A year after the reveal of Left Alive, the spiritual successor to the Front Mission games with artwork by Metal Gear series artist Yoji Shinkawa from Kojima Productions, director Toshifumi Nabeshima had some details to share in an interview by Square Enix.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
What is the meaning behind the game’s title Left Alive?
Toshifumi Nabeshima, director: There are many choices within the game, and the story and gameplay are affected by the players’ decisions. At the surface, “Left Alive” can simply mean “to live” or “to survive,” but we also have an additional layer of meaning in mind: “how do you choose to live?”
The three characters have no prior relationships with each other, and each individual is found isolated within the same city.
Toshifumi Nabeshima: I’ll introduce the character profiles for each.
The first character, Mikhail is a young member of the army, and is a Wanzer pilot who had been tasked with defending the city. After his army platoon is destroyed by enemy attacks, he finds that he is the lone survivor. Although he is a current member of the army, he’s still young and inexperienced as a person, and the story follows as he gradually grows within this trying environment.
The second character, Olga is a female police officer. Though she used to be in the army, a certain event caused her to lose her young daughter, leading to her quitting the army. With a strong sense of justice and a selfless spirit, she tries to devote her strength to helping others amidst the chaos of war. Her story follows as she is forced to face her past trauma in the process.
The third character, Leonid is a male inmate who has escaped from death row. In the past, he was deeply involved with the liberation efforts that used to take place in the city that serves as the backdrop to this story. It was here, a few years prior, that he was condemned to death as a result of a related incident. The sentencing should have been carried out already, and the public believes he is dead. In reality, he is being kept alive, for reasons unbeknownst even to him.
He escapes from prison under cover of the chaos of war, and while he is on the run, he tries to find the meaning behind his defamation while approaching the true identity of the plots and mysteries of the war.
In the trailer, you note that there were “humanity’s mistakes.” Can you elaborate on this?
Toshifumi Nabeshima: Within the world of the game, large and small wars break out more frequently than in reality. With these wars come immoral experiments and weapons development, which should have reminded us time and again of the stupidity of these actions. And yet, these actions still don’t stop.
The music in the trailer is beautiful! Who is the team that worked on it?
Toshifumi Nabeshima: Mr. Hidenori Iwasaki, a composer at Square Enix, worked on it. Mr. Iwasaki also worked on Front Mission 4, 5, and Online, so he has a deep understanding of the game’s worldview, and he’s provided us with some amazing music for this title as well.
Considering director Toshifumi Nabeshima’s background, can we expect the game to be extremely difficult for the hardcore players?
Toshifumi Nabeshima: You could say that. “Choices” are a theme in this game, and solutions change depending on the way you play, or on the situation. I think there will be differences that start coming to light, where the same situation could be either very challenging or surprisingly easy, depending on how you handle it. You might make mistakes sometimes, but I am hoping everyone will enjoy the process of trial and error as well, so I think the game will probably not be that easy.
It was mentioned that the play method is up to the players. Can you elaborate if this means that we’ll have endless possibilities like an open world game?
Toshifumi Nabeshima: It’s not on a huge scale, as in an open world game; however, we are aiming to make this a kind of game that accepts multiple solutions in limited situations. The destination will be specified, but the road to get there, as well as actions like whether you decide to defeat enemies or move forward while hiding yourself, are choices you can make.
You can read the full interview over at Square Enix’s official website.
Left Alive is in development for PlayStation 4 and PC. It’ll release in Japan on February 28, 2019. Check out its TGS 2018 trailer in our previous report and its third-person action with Wanzers here.