Wednesday, June 20, 2018

15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Special Talk Session: Gyakuten Saiban 5, 6 - Yamazaki Takeshi X Fuse Takurō (2017)

Title: 15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Special Talk Session: Gyakuten Saiban 5, 6 - Yamazaki Takeshi X Fuse Takurō / 「逆転裁判15周年記念トーク 逆転裁判「5」「6」 山崎剛 X 布施拓郎」
Source: 15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Series Encyclopedia 2001-2016

Summary:  In this interview published in 15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Series Encyclopedia 2001-2016, director, scenario writer Yamazaki Takeshi and character designer Fuse Takurō discuss Gyakuten Saiban 5 (Ace Attorney 5 - Dual Destinies) and Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney 6 - Spirit of Justice). They first discuss how it was to work as the new team on the mainline series in their different roles as (scenario) director and art director. A great art of the discussion is about creating new characters, and also bringing old characters back for the new stories, and the two also go in-depth in story elements of both games. 

The Work of The Directors

Yamazaki: I was the scenario director for Gyakuten Saiban 5 (Ace Attorney 5 - Dual Destinies), while Seto (Yasuhiro) was the director. Because the story is of utmost importance to these games, we went with this structure which allowed me to focus on the scenario. I took on the task of watching over the creative side of things, especially the story, while Mr. Seto would manage the team. With Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney 6 - Spirit of Justice), I was both director and scenario director, while Fuse here was art director, and co-director. As the director, I had the last call on the creative side of development, but during the development of the game, I had to move to Tokyo, so I needed someone to keep an eye out on the team back in Osaka. That’s what Fuse did.

Fuse: It’s not that we developed the games like that because that’s how the Gyakuten Saiban games are traditionally made, it’s more a thing of the director. We have a lot of unique directors here at Capcom, so for example certain directors will work like this or that. So rather than talking about the “Gyakuten Team”, I think calling us the “Yamazaki Team” makes more sense. I was the art director, so err, I oversaw the art direction. And with the Gyakuten Saiban series, that also means being responsible for character designs.

Usually, you have different people working on these different roles. Even if with only one of these two roles, you'd have plenty to do, and the required skill sets for these two roles are also different. But with Gyakuten Saiban 5 and 6, I had to take on both roles on my own. With a small team, doing both roles wouldn’t pose much of a problem, but lately we have a lot of staff members working on these games, so it’s a challenging job. If only there were two of me! (laugh) The same holds for director and scenario director. Sometimes it’s just too much for one person to do the work of two.

Yamazaki: Yeah, it’s a lot of work.

Fuse: Hey, who was the guy who suddenly said he’d move to Tokyo in the first place? (laugh) So we had separate functions for the art direction and scenario direction for Gyakuten Saiban 5, and as the direction for that game was pretty difficult, it was decided we’d share that role for Gyakuten Saiban 6. So the idea was to make the job easier.

Yamazaki: And that’s what you just called the style of the Yamazaki Team, right?

Fuse: I did.

Yamazaki: I think that my work style flows out of the work style of Mr. Takumi. This series was created by someone who was so ambitious he not only did direction, but also the scenario, so I too am ambitious (laugh). So we’re working like that now, but if in the future someone else becomes in charge of the series, they might work in a completely different way, and that’s perfectly fine.

But the story is an important element of the Gyakuten series, and one can really sense the unique qualities of each game’s director because we have that unique structure of the director also working on the scenarios. As a creator, it’s nice to be able to feel like that, and I think this also has influence on the taste and good points of the respective title.

Fuse: Yeah, a game does feel more pure like that. It’s same with art direction and character design. Usually, a designer will create the characters, a process is supervised by the art director. But if you do it like that, the art director has to explain from start to beginning what they want. If you have one person working on both, their characteristics become easier to see, so it’s rewarding work. The merits of doing both jobs is basically only that (laugh).

