Spoiler Warning! This characteristic overtly discusses moments inside It Takes Two which are finest skilled first-hand. If you have not already, go play the sport, it’s great.


It Takes Two is a superb co-op recreation. The newest effort from Hazelight Studios is a joyous journey packed to bursting with selection, endlessly bringing you new settings, situations, and gameplay. It is a rollercoaster experience with some really memorable moments all through its runtime. Nevertheless, there’s one scene specifically that stands out for many gamers. We have to discuss Cutie the elephant.

For those who’re studying this, we belief you already know what we’re referring to. After being reworked into dolls by their daughter Rose’s tears, divorcing mother and father Cody and Could motive that they have to make her cry as soon as once more so as to reverse the spell. To do that, they determine to kill Rose’s favorite toy: an elephant plushie named Cutie. After battling their manner by a magic citadel, they discover the saccharine stuffed animal and proceed to pull her to her doom, kicking and screaming, her leg and ear yanked off within the course of. It is protracted, disturbing, and ridiculous. We needed to know extra.

After reaching out to Hazelight about this scene, we have been in a position to communicate to none apart from Josef Fares himself — the outspoken author and director. Within the under chat, he argues his case for the Cutie scene, in addition to responds to the sport’s reception and teases the studio’s subsequent mission.

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Josef Fares: Alright, you need to discuss Cutie?

Push Sq.: Sure please!

Cutie, the stunning elephant. You are from England!

Yeah, that is proper.

Sure, so then you must have an enormous understanding of darkish humour.

Yeah, completely!

Truly it’s, in a way, impressed from British humour. Darkish humour could be very common in England, clearly, so there’s positively a hyperlink there. However the entire thing — I imply possibly you need to ask the query first.

Positive. So the primary motive I needed to speak to you is that this Cutie scene. From what I’ve seen on-line, there’s been fairly an enormous response to it, and I knew there can be. Once I was enjoying the sport with my girlfriend, her response to the scene… Her mouth was agape as we dragged the elephant kicking and screaming. I knew this could get a response on-line, so I simply needed your view on this scene that is fairly tonally totally different from the remainder of the sport.

Yeah. In a way, it’s [tonally different], however in a way it isn’t, I might say. As a result of one thing we’re attempting to do at Hazelight is all the time ensure that no matter occurs within the story will likely be mirrored within the gameplay. So I preserve saying that. Clearly I am tremendous comfortable in regards to the reactions, however one has to keep in mind that each mechanic itself is tied to the gameplay. So the entire thought is, you are in a tree, you meet these squirrels, you employ their weapons. And if you discover a fidget spinner, you employ that. Every thing you see, it occurs within the setting you are enjoying. Which is one other massive motive; due to the story, that it’s important to kill Cutie, you then truly should play it. So in a way it isn’t very totally different in tone, it is one thing that occurs within the story, however you are truly enjoying. Nevertheless, it may be a distinct type of scene, clearly!

We type of knew that this scene was gonna be a bit harsh. I nonetheless at this time actually love that scene, I believe it’s crucial for the characters. The entire thought is having [Rose’s] tremendous cute stuffed animal that it’s important to kill, and the reason being this. The mother and father have turn out to be so egoistic and completely forgot about what’s necessary for them, that they’re able to go this far to truly do one thing like this.

I’ve seen some streamers after they’re enjoying it, they’re screaming so excessive and loud after they’re enjoying, so that they’re lacking all the main points in what the characters are saying. [The parents] are actually saying, “We’re gonna want remedy after this, that is so horrible”, so they’re conscious that they are truly hurting this little stuffed cute elephant, however it’s nonetheless one thing they should do. They don’t have any alternative. They honestly consider that, to make her cry, they should kill that elephant. Truly, it is a good factor persons are reacting to this. I believe it is one thing that creates an influence.

You must perceive, with out spoiling, scenes like this have been in Brothers and A Way Out. Not scenes which are violent, however scenes that upset individuals. As an example, the ending of A Means Out, I nonetheless at this time get reactions of individuals actually upset, and say, “Why could not I select to not do it?” However that is the entire level! You have to do it. And it is the identical factor with this recreation. On this scene with this lovely little cute elephant, that is one thing it’s important to do. And also you see some gamers virtually hate the mother and father, like, “How may you do that?”

