Credit goes to Fernando Garcia (a.k.a. Last Cetra) for translating everything, coldfire_sedai for scanning the pages, and Humble Novice for editing the work.
FAN SIDE_03 [Questions from the fans & Answers from the Staff]
QUESTIONS FROM THE FANS AND ANSWERS FROM THE STAFF
BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
Between April 5th and April 15th of 2011, Dengeki Online invited the staff to answer questions about the game. This is a reproduction of the answers given on that occasion.
Profile of the development staff:
Hiroshi Minagawa: Director. Major works: Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII.
Yasumi Matsuno: Game Designer. Major works: Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII.
Akihiko Yoshida: Character Designer. Major works: Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy the 4 Heroes of Light, Final Fantasy XIV.
Tsubasa Masao: Character Designer. Major works: Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.
Kyoko Kitahara: Planner. Major works: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
Hitoshi Sakimoto: Sound Supervisor / Sound Effects. Major works: Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII, Lord of Vermillion II.
Masaharu Iwata: Music Director / Sound Effects. Major works: Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII.
Alexander O. Smith, Joseph Reeder: Translators. Major works: Vagrant Story (Alex), Final Fantasy XII (Alex & Joe), Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (Alex & Joe).
Red Lion Akashishi (male)
Q: Generally RPGs go up to level 99. Why did you cut it at level 50?
A: The original plan was to make it go up to 99, but taking into account factors such as play time, total number of items, debug time and what not, we ended up leaving it at 50, like the original. (Matsuno)
Q: Does Lanselot Tartaros’ special technique, the “Apocalypse”, have anything to do with Shaher’s technique in Knight of Lodis?
A: There’s no relation to Knight of Lodis. The “Apocalypse” technique was already present in the original version of the game. (Matsuno)
Q: Why is Isberg a one-handed sword, while Desert Blade is two-handed?
A: I wonder. Maybe we got confused. (Matsuno)
Amakitsune Futa (male)
Q: What do you do to keep your minds going every day?
A: I keep a notepad with me for scribbling. (Minagawa)
A: I look for stimuli other than games, such as movies, books, plays or music. (Matsuno)
A: I analyze things I like, trying to find out why I’m attracted to them in the first place. (Yoshida)
Q: What’s your motto?
A: “God is in the details”. (Minagawa)
A: “The ascending dragon has only regrets” [All that rises must fall]. (Matsuno)
A: “Be moderate in all things” and “Perseverance is the key”. (Yoshida)
Q: What route’s Vyce is the staff’s favorite?
A: I would say Law? We actually had a poll with the staff, though it wasn’t specifically about Vyce. (Minakawa)
Q: So, will Catiua be able to reign in peace after those events?
A: Well, in truth it takes a few years to put a country that has been at war back on its tracks, not to mention the fact that Valeria would still get involved in the fight between Xenobia and Lodis, so it’s hard to say she would reign in peace. But rest assured she remained the beloved queen of a free nation to the end. (Matsuno)
Q: One of the lines by Cerya in event X was changed to something quite aggressive…?
A: That’s true. But that was how it was always supposed to be. (Matsuno)
Ito Kinko (female)
Q: How did Prancet ever reveal Catiua was not his true daughter?
A: That would have happened when an envoy from Mreuva visited him in Golyat, after he had already left Heim. (Matsuno)
Q: How would it be if there was a cut scene for when Vyce first meets Catiua and Denam?
A: Prancet moved to Golyat when Denam and Vyce were about 5 years old. It was the family of a priest from the big metropolis coming to the remote countryside: that was enough to cause a commotion in town, and many went to the church to meet them. Vyce was among the curious crowd. Having lost his mother and living with an alcoholic father, he came to spend quite a lot of time in the church, so it was only natural he made friends with Denam, who was the same age as him. (Matsuno)
Q: And how would it be if we had a scene for how Tartaros and Balxephon first met?
A: If we start delving into that I’ll have to write a whole book about new scenes, so let’s leave that for another opportunity… (Matsuno)
Q: What does Hobyrim wear on his feet, under the hakama? Is it zori, or boots maybe?
A: I’m quite sure they were boots. (Yoshida)
Q: Despite his appearance, Barbas seems to have quite a vast knowledge and even manages to read old texts. Is he actually a scholar?
A: Never judge a book by its cover (owo)b (Matsuno)
Q: No romantic stories about Canopus Wolph (48) to this day?
A: Ah, Canopus, it’s easy to tell he’s quite popular with the ladies, you see. The problem is he is always making a ruckus with everyone, so even if he goes out with a girl, he always ends up as a “good friend”. (Matsuno)
Utahime Musa (female)
Q: What do you use the great lizard (dragon?) tail on Deneb’s shop for?
A: After you remove the scales cover it with salt and leave it in a refrigerated, dark place for five days. Then you smoke it with Niri tree chips[?]. They say it goes great with wine. (Matsuno)
Q: What did you have in mind when you designed the screenshot utility?
A: I thought it would be useful for people writing gaming diaries/weblogs. (Minakawa)
Q: What kind of person Denam’s mother was?
A: I think she was a kind mother. (Matsuno)
Q: Are the differences between the three races living in Valeria actually racial, or religious/cultural?
A: The latter. (Matsuno)
Q: What was the prince’s name engraved in the Azure Necklace?
A: I forgot. (Matsuno)
Q: Are those feathers around Canopus’s neck his own, or just an ornament? (I wanted to know this the most!)
A: It’s an ornament made from his own feathers. It also contains some feathers from beloved ones. (Yoshida)
Q: You know how Sir Oz drops the Alluring Boots… is he into cross-dressing by any chance?
A: Close, but wrong. It so happens he likes to collect rare equipments. Just like anybody else (^w^) haha (Matsuno)
Q: Likewise Gousin drops the Alluring Highboots, does this have anything to do with his ambitions…?
A: Though in general sexy boots are worn by women, the boots in Gousin’s possession were worn by a cat. The cat’s name, of course, was Antonio Bande… (Matsuno)
Q: I entertain myself equipping Gildas with the Alluring Boots and Alluring Corset. Does that make me a pervert?
