Drakengard 3 Producer And Creative Director Explain How The Game Came To Be

By Sato . April 5, 2013 . 3:00pm

Producer Takamasa Shiba and creative director Taro Yoko recently talked to Famitsu about how they decided to make Drakengard 3 and the idea behind some of the character designs, along with combat details.


Takamasa Shiba believes that due to the market recently targeting games at a casual demographic, there’s a void of games for the more dedicated gamers that must be filled. With that in mind, they’ve decided to make a new Drakengard, explaining that passionate gamers are the ones that appreciate a game’s world and story to the fullest.


After finishing the development of Drakengard 2, the PlayStation 3’s launch was just around the corner. Taro Yoko, formerly of Cavia (devlopers of Drakengard and Nier), had already begun planning out Drakengard 3, but at the time it was Shiba that told him he didn’t want to make it for a console that was about to be left behind for a new generation. Shiba reiterated by mentioning that he didn’t just refuse it by himself but that it was the parent company of Cavia, AQ Interactive, that told him it would’ve been impossible at the time.


However, after working around those plans, the finished product ended up being Nier, which Yoko will always consider his own Drakengard 3. Shortly after the release of Nier, Cavia have disbanded and the talks of making an actual Drakengard 3 resumed between Shiba and Yoko.


In order to help with the brainstorming process of Drakengard  3, they got help from Square Enix who provided fan questionnaires that asked what kind of game they’d like to see. While a good majority of fans wanted a darker story, similar to that of Nier, Yoko had intentions of doing something a little different, and has gone with it since then.


One of the crucial parts of making Drakengard 3 a different game from its previous titles or Nier was the character design. During the interview, Famitsu asked an interesting question regarding the flower on Zero’s right eye. Shiba was initially against the idea, and thought that having the protagonist go from male to female was already risky enough, but after thinking about it and how it could be used as an interesting plot device, he gave the green light to Yoko. Eventually, there were only two designs that were discarded Yoko believes that the final design with the flower will be a key visual that will give the impression of a unique character.


Additionally, despite having a female lead for Drakengard 3, the plan was to still retain the gritty feeling of Drakengard, which is why Zero has a a prosthetic arm and the blood in the visual above. Zero won’t be your average girly character.


Zero and One got their numerical names to make it easier to identify their relationship as sisters, as they have quite the opposite personalities. Zero’s prosthetic arm is said to have a big factor in Drakengard 3’s story.


Fans of Drakengard 1 and 2 may remember the Pact, which was a contract between a human in beast to become Pact Partners. The latest installment of the series will indeed have something along those lines, but in order to make the game more welcoming to new players, they will be making it something completely different.


Drakengard 3 will have new rules and a different view of the world that is geared towards new players. However, the developers still value their longtime fans and are currently thinking of ways they can reach a compromise by adding content that is geared towards loyal fans.


The Goddesses called “Utatai” will be using songs as a major factor in defeating warlords of Drakengard 3. The music itself will play a big part of the combat, as it will change attacking methods along with the flow of the song. Keiichi Okabe, known for his highly praised work on Nier’s soundtrack will also be composing the music for Drakengard 3. They expect the soundtrack to be just as good as Nier, but it will also be different as Yoko believes it wouldn’t be fun to use the same style of music every time.


When asked about being able to ride dragons while fighting in Drakengard 3, Shiba replied:


“Yes, it will share similarities from the previous titles but it will also have its differences. For example, while fighting on land, you’ll be able to call the dragons for assistance, which is a new feature to the series. Think of it as the dragons going wild and fighting side-by-side the main character during combat on land. So basically, the dragons will help you fight without having to ride on them.”


Drakengard 3 is slated to be released this year for PlayStation 3.


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  • Victoria [Rokuso3]

    I saw it in Famitsu the other day, I’m glad it’s been translated!!!

    I’m really looking forward for this. Day 1!! Loved Drakengard 1 and NieR.

