Remember those Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel questions you asked? During NIS America’s Cave Story 3D event we also spoke with Steven Carlton, Editor, to get some answers about DLC, how Qoga was localized, and since it was "liked" so many times we sent a request for Ar Tonelico HD remakes.
For newcomers to the series, how would you get them up to speed for Qoga.
Steven Carlton, Editor: If you’re brand new to the game, I guess the main thing to know about is the history of the world. Because each of the towers is so isolated from each other that you don’t have to know what happened on the previous one to know what’s going on. What crossover there is in the third one is kind of covered by the characters interacting with the inhabitants for the third one.
All you should know going in is the destruction of Ar Ciel and the world is covered in a cloud of poison gas called Sea of Death so the only people left alive are the ones that live in towers. After that, they each kind of tell their own tale.
The Ar tonelico series is known for innuendo so what was it like working with the voice actors and actress during those scenes?
They all seem to have a good time with it. We always try to point out there is going to be some innuendo in the game going in. We didn’t really go too far, but we did have fun with all of the innuendo in the game.
I don’t know if you can say, but since you work with Gust a lot of people want to know who Rorona’s [from Atelier Rorona] voice actress is.
Unfortunately, we can’t reveal that for contractual reasons.
Is it someone we would know or recognize?
Yes, it is. She is an experienced voice actress.
Some of the European readers wanted to know if there would be bonuses in the PAL region.
That I’m not entirely sure. I don’t know exactly what our European branch is going to do with the game. So, I can’t answer this.
In Japan, there a number of Harvestasya personality packs and Binary World episodes available as DLC. Will we get those in North America?
Yes. The North American one should have, I think, all of the DLC. It’s no always the same, though. They have the Harvestasya patches that give her alternate personalities. In the original Japanese one, those were not voiced and it took the voices out of those scenes.
For us [NIS America], we recorded those voices. They’ll actually play English voices during those scenes. Although, there was an Aruru soulspace world that was an add-on, that was voiced in Japan, but wasn’t voiced in the US. We kinda switched it because we felt the other one was in the main story it would be better to have that voice so we had to make a couple of sacrifices there.
Is the DLC going to be sold separately or is any of it on disc?
I think the Harvestasya ones are on the disc. I think they may be free, I’m not sure, and they’ll unlock. The Aruru ones won’t be free or on disc.
Have the bugs from the Japanese version been fixed?
Yes, they should all be fixed. We worked really hard to that so all of the stuff from the Japanese version should be worked out for the American one.
Did you have to make any cuts or edits for the game?
How do you feel about working on NISA’s "M" rated title?
I think its kind of good, in a way, because we didn’t want to change anything from the Japanese version. Pretty much the stuff that pushed it to a "M" wasn’t from the localization, it was from the original game itself. We knew our fans wanted to have that, so if it had to be "M" we’re good with that.
Can you talk a little bit about how you localized Qoga?
For Qoga, for most of the characters we kept them pretty close to the Japanese style. There were a few who we didn’t really like how the Japanese characters were so we changed them for the American version. Just because we thought, even though it was the original version of the characters, we just felt they should come across a little bit differently for the US version.
Can you elaborate?
The big one is probably Mute, she’s a huge Reyvateil. In the Japanese version, her voice would stay pretty much the same like a normal kind of girl. We felt it would be better if she spoke with a deeper voice, more aggressive, pretty much more testosterone-y.
The readers want to know what is it like working with Gust?
It’s pretty good. Each company that I’ve worked with on their games always have little quirks that make it unique to that company. I’ve pretty much worked on almost all of our Gust titles so I have a lot of experience with them. The process working with them, the big thing is, there is always a ton of text to go through compared to Nippon Ichi. But, that’s mainly because most of the Nippon Ichi games are strategy RPGs. They are more focused on the battle part and the story, battle, story. There isn’t a lot of running around, running into NPCs where you have to talk to everybody and everybody has to say something when you talk to them. There are more places for text to show up in the game.
Since you work closely with Gust, maybe you heard where they want to take the series next.
I guess they could expand into a more global community, if they decided to make a fourth one. It’s kinda hard to tell what they would do.
A number of readers put in a request for a PS3 collection for a HD remake of the previous Ar Tonelico games. Maybe you can drop Gust a line?
Hmm… that’s an interesting comment. Yeah…
That’s an interesting reply!
I guess that would have more to do with Gust since we only publish since they would have to go back and redevelop all of it. I think that would be interesting.
After Ar Tonelico Qoga, what’s your next project?
I will be working on Disgaea 4. I have also been working on some of our anime titles. I worked on Wagnaria!!, but for video games, my next one should be Disgaea 4.