Why Nippon Ichi Made The Guided Fate Paradox Instead Of A Z.H.P. Sequel

By Spencer . March 1, 2013 . 6:16pm


The Guided Fate Paradox looks and plays like another one of Nippon Ichi Software’s titles. If you have a PSP you might remember Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman which had a tokusatsu theme. The Guided Fate Paradox has a new story where you play as Renya, a boy who wins a lottery and gains the power to change fate. Since the gameplay is quite similar we asked Sohei Niikawa, President of Nippon Ichi Software, why they decided to make a new brand new world for The Guided Fate Paradox and how Cinderella got into the PlayStation 3 game.


The Guided Fate Paradox, with respect to gameplay, feels a lot like Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman. Why did you decide to create a new story instead of making a sequel to Z.H.P.? Did the design of the game evolve from Z.H.P.?


Sohei Niikawa, President of Nippon Ichi Software: First of all, I think Z.H.P. is a great game, gameplay-wise. I think it was a success. The way that the system turned out, I think that’s very good. However, that’s just about the gameplay. In regards to the story and the setting itself, it’s kind of based on the 1980s superheroes, which is, even in Japan, a niche. I feel like in that area, especially compare to something like Disgaea, it was missing that kind of charm that Disgaea have. I want to take the good from it, but take something new, in terms of the story direction and setting.


So, using the great gameplay that we have in Z.H.P., we wanted to take something using a famous illustrator, Noizi Ito, and make a world and setting that more people can enjoy for that aspect as well.


Paradox_event_screens_JP(1) Paradox_event_screens_JP(2)


How did you come up with the idea of changing someone’s fate as the theme of the story?


The theme itself is actually present in Z.H.P., if you look at this idea that fate is being able to be changed. As an idea, having the players take this character’s fate, and being able to guide it and move it to the right direction, creates a real bond between this created character and players themselves. I really want to explore this and I thought that video games are a medium, is very well suited to this kind of storytelling.




We saw Cinderella as one of the character whose fate can be changed. Why did you want to add that classic tale to the game and what other characters are in the game?


In regards to Cinderella, let’s say we create an entirely original scenario, how does the player know that the player is changing fate? Since it’s new, who knows what would have happened to that character to begin with? Whereas we have Cinderella to begin with, we all know how Cinderella’s story turns out. In this case, players are able to see maybe what a different motivation for Cinderella would be for her to want her fate to change and also players will be able to compare her new fate and old fate. I thought that’s the easiest example to show that way of before and after of fate changing.


There are several characters. Besides from Cinderella, they are all original. Two of them, to give you an example, one is a zombie and the other is a mermaid.


OK, a zombie is an interesting choice!


That’s because I love zombies.




What are your favorite customization parts in The Guided Fate Paradox?


Of course, making your player look cool is always fun. I’m more the kind of fan for more silly items, the things that would make you laugh. Two of my favorites are putting drills on the player’s hands and his head, and there’s one that the players’ head can be a tuna head.


In addition, each of these parts have their own special skills. For example, if you put on the tuna head you have a special skill where you flop around. It’s probably in today’s trailer, so please look forward to that.


We saw Asagi in this game too. She always comes up in every game saying she’s going to get her own game, even in The Guided Fate Paradox. Will she ever get a game of her own?


That’s a good question. Do you guys really want her to have her own game?


It’s been eight years since we first introduced Asagi. It’s kind of come to a point that it’s a joke. Every time she comes up and says, “I want my own game!” I’m really wondering and trying to gauge whether fans enjoy Asagi comes out and she never gets her game? Or they really do want her to have her own game. I don’t know anymore! [Laughs.]




We’ll ask our readers if they want Asagi have her own game and we’ll let you know the result.


We are actually doing something similar with a fan page that asks how many of you want Asagi to have her own game? It’s about 5,000 people right now. If it reaches 10,000 people who want her to have her own game, she might get her own game. We also want to see if fans overseas want Asagi to get her own game!


