At the Taipei Game Show, Siliconera caught up with Soul Sacrifice Delta’s creator Keiji Inafune and producer Teruyuki Toriyama. The developer duo shared with us the reasons behind the fairy tale motifs behind Soul Sacrifice Delta’s story and monsters, what Inafune’s favourite mythical story is, and the changes they’re making to the game.
In the original Soul Sacrifice, the motif for the story and monsters were based on well-known stories from Western mythology. In Soul Sacrifice Delta, the new bosses you’re adding will instead be based on fairy tales. What were the reasons behind this decision?
Keiji Inafune, CEO of comcept: Well, actually the reasons behind that were pretty much the same as why we originally decided to base the story and monsters on Western mythology, it’s simply because a great deal of people all over the world know about these tales.
After Soul Sacrifice was released, we started to explore what else we could do for Delta, and thought that rather than just sticking to Western mythology, we could just expand the scope and also do something based on fairy tales, since everyone knows them.
And it just so happens that Grimm’s fairy tales could fit perfectly into the world of Soul Sacrifice, in a way that’s familiar to players but also new and different. But ultimately the main reason why we are using fairy tales as a motif for Soul Sacrifice Delta is because everyone knows these stories.
Of all the fairy tales and mythology that Inafune-san knows about, which is the one that he is most inspired by?
KI: Are you referring to the ones that we’ve tapped on for Soul Sacrifice, or do you mean any fairy tale or mythology, even outside of the ones referenced in the games?
Even the ones not referenced in the games.
KI: Well, since I’m Japanese, from a young age we’ve been exposed more to Japanese legends or mythical stories, rather than fairy tales. And the one that left the biggest impression on me was the story of Urashimataro.
The story is kind of complicated. So, Urashimataro saves a turtle, and as a result, he was rewarded with a visit to the underwater palace of the dragon god. He stays there for three days, and when he returns, he notices that the world he has returned to is no longer the place he’s familiar with. His home is gone. His mother is no longer there.
Later, he discovers that it’s because 300 years has passed while he was away at the underwater palace and so he falls into great grief and desperation. In a moment of desperation, he opens that one box he was told not to open (which he did not know contained his old age), and when he does, he suddenly grows a long beard and becomes aged.
Doesn’t the story give off a very sci-fi vibe? It seems like something that could be adapted into a drama series. That sci-fi vibe that the story evokes is what I’ve seriously thought about before, and it’s what makes this story a source of inspiration for me when making games, [to try and evoke that sense of imagination and wonder].
In December you released a demo for Soul Sacrifice Delta on the PSN. All along, Soul Sacrifice has been a franchise that incorporates a lot of feedback and views from the players, and even with the original game you’ve made a lot of changes based entirely on feedback. With the latest demo, was there anything you learned or noticed that was interesting, from the feedback and data you’ve collected from players?
Teruyuki Toriyama, Producer at Sony Computer Entertainment: At the Tokyo Game Show last year we collected a lot of feedback through surveys from gamers who tried the demo build back there. The demo version we released on PSN had improvements made based on the feedback we received. From what I’ve heard from users who’ve tried both the TGS build and the demo we released in December, the improvements we’ve made seems to be well received.
We haven’t quite sorted out the data from the latest demo version yet. But even the demo build we’ve brought out here (at the Taipei Game Show) and used for the stage presentation today is not the final build. We’ll be making adjustments to the game based on the feedback we’ve received not just from the demo, but also from users in Asia.
KI: This time around, the changes we are making are not exactly major changes, but more like fine-tuning and tweaking the balance for the game particularly for things like the effectiveness of ranged magic spells, and the mechanics for Link Magic (these are spells that modify or add to another players’ spells). Also, this time around we were able to consult a number of expert players for the first game, so I think the balance changes and fine-tuning we’re doing at this juncture will be quite well-received.
Is there any chance of the Soul Sacrifice series coming to the PS4?
KI: The PS4 is a very appealing piece of hardware to develop for, so if we could do that, we’d definitely love to. Of course, it’s not something we could discuss at length at this point. And even if we were actually working on a PS4 entry in the Soul Sacrifice franchise, we wouldn’t be able to acknowledge it either [laughs].
But personally, I’d really love to do a PS4 Soul Sacrifice. Preferably with no budget limitations [laughs]. With unlimited resources to tap on. Do any of you know a rich Taiwanese tycoon I could approach? [laughs]