To the bloody lakes, cryptic NPCs, and dubious intent- I am a through and through fan of Space Funeral.
I created this blog to celebrate and to remember Space Funeral, and to share that love with other fans.
From the beginning stages I have always wanted to get an interview with the illusive and mysterious creator, thecatamites.
First I had shown them some doodles from a Tegaki I had- I was thrilled to see when they responded to my images!
Secondly, I tried to get in contact with thecatamites for an interview. I also left information about this blog.
I received no reply.
And so, I went on running this blog for months until suddenly inspiration struck just this weekend.
I remembered I could use RPG Maker myself.
My original intent was to try to decode the actual game with RPG Maker and study some areas of the game I loved, but I quickly found out it wasn’t going to be possible.
However; the original Space Funeral assets could be used in RPG Maker to make a completely new game.
As someone who has dicked around with RPG Maker quite a lot but never finished a game, it was quite exciting to have something like this available to me. And I finally had an idea for a game too!
I decided to make a phony sequel to Space Funeral, simply called “Space Funeral 2”.
The game was short, only about 15 minutes. And revolved around a new artist who had come to the land of Phillip and Leg Horse, creating mayhem once again. The artist, referred to as CANCER by many of the NPCs, is a fan of the original antagonist of the game, MOON. CANCER tries to recreate MOON’s vision but falls short in all areas.
The game is much a commentary on how I feel about Space Funeral and my interpretation of it, art, and laziness.
It was also another cry to get an interview with thecatamites.
And it succeeded! I finally got my long wanted interview with thecatamites.
Now, after that history lesson, let the interview commence!
How do you feel about people’s interpretations (if you’ve seen them) of Space Funeral? Most people see it as a commentary on RPG Maker’s perfect sprites and how about most artists who jump into RPG Maker cannot match the perfection- therefore it’s extremely relatable to anyone who has used RPG Maker and to most artists trying to find their place in art in general. Do you think people are digging too deeply into it? Or was it your intention?
I haven’t really seen many of them, most of the ones I have assume a level of intention that I didn’t really have in mind at the time (like the battles being trivial to make a point about something rather than just as a kind of vestigial framework to hang funny stuff on and give the illusion of Xtra Content) but that’s OK too. It wasn’t so much about the sprites or art in particular of RPG Maker so much as a kind of classicist way of dealing with that stuff, which is like the idea that videogames reached their peak in the output of a few large companies in the 90s and ever since it’s all anyone can do to ape those things as closely as possible, I think it’s probably similar to how people in the Middle Ages felt about ancient Greece but I don’t know history so maybe not. Most of what I like about RPG Maker games comes from when it breaks from that tradition, usually in some small way like somebody using their favourite metal song for a battle theme or something. So I guess part of the intent was to show that these kind of slips and distortions and misinterpretations can be more interesting than the formula itself. Like the Cocteau quote that originality is “trying to behave like everybody else without succeeding” although it’s semipurposely not a very original game.
Was working with RPG Maker difficult?
It was a blast, the thing is that the tileset system is very good for making lotsa big spaces but not great for making smaller more detailed ones so it kind of encourages you to keep chugging and throwing up more places without getting too pedantic about how they come together. The battle system was kind of frustrating to work with so I nerfed it.
How do you feel knowing people have actually thought I made the game and not you, considering I run a blog about it? (It makes me laugh, and it makes me disappointed)
I’m glad because it means people have been playing it who aren’t necessarily part of the “indie vidcon scene” or know who I am or know anything about RPG Maker, etc, and I always worry about making stuff that’s too insular. The game is partly just a collation of other stuff I found floating around (music, comics etc) so I am happy that it might dissolve back into the ether and become a kind of abandoned space ship to find and explore inside and have fun with rather than a Work by an Author which comes mediated by this super-specific context.
How do you feel about the fan blog?
It’s good, all of the stuff on it is good and encouraging people to make their own stuff is probably the most you can hope for in making anything, so I’m pleased…
How do you feel knowing people think you and the creator of Yume Nikki are the same person?
I made every videogame. It’s all my fault.
Have you played Yume Nikki?
No! I always mean to, never have the time, don’t play many things in general. Bat Castle is my favourite RPG Maker game.
Does Leg Horse have 3 legs, or 4?
It’s four if you count that his head is a thigh.
How does Leg Horse’s body work?
(My theory on how his body works)
Was there any inspiration for Phillip or any other characters design in particular?
The guy with the green, bloody, staring head was kind of an attempt at doing something like Gary Panter’s squat little actionfigure dudes, a lot of the art was kind of based on the weird chunky pixel gore from Monster Party especially the way it could be hard to figure out what a wall of tiled bloody heads was meant to represent in game space.
What influenced your music choice?
I liked the idea of pulling together things based on kind of superficially similar tendencies and almost creating a fake tradition in that way which could change how you progress from there, like claiming Kate Bush’s “The Morning Fog” as a predecessor to the Dire Dire Docks music from Mario 64 would change how both songs are heard and also call up like a weird phantom history where you can suddenly talk about Kate Bush and Mario 64 as part of a continuing lineage that you can draw on or have fun with. So I guess the starting point for the music were all those BBC Radiophonic songs that sounded to me like this weird, witchier alternate history of videogame music. I think they were primarily producing sound effects for TV shows or little jingles or mood pieces or such so there’s a mix between the strangeness of these new electronic instruments and noises with the focus of having to do mostly little commercial work, which kind of reminds me of how those old ZX Spectrum composers or whoever would use this really wild soundcard and kind of wrestle it into Greensleeves music or 80s cop show music, like the Martin Galway soundtrack for "Rambo First Blood Pt 2". The radiophonic ones sounded kind of more oblique and goofy than the songs for Final Fantasy or something and they kind of gave the image of being a soundtrack for something else which was similarly weird and goofy. And from there I kind of got into people like Ruth White who was really off the map and also brought in stuff like Baudelaire etc. So I guess it was the sense that a lot of this stuff felt like a kind of secret history to videogame music or an alternate history to where they eventually went.
Finally, how do you feel about “Space Funeral 2”?
Ahaha, it was good, I liked glitch muscle and the eggmen retconning everything. “Is this what happened to the Final Fantasy games”. It’s canon…
Thanks so much!
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