A: Don’t worry, there’s no prob. (Matsuno)
Shadow 1285 (male)
Q: If there was a secret “Queen” class for Catiua, what kind of unique skills would she have? I’m dying to know!
A: Of course she would have plenty of stuff one dares not say, such as “this” skill and “that” skill. (Matsuno)
Pumpkin LR (male)
Q: Which route’s Vyce do you like? I like the gallant Vyce from route L.
A: Hard to say. I like all Vyces. (Matsuno) [no pun intended]
Q: Mr. Matsuno, I noticed menus from the games you have worked with all share the same style. Is there anything you particularly value when designing them?
A: Response. Save for cases when it’s unavoidable to read larger chunks of data, I try to make them work as smooth as possible. (Matsuno)
Q: In the menus we see a great amount of text neatly put together. Is there any part of it that was particularly hard to design?
A: It was quite frantic to just insert all the text into the game, so I don’t really remember (laughs). But I can say proofreading all that to look for misspellings, omissions, bad word usage and what not was an ordeal that almost drove us mad. We had text experts to assert everything was right, and I feel like we were still making corrections up to the last minute. Now, still on hardships… one of the problems was that Matsuno uses difficult characters nobody can read (laughs)! Such as for the Swordmaster skill names. But at least the help messages for the menus were built to easily accommodate variable number of characters. Since the help messages on the top of the screen were displayed as scrolling text, and the help messages from the select button have auto-scroll and auto-pagination, we didn’t have to worry about potentially irritating problems, such as making sure whatever we wrote fit on the available space. (Kitahara)
Q: I love the scene where Vyce “goes over to the dark side”. Was that scene based on anyone you knew personally?
A: Nope. (Matsuno)
Q: How did the Canopoo nickname come to be?
A: After we first presented the game “Ogre Battle” to the publishers, I guess somebody called him by that name in the meeting room inside Nifty, at the time, and it just caught. So we reimported the name. (Matsuno)
Black Queen (female)
Q: Have your feelings towards Denam, Catiua and Vyce changed since the last 15 years?
A: No, they have not. After all, I can only view the characters from my own standing, whether I’m in my twenties, thirties or forties, and since I was already in my twenties at the time, as teenagers Denam and friends were already a thing of the past for me. Relatively, my impressions regarding characters in their thirties or forties changed vastly. For me Denam is, how could I put it, like a nice little brother. (Matsuno)
Q: Bust size and RT value for the female characters has no relation whatsoever, right?
A: I’m sorry, but due to budget restrictions we never verified that. (Matsuno)
Q: What made you want to use the music from “Ogre Battle”?
A: I wanted to listen to music like Thunder (Revolt) with nowadays sound quality. (Minakawa)
Q: I was very excited to know one of the Black Knights could join you. Weren’t there any contrary opinions about this change?
A: Not really. Not even once I had any input from the staff about the quality of the story. (Matsuno)
Q: What did Hobyrim like about Ozma?
A: Her innocence. (Matsuno)
Zapan Tsuki (?)
Q: Any regrets regarding the new “Let Us Cling Together” game’s development?
A: “If at least we had more time”… that’s what I always think, and it wasn’t any different this time around. (Matsuno)
Q: Why can’t Hobyrim class change to a Knight Commander?
A: He doesn’t want to. (Matsuno)
Q: Who does big sis’ marry to after the ending? Does she remain single for life?
A: Even though it’s not stated in the epilogue, she surely got married. Blessed with a child, she built the fundaments for the prosperity of the Valerian Empire for ages to come. (Matsuno)
Q: Iuria’s three sizes…?
A: B86 / W59 / H85 (Matsuno)
A: B92 / W63 / H90 (Masao)
Q: I am sure there are many White Knights in Xenobia. Why were Gildas and Mirdyn particularly chosen?
A: White Lanselot personally selected them among all applicants and appointed them for the mission. (Matsuno)
Q: Discrimination between the different peoples of Valeria was much accentuated, but what about the social position and treatment dispensed towards demi-humans?
A: I think they can be regarded as a completely different social layer. As a rule, they shouldn’t mingle with humans, but it’s obvious many of them end up doing just that, for various reasons, such as for money or friendship. (Matsuno)
Q: In the last level of the Palace of the Dead, Master Nybeth says “Now if I only find a body…”. Does this means he shows up in Chapter 8?
A: I don’t think he had that in mind. (Matsuno)
Q: Disregarding in-game efficiency, between Draconic Magic and Forbidden Magic, which is the strongest?
A: Maybe Draconic Magic. That’s because I envisioned the Draconic Magic in the game as interpretations made by humans of enchantments originally in dragon language. (Matsuno)
Q: Does Mirdyn’s quote in CC2, “The sage who participated in the building of the nation", refers to Saradin?
A: No, it does not. The ones responsible for establishing Xenobia were five sages from Charlom, including Prince Roshfor. He’s talking about a prophecy by Priest Rabian, the surviving sage.
Shinonome Rin (female)
Q: If the main character weren’t Denam, who would you have made the main character?
A: Hmm, the original plan was to actually make White Lanselot the main character, but after I decided to include Denam in the story, I haven’t thought of any other possible protagonists. If I’m forced to an opinion, I guess it would have to be Vyce or Catiua. To tell the truth, when we first thought about the remake, there were plans for making Vyce the main character of an alternate Chapter 4 route. The same initial plan also included a Chapter 4 route specifically for Catiua. (Matsuno)
Q: Mr. Matsuno, do you have any plans to release other games with a medieval setting?
A: Nothing specifically, no. (Matsuno)
Q: What happened with Denam after he left the island?
A: He was busy getting intimate with Olivya (j/k). (Matsuno)
Q: This is for the people behind the music: please tell me, what is the secret behind the peculiar tension you get from your work?
