Tales of Zestiria's Producer Attempts to Clarify Alisha's Role and DLC... Again
The key word being "attempts." Spoilers inside.
05.08.15 - 11:48 PM
In a new interview with Famitsu, Tales of Zestiria producer Hideo Baba again comments on how the development team dealt with the story, Alisha, and some of the released DLC. There are spoilers in the following content, so please read with caution. For a bit of background, you can read about Alisha as heroine and her controversial DLC.
Famitsu: About the issue with the "heroine" this time, we believe that there are three main points that have caused the trouble. There's been information out there that makes Alisha seem like the main heroine. She leaves the party in the middle of the story, and there are DLC costumes for her despite the fact that she isn't around as much. After hearing about this, we still played the game, wrote our impressions, and thoroughly enjoyed the title; however, we still feel it was an unfortunate incident. Honestly, we wouldn't blame those that were attracted to Alisha due to the information sent out prior to the release, or through the DLC, and thought "huh?!" for better or worse, after finding out what happened.
Baba: We understand what you mean. Allow me to explain a little more about the information revealed prior to the release of the game. From the very first piece of information until now since the game has been released, we never mentioned that Alisha was the "heroine" to you folks at Famitsu or other media in any of the documents we've provided.
Again, the story was constructed while keeping Alisha's departure in mind, so we examined her costumes over and over again with the development team, so that Alisha's DLC costumes could be worn by Rose. However, since we wanted to avoid possible spoilers about their costume compatibilities, we did not reveal that information prior to the availability of the DLC.
Famitsu: We, too, agree that the documents your company have sent us never explicitly stated that Alisha as the "heroine" of the game. On the other hand, in Tales of Asteria, the official profile for Alisha states "heroine," and parts of articles by the media also introduces her as the heroine, so it appears that there was indeed some kind of unfortunate misunderstanding of information out there.
Baba: Yes. Some of the media out there presented something different than the what was in the document that we provided. Again, about the official profile seen in Tales of Asteria, that's something we are completely responsible for. The development team for it is different from that of Tales of Zesteria's, and we're deeply remorseful about the fact that incorrect information was conveyed, and has caused confusion among our fans. The Zestiria team that worked days and months throughout the past three years were truly heartbroken by all of this."
Famitsu: Allow us to share a bit of our opinion, but perhaps if Alisha's departure was announced without any spoilers ahead of time, it would've been easier to understand the heroine and DLC situation. Additionally, about two weeks after the release of the game, the Alisha After Episode DLC was revealed, and we received a comment from you for our magazine, which stated that you felt that Alisha's "feelings" could have been better represented in the game.
Baba: If I could use this opportunity to talk a little more about Alisha's situation... In the story, she had two important roles. The first being her role to invite Sorey to the outside world. The other is her agony in being at the lowest seat for succeeding the throne, and the conflict Sorey faces about whether he can make his dream come true when he can't even help a single girl. And realizing that the "company" he wanted wouldn't be a possibility. However, these detailed psychological nuances were not exactly conveyed in the game.
Famitsu: Without question, some things are better communicated visually, but for things that aren't as clear, players can use their imagination. In Alisha's case, it seemed like there was a bit of both.
Baba: Alisha doesn't stay in the party for as long as other members, but as far as story goes, the role she plays is definitely an important one. As a result of Sorey meeting Alisha early in the story, he finds out about the world outside of Izuchi (Sorey's hometown). Even after becoming a Shepherd, Alisha becomes a partner for changing the world for the better; however, this leads to her role in Sorey knowing about his "failure".
With the power of being able to take out large enemy armies, he can't do anything about politics or the feeling of people. To top it off, even with the power of a Shepherd, he can't help a one human, Alisha, see the Seraphim, and as a result of repeatedly trying, it took a toll on his body.
Did Namco Bandai simply handle the situation badly? Or was it a last minute decision to pull more revenue from DLC? Let us know what you think on Facebook.