Before a certain new company announced that it will publish a remix of a certain PlayStation SRPG, very few people were familiar with either the publisher or the game in question. Recently, that changed when Aksys Games announced that it plans to bring Hoshigami Remix to North America. Still, many folks only had foggy ideas about either. So here we are, with a double-function interview for us to learn more about Aksys Games as a company and Hoshigami Remix as a game.

Heath Hindman, RPGLand.comFirst, mind introducing yourself and talking about your role(s) with Aksys Games?
Gail Salamanca, Aksys GamesMy name is Gail Salamanca, Director of Marketing, for Aksys Games. I began my career in the gaming industry in QA department at Virgin Interactive Entertainment, working on projects like Spot Goes to Hollywood, Toonstruck, Gridrunner and a whole slew of titles that your readers are probably unfamiliar with.

On my 20th birthday, I was hired at Atlus as a Product Specialist where I eventually became the Marketing Manager in charge of everything PR and Marketing. (So let this be a lesson to all of you kids, dreams can come true if you work hard enough at it.) I then joined Aksys Games in March of 2006 as the Director of Marketing. As is the case with every small company, everyone here wears many different hats so I’m still pretty much involved in almost every aspect of production from localization to designing the packaging. Although my primary responsibility is still PR and Marketing, I definitely enjoy getting my hands dirty and working on the games themselves.

RPGLand.comTell us a bit about this company. Most people haven’t heard of it yet.
Gail SalamancaAksys Games was formed by ex-Atlus employees, Akibo Shieh and myself, as a localization company specializing in videogames and anime in March 2006. We later transitioned into being a full-fledged gaming publisher when we announced Eagle Eye Golf for the PlayStation 2 which was released in October 2006. With the recent announcement of Hoshigami Remix we are now a licensed Nintendo publisher. Hopefully, our name will get out there in the coming months since we’ve definitely got some great games like Hoshigami coming along with some exciting stuff in the pipe that I can’t yet discuss.

RPGLand.comAbout how many people work for this company? Who are the integral figures and such?
Gail SalamancaWe currently have 5 full-time employees including myself and the founder, Akibo Shieh. Everyone who works at Aksys is an important part of the team, who are dedicated to delivering great localizations and making great games. You know what they say, there is no “I” in team.
RPGLand.comWhat spurred Shieh to start a new publishing studio, and what gives you confidence that you can make it a success?
Gail SalamancaWe originally started out as a localization company, but then an opportunity from a game company in Japan that we had been working with came along that would allow us to publish our first game, Eagle Eye Golf on the PS2. We knew that we had the know-how and determination to become a full fledged game publisher so we took the ball and ran with it.

I believe that with our years of experience in the game industry, in combination with our great staff and industry relationships we have the tools to carve out our own niche in this highly competitive market.

RPGLand.comYou guys keepin’ it real over there?
Gail SalamancaThere’s nothing like trying to build up a videogame publishing house from scratch to keep you humble and grounded in reality. However, things are definitely looking up as far as the direction of the company is concerned.
RPGLand.comAre more RPGs on the way from Aksys? What are some you’re considering bringing overseas?
Gail SalamancaIt’s a genre where most of our experience lies, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more from us in the future. Just to give you an idea, I’ve probably worked on over 60 games in the past decade, the majority of which were RPGs or SRPGs, so you could say I know a little bit about the genre.

Unfortunately, I can’t talk about what we’re looking into at the moment, but one trip to our message boards and you’ll definitely have an idea of the kinds of games we’re looking at.

RPGLand.comWhat’s the deal with that golf game you published? Is that fun?
Gail SalamancaAcquiring and publishing Eagle Eye Golf pretty much got our foot in the door into game publishing, so it was a very good experience for us as a start-up to go through all the motions and get the ball rolling. As for the game itself, I think it was a fun, customizable game of links for those looking for a happy medium between Tiger Woods and Hot Shots.

