The Nintendo 64 was, and is, sorely lacking on the RPG front, with about four or so RPGs, depending on how loosely you classify a game to be an RPG. Nintendo's upcoming GameCube may not carry on that tradition it seems. Weekly Famitsu features an interview with Capcom's managing director Yoshiki Okamoto in its latest issue. He stated that "One reason we didn't publish a lot of software on Nintendo 64 was because of its choice of media. But, since we aren't sure about the overall state of Gamecube yet, we might change our plans depending on its development environment, like if the price of development tools is high, and so on. We will have to see more details first."
So Capcom may be aboard at some point. Furthermore, Mr. Okamoto spoke of working with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto for the Game Boy Color's new Zelda titles.
"We are always hoping to work with interesting concepts every year. Last time, I created The Legend of Zelda for Game Boy with Mr. Miyamoto from Nintendo, and I learned a lot from him," he said. "After completing its development we were in an evaluation meeting and I said to him, 'Mr. Miyamoto, please give me one more chance to redeem myself,' and he just said, 'if you still want to.' I hope that that means my request was accepted. Even though we don't have any official agreement, I would love to work with him once again."
Will we see another joint Zelda project from Capcom and Nintendo? It seems possible. Capcom has a Breath of Fire remake in the works for Game Boy Advance, maybe we'll see one on the GameCube too. On that note, the GBA Breath of Fire is reportedly going to be at the Tokyo Game Show being held right now in Japan. Check back for possible info and screens soon!
With Nintendo and Square still having a less-than-ideal relationship, we may not see Square developing for GameCube. Ask many an RPG fan which big RPG maker comes into their mind next and it's likely you'll get the same answer: Enix. As with Capcom, Enix is looking into developing for the GCN. When asked if they had received development hardware for the new console in a recent IGN interview, Kogi Taguchi (Enix of Japan's director) stated he couldn't answer that question. So will a new Dragon Quest be on a Nintendo system again in the future? We'll just have to wait and see.
Yet another hope for RPGs on the GCN lies with Game Arts, developers of the Grandia and Lunar series. Game Arts president Youichi Miyaji was recently interviewed by Famitsu, and said that he thinks "...Nintendo is the only company that lays weight on improving games' essential amusement value. Because I also personally believe that 'enjoyable games are good games,' I hope Nintendo will achieve something great."
So all in all, nothing is really set in stone yet, but Nintendo had some great RPGs on its console back in the SNES days. Maybe we'll be able to relive those days with the GameCube.
March 30th, 2001
Game Arts Website
Enix US Website
Capcom USA Website