Friday, September 9, 2016

Developer Interview (2016)

Title: Developer Interview / 「開発者インタビュー」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban 6 Official Visual Book

Summary: This is an interview included with Gyakuten Saiban 6 Official Visual Book, released in August 2016. In it, director Yamazaki Takeshi and art director Fuse Takurō first talk about the early stages of the development process and then proceed to focus on each of the five episodes (+ special episode) and the characters that appear there. They have something to say about basically all of the characters, and explain how they came up with both their visual design and their story background. The interview is full of spoilers, obviously, as it is intended for people who have played the game and have gone through the artbook (which again, obviously, is full of spoilers).

 Developer Interview

~About Going Abroad and The Revolution of the Court~

Interviewer: This game is the latest in the Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) series. It has been three years since Gyakuten Saiban 5 (Ace Attorney 5 - Dual Destinies). Could you first tell us about the start of this project?

Yamazaki: After Gyakuten Saiban 5 was released, the development team was temporarily disbanded, but the discussion of how the series should proceed now came up soon. When the Gyakuten Saiban 5 project started, we only had planners in our team. The design team joined the planning team later on, and together they gave the plans form. With Gyakuten Saiban 6, we had a design team with us right from the start, so I think that went smoother this time. Ideas that came into mind during the planning meetings could be visualized immediately,  so that made it easier to share an image of the plans, and we managed to proceed in a direct and speedy manner. Fuse wasn’t only the art director, but he also contributed a lot to the planning of the game.  Fuse is an illustrator, but he joined Capcom with the intent of creating games.

Interviewer: Really?

Fuse: In this game, we have a foreign setting, the Kingdom of Kurain (Kingdom of Khura'in). The story called for visuals we hadn’t seen in the series before, so in that sense, it was good I was there right from the start.

Interviewer: How did you decide on making the Kingdom of Kurain you just mentioned the setting of this game?

Yamazaki: We also stumbled on this too when we made Gyakuten Saiban 5, but Naruhodō Ryūichi (Phoenix Wright) has grown out to be a very strong defense attorney. And the problem with that is that if he doesn’t get into trouble, he can’t turn the situation around. From there, we came up with ideas like “It’s easier to get Naruhodō’s in a pinch if he’s fighting in an unfamiliar world” and “He’ll be in a pinch if we take something away from him.” Naruhodō’s greatest weapon is his trust in his clients. The belief to fight until the bitter end for his client. So we came up with a situation where that belief would waver, a world where he’d needed to fight even though defense attorneys were hated. But we couldn’t imagine that situation in Japan, so it was a smooth jump from there to abroad, to a foreign setting.

Fuse: It’s an Asian country now, but we started with ideas set in Europe or perhaps North-Europe. But Europe was already featured in the story of Dai Gyakuten Saiban -Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken- (‘The Grand Turnabout Trial -The Adventures of Naruhodō Ryūnosuke-), so we rejected that early on. The revolution of the court was the theme of this game, but having a single person cause a revolution would lead to a story that was just too grand and unrealistic, so we came up with a small island in the South, isolated from the outside world. It had already been decided early on that Mayoi (Maya Fey) would appear too, so taking those two together, we arrived at the keywords spirit channeling. So there we had a setting where Mayoi could shine and where spirit channeling was possible. That grew into the Kingdom of Kurain, the birthplace of the Kurain Spirit Channeling Technique.

Yamazaki: We didn’t decide right away on the theme of "The Revolution of the Court". It had been seven years since Gyakuten Saiban 4 (Ace Attorney 4  - Apollo Justice) when we made Gyakuten Saiban 5, so we figured something with impact, which led to "The Destruction of the Court". At first, we thought that for this game, we didn’t need to focus that much on making an impact anymore… but after a discussion with the producer, we arrived at the conclusion we needed something that surpassed the destruction of the court. We came up with some ideas and decided on the revolution of the court. We also had rejected ideas. Something like an “Underground Court” or “Dark Court”, where Naruhodō would be taken to an illegal court for the underworld, and where he’d be forced to act as a defense attorney. The defendant would of course also be someone of the underworld, so it’d be difficult to just trust them. The prosecutor, the witnesses, they’d all be untrustworthy people and you’d never know what they might pull off. But then we thought about this seriously and figured this would be like a really, really enormous pinch for Naruhodō (laugh).

