|Legend Of Dragoon is perhaps SCE's answer to the widely popular Final Fantasy Series. In this Interview conducted by Famitsu for the 10/15 Issue, we talk with Art Director Iwata Kenichi and Director Hasabe Hiroyuki about Information on Legend of Dragoon. Mr. Hasabe has previously worked on FFVI and Super Mario RPG, while Mr. Iwata has done work in Omega Boost, as well as work in movie direction.
Famitsu: There seems to be about a total of 30 minutes worth of CG movies in LOD.
Iwata: It took us a long time to make the movies, even with Hasabe's help *laughs*. It was a pain trying to compile everything together.
Hasabe: When we began this project, there wasn't any plans to include any movies at first. I mean, the characters themselves are all in polygons. We all thought that there would be a gap would appear between when we go from polygons to movies. But then again, Movies are very cool to watch so in the end, we decided to put them in whenever a significant event takes place.
Famitsu: Now what exactly were the difficulties in the making of these CG Movies?
Iwata: The Main theme behind the movies in which we see Dragon Fights was to give a sense of being in the air, which is impossible to do if you treat it as just another CG Movie. Since we wanted to show the things on the surface as well, it added to our problems. Since this game revolves around war, we wanted to show destroyed structures and smoke coming out the buildings. So in the end,we ended up with a lot of smoke*laughs*. That was the first time our CG team had to deal with Smoke.
Famitsu: Now that is very impressive smoke effects. Are there any other original portions sides the smoke?
Iwata: The Other would be the lighting. We set our goals to have lighting like in the Movies and I think we've succeeded in our goal. What often happens with CGs is that the developers want to show off their skills so much that they end up using too much lighting. However this time, we've taken account on what parts we want the user's eye to catch and used lighting accordingly. We think that thats the best way to show the part of the scene that a user shold be focused on. Of course, you might end up missing a lot of the visuals on the side*laughs*.
Famitsu: Now how did you design the characters?
Hasabe: We first made up 100 names using all characters, from 'A' to 'N'. From there we picked up the ones that we liked the best. From there, we used names that seemed to fit in for the charcters we're trying to make. At first, we left the character designs to a young designer, but we thought that the Dragoons look to Anime-ish. After that, we asked Mr. Iwata to design it for us, and I fell in love with the designs.
Iwata: At first, I only did the designs for Ros'e and Dart. Of course, back then Ros'e's hair color was green..*laughs*
Famitsu: What was the reason for the change?
Hasabe: We wanted to keep the feel of the world as real as possible. So we threw out deicded fantasy colors such as Pink and Green. There may be people that color their hair, but isn't thing that actually defines a person is their original color of their eyes,hair,and skin ?
Famitsu: This applies to the chraacters besides the Dragoons, correct?
Hasabe: Yes. In the case of Ros'e, we made her hair blakc without question. Her Outfit's black, her hair is black.... We want to people to be able top tell what type of characters they are just by looking at the colors. I guess you can say each character's color match their personality.
Famitsu: The colors really stand out in the Dragoon Transformation scenes as well
Hasabe: Yes you're right. While Dragoons in themselves are ancient beings, its definately is more impressive to have defining colors when they do things like transforming. Red is the Dragoon of Fire. White is the Dragoon of Light. While there are other types of Dragoons as we go along, those are a secert for now *laughs*.
Famitsu: Now the "Additional System" seem to revolve around pressing a button at an exact time of battle execution to perform more attacks.
Hasabe: Correct. We've made it so that the user can pretty much do things in battle the way they want it to be done. So I think the days when a user just inputs a command and stares at the screen are over. You feel as if you're actually fighting....The main idea behind the Additional System was to give this idea to the user.
Famitsu: Is there something else that is special about the battle system besides that?
Hasabe: In battle, you can access the Additional Attack, then comes Dragoon Transformation and finally Items.
Famitsu: No Magic?
Hasabe: There is a race that can use magic, but these characters, like our human selves, cannot use it. You lose the sense of a real world if everyone can do everything. However, you will be able to use Magic while you are transformed as Dragoons. It sorta seems lonely to put in only the Additonal system. And if characters are just normal, they can't use magic. Thats why they'll be many items that will have the same effect as attack magic.
Famitsu: And one last comment?
Hasabe: We're doing our best to put in lots of movies and battles so that the user will be able to feel for the characters. We hope that you'll be able to see these points when you play the game, and we wish you luck waiting for the game's release!