If you’ve ever hoped to play a video game that looks like it was inspired by Tool, you’re in luck. Exit sail is a new upcoming game that was indeed inspired by Tool’s music, their videos and all the images and art associated with them.
Exit sail is a Japanese role-playing game with an integrated tarot deck created by Imazato. Originally from the UK, Imazato now runs Cherrymochi, a small independent creative 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 fans get 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 dark, psychedelic dreamscapes” and use tarot cards to engage in different battles.
Read our full discussion with Imazato below. For those interested in learning more about the game and watching a full trailer, head over to Exit sail kickstarter campaign page.
How did you get into metal and heavy music, and what are your favorite bands?
I’m reaching middle age now, so my teenage years fell right in the middle of the nu-metal era of the late 90s. Super baggy JNCO jeans, wallet chains, piercings and first Deftones sum up my 90s experience! Some really bad fashion choices were made, but the gems of this period for me were Nine Inch Nails and, needless to say, Tool. The two groups remain in high rotation.
I’m always exploring new music and my tastes are as often oriented towards extreme and noise as towards dark-ambient. Recently I really enjoyed Lingua Ignota sinner get ready and Lustmord [Other].
How did you come to design video games? Can you tell us a bit about the other one you released?
Interactive storytelling has always been a passion of mine, probably stemming from a childhood love for reading. Choose your own adventure books. During the recession of 2007, when work on gaming projects dried up in the UK, I sold everything I owned, kept a backpack full of clothes and cash for a month , then I headed to Japan. I don’t recommend anyone to do it the chaotic way I did! But I’m still here now and running my own game development studio, Cherrymochi.
In 2017, Cherrymochi released our first game Dark Tokyo – a 2D anime style paranormal black neon. I worked with Square Enix on this project and it was well received. As the name suggests, it’s a dark story full of pain and horror. Fun!
What made you decide to create a game inspired by Tool?
Tool’s music videos have been a constant source of inspiration. When Adam Jones began exploring the visual potential of Tool’s music with Alex Gray during the Lateral period, I was blown away. This album and the accompanying visuals are a huge source of inspiration for my life in general.
In 2001, when the album came out, I was immersed in a psychedelic period, reading Terrance McKenna and Timothy Leary. Grant Morrison had recently concluded The Invisibles. He shared his Chaos Magick practice in his Disinfocon2000 howl, Alan Moore was halfway through his blend of esoteric Kabbalah and Tarot study in his comic Prometheus and the towers had fallen in America. 2001 left an impact on all of us.
Exit sail is all of that 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 people know what to expect?
Recipe for Exit sail: Place a Final Fantasy game in a Tool video clip.
Add a pinch of Aleister Crowley, a pinch of Alan Moore, a generous helping of tarot, and generously glaze with that self-doubting part of you that eats at you, late at night, when you’re alone and that you let your underpants guard.
Garnish with psychedelia.
In terms of gameplay, the player will explore dark and psychedelic dreamscapes while battling entities in turn-based combat using tarot cards made from emotions harvested from the dead. Kind of like a typical Burning Man weekend.
What elements of the game do you think will resonate most with other Tool fans?
On the surface, I think Tool fans are going to love our soundtrack. We are working with Reign of Fury frontman Bison on the soundtrack. We combine dark atmospheres with experimental psychedelic metal, which should delight the ears of any Tool fan. Listen to the soundtrack on our campaign page.
But beyond the music, Tool fans should appreciate how we explore and represent internal worlds and struggles with occult symbology. If you like dark psychedelia then you’ll love it Exit sail.
What other rock/metal bands would you like to inspire for your future games?
Funny question! If given a budget and told to do whatever I want, I’d love to make a surreal Siouxsie and Banshees inspired magical realism game set in a dark rain swept late 70’s and the early 80s post-punk era of London. This period when punk reached its peak and goth was born is a forgotten time in most media and would make an incredible backdrop for a coming of age story.
Would you like to provide any further details about the game?
In addition to the video game, we have also designed a fully integrated tarot deck. This beautiful deck unlocks secrets hidden within the game and can be used as a personal deck for healing and meditation outside of the game. Exit sail will teach you everything you need to know about using a tarot deck. The tarot deck as well as the game are available in our Kickstarter campaign.
“If you are interested in ‘Exit Veil’, we need your help. We are building an active community and want to bring people together to make this project the best it can be. Cherrymochi is a small studio run by a husband and wife, not a faceless mega-corporation, and to make that happen, inject some magic into the mainstream, we need you to come join us!Our Kickstarter for Exit Veil has just launched, let’s do weird things together – Imazato & Maho.