BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Takes Us 80% Through The Saga And Other Tidbits

By Spencer . July 4, 2013 . 2:54am

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Siliconera sat down with Toshimichi Mori to talk about BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. We started talking about new characters, then we touched on XBlaze: Code Embyro and freemium fighting games. If there’s one thing to take home from this interview is Mori-san is BlazBlue’s storyline will have an ending and he’s committed to seeing the saga through.

 

We we met to talk about BlazBlue: Continuum Shift you said we were about halfway through the BlazBlue storyline. How far does BlazBlue: Chronophantasma take us?

 

Toshimichi Mori, Producer: I plan on revealing most of the major mysteries behind everything that has led up to this point in the story.

 

How do Kagura Mutsuki and Yuki Terumi fit into the BlazBlue story?

 

Kagura is the character that will lead everyone to make the story proceed. [Laughs] I can’t talk about Yuki Terumi because if I tell you now that will spoil things.

 

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It seems like a lot of characters have true forms…

 

[Laughs] The characters in BlazBlue grow up along with the story, so some of them may end up surprising people.

 

What other BlazBlue character will surprise fans?

 

Hmm… Ranga! [Laughs]

 

Kagura’s fighting system is interesting since he can switch between different move sets using his drive.

 

I developed Kagura to make the game accessible to people and easier to play. You can play impulsively with Kagura. You get into a stance and push a button and he’ll do something cool. He’s easy to operate, but once you start playing him there is a lot of depth to his movements. You know Street Fighter IV? He’s like Guile.

 

I played a little bit of Chronophantasma, mostly with Bullet. Where did you get the idea for the Lockon drive. (This attack makes Bullet rush towards the other player for a grab attack.)

 

The idea for “lockon” was in the original BlazBlue concept document. I had this idea from the very beginning and was debating on using it for Tager. Because Tager has his current drive, I saved the idea and decided to use it for Bullet.

 

What can you tell us about Yuki, other than he’s a major villain?

 

Compared to other characters, Yuki has a lot of distortion drives. His special power is absorbing energy from other characters. He puts pressure on other players and more like Ragna.

 

 blazbluechr-27 blazbluechr-01

 

Will we have any DLC characters?

 

No. But there will be DLC, colors and voices.

 

What about DLC scenarios?

 

No. I wanted to put all of the contents for the game in the game when you purchase it. You know the full roster too.

 

Why is BlazBlue: Chronophantasma only for PlayStation 3? I understand in Japan, the Xbox 360 market has shrunk, but in North America there are many fighting game fans that play on Xbox 360 using Xbox Live. Why did you make BlazBlue: Chronophantasma a PS3 exclusive here?

 

I don’t know!

 

But, it is developed on uniform hardware being made on a PC so it can be ported…

 

Aksys: That’s a question for Arc System Works.

Minoru Kidooka, President of Arc System Works: That’s an Aksys question. [Laughs]

TM: [Laughs] I didn’t make that decision.

 

Aside from BlazBlue, you’re working on a visual novel too, XBlaze: Code Embyro. While BlazBlue is story driven, why did you want to make a game that’s completely story driven.

 

TM: I want to stress that I wrote everything for BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. I spent a lot of time on that. [Laughs] Because there was an environment to create something like XBlaze, so why not? Wouldn’t you want to make fried eggs if you saw a frying pan and eggs laying around?

 

Both BlazBlue and XBlaze have one common theme – what is power. For XBlaze, the focus is on justice. People view power in different ways. Is power the amount of power you hold compared to someone else? This game will be a view between your personal view of power and a grand concept of power. In Xblaze, each character views power a different way and the grand theme is what kind of power is needed for you to walk down the path you chose.

 

Mori-san, you know Aksys has been a big supporter of visual novels in the West. Do you think they will localize it?

 

TM: [Laughs] I have high hopes they will pick it up.

 

We’ve seen BlazBlue characters appear in other games, but fans always ask me to ask you about a BlazBlue and Guilty Gear crossover.

 

TM: No!

MK: Someday.

TM: [Laughs] I don’t have a plan to do it until I finish BlazBlue completely.

MK: We’re 80% through…

TM: You never know because we might go 1% every year after that. [Laughs] We will lend our characters to people, but we will never put anyone else’s characters into the BlazBlue story.

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate and Tekken are experimenting with a freemium model to bring more players into the fighting game genre. What do you think of this strategy?

 

TM: Honestly, I was curious about it on my own and I wanted to try it out. I was thinking about it, but Mr. Harada [Tekken producer] beat me to it. I want to try someday.

