The Reason Stellar Blade’s Eve Was Designed To Be ‘Very Shiny’

The Reason Stellar Blade’s Eve Was Designed To Be ‘Very Shiny’

Speaking via a translator to Kotaku Australia, Stellar Blade director and Shift Up CEO Hyung-Tae Kim discussed the inspiration behind Stellar Blade, which has been smashing user and critic scores and sales charts since its release last week.

When I asked about the inspirations behind Eve, the protagonist of Stellar Blade, what Kim told me came as a surprise. He says choices about her look came down to the desire to create a distinct visual contrast between the humans that fled Earth, and the world they left behind. 

“Eve is a part of the humanity that fled to space, and they evolve their own civilisation. In the meantime, Earth became more and more dry and desolate,” Kim says. “So I wanted to really show that contrast of Eve looking very futuristic and very, very shiny. But then, when she’s put on the surface of Earth, and it’s desolate, ruined, and broken, I wanted to really show that clear contrast between the two.

Kim said that Stellar Blade as a whole was heavily influenced by 80s schoolgirl turned warrior game franchise Valis: The Fantasm Soldier. According to Kim, the second instalment in the Valis franchise, Valis II, served as a major inspiration for the kind of game Shift Up wanted to make.

“There’s been a lot of sources of inspiration for this game, but in terms of the format of game I wanted to make, it was this one game called Valis: The Fantasm Soldier [and the second instalment of it],” Kim says. “It’s about this school girl who turns into a female warrior and is beating all these enemies, and seeing that, I also wanted to make a game like this.”

According to Kim, Stellar Blade also draws a lot of inspiration and influence from 80s and 90s media set in dystopian settings. “I wanted to take that and then reinterpret it in a more modern way,” he says.

Stellar Blade sees Eve descend to a ravaged Earth with the goal of wiping out the mysterious alien-like Naytiba that have taken over the planet and driven humanity to the brink of on-planet extinction. Across the semi-open world, players explore ruined cities, wastelands, and the final human city of Xion.

Kim says the locations of the game take inspiration from the culture of East Asian countries, such as Dalian in China, old Korean apartment buildings, and the old town section of Hong Kong – something many dystopian movies from the 80s and 90s drew influences from themselves originally. The Kowloon Walled City serves as a major point of reference for the city of Xion itself, Kim says. “We went to these different places to research and to be able to kind of depict that Asian style or taste in the game.”

Stellar Blade released on April 26, and since then has gone from strength to strength as players get amongst the story of Eve, Adam, and Lily. Critic reviews have so far been mostly positive, praising an engaging combat system and enemy design, although many were mixed on the story itself. These reviews don’t seem to have deterred players, though, with the game dominating UK sales charts, according to Nintendolife.

Image: Shift Up / Kotaku Australia

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