Well, do you want Asagi to have her own game? Vote here and we’ll send the results to NIS America!

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Gyro Zeppeli

    Hell yes I do

  • riceisnice

    Summarized response from Nippon: Because this is more fanservicey.

  • I’ve said it before, Asagi has grown too reckless and malicious to deserve her own game. Let her forever be the clown.

  • drproton

    Asagi’s game should start with her finally earning her title of Main Character. Some asshole steals it and she spends the rest of the game kicking ass to get it back.

    The Hollywood adaptation can star Bruce Willis.

    • FitzpatrickPhillips

      The twist is that she never gets the title back then goes back to her usual cameos.

  • Sergio Briceño

    There was a time when I would have loved an Asagi game (probably after her 4th or 5th appearance), but now I’ve come to love her trying to take the spotlight instead.

    Maybe, if and just if she plays a supporting role like Etna trying to be the MC and then getting a separate chapter for herself (yes, like Etna again) in which she finally manages to become the lead just so she realizes it was a side story all along, then I would like it.

    But just making her a MC… No, I don’t think so. It would kill the joke, permanently. But hey, NIS knows it’s stuff so if it happens I’m sure they will come up with a very clever and interesting idea that won’t let me down. So yeah, voting up.

    • burnfist23

      I don’t think so. With Disgaea D2 coming out, I can definitely see the joke somewhat continuing, though this time she’ll be asking for a sequel. And if they wanna keep that joke, they’ll just have to give all the other NI games a sequel.

  • CirnoTheStrongest

    What I really want to know is WHAT IN THE WORLD IS PROJECT ARCADIA!?

    It’s been half a year and we know NOTHING except what was said when its existence was revealed.

    Also, it hurts me inside every time NIS denies Asagi her game :(

    I don’t get why people want it to stay like that. Asagi’s got A LOT of potential, but it gets curbed by the ‘cameo syndrome’.

    Plus, it’d be nice if NIS did a female MC game for once that wasn’t the Marl Kingdom series (not that the Marl Kingdom series isn’t amazing)

  • I definitely want her to have her own game someday! Sure, we have the running joke… but maybe the point of her game would be that someone is legitimately trying to usurp her?

  • Mar Mar

    If fans says we want Asagi game, then it’s gonna be NIS next game. They do respond to their fans after all :)

  • $24431191

    I really hope Asagi gets her own game.

  • I think the Asagi joke has run its course. I’d love to see her with her own game and make that the end of it.

  • brian

    Why do people love zombies?
    Would they not kill zombies if they were posing a threat?
    And also, that cameo joke is getting old-ish, she needs to be MC at least once.

  • kool_cid414

    i hope she’ll get her own game one day I’d buy it

  • OverlordZetta

    … But– Any toku fan of even current shows can appreciate ZHP’s story and humor. Same with the mecha throwbacks.
    I didn’t get a “oh this is much too 80s” vibe at all, and that was before I’d even gotten into toku.

    Somebody tell this man that Kamen Rider and the like is very much alive so we can get a sequel, pronto!

    • Zarx

      Tokusatsu is definitely alive and kicking, we even have some old ones starting to resurface.

  • Suriel Cruz

    Asagi should be HER OWN GAME’S MAIN CHARACTER and not only that, but allowing her to JUST equip herself with massive weapons. I would like a Strategy game, tho…

  • almostautumn

    Awesome interview! Keep up the good stuff, Siliconera!

    Also— yes, yes, yes about this game! I only ventured into Z.H.P. some few months ago and it absolutely blew my mind. The gameplay truly is remarkable, and personally I thought the story was friggin’ excellent! The fates/situations are very real, very heartfelt, and they were even contemporary too, such as the bullying scenario. I loved the overall message, and even though it’s a bit “Saturday Afternoon Cartoon” philosophy, they are also very morally admirable, and so even if one were to think them thin they were still enjoyable.
    I never liked Nippon Ichi’s writing prior, having only played the disgaea and prinny titles, but Z.H.P. made me an invested fan. My pre-order is already paid for Guided Fate; can’t wait!

