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Episode 2539             Episode 2541
Episode 2540

Katana Zero
Thu, 2024-Apr-18 00:31 UTC
Length - 3:01

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Thursday, 18 April 2024 is Katana Zero.

Katana Zero is a 2019 platform game created by the indie developer Justin Stander. Set in a dystopian metropolis, the neo-noir storyline follows Subject Zero, a katana-wielding assassin with amnesia who can slow down time and predict the future. Zero unravels his past while completing assassination contracts. Katana Zero features side-scrolling hack-and-slash gameplay in which the player attempts to kill all enemies in a level without being hit, using Zero's abilities to manipulate time, dodge attacks, and take advantage of environmental hazards. In between levels, the story is told in sequences where the player converses with non-player characters through dialogue trees.

Stander began working on Katana Zero in 2013. He had previously developed freeware games, such as Tower of Heaven (2009), and conceived Katana Zero as his first commercial game. Using GameMaker Studio 2, Stander sought to make a difficult story-driven game that did not force the player to wait through dialogue and cutscenes. He focused on attention to detail and looked to films such as Sin City (2005) and John Wick (2014) for story inspiration. The development was prolonged and Stander worked mostly alone, although he recruited artists to design the visuals as well as musicians Bill Kiley and Thijs "LudoWic" Lodewijk to compose the synthwave soundtrack.

Katana Zero was published by Devolver Digital for macOS, Nintendo Switch, and Windows on April 18, 2019. It sold 500,000 copies in less than a year and received positive reviews. Critics praised the gameplay—which they favorably compared to Devolver's Hotline Miami (2012)—and the visuals, writing, and music. The story divided reviewers and the unresolved ending was criticized. Several critics cited Katana Zero as one of the best games of 2019 and it was nominated for numerous year-end accolades. Ports for Xbox One and Amazon Luna were released in 2020 and 2021, downloadable content is in development, and Stander intends to continue the fictional universe in future games.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:31 UTC on Thursday, 18 April 2024.

For the full current version of the article, see Katana Zero on Wikipedia.

This podcast uses content from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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