Monday, May 30, 2011

KILEAK: The DNA Imperative



Kileak: The DNA Imperative
Developer - Genki
Publisher - Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date - September 9, 1995

Kileak: The DNA Imperative, is a first person shooter video game developed by Genki for the PlayStation video game console. It was released on January 27, 1995, in Japan by Sony Music Entertainment. It was followed by a North American and European release in September 1995 by Sony Computer Entertainment as a launch game for the platform.

In Kileak: The DNA Imperative, the player controls an armored mecha – the SJ 107 assault suit – through the series of floor levels within a South Pole observation base. Each floor is connected by an elevator, which the player must find in order to proceed to the level below. The suit is equipped with various weapons, some of which require the suits battery power to operate. The story follows an International Peacekeeping Force operative named Matt Coda as he attempts to stop a scientist, Dr. Kim, from conducting unethical genetic engineering research. As the game progresses, the eponymous "Kileak" is revealed to be an ancient extraterrestrial creature that is the common ancestor of all life on Earth.

Kileak: The DNA Imperative was designed by Tomoharu Kimura, and programmed by Kenji Shimizu and Wataru Ishizuka, with the soundtrack composed by Kimitaka Matsumae. While Kileak earned praise from video game journalists for its 3D graphics, it was criticized for its level design and its control scheme. A sequel to Kileak, titled Epidemic, was released in 1996 in North America. Both Kileak and Epidemic were made available through the PlayStation Network store in Japan on September 16, 2015.


Story

On August 16, 2038, the International Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) headquarters receives an urgent message from undercover agent Franco Fukazawa in the Byfloss Group's South Pole observation base, where it is under control by a scientist named Dr. Kim. The IPKF's "White Lightning" team, consisting of operatives including Matt Coda and Carlos Potrero, is dispatched via a helicopter to investigate. Minutes before arrival, the helicopter is shot down by surface-to-air missiles, separating Coda and Carlos in the process. Coda emerges from the crash and successfully penetrates the South Base.


Gameplay

Kileak: The DNA Imperative is a first-person shooter, in which the player controls an International Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) polar operative Matt Coda in an armored mecha, the SJ 107 assault suit. The player can move freely in a two-dimensional space and rotate the camera in any direction. The heads-up display shows an automap and the amount of ammunition for the currently selected weapon, along with the suits remaining health and power.

The game is set in a South Pole observation base, which is composed of floors connected by elevators. On every floor, the player must find an elevator in order to proceed to the level below. The requirements are varied between floors, with many levels requiring the use of key cards to open locked doors; some doors are opened by puzzle solving. Throughout every floor, the player can find ID Cards and Record Cards, which are used with the computer terminal for downloading a floor map and playing recorded messages respectively. At certain points in the game, the player can also acquire Armor ROMs to enhance the suit's defense system, which reduces damage from enemy attacks. When reaching the elevator to the next floor, the player is given an option to save their progress to their memory card, allowing them to continue in another session.

The SJ 107 can equip a variety of weapons, ranging from conventional armaments such as a machine gun and a rocket launcher to more exotic weaponry such as a laser gun and "erosion gun". While most weapons use ammunition, some run off of the suit battery. The energy decreases over time, and can be charged by picking up batteries or using an energy unit. When the energy is critically low, the suits driving power, radar and weapons would cease to function. If the SJ 107 suit takes too much damage or runs out of power, the game is over, and the player must restart from the beginning or from the file they have previously saved on.


Development

Kileak: The DNA Imperative was produced by a Japanese game developer, Genki, and released by Sony Music Entertainment (SME) on January 27, 1995, in Japan. The game was designed by Tomoharu Kimura, and programmed by Kenji Shimizu and Wataru Ishizuka. Nakaji Kimura of SME served as a creative director. The game's scenario was written by Manami Kuroda. The illustrations were designed by Kō Yokoyama, while Tadashi Shimada of Banana Studio served as an art director. The characters' voices in the Japanese version were performed by Akio Ōtsuka, Kenyu Horiuchi, Rokurō Naya, Yasuo Iwata and Yoko Soumi.


Music

The music for Kileak: The DNA Imperative was composed by Kimitaka Matsumae. Matsumae was hired by the producer, who thought that his ambient works were considered "dark". Matsumae said that the music was inspired from the game's sound effects, and the development team gave him "a lot of freedom". The music was composed in Sony's development software. Kileak uses the PlayStation's sound processing unit for the in-game music, with 100-kilobyte samples and MIDI data. Additionally, the music for the game's cutscenes uses a CD-ROM XA audio format.

Most of the tracks, along with tracks from its sequel Epidemic which Matsumae also composed, were included in an album titled Kileak: The Blood – Sound Tracks & Remix. The album was released by Sony Music Entertainment on March 21, 1996.

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