Why Nippon Ichi’s President Made A Disgaea Sequel And Thoughts On Vita & PS4

By Spencer . February 25, 2013 . 5:32pm


Before NIS America’s press conference we sat down with Sohei Niikawa to talk about Disgaea Dimension 2. It’s a new entry in the long running strategy RPG series and the first direct sequel. Niikawa spoke to Siliconera about Disgaea Dimension 2: A Brighter Darkness, The Witch and the Hundred Knights, and his thoughts on Vita.


Why did you want to make a direct sequel to Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness?


Sohei Niikawa, President of Nippon Ichi Software: [Laughs] This January marks the 10th anniversary of the Disgaea series, so we thought about what’s the best way to make our fans happy? What’s the best way to give back to our fans? We realized that using the most popular characters from the series up to now – Laharl, Flonne, and Etna – they want to make a game using them as the main characters again. That’s where that idea came from.


Has Laharl’s personality changed from Disgaea to Disgaea Dimension 2?


Not at all! [Laughs.]




Can you tell us about the new characters like Laharl’s sister, Sicily? And the Barbara?


I don’t want to say too much because that will kind of spoil the all of the events in game. But, like I said, Sicily comes out in this game as Laharl’s little sister, something we don’t know yet. The other characters as well, that you’ve mentioned the rebels and stuff like that. They each have their own secrets. Everything is not as it seems. But to me, I’m really looking forward for fans to see the girl Laharl. I think everyone’s going to be surprised and enjoy it.


Will we see more sequel to other Disgaea titles?


I want to consider everything. Of course, it’s going to depend on how fans in Japan, and then how fans overseas interact with this sequel itself. But I’m definitely not ruling out of having Disgaea 1 D3 or maybe Disgaea 3 D2 . Everything is on the table depending on the fans’ response.


We’ve seen female Heavy Knight and the male Healer. What new classes and monster will be present in D2?


The new classes… hmm… there are the ones you talked about. For new monsters, there’s a new one called, I don’t know if localization has been determined yet, but in Japanese it’s called [roughly "Sea Angel" in English]. What’s it based on is something that lives in the sea. It has a wispy tail and flippers. It’s really cute. I really like it.



Will Disgaea Dimension 2 has online features like Disgaea 4?


There isn’t anything like PvP, maps, and other features from the previous game, but there will be a lot of DLC for fans to enjoy.


How is The Witch and the Hundred Knights doing? Is it coming out anytime soon?


The first thing I want to say in regards to this is, I’m sorry. But we’re making it! It’s being made. I feel like the development has finally reached a point where they are about ready to finally release it for sale.




How did Zillions of Enemy X get started? Also, are you going to bring it to America?


The original concept is a trading card game, like Magic the Gathering. We are going to announce it this month in Japan more details about the game as well as what is the game about and when you can expect it on sale.


As the president, I’d really like to see this game in America, and in the West as well. But as NIS America, the more professional side of things, I wonder if it is a viable choice to make. It depends on what the producers feel like the game can be successful or not.


Sony announced they will drop the price of PlayStation Vita in Japan. What are your future plans for Vita support? Is NIS thinking about making new titles or porting existing games to Vita?


I think Sony made the right move lowering the price. The reason being even in Japan, the Vita is not selling really well. In order to get people interested, and to get system out there, I think lowering the price is a very good idea. That being said, the second component, maybe a larger component is software.


Yes. We will definitely develop games for Vita in the future. Right now we are gauging the fan base’s needs about what kind of titles do they want for Vita. And base on that, looking at that, what kind of game that we come up with. We will most likely develop titles for it, based on that.




We noticed Nippon Ichi is a PS4 developer. Are you working any titles for PlayStation 4 currently?


It was announced yesterday that Nippon Ichi is one of the developers for it. We are thinking about titles right now.


Are there any new features of PS4 that NIS want to utilize when developing a game?


