Want to know more about Aksys’ upcoming sprite style PSP RPG, Mimana Iyar Chronicles? We caught up with Bo deWindt, Producer, and Ben Bateman, Editor, to discuss it and find out more about the lead characters. Hint: One of them is being changed, ever so slightly, for North America.
What’s the world of Mimana like? Why are the heroes saving the world?
Iyar is a world with a past you wouldn’t expect. Or perhaps you would expect it. I suppose that depends on your expectations. At any rate, for the most part it has all the trappings of high fantasy—magic, monsters, swords, etc. Magic is relatively common, and in fact much of the technology of Iyar runs off of magic, as opposed to, say, electricity or steam. Most of the action in Mimana takes place in and around Florelmos, the once-capital of a once-great empire, although several other nations are also mentioned.
As for why the heroes are saving the world, I would imagine they are doing so because otherwise they would probably die when it was destroyed. There are, of course, complications and differing motivations for each of the characters, but that would be telling.
How are you localizing Mimana Iyar Chronicles? Is it going to be direct? Localized like Lunar (the first one)?
First we translate the Japanese into English, and then we edit it. The translation is as direct as possible, but priority is given to making the text sound natural. In cases where a direct translation is not possible in a natural way, we endeavor to capture the intent, tone, and information of the original line, and then rephrase it in a way that sounds natural in English. Purists may rest assured, however, that there will be no significant changes to plot, characters, or…other stuff. Well, okay, maybe one, but trust me, it is a change that will make everyone feel better about themselves.
Can you tell us about the main characters? Bo seems excited about the ladies.
Bo is always excited about the ladies, because Bo is a ladies man. Here is a short summary of each of the major characters:
Crais Sewell – The protagonist. A spellsword working for the Mercenaries Guild, he has a Tragic Past (and a Mysterious Past, which is actually totally unrelated to the tragic one). Past misery has turned him into a bitter and broken man, and we find him gambling away what little money he has left in a seedy dive of a bar. It is entirely possible that, over the course of the story, he will learn to love again.
Sophie Rothorn – A kid. She hires Crais to help her track down a number of gems for reasons she seems unwilling to discuss. Sweet, kind, and gosh darn it, people like her. She is, apparently, a troubadour, but it should surprise no one that there is More To Her Than Meets The Eye (sadly, this does not mean she transforms into a robot).
Melrose Kirsch – A mage. Her last name means "cherry" in German, which has absolutely no bearing on her character. Melrose is mostly insane, and obsessed to a disturbing (and sometimes disrobing) degree with anything magical. She is also a genius, and loves to spend her time in libraries. Melrose joins the party when she detects strange magical reactions from within Crais, with sexy results.
Patty Sucre – Crais’s cousin. A kind woman, who always puts others before herself, Patty is constantly in horrible debt, as she constantly borrows money to pay for expensive magical treatments for people. One wonders how she manages to keep getting loans. She knows more about Crais’s Tragic Past than anyone (except Crais), but she’s not telling. At least, not on purpose.
Tinon Elliot – A bit of a tomboy, Tinon is cheerful and friendly, but has a bit of a violent streak, and the strength to back it up. After deciding Crais is destined to be her husband, she invites herself into the party and refuses to refer to him as anything other than "Sweetheart". Wacky hi-jinx ensue.
That pretty much covers the main characters. There are other, slightly more secondary characters, but I’m tired of writing these. So you’ll just have to wait!
Does this game have dating sim elements?
After a fashion. It is an RPG first, and nearly all of the interactions with the different women are not explicitly romantic. The player can, however, make certain choices which will affect the opinions of all four girls.
How does the combat system work?
You hit monsters until they die.
What, not detailed enough? FINE.
Combat takes place in real time on a flat battlefield reminiscent of the battle systems found in the "Tales of" and "Star Ocean" games. You can attack enemies, give your allies commands and set their AI’s to behave the way you want, and assign your special attacks and magic skills to specific buttons, ala the games mentioned above, so that you can have access to four special attacks during battle by pressing the special attack button along with up, down, left, or right on the d-pad. There is also a system call “Just Attack” (tentative name) that allows you to dish out more damage by pressing a button as you’re about to hit the enemy.
You mentioned the game would be fully voiced. Is Mimana going to be dubbed or subbed?
The game will be fully dubbed, in English. It will not, unfortunately, have a dual language option, but if you turn the volume all the way down, you can pretend the voices are actually in Japanese. The in-game videos will not have subtitles (but will be dubbed in English).
Is Aksys planning on making any changes to the US version?
Yes. We are adding dinosaurs, and modifying the battle system slightly to make it a squad-based shooter.
No. The only changes are that the dialog and text will be in English, and that some of the younger characters are a bit older, so that there are no longer implications of a romantic relationship between the 19-year-old protagonist and a 9-year-old girl. For serious.
Mimana Iyar Chronicles will be a retail game and a digital download. Is Aksys planning to discount the downloadable release a tiny bit?
Our future-telling Prognostiputer informs us that prices have not yet been set, but adds that as long as man can dream, anything is possible.
You just published Laevatein Tactics and have two more Gungho games in the pipeline. What’s Aksys deal with Gungho? Do you have first rights to Gungho’s games?
We have rights to the ones we’ve purchased rights to. We do not have rights to the others.