A: When carefree people get under pressure, it’s true a peculiar tension builds up. Try to picture a man like Naoto Takeuchi, laughing while he’s angry. (Sakimoto)
A: Well, it’s like that, when you go on doing something you weren’t used to, in time you learn to do a lot of stuff to overcome the hardships. I’m sorry, but I’m not doing anything that hard. I believe you must have come up with this question after reading the in-game comments for the music tracks, but what happens is just that I have a hard time coming up with titles. Then when I try to write something as an excuse for the poor names I created for the tracks, the text ends up as something even more shameful, as if I had dug myself an even deeper hole. It’s like I step on a banana peel and fall -> “But I did notice the banana!”, I try to excuse myself -> “And you still fell?”, I can’t stand the looks from the public -> I eat the banana peel -> “Yummy!”, I scream with the expression of someone eating a disgusting bug… That’s more or less the way it goes. Maybe (laughs). (Iwata)
Q: Is there any book you would recommend that could enhance the experience of playing the new “Tactics Ogre”?
A: How about “Sayonara Yosei” (Goodbye Fairies), by Honobu Yonezawa, who I have had the honor to be interviewed with? (Matsuno)
Q: What is it you pay the most attention to when working with character design?
A: I strive to give them an appearance that seems adequate to their role. (Yoshida)
A: Talking particularly about this project, I would have to say my biggest concern was to value the world view of the game’s original edition. Not to disappoint the fans and, at the same time, attract new players. I put quite some thought to maintain that balance. As for the results, I can only ask you people what you thought about it… (Masao)
Q: Valeria, Lodis and Xenobia all share the same language, right? What about different accents?
A: Though they are similar, I believe they’re actually different languages. (Matsuno)
Q: Why Nybeth’s family changes on different routes?
A: Originally we wanted to use Cressida’s plot in an alternate route with Oelias (C route), but since we already had created this new character, I got requests to make more use of her, and that’s how things came to be like that. (Matsuno)
Q: If you were to write a final chapter for the series, would Hamilton and Warren be in it?
A: By the time I made the first game, it was in my plans to use Warren again, but I intended to let White Lanselot out because he would still be stationed in Valeria.
Taranoko Kanzume (female)
Q: Where do the war funds for the New Walister Alliance come from?
A: From the nobles and people who support the Alliance’s cause and activities, I suppose. It should be expected, most certainly, they also got gold, food and armament spoils from the defeated enemy armies. (Matsuno)
Q: Father Prancet’s fake name, “Pavel”, would actually come from Denam’s biological mother?
A: You guessed right. (Matsuno)
Q: What exactly were Vyce’s status and rank after the Law route ending?
A: He was an army General. (Matsuno)
Q: What Vyce liked about Catiua? Her face?
A: Vyce lost his mother when he was still a child, and his relationship with his father wasn’t one of the best, so he grew up with an ever increasing sense of loneliness. Perhaps he saw a maternal figure in Catiua, who cared so much for young Denam. (Matsuno)
Cheetah Man (female)
Q: How did it feel to develop the game while being constantly urged by the eyes of the advertisement staff?
A: I felt just like Fox Moulder getting directives from the office (· w· ) Whose side could Agent Achako be on? Find out on the next chapter! (Matsuno)
Q: At the beginning of the game there’s a scene where Lanselot meets with Denam and friends in Golyat, but, why did the Xenobians go to such small island, of all places in that big nation?
A: That’s because Golyat port was the one receiving ships from Xenobia more frequently. Formerly it used to be Heim, of course, but since Lodis took control over the capital, merchants started preferring a port which still had a free economy, even though it was located far away. It also goes without saying that Lanselot and his troupe were at the same time trying to avoid Heim. (Matsuno)
Q: How did Denam and friends learn about the Xenobians?
A: There were already unfounded rumors floating around in Golyat, by the time still under control of the Galgastan Army, that Losloriens would visit town for an inspection. Vyce then heard some distorted information about Lanselot’s group, who happened to be coming to town right at that time, and that ultimately lead to the encounter at the beginning of the game. (Matsuno)
Zura Tamer (male)
Q: Are Berda and Obda related?
A: I have a feeling they are not. (Matsuno)
Q: How come the shop owner lost his ability to recruit people?
A: Signs of the times. Employment laws have been in part revised. (Matsuno)
Q: Did you made Arycelle recruitable on any route of the PSP version because of fan requests?
A: There was that as well, but I thought myself there was nothing bad about giving the option to spare her life in this new version. (Matsuno)
Q: Did you plan to bring any characters from “Ogre Battle” other than the ones already present?
A: I was prepared to make Gilbert a playable character too, but we dropped that idea due to several circumstances.
Q: Are there any hidden tidbits about the mechanics of the enemy units?
A: I remember one or a few bosses have no WR value. Someday I want to write that stuff down, in the name of all the staff. (Matsuno)
Q: What happens to Catiua after the ending?
A: She lived happily ever after… Hip hip hurray! (Matsuno)
The Narrow Path Ahead (male)
Q: Are there real life models for the three main characters (Denam, Vyce, Catiua)?
A: No. (Matsuno)
Q: Name three of your favorite special skills.
A: I depended a lot on “Dark Weight” during development, because I had to keep replaying the first chapter. I also like “Crimson Reach”, which has a beautiful visual and can strike multiple enemies, and, as far as power is concerned, “Deathwail”. (Minakawa)
A: “Still not ready”, “Just another moment, please” and “We already sent it shortly ago”. (Matsuno)
Q: During development, did you imagine you would get so much love from the players?
A: Yes. As soon as Matsuno showed me the scenario for the first chapter of the game, I was sure it would become a great game. (Minakawa)
A: I had no idea. (Matsuno)
A: Actually I was expecting it. I still remember how I couldn’t wait for the release day. (Yoshida)
Q: When did you first think about the Ogre series?
A: I created a very generic plot when I was still in university. (Matsuno)
Q: There are so many memorable lines in the game, how do you come up with them?
A: Once you understand the character precisely (personality, raising, environment, way of speaking etc), they come up by themselves. So, once at least that much is set, the work goes on really fast.
Q: Is there any class you wanted to be in real life or any skill you wish you could actually use?
A: I want to use “Mother’s Mercy”. So I can cure the status ailment “pollen allergy”. (Minakawa)
A: I want to become a Vartan and soar through the skies, not to mention stay young (· w· ) (Matsuno)
A: I want to become a Rune Fencer and walk on the water. (Yoshida)
Q: If you could use the W.O.R.L.D. system only once in real life, to which point in time would you go back/forth to?