Yamazaki: Even so, I work on the director with a few other writers. So it’s less of me compared to the way Mr. Takumi did it, and it’s become more of a creative process where I gather the help of all kinds of people, and come up with a complete image of the final product as I keep in mind what everyone wants to do and what their specialties are. We are able to show quite a lot of ourselves compared to structures where every role is separated, but not as much as how Mr. Takumi did it.

Adding Fuse and The Birth of Kokone

Yamazaki: Gyakuten Kenji 2 (‘Turnabout Prosecutor 2’) was well on its way, when we were suddenly short of artists. Mr. Fujii (designer) came in with an illustration, saying “A while back a good artist was hired here”. So we decided we’d need him in our team.

Fuse: I was just told where I was assigned to, and heard later how that was decided. So that’s how I came to the Gyakuten Kenji 2 team to work on event cut scenes (illustrations of important story scenes.) And when Gyakuten Saiban 5 got on the rails, I think it was producer Eshiro who came to me. He basically harassed me (laugh).

Yamazaki: That scary face of his!

Fuse: Yeah (laugh). It was pretty challenging.

Yamazaki: Gyakuten Saiban 5 was really challenging! There had been a blank period since Gyakuten Saiban 4 (Ace Attorney 4 - Apollo Justice), so we had to start all over from the basics. Getting a team together was also difficult as few people had experience on working on the series. And it was the first main series title in a long title. The producer and I had troubles figuring out what direction to go with the game. I feel like all we did was worrying about what to do, about what to do.

Fuse: We even went on a working camp. Just a few of us. The writing team and myself… so five of us?

Yamazaki: We went to a resort in Ise owned by Capcom, and the producer also joined halfway…. As we ate lobster (laugh). Just joking. So as our base concept, it took us a lot of turns here and there, but in the end we decided to go with the destruction of the court. The designs of Yugami (Simon Blackquill) and Kokone (Athena Cykes) also weren’t without trouble. We just couldn’t pick a good design.

Fuse: Kokone… We all fought over her. Not only over her design. We even had fights about her name.

Yamazaki: It was the first Gyakuten Saiban since a long time, so we were all rather eager to come up with the best we could. Which in turn made everything look like crap.

Fuse: We just couldn’t believe in ourselves.

Yamazaki: Exactly. We just didn’t have confidence in ourselves. So we couldn’t make up our mind on Kokone’s name. Even though we arrived at the phrase "[Kizuite] kokone" (TN: [See it?] Oh, here!) at the very start.

Fuse: Her temporary name had been Kokone from the very start of the development process, right? It fits her character, we all thought, but for some reason we couldn’t decide to go with the name for the final product. The producer was all: “Kokone’s out!” (laugh)

Yamazaki: So we had to come up with other names. We had like a hundred of them…. (laugh) So we mailed it to him. I think he was in the States for work at the time. He said he’d pick a name from the list. What was his first pick again? Kanae?

Fuse: I don’t remember anymore.

Yamazaki: He was like “That’s a good one!”. But the team was looking at that mail from the States, thinking “Oh… he went with Kanae…”

Fuse: We lost our drive there. We had all told him Kokone was the best name all the time.

Yamazaki: So we were a bit down for a while. But then the next day, Eshiro sent us a new mail. “Yeah, I think Kokone might be better after all.”

Fuse: Come on, man! (laugh)

Yamazaki: He said he thought it over the whole night and ended up liking the name. No idea what he was talking about though (laugh). I think that this is how we worked on everything

Fuse: We fought like this over small and large things (laugh).

Yamazaki: There was a lot of weight on the shoulders of Kokone, so she was quite a difficult character to create. She was the new heroine, but also a playable character, and she was involved with the new mechanic Heart Scope (Mood Matrix), so she also needed to have design elements that involved psychological analysis. So her design wasn’t easy, but also in terms of the story, I found her a difficult character to move around. So I was really glad that she became popular with the fans. Naruhodō’s (Phoenix Wright) the protagonist of Gyakuten Saiban 5, but we felt that it was too soon for us to use Mayoi (Maya Fey) at the time. She is a difficult character to get right, and we had our hands full with the ambitious goal of bringing back Naruhodō. So that’s why we decided we needed a new heroine.

