Drakengard 3 Art Director On How He Designed The Game’s Characters

By Ishaan . April 9, 2014 . 8:30am


“As for Drakengard 3’s characters, well, I pretty much used so-called ‘Medieval Europe’ as an inspiration when designing for Drakengard 1 and 2,” says Drakengard 3 art director, Kimihiko Fujisaka, in a promotional video for the game. “But for Drakengard 3, especially for the main characters, I designed them to be, how should I say, more modern without focusing too much on the medieval aspects.”


“On the flip side, in terms of other NPC characters such as knights and monsters, they are still somewhat medieval-inspired,” he adds.


“Not for Drakengard 3 in particular per se; I would say this is more of [director] Yoko-san’s general method but he is the type of director who checks out the character design and based on their appearance, he intentionally changes their personality to the opposite of what they look like,” Fujisaka says later in the interview.


“Because of this, I don’t really design characters based on their personality, or I wouldn’t design facial features in a certain way because they’re supposed to be cynical… etc. There’s none of that. In terms of the look of the characters, I design them without worrying too much about their personality, and it’s actually the other way around—details of the characters like their personality aspects get decided afterwards.”


Additionally, Square Enix have announced the last wave of pre-order bonuses for Drakengard 3. If you order the game between now and launch (May 20th), you’ll get six free PlayStation Network themes featuring Zero, her dragon companion Mikhail, and the four Disciples: Cent, Octa, Decadus and Dito.


The aforementioned themes will also be available to you if you’ve already pre-ordered the game. Additionally, Square Enix say that another pre-order incentive, exclusive to Amazon.com and “other participating retailers,” will allow players to download three costume colour variations for Zero.


Finally, the Drakengard 3 official website now features the chapters Two, Three, Four and Five from the prequel novella, and you can read them there.

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  • Six

    My feels are ready. Nier is one of the most spectacular games I have ever experienced.

    If this manages to be even a quarter as epic as Nier was, I’ll be satisfied.

    • H.A.MK

      The game is a great experience that you will never forget anytime soon. So many good characters who develop properly during the course of the lengthy story. Weapon leveling and much more refine combat system than Nier. My only beef with the game is the camera, which is a bit better than Neir but still not good enough. The DLC for the game has been costumes from previous Drakengard games and 6 stories which allows you to play with each sister each with unique combat style and story. It an improved version of Nier in my humble opinion and I love Nier to death.

      • Aoshi00

        Hm you’re the first one I heard describe Drakengard 3’s gameplay better than Nier.. I thought D3 was quite unpolished with messy camera, framerate, and screen tearing even after numerous updates, which Nier didn’t have, and it’s from several years ago. Also the loading was long, improved after the patches, and the game already has a mandatory 6gb install..

        Nevertheless I did like the game and bought all the dlcs, the art design and soundtrack were great (again I prefer Nier’s). I just popped in Nier again and thought it ran much smoother with more variety in gameplay. I like Drakengard 3, but liked Drakengard 1 and Nier much more..i’m going back to finish replicant now lol. Anyway i’m still looking forward to the US ver with Eng dub, even though it’s a bit grindy to get Ending D, and the final battle! The Jpn dub is good with great seiyuu, but I loved the amazing eng Nier dub. I read the novella and getting the Utahime Five mangas too, still I think the DLC on the intoner sis is way too greedy and should’ve been included instead of being cut and sold separately on purpose, Nier included so much without dlc. I’m a huge fan of Fujisaka too, but I like his art for Drakengard and the last story more.

        • MasterofMidnight

          Thanks for both of your insights. I’ve been tempted to buy the Japanese version, despite my Japanese being really poor, but I think I’ll hold off if the gameplay and other issues are that noticeable.

          I too am a huge fan of Nier (going through my 5 playthrough now).

          Regarding the character design, personally, I can’t help but feel the design is more to do with fanservice than anything. Sweet talk all the want, but with the inclusion of some of the sexy DLC, I find it unlikely that it wasn’t so much a choice to coincide with the story, but as a way of increasing sales in Japan, a country seemingly less willing to buy games that adhere to trends i.e. fanservice characters.

          • Aoshi00

            There’s been 3-4 patches so far amounting to about 1Gb, the mandatory install is 6Gb. The long loading had been drastically improved, but the camera is still pretty bad and tearing still there, not game breaking but if you like the story you’ll just need to live w/ it lol. Getting different weapons and combo are more fun later on.

            Yeah, usually I’m a huge fan of Fujisaka Kimihiko’s art, but D3 is definitely on the fanservicey side.. the sex jokes are funny, but sometimes too rampant it just seems a little tasteless.. the Intoners sisters were marketed to be really unique, but if you don’t buy the DLC chapters, their background story is really backbone, almost none, you kind of just kill them in a boss fight and that’s it. Still if you like Nier and Drakengard, chances are you would still like the game.. if you don’t want to spend more on the LE from S-E store, vanilla is available on Amazon too for $50. But LE has dual audio and novella (good but not necessary, DLC chapters’ story more relevant to the main game). The US LE is much better valued though including so many One’s chapter, costumes, novella, and themes.. but yeah, art-wise, I prefer the more medieval look of Darkengard and Nier. Now going to watch more Game of Thrones lol :)

        • Rayhan PromisedGallery

          I was replaying Nier (replaying it with Replicant) after playing this game, and holy shit, i just realized how unpolished Nier’s action are. Basic combat of this game actually has better camera than Nier, faster pace, weapon actually being varied and more useful, more enemy type.
          Nier is actually enjoyable for first experience, but i don’t really think i can really replay it as enjoyable as the first one.