 

Everything is after I complete the entire BlazBlue story. I want to see the story to completion and have it finalized before branching out. All of the other fighting games have a never ending story, I want to have one fighting game with a definitive ending because nobody has done this before.

 

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I think BlazBlue’s story is much more integral than other fighting games.

 

TM: The stories in King of Fighters and Tekken are interesting. You know the interaction between Kazuya, Heihachi, and so forth.

 

So when do you think you will complete the story?

 

TM: [Laughs] I don’t know.

 

Hmm.. so it might not even be on these current consoles.

 

TM: Yeah, I haven’t decided. It took me three years to finish Chronophantasma.

 

Kidooka-san do you think Mori-san takes too long between sequels? Other Japanese companies and Western companies aim to have yearly sequels and it’s nice that you give Mori-san plenty of time to write Chronophantasma.

 

TM: [Laughs]

MK: That’s a hard question to answer. He’s very busy. [Laughs.] We’re actually releasing games every week, but they’re probably too small so nobody notices.

 

We noticed! Arc System Works has a strong relationship with Circle Entertainment and even brings Western games like Nano Assault Neo to Japan.

 

MK: Our company is preparing an environment to have a staggered schedule where main releases come one after another. That’s our plan, but please consider the size of Arc System Works compared to other larger companies.

 

Arc System Works is known for making a polished anime look with BlazBlue, of course, and other games like Hard Corps Uprising and Persona 4 Arena. How do you plan to enhance that for PS4 and Xbox One?

 

MK: Currently, we are brainstorming. Guilty Gear Xrd is a title we’re considering to bring to the next generation.

TM: We still haven’t announced anything for Microsoft, but we are a PlayStation 4 developer.

 

What do you think about Wii U? In Japan, you’re supporting it.

 

MK: I’m lost for an answer. That’s a difficult question.

 

How did Persona 4 Arena do for Arc System Works?

 

MK: As a company, we did well and we were successful in tapping into a new fanbase for fighting games.

TM: Arc System Works answered Index’s requests and the most we could do was suggest characters for it. For instance, I asked if we could make [Ryotaro] Dojima a character and they said no. I guess the characters I picked weren’t as well known so they were all denied. Nanako was the other one. They said like, “Hell no. Why did you even think that?”

 

Will you make a Nanako sized character for BlazBlue?

 

TM: [Laughs.] It’s possible. Small characters hard to control in a fighting game.

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What do you want to say to all of the BlazBlue fans out there?

 

I want BlazBlue fans to look forward to the network mode because we put a lot of time and work behind it. The feeling is as if the US players were at an arcade hanging out and that’s the feeling what I was going for. There will be lobbies now. At the end of the day, BlazBlue is a fighting game so I just wanted to let fans know we put a lot of effort into network play.


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  • Keima88

    Ooh nice interview!

    Nanako in P4U huh? That could be interesting.

    • DragKudo

      she could have been in her loveline outfit. with her dad as her “persona” and a counter instant kill with her singing the junes song making the opponent join her and end the battle.

      • psycho_bandaid

        HNNNNG! *kills all opponents with weapons grade moe*

      • http://www.ihasnowebsitez.com Satonaka CP-Four

        “Nanako! Nanako! get me some sausages!”

  • Tom_Phoenix

    “For instance, I asked if we could make [Ryotaro] Dojima a character and they said no. I guess the characters I picked weren’t as well known so they were all denied. Nanako was the other one. They said like, “Hell no. Why did you even think that?””

    I guess they didn’t realise the plot implications of including those characters. XD Although I can see why they wanted to include Ryotaro and Nanako; they are easily the most likeable characters in Persona 4.

    Out of curiosity, who is that female character in the first picture on the right? Her clothing seems to be some sort of combination of a suit, a robe and a wizard hat and I find the end result strangely appealing. o_O

    • Zedar89

      She is Konoe A Mercury aka Nine. She is Kokonoe’s mother

      • Tom_Phoenix

        I see. Thank you for your reply.

  • http://Youtube.com/Dyjuan1 Rising Overlord

    So close to play with Nanako on P4U. I wander who else he asked for ?(lol) Maybe we could have played with Makoto Yuki or better yet Tohru Adachi.

  • PlatinumMad

    No DLC characters? I am sorry for Jubei and Kokonoe.

    Also, even better online? Awesome.

  • s6_miller

    Still not sure if i’m going to get this, Continuum shift with it’s dlc left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Vesperion

      While i’ll still get the game regardless i can see where your coming from

  • Patrick Lucas Honeyman

    Nice interview with Blazblue’s creator. He’s really involved with the whole Blazblue story and that’s telling with his direct involvement in the upcoming anime series (as opposed to leaving it in someone else’s hands).