Fuse: The first official image of Kokone we revealed had a mysterious atmosphere to her, with which we invited the fans to imagine what kind of character she could be. But once you get to know her, you’ll realize she’s probably not as impressive or awesome as you’d first imagine (laugh). I made sure to draw her with her back to the viewer to give her a mysterious vibe.

Yamazaki: To hide her characteristics. When we revealed her, she appeared so cool, but that gap with her real personality is what’s so cute.

Fuse: And we fought with the producer about this… Mr. Eshiro was really giving it a lot of thought as this would be the first reveal of the game. So he made all kinds of small adjustments, like having her turned a bit more this or that way. I can’t just turn her around like that! I’m drawing this by hand!! (laugh)

The Art of Gyakuten Saiban

Fuse: To start with my own personal views, there’s “Capcom Quality” that lies at the foundation, and then you have the category “Gyakuten Saiban” withn that. It’s modern, people wearing coats, stuff like that. So when I work on character characteristics, or the way I deform elements: I always do that with the Capcom style in mind. Then there’s the individual style of the artists, and you can sense how they like to illustrate. All within the same framework, of course. So yes, my own style can be found in Gyakuten Saiban 5 and Gyakuten Saiban 6. We’ll be here all day if we go into details, but I think that Mr. Iwamoto and Mr. Nuri did the same for this series.

Yamazaki: You already go the idea for the artstyle with the Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney Investigation) series, so I wasn’t too worried for Gyakuten Saiban 5. But the start of these projects is pretty difficult, with all the discussions going on about the character designs. It’s always difficult when you start with something completely new.

Fuse: It was new to me to work on designs while discussing them with other people, but the designs really improved little by little.

Yamazaki: We all work so differently too. I had only worked with Mr. Iwamoto before. Mr. Iwamoto and you have very different working styles. So it took a bit of time to get used to that. You both do things differently.

Fuse: I guess I can talk about this now, but I had only just joined Capcom when I got to work on the event cut scenes in Gyakuten Kenji 2, and as I had my own views on the quality of those illustrations we argued about the final product.

Yamazaki: Ah, we did (laugh). But you have a good drawing skillset and quite handy. So if necessary, you can adapt. I think that’s really amazing. There are also people who can only draw in their own artstyle. What I think impresses me the most about you is that you’re able to come up with illustrations as per order, but that you can still make the drawing in your own way without losing the style that was asked of you.

Fuse: In my old job, I had to draw all kinds of drawings…. And I couldn’t draw them in my own style, but in a style so nobody would know who had drawn it… So that’s how I learned to draw in so many styles.

Yamazaki: Oh.

Fuse: So the art I make for the Gyakuten Saiban series isn't exactly my own style. Usually, you’d first come up with a character design and then come up with ideas for animations, right? But I took after Mr. Iwamoto’s style, and sometimes decide my designs after coming up with an idea of what kind of movements a character should do. So that means that even these designs aren’t exactly drawn in my own, natural style. I make these designs with the goal in my mind to make a Gyakuten Saiban design.

Yamazaki: You have the complete image, including animations, in your head when you make character designs.

Fuse: The foundation of my own personal style lies more in old shojo manga.

Yamazaki: Eh, what?! (laugh)

Fuse: If you’d trace it all the way back, you’d end up there. With those big, sparkly eyes. With those lush eyebrows.

Yamazaki: You’ll need to draw one of those (laugh).

Fuse: No way. I like the works by Dezaki Osamu for example, and Sugino Akio or Araki Shingo. I was really influenced by them. With those thick eyebrows. So I always have to say to myself not to draw eyebrows.

Yamazaki: Or else you’ll accidently draw them?

