Sacnoth (later known as Nautilus) was a small Japanese based video games developer. Sacnoth’s high profile games include Koudelka for the PlayStation, the three Shadow Hearts games for the PlayStation 2, and Faselei! for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. The name was taken from the name of a supposed magical weapon in a short story by Lord Dunsany, The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth, published in 1908 in the collection The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories.


Sacnoth was created in 1997 by Hiroki Kikuta, best known for composing the music to Secret of Mana series while working at Squaresoft and was set up with funding from the video game company SNK.

The company suffered after their first major project, the RPG Koudelka, received poor critical reviews and little word of mouth. It was also soon revealed that internal quarrels within Sacnoth had led to a compromised product. Kikuta had wanted to develop an action-based battle system, citing Resident Evil as a source of inspiration. However, his employees were adamant about releasing something closer to the kind of games that Squaresoft had been making.

Most people agreed that the game showed some promise, but had serious flaws, particularly in the combat system. Disheartened by the political friction within Sacnoth, as well as the financial condition of SNK, Kikuta resigned.

Aruze Entertainment took control of Sacnoth after SNK folded in 2000. Sacnoth changed their name to Nautilus for the development of the sequel Shadow Hearts: Covenant and future video games. However, in early 2007 Aruze publicly announced dissolving Nautilus and various creative members have since left the company and founded feelplus.


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