Fuse: I still think it was a good idea (laugh).  It was also rejected because it didn’t tie up with spirit channeling though.

Yamazaki: There was the idea that Mayoi had been kidnapped and Naruhodō was forced in taking part in the trials.

Fuse: It wouldn’t be an underground fighting arena, but an underground court. Surrounded by a fence, with rich people and riff-raff in the gallery, gambling on who’d win. We also thought a lot about the presentation of this situation and about how in the end, you’d defeat the true criminal. We wanted a person you really wanted to defeat, someone you’d pursue without any hesitation so you could shout to them they were the murderer. So considering this was an underground court, we came up with the idea of someone who controlled everything from behind the scenes. In the end, the setting became the Kingdom of Kurain, but we built on that original idea, so now you defeat the queen and prosecutor and bring forth a revolution.

Yamazaki: Now we talked about this, we can’t used it anymore… We’ll have to bury it away…. Underground.

All: (laugh).

Yamazaki:  As for Odoroki (Apollo Justice),  he’s still a character in his growing process, so we made a classic tale of growth for him. We show his growth by first starting with a story where he protects the office during Naruhodō’s absence and then finally have him stay in the Kingdom of Kurain opening his own office. We also had another idea where he’d leave Naruhodō’s office and open his own, but this worked out better, as it means he has inherited Druk’s will. But it is only until things have cooled down in the Kingdom of Kurain after the revolution, so there is still a chance that he returns.

Fuse: I think it had already been decided in the early stages that we’d delve into Odoroki’s past.

Yamazaki: In the very first proposal, there was already “Odoroki’s Origin Revealed!”. Gyakuten Saiban 4 only touched lightly on his parents, but it was hard building upon that.

Fuse: In order to talk about Odoroki’s past, we also needed to talk about his father, but the only thing known about him was that he was dead. And then we had the new mechanic Spirit Channeling Vision (Divination Séances), that seemed like it was made for this, so we connected those ideas, and come up with the scene where Odoroki himself would be witness to the final moments of his father. We also wanted to do something with Odoroki surpassing his mentor.

Yamazaki: A secret theme to Gyakuten Saiban 6 is "Succession". It’s a story of Odoroki succeeding to the will of both Naruhodō and Druk (Dhurke). We wanted to depict how much Odoroki had grown by showing that he could even go up against Naruhodō.

Interviewer: I think it’s the first time we had a civil trial in the series?

Fuse: Yes. It had never been used before unless you have something like murder, it’s difficult to have the player feel like they really want to save the defendant. In this game, it was to show off how the two defense attorneys would go up against each other, and the trial itself was about a piece of evidence crucial to the story.

Yamazaki: But it did turn into a murder case halfway through (laugh). The scenario team had quite some trouble figuring out what it’d be like to fight against Naruhodō. Usually you play him and you know he’s not really that strong when you read his inner monologue. But he is really an experienced defense attorney and can come up with some amazing bluffing and when you don’t see his inner monologue, he can appear very confident.

Fuse: It’s like feeling what it’s like to be a prosecutor.

Yamazaki: We tried having the player feel what it’s like not knowing what Naruhodō’s thinking and how he’ll attack you now.

~ What We Focused On For The Animation Parts~

Interviewer: Like with Gyakuten Saiban 5, this game features animated scenes. And you had a special short anime on the official site.

Yamazaki: Gyakuten Saiban 5 was the first time we tried using that, and we had to try things out to see where we could use the scenes in the most effective way. The animated scenes have a different style, so it kinda gets you out of the game if an animated scene is suddenly shown if the timing is off. We used the experience we got from Gyakuten Saiban 5, so we mainly used them for scenes that we could only do in animation and at the start of each episode. We were working on that, when one day producer Eshiro came and said we’d do a prologue anime (laugh). This game featured a completely new setting, so we made a short film of about eight minutes. Luckily, it was well received. We had detailed talks with A-1 Pictures, who made the animation parts, from the storyboard level on and Fuse checked the art in detail.

