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.