Not particularly. There are still things with the PS3 that haven’t done or been seen yet that we want to try. I also want to see what the PS4 is capable of and we’ll start thinking from there.

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  • “I feel like the development has finally reached a point where they are about ready to finally release it for sale” (The Witch and the Hundred Knights)

    R-Really? There still hasn’t been any promo for it for a while, so I dunno if “ready” means “another year” or what. Also, from the sound of that last comment, it looks like we can stick with our PS3’s for a while longer~!

  • Micrll

    Glad to here there is more coming from Nippon Ichi and that hopefully they will start to support the Vita more in the future. I have not played too many of their games but from what I have played I am wondering what capabilities they are talking about for the PS4 that they could exploit. Their games have great artwork and design but never seem to really push their platforms that much. The PS4 feels like its going to be overkill for their stuff. Is there anything I am missing?

    • Pyrotek85

      That’s the impression I got. Beautiful games but not really taxing from a technical perspective. And there’s nothing wrong with that, not everything has to be polygons and advanced effects just for the sake of it.

      • Micrll

        Agreed, they have a good art style that works great. Though that makes it more interesting :)
        I wonder if he thinks at some point they could recreate the same beauty as the existing games but in 3D or full Vector rendering, I still think that would be ambitious challenge from both an art and technical perspective.

        • Pyrotek85

          I think they definitely could, but I don’t know if it’d be too costly to do or not. These types of games are still considered a niche so it may effect profitability too much, I don’t really know.

  • Locklear93

    “There isn’t anything like PvP, maps, and other features from the
    previous game, but there will be a lot of DLC for fans to enjoy.”

    I’m both disappointed by this, and comforted by it. The state to which they had to restrict map editing in the west was so disappointing that I’d honestly rather see them not spend the money making those features, and instead keep it to put toward development of other games, or even just income for the employees. I’d love a good map editor, but if that’s all they’re going to be able to get away with here, I just can’t care.

    • MrTyrant

      The pirate maps pvp and tournament were interesting. I never used the other features.

    • OverlordZetta

      I really disagree. They may have restricted us, but it was still a whole lot of fun. I would have liked to see it expanded (even if it had to be within the restraints), if anything; players being able to have more than one level, and so on.

      • Locklear93

        To each his own. I tried a fair number of user generated maps, and didn’t enjoy any of them, universally because of how little the creators were able to actually do with the system. If it were fleshed out and done properly, I’d be all for it, but as I said, what was presented wasn’t worth it to me, and I’d rather the resources go elsewhere.

  • Randy Marsh

    ….Disgaea 3 D2, er no. Disgaea 2 D2, yes!

    • NO Disgaea 2 was bleh.

    • Isaac Newton

      If Axel and the Director was the main character then YES!

      • MrTyrant


        Adell and Rozalin were one thing but the rest of the cast was ugly. I can only think on Etna (Disgaea 1) and Fubuki were interesting to say the least. Axel yeah, was the best introduction in the serie.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Adell and Rozy are the best romance in the series — not that there has been a lot for a series whose heritage starts with Puppet Princess of Marl.

          • MrTyrant

            Not that romance did mather that much in a comedy like storyline like Disgaea. I hated Adell wannabe hot blooded personality and Rozalin spoiled princess personality although i did like the design or attacks of both characters.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Marl/Rhapsody had plenty of comedy — she blew a coronet and dropped pancakes on mobs for goodness sakes! It’s just given the series has a very VN feel, and even produced a VN — some sort of matching up of male and female leads might have been more expected than just once.

          • Locklear93

            Agreed. Even among people who particularly liked Disgaea 2, I find myself in a minority. I’ve got a Rozalin PVC figure, three pencil boards that feature her and Adell prominently, etc.–but I despise Axel utterly.

        • Suriel Cruz

          A grown up Taro and a grown up Hanako… just think about it and remember that Hanako was Miss Etna’s trainee. 3:D

          • Wappuli

            There was a grown up Hanako already in the psp-version of the Disgaea 2, and yes, she was quite Etna-like.