Fuse: Games and anime are produced completely differently, so it was difficult filling up the gaps that exists between the two mediums.

Yamazaki: What was funny was that there was a key animation sketch of Kokone (Athena Cykes) eating the pork bun, where her head was gigantic, as a gag. The director of A-1 Pictures did a good job of rejecting it,  but it was incredibly funny and for a moment, I even thought this might even work. I used it as the background of my PC for a while (laugh). We did our best integrating the scenes with the game, like the magic show of Episode 2 and the action scene of the Bird Princess in Episode 3.  And for Episode 5, we had Torisaman (Plumed Punisher) appear too.

Interviewer: When Torisaman was mentioned in Episode 3, I already imagined all kinds of things, but I had never expected it to appear in an animated scene. I was really surprised.

Yamazaki: The Fake Reifa (Rayfa) and Fake Druk that appear with Torisaman were designed by our team, and they really did their best on that (laugh). It’s an important element for pulling the player in. Reifa is 14, but the actress playing her is in her 20s, so there was a funny gap there, where we could show a sexy side to her.

~ About A Month For Potdīno!?~

Interviewer: Could you tell us about the highlights of each episode and the characters?

Yamazaki: Let’s start with the first episode, Turnabout Foreigner (The Foreign Turnabout). It’s like a tutorial story, where you experience how the trials go in the foreign setting, but the most important task was to give the player the feeling they were playing an away-game. Even when the defendant sees him as an enemy, and even with his own life on the stake, Naruhodō decides to take up the defense. I hope the players will pay attention to this. We had the class trial in mind, that was the reason why Naruhodō became an attorney, so we inserted a nostalgic scene there.

Fuse: And there’s Reifa. She joins you in the investigation in Episode 3, which shows off an interesting side to her, but as the build up to that, we also wanted to show off how she was as an antagonistic heroine.

Yamazaki: The murderer of episode, Potdīno (Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin), sings as he plays his ethnic instrument, but it took ages to get the presentation right. It had been decided from the start we’d have a singing character, but we hadn’t decided on how they’d sing, and at first we thought we’d just repeat the same musical phrase again whenever they’d sing. But this felt weird, so I asked the sound team if they could make it into a proper song. It took about a month to finish it. Afterwards, the sound team was really angry at how much that song took them (laugh). But Potdīno turned into a very unique character thanks to them.

Interviewer: I feel like startning up the game again to listen to him.

Fuse: We first made the animation, and then they recorded a live playing based on the animations, so I guess it was really difficult. But when I designed the character, he wasn’t supposed to sing that much. I thought it’d be funny if he’d be playing an ethnic instrument, but that he’d be really into heavy metal and that when he’d showed his real self, he’d play really fast. I wouldn’t have dreamed they’d have him sing with the sound effects.

Yamazaki: We wanted people to feel hate for him after his change, so while he had a lot of gag elements, we also made sure he was a true villain. Now I think about, he’s really bad. Trying to pin the guilt on a kid (laugh).

Interviewer: The prosecutor in the first episode is Auchi (Payne). Was that because it’s a tradition?

Yamazaki: Yes. The story starts abroad, so we had trouble deciding on whether he’d appear or a lookalike. Then we figured that the younger Auchi, Fumitake (Gaspen Payne), had thrown out the legal world after Gyakuten Saiban 5, and it’d might fun if he had found his way to the Kingdom of Kurain. He’d have lost trials all over the world, when he finally arrived in the Kingdom of Kurain. “No defense attorneys? I’m invincible!” He’d get cocky fast.

Interviewer: How did you come up with the idea of making him all shiny?

Yamazaki: He’s only winning because there are no defense attorneys, but he soon gets arrogant, thinking he’s invincible. There’s nobody in the Kingdom of Kurain who knows he has only been losing trials, so he’s not one of those people who make their fake start, a fake debut on high schools, but he’s a “Kurain debutante”. So it was to show off his arrogance, as well as to show that the Kingdom of Kurain had a different culture and look. He had integrated in the society.

Fuse: The A (亜) of Auchi is the motif on the sash he’s wearing, actually. It was hard making the design just complex enough so it looked Kurainese, and not too much like the character.

Interviewer: What do you have to say about Bokto (Ahlbi Ur'Gaid)?

