While Spectral Souls and Generation of Chaos didn’t find a fanbase overseas, Record of Agarest War did. Aksys Games brought out Record of Agarest War and more recently Record of Agarest War Zero for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With the Agarest series on the rise in the West, we spoke to Sugano Kenta, Director, about the next installment and if we’re ever going to see Neverland games again.
How do you plan a multi-generational game like the Record of Agarest War? Do you design the game from beginning to end and then fill in the branches in the middle?
Sugano Kenta, Director: I begin with the big picture for the story first. Then I’ll fill in details with each generation.
Going back to the beginning, why did you decide to make a multi-generational story a cornerstone of the game?
There was a series I liked where a kid was a character in the game and we came up with the idea it might be fun if there were multiple generations. Since it hasn’t been done before, we decided to make five different generations.
Without saying any spoilers, going by the ending of Record of Agarest War it’s interesting that you made Record of Agarest War 2. Why did you decide to make a direct sequel to the series?
For the sequel, I saw it as a parallel world of the game world. That’s how in envisioned it as I made it.
The battle system went through some changes too. Why did you decide to revise it?
Since the game is set in a parallel world, I saw it as a new game and thought I would try something new.
[While Record of Agarest War and its prequel are strategy RPGs, Record of Agarest War 2‘s battle system is more like Cross Edge. These videos below should clarify.]
Record of Agarest War Zero
Record of Agarest War 2
Were there any ideas you tried before finalizing the battle system in Agarest 2?
There were many different ideas I had such as using the same movement system from [Record of Agarest War] 1 or adding in more RPG elements. There were many other ideas, but since the characters are 2D, I wanted to do something that would compliment that art style. If there were too many different perspectives like in a 3D game the title wouldn’t look as good.
How do you feel about the Record of Agarest War series now that it found success in the West?
I’m really happy about it. It’s shocking.
What’s your favorite interesting moment in the Agarest war series?
[Laughs] The scene where Borgnine eats Winfield is my favorite. [This scene is in Record of Agarest War, I can’t seem to find a video to share it, sorry!]
Hirano Katsuyuki, Character Designer: For me, it would be Alice.
And the entire series?
HK: Hmm… Ellis or Victoria.
Since it’s already on PS3 and Xbox 360. Have you thought about bringing the Agarest series to other platforms like Vita or Nintendo 3DS?
SK: Hmm… personally, I’m interested in new hardware. It would be easiest to do with Vita since Idea Factory has experience with the PSP. I’d like to hear more about Wii U and then maybe we can work with that too.
SK: It’s not that we’re not going to make anymore Neverland games. Because this series is important we need a lot of time to decide if we’re going to continue the series or not.
[Blazing Souls Accelate was the second to last game set in the high fantasy Neverland universe.]
Tomorrow, we’re going to shift to the business where we talk about licensing for Record of Agarest War 2, otome games, and… Infaune-san’s Neptunia Mk-2 cameo?