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    The joke has gotten old, make her the MC already!

  • Locklear93

    I very much want Asagi to have her own game. It was a good joke, but enough.

  • *explodes* Z.H.P had more charm than any Disgaea though, what do you mean..? :/

    And yes man, I’d actually like Asagi to be the main character of her own game~!

  • LynxAmali

    -In regards to the story and the setting itself, it’s kind of based on
    the 1980s superheroes, which is, even in Japan, a niche. I feel like in
    that area, especially compare to something like Disgaea, it was missing that kind of charm that Disgaea have.

    Speaking as someone who loves Disgaea, WHAT?!

    It had equal, if not greater, charm than Disgaea BECAUSE of that.

    I’m hyped for Guided Paradox either way.

    • OverlordZetta

      The man is out of touch with superhero fans, clearly. I found ZHP’s charm and writing, overall, to be N1’s best work by a landslide.

      • Armane

        I’m not sure how well ZHP sold, but it seems like Sohei-san was referring more to mass appeal. It didn’t have the broad appeal of something like Disgaea.

        As a toku fan though, ZHP was the first Nippon Ichi game that really appealed to me. So I guess appealing to a niche may yet pay off, if new fans pick up The Guided Fate Paradox.

  • Zarx

    I’ve wanted Asagi to be the MC since they started trolling us in Makai Kingdom, so if that ever happens I’m on full support.

  • The 24 people who don’t know who Asagi is need to be informed, she is the best ever. Yes I want her to have her own game finally, but I still want her to make cameos too.

  • Hau To

    I want Asagi to have her own game ONLY if she is the not the main character of her own game. The main character would be a friend she met, and she would be the secondary character tagging along. They did ask if she would have her own game and in this sense she would but not as the main character. They said nothing about should have her own game and being the main character.

    • It’s implied she’d be the MC. Being a secondary character =/= having her own game, it would be her friend’s game.

      • KingRuff

        Yeah it’s not your game if you’re not the main character. There’s no working around that.

  • Maybe Asagi should get a mini game where she is the main character.Just like in prinny,that was a lot of fun.

  • Xerain

    I want N1 to pretend to make an Asagi game. She can have her name in the title and everything. However, she isn’t actually the main character. She’s busy off in other worlds breaking into other games, so she misses her chance. Therefore each chapter has a different N1 character cosplaying as Asagi as a stand-in.

    Finally she shows up and crashes her own game during the final boss sequence.

    • Ladius

      This is genius-level trolling, a game like this would be legendary.

    • Neppygear

      If they do this, I will love them forever.

    • I love it!

    • Zonic505

      Holy crap, this would be hilarious. Making reference to all the games that she made cameos in. I’d seriously buy that.

    • Mavalex

      That would be the best game ever

    • That’d be cool, but again that wouldn’t make it *her* game.

    • DesmaX

      FUND IT, NIS

    • Isaac Newton

      You should get hire by Nippon Ichi

      • Xerain

        Well as of this statement I’m officially releasing my Asagi Game idea to the public domain, so if N1 wants to use it they can go right ahead.

    • Rickicker

      GodDAMMIT, N1, cut this guy a damn check already!

  • Safros9

    No. Pleinair should be a main character.
    Asagi… is just a joke at this point.

    • SeventhEvening


    • Hound

      A million times, this ^
      NIS has a theme going with their main characters, and Pleinair would add some much-appreciated variety.

      Her stoicism is zen-like and her character has so many applications. Throw her in any situation and in any outfit and she’ll just fit. NIS needs this.

      • Pleinair fans unite!

        She is also Harada’s mascot so based on official art of her outside of Disgaea she has a lot of potential.