Yamazaki: He was designed to be a normal Kurainese kid, a stereotypical Kurainese. He started out saying he hated defense attorneys, but we hoped to show by how he slowly started to drift towards the revolutionaries, the whole country was also moving towards a revolution. At first he was only to be the defendant in the first episode and there had been no plans to use him throughout the game, but somehow he kept popping up. Mitamaru (Shah'do) didn’t exist as a character when we wrote the scenario, but Fuse came up with him during the designing process. He really wanted him in the game, so we had him contribute at some points to the story.

~Cool After The Transformation~

Interviewer: And next, Episode 2.

Yamazaki: The concept behind Episode 2, Turnabout Magic Show (The Magical Turnabout) was that we wanted to do a story about Minuki (Trucy). This was the first time Minuki was a defendant, but all the other heroines in the series have been a defendant, so it was about time (laugh). And to have it be different from the Asian setting of the Kingdom of Kurain, we wanted to show off more modern, or perhaps Western elements in this story set in Japan. So stage magic fitted that perfectly. Minuki is a strong girl, who doesn’t show her real self or would even cry in front of others. We really wanted to show her inner self, so that’s why we came up with a story where the magic she loves so much resulted in a victim, and where the Naruhodō Anything Agency has to confront its greatest crisis. We could also focus on Odoroki and his question of whether he can protect the agency during Naruhodō’s absence, so that fitted perfectly.

Interviewer: Shinoyama (Roger Retinz) looked really cool after he transformed.

Fuse: That’s what I aimed for. There are all kinds of characters who change in the series, but there are few that become cool-looking after their change. So I told the scenario team I wanted to do a character like that. I wanted to make him as cool as possible. I designed him with the Arumajiki Troupe (Gramarye Troupe) in mind, even if he had been there for a short while, and looked around for an outfit that fitted a producer, but also could like it was of a magician.

Interviewer: He’s also a bit nasty before he changes.

Fuse: Well, we all think of producers like that (laugh).

Yamazaki: Yeah. Shinoyama is like all of ideas of producers packed into one (laugh).

Interviewer: And how about Mimi (Bonny de Famme) and Kiki (Betty de Famme)?

Yamazaki: I really like them. But you can’t have one without the other. It was hard to talk about them in pre-release interviews, as I couldn’t spoil them. I talked about differentiating between the Kingdom of Kurain and Japan, but the stories in the Kingdom of Kurain tend to become serious,  so I wanted to go with a lighter and showy atmosphere. I hope that people will be deceived, thinking they’re not twins, but that she’s just has very different attitudes, like Shōchiku Umeyo (April May) was (laugh)

Fuse: Having Mimi and Kiki stand together on the witness stand was something I wanted to do, because we could do this with twins. Talking about that, Minuki’s magic show testimony was something we had not done before. We pulled the camera back to show her magic act, which was also her testimony, but this was the first time we changed the camera during a cross examination.

Yamazaki: It’s the same with the Spirit Channeling Visions, but I think we managed to give the players something new by having them find contradictions in something moving.

~The Range Between Seriousness and Jokes~

Interviewer: And what about Episode 3, Turnabout Ritual (The Rite of Turnabout)?

Yamazaki: Mayoi (Marumel/Tahrust Inmee) undressing.

Fuse: I mean, I guess you’re right, but shouldn’t you mention her appearing in the first place first! (laugh)

Yamazaki: I guess so (laugh). With Mayoi appearing, we felt a sense of duty to have her appear as a defendant. She’s training in the Kingdom of Kurain, so we settled on the idea of having something happen during her training, a murder case during some ritual. We also came up with the idea of a suicide, when we thought about something that would connect the Spirit Channeling Visions mechanic to the trick. The victim himself would be controlling everything in order to deceive everybody else. From there it was coming up with a reason for his suicide, making a story about a married couple, and a story that made the player realize there had to be a revolution.

Interviewer: Reifa joins you in the investigation in this episode.

Yamazaki: Yes. By going together, you slowly catch glimpses of the real her (laugh). You’ll see her cuter side, which forms a gap with how she appeared in the first episode.

