Monday, July 11, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban Blog Entry 5: Title (2001)

Title: Title / 「タイトル」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summary: In this blog entry originally posted in 2001 on the official website of the Game Boy Advance version of Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney 1 GBA), series creator Takumi talks about the various titles that he had in mind before settling on the final title. He also mentions the original name of the protagonist, before it was changed to the current name of Naruhodō Ryūichi (Phoenix Wright).


We somehow made it through that battlefield of observing a real trial, and we managed to get “something important” back. With this, the preparation for development on this game was perfect. The designer created the characters through trial and error, while the programmers made a basic system. The first I did was “proposing titles”. Once the title would’ve been decided, I’d be able to introduce myself as “Takumi of the X team” and the team could really bond.

At first, the name of the protagonist was Sōka Naruhodo ( ‘Really? I see’), so I had thought of a whole series of titles starting with “Naruhodo’s…”.

Naruhodo-kun no Zekkyō Saiban (‘Naruhodo’s Screaming Trial’)
Naruhodo-kun no Bengo Dōdan (‘Naruhodo’s Undefendable!’)
Naruhodo-kun no Deru Toko Deyōka! (‘Naruhodo’s Let’s Settle This!’)
Yokatta ne Naruhodo-kun (‘That Was Lucky, Naruhodo’)

…Among this series, I also had Gyakuten Hōtei (‘Turnabout Court’), but that didn’t manage capture much attention back then. These titles were all too normal, so then I tried a more literary approach.

Utsukushiki Hanketsu (‘A Beautiful Verdict’)
Kohakuiro no Shōgen (‘A Testimony in Amber’)
Kimi no Hitomi ni Igi Ari (‘Objection To Your Eyes’)
Hamster wo Sodateyō (‘Let’s Raise Hamsters’)

…There’s one there that’s obviously just empty words. The literary approach titles all had something horrid about them, and weren’t well received. Finally, I thought of impactful all-or-nothing titles.

Surviban (Translator’s Note: Portmanteau of 'survival' and saiban, ‘trial’)
Bengo 3 Kyōdai (‘The Three Defense Brothers’)
Keppaku Boogie (‘Innocence Boogie’)
Bingo Bengo (TN: Bengo means ‘defense’)


That was the original name of this game.
…I decided on this title, because it was the best received when I showed the titles to the team.
And for a half year, we introduced ourselves as the Surviban team…But then this happened, I don't really remember when.
“It kinda sounds like he can transform.”
“It’s the name of Space Cop, pal”
I started to hear people talking like this, and finally the producer said one very reasonable thing, after which he disappeared again:
“I don’t get it.”

…But don't underestimate the shackles we carried for six months. Somewhere inside me, this game is still, in a way, Surviban.

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