A: I would save my right to use it until the last moment before I die. (Minakawa)
A: If it’s a one-way W.O.R.L.D. ticket only, going back in time just as an excursion wouldn’t be possible, so I would have to be prepared to live in the past I return to. I would love to see Ancient Rome, but I can’t imagine I would last long in that world lol. With that said, if I were to go back, I would be fine with 2 years ago, more or less, so I could strive to make an even better Tactics Ogre remake~. (Matsuno)
A: I would like to go back to junior high and take the art lessons all over again, but I wouldn’t be able to endure all other subjects, so I’m fine with not going back at all. (Yoshida)
Q: While going through Hell Gate, I guess Denam and his army can only rely on the stock of steaks, fowl, herbs and seeds they bring with them for nourishment?
A: At that point in the game they already have control of all the area west of Phidoch Castle, so it’s reasonable to assume they wouldn’t have any problems transporting provisions. Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe a support army would be able to keep sending the provisions into Hell Gate, so I guess they would only continue exploration with the available rations in mind. As for what was included in the rations, that would have to be stuff that didn’t occupy much space, including dried meat, cheese, salt, sugar etc.
Q: Were there any unforgettable episodes during production?
A: Not really. (Matsuno)
A: During development of the original version, I locked myself home for one month more or less without seeing anybody, and in my reclusion I did the illustrations for all characters. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline, but I’m glad I did just fine~. (Yoshida)
Q: In this game we see quite a lot of interaction between brothers and/or sisters. Mr. Matsuno, are you particularly interested in how siblings relate to each other?
A: It is quite easy to cut a relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same views when they’re not blood-related to you. Among family, though, things don’t go the same way. I only wanted to emphasize that in the game. (Matsuno)
Q: Why has Lanselot’s music box tune changed?
A: The music for the original version of the game was so dark I already meant to have it brightened up back then, but schedule restrictions made me leave it be. This time around I think I finally got it to sound like what I wanted. (Matsuno)
A: When I listen to the music box from the original version I can’t help but feel it’s very eerie, and that made me think it inappropriate as a present Lanselot gave to his wife. I don’t remember what I was thinking at the time when I made the track, but I guess Lanselot being separated from his late wife, and the misfortune that was still about to befall him were things that occupied my mind. Well, I guess not much thought should be necessary to come up with a tune meant to make a woman happy, but I guess I was still too dumb about those things back then (laughs). Anyway, since I also got the hint from Matsuno this time, I finally made it into a tune that could be given as a present to a lady (hopefully). (Iwata)
Q: What particular aspect of the game did you pay the most attention to when working on the remake?
A: This doesn’t apply solely to this project, but I always pay attention to the basics of the game system to guarantee consistent response time. Because I freak out if I notice I’m building something over muddy soil. (Minakawa)
A: To which point I should preserve the elements of the original, and to which point should I break them. That’s the balance I tried to keep. (Matsuno)
A: I paid attention to going on with the project without destroying the fan’s memories. (Yoshida)
Q: Why PSP?
A: In part because I started myself to spend less time playing in front of the TV and more time playing for short amounts of time whenever I have a break, and, on the other hand, since with the original version I tried to make the scenes lure the player into a sort of “miniature garden”, I thought having this miniature world in your hands would only amplify the feeling of immersion. On top of that, we had a lot of memory to use with the PSP, making it into the hardware of choice to implement ideas such as the C.H.A.R.I.O.T. system. (Minakawa)
Cat Bottle (male)
Q: Why did you include Ice and Thunder to the elemental magic?
A: We added them thinking of possible future extensions, but now that I look back at it they do seem pointless. (Matsuno)
Flower Breeder (male)
Q: Why did you remove the exclamation marks!!!?*
A: It’s not that we removed them, but we made a more careful selection. To speak the truth, after I finished working on the original and played the game myself, I had the impression that we had too many exclamation marks, so that was something I thought I definitely had to reduce for the new version. (Matsuno)
Q: Why did you make it so hard to get Deneb or Cressida?
A: Ouch, my bad (’· w· `) (Matsuno)
Hiragi Ryu (male)
Q: Why did you make it so hard to get all items in the game? Are you sadists?
A: Not as sadistic as Achako. (Matsuno)
Q: Let me make a point blank question: in the old version what was Moldova “in ecstasy” about? I would like to believe it wasn’t Didarro…
A: Moldova should have been in ecstasy with the future and the glory she believed in, what else? (Matsuno)
Peace Valeria (male)
Q: Is there any background story for the fact the Lanselot’s share the same name?
A: There isn’t any particular story about it. I just wanted to present the players with a setting where two people share the same standing while having opposite values and beliefs. (Matsuno)
Q: If “TO” was a dating simulation game, who would be the hardest character to “get”?
A: Wouldn’t it be both White Lans and Dark Lans? (Matsuno)
Q: Please, I want to know what the people behind “TO” would recommend to better enjoy the game!
A: The Tactics Ogre diet. Put your PSP inside a Ziploc and finish a story battle in a sweat bath, which should last for about 30min. We do not take responsibility if you let it fall into the water. (Minakawa)
A: Assemble an all-Lizardman party, changing them into different classes. Before you start battling, proceed to also give a different weapon to each one. “What, that’s not the weapon I thought he had!” – such feeling of confusion will add a sense of freshness to the game (not!). (Matsuno)
Q: I shuddered before the 100 floors of the Hell Gate. Whose idea was that?
A: (· w· )/ (Matsuno)
Q: What kind of ideas went into creating a character as cool and reserved as Azelstan?
