After Ys SEVEN, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky series will find a path to North America. Xseed has the first game in the trilogy slated for release next year. We spoke to Toshihiro Kondo, President of Nihon Falcom about the Trails in the Sky titles, Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki, and because of Siliconera fan demand Brandish: The Dark Revenant.
Namco Bandai released some of The Legend of Heroes games here. How does that saga connect with Sora no Kiseki?
Toshihiro Kondo, President of Nihon Falcom: The concept of Sora no Kiseki (Trails in the Sky) started off with the mindset of creating a solid story, just like the other Legend of Heroes games, but at the same time to tackle new challenges never previously done in the series. There’s no connection in the story or system but it fully carries on the spirit of the series.
What inspired the three game epic?
We first planned to create a single game, but since this was a new Legend of Heroes from scratch we all went above and beyond to come up with new ideas. We soon found out that all our new ideas would not fit into a single game so there were talks to take out some episodes, but by doing so it inevitably decreased the perfection level of the story. So we said, “In that case we should divide it up, especially since there is a huge plot twist between the First Chapter (first game) and Second Chapter (second game), it might cause some buzz about it.” I would love for everyone to understand what I’m talking about so please check it out in the game.
Are there any future plans for the Legend of Heroes series?
The other day we just announced Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki in Japan. We are planning to release it sometime this year. I would love to bring it over to the US in the future too.
Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki is a different direction for Falcom. How did development on this game start?
During the development of Ys SEVEN, since there was a new party system we were trying to implement co-op via ad-hoc. Unfortunately, we were not able to implement it at that time, but after Ys SEVEN was complete we had the right components to build on this idea and continued developing the concept.
For Trails in the Sky, the battle system is a command input turn-based system, but each character has enough battle graphics equivalent to a fighting game. One time we were joking around saying that if we wanted to we could create an action fighting game, and that triggered the start of this project.
With the above two events happening at the same time we thought it would be great to put the two ideas together. By crossing the two series together, it became something unconventional and created a lot more depth than an ordinary game.
Recently, Falcom remade Brandish. How did this come about and are there plans for other Brandish games?
I believe that Falcom has a lot of titles that are fun to play regardless of how much time may have passed since its initial release. It will be a shame to leave them buried like other older titles, so like good films and books we thought it would be great to do a remake so that it can be passed on to a new generation of game players. Also, we get a lot of request for remakes and like to actively pursue those titles with lot of requests. Nothing else in particular planned for Brandish at the moment.
Falcom has a library of titles (Dinosaur, Xanadu, Popful Mail). Are there any in particular you would like to remake or re-envision like Ys: The Oath in Felghana?
I would like to remake Sorcerian. Back then the character creation and the added new expansion scenarios that it featured were pretty innovative at the time. If we are to remake it I would like to create some type of new system utilizing a network and not just a graphical update. This is just my personal opinion and no plans have been set.
Now that Falcom is working with Xseed, are you planning to develop games with the West in mind?
Of course we have the US and European markets in mind when creating a new game. However, since we are Japanese, I would like to concentrate on how to evolve the good parts of Japanese games and create something that will inspire our domestic users. I’ve heard that a lot of creative works, not just games, which are deemed masterpieces, were made while the creator was thinking about their loved ones and/or families which are close to them. I think it would be great for us if we could create something in that sense and in the end reach out to all the players abroad with content that we’re passionate about.
Missed part one? Catch up on what Kondo said about Ys here.