang Hoang Nam Khanh Posted on March 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Thank you, Etsu Matari. Thank you PlatinumGames and Kojima Production, for both your hard working and endless efforts to bring such a masterpiece to fans all around the world! I truly admire you guys.

– A fan from Vietnam.

MafiaKees Posted on March 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Oh my, the great Etsu Tamari, this is really amazing stuff!
Etsu Tamari will always make stories a lot more interesting and will get plenty of players hooked! good choice.

John Posted on June 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm

After playing a game like this, I cannot help but to grow envious.
I myself wish to become a story writer for videogames, but more than that, I wish to become the kind of person who creates these types of games, who makes these worlds and tailors the gameplay to his vision.
*Manly sighing commences*
I wonder what manner of credentials one would need to even be considered for a job at platinum games? let alone any other company….Truly, I envy you your position etsu…..you have the sort of job(partially) that i dream about having every day.

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