          That said Nier just happen to more meat with its level design, minigames, sidequest, and customization. But i won’t really say the gameplay being totally better. Especially when you can break the game in Nier with overpowered spear and Dark Hand

          Seriously, people overexaggeratting the camera, framerate, loading screen and data install. It’s not like it’s make the actual game totally unplayable

          • Aoshi00

            I spent dozens of hours on Drakengard 3, the flaws are not game breaking but hardly exaggerated. Still it’s not good being that unpolished coming out 3-4 years after Nier. I find these technical flaws to be a pity, if not unforgivable. Keep in mind, wrestling w/ the camera constantly (one would get used to after a while) and screen tearing (even when nothing is clustering the screen), these issues still exist after 3 update patches plus a 6Gb install, imagine w/o the HD install. The loading was indeed very long and frustrating before the patches, after you die long loading, btwn stages long loading, it tests your patience. I think the loading is noticeably better after the 2nd and 3rd patches.

            It’s definitely not unplayable, it’s repetitive yet admittedly addictive. Could’ve used more dragon gameplay. gameplay-wise, D3 and Nier are completely different, Nier more open-world RPG filled w/ town and interactive NPCs, felt more like a rich and living world.

            Like I said, I don’t dislike the game, but I was more drawn in by the story, music, and art style. Otherwise I would not have bought all the DLCs at 600 yen each every week (at least yen is weak now). Actually my biggest pet peeve was these Intoner DLCs are clearly part of the game and got cut out, they are not extra and optional if you want to experience the complete story. The sisters barely had any personality or background story other than the summarized paragraphs we read on the website. It was hard to feel anything for them fighting and killing each other unless you read both the novella and play the additional DLC chapters.

            On a strictly technical level, Nier didn’t require a 6Gb install, ran smoothly on its own, and didn’t have the side stories being sold as DLCs.

            I’m not saying the flaws rendered Drakengard 3 an unplayable game, but I expected it to be much better after Nier. And I do not like the marketing aspect of this game one bit. Still I’m a sucker for Yoko Tarou game, so I got the 10th Anniver Ed, DLCs, soundtrack, artbook, manga, etc… Most fans in Jpn do like Drakengard 1 and Nier better than D3 though. D3 was rec’d quite negatively on the whole. Despite its unpolishedness and shortcoming, I still want to play it in Eng all over again since the Eng Nier dub was so good, I think the Eng dub would even improve on this. I was still blown away by Kaine’s first speech when Nier booted up lol, unforgettable.

  • Mind0105A

    That’s unusual way, usually we write/plan story and build the characters personality and their designs. Interesting…

    • Laith Rem

      Yoko Tarou’s design structure of subverting expectations strikes again!

  • Saphiren

    My mind is ready.

  • Ethan_Twain

    That’s nice. Too many JRPGs these days where just a glance at the character art and maybe a sentence or two of dialogue and I already know everything I need to know about the character.

  • Rayhan PromisedGallery

    “This is the third installment in the series”

    No, it’s the fourth

    • MrTyrant

      Are there four Drakengard games?

    • Laith Rem

      It’s the third. NieR is related yes, but it’s not considered a drakengard game.

  • Stephen Mc Devitt

    I’m curious on who the rest of characters will be voiced by because I imagine ones making the game want strong ties with past titles.

  • Kornelious

    Still glad that I ordered the Collectors Edition (Even though Square charges ridiculous prices for their stuff >:( ) So know I get three different Pre-order bonuses instead of…..Color variations…..Swing and a miss Amazon?

    • MasterofMidnight

      Personally, I don’t think

      the collector’s edition is that expensive. Not when you see the kinds of prices retro gamers pay for games. 79.99 dollars? Pah! Just a drop in the ocean.

  • Abysswalker90

    Drag on Dragoon

  • Even though designing characters with the personality in mind does work pretty well in some instances and can be good design, it doesn’t work that way in reality necessarily, so I like that it’s not something done here (I mean, yeah one’s warddrobe and at times their hair can reflect that, but even then).

    I’m really looking forward to the game, but now I’m also desperate to get my hands on D1 & 2. ;u;

    • Sapitntapit

      Amazon has 1 for a pretty cheap price, but god damn, 2 can get pricey.

      • I believe it. ;u;
        I wish Ubisoft would either rerelease it or get rid of the license over it.

        I know 1 can be cheap though, because it was available on SE’s store until recently for a fair price. They sell out so quick though (unsurprisingly!).

  • Tinye

    I am so freakin excited!

  • I am thankful for his skills as Drakengard 3 is my most anticipated game this year, and the characters look great.

  • RajaNaga

    I really would like a confirmation that you can buy the JP Voice DLC. I wasn’t able to pre-order it in time and that is important to me :<

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