    • Aoshi00

      Loved both games too, and the otherworldly, heart wrenching, and epic Nier soundtrack (Drakengard soundtrack sounded too crazy and drove people insane :)

      Would probably import this if they’re not doing a simultaneous release like Nier.. I only finished the US ver and still haven’t finished Replicant yet.. it’s funny Yoko Taro thinks of Nier as Darkengard 3, now I think of Drakengard 3 as Nier 2 lol..

      Other than Uematsu/Sakaguchi, Yoko Taro/Okabe/Fujisaka is the other dream team for me.

      • Victoria [Rokuso3]

        I absolutely loved Drakengard’s crazy soundtrack, it was quite experimental, but awesome. I understand most people don’t like it, however: it certainly drove you a little insane. More empathy with Caim, I guess :D

        Yoko taro spoke in twitter about a crazy story he wanted for the original Drakengard 3, when he got rejected. It involved: Tokyo, two school girls with dragons and their families kidnapped to make them work for the govern, biological weapons, alien monsters, kids, and war. I’d love to play it. It’s so crazy!

        I hope there are kids in Drakengard 3. It’s not Yoko taro’s game if there aren’t kids.

        • Aoshi00

          Yeah, there was a sense of urgency of Caim saving Furiae.. I think it was the string instrument like violin that makes your hair stand up, like the Psycho shower scene :) It was very unique, but felt like player being driven to the verge of insanity.

          That scenario sounds like the Drakengard/Nier world alright. Definitely need creepy looking little kids w/ bowl cut in his games :) I hope Drakengard 3 still has a M rating here, and maybe Cero D in Jpn.

  • Content I wanna see added just because is Lord of Vermilion Caim. Or at the very least Caim’s Sword for no reason whatsoever.

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Everything sounds interesting. It’s good they decided on using a female with some attitude after the past 2 protags were male.

    I’ll keep a look out for the final product, but I’ll try to shield my eyes and expectations until then…

  • Solomon_Kano

    Being able to call Mikhail down to fight sounds awesome.

  • AkuLord3

    Its good that they’re keeping in mind of long-time fans while trying to get new ones. Also Keiichi Okabe doing the music…SWEET. I do hope well having the similar style with Nier’s music while having themes that are in the same style as Drakengard 1’s

  • puchinri

    It’s always disappointing to me when a work that has some focus on music, does not have music that seems up to par (especially in comparison to the rest of the work), so I expect something really great and intriguing here (especially given how great some of the other Drakengard music was and the Nier OST).

    So was it Yoko Taro that initially decided on a female protag? I wonder what brought the change/decision? (I’m really thankful for it, because yay more female protags and Zero is sounding so cool already.)

    I’m looking forward to picking up the game~.

  • neo_firenze

    I need to just start ignoring Drakengard 3 information. Makes me too excited, and it will hurt that much more if it doesn’t get a quick localization (not that it would prevent me from importing this one, but ooooooh I want this to get an official English release).

  • Fub Frank

    I played Drakengard back in the day and unfortunately wasn’t too into it at a gameplay stand point, so I never finished it. After playing Nier and loving the hell out of it, I feel bad never giving it a real chance.

    Definitely looking forward to this A LOT.

    • SpecDotSign

      Cavia games tend to do that. lol. Gameplay is never their strength, but the stories and worlds these guys create are fantastic.

    • Göran Isacson

      I honestly wouldn’t be down on yourself, because I say this as someone who is hella into the dark and dystopic mood of Drakengard… it was DULL AS DISHWATER to play. The graphics were a festival in brown and grey-town, Caim ran so slowly that you had to plod all over the miserable stage at snails pace and the combat was simply not very polished, deep or entertaining.

      Drakengard is famous for it’s mood, but I personally believe that it deserved the scores it got because it is an INTENSELY personal and acquired flavor. To this day I have no umbrage with anyone who wants to curse at Drakengards mechanics for being bad, I will freely give them that. It’s the story and themes that I enjoy, and that I will defend. But yeah- play it? I wouldn’t replay it if people PAYED me to.

