At TGS 2019, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town director Hikaru Nakano sat down for an interview with press, where he talked a bit more about the cast’s fresh looks, the returning Best Friends system, bugs from the original they decided to keep in, and more. [Thanks, Bahamut!]
Here are the highlights:
- Nakano mentions that the original game is now 16 years old, and they approached the development of the latest game with the concept of ‘reconceptualizing the setting of the original game’, which carried over to character design. Part of this was because the original GBA game had some character designs that didn’t fit with their role, and as this is the first game on the Switch, they wanted players who didn’t recognize the original characters to have fun as well.
- For example, Gray in Mineral Town is supposed to be an apprentice blacksmith, yet is for some reason wearing a hat that says ‘UMA’ (horse in Japanese), and looks like a farmboy. Nakano and the team were quite appalled that the GBA original had details like that. Other things included family members who didn’t look alike at all, and more. Saibara wore traditional Japanese clothing because he had a different job in a previous game, and thus they tweaked his design, and other details like this.
- Regarding the protagonists, the appearances are entirely cosmetic. The team added in new designs because the original designs were very much farmer-like, but some people may prefer a more trendy player character. Nakano laughed and pointed out that the protagonist wasn’t born on the farm in the first place, and wouldn’t it be strange if the protagonist would immediately change their way of dressing from the very start?
- As for whether the game might get DLC featuring the classic designs, Nakano isn’t sure if it can be done technically, or whether it will evoke the same impression as the original portraits. Even if they get the original artist to do it, their artstyle has changed since then. He also doesn’t know if the company would agree to it.
- Events will also have changes, as this is a remake. They’ll change some things that are weird, and while some events will be removed, there will be more add in more robust events, such as for romantic events.
- The Best Friends relationship (same-sex marriage) returns in this game, although it may be named differently across regions due to varying laws. (The Japanese version will likely stick with ‘Best Friends’.) Nakano clarifies that this is because Story of Seasons emphasizes players living freely.
- Children in this game will grow older a bit, but not beyond the age in the previous games. The press also asked whether divorces will be possible, and Nakano replied that while the Story of Seasons series is a simulator, it’s more fantasy and fairytale-like, and they currently have no plans on adding such a feature.
- Regarding bugs that benefited the player in the original game, Nakano mentioned that they have kept some of them. Obviously broken bugs like being able to infinitely increase relationship points on birthdays were removed, while bugs such as time not progressing at the beach during Beach Day have been implemented properly instead, so you can fish infinitely at the beach.
- The game will have new areas to explore, although existing areas will remain relatively unchanged apart from some shifting of obtainable items.
- You can’t buy from the TV Shopping Network anymore, and instead the products have been made purchasable in other methods. The reason is because kids nowadays have no idea what TV Shopping Networks are nowadays.
- That said, because the game emphasizes its countryside feel, the development team opted to forgo changing the TV Shopping Network into an online shopping service, to keep the low-tech feel of the setting. This is also why the protagonist gets a record player like in the original game, although they did consider changing it to a CD or MP3 player.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town will come to the Nintendo Switch in Japan on October 17, 2019. It will also be released worldwide, though the localization does not have a release date yet. You can check out new bachelor and bachelorette Brandon and Jennifer here, and the “hidden” marriage candidates here.