  • Cerzel

    If Asagi gets her own game, the running joke is ruined forever.
    Though I suppose they could then have her show up in other games to gloat about how she finally did get a game…

    • Locklear93

      Or have Laharl show up ranting about how she stole a main character position from him, or have Mao want to experiment on a main character, or any number of other things. NIS is good at silly. Really, I agree with the people who feel the running gag is played out.

    • burnfist23

      Well, with Disgaea D2 coming out, they can just change the joke to her wanting a sequel, especially if NI listens to the demands for the other games to get sequels.

  • burnfist23

    “there’s one that the players’ head can be a tuna head.”

    Valvatorez: You fool! How can the president of the company that made my game not know the difference between a tuna and a sardine!? Come Fenrich! We shall march to their headquarters in Gifu and demand an explanation!

    • Shariest

      “All is for my lord…”

      • Raharu95

        Emizel: *Sweat drop* “here we go again…”

  • SeventhEvening

    I’d be disappointed if she got her own game. The joke would more or less fall apart. She’d change from being a funny cameo character, to a fanservice cameo character (like when other NIS main characters appear). It would kill the one thing that makes her interesting and likable.

  • leadintea

    I absolutely adore Asagi’s design, but I HATE how they turned her into a promo character for her own game in Makai Kingdom to the way she is now. I really hope if she does get her own game, they don’t make it too over-the-top and make it more like Soul Nomad in terms of the mood of the story.

    • burnfist23

      If people wanted drama, they would have bought Phantom Brave!

      Okay, joking aside, I wouldn’t mind it being a little less over the top. Heck, her Makai Kingdom appearance kinda hinted that it may have been like that.

      • leadintea

        Precisely what I was saying. It was clear in Makai Kingdom that Asagi was supposed to have a much different personality than she has now and was obviously put in the game to promote Makai Wars, though since that project was cancelled we now have a completely different character who I would NOT want to see get her own game if she’s going to act like a fool all the time. NIS has too many hammy games and I wish they’d tone it back at least from time to time. Soul Nomad, as I mentioned earlier, easily trumps every other game they’ve made (at least storywise) just because the mood was a great balance of being comedic and dramatic, at least IMO.

  • amagidyne

    I want her to finally get her own game, only to be the only star of her game. All the other characters should be Asagi too, from the wise old seer to the love interest. When the inevitable Laharl/Etna cameos pop up, they should be Asagi too. It’ll be an ironic twist, like a Twilight Zone episode, except I can’t imagine she’d mind.

    • Bentan

      Asagiception hahahaha

    • Mavalex

      It’s the OTHER A-virus? :P

  • Visa Vang

    I’m buying this game for the maid… NOW DO THE SACRED MAID TWIRLER!!

  • komiko12

    I think Asagi’s trademark trait was not having her own game.., I was one of those who voted to her not having her own game..maybe she can still appear in other games and give her have a bigger role in the story…

    Also I want to know what is the canon ending for La Pucelle? Did Priere really turn into an Overlord? Also make Marjoly appear in Disgaea D2.

    • Priere becoming an Overlord is not part of the ending in La Pucelle. Rather, it’s a title she can optionally earn in the Dark World.

      • komiko12

        So what about the Overlord Priere that has been appearing in the Disgaea series? Is she someone that came from an alternate dimension then?

        • Priere can become an Overlord during an optional event in the Dark World, which has zero effect on the main storyline. Her cameo appearances are based on the assumption that she did so during the events of La Pucelle.

          • komiko12

            I’ve been looking around the ‘net for info about the Overlord Priere mode in the re-release of La Pucelle.. And I think it fits because she is an Overlord in title only as she was still kind.

            So which Priere do you prefer?

      • Methylene

        The remake however has turned in into an actual storyline path and it retcons the last two chapters of the original game.

        It’s still unclear if it’s canon or not, but they still managed to make a coherent story out of it.

  • Guest

    Asagi Can “I” really be the hero.