A: The concept for Azelstan that I got from Matsuno described him as “an old pirate tired of battles”. Characters of all standings appear in Tactics Ogre, but, starting with the protagonist Denam, almost all of them are currently engaged in the front line, living in the middle of war. Enter Azelstan, a character we didn’t have so far, someone who has abandoned the battlefield and is retired from battle. That’s why I thought I wanted to differentiate him from Denam: he should be somebody who talks about war from a point of view external to the army. Naturally that would mean we would have to introduce Azelstan as a character who opposed the war, which in turn gave me a headache when trying to write under which conditions he would join Denam’s cause. I didn’t know what to do to make him compromise with violence and warfare, and I couldn’t just make up something simple like “he’ll brandish his sword again to make sure the war ends”. You say he looks “cool and reserved”, but my initial idea wasn’t to give him any such appeal. I could say I thought of him as a little grumpy or, to say it bluntly, a depressing (laughs) old man. Matsuno was the one who advised me to change it, “Azelstan’s personality is way too dark!”, he said, and as a result the neat Azelstan we have now was born. (Kitahara)
Q: At one point Barbas calls Pope Sardian a “novice”, but how old is the Pope supposed to be?
A: Keep in mind this is a different setting than the one from “Ogre Battle 64”. I meant him to be in his twenties. (Matsuno)
Fukumaru Ken (male)
Q: What was the food you relied on the most during production?
A: At the time of the original version, I used to go a lot to a tonkatsu place in Yoga. Now I relied on cold coffee latte. (Minakawa)
A: It’s not a food, but I drank a lot of Red Bull (· w· ) (Matsuno)
A: In the past I used to eat only tonkatsu. While working on the remake, it was only tsukemen. I put 30kg in 10 and a few years. (Yoshida)
Q: What is your favorite event?
A: On the remake, it’s Lanselot’s chapter, available as DLC. On the original version, it’s the raid of Golyat at the beginning of the game. It took a lot of effort to program that cut scene, with specific data and graphics that wouldn’t be used again. Given that generation’s restrictions, we did all we could and a little more to get it done, making it a cut scene rivaled by few others at the time, and that’s why it left such a deep impression on me. (Minakawa)
A: All the DLC. Particularly the ending of White Lans’s and Golyat raid’s chapters bring tears to my eyes, even though I was the one who designed them. (Matsuno)
A: The “Music Box” and “The Two Lanselots” scenes. (Yoshida)
Q: Catiua made me cry again, still being the same mean sister as before. Does everybody like Catiua?
A: Maybe it’s because I became a father, but now I think she’s cute. However, if my daughter was to become like Catiua… ((( ° Д ° ))) (Minakawa)
A: I have to say I do like Catiua. Fifteen years ago it wasn’t common to see a character like her in any game. (Matsuno)
A: I’m an only child, so I’d be happy with any siblings, even a mean sister. (Yoshida)
Thin Eyebrows (?)
Q: Which is the character you find more similar to yourself?
A: I couldn’t say myself, so I tried asking my wife. “You’re querulous like Leonard (middle management)”. (Minakawa)
A: White Lans… is what I wanted to say, but I guess it would be Leonard… (Matsuno)
A: All characters are too unique; I can’t find any one that seems similar to me. (Yoshida)
Q: Which route do you like the best (C, N, L)?
A: Route L, because you can make friends with Vyce again. (Minakawa)
A: I like all of them, but, since I’m playing through route L right now, I’ll go with that (ФwФ)b (Matsuno)
A: Route C, even though in real life I don’t think I would be able to follow that route myself. (Yoshida)
Q: Which characters would you like for your wife, girlfriend, friend and sister?
A: Olivya for wife, Deneb for girlfriend, Canopus for friend, Catiua for sister. (Matsuno)
Q: Who is stronger between Gildas and Martym?
A: Given the outcome of the battle in the Arkhaiopolis of Rhime, I’d have to say Martym… but it’s also true a single battle can be decided by luck. Try to think of who actually prevailed in the end, I think all players know the answer for that. (Matsuno)
Matsuno Believer (male)
Q: Which games do the people behind Tactics Ogre like?
A: I love quarter view games. “Marble Madness”, “Cadaver”, “Solstice”, “Populous”. I just love them. (Minakawa)
A: It’s hard to choose because there are so many, but the game I played the most in the past year was “Red Dead Redemption” by far. (Matsuno)
A: “Daytona USA” for the arcade. (Yoshida)
Q: Anything interesting that happened during production?
A: We lost some data from the computer. Twice. But since that’s a common thing during production I wouldn’t call it an event. (Matsuno)
Q: After Tartaros persuaded Catiua to his side, she was able to see Prancet again in Heim, right?
A: I believe she had the chance to see him, but I don’t think Catiua would actually want a reunion at that point. (Matsuno)
Q: Tell me, how did Hobyrim and Ozma start their romance?
A: They first started to know each other when they got engaged under the pretext of a political marriage. I believe there was a deep political tone to the party held at the occasion, when they first saw each other, and of course they both knew their union had been decided by their parents. (Matsuno)
Q: Please, tell me why Leonard got in love with Arycelle.
A: Because of her innocence, I would say. Exactly because of such innocence, Arycelle was susceptible and clumsy, and Leonard thought he couldn’t leave her alone, he wanted to protect her. (Matsuno)
Moon Ash (male)
Q: Don’t you plan to release a side story based on the past of Holy Knight Lanselot and his troupe?
A: I think I’d rather write about Denam’s future adventures. (Matsuno)
Q: Aren’t there any plans to release a completely new game with the same system as “Ogre Battle” or “Tactics Ogre”? Also, would you be interested in challenging new genres using Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre as source material, like an MMO, an MO or yet a 3D action title?
A: I’d like to do a game of a different type than Tactics Ogre. Personally I’m a player of RTS games, and I would like to give a shot at the genre. But since there are so many great and famous titles out there already, I find it hard to step in… (Matsuno)
Q: Didn’t you ever consider making Leonard into a recruitable character?
A: It’s not that I didn’t think about it initially, but the extra events necessary in the story to make it possible would give so much work that I soon decided to write it off. (Matsuno)
Q: Why did the Bakram Army captured only Lanselot, leaving Warren and the others alone?
A: Because Warren and the others managed to escape. (Matsuno)
Q: How was the concentration camp Mirdyn and the others were kept at in Rhime?
A: I believe I had envisioned them being kept in a place with houses made of bricks and reused storehouses. They were given only one meal a day. Mainly a very thin soup and bread full of mold. They didn’t have any beds and had shackles on their hands and feet which were bound to the wall, though they still leave them some liberty to move. (Matsuno)
Q: Wasn’t the exchange between the “two Lanselot’s” based on the Chaos Frame from Ogre Battle?
