‘Exit Veil’ Is an Upcoming New Video Game Inspired by Tool
If you've ever hoped to play a video game that looks like it was inspired by Tool, you're in luck. Exit Veil is an upcoming new game that was, indeed, inspired by Tool's music, their videos and all of imagery and art associated with them.
Exit Veil is a Japanese role-playing game with an integrated Tarot deck created by Imazato. Originally from the U.K., Imazato now heads up Cherrymochi, a small creative indie studio based south of Tokyo in Japan. We reached out to Imazato to ask about the project, and he was kind enough to share some designs and graphics from the game so that fans have an idea of what the game will look like.
Imazato described the game as "a Final Fantasy game inside a Tool music video" where players will "explore twisting dark-psychedelic dreamscapes" and use Tarot cards to engage in different battles.
Read our full discussion with Imazato below. For those who are interested in learning more about the game and watching a full trailer for it, head over to the Exit Veil kickstarter campaign page.
How did you get into metal and heavy music, and which bands are your favorite?
I’m staggering my way into middle age now, so my teenage years fell right into the heart of the late '90s nu-metal period. Super baggy JNCO jeans, wallet chains, piercings and early Deftones sums up my experience of the '90s! Some very bad fashion choices were made, but the gems of that period for me were Nine Inch Nails and, it goes without saying, Tool. Both bands remain on heavy rotation.
I’m always exploring new music and my tastes veer into extreme and noise territory as often as it does dark-ambient. Recently I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Lingua Ignota`s Sinner Get Ready and Lustmord’s [Other].
How did you get into video game designing? Can you talk a bit about the other one you’ve released?
Interactive narrative has always been a passion of mine, probably caused by a childhood love of reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. During the 2007 recession, with work on game projects drying up in the U.K., I sold everything I owned, kept one backpack full of clothes and cash for a month, then headed to Japan. I don’t recommend anyone do this in the chaotic way I did! But I’m still here now and run my own game dev studio, Cherrymochi.
In 2017 Cherrymochi released our first game Tokyo Dark – a 2D anime styled paranormal neon noir. I worked with Square Enix on that project and it was well received. As the name suggests it is a dark story full of suffering and horror. Fun!
What made you decide to make a game inspired by Tool?
Tool music videos have been a constant source of inspiration. When Adam Jones started exploring the visual potential of Tool’s music with Alex Grey during the Lateralus period, I was blown away. That album and its accompanying visuals are a huge inspiration to my life in general.
In 2001 when the album was released, I was deep into a psychedelic period, reading Terrance McKenna and Timothy Leary. Grant Morrison had recently wrapped up The Invisibles. He shared his Chaos Magick practice in his Disinfocon2000 howl, Alan Moore was midway through his blending of esoteric Kabbalah and Tarot study in his comic Promethea and the towers had fallen in America. 2001 left an impact on us all.
Exit Veil is all this combined. A study of the occult and healing, wrapped up in a video game.
Can you tell us about the game itself? What gameplay entails and the premise? Can you give examples of games with similar gameplay so that people know what to expect?
Recipe for Exit Veil: Place a Final Fantasy game inside a Tool music video.
Throw in a dash of Aleister Crowley, a sprinkle of Alan Moore, a liberal helping of tarot and glaze generously with that self-doubting part of yourself that gnaws away at you, late at night, when you’re alone and you let your guard slip.
Garnish with psychedelia.
In gameplay terms, the player will explore twisting dark-psychedelic dreamscapes while battling entities in turn-based combat using tarot cards made of emotions harvested from the dead. Much like a typical weekend at Burning Man.
What elements in the game do you think will resonate with other Tool fans the most?
On a surface level I think Tool fans will love our soundtrack. We’re working with Reign of Fury frontman Bison on the soundtrack. We’re combining dark atmospherics with experimental psychedelic metal, which should make any Tool fan’s ears perk up. Listen to the soundtrack on our campaign page.
But beyond music, Tool fans should enjoy how we are exploring and representing the internal worlds and struggles with occult symbology. If you like dark-psychedelia, then you’re going to love Exit Veil.
What other rock/metal bands would you want to draw inspiration from for games in the future?
Fun question! If given a budget and told to do anything I want, I would love to make a surreal Magical-realism Siouxsie and the Banshees-inspired game set in a grim, rain swept late '70s early '80s post-punk era London. That period of time when punk peaked and goth was born is a forgotten period in most media and would make an incredible backdrop to a coming of age story.
Any other details you want to provide about the game?
As well as the video game, we’ve also designed a fully integrated tarot deck. This beautiful deck unlocks hidden secrets in the game and can be used as a personal deck for healing and meditation outside of the game. Exit Veil will teach you everything you need to know about how to use a tarot deck. The tarot deck as well as the game are available in our Kickstarter campaign.
“If you’re interested in 'Exit Veil' then we need your help. We’re building an active community and want to bring people together to make this project the very best it can be. Cherrymochi is a small husband and wife-led studio, not a faceless mega-corp, and for us to make this happen, inject a little magick into the mainstream, we need you to come and join us! Our Kickstarter for Exit Veil has just launched, let’s make weird things together.” - Imazato & Maho.