And in addition, the entire thought is that Cutie is fastened ultimately. Possibly it wasn’t that clear, however ultimately credit, you see she’s fastened, so she was taken care of.

I might nonetheless should say that, we knew there was gonna be a response, however not this sort of response. However I like that scene, and also you clearly see the folks that get the darkish humour of that, they actually perceive it. However I believe it is a stupendous scene. When individuals get upset, in a way we have succeeded to make an influence of what we needed with the mother and father. You must perceive, if you’re enjoying a recreation, you’ve emotions. Folks combine up that, if it is a good feeling, then it is good. They do not settle for that, if it is a dangerous feeling, that can be [good] storytelling in gameplay.

It is fascinating, as a result of, in A Means Out, we had a scene the place you torture a man and use a lot totally different tools, throw him across the room, no matter — no person reacted to that! And now it is a small little toy, and it is an enormous response! However I completely perceive that persons are reacting, and I can respect individuals’s opinion that they cannot take a look at it, or no matter, however I believe it was an important scene for the story.

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After enjoying that half, I assumed that it have to be a purposefully pivotal second, as a result of earlier than then, Cody and Could are nonetheless antagonistic and probably not getting alongside as much as this second with Cutie, after which after that…

Then it is begins altering, precisely. You must perceive, that is one thing we talked about lots. We even had a script model the place one in every of [the parents] was saying like, “Are we actually doing this, is that this too horrible?” and the opposite is like “Come on, we do not have a alternative”. However then it might create a factor the place one is the nice man and the opposite is the dangerous man. It was higher that they make the choice collectively.

I believe it is much more darkish humoured, and exhibits how dangerous the mother and father [have become], after they’re truly bathing in [their daughter’s] tears. Who’s comfortable? They’re like “Sure, she’s crying!” Who’s comfortable when your child [is crying]? And I believe that has upset some individuals. However in a way, there is a objective with that, clearly. Such as you say, after that, issues begin to slowly change. And there may be additionally, possibly it isn’t clear for everyone, or possibly some did not get to the tip, however the realisation they get ultimately, that no matter we do, crucial factor is that we’re there for you, no matter occurs. They forgot crucial factor, which is their daughter.

Yeah. The scene positively caught out.

It caught out, however once more, it is a part of the story. You possibly can argue that the chess mini recreation caught out, or a mechanic caught out. I do know what you imply tone-wise, however nonetheless, that is what occurs within the story as a result of to make them go that far, to make their daughter cry, they should kill her favorite toy. Which is type of sick, and it truly is darkish humour.

I bear in mind the primary time we put within the voice, as a result of that is when the magic occurred, once we put Cutie’s voice in. I used to be like “Oh my God!” I actually really feel it is dangerous! I really feel dangerous once I take a look at it. However on the identical time, wow! And the road when [Cody] says “We simply must kill you a little bit!” I dunno, it is a particular scene.

Yeah, I positively get the humorous aspect of it; I used to be laughing due to how ridiculous it’s, and my girlfriend was simply mortified.

I believe individuals get upset as a result of the characters aren’t doing it, you as a participant are doing it. If this could’ve occurred in a cutscene, you’d nonetheless really feel dangerous, however it’s the very fact you are pulling [the elephant], you are doing it.

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Is there a motive the scene goes on for so long as it does? Is it simply to stress the purpose?

Sure as a result of… In order that they pull her and her leg comes off, after which her ear, after which she falls down. If this was simply pulling and throwing her off the shelf, it would not be the identical, simply pushing a toy down. And also you see when she lands, it is comfortable, she’s nonetheless a toy that is not alive, it is simply fantasy. When she lands, it isn’t a dwelling factor. It needed to break when it falls down, you possibly can’t simply push it down and it breaks. And it’s a part of the darkish aspect of the mother and father.

However sure, it’s a particular scene. I actually do perceive some persons are getting upset, however on the identical time, I might nonetheless argue it has an necessary position within the recreation.