A: Rather than the Chaos Frame, that conversation served only to express Ogre Battle’s main theme itself, represented by questions such as “what is justice?” or “what do people fight for?” (Matsuno)
Q: Cistina doesn’t join your party if you follow the L route, but where would she be then, and what would she be doing?
A: I’d guess she perished or was injured in a battle somewhere. (Matsuno)
Q: Did you have a model to create Catiua? Because she seems so real.
A: There was no specific model, but I was surrounded by quite a lot of girls with that personality (· w· ) (Matsuno)
Q: Did anything happen during production that particularly stuck to your memory?
A: That would have to be the last week before our deadline. Now that I’m an old guy just staying up all night because of work makes my heart go crazy. (Minakawa)
Q: I saw the English version of the game and felt it had a sense of uniqueness, particularly regarding name spelling. Did you use any language as reference?
A: Not exactly a language, but we did translate while thinking of the Byzantine Empire as a setting. Actually, for Tactics Ogre we drew from the culture of the Hittites, which precedes by far the Byzantine Empire, though they shared the same region. Since it would be impossible to read the ancient Hittite language, however, we mixed that setting with the Byzantine one. (Alex & Joe)
Wasabi Shoyu (male)
Q: I want to know about Witch Deneb’s history! If that’s a secret, tell me just a bit about her past.
A: If I say anything on that topic I will be breaking a promise I made to Deneb, and will lose my life in the process, so please excuse me. (Matsuno)
Q: Why did Master Nybeth go so far?
A: That’s what they call a mad scientist. (Matsuno)
Q: Was it intentional that the former Queen looks more like Catiua than Mannaflora?
A: True, we preserved the similarity, the way it was in the original version.
Q: What kind of motivation or idea was there behind bringing Ravness and Azelstan to the game?
A: There was an order from the production that we had to create at least three new characters for the remake. So we included Ravness, with the theme of mixed blood from the original version in mind, and Azelstan, representing the perspective on war of someone who is not from that nation. The characters themselves didn’t exist in the original version, but the themes that gave them origin were always present. (Matsuno)
Q: In the Ogre Battle Saga universe, which is the most dangerous nation?
A: The definition of “dangerous” is ambiguous, not to mention that the “level of danger” varies according to historical period, so it is impossible to answer that simply. For Valeria, during the time of Tactics Ogre, it’s needless to say the Holy Lodissian Empire is the dangerous nation. (Matsuno)
Q: Ozma’s character is featured a lot more prominently now compared to the previous version, is there any reason behind that change?
A: At first I thought of making Andoras into a playable character, but taking into account in-game time of appearance and personality, I went for Ozma. What made me take the decision was that with her it would be possible to delve deeper into the relationship between Hobyrim and Balxephon. (Matsuno)
Q: Please, tell me, were there any benefits or hardships added to production due to the great difference in developing environment between the old days and now?
A: I remember that during production of the original version, I was using a pixel art animation tool running on a minor computer like an X68000, and I couldn’t remember how to operate it even though I had designed it myself; that made me feel like I was playing a puzzle game with no reason or rhyme. Documentation during development is very important, isn’t it? (Minakawa)
A: While making illustrations became a lot easier thanks to advancements in both hardware and software, I personally liked the dedicated tools I used back then to make pixel art. (Yoshida)
Q: Ocionne and Jeunan will get married and have a happy ending this time around?
A: Nope, I guess not. (Matsuno)
Q: What’s the most popular character with the development staff?
A: Canopus is very popular. (Minakawa)
Q: Didn’t you consider creating a new route other than L, N and C?
A: The initial plan was to make an alternate version of chapter 3L, and a new chapter 4 that would spring from that, but we had to cancel it due to time restrictions. (Matsuno)
Q: Is there any great secret regarding the game that hasn’t been revealed yet?
A: There was a cheat in the original version to display the Chaos Frame (a specific button sequence), but I don’t know where I wrote it down. I’m looking for it. (Matsuno)
Q: Please, tell me, what is the favorite song of each person in the staff for this new version?
A: It’s hard to say because all tracks have been arranged nicely, but during production I was listening to the Dark Knights theme in a heavy basis. (Minakawa)
A: I can’t remember the titles… but, hey… how about Thunder? (Matsuno)
A: “True Knight” and “A Cygnet”. They make me feel better. (Yoshida)
Q: Is the “W” in Gildas W. Byrne for “Windsalf”? In that case, is he an acquaintance of Volaq?
A: What was it again (I forgot)… It’s just a middle name, I don’t think it stands for Windsalf (· w· ) (Matsuno)
Q: I was startled by how young Iuria is. Wasn’t she supposed to have been in romance with Gilbert, from the Empire?
A: Please forget that setting for Tactics Ogre. (Matsuno)
Q: How did you spend your school years?
A: Creating pixel art on the computer. What a miserable youth. (Minakawa)
A: I spent my days doing nothing but watching movies. (Matsuno)
A: I was very dedicated to creating graphic works, but other than that I was just goofing around. (Yoshida)
Q: Do you have any advice for young people hoping to get into game design?
A: Instead of thinking about it, just try and design anything. (Minakawa)
A: Don’t think you can’t or you don’t have what it takes to do something before you even try: just challenge yourself. Leave the regrets for later. (Matsuno)
A: I think this applies to any kind of job, but if the work really suits you, your chances of success become higher. (Yoshida)
Q: Catiua’s three sizes?
A: I’ll leave that to your imagination. (Matsuno)
A: B82 / W63 / H89 (Masao)
Q: Cressida’s three sizes?
A: I’ll leave that to your imagination. (Matsuno)
A: B75 / W58 / H80 (Masao)
Q: Ravness’s three sizes?
A: I’ll leave that to your imagination. (Matsuno)
A: B86 / W61 / H86 (Masao)
Q: Ozma’s three sizes?
A: I’ll leave that to your imagination. (Matsuno)
A: B88 / W62 / H91 (Masao)
Q: Deneb’s three sizes?
A: B91 / W61 / 89 (Matsuno)
A: B99.9 / W55.5 / H88.8 (Masao)
Q: Do you think you have changed for the good or for the bad in the ten and a few years that have passed?
