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Happy Halloween! This ended up being much more 11th hour than I planned, but here is Turkish Resident Evil!

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On the subject of games being plagued by problems that run deeper than the obvious ones, I can think of two examples off the top of my head. One is 2006's Sonic the Hedgehog, whose issues are constantly blamed on its tight deadline... and while that explains the many, many surface level problems (I still enjoy stumbling across new Let's Plays of it because of how every single one manages to trigger a brand new bug I'd never seen before), the game is such a fundamentally unworkable concept that the only way a relaxed deadline could have saved it is if Sonic Team had had the liberty of scrapping the whole thing and starting over. There are people out there trying to remake it in the modern Sonic engine, and I can only shake my head at the polished turd I have to assume it's going to end up as, if they ever finish it.


The other is Five Nights at Freddys: Security Breach, which I found a video on recently expounding on how it's a case of "concealing problems within problems" and how it's many bizarre and inexcusable bugs just mask the developers' utter failure to understand how to make a game.


I haven't actually tried playing either of those games myself, mind you. I don't have the iron constitution for these sorts of things that you do.

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I think that's half-true about Sonic 06. The game's level design, when you're playing as regular Sonic, has a lot of value and a broadness that rivals the best of SA1. Project 06 (which is just made in Unity by the way, not another Sonic engine) has shown me that while the physics still need to be a little floaty and slow compared to other games, the moment-to-moment experience of running, jumping, spinning and homing attacking across enemies and obstacles can be made relatively fun. It's everything else the game asks you to do that sucks. Bad town missions, the "holding princess Elise" gameplay, Silver's stop-and-go object throwing, Shadow's vehicles, and the entire game's button-mash combat. I do think ChaosX should be taking more liberties with these things, especially Silver, but the game is more "fun sometimes, boring sometimes" compared to "bad sometimes, boring usually" like it was before. For all the talk about "why do we remake things that are already good", we sometimes overlook that the only people willing to remake something that sucks are people who don't necessarily understand why it sucks in the first place.


But I dunno. It's been years since I played the original 06 release and my channel isn't getting back to it until February 2025 at the earliest. Maybe something between now and then will turn me into an evangelist.


Also, as someone who has experienced *mildly* more Devil May Cry than Ross, the one little thing I would say is that Dante isn't really "emo" per se. He's actually pretty expressive, and has a lot of fun being a crazy demon-fighting weirdo.

Edited by Shaddy (see edit history)



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My old roommate had me play the first hour or so of Devil May Cry 1 and the comparisons are true except the brooding part is only like 90% true. I remember one of his first lines is "Whoa, slow down babe" to a lady riding a motorcycle through a hard wooden door and into his bar, then he makes a joke about her needing to use the bathroom. He starts to brood soon after though. I guess that was for American audiences.

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What a strange game, indeed. This episode felt kinda weird and vague for reasons I can't quite pin down, but that might just be because all the English in the game is bizarrely vague. Kabus 22 joins gems like The Last Dead End, Dark Years, and Shankaram: Code Reborn in a rare group of Very Strange and Bad Eastern Games. Unlike those games, however, Kabus 22 doesn't feel quite so stapled-together in terms of technical execution vis-a-vis production values, it's just janky and stiff throughout.

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Hey Ross, so a few things I want to say before the meat of the post. Kadıköy is actually located in İstanbul, so its not a city but rather a province of İstanbul. Not that it matters much in the game's story though. Something else I noticed is that the game actually has a ton of billboards that have product placements such as the "Fida Film" posters (Those guys went bankrupt back in 2016 or something)


Your pronunciation of the word "Kabus", which means Nightmare, was more or less correct the first time you tried it in the video, your subsequent tries were pretty hilarious :) Almost sound like the word "Karpuz" which means watermelon xD


Okay, since I'm a weirdo I tried finding the Turkish version of the game, but all I could find was the English and Russian versions. And I'm not about to try and find a box DVD copy that may or may not work due to janky DRM's of the day.


I did manage to find the review of the game from the Turkish gaming magazine LEVEL, arguably the best Turkish gaming magazine at the time. The sentiment seems to be that since there haven't been many Turkish games made, this being a native home grown game excited them. They go on to say that initially the game fails to impress neither with its graphics or gameplay. But they soon realized that this was trying to be more like Resident Evil 3 and that sort of warmed them up.


They give a plot summary of the beginning which goes something like this:

- A mysterious cult emerges, initially with very few members.


- The cult grows in size rapidly thanks to some Nation leaders also joining the cult (I think that's what they mean by Governors joining the cult in the intro, bad translation, just imagine the US President and the French Prime Minister holding hands and sacrificing goats or some shit and their approval rates reach sky high)


- The cult does not appear to have a Leader, or no one knows who the leader is, if they even exist. (The guy writing the review must have typed "Ş" instead of "L" in the review, these keys are side by side on a Turkish-Q keyboard, the word "Şider" should be "Lider" which means leader)


- The cult promises "Absolute/Certain Happiness" to those who have "Absolute/Certain Faith" to the cult. That's their whole motto it seems, pretty weak to be honest but maybe they do some extra parlor tricks to get people to join.


- Soon after the cult grew in size, pseudo WW3 broke out minus the nukes, from what I can understand. The cult wins the pseudo WW3 and for some fucking reason decides to spit up the world into 22 pieces. Now are these pieces like districts or countries? I dunno, maybe they literally carved the planet. It's hard to tell when you are dealing with a cult that's got at least half the World's population.


