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Production Info Questions about the game's release and development.
About This Site What is Redwood and who is Animagess?
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To put it simply, Deadly Premonition is a 2010 video game for the Xbox360 and PS3, known as Red Seeds Profile in Japan. Gameplay-wise, there are elements of both open-world and survival horror. You play an FBI agent with a split personality who is sent to the small town of Greenvale to investigate the murder of a young girl, a case that turns out to be far stranger and more complicated than it looks. Supernatural occurrances, a serial killer who only comes out in the rain, and the mystery of the red seeds contrast with the eccentric personalities of the townsfolk as you try to piece together the clues before it's too late.
While it was once known primarily for its low-budget but quirky game design, heavy thematic similarities to Twin Peaks, and wildly polarized review scores after a three-year development snag, it has gone on to become something of a cult hit in North America. That's the short version of the story, anyway. The even shorter version? Deadly Premonition is a game that everyone should play for themselves at least once. It's an experience unlike any other title out there, and its fanbase is growing all the time. Give it a shot; whether you love it or hate it, chances are you'll never forget it.
If you need more of a lighthearted introduction that highlights a lot of the weirder aspects of the game (with screenshots, no less!), you might check out this post I was asked to write for the Deadly Premonition thread on the Penny Arcade forums.
It's neither. And let nobody tell you differently.
However... This was, and continues to be, a point of contention within the gaming community. General consensus places Deadly Premonition's unexpected rise from obscurity after it recieved two wildly different review scores from two different critics: IGN's Erik Brudvig [2/10], and Destructoid's Jim Sterling [a perfect 10/10]. Since then, scores have varied wildly across the board, but people who give the game positive scores (see the Reviews page for more info) tend to fall into three camps-
1. "IRONIC": People in this camp tend to describe DP as the gaming equivalent of a B-movie: It has its charms, and fans might develop a sort of affection for its bizarre quirkiness, inappropriate music and akward, seemingly unintentional humor. Almost every new DP player, if they aren't immediately turned off by the dated graphics, starts off in this camp. Most of them remain there, but a lucky few trickle down into...
2. "SINCERE": Despite the seemingly overwhelming number of apparent superficial flaws, there is a small but strong core of fans whose genuine love of the game transcends the technical issues, and some who even consider them an integral part of the experience. It's generally acknowledged by this group that DP's surprisingly well-written characters, unique gameplay mechanics, and ambitious storytelling elevate the game above its bigger budget brethren, and for a select audience represents a preferable alternative to the more mainstream blockbuster titles currently dominating the industry. If you are a Twin Peaks fan and own an Xbox360, the chances of you falling into this camp rise exponentially.
3. "PRACTICAL" One other significant factor in DP's success has to do with its pricing, which was released at $20 in the United States. These people tend to occupy a middle ground: They enjoy the game for both ironic and sincere reasons, but they probably wouldn't be willing to invest more than the $20 they paid for it (where many sincere fans have stated that they would have gladly paid the full $60 for the game had they known of its content beforehand). A common statement made by both critics and users, regardless of their personal feelings on the game is "For twenty bucks, you can't go wrong".
Here's the low-down on the several flavors of Deadly Premonition currently available:
JAPAN: Developed by SWERY65 from Access Games and published by Marvelous Entertainment. In 2007 it was slated to be released under the name Rainy Woods, but it disappeared for a major overhaul and reappeared three years later under the name Red Seeds Profile. It is available for both Xbox360 and PS3, and features English voice-acting throughout the entire game. However, the text dialogue and menus are all in Japanese.
NORTH AMERICA: Released by Ignition Entertainment under the name Deadly Premonition, the English localization is a 360 exclusive and is region-locked to everyone outside of North America. Ignition Entertainment's Director of Business Development Shane Bettenhausen decided that the game would be released in North America at the low, low price of $20. Since then it hasn't really moved from that spot, but it occasionally dips down to numbers as low as $16 on Amazon, where DP has been doing quite well on the sales charts. No word yet on an English PS3 release, but since PS3 games are not region locked, some North American gamers have been importing the Red Seeds Profile version from Japan. It is rated M+ for Mature by the ESRB.
