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Victor Ireland E3 '99 Interview

Victor Ireland E3 '99 Interview
by Rudo
This is part 3 of an interview with Working Designs' President Victor Ireland from E3 1999. In this interview, you'll find a lot of information about the various Lunar games, the mystery RPG, Detonator Gauntlet and much more.

Rudo: Talking about PC, I saw in the E3 booklet something about Lunar:SSS on PC?
Vic: Yeah, somebody asked me the first day and I was like: "Where did you hear that?" and they'd say it's in the book and I was like "How did it get in the book?". There's something wrong about that, it should not have said PC. It was a misprint. Yeah, this year it's Silhouette Mirage, Detonator Gauntlet and Lunar 2, that's a full plate, that's as full as we can get.

Rudo: You'll be spending most of the year on Lunar 2 anyway so...
Vic: Yeah, Silhouette is almost done, Detonator is mostly done but it's going to take a while to test because of the 56 chapters and then we'll be working a lot on Lunar 2. Also, we're switching over to a new system in the recording studio. We haven't upgraded our audio/video system since Vay. It's all digital and it's great but compared to what's available today it's kinda old, so we're gonna upgrade that.

Rudo: Okay, what about Lunar 3?
Vic: It's in planning. That's basically all I can say.

Rudo: Any word on the system it's going to appear on?
Vic: Let me put it this way; for the US, it's going to be PlayStation 2, absolutely.

*Now, you won't believe this but my camera actually ran out of tape at this precise moment and I'm missing all the rest of the interview with Vic. However, I remember some of the things that he said and I will at least print those quotes. I e-mailed Vic to make sure that those quotes were correct and he told me they were so even though this part won't be a word for word account of what was said in my meeting, at least, you'll get a few samples of the important things that he shared with me*.

Rudo: What about in Japan?

Vic: The system hasn't been decided yet but it's unlikely that it will be on Dreamcast in Japan and it's certain that it won't be on Dreamcast in the US!

Rudo: But isn't GameArts really close to Sega?
Vic: Yeah, but it's mostly ESP who controls all of that. The thing is that the 3 most important people in the making of the Lunar games aren't actually GameArts employees. Kubooka [the art and character designer], Iwadare [the music composer] and Shigema [Scenario] all worked on the Lunar games but they aren't part of GameArts. All GameArts did was do the programming for the games and it's possible that for Lunar 3, the programming end will be handled by another developer but the game will still include the work of Kubooka, Iwadare and Shigema. The GameArts programmers are mostly the ones who are big Sega fans.

I'll say one thing about Lunar 3. It's coming sooner than people expect but not in the manner that people think.

Rudo: Ah! An enigma. I guess we'll have to figure that one out.
Vic: Yep, that's all I can say about it.

Rudo: How are the pre-orders of Lunar:SSS coming along? Do you expect Lunar to be your best selling title ever?
Vic: It already is! Lunar:SSS will be our best selling title ever. It's not even close. We already have 250,000 copies sold and we expect that we'll sell around 500,000 copies in the end.

Rudo: 250,000? WOW! That's amazing.
Vic: Sony can't believe it either. They're like: "How the hell are you selling that much of this little 2D RPG?" It's all about word of mouth. All the Lunar fans keep talking about it and people want to experience the game and Lunar has a great reputation since almost everybody who played the original loved the game.

Rudo: What about Europe? Are people in Europe going to be able to get the game or will they have to import it?
Vic: Well, I can't really talk about it but there are some discussions in the work about that and because it's not done yet, I can't say anything.

Rudo: Okay, so basically, there are some good chances that Lunar:SSS will be released in Europe but nothing can be confirmed at the moment?
Vic: Yeah, there's a good chance that it might come out in Europe. If it does however, there won't be any extras like the American version. It will be only the game itself without the map, artbook, music CD, etc...

I would like to thank Victor Ireland for taking the time to talk with me at E3 and for giving us all of this information. Also, I'd like to apologize if any information is wrong for this last portion of the interview since I didn't have that part on tape and I was trying to remember what was said but some of it could be misinterpreted by me, but I think this was pretty much what he meant even though it's not exactly in his own words.
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