    Nice to know he wants to give the game’s story a definitive ending so at least his involvement with the franchise doesn’t carry on for countless sequels. Its not a terrible story as far as fighting games go.

  • psycho_bandaid

    “Aksys: That’s a question for Arc System Works.

    Minoru Kidooka, President of Arc System Works: That’s an Aksys question. [Laughs]

    TM: [Laughs] I didn’t make that decision.”

    This part made my head hurt.

    “All of the other fighting games have a never ending story, I want to have one fighting game with a definitive ending because nobody has done this before.”

    This part made me nearly cry tears of joy.

    “I guess the characters I picked weren’t as well known so they were all denied. Nanako was the other one. They said like, ‘Hell no. Why did you even think that?”‘

    This part nearly made me cry. All in all a fantastic interview. Can’t wait for Chronophantasma.

  • EtherealEarth

    “No. I wanted to put all of the contents for the game in the game when you purchase it. You know the full roster too.”

    Faith in game industry restored! / + []+) /

    Actually, I exaggerated a lot, but I still feel happy he decided to do this instead of making parts as dlc like some games.

    • KonjikinoSora

      It still doesn’t rule out the fact that a “Chronophantasma Extend” or something similar may be in development.

      • neocatzon

        Let’s hope they didn’t mean it that way.. Continuum Shift is insane. With Vita exclusion it’s too similar to CS first release.

      • Tonton Ramos

        Chronophantasma Extend version should be exclusive in the next gen consoles.

    • http://www.ihasnowebsitez.com Satonaka CP-Four

      lol my copy and paste has been taken by you. Either way keep this comment up at the top. Sorry Capcom has to resort to the other end of the spectrum for this just to stay alive in the game with Ultimate MvC3 being their worst offender as of yet (oh I believe they have it in them to go even worse than that sadly) but hey, that’s them and this is this. No wonder i prefer this fighting series than SF now. Just a higher level of faith in a company to not worry about getting nickel and dimed around is enough for me to warrant a purchase.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu of Spades

    “Will you make a Nanako sized character for BlazBlue?”

    Haha! I see what you did there!

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com/ SoulArbiter

    I’m happy to hear Mori intended to have everything already included when you purchased the actual game. Thank you very much, Mori.

  • Go2hell66

    Awww man Nanako playable in P4A, why didn’t this happen!?

  • Smooosh

    Looking forward to this, just bought Continuum Shift Extend a few days ago for my vita to learn what happened in Calamity Trigger. Only owned the original Continuum Shift before that.
    BlazBlue has a really cool story for a fighting game. :)

  • XiaomuArisu

    Thats how you do it right!
    ASW ftw!

  • Göran Isacson

    This was a pretty funny interview, especially how boldly he just admitted that he had no idea to the answers of some of those questions. It’s… refreshing, I guess, to have a question answered so directly without a lot of doublespeak. Kinda weird how none of them can answer the lack of Xbox 360 though.

    I must also admit that it’s refreshing to see him actually plan to END this story, and move on to something new. Some people say that fighting games shouldn’t care that much about the story, but I say it’s nice to see someone willing to experiment and put so much focus on it. Still really curious how Xblaze connects to regular Blazblue too.

    But speaking of doublespeak… he did say there would be no DLC characters, but does that necessarily eliminate the possibility of an upgraded version with extra characters and rebalancing? I’m not so sure, because then it wouldn’t be DLC but a whole new disc now, wouldn’t it~?

    • Astrotrain

      Agree. I hate when people say figthing games don’t deserve a story.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu of Spades

      Rebalancing can be done through patching, obviously.

      • Göran Isacson

        Oh, it CAN be done that way. But is anything in his words saying that it won’t be done with new versions of the game? The devil lies in the details, after all…

  • Sapitntapit

    I’ve always wanted to get into this series but I have no idea where to start.

    What order do they go in?

    • bassgs435

      Calamity Trigger>Continuum Shift Extend>Chrono Phantasma

      • Sapitntapit

        Isn’t there a 2nd Continuum Shift as well?

        • Mister_Nep

          Continuum Shift Extend is the second one. They added an extra character, and his story. So Extend is the more complete version of Continuum Shift.

          • RichyGaming

            No, Continuum Shift II was the second one. Then there came Continuum Shift Extend.

        • bassgs435

          you must be talking about continuum shift II. Extend is merely that with a new character and 4 new storys.
          so by getting Extend , you get Continuum Shift , Continuum Shift II and some exclusive stuff

    • DemonShadowX

      Calamity Trigger>Continuum Shift EXTEND>Chronophantasm. If don’t want to get all 3 games you can just get Continuum Shift Extend which has a fairly basic recap of what happens in Calamity Trigger.