EUROPE: The 360 PAL version of Deadly Premonition was released October 29 '10 by Rising Star Games. It is functionally identical to the NA version except for the box art and the language options. Although the voice acting has always been in English, the subtitles are available in the following languages: ENGLISH, FRENCH, ITALIAN, SPANISH and GERMAN. Again, PS3 owners have the option of importing the Japanese version if they don't mind not being able to read the text. It is rated 15+ by the BBFC.
AUSTRALIA: Although Australian gamers will theoretically be able to play the PAL version if they import it, Australia itself will not be given an official release, which means Deadly Premonition will not be carried in stores. This is because Rising Star Games decided that it wouldn't be worth submitting the game for review to the infamous Australian ratings Classification Board, meaning gamers there will have to find alternate means of purchasing the game.
From Rising Star's press release:As part of our normal procedures in submitting any game for classification, it was determined internally at Rising Star Games that the game would not satisfy the criteria for an MA15+ rating in Australia and further that any changes to the game would not be possible. It was therefore decided, with regret, the game will not be released in Australia.
Your only options at the moment are A. importing the region-free Japanese version, or B. contact Ignition (North America) or Rising Star (UK) and bug them mercilessly. They both have e-mail addresses and Twitter feeds on the MEDIA and LINKS page, and it's worth letting them know that people are interested; they both welcome feedback and love hearing from DP fans, and I'm pretty sure that's the reason it's getting a PAL release. See also this old audio clip in which Game Informer asks Shane Bettenhausen why a PS3 release may or may not be forthcoming. There is no PS3 release planned at this time, although Shane has expressed the possibility of a PSN release.
As for importing Red Seeds Profile: The voice-acting is all in English, so if you can handle not being able to read anything, it might be worth a shot. However, a good portion of the sidequests are not voice-acted, so everything will be in Japanese text, as will all the menus. I would personally send Ignition and Rising Star an e-mail, as this option may benefit the many other PS3 owners who are unable to play this amazing game.
You can also find some handy tools for dealing with the language barrier within this fine post over at Hardcore Gaming 101, including a map and translations of all the locations from katakana into English.
If you're speeding through the main storyline without taking time to do side missions, reports range from about 16-24 hours. There are 26 chapters so if it takes about an hour to do each one, this sounds about right. However, there are 50 sidequests and an impossible amount of incidental dialogue, so if you want to explore all that stuff, you might be in Greenvale forever! In general I'd say at least 24 hours if you do only the most useful sidequests and focus on the main story mission.
In order to get the maximum amount of enjoyment from Deadly Premonition, especially if you're the sort of gamer who is easily bothered by "technical issues", check out the Spoiler-Free Beginner's Guide in the GAME INFO section. There's a list of all the action shortcuts that aren't in the manual, tips on doing sidequests, combat tips, a list of known game-breaking glitches and more. Also, if you're still having trouble, see the Troubleshooting FAQ below.
The other thing I would recommend is to go into it with no or low expectations. Even though I think the game is brilliant, it helps to be in a frame of mind where it can still surprise you. I would also suggest playing it with a friend if you find the combat sections repetitive, as some people do, and playing it on Easy if you're more interested in the story and characters.
The GBERs (as they're known) are a series of videos created by four of the Giant Bomb staff. They consisted of two sets, Team BR (Brad/Ryan) and Team VJ (Jinny/Jeff) as they played through Deadly Premonition while adding their own commentary over top a la Mystery Science Theater. While done more for entertainment purposes than to inform, they are often cited as being a major factor in DP's rise in popularity. While they can be watched without any prior experience with the game, I recommend playing through it yourself first (although some people ended up buying the game even after sitting through both runs).
You can find the links to the videos in the MEDIA section under Video and Audio.
You'll have to play the game to find out! Seriously though, there is a wide, wide world out there full of many different kinds of people with many different tastes in games. Broaden your horizons! Either play the game for yourself and find a legitimate reason to hate it, or reserve your unwarranted scorn for a more deserving candidate.
SWERY (real name Suehiro Hidetaka) is the creator of Deadly Premonition. He was born in 1973 in Osaka, to a family of Buddhist monks. After deciding not to carry on the family business, he spent 4 years majoring in film before a friend asked him to join him in the gaming industry. SWERY then started working at SNK, from which he moved to Access Games as director of Spy Fiction for the PS2 in 2002. Then came Rainy Woods five years later, and the rest is history.