Fuse: They’ve become a bit longer lately (laugh)

Yamazaki: Ah, now you mention it, aren’t Nayuta’s (Nahyutah) a bit long? (laugh). But it fits his design, so all’s well.

Blue, Red And Then…

Fuse: The Gyakuten Saiban series has a lot of adult characters both male and female, so I had a lot of fun drawing them.

Yamazaki: How was Kokone at first again?

Fuse: She was more like, you know, like a normal attorney. Her personality was less out in front, and she was more orthodox. I wanted a new kind of protagonist for Gyakuten Saiban 5. At the very beginning at least.

Yamazaki: That was really the first idea you had. You asked if you could do that. (laugh)

Fuse: So I first came up with a rookie female attorney as our new protagonist. Kokone became a playable character in the end, but at first she was more like a sub-protagonist, and also something like the tale’s heroine later. So I had to change the design too to fit her new roles. With more of her personality out. So she had to stand out like Mayoi and Minuki (Trucy), but also be a proper playable, sub-protagonist. It was hard getting that balance.

Yamazaki: It was. It was like mixing two incompatible ingredients. First we had that really simple design, but when she became the heroine too, her design became a bit over the top….

Fuse: Her design consistency was starting to break down. But I still drew her like that like nothing was wrong.

Yamazaki: I was also really under the impression that that could’ve worked.

Fuse: So we tried things out, went too far and went back again. The only thing that didn’t change all that time was the color of her clothes.

Yamazaki: Naruhodō (blue), Odoroki (Apollo Justice) (red), so the next would be yellow, we agreed.

Fuse: It just had to be yellow (laugh). It is a girlish color, so it fits her well too. That was the only thing that stayed the same.

The Crime Scene

Yamazaki: We had a new 3D crime scene investigation mechanic in Gyakuten Saiban 5, which allowed you look around the crime scene. While writing the story, we came up with all kinds of gimmicks, like having the background change if you investigate a certain point, or some funny things to find while looking around. We needed something new to this series. Sometimes the story itself becomes one big mechanism to facilitate a gimmick. And then we have the artists, who went even further than we had expected, and thanks to them, the 3D mechanic came out quite good. Like that scene in the third episode, Turnabout Academy, when Ban Gōzō (Bobby Fulbright) pops out of the window and cries “Justiiiiice!” (laugh). That wasn’t in the scenario at first. But one of the designers asked me if that wouldn’t be cool. So the story also changes as the visuals are made. Ban really looked happy then.

Fuse: I love that scene, as it really shows off Ban like he is. As for the 3D investigation mechanic, as one of the artists I can say it’s a lot of work (laugh). Up until now the backgrounds in Gyakuten Saiban had been 2D, so the story could cheat a bit, but once you create these scenes in 3D, you can’t cheat anymore. So we had to think of a way to cope with that. Sometimes you’d create a visual, and then notice that that murder trick would be super obvious in 3D, so then the story had to be changed too. But it does lead to improvements.

Yamazaki: Things like depth become obvious for example.

Fuse: For example, you’d notice that someone couldn’t have fallen to their death from a certain height. I guess the writing must be difficult too, having to adapt to things like this.

Yamazaki: Sometimes you’d realize the true distance a body was moved.

Fuse: Like with the second episode in Gyakuten Saiban 6. The first time you brought it up, I was thinking what the **** you were thinking. With that show.

Yamazaki: Ooh, that show.

Fuse: I thought that even if we really recreated that crime scene that nobody would understand what was happening (laugh).

Yamazaki: It’s difficult sure, but that’s magic! And then we had two floors of the stage, and a floor beneath that. Hey, it’s bigger than we had first thought! So that was a lot of work. But it really makes you feel you’re investigating a murder, and that really helps the enjoyment of these games. Oh, and speaking about 3D. Mr. Takumi told me that when deciding on a setting for Gyakuten Saiban, you need to come up with a setting where the players would want to go. Nobody wants to investigate a place if it’s not interesting. So I kept that in mind, and came up with a space station for the finale of Gyakuten Saiban 5…. Because I was thinking of places where you’d want to go, but usually can’t. Even the school setting was surprisingly not used yet.

