Puppeteer (video game)
|Developer(s)||SCE Japan Studio|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Distribution||Blu-ray Disc, download|
Puppeteer (パペッティア) is a platformer game developed by SCE Japan Studio for the PlayStation 3 It is directed by Gavin Moore; who served as lead animator on The Getaway, Forbidden Siren 2 and Siren: Blood Curse. The game was released worldwide on September 2013.
It is playable in both traditional 2D and in 3D. Gavin Moore says Puppeteer plays better in 3D than other games because the camera doesn’t move and his team used a method of 3D that hasn’t resulted in a reduced frame-rate.
Puppeteer is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player controls a boy named Kutaro, who has been turned into a puppet and had his head torn off. Throughout the game, Kutaro is able to find various types of head to replace his own, each with its own unique ability. Kutaro is armed with a pair of magical scissors: not only do the scissors serve as a weapon, but they can also cut through anything made of paper or fabric, dragging Kutaro behind them and taking him to otherwise inaccessible areas.
If Kutaro is damaged by an enemy or obstacle, he loses his head, which rolls away. Should the player not retrieve the head within a few seconds, it will disappear. Kutaro can hold up to three heads at a time, and when they are all lost, he loses a life. The player can earn an extra life by collecting 100 "Moonsparkles".
The game is playable by one or two players. If two are playing, the second player controls Kutaro's companion (initially a ghostly cat named Ying-Yang), who can examine foreign objects and find new heads for Kutaro. In single-player mode, the two analog sticks on the joypad each control a character.
The game is presented as a puppet show in front of an audience, who can be heard cheering and laughing when impressive actions take place on-stage. It is divided into seven "acts", each of which comprises three "curtains". Each curtain has a set number of heads to collect, a set number of souls to rescue, and a hidden area. If the player is aiming for 100% completion, he will have to revisit old curtains once he has gained new abilities.
Once upon a time, the Moon Realm was ruled by a beautiful Goddess. But then Little Bear, to whom the Goddess had shown nothing but love, stole two of his mistress's precious possessions: the Black Moonstone, and a magic pair of scissors known as Calibrus. After declaring himself Moon Bear King, he invaded the Goddess's castle, and smashed the White Moonstone to pieces, thereby obliterating the Goddess. He then gave a shard of the White Moonstone to each of his twelve generals (the animals of the Chinese Zodiac), who proceeded to wreak havoc on the moon.
Night after night, the King spirited away the souls of Earth's children, and locked them inside wooden puppets. The children were then doomed to serve as slaves in the King's mobile fortress, Castle Grizzlestein.
One of those unfortunate children is a boy named Kutaro. He awakens in his new puppet body in the clutches of the King, who asks if he would be his friend. Kutaro agrees, but the King calls him a liar, bites off his wooden head, and tosses his puppet body into the dungeons.
Kutaro is found by the Goddess's pet cat, Ying Yang, who saves the boy's life by helping him to find a new temporary head. Ying Ying leads Kutaro out of the dungeons and to the kitchens, to meet his current mistress, the Moon Witch Ezma Potts. The witch, who is being forced to cook endlessly to feed the King's insatiable appetite, instructs the pair to infiltrate the throne room and take Calibrus, the key to overthrowing the evil King. Unbeknownst to Kutaro, the Witch has already sent many puppet-children on this dangerous mission, all of whom perished before reaching their goal.
With the player's help, Kutaro succeeds in finding Calibrus, which immediately chooses him as its new master. This weapon allows Kutaro to fight the King's puppets and release the souls trapped within, allowing them to escape back to Earth. As Kutaro flees the castle, the infuriated King commands General Tiger to pursue him and take back the scissors.
Kutaro returns to the Witch with his prize, but Calibrus refuses to be taken away from its new master. The power to defeat the evil tyrant is in the hands of Kutaro alone.
General Tiger catches up with Kutaro, but the Witch throws him off the scent by hiding the puppet boy in her skirts. Before leaving, the General accidentally mentions "the power of the Knight," hidden somewhere inside the castle. The Witch sends Kutaro and Ying Yang back up into the castle to investigate. Assisted by the player, Kutaro not only retrieves the enchanted Knight's Shield. The shield belonged to the Knight, one of the Goddess's 4 champions who led who a revolt against the Moon Bear King but failed due to the Knight's cowardice. Kutaro then defeats General Tiger, claims his shard of the White Moonstone, and rescues Pikarina, the Princess of the Sun, whom the Moon Bear King had captured and transformed into a puppet.
The gang retreat to the Goddess's abandoned home, Castle Whaxx Whane where they set up base. Pikarina expresses distrust for Potts as she secretly conspires to be the Moon's new goddess. Under Potts' guidance, Kutaro and Pikarina venture to the various realms of the moon, taking down the remaining 11 generals and reconstructing the White Moonstone.
Realms of the Moon
The Moonshine Sea
The Wild Wastes
The Land of Time
On July 21, 2010, Sony filed a trademark titled Puppeteer. It has been speculated that it would be a game that would make use of the PlayStation Move technology in order to control the main character. Two years later, the trademark was later revealed to be indeed for a game with its official announcement at Gamescom 2012.
In December 2012, Gavin Moore, the director of the video game, posted an entry on the European PlayStation Blog, stating that the video game is "Shaping up nicely, playing great and looking awesome. From January we will be polishing, refining and adding extra little details, to make the whole experience something fantastical and wonderful that PlayStation fans deserve. I will be in London for two weeks doing the Voice recordings in January, popping across to Budapest for the music recordings, then back to Japan with all my wonderful assets to shove them lovingly into the game. This is one of my favourite parts of game creation. Getting the final assets into the game really brings everything together." 
- "『パペッティア』の発売日が2013年9月5日に決定！ 価格は5980円[税込]" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Sony Japan Studio Unveils Puppeteer
- Rutledge, Daniel (26 October 2012). "Puppeteer - a weird, wild PS3 adventure". 3 News NZ.