    Alot of Asagi’s charm comes from the fact that she got screwed into a side character role and frankly, I’m against changing that image……. Unless it is for a platformer like Prinny (for one reason or another)… She got her own storyline as an antagonist in Prinny 1 and even a protagonist in the 2nd. That, and all her new abilities in the Tactics games make her inferior to other characters… Get 2 hits with a normal gun attack? Why don’t I just use the weakest gun skill in the game and deal 70 times the damage? It cuts through skills like Pringer X’s Special Skill Solved but it still deals virtually no damage. Prinny seems to treat her pretty well… That, and it’s the only sadistic 2D platformer I can stand outside of I wanna be the guy, and I just want more.
    I vote……. No… I do not want an Asagi game… Sadly…

  • Original Maincharacter

    Asagi Can “I” really be the hero.

    Alot of Asagi’s charm comes from the fact that she got screwed into a
    side character role and frankly, I’m against changing that image…….
    Unless it is for a platformer like Prinny (for one reason or
    another)… She got her own storyline as an antagonist in Prinny 1 and
    even a protagonist in the 2nd. That, and all her new abilities in the
    Tactics games make her inferior to other characters… Get 2 hits with a
    normal gun attack? Why don’t I just use the weakest gun skill in the
    game and deal 70 times the damage? It cuts through skills like Pringer
    X’s Special Skill Solved but it still deals virtually no damage. Prinny
    seems to treat her pretty well… That, and it’s the only sadistic 2D
    platformer I can stand outside of I wanna be the guy, and I just want
    I vote……. No… I do not want an Asagi game… Sadly…

  • Hound

    Asagi has a very flat personality (like most side characters.) They’d have to flesh out her story and make her goal almost Disney-esque to give the player enough feeling.

    She involves herself in a lot of other games and worlds, so I could see her in a Makai Kingdom-like game that’s designed around NIS as a whole. It could be a rather fulfilling adventure, and I can see Asagi turning into quite the character if they gave her a more rounded personality outside of her outbursts and strive.

    Pleinair, in my opinion, would be an amazing protagonist. Especially since she’s very stoic. She’s a big contrast to the rest of the NIS characters, and I’m disappointed that Same-san and Usagi-san don’t have enough depth yet.
    Pleinair in a game like the Prinny action platformers would be loads of fun.

    • Shariest

      Plenair is an interesting choice (A Very good one, too), but i think that there is already a good basic for a game that would have Asagi trying to be the main character…

      Since her cameo’s have changed personality and *Spoler* Disgaea 4 has her malice and desperation re-active “Fear The Great”, and overall has a nearly mental breakdown and emo-style intro *Spoler:End* She has already evolved mentally along the series… I wouldn’t leave these un-used :)

      Though Plenair using that Bunny as a mace/axe-combo weapon would be fun to watch :D

  • I voted “yes”. As ppl said, the 4th wall Asagi joke can go many ways like how she now rant abt getting a sequel… ‘sides, i wouldn’t mind Asagi as a 4th wall tastic MC.

    So how are we changing a zombie fate? Find him a true love? De-zombify him?

    EDIT: If you have something to say abt my opinion, how ’bout telling me instead of downvoting me?

  • DesmaX

    I want her to be the main character

    Of a mobile games, just for the lulz

    • Shariest

      “Disgaea: All The Trollest”

      • DesmaX

        Nah, “Asagi: All the Trollest”. With 50 Asagis on screen

        • Shariest

          Oooh! And one boss would be St. Etna fleet! 150 Prinnies with Etna Mother ship in the middle!

  • Ayaka

    Eight years since they first introduced Asagi? Woa, that’s a lot of time.

    Sure we want her as a main character! She’s always the one I end up leveling to insane level when playing Disgaea and its relatives (and I loved her mode in the sequel of Prinny for PSP), now it’s time to shine in her own game, c’mon <3

  • JordyZ

    I’d would totally love to see Asagi start in her own video game. really would make my day! (:

  • Methylene

    Part of me wants Asagi to get her game…part of me wants Asagi to get her game, but not without a large amount of catches and trolling.