Fuse: Each episode in Gyakuten Saiban 5 is set somewhere completely different. The stories are connected, but the settings are all somewhere else.

Yamazaki: That’s also because we have multiple writers working on the story, I think. My stance is that I want every writer to do what they’re best at. For example, the writer for the second episode loves yōkai.

Fuse: Yōkai and locked rooms?

Yamazaki: Yep, something like that. And if you have special locations, it’s also easier to give characters some defining characteristics or features. The characters are really created together with the designers. Take Gyakuten Saiban 6’s Potdino (Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin) for example. He goes metal in the second half, right? Fuse here came up with that idea and decided we’d go with that. At first, we only had the idea of him being someone playing an instrument.

Fuse: Yeah, the idea was he was a musician playing some folk instrument.  My idea was to show he was really just a poser, and that his real self was a death metal player guitarist with mad picking skills. And after a while, he became a guitarist and vocalist who actually sang (laugh).

Yamazaki: So we throw the ball around a lot, changing things as we go. Going back to the backgrounds, we also write down in the design plans what kind of objects we want in the backgrounds, and Fuse and I sometimes get all excited during our checks and add more. It’s important to have objects in the background that invite you to check them. We also try to have something like a landmark in each background, which makes it easier for the players to remember where they are. Mr. Takumi told me he always kept an eye on that.

Designing Characters For A Long Running Series

Fuse: When you working on the fifth or sixth entry of a series, you can’t just with straight balls. Usually, the idea will already have been done in the past, so then you resort to screwballs, and then it becomes screwier and screwier (laugh). But if you go too far, it’ll be a foul, so that’s hard to control.

Yamazaki: It’s hard getting all the keywords and background ideas into the final character designs.

Fuse: Of course there’s the question of whether it’s simply fun and you also want to do come up with something that has nothing be done before, not only for this series. For example, there’s the teacher Ichiro Shinji (Aristotle Means) in Gyakuten Saiban 5. The order from the scenario writers was “a teacher”, “representative of the Dark Age of the Law”” and “the culprit”. And he needed a staff to commit the murder. It’s from there that you start thinking about what kind of character he’ll be, so in the end we have that stone statue… It was my idea to go from the idea of a teacher at a law academy to the looks of a Greek philosopher, to a Spartan soldier. There wasn’t any of that in the original scenario. It’s the job of the artist to come up with visuals that are interesting.

Yamazaki: Having little room for ideas is the same for the writers. We keep on using more and more murder schemes and other tricks. When Ichiro finally breaks down, as he writes on the blackboard, that was also an idea from the designers, I think.

Fuse: Yes. Real Spartan education (laugh). Usually, I also think of the animations of the characters as I design them, so the idea of the blackboard also came then. Having him throwing chalk or hitting the blackboard seemed like it would look funny.

Yamazaki: One of the earliest designs you did for Gyakuten Saiban 5 was Biyōin (Florent L’Belle).

Fuse: I felt I really got the concept of a Gyakuten Saiban character with him, so I’m really fond of him.

Yamazaki: Telling me it’s okay for him to have his phones on his shoulders (laugh).

Fuse: He was the character I drew when the idea of a Gyakuten Saiban character finally clicked with me.

Spoiler Warning: The Final Boss of Gyakuten Saiban 5

Yamazaki: This interview is for a book with spoilers, so let’s talk about the final boss. We were talking about how we could have a surprising final boss, when we arrived at the idea of a police detective as the final boss. And when we started working with that, and this might sound strange, Ban became an even better character.

Fuse: Not what we had expected, but it was a great surprise to us too.

Yamazaki: At the end, he had to leave the scene in that way, which might leave you wanting for more.

