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Kileak: The DNA Imperative, known as Kileak: The Blood[a] in Japan and Europe, is a first person shooter video game developed by Genki for the PlayStation. It was published in Japan by Sony Music Entertainment in January 1995, followed by a North American and European release in September 1995 by Sony Computer Entertainment as a launch game for the console. Kimitaka Matsumae, former member of the S.S.T. Band, wrote the game's soundtrack.

Kileak: The DNA Imperative
Kileak - The DNA Imperative cover art.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s)Genki
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Nakaji Kimura[1]
Designer(s)Tomoharu Kimura[1]
Programmer(s)Kenji Shimizu[1]
Artist(s)
  • Koh Yokoyama[1]
  • Tadashi Shimada[1]
Writer(s)Manami Kuroda[1]
Composer(s)Kimitaka Matsumae
Platform(s)PlayStation
Release
  • JP: January 27, 1995
  • NA: September 9, 1995
  • EU: September 29, 1995
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player

The story follows an International Peacekeeping Force's White Lightning team leader Matt Coda, as he attempts to stop a scientist Dr. Kim from conducting unethical genetic engineering research. As the game progresses, the eponymous Kileak is revealed to be an ancient extraterrestrial creature that is the common ancestor of all life on Earth. The player controls an armored SJ 107 assault suit through the series of floor levels within a South Pole observation base. Each floor is connected by an elevator, which the player must find in order to proceed to the level below. The suit is equipped with various weapons, some of which require the suits battery power to operate.

The game received mixed reviews, with criticism targeted towards its monotonous level design and limited control scheme, while praise was given to its 3D graphics and pre-rendered cutscenes. A sequel, Epidemic, was released in Japan in December 1995, and in North America the following year. Both Kileak and Epidemic became available on the Japanese PlayStation Network in September 2015.

GameplayEdit

 
From top to right clockwise, the interface displays the lock-on range bar, an automap, the current weapon, and the status of the SJ 107 suit.[2]

Kileak: The DNA Imperative is a first-person shooter,[3] in which the player controls an International Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) polar operative Matt Coda in an armored SJ 107 assault suit. The player can advance and retreat, move from side to side and rotate the camera in any direction. The game is set in a South Pole observation base, which is composed of floors connected by elevators. On each floor, the player must find an elevator in order to proceed to the level below. The requirements are varied between floors, with many levels requiring the use of key cards to open locked doors, while some doors are opened by puzzle solving. On reaching the elevator to the next floor, the player can save their progress to a memory card that fits into the accompanying PlayStation.[2]

The heads-up display shows the amount of ammunition for the currently selected weapon, along with the suit's shield status and its energy. The game also features an automap to help players navigate the different areas of the game. On every floor, the player can access to the computer terminal with an ID Card and a Record Card in their possession. ID cards are used to reveal unexplored parts of the floor, while Record Cards hold pre-recorded messages that can be read with the terminal. At certain points in the game, the player can also acquire Armor ROMs to enhance the suit's defense system, which reduces damage from enemy attacks.[2]

The SJ 107 can equip a variety of weapons, ranging from conventional armaments such as a machine gun and a rocket launcher to more exotic weaponry such as a laser gun and "erosion gun". While most weapons use ammunition, some run off of the suit's power supply. The energy decreases over time, and can be charged by picking up batteries or using an energy unit. When the energy is critically low, the suit's driving power, radar and energy-based weapons become impaired. The game ends if the SJ 107 suit either takes too much damage or runs out of power.[2]

PlotEdit

On August 16, 2038, the International Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) headquarters receives a distress signal from undercover agent Franco Fukazawa in the Byflos Group's South Pole observation base, where it is under control by a scientist known as Dr. Kim.[4][b] The IPKF's White Lightning team, lead by captain Matt Coda,[c] is sent to investigate. Minutes before arrival, the White Lightning's Lyger assault helicopter is shot down by surface-to-air missiles,[5] separating Coda and lieutenant Carlos Potrero[d] in the process.[6] Coda emerges from the crash, and penetrates the South Base.[7] Carlos also survives the attack, and makes radio contact with Coda throughout the game.[6]

