Famous developer Hidetaka Suehiro, known as SWERY, creator of Deadly Premonition and Dark Dreams Don’t Die(D4), shared in an interview new information for one of his upcoming games: The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories.
The Missing was born thanks to the friendship between SWERY and Kido Oka, Arc System Works’ CEO, who promised him in the past to publish one of his games. Though, Oka-san was very surprised with the concept SWERY came up with with the game.
SWERY is quite happy that his previous games are acclaimed for their stories, so now he’d like to make a game that also gets praise for its game design and gameplay. This is the main idea behind The Missing.
The main heroine J.J has an immortal body and she progresses and solves puzzles by making use of it. SWERY wanted to make a side-scrolling action + puzzle-solving game with an immortal character. He thinks it’s quite the novel idea, as these games usually work with a die-and-retry mentality. He was particularly influenced by the original Prince of Persia, Another World, and The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse, all games he played in his childhood. Furthermore, he realized side-scrolling games like these still have an audience nowadays, with the successes of Limbo, Inside or Ori and the Blind Forest.
The game’s brutal world and the dangerous obstacles J.J faces represent how far she is willing to go to save her friend Emily. SWERY also notes how J.J and Emily became friends despite their different personalities. J.J is kind of a realistic girl while Emily is very naive.
The game also has 271 different donuts hidden in its stages. Getting them unlocks artwork galleries, music and development stories. It’s possible to obtain them all in a first run but quite difficult. SWERY suggests waiting once you cleared the game once, as it will unlock “Cheats”, allowing you to speed up J.J or modify her immortal body on the spot, like severing her arms, allowing you to access some spots more easily. You will also be able to change her clothes once you cleared the game. The number of donuts obtained does not affect the story at all, so you shouldn’t stress yourself too much if you can’t obtain them all in your first run.
The stamps and emoticons used in the game’s smartphone chat discussions were designed by the various members of White Owls. SWERY and everyone in the studio had a great time designing them and writing the chat conversations.
Wrapping up the interview, SWERY thinks the main attractive aspects of the game are the cool&beautiful heroine, the game mechanics, story, and the gore aspect. He laughs, adding the gore might not be considered as attractive by many though. (I’m still torn whether I’ll get the game or not as I’m scared easily by that kind of stuff). When asked if the game has a happy ending or not, SWERY says he personally thinks it’s a happy one, though you will judge for yourself once the game is out.
You can check out the game’s new screenshots and a beautiful artwork of J.J below. You can also watch the game’s previously released trailer.
SWERY and his studio White Owls are currently developing another game, The Good Life, which was funded via Kickstarter.
The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories launches on October 11th for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC via Steam.