        • MrTyrant

          No no. Being an Etna-like character didn’t help Hanako, i didn’t like her not her copy paste personality neither design-wise of her child or grow up version.

    • MrTyrant

      Disgaea 4 D2 and of course ten years later.

    • Derek E Nay

      I hope so. They still have no idea that is Rose is Zenon or that Adel is really a demon.

      • AkuLord3

        Of course Adel was a demon…its pretty obvious since the begin and more later in the game

        • Derek E Nay

          Yea, but they never know about him being a demon or his parents. Adel still hates his parents because they left him, never knowing why the could never return.

          • sd28

            yep which is why i wuld like a Disgaea 2 D2

    • CirnoTheStrongest

      I’m thinking the exact inverse xD
      But it depends really. I just don’t like Adell/Rozalin. Hanako was pretty great though!

      But, on the D3 side of things, there are tons of characters I fell in love with.

    • MrRobbyM

      Adell doesn’t really stand out too much as a character but the humor and overall feeling of the game is my favorite of any Disgaea game.

    • akiko_sakuraba

      I would love to see Adel and Rozalin again!

  • I really really want Disgaea 3 D2. Gimme it, Nippon Ichi Software.

    • CirnoTheStrongest

      That would be amazing!!!!

    • DesmaX

      Yeah, I really like the universe they made for the game.

      But D3 was kinda of a mess on the gameplay. If they would just make everything on a sequel…

      • I personally enjoyed Disgaea 3’s gameplay– in fact, one of the things I really missed going from D3 to D4 was the combo skills! Though going into how getting skills worked was weird when you went from 2 to 3. Makes me glad they’re bringing back mentor/student for DD2.

        • DesmaX

          Oh yeah, Combo System was D3 best function.

          I kept trying to use them in D4, lol.
          Hope they’ll bring it back one day

          • Dai10zin

            This was my least favorite part of D3. It massively broke the damage equations and reduced strategy to which units could attack first (since a single hit from a combo attack would practically nullify the defense stat and instantly kill the opponent).
            Sooo glad they removed it in D4.

    • Locklear93

      Huh. That’s the only one I wouldn’t personally want followed up. I just found Mao intolerable. That’s one of the interesting things about the franchise, though: No matter how much people may love “Disgaea,” I’m constantly surprised by what they like within the franchise.

      • Mao I’ve found is a really love-hate character among fans. I personally really liked Mao and in general his psychosis, and I really liked Almaz and Sapphire and really the whole cast of the game, but I know not a lot of people agree with it, either.

        But D3 also had a very interesting setting in that it was a school– who’s to say there aren’t other interesting demons in the same area? Perhaps D3D2 would be a game in which Mao’s more fully established himself as the headmaster, so the focus would shift down to a different group of students. I’d just really like them to revisit the universe! Not to mention how the extra scenario for Disgaea 3 Vita did show there’s more than just Evil Academy around!

        • Locklear93

          Yeah. I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAAY on the hate side for Mao–I quit using him as soon as I could make some half decent generic classes. I’m not as fond of the school setting as you are, but I DID like basically every character EXCEPT Mao quite a bit, particularly Asuka and Kyoko. There are definitely good things in Disgaea 3, even for me–but between Mao and the shift away from mentor/student to “FARM ALL THE MANA EVER,” I generally consider it the last one I’d want a sequel to.

          All that said, I’d buy a Disgaea 3 sequel instantly all the same. My least favorite Disgaea still stands above almost everything else out there. With my license plate even being “DISGAEA,” I’ll play it all. <_<

  • Suriel Cruz

    I would like to see… Disgaea 2 Dimension 2, because D2 is the best story after Disgaea, much more when the Bad Ending gives you a DIMENSION to think about, like Adell being Zenon… CAN’T WAIT! Disgaea 4EVER!