Over the course of the game, Coda and Carlos learns from Dr. Kim's sound recordings found in the South Base that a creature named "Kileak" is the first lifeform to have appeared on Earth,[8] and the progenitor of all life on the planet.[9] Kim found Kileak's DNA from an unknown pyramidal structure in the excavation pit,[10] and used it to genetically engineer a race of mutant creatures.[11][12] In other recordings, Byflos[b] confronted Dr. Kim over his use of Kileak's DNA,[13] and hid an "erosion gun" in his office for anyone who can stop Kim.[14]

As Dr. Kim plans to use an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to spread the mutant DNA all over the planet,[15] Coda descends to one of the base's lower levels and stops an ICBM from launching.[16] Advancing deeper into the South Base's excavation pit, Coda faces Kim, who turns himself into an alien-like monster.[17] Coda manages to kill the creature, and escapes from the South Base. The voice of Kileak reveals to Coda that the human race began long after the creature's civilization was destroyed by a comet.[18] The South Base collapses, and a space station containing Kileak ascends into space.[19]

Development and releaseEdit

 
Kileak was a launch game for the PlayStation in both North American and European regions

The game was developed by a Japanese video game company Genki and published by Sony Music Entertainment Japan for the PlayStation.[20] It was initially released in Japan on January 27, 1995.[21] The game would later be released in North America on September 9, 1995, by Sony Computer Entertainment.[22][23] Its European release was followed on September 29, 1995.[24] Kileak: The DNA Imperative was a North American and European launch game for the PlayStation, alongside other games such as Ridge Racer, Battle Arena Toshinden and Street Fighter: The Movie.[22][23][24]

The music for Kileak: The DNA Imperative was composed by Kimitaka Matsumae, former member of Sega's in-house band, the S.S.T. Band. Matsumae was hired by the producer, who thought that Matsumae's ambient works were dark. He felt his benefit of creating "extreme" themes would be crucial for producing the game's music, and stated that the development team gave him a lot of freedom. The music was influenced from the game's sound effects, which Matsumae created with a synthesizer and an effector while not composing at all. Kileak uses the PlayStation's sound processing unit for the in-game music with 100-kilobyte samples and MIDI data. Matsumae composed the music with Sony's software development kit, in which he found it difficult to use, but there was no decline in sound quality. The music for the game's cutscenes were CD-ROM XA or CD-DA sounds.[25]

A soundtrack album, Kileak: The Blood – Sound Tracks & Remix[e], was released by Sony Music Entertainment Japan on March 21, 1996. It includes remixes of the game's tracks, along with those from its sequel Epidemic which Matsumae also composed.[26]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame     [27]
EGM6.875/10[28]
Famitsu31/40[21]
IGN3.0/10[3]
Next Generation     [31]
OPM (UK)4/10[29]
Maximum     [30]

The reviews towards Kileak: The DNA Imperative was mixed. The Official UK PlayStation Magazine (OPM UK) criticized its gameplay as "uninspired" and "shallow", and complained that two consecutive levels were identical apart from differences in their "wallpaper, mood lighting, and layout".[29] IGN similarly felt that the levels are "all very homogeneous" as they shared similar enemies and graphical detail.[3] Tommy Glide of GamePro said the game controls well but relies on dull enemies who use cheap attacks.[32] OPM UK also noted that the enemies are "suitably menacing".[29]

The game also earned praise for its 3D graphics. Maximum's review stated that "the graphics looked incredible",[30] while Next Generation opined that it helped to strengthen the environment's realism.[31] IGN remarked that the graphics are detailed, and the enemies are "realized in 3-D for that scary, in-your-face feel."[3] GamePro praised the detailed environments, smooth scrolling, and full-motion video cutscenes.[32] OPM UK also praised the game's cutscenes, especially its "awesome" introduction and ending.[29] Conversely, GamePro criticized the game's ambient audio, calling it a "wimpy techno",[32] while OPM UK derided it as "Brian Eno on valium".[29]

