Star Ocean: Anamnesis released its English version earlier this week. Siliconera spoke with Global Producer Kai Takaaki and its artist Akiman about how they got the characters together for the new smartphone game.
Siliconera: Star Ocean: Anamnesis brings Star Ocean characters from the series together, but each of these characters are in a different timeline from the series. How did you tie characters from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness together?
Kai Takaaki, Global Producer: You’ll see these questions will be answered in the game. The characters from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time those characters are being summoned [into Star Ocean: Anamnesis] before the end of that game so their memories don’t go as far as ours do. The characters from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness in Star Ocean: Anamnesis will be summoned two years after their game ended, so they have memories that go two years beyond what we already know.
Star Ocean: Anamnesis was conceived almost like as a festival, a festive game for fans to be able to enjoy the characters interacting and going on adventures together. I hope fans can enjoy it that.
One of the hallmarks of the Star Ocean series is fast paced, action RPG battles. How was this system designed for Star Ocean: Anamnesis?
Kai Takaaki: There is an auto play function, often seen in mobile games, where the AI will act for you and use special moves when appropriate. Casual users can watch and enjoy the game that way. Players can also tap the screen to attack and use special moves by pressing buttons.
While this is a mobile game, it’s action packed and advanced players can use techniques like the Charge Assault which is activated by long pressing the special attack button. Charge Assault uses extreme speed to rush up and attack the enemy. Players who don’t know about the battle system can work their way up to master the battle system and once they reach that point they will be able to enjoy the game the most.
Players can collect different Star Ocean characters and they have different costumes too. Which ones are your favorites?
Akira “Akiman” Yasuda, Illustrator: There are a lot that I really like. Rena [Lanford]’s design has this big moon on her head. I wasn’t able to make something like that before. I’m impressed by the characters from the past that have a simple design, but also have an impactful feature that is a focus.
I really like the characters from Star Ocean: The Second Story. There’s this one character with dragons appearing from their shoulders [editor’s note – Ashton Anchors] and I wondered where those dragons were growing out of that. This a designing skill, I hope I can achieve in the future. Claude wears a plain jacket and pants while other characters wear nice armor. He also has a headband, which many otakus wear in Japan. I wondered if he had armor woven into his regular clothes too. This design makes Claude unique in the sci-fi world.
Can you tell us about how you designed Evelysse?
Kai Takaaki: The Anamnesis team approached akiman-san with the idea that Evelysse was going to be a character who brings all of the other Star Ocean characters together and she’s a female character. Akiman-san made some designs and the producer from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness worked with us together to choose the final design.
Akiman: I wanted to focus on making her this otherworldly angelic figure. She wears something that looks like headphones which incorporates a tech style, but the tech is not of this world. It’s magical and too advanced for our understanding. I focused on these three elements – technologically advanced, an ethereal angelic character, and a sexy element.
Star Ocean: Anamnesis has weekly events. Which event is one of your favorites that we should look forward to in the future?
Kai Takaaki: Hmm… one of the events is where you can fight past bosses from the Star Ocean series. You’ll be able to fight bosses from Star Ocean 1 and Michael from Star Ocean 2. Battling those bosses is nostalgic and those 2D characters are in 3D which brings a fresh feeling as well. I hope fans look forward to that.
There are crossover characters from Valkyrie Profile and Resonance of Fate too. Will those come to the global version of Star Ocean: Anamnesis?
Kai Takaaki: I would like to bring those crossovers seen in Japan into the global version as well. As long as there aren’t any legal issues, I would like to bring those over too.
What about other content like the recent bride costumes from the second season?
Kai Takaaki: There are plans to incorporate the bridal version costumes sometime in the future. In Japan, the characters have different versions like the bridal, swimsuit and different designs. This game is a fun festival-like Star Ocean game where users can enjoy seeing what characters would look like in different outfits. In the past, users have drawn fan art or made doujinshi with these designs and with this you can see the official created versions of those imagined concepts.
Akiman-san what kind of costume would you like to design for the game?
Akiman: I contributed making the main visual to the game and a number of illustrations. I haven’t designed a costume yet, but I would like to design a swimsuit for the female characters. That being said there is a person at tri-Ace who is strict about designing swimsuits and she makes very fashionable swimsuits. When I try to design swimsuits they aren’t as fashionable.
Hmm… if I had a choice to create anything maybe a bodysuit like in Evangelion. Right now, I’m interested in putting caution or warning signs on characters. This is popular in the figure collecting world right now where there are markings are on their skin.