    • MrTyrant

      Disgaea 2 best story? nope nope.

      And yeah, Disgaea 4 forever.

      • AkuLord3

        Dude get over it, everyone has their opinion about which game’s story they like more. I wasn’t too big of a fan of Disgaea 3’s story but i wouldn’t mind a Disgaea 3 D2. So Chill~

        • MrTyrant

          It’s not like i cannot post something because I have a different opinion even if everyone have a different opìnion we can post and argue. That’s why there is a reply button you know.

      • Suriel Cruz

        A sequel to Disgaea 2 WILL BE AWESOME!!!
        – to see Adell, Rosalin, Hanako, Yukimaru, Taro and Fubuki, all grown up(NOW THAT WILL BE PRICELESS!!!)
        – to see more development between Etna, Flonne and Laharl, since THEY WERE PART OF THE STORY, not like the others that they were or POST-GAME EVENTS or DLC.
        – to see if Zenon really take Adell’s body and remember that Adell is a HUMAN.
        I can say many more things, but those are the ones that could make me, get my wallet and buy it.

        Ps. I am a HUGE FAN of Disgaea 4, but is recent and I want to see development in some AMAZING characters.

  • DesmaX

    Oh, nice to see The Witch and a Hundred Knights is coming along nicely. Not only it looked like a great JRPG (Not only for NIS level, but as a whole), it would be horrible for them if they decided to go to the PS4 without knowing how to make 3D games.

    And, nice to see that they want to stick with the PS3 a little longer. I would like, at least, another IP from them on the console.
    But I would definely love Disgaea 5 on the PS4

  • Follower_of_Pram

    “There isn’t anything like PvP, maps, and other features from the
    previous game, but there will be a lot of DLC for fans to enjoy.”

    Hopefully not too many features taken out, but that’s just me being pessimistic. It’d be hard for me not to enjoy a Disgaea game. Especially with nostalgia monsters from D1 being in the sequel.

    “We noticed Nippon Ichi is a PS4 developer. Are you working any titles for PlayStation 4 currently?”

    Is it really that surprising that they are (basing this question on reactions I’ve seen at various places)?

  • Anonymous

    And Nintendo still gets shafted from NISA >_>

  • All I really want is playable Axel and Asagi in the main story. Not post game. Pleeeeaaaaassssee?

  • Patrick Gover

    I would totally be down for “D2” titles for all the other Disgaea games, Disgaea 3 especially.

  • Raharu95

    …. I just realized Something. With Books now being a main weapon, does that mean we will be seeing a humanoid Raspberyl?

    • MrTyrant

      Probably if she is in this game…

      It took them 4 Disgaea games to add new weapons. I expect the next games add some more. I loved how you can use anything as weapon in Makai Kingdom.

    • OverlordZetta

      That’s a scary thought.
      Maybe an older version like with Hanako?

      • Raharu95

        Unless there is time travel involved, an older her is unlikely. This is all happening before Disgaea 4 after all.

    • DenjinJ

      In the Playstation Home Disgaea space there are humanoid Raspberyl t-shirts now.

  • Mac

    I wonder if we will see a difference between PS3 and PS4 for 2D games. If only it would support 4k, it would be soooo pretty.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Glad to hear that The Witch and the Hundred Knights is still coming along. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time now.

  • Raltrios

    “there will be a lot of DLC for fans to enjoy.”

    ‘Enjoy?’ Only if it’s done right, like Fire Emblem: Awakening’s DLC

    • Arrei

      Don’t think you’ll need to worry about that, Disgaea 4’s DLC was in the form of new storylines and levels, after all.

      • Raltrios

        As long as said storylines aren’t important to the main plot.
        Alas, I have no PS3 as of yet, so I couldn’t play it anyway.

        • DesmaX

          No, not really.
          You can only acess the DLC content after beating the game, anyway

  • AnimusVox

    I enjoyed this interview, the pres seems like a cool guy.