Fuse: I think that’s why he’s left such an impression.

Yamazaki: I think there is a successful side to Ban, where we managed to surprise the player, but also a side where we didn’t quite manage to use all his potential, so I’m somewhat torn about that.

Fuse: The original story was a bit different, and the final boss was not the Phantom, but someone complete different. There’d be a police detective who was the former partner of prosecutor Yugami, and even though everyone thought he’d be dead, he’d turn out to be still alive, masquerading as Ban…. So after a lot of changes, we ended up with the story as it is now, and I think it’s much more shocking now. It all ends without us learning who the Phantom really is, so I think many of the players will feel frustrated, wanting to punch the final boss in his face, but not being able too. Oh yeah, I remember that during the development, we talked about not killing off Ban.

Yamazaki: Yeah, we talked about that.

Fuse: I liked him personally, and I was also proud I had designed a police detective character for this latest game, so I really wanted him to live on. But he had to die.

Yamazaki: I didn’t really want him to die either. So that was a hard part.

Fuse: You didn’t kill because you wanted to.

Yamazaki: We might have revealed he was still alive in the ending, but I don’t it would’ve worked to have that climax to the case and then turn everything back around in the ending.

Fuse: And the body of the real Ban was identified through his fingerprints… So we can’t have him turn out to be alive either. But if we have one of his arms be a bionic one… That’s normal for Capcom! (laugh)

Yamazaki: I’m not sure about that (laugh). But don’t forget, we never said that Ban, or to be exact, the Phantom, is dead.

Fuse: It ended with the Phantom caught, and him not knowing who he himself was either. So what the hell is the organization that hired the Phantom!?

Yamazaki: What's up with them!?

Fuse: Pretty creepy that, almost like a horror story.

Yamazaki: Gyakuten Saiban 5 is different from the games before it. For example, having a theme like the Dark Age of the Law throughout the game hadn’t been done before. Gyakuten Saiban 5 was a new beginning, so we took on a new working approach, with a large main theme to the game. I think that this brought good results. It’s a bit different from just having light cases that you solve one after another. The story developments can become graver. Personally, I think this has brought a new way for players to enjoy the games, but it did made me worry whether the older fans would like this too. So I was really afraid of going this way.

Fuse: I think it was a good choice to go with a greater theme. These games aren’t made by a small number of people anymore like in the past, but by a large team, and you need some common ground for everyone to work efficiently. Especially with multiple scenario writers.

Yamazaki: It was pretty experimental with this game, but we really made use of the experience with Gyakuten Saiban 6. Gyakuten Saiban 6 was really only possible because we made 5.

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Is About Two Protagonists

Yamazaki: I was originally also in the development team of Gyakuten Saiban 4, so I quite like Odoroki. I had always thought I wanted Odoroki to star as a protagonist in a good way. But the theme of Naruhodō’s return was very important to Gyakuten Saiban 5, so Odoroki was pushed back to a key person position in the plot. So with Gyakuten Saiban 6, it had been the plan from the start to have the two of them star as double protagonists in the game. So we thought about what we could do story-wise now we had two protagonists and arrived at the idea of having them do their thing at separate locations, and finally come together at the end. That’s why we have them in different countries. That was our starting point.

I also wanted to bring the whole plot together starting with Gyakuten Saiban 4, so I felt it was necessary to have these two protagonists. So the most important concept was having the double protagonists. But we had to create the Kingdom of Kurain (Khura'in), with its own culture. It was a great help that Fuse here and the other designers came up with ideas for the concept art. Must’ve been difficult?

Fuse: Yep. Really. We not only had to create new Kurain characters, but also the whole setting, so I think that costs us the most time. It was really difficult getting it right.

Yamazaki: It had to be a world different from Japan, but it still needed to be set in the Gyakuten Saiban world. I guess getting that balance right would’ve been hard.

