|The portion of the interview translated here is the result of a multi-part interview that Famitsu is conducting over the PSX release of Grandia. While most of the information on the interview only relates to Grandia I, I have decided to translate the last page which relates to Grandia II and the future of Game Arts. Please note that I couldn't read the kanji of the person they were interviewing so I used Game Arts instead!
Famitsu: The Playstation version of Grandia will result in more fans. And for them to get more, they'll have to get Dreamcast...
GameArts: Grandia II.
Famitsu: About how much of the development has been completed so far?
GameArts: Not much *laughs*. It's hard to make a RPG. But we have an tight schedule and we're doing our best.
Famitsu: Has the story and the system been decided on already?
GameArts: Yes, we've already done that. But in order to make a 40 hour RPG, you have to work as frantic as those people that make a 40 minute TV Drama. I hope you can at least understand how much hard work is being put into this.
Famitsu: That's because Grandia has been quite popular. Will the next one be as long as...
Gamearts: We actually want to make the playing time a bit shorter. Though Grandia took anywhere between 50 to 70 hours to get to the ending, quite a bit of it was the same thing over and over again. While it's good to have a long game, we are thinking that it may be not be a good thing to eat the same steak over and over again. Well, although there are many playing styles of playing an RPG, it should take about 40 hours for a player to complete Grandia II.
Famitsu: As for the system used in II, will the people that played Grandia I be able to understand it and enjoy it easily?
GameArts: Probably So. It'll be more cleaner, cooler, innovative, and more responsive *laughs*. We're trying to make all parts of the game with all the good features that are out there. We're trying to make the game so that, for example, when a player sees the battle scenes, he'll think, "Man, this is cool".
Famitsu: So this is a game that the fans of Grandia can look forward to.
GameArts: Yes. Not only is the scenario and the characters more mature, the world the game takes place in has a cool and harsh feel to it, so the image of the game itself will be a different one than the one that you've seen.
Famitsu: And why is that?
GameArts: While we've made the game to be enjoyed by both child and adult alike in the previous game, this time we're doing it on the Dreamcast. That results in our target audience to be about 2 degrees of maturity higher than before. So in other words, the average target user for this game will be 20 years old. This time we're making this game with that age in mind. Of course, that doesn't mean that we're going to throw in a perverted scene *laughs*.
Famitsu: *laughs* Is it possible that something extra will be thrown in that we'll be able to play with?
GameArts: There is a possibility of a little 'extra' that will be thrown in. But we want to make the game with the main story as its focus. But since the users will say that they want to play around with Grandia II *laughs*. Anyway, we'll be concentrating most on that portion of the game. Well, anyways, please be a bit more patient while waiting for Grandia II.
Famitsu: What about the possibilty of porting it to another system? The Dreamcast is out, the Playstaion 2 will be out shortly, and the Dolphin has been announced. What is your opinion on these systems?
GameArts: They all look very promising. However since we're a small company, we can't really make a lot of games. That is our main problem *laughs*.
Famitsu: Then what about porting Grandia II over to the Playstation II?
GameArts: We have no such intentions at this time. I mean, we're still in middle of developing Grandia II at this time. We'll ponder that question later and concentrate on the Dreamcast version for now.
Famitsu: Then are there any plans to release a different title on a different system?
GameArts: No, not yet. But both the Playstation 2 and the Dolphin are awesome systems. I believe that there are games that can only be made on those platforms. For example, something like Tetris can be done well enough on a Super Famicom. But there are definately games out there that only the Dolphin and the Playstation 2 will be able to handle. In other words, the worlds that can be made is directly related to the hardware of the system. If I was the one making it[a game], I'd like to go with the most powerful one *laughs*.