A: I have more to protect now. (Minakawa)
A: I think I’ve lost the groundless “confidence” inherent to young people. (Matsuno)
A: My hungry personality decreased, but on the other hand I got fatter. (Yoshida)
Q: Did you come up with the female knight, Ravness, thinking of Agrias from “FFT”?
A: I forgot whose idea was it, but I had a passionate request from someone in the staff to include a female knight, so of course… that’s not why I did it (laughs). Since the beginning of the project I wanted to handle the matter of mixed blood, which I had to avoid in the original version so as not to make it too complex. Since I already had Leonard as a General… I made her into a female knight in order to contrast with him. (Matsuno)
Q: Do you like cats?
A: I like animals in general, but if you want to know whether I’m a dog’s or a cat’s person, I can say for sure I’m a cat’s person. Someday I want to raise a Norwegian Forest and a Sphinx cat. (Matsuno)
Q: Canopus doesn’t say much in the cut scenes, but what makes him be there for everyone, is it love?
A: It is love. (Matsuno)
Q: There are 30 years of difference in age between siblings Canopoo and Iuria, but in Eagle Man years that would be common, right?
A: In the real world it’s not hard to find siblings separated by about 10 years, so that’s nothing special for a species with longer longevity like theirs. Also, Canopus and Iuria were supposed to have different mothers… I just remembered (· w· ) (Matsuno)
Q: (In case it’s not revealed in the artwork compilation or character guide) I want to know how Lindl’s hair looks like.
A: A casual middle cut, slightly frizzy. (Yoshida)
Q: Who was responsible for proposing the prerequisites to recruit Deneb should become even crueler than in the Super Famicom version?
A: The conditions became cruel as a result of me trying to better tune the game, but, in truth, I never meant to make it so harsh. I’m sorry! (Matsuno)
Q: Olivya seems to like Denam so much she would throw away everything just to go after him, but what about Denam?
A: I don’t think he has that kind of feeling towards her at all. (Matsuno)
Q: How did the Phoraena and Morne families become close together?
A: Given that Mreuva knew (or, shared the burden) about Brantyn taking Dorgalua’s daughter (i.e. Catiua), Prancet would have been invited into his house frequently, so Mreuva could exchange information with him and see how the little girl was growing up.
Q: Did Presence manage to avenge the burning of the orphanage by the Galgastan people?
A: Hmm, of course? (Matsuno)
Q: Please tell me about the relationship between the members of the Nybeth family (for both C and N routes).
A: Nybeth’s love can’t be understood by common people like us. I’m sure their family relations, for somebody watching from the outside, could only seem like the relationship between a master and his pupils. (Matsuno)
Q: How did Leonard and Presence become friends?
A: I never thought about it. Sorry (‘.w.’) (Matsuno)
Q: How can Dragoon Pajeot have so much confidence?
A: Hey, there are plenty of people like that in the world! By the way, you can see a lot of them in the anonymous world of the internet. (Matsuno)
Q: I want to know Deneb’s apparent age and her actual age.
A: Judging by her smooth skin, she would appear to still be a girl in her teens. But, of course, she uses a lot of expensive cosmetics. If I say her actual age I’ll lose my life, so please excuse me from that at least. (Matsuno)
Q: If you were actually Denam, which route do you think you would choose?
A: I’m an irresolute person, so maybe N? Ah, nope, for me it would be game over on the battle against Bapal. (Minakawa)
A: I’ll say route N, because I’d like to have fun with zombies. (Matsuno)
Q: How do you do story design?
A: For me, I first divide the story into a four-part structure – introduction, development, turn, conclusion – and think about a simple outline. In “TO”, for example, the “introduction” went from the rescuing of the rebel army leader by the protagonist, when they launch their first attack, until the former is faced with the dilemma of burdening himself with a massacre in order to upraise the army… Then I separated the “development” section into another similar four-part structure, thinking of an outline for each new part. At that point I can already see how the plot will flow, and start writing a proper script based on the outlines previously created. After the characters’ become more defined, they start having a life of their own, and writing goes on naturally. (Matsuno)
Q: Is there any work that influenced the story you created?
A: There isn’t anything specifically that I read before I created “TO”. Well, of course I did consult some sources on magic and mythology. Since I had a strong interest on the troubles in Yugoslavia, which were broadcasted profusely at the time, I read a lot of articles in newspapers and magazines about ethnic wars. I remember the story of “TO” just came to me naturally after that. (Matsuno)
Q: Mr. Akihiko Yoshida, whose artwork did you first come to like that made you achieve your current touch?
A: If you talk about touch, I would say I was influenced by people like Katsuhiro Oomoto, Hayao Miyazaki and Moebius. (Yoshida)
Q: What is it you value the most when making games? And, was it the same for this project?
A: Of course I concern myself with various questions such as market and schedule, but I think that, in the least, if I can’t have fun myself, it’s not worth doing. Because I can’t recommend to others a game which I can’t enjoy myself. (Matsuno)
Q: Which influence do you think “Tactics Ogre” had on the gaming industry?
A: I wonder. I got into the gaming industry myself because I was attracted by several games. I would be happy if with this game I managed to influence others as well to become the game developers of tomorrow. (Minakawa)
Q: Do you think we make our own destiny? Or is something already laid out for us?
A: In the end, you can only talk about destiny when it’s already happened. It’s up to each person to decide whether they want to act or be carried by the stream, so, if you acquiesce to your own choice, does it make any difference at all?
Q: Do you like to think about military tactics, or military strategy?
A: I like elephants. (Matsuno)
Q: Are you the type to be a ruler or to be ruled? If neither, what else?
A: Unfortunately, without a single shadow of doubt I’m the type to be ruled. (Matsuno)
Q: What is your alignment?
A: Outwardly, Law. But my heart screams Chaos. (Minakawa)
A: I think I’m of the center, so I’d say Neutral. (Matsuno)
A: Neutral, because I’m really irresolute. (Yoshida)
Q: No DLC4?
A: Nope. Sorry. (Matsuno)
Q: Is it true that Denam and Vyce’s names come from the jeans “denim” and from “Levi’s”, respectively?
