The Neptunia series started with a few companies turned into RPG characters like Gust and 5pb. Each new game grows the Gamindustri universe and Noire’s spinoff strategy RPG, Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, has a set of characters that are based on game genres instead of companies.
“We’ve been creating personifications characters for all kinds video games in Neptunia for a while now, the first thing we look at are the colors used by the makers of the games, and the logo. It’s things like that, and we also look at the lineup of games they’ve already released to work on the character’s personality and their perspective,” Neptunia producer Naoko Mizuno said to Siliconera about designing characters.
One of the concepts for Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart was to have a parody of game software instead of companies. This inspired the character design for Norie’s party members who are based on popular Japanese series like Metal Gear Solid, Monster Hunter, Dynasty Warriors, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy. Compile Heart wouldn’t officially confirm that was the case though and said they want fans to guess which games characters come from.
Ultra Dimension Neptunia U, an action game spinoff, turns video game magazines into characters. Players will be able to fight as Famitsu and Dengeki along with Neptune and the other CPUs. “Well, Neptunia takes place in a world that often uses material from the game industry as part of its story, and nowadays we have a deep connection with the video game media folks, who often feature titles of our company. Thanks to that connection, we figured that it’d be fun to have them appear as characters, so we reached out and made it happen,” Mizuno said.
It’s not unusual to see video game magazine collaborations with games in Japan. Phantasy Star Portable 2 had the Famitsu shield and Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory had Dengeki DLC packs for the Japanese market. That opened discussions for Famitsu and Dengeki to become playable characters. When Compile Heart pitched the idea to both Japanese gaming magazines it was almost like a joke at first, but both of them accepted. While Ultra Dimension Action Neptunia U has not been announced for the West, Compile Heart confirmed if the game is released in other territories Famitsu and Dengeki will be in an international release because both characters are core to the story.
While there are a bunch of new characters, someone has been missing recently. Remember NISA? She played a key role in the first three Neptunia games, but was not present in the Neptunia Re;Birth remakes on Vita. What happened to her?
“We’ve created all kinds of collaboration characters with game developers for Neptunia, and we already have numerous parody characters. We’ll continue creating new collaboration characters moving forward, and we’ll be brainstorming ideas as far as what kind of characters we’ll make, which might change later on depending on circumstances," answered Norihisa Kochiwa. Compile Heart staff added that they have so many characters and deciding on who to put in each game has been difficult. On top of that, the staff is focusing on creating new characters and crossovers for fans. With that said, they teased that maybe we’ll see NISA again in the near future.
The next major title in the Neptunia series is in development for PlayStation 4. “For Neptunia Victory II, we’ve prepared different stories for the three Dimensions. To give you rough details as far as stories go, well, you may have already seen a trailer for Zero Dimension, will be centered around the fight against three giant enemies and a new goddess named Uzume Tennoboshi,” Mizuno said to Siliconera. Neptunia Victory II has three different game worlds for players to explore. Zero Dimension is a parallel world to the Gamindustri we already know and it has been destroyed by giants. “The battle system is something we’ve completely revamped. It evolved from the current battle system [in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory],” Mizuno added.