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Daikatana Download PC Game



Daikatana is a 2000 first-person shooter game developed by Ion Storm. It was published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows and Kemco for Nintendo 64. Players control a swordsmaster who travels through various time periods in an effort to obtain the eponymous Daikatana, a powerful sword tied to the fate of the world.


Daikatana was directed by Ion Storm co-founder John Romero, a co-developer of the influential first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D (1992), Doom (1993), and Quake (1996). Announced in 1997 as Romero's first game after leaving id Software, it underwent a troubled development that saw a change in its engine, release date delays, and the departure of several staff members. The protracted development, combined with promotion that focused on Romero's involvement over the game itself, resulted in negative publicity for Daikatana prior to its release.


Released in May 2000, Daikatana received mostly negative reviews for its outdated graphics, gameplay, repetitive sound effects, and poor artificial intelligence. It also sold only 40,351 copies, becoming one of the biggest major commercial failures of the video game industry. Due to the negative response, a separate version for the Game Boy Color did not receive North American distribution; it was released in Europe and Japan to a more positive reception.


One element that Daikatana stressed was the important role of Hiro Miyamoto's two sidekicks, Mikiko Ebihara and Superfly Johnson. The death of either sidekick resulted in failing the level, and their assistance was required to complete certain puzzles. Due to poor AI implementation, the sidekicks, who were one of the game's selling points, became a focus of criticism.[4]


Daikatana was created by John Romero, an influential developer whose resume included founding titles in the first-person shooter genre (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake) when he worked at id Software. The game was developed by Ion Storm, a company co-founded by Romero with Tom Hall in 1995 after the two left id Software.[5] The aim was for the company to create games that catered to their creative tastes without excessive publisher interference, something both Romero and Hall were tired of.[6] Daikatana was part of an initial three-game contract made between Ion Storm and expanding publisher Eidos Interactive; and the third title to be conceived at Ion Storm after Anachronox and what would become Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3.[6][7] The game had a rumored budget of $30 million.[8]


The two main influences for Daikatana were Chrono Trigger and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which Romero was a fan of. He implemented the sidekick feature from the former and the mighty sword from the latter.[9] For the sidekicks, Romero wanted Mikiko and Superfly to do everything the player does in the game. Using 2001's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon as another reference, he wanted the sidekicks to do more than what the AI squads can do like jumping, running, fighting and solving puzzles (the AI squads are locked to the ground and cannot jump). Romero later regretted this decision as he found out that programming this feature was very difficult because the sidekicks ended up being buggy and unresponsive.[10]


The game was built using the original Quake game engine; according to an early interview, Romero planned Daikatana to have unique weapon sets and 16 monsters per time period.[6] The core concept was to do something different with shooter mechanics several times within the same game.[11] Romero created the basic storyline, and named its protagonist Hiro Miyamoto in honour of Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.[12] The title is written in Japanese kanji, translating roughly to "big sword". The name comes from an item in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign played by the original members of id Software, which Romero co-founded.[13] During this early period, the team consisted of fifteen people.[14] The music was composed by a team which included Will Loconto.[15] However, during its earlier production, the team saw the Quake II engine and decided to incorporate its code. This resulted in many delays when finalising the engine. The problems with programming the new engine contributed to the game being delayed from its projected 1998 release date.[7] Romero stated prior to release that he would have chosen the Quake II engine to develop the game from the start if given the chance.[16] Romero later ascribed some problems triggered in using the technology as being due to the rivalry manufactured by the company's marketing between them and id Software.[7] Due to the delays, development of the game ran parallel to Anachronox, Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3, and eventually Deus Ex.[7][17]


Something that further impacted production was the departure of around twenty staff members from the team, who either left Ion Storm or transferred to the Austin studio.[11][12] In 1998, lead artist Bryan Pritchard left the company and was replaced by Eric Smith.[18] According to staff member Christian Divine, the growing negative press surrounding the company had a further detrimental effect on development. Some of the backlash eventually led to his own departure for Ion Storm's Austin studio to work on Deus Ex.[12] The most notorious incident was the public resignation of nine core team members at once, something Romero understood given the low team morale but felt as a betrayal of trust.[7][12] The departures led to the hiring of Stevie Case as level designer and Chris Perna to polish and add to character models.[19][20] In a 1999 interview, Romero attributed the slowing of development during that period to the staff departures, but said that most of the level design and the entire score had been completed before that.[16] Problems reached the point that Eidos publishing director John Kavanagh was sent down to sort out problems surrounding it production.[21] In a later interview, Romero admitted there were many faults with the game at release, blaming the development culture and management clashes at Ion Storm, in addition to staff departures causing much of the work to be scrapped and begun over again.[7][11] Divine attributed the problems to a combination of overly carefree atmosphere, and corporate struggles about company ownership interfering with game production.[12] Only two staff members remained on the game for the entirety of its production.[11]


Daikatana was revealed in 1997, forming part of the opening publicity for Ion Storm.[6] In subsequent years, the press material focused almost entirely on pushing the company name and its lead developers, something later regretted by several of its staff. This was particularly true of Romero. This consequently drew Romero away from production, leading to further difficulties.[7][12][16] Public, journalistic and commercial confidence in the project was weakened by the repeated delays to its release date.[12][17] The situation was worsened when the Dallas Observer printed a story about the internal struggles of the Austin office, which cited both undercover interviews and leaked emails. The article prompted widespread publicity surrounding the staff departures and the company's financial status.[7][17] Romero responded by calling the claims of the article "both biased and inaccurate".[17] Later, Romero felt that their marketing's attempts to push the game only made Ion Storm and its core members come off as egotistical.[7]


One advert for the game became notorious; a 1997 poster containing the phrase "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch".[7][12] According to Mike Wilson, the advert was created by the same artist who designed the game's box art under order of their chosen advertising agency. Originally, both he and Romero thought it was funny and approved it. Romero had second thoughts soon after but was persuaded by Wilson to let it pass.[7] Speaking ten years later, Romero said while wary of the slogan at the time, he went along with it as he had a reputation for similar crass phrases. In the same interview, he noted that reactions to the poster tarnished the game's image long before release, and continued to impact his public image and career.[22] In a 2008 blog post concerning the recent activities of Wilson, Romero attributed the marketing tactic to him. This prompted a hostile exchange of public messages between the two at the time.[7][22][23]


The game was demoed at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The demo ran at a very low frame rate, which further damaged the game's public image. Staff member Jake Hughes remembered that Romero wanted changes made which crippled the demo tech and caused the issues, while Romero states that he had already departed for E3 and the upper management insisted on the changes when he was gone.[7] On April 21, 2000, Daikatana was completed and reached gold status.[24] A tie-in comic book was drawn by Marc Silvestri[25] and released by Top Cow for Prima Games' Daikatana: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.[26] The Nintendo 64 version was first released as a Blockbuster rental exclusive by Kemco in August 2000.[27] It was later released for retail on November 26, 2000.[28]


Daikatana's final patch, version 1.2, was released on September 29, 2000.[29] Following the release of Daikatana and Anachronox, Ion Storm Austin decided to close the Dallas branch office in July 2001.[7][12] In the absence of any further official support after this closure, John Romero gave the game's source code to community members, allowing them to develop additional platform ports (most notably Linux, macOS and other Unix-like systems) and bug fixes.[30] 041b061a72


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