  • I would dearly love to get to know, Laharl-chan.

  • What do Vita fans want? Simple – all the Disgaea games :)

  • ragingmerifes

    They should start a new trend with more characters and objects on-screen, and 99,999,999 as level cap.

  • HassanJamal

    Still waiting for Disgaea 4 vita…

    • OverlordZetta

      Waiting even more for Makai Kingdom and La Pucelle PSP to come over.

      • I gave up on those, sadly. I don’t think they’ll be doing anymore main company PSP games in America.

        Makes me glad I’ve managed to pick up import copies of the both of them. Even managed to get Makai Kingdom PSP’s limited edition before it went out of print!

  • Tien Ron

    geez you would think they would allow online play already, people want to fight each other you know…

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    The female Heavy Knight looks cool!

  • AuraGuyChris

    Oh my god, he started with an Iwata Laugh response!

  • Spirate

    No thanks, N1; I think only one is enough.

  • OverlordZetta

    … Are you kidding me?
    What happened to having at least two Vita titles in development? Did they just scrap those when they saw the Vita not doing so well?
    This really blows my faith in NIS, and they were damn good to the PSP.

    • Spirate

      The first one was Special Report Division, which is out already, the other is still in development.

  • The Sea Angel IS adorable. And anything from NISA is fine by me. Their games will probably end up being one of the reasons I get a PS4.

  • Anime10121

    Cant wait to see what Nippichi will output for the next gen of consoles! They are one of my favorite devs, and they constantly put out brilliance for the PS3, so I cant wait to see their next step up, although its ok if they decide to wait out a while on ps3, because I dont think I’ll be an early adopter next gen, have been burned FAR TOO MANY TIMES being an early adopter!

    PS3 launch $600 with NO GAMEZ (although boy am I glad I never lost faith that Playstation would bounce back)

    360 (few games, but red ringed TWICE before 3 year warranty was started)

    3DS $250 (although I only paid $220) no games except for the 20 free “classics” we received for being early adopters!

    Wii U, bought spur of the moment on Black Friday because of Bayonetta 2 announcement and The Wonderful 101’s “launch window status” (and the game STILL has yet to materialize a set release date, so much for launch window :( )

    I think I’ll hold off on jumping into next gen until the games I like are actually released for the thing, like maybe a Nippichi game :)

    • Probably your best bet, but the thing is with new releases you always get bragging rights for the first version of any of those systems and games that come out. But yeh, unless you have the money, it’s probably better to wait for price drops.

      • Anime10121

        Yeah and thats kinda the reason I wish they still did complete backwards compatibility, if that was there, at least you’d have a use for the console when you upgrade early and nothing really is out for the system yet. On my Wii U, I still play Xenoblade on it. I might be in the minority, but I’ve ALWAYS valued/used backwards compatibility in newer consoles. But alas, for now, I’ll just wait for some big RPG’s to start coming out for the PS4 before I take the plunge!

  • Sylveria

    It’s so nice to see high-ranking management of companies show a genuine fondness for what their company makes instead of just a product to sell. It’s a trait we don’t see enough these days.

  • Göran Isacson

    I’m just glad to hear Witch and Knights is still on the table- would be a pity to see it go the way of so much vaporware before it.

  • And this is why Atlus and NIS are best developers.

  • Dai10zin

    How about an accurate throwing system instead of the ridiculous try-to-mash-the-throw-button-at-just-the-right-time-when-moving-the-cursor throw mechanic. Or a freely rotating camera / zoom system. Or a method of setting an attack to an empty slot so that when a monk’s attack moves an enemy, another character can follow up by attacking the now-filled space?
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Disgaea, but there are some game mechanics that really could use some improvements.

  • Lotte Carmine

    Just make Prinny 3 for the Vita already!

  • I just hope we get to see Ash and Marona in more games.
    I adore those 2.

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