      • ShadowDivz

        I always read how Drakengard stories are dark,(ive never played one myself so i wouldn’t know). Im hoping this one will be along those lines.
        I prefer dark stories over the whole “everything works out in the end true love blahblah blah” I find those stories are easily forgotten because well, they aren’t worth remembering and alot of stories end happily.

  • shuyai

    So why is the dragon purple not white? technical limitation of ps3 XD?

  • Ryan Chiu

    Maybe a DLC where you can replace Zero with Caim, and Mikhail with Angelus? Think about it, Drakengard 3 developers.

  • Chiupon

    whoah, they actually developed something based on feedback…

    • Vash bane

      “”In order to help with the brainstorming process of Drakengard 3, they got help from Square Enix who provided fan questionnaires that asked what kind of game they’d like to see. While a good majority of fans wanted a darker story, similar to that of Nier, Yoko had intentions of doing something a little different, and has gone with it since then. “”
      looks like they were ignored

  • MrTyrant

    And Zero is related to Kaine from Nier’s world. Called it.

  • Kevin Schwarz

    Just the game I needed. Always the wait is the worst part…

  • Spirit Macardi

    As long as this game will be just as weird and dark as the first one, I’m happy :3

  • Aqua King

    Is “this year” the slated release date for Japan only?

    • Armane

      Nothing has been stated about a localisation. But it’s fair to assume we won’t see this “this year” outside of Japan.

  • Visa Vang

    Excited. Very excited.

  • Just one question, must I play Drakengard 1 and 2 before playing this?

    • IvanAzure

      They said they’re trying to make it welcoming to newcomers, so I guess not~ ;)
      (Though it’ll probably be interesting if you can do that. ^^)


  • Vash bane

    lol they choose right who don’t want to play as a sexy vixen while seeing the blood of your enemy s….(just realised… I sound weird D:) lets just keep it at that ^_^

  • SpecDotSign

    I’m excited as everyone else is but I have one big concern, who is going to publish this game? And if there is a localization (fingers crossed) who do y’all think will pick this up?

    • Raos

      Square Enix owns the IP and formed the team to work on this project so they are the publishers and if there is a localization probably they are gonna do it too

  • Don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely LOVELOVELOVE Zero’s design. She’s stunning, especially in that artwork with the dragon.

    She stands out as a character, mainly because of the flower. Zero, oh Zero~ <3

    • Well, to me that picture is like a white flower drenched in blood, which is what sticks in my mind. I find it cool, but I don’t even really look at the flower more than once. Just the entire atmosphere of the picture just screams awesome.

  • Tom

    Does anyone remember Drakan?

  • Anon_

    NIER!! xD
    This game looks good so far :

  • Rei Nitramier

    “there’s a void of games for the more ‘dedicated’ gamers that must be filled”
    Is that what they call “insane” or “masochistic” nowadays?

    • I hope so, I miss challenge. Most games are made for folks who haven’t spent half their lives honing game playing skills such as hand / eye coordination or finger strengthening, so stuff involving those tends to be made easier for the new gamers, which means old gamers just don’t feel any challenge what so ever.

      What sad is I was an 8 year old kid playing Final Fantasy and loving it. I seriously doubt most 8 year olds nowadays would have the patience or the want to finish a game like that anymore. And that is why our current game generation is so wimpy on game mechanics. Thankfully for every 10 easy games, there are some real terrors in the skill department to be found in the indie scene.

  • They were turned down to make Drakengard 3 for PS2 because the PS3 was on the horizon, yet now they make it for PS3 with PS4 on the horizon. Go figure.