  • Eder García

    “Why is BlazBlue: Chronophantasma only for PlayStation 3? I understand in Japan, the Xbox 360 market has shrunk, but in North America there are many fighting game fans that play on Xbox 360 using Xbox Live. Why did you make BlazBlue: Chronophantasma a PS3 exclusive here?”
    [MK: I don’t know!]

    good question there, bad answer? BlazBlue was made thinking for the Japanese market and that market is PS3 targeted, yes the 360 is selling like hotcakes in the USA but that doesn t mean Anime games like BlazBlue are the reason of those sales, COD is the reason and their players doesn t like Anime.

    “What do you think about Wii U? In Japan, you’re supporting it.”
    [MK: I’m lost for an answer. That’s a difficult question.]

    in other words ArcSys has no games in development for the WiiU (for now?)

    • Vesperion

      While Blazblue wont make people run out and buy a Xbox, it does do ok here compared to JP.

      I played all Blazblue games on the Xbox until Extend came out

  • TheExile285

    Saw this in the Vita section and got SUPER excited….

    I was naive….

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 水木

    So 80% of the story, does that mean this goes through the stories from BlazBlue to this or do I need to play each game that’s released to know what’s going on story wise?

    Nice interview by the way

    • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

      I don’t know if it includes the first two stories or not. But CSE has the first two so you’d need to at least get it and this probably.

      • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 水木

        Nice I have Extend, thanks ^ ^

        • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

          Yup.

  • Tyler Beale

    Here’s another question:

    When will you get in touch with Compile Heart (or vice versa) and do a Hyperdimension Neptunia fighting game (handled similarly to Persona 4 Arena)?

  • Hatsuaki

    It makes me happy that Mori is including everything in the game as soon as you purchase it. …Well, I guess with Terumi being an exception but he’s Pre-Order bonus so.

  • Herok♞

    Well its weird to think about but they are right Blazblue would be the first fighting game series to have a ending to the story

    • British_Otaku

      Reminds me of the bizarre fact that Megaman Battle Network, the series which fired out over six titles in a roughly four year span (March 2001 – November 2005) is the first Megaman series to end come to a close.

      I’m sure the last Blazblue will still have a lot of life at tournaments even if it ends. I’m just worried we will get missing characters at one point or another.

      • Laith Rem

        I thought the first one to end conclusively was Megaman Zero?

        • British_Otaku

          Checked over the dates, it seems so. Still bizarre that of a franchise started on the NES and with many subfranchises, the first one to end started on the GBA.

      • Lynx

        Technically, BN ended twice. 3 and 6 in particular.

  • Astrotrain

    Take note, Capcom.

  • Speedo Redempteur

    More in the network mode ? will they improve the netcode ??

    That make me quite intrested.

    i’m also glad that an ending is planned for now i hope terumi won’t disapoint as a vilain… Let’s see your superb plan.

    • AkuLord3

      you do realize…Terumi was Hazama…right? he has ben the VILLIAN for this WHOLE TIME

      • Speedo Redempteur

        You felt the need to tell me ???

        Anyone talking about the story and expecting said story know this

  • Lionxie

    So that means no Jubei or Kokonoe :(

  • artemisthemp

    The reason Blazblue (new one) ain’t coming to 360 is… Because Arc System Works can justify the lost of making a 360 port of Blazblue.

    • xAKUM3TSUx

      in japan, Yes. In US no :::(

      • artemisthemp

        Arc System Works is a Japanese studio and I doubt they would make a Xbox 360 version, just for 1 area.

  • pantsonadog

    I wish they would at least give us a reason why there’s not going to be a 360 version. Either way I’m looking forward to this.

  • Raltrios

    Please don’t make small characters without serious thought! I never want to see another Oddjob…
    Different genres entirely, but whatever…

  • TheHolypopeofgaming

    Can’t wait for this game! Still would like to know why no 360 version but I don’t think we’ll ever know.

  • Djanjo Nakkuruzu Fortis

    3 Years to write it and you still don’t give Jubei a spot in the roster? I respect creative endeavors and people have lives, but something is obnoxious about him being so pivotal but him NOT taking an active role in the actual game.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    I saw this on the PSV section and got my hopes up. Consider myself trolled~.

  • Vash bane

    cool I like this developers their funny but from the sond of things that 1% chance of a cross over sound higher XD
    ragna becomes blood edge again?

  • Arcliff7

    Shouldn’t it be possible to make a 360 port and release it just for the West? Dark Souls did.

  • Leivinia

    >He’s like Guile.

    I’ll believe that when he has a theme song that goes with everything!

    • Solomon_Kano

      He’s probably not even a family man.

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