Fuse: There aren’t a lot of foreign characters in the series in the first place. Having foreign characters and going abroad would prove to be a challenge, was what I thought from the start. And it wasn’t even the ‘easy’ way, like to the West. It had to be Asian-esque. It was hard getting that right.

Yamazaki: I can imagine that. But still, it’s a fictional country. You came up with an original country, with some real-life influences. You even created a script. With a scheme to translate their characters to Japanese ones.

Fuse: The development team was having more fun with that than I had expected. They created a font, so you could type in your computer.

Yamazaki: So anyone can actually read all those pieces of evidence and more if they tried. I even checked whether you didn’t write anything funny somewhere.

Fuse: Yeah, we’d write things where you wouldn’t look all the time (laugh).

Yamazaki: No way (laugh).

Characters Growing Older With The Series

Yamazaki: Portraying what happened to the Gyakuten Saiban characters I love so much after the fourth game was a responsibility that weighed heavy on me. Ayasato Mayoi is a good example of that. Mayoi is a very popular character, and it was a real challenge to figure out how I’d handle her in her first appearance since a long time. I could write a story around her, but she has of course experienced all kinds of things in the meantime, and I couldn’t have her new self overlap with her old adventures. So I had to think long about how I’d handle her not a heroine, but she’d join the story as the new, adult Mayoi, and what her story position would be. It was really scary! (laugh). I was so afraid I didn’t even dare to use her in Gyakuten Saiban 5. It was too soon! She’s a special character.

Fuse: We had our hands full with getting Naruhodō back. The two of them are really difficult characters to use.

Yamazaki: Yeah. But as I wanted to get everything together with Gyakuten Saiban 6, I had no choice but to have her appear. But I really went in full throttle once I made up my mind.

Fuse: We also talked a lot about the color of the logo.

Yamazaki: We did. “The “6” should be green, that’s the color of a magatama!” and stuff like that.

Fuse: Here the producer and the team had one of their arguments again.

Yamazaki: First we said that it should be green because that’s the color of a magatama. But then Eshiro said he wanted purple, as that was Mayoi’s color (laugh). I wanted to convey the feeling of the game with the “6”. But we also had other ideas. Like an idea of having it more squishy, like a spirit. But that went too far, we thought, and finally arrived at the current logo. How did designing the characters go?

Fuse: Naruhodō, Mitsurugi (Miles Edgeworth), Mayoi and Yahari (Larry Butz) too, they are all unique characters,  so it was difficult deciding what to change to show the passage of time. It’s really difficult to change the designs of characters with such a long history. To be honest, if possible, I wouldn’t have changed anything (laugh). I think that Yahari changed the most. It didn’t take too long for him. We talked about how he was likely to have changed and we decided on the design very smoothly. But in the last scene of the DLC episode, I thought we couldn’t have Yahari in his usual clothes, so we made something special for the occasion.

Yamazaki: Naruhodō and Mitsurugi are in their usual get-ups, and only Yahari dressed up for the wedding. Oh well, at least they’re wearing suits.

Fuse: The two of them are wearing fairly formal clothes in their everyday life, so we kept them that way. As the girls, we couldn’t have Akane (Ema Skye) in her white coat there, so she got a special dress too.

Yamazaki: It looked cute on her, with a unique style. Kokone was wearing something fitting her age, I guess.

Fuse: Yeah. Makes you want to ask “Why are you trying to stand out so much!” (laugh)

Yamazaki: Mayoi, Akane, they all look cute, so we wanted them to have different clothes in the DLC. They don’t often get the chance to change clothes in this series (laugh).

Fuse: The storyboard of the animation was decided while we worked on the DLC episode, so that’s when we decided to have them wear those clothes. We didn’t have much time for that though, the designs for the clothes were just in time.

Favorite Scenes

Yamazaki: I love the scene in the final episode of Gyakuten Saiban 5, when you cross-examine Yugami and you suspect that it was Kokone who killed her mother when BAM, Odoroki and Naruhodō go up against each other. There’s a good pace there and really gets you excited. Almost as if we had Odoroki in all those bandages only for this scene (laugh).

