Interview With Namco About Tales of Eternia!
In this interview conducted by Famitsuu for the 10/1/99 Issue with Namco, they talk with both the Producer and Scenario Writer for Tales of Eternia(Who also did the scenario for Tales of Destiny)about their new game. Read on!
Famitsuu: First of all, we wish to ask you a question about the new main characters..what exactly is the relationship between the main character and the heroine?
Producer: They used to be childhood friends from the same town but that's a story from when they were young and are not as close when the game opens. I guess you can call it a difference in beliefs.
Scen. Writer: Leed is a bit older than Fara but she's the one that sees the world as being a bit more Romantic. Leed belives that a peace achieved through any means is the only way for true happiness (which Fara Disagrees with). We plan on keeping them seperate for the beginning part of their journey, in which they'll later travel together due to some incident that will happen later on.
Producer: It may be an unusual character for to be the Star in an RPG.
Famitsuu: Cless(From Tales of Phantasia) and Stahn(Tales of Destiny) where motivated by different things weren't they? Cless was moved mainly for Revenge and...
Scen Writer: And Stahn was "I'll go out and become a soldier!" *Laughs*. It was a very conventional personality type.
Producer: Of course, if you see it from a point from being masculine, they were. If you compare it from those two, Leed is a very different type of person, at least in the beginning he is. We'll just develop the characters(as we go along).
Scen. Writer: It should be interesting to watch him change as the story progresses.
Famitsuu: As for the main characters, its 4 members as usual, right?
Scen. Writer: ahh yes, for the main portion.
Producer: If you think about movement, 4 players at once is the limit.
Famitsuu: Well then, what type of characters are the other 2 members?
Scen. Writer: Well, one of them will be a scholarly male person. However, even if we call him scholarly, I wonder how much sense his thinking makes.....I guess he's more 'a guy that uses his head'. As for the other one, it'll be a cute looking girl.
Producer: Though we say that, we have no plans on making the characters stereotyped.
Scen. Writer: You can say that all female characters that appear in the "Eternia" Universe can stand by themselves. They're the type that
can get things accomplished by themselves. While they're not the 'loner' type either, neither are they the type to think that they can just ask a guy for help whenever they're in trouble.
Producer: A bit on the Masculine I suppose..
Scen. Writer: Thats something we have to avoid. In the end, we must keep them feminine or else.
Famitsuu: Are they similar in personality to Arche(ToP) and Ruty(ToD)?
Producer: I Suppose it can be translated that way. It can be said that such a thing is a feature in this series. Of course, this time we're trying to explore the many emotions that a single human can experiance as possible so its hard to say that "So and so is like this". At best we can say that, "In the beginning this person feels like this." It often happens that each character develops on their own as we start to work with them. In fact, the main theme of Eternia is "The change of a person's heart as they develop"
Famitsuu: So the main theme of this game is "Development"?
Producer: I guess it's more like "People Change as time passes". Of course, the basic theme within all of the 'Tales' series is to make "An RPG in which you can feel the existance of your other party members". However, this time we will be accomplishing this in a slighty different fashion. The main point in this game is not really in the main character but rather in the character interaction thaty occurs. While doing this, we want to be able to say "People can change!", while also being able to say "They do not change in their basic beliefs". Of course, the one that will be thinking is would be the person that is playing the game.
Famitsuu: It sounds like a fairly dramatic plot will be occuring...
Famitsuu: Will there be multiple routes in the story?
Producer: We believe it to be highly uncessessary to include such things as Mutliple Scenarios and multiple endings in the "Tales'" series. We think that a game is enjoyable because of it's focus on a single plot. Even if its on a minor point, by making a game 'multied', the dialog will not flow as naturally as it would otherwise, which we see it as a big 'Demerit'.
Scen. Writer: Of course, even though there is only 1 story, you will be able to do manu different things within the game.
Famitsuu: So you're talking about Subevents.
Scen. Writer: That will be one of them. While its lots of fun to include subevents in the game, it's a lot of work to do.
Famitsuu: Now when you're talking about sub-events do you mean things a sub-game such as "The caves of Dolaga"(An Optional Dungeon in ToD)?
Producer: In order to incororate such a large scale sub event into a game, it has be planned out in the beginning phases of the game, otherwise we won't be able to fit it in in our schedule.
Famitsuu: So..is there one?
Producer: There may not be*laughs*. However, we really do want to have one. Especially since the people playing the game will be searching for one as they play. While it may sounds a bit corny, we really want to reach out to those people that have played our previous games and incoropate the things that they have suggested. Of course, we also want to change something they want with their best interests in mind.
Famitsuu: Now we want to ask about the System...are there still things like Magic and prebattle planning?
Producer: Yes there is...its called Cremare, and its system is a bit different from the Magic that is used in most RPGs. While the system used in "Destiny" was relient mostly on the workings of the world, this time's system is a bit of an evolved form if that.
Famitsuu: In that...only the people with Swordians were able to use it, correct?
Producer: A Chosen Person....no thats not quite correct, however, in order to use Cremare you must meet a certain number of conditions. You need that extra "Something". Since we're still in the process of linking this magic system into the game world at large, we're not allowed to reveal it at this time.
Famitsuu: Instead of another question on the Cremare system, could you tell us if there will be a set of moves like the Kogahazan(one of a set of attacks that appears in both ToP and ToD) that both Cless and Stahn used?
Producer: Ahh yes. We're trying to strenghen that point of that game.
Famitsuu: In the previous game, there was a good number of special attacks that was a carry over from the first...
Producer: We plan on carrying over a good number of attacks into this game as well. If you think about making the game balanced, you can't help but using a number of attacks in this game as well. While there are many styles to playing RPGs, we think that this will appeal to those that like to RPGs, especially to those who play these in an agressive manner.
Famitsuu: So we'll be seeing 'Combo Commands' and 'Channeling' items as well(Both items from previous games)?
Producer: We plan to do so. While the game becomes harder to make as we include more of these features, we can't back away just because of that one reason. We're trying to cater to as many play styles as possible.
Famitsuu: Could you give us an example?
Producer: Hmmm...well, in all the "Tales" series, while the player controlled the main character, all the others were controlled by the AI, right? We're trying to make the AI this time more varied in order for different stategies be possible.
Famitsuu: I see..so in other words, you're saying that we'll be seeing a return of the 'Battle Plan'
Producer: I guess you can see that way. We'll be trying to make the interface for this as easy as possible.
Famitsuu: And the Battle System will still in the original 2D mode?
Producer: Yes it is. We feel that in order to keep the feel for this series, we'll have to use the system that we're using now.
Scen. Writer: The only thing that's different is the fact that the character CGs will move more fluidly.
Famitsuu: Now that I think about it, the game that was completly 2D until now has become 3D
Producer: Well, no matter what they say, movement in 2D is a bit too limiting.
Scen. Writer: The Hand cannot go above the Head *laughs*.
Producer: Since it'll be first time we'll be using a different set of special attacks in a long time, we've tried to change a number of them to become more interesting.