Fate/Samurai Remnant is the first Fate game in a long time to feature a new standalone story separate from the main Fate/stay Night continuity or existing universes such as Fate/Extra. Despite this, familiar faces and settings help to make the player feel right at home as soon as they start the game. But what was it like behind the scenes to come up with something that wouldn’t alienate its existing player base while pulling in newcomers? Siliconera spoke with Ryota Matsushita, the director of Koei Tecmo Games, about the development of Fate/Samurai Remnant’s story, characters, and gameplay.
Stephanie Liu: What elements from past Fate/ games and stories did you really want to include or build on in Fate/Samurai Remnant?
Ryota Matsushita: We wanted to incorporate the “harshness of the Holy Grail War” and the “overwhelming difference in power between Masters and Servants” so that these could be felt throughout the game. In addition, the deep themes and the intertwining of each character’s thoughts, which are popular aspects of the Fate series, are also very much felt in this title.
What led to the decision to control both a master and servant at the same time here?
Matsushita: In order to make this title a “Holy Grail War experience,” we designed the action part of the game in a way that allows the player to control the Master and break through a crisis with the help of the Servant. In this way, when the player is most exhilarated, we prepared opportunities to directly control Servants with extraordinary power that can overwhelm the enemy.
How did you choose which Servants would appear in Fate/Samurai Remnant? For example, what led to Rogue Archer Arjuna and Lancer Jeanne d’Arc Alter’s appearances here?
Matsushita: Although the Servants from existing titles already have a large fan base, they were not brought together for the purpose of creating an all-star title, but instead they each have their own important role in the story. They are there to test the protagonist, Iori, and to add depth to the story.
Many of the returning Fate/Samurai Remnant Servant characters feature new looks. How did you decide which ones would look more like their original selves and who would get new designs inspired by the time period?
Matsushita: One by one, the characters were discussed along with how they should impact this work. Miyamoto Musashi, unlike her usual class, has been summoned as a “Berserker”, so she will appear looking different in this title. This character is important to the theme and to the gameplay, as she brings a sense of “newness” to the game. No comment on Boss… As for the Servants who appear in their original appearance, we hope you will enjoy how their usual selves will affect this era and this story.
How would you describe the way that Saber and Iori’s relationship develops, and what parts did you really put a lot of effort in when writing them?
Matsushita: Saber and Iori are not only partners during battle, but they are also with each other throughout the game, exploring towns, experiencing the story, and even while the game loads on the title screen. In other words, we made it possible for the player to feel that their relationship deepens as a result of the player’s experience in the game.
During the development process, was there a point where you wanted to make a game similar to a more traditional musou like the Dynasty Warriors series?
Matsushita: The action parts of the game where the Master and Servant fight as partners, was difficult to develop, but we were so absorbed in this new and fun challenge that we didn’t think about returning to the traditional Warriors style! However, the elements that we developed in the Warriors series, such as the easy to understand controls and the exhilarating feel of the game, are of course still alive in this game.
Are there any plans for DLC characters or stories in the future? What are some characters that you would want to bring into Fate/Samurai Remnant, if you had free reign to do so?
Matsushita: Three new episodes will be added as DLC. And in them our wishes have already been fulfilled!
Iori shares a lot of similarities with Shirou from Fate/stay Night. At times, Kengo Kawanishi’s performance even sounds like Noriaki Sugiyama’s. Were these parallels intentional? When designing Iori’s looks and personality, what impression did you want players to have of him?
Matsushita: I believe that users who realize this, as you did, will enjoy the story of this title in greater depth. I think this is a point they have in common with Shirou, but users who spend a lot of time with Iori will realize that he is a much more complex human being than they initially thought. They will also understand that this is also a different dynamic from that of Shirou. This characterization is intended to deepen over the course of the game as you play as the main character.
If in the future, one of the Fate/Samurai Remnant characters could show up as a playable Servant in Fate/Grand Order, who would you want to see, and would you want them to be involved in the main story or in one of the comedic events?
Matsushita: All the Masters in this title are great historical figures who could be Servants, so it’s natural that we would have high expectations right? I would love to assemble a team with Miyamoto Iori, Yui Shousetsu, and Chiemon! I think they will bring a lot to the table in an event!
Fate/Samurai Remnant will come out on September 28, 2023 for the PS4, PS5, Windows PC, and Nintendo Switch.