    I am more excited for this than anyone can imagine. To put it in perspective…


    • Free hat

      wow nice clean linework on whoever did that. Bravo on getting something that obscure tatted ^^

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUwZxRGNp_Y

        As I stated in this video years ago, it’s my own daily reminder of sacrifice, survival, and perseverance. Truly love everything about Drakengard; the setting, storyline, music, gameplay…everything. The chaos, the dragons, the twisted plot, Caim’s persistence beyond sanity, the violent orchestral dischords…the game is a masterpiece.

        More so, the tale is nearly Shakespearean. When do you ever see such tragedy in a game from start to finish?

        • Sylveria

          Geeze with passion like that I’m half tempted to track down the first two just to see how it has you so enthralled. Not often I see someone express such reverence for something.

          • You should be fully tempted and do so! I can’t recommend them enough. Drakengard 2 was good too, just…”different”. Almost like Yin and Yang to the first, which makes sense considering the dragons in both.

            Yoko and Shiba may want to make Drakengard 3 accessible to those familiar with the series and not, but it goes without saying you will definitely appreciate the third game more after playing the first two (and Nier) to see how they all tie together!

        • Free hat

          OH GOD!! Soon as that music started I knew exactly what is was Chapter 13 Verse 3…..think I spent like two weeks beating that single 2 and half min sequence……Only ending to actually make me drop the controller and walk away from a game. Such a wtf moment.

    • Raos

      It was Cavia’s parent company AQ Interactive who turned it down, now they don’t have anything to do with this one so they can’t do that again

    • Soroth23

      thats a bit…..extreme. Love the enthusiasm though. Probably wouldve chosen someone elses mark though. not sure who though.

  • AaqibRawat

    i really want a bit more depth in the combat.

    then the this game will be perfect.

    i love how different weapons had skills in drakengard 2 i hope you can map all the skills from old weapons on to other weapons.

    that would be cool.

  • firstarioch

    Nier is one of the best games this generation. Just the thought that we can again play a game with similar sensibilities its a miracle .I hope it sells well so we can have another part on ps4 …I love their games .music ,grpahics,art direction , mood simply brilliant and nothing like this on the market …

  • Göran Isacson

    Huh. I have to say that I’m kind of baffled at how changing the way the pact system works will be more “welcoming” to new players. I presume he means that it won’t be as serious or as taxing as the pacts of Drakengard, so the two won’t be bound by an oath of life and death so newcomers won’t be as bummed out that stuff can get so serious and the stakes can go so high, but… isn’t that EXACTLY what everyone who’s a fan of the series wants?

  • Sesshomaru Sama

    I loved both games so very much from the game play to the music to the story a lot of people did not enjoy the game as much as I think they Should have if they say they loved the mood of the game it was supposed to be dull and kind of having you really tired of doing the task that’s how Cime was feeling and as you got more and more tired of the flying missions so was Angelus but you might say but I had to do both so it was worse but you you forgot the Pact they shared that was the whole point of you having to play both of them! As for the second one Nowe and Legna had the pact and quit frankly the game ended to fast but that’s the only complaint I have about the second one I really can’t wait for them to release this to the NA region, I mean they just have too!

  • Soroth23

    Now, call me crazy, but they stated that they didnt want to make a new drakengard title for a console thats about to be left in the dust for a new console……but isnt that kind of what there doing anyway? I mean, PS4 has already been announced, and said that its not that far off, so there kind of doing what they didnt want to do in the first place.

  • Soroth23

    A few comments on this post. One, having Mikhail assist u without riding on him…BRILLIANT!! Love this idea, I love air combat in the other 2 drakengards, but air to land combat was a little choppy for my tastes.

    Second, the idea of using songs in combat is a little sketchy for me, ive never seen it used properly in games in the past.
    Three, just a few minor details that feel funky too me. Personally, not a huge fan of fanservice in games, and in the past Drakengard hasnt needed it. Their female characters (with the exception of Hanch) have been naturally beautiful without the need of skimpy clothing or erotic behavior. Also, the names Zero and One just sound a little lazy to me, and finally WTF WITH THAT FLOWER!?

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