Square Enix Talks Last Remnant
06.22.08 - 12:52 PM

In a lengthy interview with Famitsuu, three key members of the Last Remnant development team talked about the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 RPG. As previously reported, the game's Xbox 360 version will go on sale prior to the PlayStation 3 release, hence the interview dealt exclusively with the former.

Producer Nobuyuki Ueda explained Square Enix wanted to release the game simultaneously in Japan, the United States and Europe, because of the already established next-generation markets in the two Western territories. The team also considered a worldwide simultaneous launch a challenge worth taking, given it had not been done before in the RPG genre. The company has not decided on a release in the Asia-Pacific region yet, though.

Asked about the design choices, art producer Yuusuke Naora explained the protagonist's design was that of a traditional Square Enix hero. As for the other characters, Naora chose to fuse "stoic" design appealing to non-Japanese gamers with manga-inspired design.

Naora and director Hiroshi Takai would not give a concrete to the question what exactly a Remnant was. Apparently, Remnants have in various forms existed since ancient times. Takai likened them to the Moai statues on Easter Island. The people who built them could have explained their meaning, but nowadays their true meaning was hard to explain. Takai also refused to comment on the Remnants' purpose, saying only players will understand their meaning and purpose if they play the game. However, some Remnants apparently can be used as summoning devices or weapons in battles.

The island where protagonist Rush Skyes lives apparently is a very rural area without any Remnants. He will only see Remnants after embarking on a journey to rescue his kidnapped sister Irina. On his quest to save Irina, Rush will eventually run into the army of Athlum which is led by a young man named David. The army's four generals are Emma Honeywell, a brave warrior with a strong sense of justice, the cat-faced four-armed Torgal, the young and powerful Blocter, and Pagus. All four will join Rush's party at some point.

During battle, up to five characters will form one union. The development team has not decided how many unions will be able to take part in battle yet. Director Takai suggested five unions with five characters each might be too much, though. A key feature of these unions is that the stats of the individual members are added up. Therefore, one union has only one HP gauge. In battle, the player first has to select the enemy union he wants to engage and then select a command he wants his union to perform. A union for instance can be ordered to attack an enemy mainly with physical attacks or focus on long-range fighting. After the command has been entered, the members of the union will execute the selected action. Friends and foes will trade attacks, before the player will be prompted to enter another command in preparation of the next turn.

Last Remnant for Xbox 360 will be available this winter. A release date for PlayStation 3 version has yet to be announced.

Chris Winkler

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