Friday, September 2, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban Blog Entry 16: Turnabout Sisters (1) (2001)

Title: Turnabout Sisters (1) / 「逆転姉妹(1)」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summary: In the sixteenth blog entry for the Game Boy Advance version of the original Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA), Takumi Shū talks about how he first came up with Turnabout Sisters, the second episode in the game and the episode which would introduce two more characters of the main cast. He also mentions some of the early names of the characters featured in this early prototype version, but also points out why this early version didn't actually work: he had already mentioned in an earlier blog entry that this version was actually very badly received by his superiors.

Turnabout Sisters (1)

September 2000.

Just repeating myself with “You need to point out contradictions in the game!” didn’t really convey what I meant. … to be honest, I myself didn’t really understand the concept either. So to get a feeling on the idea, I decide to write an exercise scenario. A scenario that would become the base of Turnabout Sisters.

It was my first time doing this, so I had no idea how to create a story. But in return, I had plenty of ideas for tricks. So with the best ideas that came to me because of the keyword “contradiction”, I started plotting it out. It was basically something based solely on the trick of the trial scene in Turnabout Sisters.

“The plot is ready, so now I can start writing…” I sat down in front of my word processer….but then froze. … I can’t start writing without names for the characters…I needed to write a scenario now! Who has time to think of names! And so the first ideas that came into my mind were…

Sōka Naruhodo: Protagonist
Kanari Mio: Victim
Konaka Hiroshi
Shōchiku Umeyo

Anyway, I can always change them later on. They’re just temporary. That’s what I thought at the time. I printed the finished scenario, folded it over at the answer and it was done. I called for someone in the team, read it out loud and had them cry out “Objection!” for real.

We turned this scenario into a running game, but this was the “Complete Failure Version” I wrote about in the column Breakdown At The End Of The Year (TN: Entry 7). There were actually all kinds of causes for the failure to be found in this scenario.
  • There was too much that had to be explained before the trial.
  • It was not interesting as a story at all.
  • It was too long as a prologue.
  • And also, the game mechanics were awful.
And that’s why I decided to write a different, more simple story. That became The First Turnabout (TN: See Entry 18: The First Turnabout)

Anyway. I had a very shocking experience while writing the scenario like this. It was like without any warning, a bright spark would suddenly go off in my head, and the next moment, an idea I had never considered about before, would suddenly come down from the heavens in a completed form.

I had two dream-like moments like that throughout the complete game. I will talk about one of those moments next time.

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