A new month means we get a new update for the Shadow Hearts spiritual successor Penny Blood. Penny Blood was a part of a double Kickstarter along with Armed Fantasia. There will be another update for that game as well. In this update, we get a lengthy project diary, see some image reveals, and hear a decent amount about the sound work for the game. So let’s get into it!
The team wanted to kick off the September updates by saying this:
Hello JRPG Fans! We have entered fall in Japan and it’s finally starting to get cool at night. Halloween products are starting to pop up in stores. That probably means we can expect another chaotic night near the Shibuya scramble (That massive intersection in Shibuya where people commonly take videos of the thousands that cross during a single day). More importantly, it’s time for celebration! We have reached our first anniversary of the Kickstarter. It’s hard to believe that was one year ago. Take a look at the amazing developer update below!
In September, this project diary focused on the team discussing things with the publishers, and the Kickstarter first anniversary, among other things and Matsuzo Machida said this:
Good evening, everyone. As if God pushed a switch, summer suddenly ended in Niigata and autumn began. It feels more comfortable during the daytime now, but it’s become cool enough in the morning to make things feel a bit too chilly when under a single towel blanket.
Now, for this month’s Penny Blood project update. Just like last time, we’re still working hard at discussing things with publishers. Time sure flies…it’s already been a whole year since the Double Kickstarter campaign. I can’t believe it myself. Looking back, I don’t think we’ll ever forget that passionate September of 2022… As for what I’ve been doing lately, I finally finished coming up with the last part of the story. I had various ideas for the ending, so it was difficult to decide (and I still have yet to decide on certain things), but as Penny Blood will be properly inheriting the tradition (?) of the bad ending becoming the true ending, Matthew’s ending has become something I’m satisfied with. Now the only question is whether or not I can turn it into a good script.
Kato-san has been working hard on drawing the one-year project anniversary illustration, the centerpiece of our update this time. The Penny Blood campaign was unique in that we had character votes and wanted to create the characters through everyone’s input. Therefore, for this one-year anniversary illustration, she wanted to make sure she could feature all of the redesigned main characters. As I watch her from the sidelines, I’m extremely thankful that she was able to complete the illustration little by little during a period when it’s so hard for her to cut out long chunks of time. Please send her any grateful words that you may have as well.
Designs & Reveals
Further in the Penny Blood project diary, the team discussed their monster and some cool image reveals. Matsuzo Machida went into deeper details with this:
Hanya-san defeated the earth-elemental fusion monster and is now fighting against (designing) the wind-elemental fusion monster. Once wind is done, we’ll have all seven elements: earth, water, fire, wind, light, dark, and neutral. Looking at them side by side, I think we’ve come up with some very unique spectral knights. Instead of revealing another one, however, this time we’ll be revealing our third Cthulhu mythos monster, the Ghatanothoa. Since it’s the child of an Old One, it does resemble a certain something…
For this month, we’ll be revealing “Under the Harlem Elevated Railway” from the image boards that Watanabe-san has drawn. Since bootlegging was rampant in Harlem during the Prohibition era, its streets were dangerous, and gangs continued to fight with each other daily.… That concludes this month’s update. We’re now in the season of appetite, overeating, midnight snacks, and picking up food off the floor and eating it. Wait, no, you shouldn’t do that last one. I hope you can all eat lots of delicious food in this season as well. Now, then, everyone, I’ll see you all again last month.
Hirota-san wanted to talk to fans about the sound work for Penny Blood and had this message for the fans:
Good evening, everyone.
We’ve been getting hot summer days nonstop even after September began, but things have eased up a little recently. This year’s summer was so hot it made me forget all about what other seasons feel like. But today, I found some red spider lilies near my house that were blooming. Autumn is right around the corner. The temperature can change quickly, so let’s be careful to stay in good health. A full year has passed since we first received all that passionate support from you all during the Double Kickstarter campaign. Regarding my sound work, I’ve been exploring many different secret techniques and special moves that I’ll only be able to use in Penny Blood for multiple reasons, but I’m definitely progressing ahead.
Until the game gets released and you all can play it, every last staff member will keep running full speed ahead, so please keep cheering us on. On the first Sunday of this month, I streamed “Composition work for Penny Blood” #コンペニ #compenny #2 on my TTS Products Youtube channel. Big thanks to all of you who tuned in! I started creating a song from the vague concept of “something that would be used in an event scene somewhere during the Japan arc,” but I think it ended up coming out really well. Next month, I’d like to do a stream where I explain how bass recording works.
More Sound Work
Hirota-san didn’t stop there when explaining the sound work for the game and continued to explain bass recording with this:
Once I finish this song, my next plan is to do a stream of my interactive music work. I also want to do a stream related to the Madness Remix project as well. I’m going to try to keep streaming periodically until the Penny Blood development ends. I also plan to ultimately edit the footage I streamed into something that’s easy to watch and make it available for viewing similar to the live concert video for all of you who have the Ticket Video Concert Pass.
Before I wondered if there would actually be people out there who would be interested in watching a video of me talking about my own work and composing techniques as I actually work, rather than a live concert, but I’m very pleased to see that a surprising amount of people seemed to enjoy it. I think it’ll also be very moving, not just for me, of course, but for everyone who tuned into the stream to eventually hear the final versions of the songs as they play through Penny Blood. If you haven’t tuned in to any of my streams yet, I hope you’ll join everyone else in the next one as I continue to unveil the work that goes into Penny Blood’s sound world.
Now even though we are still a little ways away from release I am still excited for this game’s release. Penny Blood being the spiritual successor to Shadow Hearts does play a factor in that. Shadow Hearts 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. The way the team talks about the story shows how unique of an experience this is going to be. I am excited and can’t wait to see what future updates reveal. Don’t forget you will be able to get this Penny Blood when it releases on PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S!