You can check out a short autobiography he wrote wayyyy before DP here.
Not officially. SWERY65 has stated in interviews that while the game was not consciously intended to be directly related to Twin Peaks, he has acknowledged that Lynch is a creative genius and that his influence is very strongly felt. There are also several indications in-game that suggest that the game was actually intended to be a homage, but legal issues prevent the staff from speaking too publicly about it. At their core, the two stories are quite different; however, you will find people describing it as "Twin Peaks: The Game", and the crossover audience is quite large.
A full list of Twin Peaks references in Deadly Premonition can be found in the TP VS DP section.
Rainy Woods was the first version of Deadly Premonition. It was first announced at the Toyko Game Show in 2007, but went back into development for another three years. Almost all of the voice-acting was completely redone, and names and models of many of the characters were changed. A few of the screenshots and parts of the trailer are still floating around, causing confusion among the uninitiated.
Few details are know about what exactly was changed and why, but the release date was pushed back from 2007 to 2010 as the game went under a major development overhaul, presumably to eliminate certain resemblances to a certain seminal television show from the 90's. The Rainy Woods trailers do indicate several glaringly obvious elements to Twin Peaks, the most notable being the twin dwarves who were later replaced with the Ingram Twins in DP. How much of this actually had to do with Lynch's legal team may forever be a mystery, but we can be grateful for their intereference if only because we got Francis York Morgan instead of David Young Henning (the anime-looking dude in the Rainy Woods trailer).
Unfortunately there has been no official release as to the Deadly Premonition soundtrack. For now, you can download the entire OST ripped straight from the game, courtesy of the_miker HERE.
SWERY has said he would be interested in making a sequel (or a prequel!) if he had the time or money. Shane Bettenhausen, a prominent staff member at Ignition USA who was instrumental in bringing DP to North America, has stated that given half the chance, he and SWERY would love to make another game starring Agent York. He intimated it would most likely be a prequel, so while nothing is confirmed as of yet, the stage may be set for another adventure!
Spy Fiction was SWERY65's first game for Access Games, released for the PS2 in 2003. It was later given a North American release, where it recieved mediocre reviews. However, it has been getting a resurgence in interest due to the popularity of Deadly Premonition and at least one article has retroactively analyzed it in the context of SWERY's total body of work. Also notable for two recurring characters that would make another appearance in DP: Forrest Kaysen and General Lysander.
That would be the elusive but memorable Jeff Kramer. You may know him from such video games as Seaman, for the Dreamcast. Check out this video and this for examples of his sultry tones on display as a fish with a creepy human face. Note that he doesn't seem to have gotten any less rude or difficult as Agent York.
A full list of media related to Jeff Kramer can be found in the Technical Questions part of the ENDGAME Q&A, but I don't advise you to check that out until you've finished the game.
Animagess is a classical animation student who lives on the colder side of the American/Canadian border. You can find links to some of her other projects on the Home page. You might also know her as Automatic Jack.
Planet Redwood is mainly focused on three things: Providing beginner-friendly resources for people who have not yet played the game (hence the spoiler-conscious Deputy Willie tags), fan works, and gathering as much information about DP in one place as possible. This is why so much of the Media content is made up of links; I have no interest in stealing things to increase traffic on the site, I just want everything to be accessible from one place. My hope is that someone will stumble upon something they've possibly never seen before.
You can ask me anything using the Contact form. Be sure to leave your e-mail address if it's something requiring a reply.
Not without permission, though I'll likely say yes as long as you say where you got it from and provide a link to the relevant page.
Willie is a dalmation. Beyond that we're not really sure, but you'll meet him soon enough. As for the spoiler warnings, this site is intended mainly for both people who have never played the game, and people who have completely finished the game. In order to facilitate both groups, I've tried to be as careful as possible to not ruin the experience for anyone beforehand. Basically, the FAQ and the GAME INFO sections (except for the Endgame Q&A), and the LINKS section if you're just looking for reviews or something, should all be fairly safe.
Yes. See the Beginner's Guide for more info.
For it to work, you must have physically visited a location, which for buildings means actually going inside. If you got this item later in the game and are replaying chapters, the game keeps track of which locations you've visited when you first played through, and this item will reflect that. Therefore replaying earlier chapters will likely mean the number of locations you can warp to will be limited.
