Details on the mystery NeoGeo game from the late 1990's have finally been confirmed by Japanese news site ITMedia, which was able to contact the game's creator Kengo Asai. The following is a synopsis of their Japanese article.
- Technically, the game doesn't have an official title since it was never released. During development, the game was titled DarkSeed
. The name Dragon's Heaven
was given to the game tentatively since it was proving difficult to get the trademark for DarkSeed
- A lot of the developers came from Technos Japan and were staff that worked on Gowkaizer including Asai himself. There was actually a period when both projects were being developed in parallel. The core developers started working on DarkSeed around the end of 1995 or early 1996.
- Asai recalls that 'Dark Fantasy' was a popular theme at the time of the game's development and the game takes on the same atmosphere.
- Details on the "Lawful", "Neutral", and "Chaotic" character properties: It's not a system where the player gets to pick their character's alignment during character select. The game was supposed to feature a unique system called the "alignment system" in which the character's property would change depending on the path that the player would pick after the end of each battle. For example to maintain the character's property as "Lawful", the player will need to keep picking choices that are honest.
- The game was supposed to change time on each round (morning, noon, evening, night). Lawful would get stronger during the noon and be able to use additional moves, while on the other hand get weaker during the night. Chaotic is just the opposite and get strong during the night and weak during noon. Neutral stays the same at all times. Also, The in-game messages and ending would change depending on the character's alignment.
- The time would change on each round regardless of single or versus player. Also, the game wouldn't nessesarily start off from the morning as the first round depending on how the (prior?) matches go, so someone could join in when the time of day is to their advantage, or take on a challenge and join in when they're at a disadvantage to show just how godlike they are in the game.
- Asai has great respect for Masami Obari, but for DarkSeed he isn't involved in the game.
- The game features two characters per team as a way to expand on the game's system of effecting gameplay depending on time of day. Asai got the idea after watching a film where a girl and a guy could never be together in human form because the girl turns into an Eagle during the day and the guy turns into a wolf at night. Looking back, Asai thinks he could've done something better.
- Closing statements from Asai:
"DarkSeed went through pending for two times due to funding issues, and then faced official cancellation. Development PCBs aren't really supposed to leak out, so there's a part of me that's a bit distraught about that. However, it's been 20 years. As of now, I salute NeoTurfMasta for his discovery, luck, passion, and knowledge. Personally it wasn't all fond memories, so together with my surprise and joy, I also sort of felt the fear of something coming back and haunting me from 20 years ago. I haven't changed that much, but it sure brought back memories of how inexperienced I was back in my youth."
(Thanks to Brian Hargrove /NeoTurfMasta for the heads up)