During the Tokyo Gameshow September 2007 Access Games unveiled a trailer for their foray into survival horror genre, Rainy Woods, which was slated for release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 some time in 2008.

WARNING This trailer does show game spoilers!

Original RW site (my archive of the site)

I actually didn’t hear about Rainy Woods until well after it was re-branded as Deadly Premonition and gearing up a February 2010 US release. From what little I can gather from around the web most of the buzz about this title circled on how it was “Twin Peaks the game,” which excited quite a lot of people.

Twin Peaks’ influence is very apparent from the characters and scenery shown during the short TGS 2007 game trailer:

Rainy Woods, 2007 Twin Peaks, 1990
A small American Northwest logging town
An FBI agent brought in to solve a terrible murder.
Victim- a blonde and popular high school prom queen.
Mysterious dwarfs in suits sitting in a red room.
Lounge singers in red make a soulful appearance.

In October 2008 the beta version of Rainy Woods was not approved and the project was frozen. It’s rumored that the Twin Peaks similarities may have been to blame [source]. When the project was re-examined in February 2009 the game was completely recoded and given a face lift with new character models, re-recorded dialogue and the entire project was green lighted once again [Game Developer Magazine, Vol 17 Aug 2010].

The look of the game and code may have changed but the core premise of the story remained. The discovery of Anna Graham’s body brings a US FBI Special Agent to a small Northwestern town to find out if the legendary Raincoat Killer had anything to do with her death.

The core gameplay didn’t seem to change much either with players investigating in a sandbox environment with weather and time-based changes and the ability to travel around town by car. The agent often finds himself in a battle for his life using a variety of weapons with paranormal creatures from another world.

In the end the only differences I could see between Rainy Woods and the final product, Deadly Premonition, are entirely cosmetic in nature based on what’s shown in the TGS2007 trailer and content revealed described in Rainy Woods articles with in 2007.

If the similarities to Twin Peaks had anything to do with the stall of Rainy Woods Deadly Premonition didn’t do much to hid the plethora of nods, homages and references within the game to the hit show. If you are curious on the extent of Deadly Premonition’s homage to Twin Peaks Animagess has painstakingly compiled a list of comparisons between the two over on her Deadly Premonition site, Planet Redwood.

Below are some of the obvious differences between Rainy Woods and Deadly Premonition:

David Young Henning, US FBI agent with his unseen friend, “Jeter” got a hair cut and a new scar and became Francis York Morgan with his unseen friend, “Zach.”

The dwarves were replaced by angel versions of the Ingram twins and the velvet lined red room became a forest of red trees.

George received a make over as well with darker hair and a more prominent black mustache.

Even the song Carols sings in the Rainy Woods trailer has been replaced with Miss Stiletto Heels in Deadly Premonition.

Rainy Woods Trailer Song

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Miss Stiletto Heels

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Rainy Woods Game Screens

Trailer Screens