Sword Art Online: Lost Song takes place in a “reborn” version of ALO (ALfheim Online) that has seen a bunch of new areas as part of a major update. Bandai Namco producer Yosuke Futami and SAO series creator Reki Kawahara share more with Dengeki Online on why they decided to build upon the world of ALO.
Sword Art Online: Lost Song will mark the series’ third release for a console where the game will be set in the world of ALO. Dengeki asks the two what their thoughts were when plans for the upcoming game came to be.
“Even before hearing about Lost Song, I’ve always asked Futami to please release a game that lets you fly around, so I felt that the time has finally come,” says Kawahara, to which Futami says he recalls hearing the requests from the Sword Art Online author, ever since the first two games.
Futami previously mentioned that making a game that lets you freely fly around is actually quite difficult. Dengeki asks him to share a little more on that subject.
“Yes, it’s actually very difficult. Actually, depicting ALO [from the Sword Art Online series] is what makes it difficult,” responds Futami. “Lost Song is a title for consoles, so making it into something that can easily be played by players is its premise. However, this title is not an RPG, and focuses on the action [instead], so I believe it will be a perfect fit to enjoy the world of ALO.”
Next, the developers talk about what makes Lost Song fun as a non-death game, whereas in the original Sword Art Online, dying in the virtual MMORPG meant dying in real life.
“Up until now Kirito and the others have played a “death game” where they risked their lives in Aincrad, right?” says Futami. “However, Lost Song will be all about how ‘games are fun’, and I believe its scenario will have plenty of lighthearted content.”
Dengeki asks how they decided to have the game set in the new and reborn ALO, instead of the original one.
“If we had it set in the title’s Fairy Dance arc of ALO, that would mean Asuna would be imprisoned in the World Tree,” says Kawahara. “So, that’d mean Kirito wouldn’t have time to play around; but in order to have him [be able to fool around a game], we figured that having a reborn ALO would be the most suitable.”
He continues, “So, if we go by chronological order, this would make it the reborn ALO. What makes it different from SAO is that this time, Kirito and friends can enjoy a game normally. However, ‘how to bring out a more serious mood to the scenario’ was also an important factor.”
“Yes, this was very troublesome,” adds Futami.
“Just having a game where people are there enjoying a game… well, that would be pretty rough,” says Kawahara.
Kawahara concludes by saying that Sword Art Online had the premise of a death game where the player and avatar would die in the game and in real life. Lost Song will have a more simple setting where the player enjoys the game. How this will be depicted is what they’re placing a lot of importance into for now.
Sword Art Online: Lost Song will release in Japan sometime in 2015 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.