The sport’s out and the response has been very constructive total. What’s your feeling now it is on the market and persons are loving it?

I’ve a powerful perception in what we do. From day one, I do know what we’ve executed. My speech to the staff earlier than we launched it for the general public was like, look, no matter response we get, opinions, remember that you’ve got created one thing extraordinarily nice right here. That is essential. Now, I by no means doubted the sport is nice. Nevertheless, when the opinions got here out and folks began enjoying, then all of the sudden everyone’s accepting: oh, it is an ideal recreation. It will get the stamp. Okay, this is an ideal recreation. And that made me extraordinarily comfortable. So it is now okay to grasp how nice It Takes Two is.

To be trustworthy, I am not that shocked, as a result of I all the time have a powerful perception in what we do. For those who ask me about our subsequent recreation, I can let you know now, it is going to be even higher than It Takes Two. It is gonna be so loopy. That is how certain I’m, just like the idea, what’s gonna occur, and folks will likely be blown away.

However, with that mentioned, it does not imply… Typically individuals name me a genius, blah blah blah — I do not take it severely. For me, it is only a phrase. For me, I am pushed by the fervour for making video games. Each recreation has its challenges. The subsequent recreation’s gonna be nice. With that mentioned, I will likely be up plenty of nights…

It is like, each recreation takes a bit out of your soul. Not in a unfavorable manner, however, there’s a lot in Brothers, A Means Out, and this recreation, there’s a lot happening. Testing, attempting various things, artwork — you set your coronary heart and soul into this. However I by no means query if we’re doing a great or a nasty recreation. I nonetheless assume Brothers, A Means Out, and this are nice video games, to be trustworthy. And clearly, that is the general public feeling as effectively.

What I am attempting to say is, if there’s an issue like there all the time is throughout manufacturing, you twist and switch and do every thing you possibly can to repair it, however I by no means lose belief within the imaginative and prescient of the sport.

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Have you had to give anyone $1,000?

Not but! Look, like I mentioned, clearly there’s somebody on the market who does not like the sport, it is unattainable that everyone likes it, but when somebody genuinely does not prefer it, I advised them, I mentioned I am going to give them $1,000 for certain. Even the folks that haven’t been giving it the very best opinions, even they’ve preferred the sport.

I suppose your level with that assertion is that it is tough to get tired of the sport as a result of there’s a lot selection all through, it is all the time transferring on.

It is fascinating, and that is one thing I am tremendous comfortable persons are reacting to. It is so good to see as a result of that is one thing I have been pushing for lots, like the way you tempo a recreation and the number of gameplay, and the way necessary it’s in narrative video games. It is so good to see that persons are actually loving this. It is an enormous quantity of labor, and we’ve to shine every thing as effectively. It isn’t simply, oh let’s make totally different mechanics. You may make mechanics fairly quick, however every thing has to really feel polished and good, fast and responsive. So it isn’t a simple process to have so many alternative mechanics.

Effectively one factor I used to be going to ask is, there’s a lot within the recreation, it goes to some actually loopy locations. You’ve gotten the vacuum cleaner boss battle, which is one stage of loopy, and you then go contained in the tree and you’ve got the battle between the squirrels and the wasps. Is there something that you just did not put in?

what, there are — I’ll truly discuss this sooner or later, however I need to wait a bit of bit. I would even present some stuff. However mechanic clever, I’ll say we check out plenty of stuff. For the following recreation we’re doing now — ah it is gonna be so cool — we’re attempting out actually cool stuff right here once more, and typically it’s important to work to seek out the mechanic that feels very nice. One thing it’s important to keep in mind is like I mentioned, you possibly can prototype a mechanic fairly quick; in Unreal you possibly can sit there and prototype a mechanic in like every week or two. That is not an issue. But when It Takes Two was stuffed with mechanics and so they felt dangerous, what is the level? Then the argument can be, certain there’s so many mechanics however it feels so dangerous to play them. Each mechanic we select, we attempt to keep in mind, okay, can we take this to a stage the place it feels good? Clearly, polish takes time. That is additionally one thing I am very comfortable about, that persons are reacting to the polish stage of the sport. We have executed an ideal job there. I can not say sufficient about how proud I’m of the entire staff.