The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly repeatedly compared Kileak to Robotica, a very similar Sega Saturn game released at almost the same time as Kileak, with varying opinions: Danyon Carpenter said that Kileak, though "a little boring", was "definitely the best one", while Al Manuel held Robotica to be clearly superior in strategic design, overall fun, and most especially control.[28][33] Maximum also commented on the striking similarity between the two games, and judged Kileak to be "far superior to the Saturn title" but mediocre in absolute terms due to its dull and repetitive gameplay.[30] GamePro added to the comparison Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The Return, a 3DO game released a few months before, and said all three games are "too polite" due to their robot enemies which do not look remotely threatening.[32]

In a retrospective review for AllGame, Shawn Sackenheim found the collection of enemies unoriginal. However, he applauded the cutscenes, writing that they tend to "jump in at major plot points and during transitional periods where the game needs to be loaded". Sackenheim was also impressed by game's ambient audio.[27]

LegacyEdit

A sequel to Kileak: The DNA Imperative, titled Epidemic,[34] was released in Japan on December 29, 1995, as Kileak: The Blood 2: Reason in Madness,[35] and in North America in October 1996.[36] Like its predecessor, the gameplay in Epidemic focuses on traversing corridor-like environments, destroying enemy robots and finding key cards to reach inaccessible areas.[34] BRAHMA Force: The Assault on Beltogger 9, though not bearing the Kileak name in any of the regions in which it was released, uses the same mecha-based first person shooting format and was announced by Genki as an official follow-up to the Kileak series.[37] Kileak, along with Epidemic, was released in Japan by Clarice Games on September 16, 2015, under the PlayStation Network's "Game Archives" category.[38]

Kileak: The DNA Imperative was considered one of very few efforts to top Id Software's hit Doom during the time when the game was released.[22] Bob Mackey of USgamer listed Kileak as one of the worst launch games for the PlayStation, alongside Street Fighter: The Movie and Total Eclipse Turbo.[39]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Japanese: キリーク・ザ・ブラッド Hepburn: Kirīku za Buraddo?
  2. ^ a b In the game's sequel Epidemic, the full names for Dr. Kim and Byflos are Dr. Thomas Kim and Karl Byflos, respectively;[5] the latter is not named in Kileak.
  3. ^ In the Japanese version, the protagonist is named as Takashi Koda (香田 孝志).
  4. ^ Carlos's full name is Carlos Potrero.[5][6] Throughout the game, he is simply referred to as "Carlos".
  5. ^ キリーク・ザ・ブラッド サウンドトラックス&リミックス Kiriku za Buraddo Saundo Torakkusu ando Rimikkusu

