Enemy Zero (E0) is a video game for Sega Saturn, developed by the company WARP and directed by WARP founder Kenji Eno. After its Saturn release, it was ported to Microsoft Windows. It was the second game to star the digital actress Laura.
In E0, gameplay sequences alternate between interactive FMV and real time exploration, both from a first person perspective. The interactive FMV component uses gameplay identical to an earlier Warp game, D.
The real time component of E0 is unique. Enemies are invisible, and location is only possible through the use of sound, with notes of different pitch helping the player find the distance and direction of enemies. Additionally, every gun in the game must be charged up immediately before each shot, and charging a shot for too long will cause the charge to dissipate, after which the charging must start over. Since all available guns have very limited range, this makes timing crucial; beginning to charge the gun too late or too soon will allow the enemy to reach Laura, resulting in an immediate game over.
Aboard the AKI space craft, a space station dedicated to biological research, Laura Lewis is in a deep cryogenic slumber. The jets of the chamber dissipate as the craft's emergency systems are activated. Laura is awoken by a large detonation on her deck. Outside a door marked with the letters E0, something of great strength is trying to break free. The door is thrown down and the hallway is filled with a bright incandescent light, followed by a horrific growl. Pipes and the remains of the steel door shift around as if being stepped on. Laura, unaware of what is happening, uses the video phone located above her sleep chamber to contact one of her crewmates, Parker. Laura watches in confusion as Parker looks away from the monitor, to his room entryway doors. A screech sends him backing up to reach for his gun. Laura watches as Parker is mutilated by an unseen enemy.
Getting dressed and grabbing her gun, Laura heads out to learn what attacked Parker. Venturing through the ship, her "guidance system" warns of an invisible presence in the corridor in front of her. Laura’s mission is to find out what this enemy is and to find her crew or the remains of her crew. And kill this monster before it kills her.
Laura Lewis: Copilot of the AKI space station, Laura has lost most of her memory due to a malfunction during her awakening from cryogenic sleep. She is 32 years old, American, and has B blood type.
Ronny: The ship's captain. 45 years old and American. Although Ronny holds ultimate authority over shipboard activities, it's rare that he issues a direct order. He tries not to be away from his cabin during emergency situations, transforming it into a command center of sorts.
David Barnard: A sub-captain of the AKI, David's duties as sub-captain keep most of his time occupied, but when he has a free moment he likes to get back to his cabin to catch up on his reading. David is 31 years old and from England.
Kimberly Hurd: Kimberly is a 32 year old American serving as the counselor of the AKI. She is tasked with ensuring smooth relations between the crew members.
Parker: Parker is the AKI's engineer. A 30-year old bachelor from America; his room on the AKI was filled with beer cans and pin-up posters. Big-hearted and friendly, but has no cleaning ability. Parker is a reference to the movie Alien which also has a character named "Parker".
Marcus: The ship's German physician, 39-year old Dr. Marcus tends the needs of the sick and injured, provides periodic check-ups, and even does occasional psychological counseling. He presents a solid, serious image, but some of his personal effects betray a hidden side to his character.
George Takahashi: An eccentric 48-year old Japanese computer Engineer. Takahashi is a workaholic and perfectionist who centers his existence around his computer. When he isn't taking a cat nap, he can usually be found staring into the monitor. He makes it a policy never to answer his video phone when he's working on a project, which hasn't won him any popularity contests with rest of the crew.
Laura, David, Kimberly, and Parker reappear and have major roles in D2. Laura previously appeared in D. However, these appearances are simply reuses of the character models and do not imply any sort of continuity. For story purposes, Laura Lewis, for example, is intended to be a different character from Laura Harris from D.
The game borrows heavily from the film Alien, including a number of direct references to the film - most notably the initial flyby shot of the Aki and the caption text "Returning to Earth", just as the Nostromo did at the beginning of Alien, and the helmet shot in the introduction, where computer screens are reflected in the visors.
Enemy Zero began life on Sony's PlayStation. Irritated by Sony's failure to meet even a third of preorders for the PlayStation version of D, at a Sony conference Kenji Eno made a shocking move. Eno showed a preview of Enemy Zero. At the end of the clip the PlayStation logo appeared, but slowly transitioned into the Sega Saturn logo. Despite popular opinion that the Saturn cannot handle 3D games as well as the PlayStation, Eno commented "...the PlayStation and the Saturn aren't that different, so moving it[Enemy Zero] to Saturn wasn't too difficult."
While Eno did the music for D, Michael Nyman, composer for films such as Gattaca and The Piano, was hired to create a score for this WARP title. In an interview, Kenji Eno explained how this came about:
...I like Michael Nyman a lot, and I like his soundtracks, so I was thinking that it would be awesome if I could get him to do the music. I thought, "That would be impossible, but it'd be great if that happened." ...then, there was a big earthquake in Kobe, Japan in 1995, and Michael Nyman was donating pianos to schools in the city. When this earthquake happened, he said that he wanted to check out how the pianos that he donated were doing, so he came to Japan. When I found out that he was in Japan, I invited him back to my hotel room and tried to convince him, for six hours, to come work with me. So, at the end, Michael was like, "OK, I'll do it, I'll do it. Just let me go back to my room." So he went back exhausted after being convinced for six hours. We didn't work out terms or conditions; he just said that he would do it.
Released and received with much hype in Japan at the end of 1996, E0 was released in North America and Europe in 1997 under Sega Enterprises. Despite being critically panned, it was later ported to the PC by Sega.
20 copies of a limited edition of the Saturn version were produced and sold for a price roughly equal to 2,000 US dollars. These special copies were hand-delivered to recipients by Kenji Eno himself. Due to popularity in Japan, Sega sponsored the production of a few Enemy Zero items such as the official Enemy Zero soundtrack by Michael Nyman, a model of the in-game gun, and a strategy guide.
|Soundtrack by Michael Nyman|
|Released||April 18, 1997|
August 19, 1996, CTS Studio, London|
September 28–30, Abby [sic] Road Studio
|Genre||Soundtrack, Contemporary classical, minimalism|
|Producer||Michael Nyman, Kenji Eno|
|Michael Nyman chronology|
The music is performed by the Michael Nyman Orchestra and Sarah Leonold [sic]. "Confusion" is a modification of material from Nyman's previous score, The Ogre, while the Enemy Zero/Invisible Enemy/Battle theme were modified into portions of Nyman's score for Man with a Movie Camera.
"Laura's Theme," "Digital Tragedy," and "Love Theme" are solo piano works and are included on the EP, Enemy Zero Piano Sketches, which was released eight months before the complete soundtrack, and two months before the game.
- Laura's Theme 4:01
- Confusion 3:45
- Aspects of Love 3:52
- Digital Tragedy 2:43
- Enemy Zero 4:20
- Lamentation 3:35
- Love Theme 3:42
- Digital Complex 2:48
- Invisible Enemy 2:13
- Laura's Dream 4:03
- Agony 3:16
- Malfunction 4:02
- Battle 3:48
- The Last Movement 3:44
- ↑ Saturn version release information, GameFAQs.com.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 PC version release information, GameFAQs.com.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Kenji Eno: Reclusive Japanese Game Creator Breaks His Silence. 1UP.com (2008-08-07). Retrieved on 2008-08-08
- ↑ Pwyll ap Siôn. The Music of Michael Nyman: Texts, Contexts and Intertexts. Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate Publishing, 2007. p. 77