Fuse: I guess I’m also for the climax scene in the final episode… In Gyakuten Saiban 6, it’s the moment when you realize that “that person” was dead all along. Naturally, I knew that person would die from the start, when I first designed them, but still, it really got to me when I arrived at that point in the game. He’s a really good dad, and also someone to look up to as a man, so I was glad I was able to draw everything I wanted with him.

Yamazaki: Just to make sure: this series doesn’t have a lot of good fathers. So that was also something we wanted to write about, something that hadn’t been done before in this series. It was something we had to do, as we build on the previous games.

Fuse: Yeah, we’d seen a lot of fathers, but most of them committed crimes or were suspected of them (laugh).

Yamazaki: I didn’t really think about it back then, but Gyakuten Kenji 2 was also about fathers. So there are also people who say that Mr. Takumi writes about mothers, and that I write about fathers.

Fuse: you mean a mother and father complex? (laugh)

Yamazaki: Eh? That’s what they mean? No, no way!

Fuse: But family love is a basic cornerstone for your stories. I guess that’s good, a characteristic of your style.

Looking Back Now At Themselves When They Working On The Games

Yamazaki: This question also popped up in my discussion with Mr. Iwamoto in the Gyakuten Kenji interview… Gyakuten Kenji was my first game as a director, so that was easy, but these games are quite recent, so it’s hard to say.

Fuse: Still, it’s been five years since Gyakuten Saiban 5. I think both of us have changed a lot.

Yamazaki: The me when I was working on Gyakuten Saiban 5…. I’d like to tell myself that’s hell now, but that the game will be finished and turn out fine (laugh). I was really afraid back then. It was the first time I was leading a main Gyakuten Saiban game. I’d tell myself that the game will be finished with the help of everyone.

Fuse: Yeah, back then nobody praised me, so now I’ll praise myself (laugh). But this isn’t just about me. I think we all should praise each other’s work more. The reaction of the fans when the game was released was a great encouragement. Game developers want people to feel what it’s like to enjoy a game. Without that feedback, we’d all have lost our motivation, and Gyakuten Saiban 6 wouldn’t have been made.

Yamazaki: It was because of the reception of the fans of Gyakuten Saiban 5 that we decided that we would work on Gyakuten Saiban 6 with the same core team. We’d take everything we had learned and make a new game with those lessons in mind. Because we made Gyakuten Saiban 5, we were able to create Gyakuten Saiban 6. So that’s something I’m really happy about. I can’t say thanks enough to those who played our games.

??? Appearing At The End Of Gyakuten Saiban 6

Yamazaki: About that. I really wanted to show who it was, but it would spoil Gyakuten Saiban 4, so I didn’t show her directly.

Fuse: Perhaps one extra cut scene would’ve done it. But that would’ve given away everything, so it’s a difficult call.

Yamazaki: I really wanted to show her.

Fuse: As you intended to bring everything together, you wanted her to appear too, right? It would’ve been strange not to have mentioned her at all. But for those who haven’t played Gyakuten Saiban 4 yet, it might be a good hook.

Yamazaki: Because they’d want to play the game, right?

Fuse: Yeah. There’s even an app version of it now.

Yamazaki: That’s right. I think that their impression of Gyakuten Saiban 6 will change a lot once they have played Gyakuten Saiban 4. Minuki stars in the second episode of Gyakuten Saiban 6, but it only works because she was also in Gyakuten Saiban 4. You only saw some of her tears in the epilogue, and that was in a flashback scene. She was portrayed as a character who didn’t show her tears, which is why we could make episode 2 of Gyakuten Saiban 6. And that’s how Gyakuten Saiban 4, 5 and 6 are all brought together. So I think that it might also be fun to play Gyakuten Saiban 4 after playing 6. I hope you'll all enjoy the games.

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