Fuse: We wanted to have her first appear as an enemy, so we tried to make her look like the villain in the first episode, but people already said with the demo that she was a dummy (laugh).

Yamazaki: I think the only time where she acts dummy-cute is during her damage animation.

Fuse: You see she’s still a child.

Yamazaki: It’s of course because she’s with Naruhodō, but through him, she learns that the world she had known until then was really small, and that there are all kinds of thinking.  And with Marumel’s case, where the truth comes out that he tried to lie through the Spirit Channeling Vision, she started to get doubts. “What if everything I’ve done until now was a mistake?” It’s to such a Reifa that Mayoi, as an older spirit medium, gives advice. I hope people see that Mayoi too has grown. The fact that she can now channel spirits at will is also proof she has grown.

Interviewer: Let’s talk about Marumel now.

Fuse: I think people will be surprised to see how he looks when he’s channeled, but his case is a focused version of the problem that troubles the whole of the Kingdom of Kurain, so he is an especially important victim and culprit in this game. He ended up looking like that, to have a gap between with that serious side (laugh).

Yamazaki: Gag-like comedy, but also a tearful serious side. I think that’s a characteristic of the Gyakuten Saiban series.

Fuse: I went back through all the previous games to see what changes, and what doesn’t when Mayoi channels a male spirit. The hair doesn’t change, but how about eyebrows, stuff like that. Or the color of the skin. Spirit channeling is also part of the plot in Episode 5.

Interviewer: You mean Druk, in Episode 5?

Fuse: We designed Druk to have long, black hair, so it wouldn’t be strange when she’d channel him. If their hair was different, you’d know immediately he was being channeled.

Yamazaki: That a man is being channeled in Episode 3, is a hint for what happens in Episode 5. Mayoi had never channeled a man before, so we needed to show first that when she channels a man, her body also changes. If we didn’t do that, it wouldn’t be fair trying to the players trying to deduce what happened in Episode 5.

Interviewer: Let’s move on to Nanashīno Gonbei (Tent.) (A'nohn Ihmus), or Dats (Datz Are'bal).

Yamazaki: When we announced him, some sharp fans already posed the idea that he might’ve been Odoroki’s father.

Fuse: Loss of memory in another country… he does fit the bill (laugh).

Yamazaki: Dats was thought off as a set together with Druk. A bit of a funny man standing next to the strong revolutionary Druk. His best part has to be his pose.

Interviewer: I thought it was just a pose Nanshīno had come up with.

Yamazaki: It’s a pose Dats himself came up with. His body remembered despite his amnesia. His reactions are exaggerated and he’s usually playing the funny role, but he is also the one who knows the past of Druk, Odoroki and Nayuta (Nahuyta), so when he’s serious, he becomes really cool. You’d be surprised how serious he can get.

Interviewer: That gap is what makes him interesting, I think. And finally, what about Sāra (Beh'leeb Inmee)?

Fuse: Sāra has just lost her husband, so she tends to feel a bit dark. Her talking to his picture and dubbing him shows off her love for him, but also makes her look suspicious, so that makes her look like a true Gyakuten Saiban character. This holds for all characters, but whenever I design characters, the character really comes together once I manage to decide on one defining animation. For Sāra, it was the one where she dubs the picture of her deceased husband. It was hard getting there though (laugh).


 ~The Relation Between Kokone and Yugami~

Interviewer: And next is Episode 4, Turnabout Yose (Turnabout Storyteller). The Kokone (Athena Cykes) Episode.

Yamazaki: Yes. It’s set in Japan, so the concept was that it was to be a bright story, like Episode 2. We wanted something that could only be done in Japan and finally arrived at the yose (theater). The main points of this episode was to have Kokone be a defense attorney on her own, and to have Yugami (Simon Blackquill) appear, but we had trouble figuring out what his role should be.

Fuse: Before the release, people thought he was going to be the prosecutor of Episode 4.

Yamazaki: We of course had ideas of having him stand at the prosecutor’s bench, but then it was suggested we could have him stand at the defense’s bench and have him be Kokone’s partner. And we decided on that after having him have a bit of a talk with her. Kokone wants to get acknowledged by Yugami, and he does that slightly. So we could make a story about these two, and show the player she’s growing more and more. We also paid a lot of attention to their duo-comedy.