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Credits.
  2. ^ a b c d Kileak: The Blood (Instruction manual). Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. September 29, 1995. pp. 1–7. SCES-00035.
  3. ^ a b c d "Kileak: The DNA Imperative - Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. November 25, 1996. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Opening. Narrator: August 16th, 2038. International Peacekeeping Force headquarters, Oakland. Control picks up an urgent message from undercover agent Franco Fukazawa at the South Pole observation base of the giant Byflos group. The message reads: "Situation critical. Kim must be stopped. Repeat: Kim must be stopped."
  5. ^ a b c "Post 2038". Epidemic (Instruction manual). Sony Computer Entertainment America. 1996. p. 24. SCUS-94152.
  6. ^ a b c "Communications Update". Kileak: The Blood (Instruction manual). Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. September 29, 1995. Intro. SCES-00035. Anti-aircraft encountered. Transport downed before assault troops deployed. One casualty. Team members Matt Coda and Carlos Potrero separated but still in radio contact. Base defences breached.
  7. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Opening.
  8. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-8. Kim: Kileak is the first life that existed on Earth. He's been here since the beginning of time. The real Adam.
  9. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-13. Kim: Kileak is not just the ancestor of the human race, but the very progenitor of life itself.
  10. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-1. Kim: February 14: Discovered mysterious pyramid-like remains at excavation point C. February 15: Unearthed new remains 15 meters from yesterday's find. Could they be the work of aliens from another solar system?
  11. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Level/area: B-3. Carlos: Looks like Kim is been experimenting with DNA mutations. He's obsessed with this idea of a new race, like God died and put him in charge. I get the feeling he's behind these ungodly creatures.
  12. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-7. Kim: March 10: Succeeded in giving robot's life, I was right all along. March 25: The breakthrough I've been waiting for: isolated a DNA configuration. Now, the power to create a whole new lifeform is within my grasp, and this time, I'll be in control!
  13. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-4. Byflos: Kim! What the hell are you doing? No one gave you the authority to go this far. / Kim: Shut up, you fool! Everything has changed. From now on, I'm the one in charge! / Byflos: Kileak? You're mad! Who do you think you are? God?
  14. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Record Card. Level/area: B-2. Byflos: Kim is out of control. I should never have allow that madman to go this far. There's an erosion gun in a fake wall in my office. If you get your hands on that, you can finish Kim once and for all.
  15. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Level/area: B-7. Carlos: Captain, the situation is more critical than we thought. The researcher says there's an ICBM on one of the lower levels filled with mutant DNA and ready for launch. Looks like Kim is fighting to spread the wealth around.
  16. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Level/area: B-10.
  17. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Dr. Kim boss intro. Level/area: B-15. Kim: So, you pitiful humans think you can stop Kim? You may have won the day's battle, but now you will see my real powers. My empire shall be ravaged no further!
  18. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Ending. Level/area: B-15. Kileak: Coda, can't you see the truth? Your lifeform began long after the comet that destroyed my civilization. I am Kileak. I was the beginning, and I am the end.
  19. ^ Genki (September 9, 1995). Kileak: The DNA Imperative. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Scene: Ending.
  20. ^ "Game History" (in Japanese). Genki. Archived from the original on January 24, 1998. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  21. ^ a b キリーク・ザ・ブラッド まとめ [PS]. Famitsu (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  22. ^ a b c Parish, Jeremy (September 9, 2005). "Retro/Active: The PlayStation Launch". 1UP.com. IGN. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Cifaldi, Frank (September 9, 2010). "This Day in History: Sony's PlayStation Launches in the U.S." 1UP.com. IGN. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  24. ^ a b Roberts, Dave (September 29, 2005). "The day our world changed". MCV. Intent Media. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015. The original PlayStation launched on September 29th 1995 priced £299. Launch software comprised Ridge Racer, WipEout, [Battle Arena] Toshinden, Jumping Flash, Kileak The Blood (from SCE) [...] .
  25. ^ Matsumae, Kimitaka. "Interview: Kimitaka Matsumae". RocketBaby (Interview). Hollow Light Media. Archived from the original on October 28, 2002. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  26. ^ KILEAK,THE BLOOD サウンドトラック&リミックス (in Japanese). Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Archived from the original on May 1, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  27. ^ a b Sackenheim, Shawn. "Kileak: The DNA Imperative - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Review Crew: Kileak: The DNA Imperative". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 75. Ziff Davis. October 1995. p. 34.
  29. ^ a b c d e "PlayTest Round-up – Total Eclipse/Kileak: The Blood". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. No. 1. Future Publishing. November 1995. p. 89.
  30. ^ a b c "Kileak the Blood". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 1. Emap International Limited. October 1995. p. 153.
  31. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 5. Imagine Media. May 1995. pp. 88–89.
  32. ^ a b c d "ProReview: Kileak: The DNA Imperative". GamePro. No. 88. IDG. January 1996. p. 82.
  33. ^ "Review Crew: Robotica". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 75. Ziff Davis. October 1995. p. 34.
  34. ^ a b "Epidemic - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  35. ^ キリーク・ザ・ブラッド2 まとめ [PS]. Famitsu (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Archived from the original on April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  36. ^ "Epidemic: There's an Epidemic on the Way". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. pp. 248–9.
  37. ^ "New Software Prolific at PlayStation Expo". Next Generation. No. 18. Imagine Media. June 1996. p. 20.
  38. ^ 「クーロンズ・ゲート」「キリーク・ザ・ブラッド」「キリーク・ザ・ブラッド2」がPSゲームアーカイブスとして配信開始. 4Gamer.net (in Japanese). Aetas Inc. September 16, 2015. Archived from the original on December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  39. ^ Mackey, Bob (September 9, 2015). "Debut Duds: The Worst PlayStation Launch Games". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.

External linksEdit