A: Yes, the assumption is correct. I’d like to point out that I didn’t create a similar name for Catiua, though. On one hand, Denam and Vyce are of the same social class, while she is from a very different lineage. Also note that, for the fashion of the 20th century, jeans were to some extent representative of “freedom”. I also had that in mind when choosing the names. (Matsuno)
Q: Did Vyce’s New Walister Alliance and the Valeria Liberation Front actually met in the frontline?
A: I think they would have, yes, at some point. (Matsuno)
Q: Why do Tartaros, Volaq and Balxephon go back to Lodis at the end of the game?
A: Because they decided there was no more merit in involving themselves with the war in Valeria. (Matsuno)
Q: When exactly did you think for the first time it was well worth it to have made the “Ogre” series (previous titles included)?
A: This doesn’t apply only to this series, but for me it would be when people who played the games come to me saying how fun it was to play them. (Minakawa)
A: For good or for bad, since this series was the starting point for me, I cherished the moments when I was most troubled or didn’t know what to do next, because, once I faced those problems, I think I always managed to retrieve my original resolution. (Matsuno)
A: From all works I’ve done so far, the “Ogre” series is the one that gives me the most feedback from players, and it makes me happy to listen to the positive feelings from the fans. (Yoshida)
Q: If the female pirate Veldrei were to survive, what kind of life would she be having now?
A: I’d like to believe she would be living a happy life. (Matsuno)
Q: What kind of accident happened exactly which caused the death of the prince between Dorgalua and Vernotta?
A: I’m quite sure I first thought of it as he was somewhere high on the Hanging Gardens when he slipped and fell to his death, having hit the ground in a bad way. (Matsuno)
Q: Thinking Hobyrim had died, did Ozma agreed to marry with Balxephon out of love?
A: In those times marriage between nobles was mostly a matter of politics. It was common to expect love would come only later. (Matsuno)
Q: On Twitter you revealed an initial “Lanselot” project. How exactly was the game supposed to be at that time?
A: The game mechanics were basically the same. The only difference is that the story would be played with Lanselot as the main character.
Q: I want to know about what Denam did after going to Xenobia, and whether he returned to Valeria afterwards.
A: Maybe some other day… (‘v’) (Matsuno)
Q: How come Catiua is so cute?
A: It’s always been said every rose has it thorns, but I guess the opposite is also true. She’s beautiful precisely because she has her thorns, don’t you agree? (Matsuno)
Q: How did Folcurt and Cistina get to like each other?
A: I’ll leave that to your imagination. (Matsuno)
Q: When Cistina and Cerya met Denam in the game, didn’t they realize they already knew him in the past?
A: I think Cistina didn’t realize. As for Cerya, I’m sure she remembered about him as soon as she heard there was a Denam in the Resistance. (Matsuno)
Q: Among the characters from the game, who is particularly a bad or a good drinker?
A: The really good drinker is Deneb. But she always pretends to be drunk, so it’s hard to tell when she actually is. I guess the weak one would be, Folcurt? Remember, no drinking if you’re underage. (Matsuno)
No 11 (female)
Q: How did you decide the chapter titles?
A: I don’t remember well, but I think it was rather effortless… I came up with them in a single thought. (Matsuno)
Q: Who arranged the black clothes Catiua wears after she joins the Losloriens?
A: A fairy servant, perhaps? (Eh!?) (Matsuno)
40 Salary Man (male)
Q: I would like to know which route would be cannon, among all alternate stories that appear in the game.
A: In the original version I meant route C to be the actual route taken, but this time around I didn’t decide between any of them. I think the right path is whatever each player chooses. If I was forced to an opinion, I would only be able to decide that after thinking on how a sequel would be, anyway. (Matsuno)
Data from the questionnaire answered by the development staff
Here we present the results of a questionnaire answered by everyone in the development staff of the “Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together” remake. The questions included several topics, even a bunch which were not related with the game whatsoever (?). We also left a space for everyone to contribute with their two cents!
Demographics data 1: gender
Demographics data 2: blood type
Q1: Favorite character
1st: Canopus Wolph
2nd: Catiua Pavel
3rd: Gildas W. Byrne
Q2: Favorite class
Q3: Allergy to pollen
Not allergic: 38%
I think I am, but I never confirmed: 6%
Q4: Route chosen on first play through
Q5: Favorite route
Q6: Cats or dogs
Q7: How do you spend your days off from work (a few selected answers)
- I’m always working as long as I’m awake
- Getting ordered around by my cat and wife
- Games, movies and shopping
- Drinking alcohol
- Spending time with family
- Games, movies (DVD) and walks
- Playing games, watching movies, going shopping… and nothing else but housework
- Being lethargic
- Staying home
- Talking with my daughter
- Enjoying DVD’s (or BD’s)
- Cats and siesta
Q8: Your two cents (a few selected answers)
- If the new recruits weren’t suppressed by Denam…
- I hope all players could enjoy this game, from the fans of the original version or the Saturn version to the new people who came into contact with the world of “Tactics Ogre” for the first time on the PSP. Everyone from the staff put their souls into the game, so please continue loving it for a long time.
- I spotted someone playing it while riding the Oda Express Line. Thank you, thank you!
- I think we managed to make a good game, capable of pleasing new players and fans of the original version all alike, didn’t we? Personally I have deep feelings for this game, because in the past I was distributing leaflets for the original version.
- I want to know what happened to Cressida after she sealed necromancy… wait, I’m talking from a player’s perspective lol.
- I was the one who made it possible to input emoticons like (· v· ) when choosing the character or army name. I reflected about it later, but I still have no regrets (’· w· ’)
- Part of the secret techniques like ••••-II have a concealed effect that differs from those of type I. Be sure to check it!
- The warm support of all fans reached us during the time of production. I’ve worked in many projects so far, but the warmth I received this time had no precedents. I only wish my work can correspond to everyone’s feelings.
- Cerya-lover here. Now, Mr. Oz is a man who knows what I’m talking about.
- For everyone who still hasn’t played the extra scenarios from the downloadable contents, please make sure to give them a try!