Fuse: The setting of this story is a yose theater, so the characters are all very unique. In this series, the way even normal people look and speak is very unique. So a performer in that world has to be even more unique.

Yamazaki: As for why Tokisoba was chosen for the rakugo, it was what the scenario writer said at the end that clinched the deal. “Why is Tokisoba like the Kokoro Scope (Mood Matrix)?” . “Because both are about kanjō (TN: kanjō can mean both ‘bill’ (勘定) or ‘emotion’ (感情)). There was of course also the fact it worked with the time trick, but it was that rakugo riddle that did it.

Fuse: And now for the next performer…(laugh) (TN: a standard expression in rakugo when one’s finished).

Interviewer: And what are your thoughts on Bifū?

Yamazaki: This was the first character who is actually said to have a multiple personality disorder. He’s a rakugo artist, so first you think he’s only performing, but then it turns out he has multiple personalities, and even has a fourth personality he himself doesn’t know about. The way his hair looks different dependent on the angle is also great.

~The Long Story Comes Together~

Interviewer: And now finally, please tell us about Episode 5, Turnabout Revolution?

Yamazaki: It was the final episode, so it was a scenario where we had to do a lot, like having Odoroki battle with Naruhodō, revealing the truth and defeating queen Garan (Ga'ran). And we needed to conclude the story of Reifa and Nayuta too, so it became an episode with a lot of volume, almost two episodes long, which starts in Japan and ends up in the kingdom of Kurain. It’s a very dense story, and basically everything is a highlight there. We made it so we could finally  give a sort of conclusion to the long story of Odoroki that has been going on in Gyakuten Saiban 4, 5 and now 6.

Fuse: Let’s start in Japan, about that guy that gets carried in a palanquin.

Yamazaki: Kiyoki (Paul Atishon)? (laugh) In terms of role, he’s like the boss character of the Japan part of Episode 5. Having him brought in a palanquin really leaves an impression (laugh).

Fuse: We had decided he was an assemblyman and that he’d needed to be funny. We then fleshed that core out, like making him a second generation politician and having do something like a speech in the Diet on the witness stand. From there he became a rich kid who knew nothing of the real world and then we said, what if he arrives in a car? But to be more Kiyoki-like, and to go one step further like the series has always done, we finally arrived at the palanquin idea, together with his dated hairstyle. That palanquin is his campaign car.

Interviewer: I kinda wondered about this, but isn’t Nayuta actually very fond of Akane (Ema Skye)? He’s taking her everywhere.

Yamazaki: That shows how much he trust her as a talented partner.

Fuse: Akane keeps complaining she’s so busy, but I think she is also happy. Her abilities are really appreciated.

Yamazaki: Let’s talk about Nayuta then. You can’t really read his mind in episode 2 to 4. He’s called the “Prosecutor of Resignation”, but he’s actually the one who has given up. It’s Odoroki’s passion that makes him rise up from his feelings of resignation.

Fuse: Once he wanted to become a defense attorney like his father, and had the ambition to bring forth a revolution, but with his father in hiding, and the revolution not going well, the feeling of resignation within him built over that long period. And Garan finally took Reifa as her hostage, which cornered him. The proof he has given up is how he hides the mark on his right palm with that religious item. The mark of Garan in the form of a spider is on that, so it was probably Garan who told him to put that on. It hides the mark of the revolution, but at the same time also shows he’s bound by Garan.

Yamazaki: I personally love that scene where he removes it. This is an example of how the team worked together to get everything we wanted in the designs, as it’s a symbol of the Kingdom of Kurain, but it’s also used as an important plot point.

Interviewer: I really was surprised at Nayuta’s change throughout Episode 5, but Reifa grew a lot too.

Fuse: She had to go through some horrible things for a 14-year old, but you can really see her grow throughout the game.

Yamazaki: There’s also a scene where she comes back. We tried working in these scenes with voices throughout the game.

Interviewer: It really got to me. So Reifa and Nayuta have the same eye color because they’re siblings?