RPGLand.comSo then, Hoshigami gettin’ remixed. I gotta tell ya, Hoshigami kind of sucked. I’ve read about your remake a bit though, and it seems like it’ll make some big improvements over the original. Talk a bit about the updates.
Gail SalamancaWell, for starters the game is not as punishing and much more accessible this time around (albeit on easy and normal) which was the main complaint about the original game. Another aspect that has been much improved over the original is the game’s interface. It’s been streamlined quite a bit, so it’s much more enjoyable.

For Hoshigami veterans, the new character, missions, artwork and music will make it feel like a whole new game. Although the overall story is pretty much the same the new localization will definitely make it fresh for those that played the original. Due to the original’s extreme difficulty, I don’t think many people got to see it through to the end, so people will actually be able to enjoy the entire story this time around.

For gamers new to Hoshigami there’s a lot of game here for them to dive into, so either way I think gamers will be treated to a great Strategy RPG.

RPGLand.comWhat’s different about the difficulty levels, and which most closely represents the original PlayStation version of the game?
Gail Salamanca

  • Enemy levels are predetermined depending on the stage
  • Characters are automatically resurrected after battle
  • Main character starts off with a revive coinfeigm
  • Change equipment and restore HP between continuous battles
  • Increased EXP given in battle
  • Characters have a better hit% and inflict more damage


  • Enemy levels are predetermined depending on the stage
  • Main character starts off with a a revive coinfeigm
  • Perma death for characters
  • Increased EXP given in battle
  • Change equipment and restore HP between continuous battles
  • Special ending graphic


  • Enemy character’s are at the same level as your highest level character.
  • Perma death for characters
  • Special ending graphic


  • More damage and better equipment given in 1 or 2 Attack Sessions
  • Suspend save available for continuous battles
  • Continue where you left off in the Tower of Trials

The “hard” difficulty level best represents the original PSOne version. Normal mode is basically where I think most SRPG fans would want to start off unless they like being punished.

RPGLand.comHave there been any additions or changes to the script or story?
Gail SalamancaWhile the plot and main themes remain the same, Hoshigami Remix features a brand new localization as well as a new character named Kasha who has her own storyline and motivations for joining our hero on his quest.

RPGLand.comSo, that said, do you think Hoshigami haters like myself would find the game worthy of a second chance now?
Gail SalamancaDefinitely! When we first heard that somebody was remaking Hoshigami we initially thought: Here’s a game with a lot of potential with the right changes. After seeing what the development team had planned to implement along with our own recommendations, Remix has become the game I think users were expecting with the original.

RPGLand.comSince it’s on DS, I must ask, how does it use features like the touchscreen, wi-fi, and mic, if at all?
Gail SalamancaYou can control the game with just the touch screen, with just the buttons or a combination of both. There is no wi-fi play or mic functionality in the game. However, there is an item trade option using the wireless functionality of the DS that was not present in the original Hoshigami.

RPGLand.comHoshigami’s battle system used a “RAP” gauge. When it comes to rap music, do you generally roll East or West coast?
Gail SalamancaHonestly, I don’t listen to rap.
Gail SalamancaI’m more of a rock / alt-rock fan myself, but if I had to choose, West Coast.

RPGLand.comWell, thanks a bunch for taking the time to introduce RPG Land to Aksys Games and to Hoshigami Remix. Any closing remarks?
Gail SalamancaThanks for letting us talk a little about Aksys and Hoshigami Remix! We’re hoping that our first SRPG effort holds up to the expectations of the hardcore gaming community as well as those new to SRPGs. Also, be sure to drop by our message boards to say hi and let us know what games you’d like to see us publish.

Thanks to Gail and the rest of Aksys for taking the time to rock with us. Hoshigami Remix will be rocking stores this June.


  • Forums: discuss this interview
  • Aksys Games Official Site
  • Hoshigami Remix wallpapers