Yes. You can acquire them by completing certain sidequests or by purchasing them outright from General Lysander. You might also try finding out what happened to York's car after he crashed it...
It's pretty much money. You can collect it by performing a variety of activities: Completing missions, collecting cards, talking to people, checking the weather on the television, shaving, peeking in people's houses, driving for long periods of time... Basically anything short of just standing around breathing will net you cash.
However, you do get financially penalized for A. aiming, shooting, or attempting to run over civilians, and B. vandalism (or "vandalisme", as the menu would have it). Not enough to offset the amount you'll get from Observing how much nicer Emily would look in a dress, but the game keeps track of pretty much everything, if that matters to you.
I'm actually not sure as it's never happened to me (although I have flipped my car with no real reprecussions, although that might be because I had a passenger at the time). If you get stuck somewhere where there is no car, an Emergency Flare will summon one instantly. Unless someone confirms it though, I think you get an Investigation Failure and that's about it.
Those aren't bees, those are flies. You might want to have your suit dry-cleaned. You can do this anywhere there's a Suit icon, indicating a wardrobe access point. The dirtier the suit is, the longer it will take to have it cleaned.
After 0:00, Greenvale is overtaken by the Other World, a creepy plane of existence crawling with enemies. While the game provides you with some means of cover (namely dumpsters), your best course of action is to get to a Rest Area and sleep it off. Although there really aren't any benefits to being out this late, as everything is usually closed by then, it's worth staying up late for at least once...
Yes, given enough time and bullets or the right equipment. If you want to see an example, you can watch this video clip, courtesy of Whitney from site affiliate Welcome to Greenvale. ***Do NOT watch the first part of the clip; I have the URL set to take you straight to 5 minutes 25 seconds in, but there are major story spoilers at the beginning. Don't say I did't warn you!
No, but the little cutscenes with York monologuing are a reward unto themselves. You can watch most, if not all, of the fortunes here.
There are many different types of profiling, but the way it's used in Deadly Premonition (and so many TV shows before it) seems to fall under the category of "offender" or "criminal profiling". A definition from Wikipedia is as follows:
Offender profiling is a method of identifying the perpetrator of a crime based on an analysis of the nature of the offense and the manner in which it was committed. Various aspects of the criminal's personality makeup are determined from his or her choices before, during, and after the crime. This information is combined with other relevant details and physical evidence, and then compared with the characteristics of known personality types and mental abnormalities to develop a practical working description of the offender.
Early on, we are told that Agent York is an FBI profiler who specializes in cases involving the murders of young women. In reality there is no such position as "profiler" in the FBI, nor is the practice deemed an especially effective substitute for other forms of investigative analysis. The https://www.fbijobs.gov/114.asp" target="_blank">FBI has this to say about the subject:
You first need to realize the FBI does not have a job called "Profiler." The tasks commonly associated with "profiling" are performed by Supervisory Special Agents assigned to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) at Quantico, Virginia. Despite popular depictions, these FBI Special Agents don't get "vibes" or experience "psychic flashes" while walking around fresh crime scenes.
The way DP depicts profiling does make it seem like Agent York is plucking images from out of nowhere and magically coming to "logical" conclusions, but it's more of a visual shorthand for his mind working to piece together various clues. The game doesn't have the time to show you his exact thought process, so it barrages you with a jittery slideshow representing how York thinks the events behind the crime scene might have occurred. This is a fairly common representation of profiling in popular culture (Criminal Minds and Law and Order, for example) and is simply a more interesting way of showing what would otherwise be a painstaking and lengthy deductive process.
Before reading this troubleshooting FAQ, try reading the Beginner's Guide in the GAME INFO section of this site. It should answer most of your questions.
1. Have you tried talking to them while it's raining?
2. Is it the right time and place?
3. Has it been at least 24 hours from the beginning of the chapter?
4. Try completing more sidequests before going back to the NPC. Some sidequests must be completed in a certain order.
This varies widely from person to person depending on your combat style and weapon preferece, but here are some tips if you're having trouble.
WEAPONS THAT HELP
See the Weapon and Sidequest Guides in the Walkthrough section if you need more specific details.
Although amusing the first ten or fifteen times, there are at least two instances where force is just not an option. To solve the problem: Push and HOLD DOWN the A button. Simple, right, Zach?