Plus how classic sci-fi and documentaries shaped the creature creation of next week's PS4 release
Hey, we’re Y/CJ/Y, Christopher and Josef, the indie-game duo from Gothenburg, Sweden, that made The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human. It’s great to finally see it arrive on the PS4 on 24th January. We think it’s a perfect fit for the console and have been giddily excited about it since we partnered with Digerati Distribution.
In our previous blog post, we went through some of the general aspects of the game, such as the origin of the submarine, its weapons, and the environments you’ll have to traverse. This time we thought we’d focus on The Sea Creatures, our thoughts on the story and inspirations.
The blue world
To sculpt the world we took inspiration from old adventure and sci-fi novels/movies, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Planet of the Apes, The Life Aquatic, and the classic PlayStation game Shadow of the Colossus. After all, what is an aquatic adventure without gigantic sea creatures?
Sea Creatures that fight to survive
Combat focuses on grand boss-like encounters; we put effort into making each of the 11 bosses feel and act very unique to one-another. They might appear as you’re exploring some old ruins or maybe your journey will take you through some of these monsters’ homes.
Two of our favourites are The Fathers and The Chain Gang.
Seahorses are such strange, beautiful creatures, bobbing in the ocean with an eerie elegance. We knew from the start we had to have them. Since we were still working out how the world would look, inspired by The Life Aquatic, it started with drawing a seahorse, but he turned out so big he became the first boss. We added one more, and they became The Fathers.
Then, by coincidence, Josef watched a documentary on sea horses and how they shoot out their offspring from their belly. We thought that’d make for a perfectly macabre attack that also perpetuates the idea that the player is attacking their home, and that they will do anything to protect it. A top tip when fighting them is to never go underneath, stay away from their punishing tail whips, and remember your health recharges so be patient.
The Chain Gang
At first this boss was supposed to just be a swarm of small hammerhead sharks, however we felt it wasn’t exciting enough, so we added the big shark! The boss fight is themed around the food chain, which is part of why it’s called The Chain Gang (the other being the big shark’s giant chains with attached sea mines that resemble a prisoner’s ball and chain).
The big shark will eat the smaller sharks, which the player can use to their advantage! The saw is a very powerful tool for this fight, as it can kill the small hammerhead sharks. It is also highly recommended to travel down into The Abyss and get the lamp before this fight, since the room is quite dark. If you don’t bring the lamp you should try to keep the fight close to the lighthouse.
Murky thoughts of the last human
As we made a game about the extinction of the human race, we wanted to explore some reasons for our species ever existing, and what it has meant to the planet – if anything at all – and the ways that we have lived on Earth; being a part of it whilst also shaping it like how the sea shapes ancient canyons.
There is a lot to point to our concern with climate change. However, we intended to create more questions about how, as a species, our destruction doesn’t mean much to the planet, than answering or giving calls to action. And by navigating through our civilization’s carcass we can see how we had the godly ability to both create and destroy at a cost that had, in fact, only truly affected us – as life on Earth continues without us.
For all the new and older PlayStation users (we are the latter), and all the ones yet to be, we genuinely hope you’ll enjoy our pixelated underwater adventure.
Cheers and Good luck!