The last post that I made regarding this interview with Yosuke Saito and also Ishikawa Yui was a complete mess that was not entirely my fault. The translation there stemmed from Japanese answers being translated into Chinese (most likely on the fly). I then took that Chinese text, used an online translation page to translate it into Japanese from which I translated once more into English.
Phew! I’m tired just trying to get that straight!
Suffice it to say, a completely Japanese source, Game Watch, has posted this interview in Japanese to help clear up a couple important points that seemed like they came right out of left field. I’ll highlight the most important points.
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ーThe demo received positive marks in Japan, but what sort of feedback did you get from the players?
Saito: Our goal for the demo was to give players a hands-on experience, to witness firsthand how fluid the action is, and to show them what to expect from the final product. We released a demo because it’s difficult to explain in words what a game will be like—it’s better to show you the game and let you experience it for yourself. I’m extremely pleased with all the positive feedback the demo has been receiving. Even though it is an Action RPG, we really want to save the RPG elements for the final release of the game, things like the story, various forms of level progression, and buying and selling items.
ーYou’re not able to use the lock-on function in Hard or Very Hard. Will this stay the same in the final release?
S: There are many settings at work including the lock-on function, but it won’t be accessible in Hard or Very Hard, unfortunately. For Easy and Normal modes, you can equip a Plug-in chip to turn on this ability, but you are also free to remove it to further personalize your own difficulty level. If you’re not good at action games, you can equip every chip to help you on Easy mode so all you need to do is move the joystick. On Normal, you are also welcome to equip or unequip the lock-on chip as you like. I think the player will be able to customize the game around their own gameplay preferences.
ーWe were able to see a few new weapons in the demo that included background illustrations and corresponding weapon stories. I’m sure there will be many more in the final release of the game. Can we expect to see these illustrations change as you level up your weapon?
S: I can’t say much about this, but… (haha) Even though the background illustrations won’t change as you level up the weapons, the corresponding weapon story will. The weapon itself will also change its appearance.
ーIn the demo, we saw the 3D screen change to a 2D side-scroller. Was there any particular reason you designed stages like that?
S: The previous NieR also implemented similar 2D side-scrolling and top-down views. It’s one of the many things that make a “NieR” gameーa fun action gameーso we wanted to throw in a little homage to retro games and what made them so good. It was all the brainchild of Director Yoko Taro, especially since he loves retro 2D games. Simply put, Platinum Games is handling all aspects of the action, so these stage designs are their way of respecting the previous NieR.
ーThis is a question for Ishikawa-san. Do you have any interesting stories to tell us from your recording sessions?
Ishikawa: Right, I don’t have any funny stories to tell, but when we first began recording, but back then character illustrations were still in development. We had very little to work from. Now we have things like images of 2B and we can actually see how characters robots move, but in the beginning, all we had was a video of real actors performing a particular scene. That was a first for me. It was really interesting to see how that would eventually become part of the actual game.
ーThe ending of the demo was so shocking; how does that connect to the finished game? Or was is purely a separate story only meant for the demo?
S: Hmm… What do you think, Ishikawa-san?
I: You’re passing this to me? (haha) Well, I’ve played the demo and, of course, I know the story, but I thought the ending was a huge cliffhanger.
S: It actually caused a bit of a controversy in Japan. People were wondering things like, “Could this actually be the ending of the game!?” (haha) First of all, it’s not a separate story made specifically for the demo. Although it doesn’t depict the very beginning of the game, it still takes place roughly during the beginning. I hope you look forward to the official release of the game to see the resolution of this cliffhanger!
ーSo, will there be multiple endings this time around?
S: Yes, there will be multiple endings, but exactly how many is a secret.
ーAnother question for Ishikawa-san. Without spoiling anything, can you tell us what do you think of 2B?
I: (hahaha) Okay. First of all, the story itself is shocking in a multitude of ways—I’m really scared I might accidentally blurt something out. 2B isn’t allowed to express emotion, but in small places, here and there, you can see her treating 9S with gentle care. Since she isn’t overly flamboyant, she may be holding back her feelings, although they tend to unintentionally show in the heat of the moment or in slight subtleties of the heart. I recorded so many lines while thinking how it would be nice if she could express how she really feels.
S: I won’t spoil anything, but listening to you just now almost made me cry. (haha)
I: The release can’t come sooner! I want to get rid of this antsy feelingーlike I MUST play this game right now!!
ーPS4 Pro Support?
S: We talked about this with Platinum Games, and of course you can play おn a 4K TV, but when 4K is actually supported, it spoils the 60fps action. At any rate, when we set our minds on it, we were able to make it work. We entirely intend to preserve Full HD 4K/60fps so you can get every ounce out of NieR:Automata. We’re very particular with the motion blur, shadows, and other fine details. After that, we need to maintain the overall performance stability, I suppose. For example, the action cannot lag when a ton of enemies appear on screen.
ーIn your demonstration, when you ran from place to place, we got a feel for how big the stages will be. Will we be mostly walking or running between locations?
S: You can also fly in the sky and ride on animals. In the presentation, we literally ran through some of those areas because half of it is filled with story elements. Just past where we stopped at the front gates of the Amusement Park, it opens up to an entirely new area for you to explore. I hope we were able to tease that a little for you!
ーBefore the presentation began, we saw multiple characters in a trailer. How many playable characters will there be?
S: So far, we’ve only stated that 2B and 9S will be playable. There’s also A2, but whether she’s playable or not is a secret, so look forward to that reveal! Maybe she won’t be a playable character. (haha)
ーIs this game somehow connected to the previous NieR title? Does it have anything to do with Drakengard?
S: I could talk all night about how things are connected, but to answer you briefly, there is no need to play any of the previous games to enjoy Automata’s multiple endings. Simply, if you have played them, I think you’ll really get a kick out of seeing Emil again. As it turns out, though, Hanae-kun (voice of 9S) went back and played them ALL again to refresh his memory. (haha)
ーNow that you mention Hanae-san, didn’t he manage to clear Very Hard?! Can you share anything more about that?
S: Yeah, he wrote to me on LINE and said, “I’m at the last boss now, but I have to work in the morning, so I need to sleep.” I wrote back and told him, “Go to bed!” About an hour later, I saw he wrote on Twitter that he beat Very Hard. I tried to tell him that he should sleep since he had to appear on the “Oha Suta” TV program the following morning. (haha)
Source: Game Watch