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I needed to additionally contact on one thing else I see individuals speaking about. Lots of people say that this recreation has very accessible controls, and individuals who do not usually play video games are in a position to take pleasure in It Takes Two. My girlfriend has struggled up to now with motion video games however obtained on simply positive. May you discuss that?

It’s extremely fascinating as a result of I am listening to this lots. To be trustworthy with you, we’ve type of an everyday observe digicam, and you’ll change within the choices to have it robust or weak. However we’ve it as default as a bit stronger than regular, so that’s just about the one factor that is a little more useful, however however, it’s important to management the digicam like some other motion digicam. I believe what persons are lacking, it isn’t accessibility — I imply I am shocked that so many are enjoying with somebody who’s not a gamer, and it is truly working so effectively. I believe the primary motive for that’s, when you take a look at Brothers, A Means Out, and It Takes Two, and also you take a look at what number of tutorials, and what number of lengthy introductions, every thing feels so intuitive and good. If you begin enjoying it, there’s not a whole lot of tutorials or menus. And I believe that is what persons are referring to, as a result of if you play this when you’re not a gamer, you instantly get it.

That is why I say like, there may be an inspiration from Nintendo there. Their playfulness, and [their games are] straightforward to get into. That is one thing I actually love, and also you see it in our video games. You’ll by no means see a menu of upgrades in a recreation I am concerned in, by no means. You’ll by no means see collectibles, it’s going to by no means occur. No menus, no upgrades, no levelling — all these items, if you reduce them away, I believe it makes a cleaner expertise for an informal gamer. However with that mentioned, I’ve to be very clear about this, I am actually not into the informal gaming on cell, as a result of I believe there’s plenty of sh*t video games there that I do not like, in order that’s not what I imply. I imply, if I examine it to love, an iPhone. Tremendous advanced, however nonetheless very good to make use of. That is what I like about some video games. Typically once I get too caught within the menu of video games, I do not prefer it. So you will by no means see a recreation from Hazelight with menus and upgrades.

So I believe it isn’t the accessibility, like I play a cell sh*t recreation with plenty of microtransactions, that is not what I imply. I believe the closest factor is the design of what Nintendo is doing, I like. Simple to get into, however in a way, there’s plenty of complexity and depth. Plenty of mechanics in It Takes Two might be executed as a complete recreation, the mechanics are deep relying on what you do with them, however it feels very intuitive. For those who give [it to] somebody who doesn’t play [games] in any respect, they’re like, oh, I push this, and I push that.

We did not do something particular. I imply we talked about one participant [relying on] the opposite, however it might create so many limits for design, as a result of that is designed as co-op. That is one thing that lots of people are forgetting. They’re calling this one other co-op recreation, however this is not one other co-op recreation. That is co-op from the start, designed. Persons are saying, in a great way, that is the most effective co-op recreation since Portal 2, finest co-op recreation ever. It’s a co-op recreation, however that is just about one of many solely co-op solely designed video games. We do not have a single participant marketing campaign, so from that perspective, it is much more distinctive than your common co-op recreation. So what I am saying is, when you carry the opposite participant, you possibly can’t do it as a result of these video games are designed to be performed alone or with two. [In that case] you possibly can carry a participant, however in It Takes Two you possibly can’t. It is designed that typically you are in numerous areas.

Anything you need to discuss?

I am simply so proud that persons are feeling the fervour we put into the sport. You actually really feel that persons are feeling it. That is truly the sport we have gotten [the biggest] response to in a constructive manner, it is loopy. You possibly can’t deny or conceal if you see or hear somebody passionate discuss this. And that’s so cool to see I believe. Clearly we’re all tremendous proud and comfortable. It is all the time good to each get the nice consideration that persons are loving and enjoying it, and the truth that we’re executed, and might really feel very pleased with it.


An enormous thanks to Josef for taking the time to speak to us, and to these at Hazelight Studios who made the interview attainable. What did you make of the Cutie scene? What have been a few of your favorite moments in It Takes Two? Work collectively within the feedback part under.



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