Fuse: Yes. Their straight eyebrows are a sign too. Reifa got her hair color from her father Druk, and Nayuta from his mother Amara. You don’t really notice it with just Reifa and Nayuta, but you can see their parents and children from their gestures and the way they talk.

Yamazaki: Let’s talk about Druk now. He’s an important character who appears in the prologue anime, but we couldn’t say anything about him until the release (laugh).

Interviewer: It felt real how Odoroki acts a bit distant when he finally meets with Druk again after so many years.

Fuse: Despite appearances, Odoroki can be a bit cold, actually. He’s someone who makes judgments coolly. You can see that when the two meet again. He might be a bit angry with Druk too. “How long do you think you left me here?” (laugh).

Yamazaki: To make the surprise that by the time the two meet, Druk had already died even more shocking, the story was made so they’d start out on a distance, slowly grow together again and just you’d think they were close again….

Fuse: In terms of design, I designed him following that other dragon, Naruhodō, with a blue theme, and gave him a face that had the nuance of him being the man who was Odoroki’s father. You could say association… I wanted people to think: “Perhaps he’s his father…?” But Druk’s eyebrows splits in three ends, following the image of a dragon, while Odoroki Sōsuke (Jove Justice)’s eyebrows have two ends, like Odoroki himself.

Yamazaki: He’s the leader of the revolutionaries, so how I should I put it, he’s a real man, heroic. I’ve seen male players call him big bro. Oh yeah, he’s also the one who narrates the prologue anime. Go watch it again after you’ve played the game.

Interviewer: Queen Garan looks completely different when she’s a queen and she’s a prosecutor.

Yamazaki: Especially with this game we decided from the start we wanted to give the player that exciting feeling when they defeat a grand opponent. In the series, it happened only once before the prosecutor turns out to be the big bad. So to go together with the theme of the revolution of the court, we ended up with the idea to you’d defeat the queen and prosecutor. We really paid attention to making you feel her pressure once she stood at the bench, and the way she rewrites the laws there really worked great together with the fact she was also the queen.

~ Alumni Meeting X Girl Manga?!~

Interviewer: And to finish it off, please tell us about the Special Episode.

Fuse: We decided we’d do DLC too, like with Gyakuten Saiban 5, and the concept was that we’d have something completely different from the main game. And following the producer’s wishes, we made something like an alumni meeting, with Naruhodō, Mitsurugi (Miles Edgeworth), Yahari (Larry Butz) and Mayoi.

Yamazaki: As for the concept of the case, there was the theme of time travel, and the wedding ceremony, which I have always wanted to do. There is no real time traveling, but this is a world where spirit channeling is possible, so I hope people might think: “Perhaps there was really time travel involved?”

Fuse: By the time we came up with the idea of the airship, we decided the whole special episode, including the characters, would be steam punk. And because this story was set apart from the main game, I designed  the characters in the Special Episode with the concept of girl manga. I also like girl manga, but my own style also came through, so the characters are quite weird (laugh).

Yamazaki: And it had been a while since Yahari last appeared. The image of him being the illustrator Tenryūsai Mashisu (Laurice Deauxnim) is still quite strong, but it didn’t feel right to have him really succeed on that path. So we made him into a one hit wonder. The story just doesn’t seem able to proceed smoothly just because of his appearance, so that really makes you realize what an “amazing” character he is.

Fuse: And the concept of the wedding ceremony fitted him perfectly too.  Him stealing a bride, but it was all his mistake and he wasn’t going to get married and stuff like that.

Yamazaki: This is the first time that Naruhodō, Yahari and Mitsurugi all stand together in the courtroom.  You could say that Naruhodō and Mitsurugi can read each other’s minds, or that they fight together, so it’s like they work together to corner Yahari (laugh).

Interviewer: Can I ask for one final message for the people who read this book?

Yamazaki: This is the book that has everything on the visual side of Gyakuten Saiban 6, so I hope you check it out in detail. The design team has been on board right from the start of the project, so even the world setting sketches are drawn in detail, and you can only find them here! Please go carefully through the book.

Fuse: You said everything (laugh)! Errr… thanks for your purchase. The book not only contains the game visuals, but also illustrations drawn by the development team, so that is also fun to go through. The cover illustration is an original drawing for this book, so I hope you also enjoy it.

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