    For example… she gets her game… where she is the final boss that every other N1 main character brand together to defeat!

    And yes, I am aware of the Prinny games… I mean an actual game and not just an extra story.

    On a side note, how come NISA never seems to do things like the Asagi fan page, especially considering it is their anniversary.?

  • CirnoLakes

    Voting for female main characters.

    • komiko12

      but not necessarily Asagi?
      Though many of Nippon Ichi games that are not Disgaea featured female MCs.

  • Haseyo

    Make Asagi the main character…then right at the end, have someone else steal the spotlight so she’s no longer the main character.

  • Asagi is told she is able to revive Makai Wars but it ends up being a bug infested beta and her role is confusing because the original Asagi is still in the game due to simply finishing the original source code.

  • Mavalex

    I’d be down for an Asagi game if they done one thing

    They have the title/intro have “Makai Wars” on some big flashy sign, only for it to fall over and reveal it was really made of cheap cardboard. Then the actual title comes in.

    …actually, now that I think about it, wouldn’t all her appearances equal a game itself? Like have all her cameos in games be boss battles. It would be a pretty neat concept actually

  • nyobzoo

    I hope Asagi gets her own game but not in a Srpg.

    • Given that she likes heavy military artillery, my guess would be… a Third Person Shooter? A Japanese Third Person Shooter that stars Asagi, and developed by NIS. Or better yet, a Contra-style game for her!

  • MrTyrant

    I voted for Asagi own game, basically the running joke about her having not game and just being a cameo has become boring, honest. I also curious about her, having a girl with guns with her personality is fun for a main character.

  • Follower_of_Pram

    Personally, I’d love to have an Asagi game. Sadly, she’s become a bit crazy, developing multiple personalities due to game whiplash. If she does get a game, I just hope they give it a genuine plot and not overshadow it with cameo jokes.

  • Spirate

    Z.H.P. was probably the best (non-Disgaea) game they’ve made this generation. Z.H.P. is to Nippon Ichi what The Incredibles was to Pixar. I’m glad that they’re giving the gameplay style another shot; I just wish they woudln’t have picked such a generic auesthetic to portray it in. Noizo Ito’s art doesn’t really work for an RPG, let alone a Z.H.P psuedo-sequel/spiritual successor.
    On the topic of Asagi getting her own gaming, I’m gonna have to vote no, which is sad. If she doesn’t get her own game her joke will continue even though some people are tired of it, but if she does, she loses all relevence and there’s no real need for her to appear anymore, so she’s basically screwed either way.

    • DesmaX

      Agreed. Just look how natural Takehiro Harada work looks compared to Noizi Ito in the last image in the article

  • You know, I’ve been itching for years for a game like Lunar. Just a simple, light hearted, and fun traditional turnbased RPG. And like Lunar, Asagi turns bad in the middle of the game, claiming that she’s not getting enough attention as the “main character”. So she plans to enslave the world and force the respect she feels she deserves. Throw in a sappy love story, and I think we got a game.

  • Sayorain

    At the same time, after Disgaea 2 came out, Laharl has been invading other netherworlds just so he could get his new game….

    and look what will happen this year…

  • Asuna Ilano

    “That’s a good question. Do you guys really want her to have her own game?”
    a million times YES!!!

  • kmantle

    “Do you guys really want [Asagi] to have her own game?”

    Do you even have to ask?

    Also, I was lucky enough to find ZHP for $250 (mexican pesos) at a local store, and I haven’t regreted the purchase. It’s pretty damn funny.

  • Yeah give us the Asagi game.

  • eliel

    a Asagi game would be awesome! also lookin forward to The Guided Fate Paradox! anybody know if this game is goin to have eng VA/dub?(hope it dose)…

  • theoriginaled

    Of course we want her to have her own game, which is why she never should.

  • I voted yes, but I’d much prefer a Pleinair game to be honest.

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