- After taking control of the planet, the Cult decides to make İstanbul it's capitol. Why? Because its a Turkish game and we want it to take place in İstanbul, that's why.


- Soon after that the weird creatures called the "Madun" start popping around the place, which probably makes sense as the underground temple was located in İstanbul and they probably did some rituals etc. to release them. So this implies that the cult indeed won WW3 via conventional means by mass indoctrination of the people. That gives me C&C 1 Nod vibes, Kane manages to unify nearly half of the world's population just through sheer charisma and cult like mumbo jumbo then proceeds to conquer the rest via conventional warfare.


- Demir is supposed to be a Turkish resistance fighter they are indeed lovers with Ebru.


- Watching from your video, I can see that at the begging of the game the resistance fighters take the control of the Kadıköy district back form the cult, then the cultists released the weirdo Demons on the resistance fighters. So this is the first time Demir, or anyone else, is seeing these creatures.


The reviewer goes on to say that the game gives of that RE3 Racoon City vibe but mixed with the actual city of İstanbul with Turkish culture, which impressed them. They go on to joke that the price of a Lahmacun raised to 5 lira and that was excessive, fast forward to 2023 and the price of a Lahmacun starts from 60 lira.


They go on to make parallels with Silent Hill, RE2 and Devil May Cry, then say that Demir plays more like a tank and has a lot of ammo, Ebru is a bit more squishy and her pistol is bad and finally Inzar tries to play like Dante and that sucks out the survival horror atmosphere of the game.


They say that mostly the puzzles are fine and sort of fun, but the need to try keys on like 8 different doors to find out which one it unlocks is pretty tedious. They thought the gameplay was okay, the controls were acceptable, the camera controls were better than most RE games and finally they were really impressed with the loading times between screens and commended that there was no door opening animation between areas.


They say that this game took 4 years to develop with a team of 4-5 people and that should commended for the Turkish video game industry.


They also have an interview with the game's developers in the middle, it goes something like this:


Level - How did you think of making Kabus 22?

Yasin - They always had a passion to make video games when they were children, always wondered how pressing keys on the keyboard made the characters move and do things. They decided in 1999 to learn how to make games and started researching and seeking some education on these matters. Their first game was called "SR-Man" (2002) a first person shooter, contracted to be made by a pharmaceutical company (I checked the game, videos of it exist on youtube, looks like a fever dream of Quake mixed with Asimov's Fantastic Voyage). Afterwards 5 more people joined their team and they wanted to make something more extensive.


Level - Turkish video game development is still in its infancy, what were the difficulties you faced during the 4 years of development?

Yasin - Goes on to say that financial investment was the biggest issue. Investors told them that the video game sector did not exist in Turkey so why should they give them any money. (Sadly very wrong, there was a thriving bootleg video game sector in Turkey, very similar to stories told by CD Project Red's Marcin Iwinski regarding the Polish bootleg video game sector.) They however managed to get investment from a home appliance company (Vestel) of all things.


- Skipping one here with the Vestel company


Level - Do you think that Kabus 22 will be an economic success?

Mevlüt - They think that the game is by far the best video game developed in Turkey to date and deserves the success. They hoped that gamers would go and buy the original boxed DVD versions so they would profit.


Level - Are you considering a sequel?

Yasin - They are working on some experimental things but nothing is set yet.


Level - Don't you think the game is a bit too hard?

Yasin - If you play on Normal and get used to the controls, the game is actually easy as it practically showers you with medkits and ammo. But I can't say the same for the Hard difficulty as ammo and medkits are reduces and the enemies are tougher. He goes on to say that they tested the game on Hard and finished it multiple times, and there are some challenging spots where you don't have enough ammo to kill all enemies so you need to come up with alternative tactics. He suggests that people initially play and complete the game on Normal and if they want to play again go for Hard. Otherwise the Hard difficulty will be a real Kabus/Nightmare (nasty pun/word play, I love it.)


Level - What do you suggest to amateur groups who want to develop games?

Mevlüt - This game shows us that the efforts made in the last couple of years regarding video games is bearing fruit. You need ambition, talent and tons of effort to make good games. In order to make AAA games you need a lot of know-how and financial support. The (Turkish) video game industry is still crawling but there are also important changes happening etc. etc.


So from what I gather this game was made by 5-ish people in 4 years and they probably starved while trying to make the thing. I can only guess that none of these developers were writers, they probably only knew how to code, make models, animate etc. They probably never consulted an editor or something either, probably explains why the story feels so bat-shit insane. One interesting thing is that the developer Mevlüt Dinç seems to be making games since the 1980's working in Activision etc.


Finally the caption featured on Ebru's screenshot essentially tells her to drop her gun and become a house wife. Not surprising as this stuff wasn't even considered to be misogynistic at the time, aged rather poorly though.




Edited by JudasPhysicist (see edit history)

It took six years to get a physics degree. Don't do what I did, try engineering or social studies.

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@JudasPhysicist this was a fascinating read, almost half as enjoyable as the episode itself.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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@ScumCoderThanks! Just did a little bit of digging into old magazine archives and translation that's all :)

It took six years to get a physics degree. Don't do what I did, try engineering or social studies.

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