Yasuhisa Kawamura (川村泰久 Kawamura Yasuhisa ) is a Japanese writer and game designer. He worked on the script for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as part of Capcom Production Studio 4 and is responsible for creating The Mercenaries - Operation: Mad Jackal, and later worked alongside Noboru Sugimura in writing the "Castle" version as well as the "Hallucination" of Resident Evil 4.
Around 1991 and at the age of 19, Kawamura was apprenticed for two years in manga illustration by Yukito Kishiro as his assistant for the Gunnm manga series, also known as Battle Angel Alita. Kawamura later wrote a novelization of Gunnm, which was published in 1997 with illustrations from Kishiro. Not a particularly-successful published author, Kawamura was forced to make ends meet by working for a gas company in Tokyo.
Kawamura was asked by an older sibling to apply for a job at Capcom as a writer in 1998, a position emptied by Kenichi Iwao's departure after the release of the original Resident Evil. Though he believed himself to have failed the audition, having suggested Yakuza and Exorcist-themed games, he got the job when Shinji Mikami, one of the examiners, took a liking to him over his martial arts interests. Kawamura's first role was to assist in the writing of Dino Crisis, which Mikami produced and directed. Following this, Kawamura was given a job on a Resident Evil game Mikami was producing titled "BIOHAZARD 1.9", which had suffered a number of departures. With no one left and FLAGSHIP busy with other assignments, Kawamura was the only writer available for the game. Unfamiliar with the franchise, he was provided with a copy of the original BIOHAZARD for research and got to work on the script. When Hideki Kamiya's BIOHAZARD 3 was delayed in favour of a PlayStation 2 release, it was renamed BIOHAZARD 4 and "1.9" became BIOHAZARD 3: LAST ESCAPE. Following the game's creation, Kawamura moved on to Kamiya's BIOHAZARD 4 as a "Support Planner", and saw the game transform into Devil May Cry following a director dispute.
Resident Evil 4
Kawamura's next project was Hiroshi Shibata's new Resident Evil 4, commissioned by Yoshiki Okamoto and Shinji Mikami to replace Kamiya's game. For this game, Kawamura was to work alongside Noboru Sugimura, a Japanese television writer hired by the company to write games and who had also worked on Devil May Cry. The game the two came up with, dubbed "Castle" in later years, involved Leon S. Kennedy, now an agent for USSTRATCOM, leading an assault on the Spencer Estate and becoming infected by a virus. Feeling the plot to be underwhelming due to the franchise's more logical sense of horror where everything has an explanation, Kawamura drew inspiration from the film Jacob's Ladder and insisted on hallucinations being part of the horror experience due to their illogical nature. This new "Hallucination" build was, partly, to compete with the Silent Hill franchise, which was also inspired by Jacob's Ladder. Having watched the films Lost Souls and The Fog, Kawamura came up with the idea of Leon shifting between the real world and his hallucinatory world, as dramatically as Winona Ryder's character was in a particular scene, and with enemy encounters taking place within a thin blue haze. Though the game was highly acclaimed at the E3 2003 event, it was soon understood that the GameCube was incapable of living up to Kawamura's idea of random shifting between worlds, the console surpassing its RAM capacity generating two versions of each room with their own 3D objects simultaneously just in case, with no room for enemy AIs. Having lost confidence in his abilities, Kawamura left the development team as they shifted towards a more traditional version, dubbed "Zombie", which was itself scrapped when Mikami took over directing duties from Shibata.
Other Capcom projects
Alongside the development of "Castle", Kawamura is credited as a "Sub Director" for Capcom Production Studio 3's Clock Tower 3, also written by Noboru Sugimura, and released in 2002. Following this he assisted in the writing for Studio 4's Dino Crisis 3, again with the involvement of Sugimura, released in 2003.
- Yasuhisa Kawamura and the Resident Evil that never was: Meet the man who tried to make Capcom's survival horror even scarier, and failed.. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2016-07-11.
- Kawamura comment on Facebook: "俺はゲームデザイナーとして日本アニメーター演出協会に準会員で加盟できたんだけど、実質バイオ3のシナリオを書いた、銃夢の小説を執筆し集英社で出版している、この2点だけで加盟できたと思う。他の本職シナリオライターや経験豊富なゲームデザイナーは落とされたりしたからね。"
- Kawamura comment on Facebook: "いいなあ・・・ バイオ4のE3版(心霊バイオ)は、ロストソウルズのステージ変化、ザ・フォッグの霧とともに現れる敵(目を光らせたかった・・・)を参考コンセプトに加えて企画していたな・・・。ザ・フォッグはすごくクール。"
- MobyGames - Clock Tower 3 credits.
- MobyGames - Dino Crisis 3 credits.