Saturday, November 5, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 9: Turnabout Memories (2004)

Title: Turnabout Memories / 「思い出の逆転」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban 3 official site (down)

Summary: In the ninth column director Takumi wrote for the official website of Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 - Trials and Tribulations), he talks about the first episode of the game: Turnabout Memories. Like he explained in the previous column, little happenings (which he dubs irregularities) often result in big changes in this series and he points out two of them that occured during the development of this opening episode, which would have ramifications for the whole game. As always, these columns on specific episodes do contain spoilers.

Turnabout Memories

As I already mentioned in the first column, the concept behind this episode was: “How do I convey the rules of the game in a natural manner to first time players?” ….Well then, in that case I should just use Chihiro (Mia Fey) in her rookie days…. This was basically an inevitable idea.

There are two routes from which ideas are born. One is the Logic Type, which is the result of necessity, like in this case. The other route is the Accidental Type. Big ideas are often born out of really small happenings. Creators like us are always waiting for moments like that. A little incident that leads to an ‘occasion.’ An irregularity.

We had two irregularities while working on the first episode. And those were miraculous moments, which decided the direction of the whole game, especially the final episode. I’ll be starting right away talking about these events. So please don’t read on if you haven’t played the game until the end yet.

The person who brought us the first irregularity was… prosecutor Auchi (Winston Payne). An “inevitable” idea popped up in me when I saw the Auchi of five years ago the designer had drawn.

Takumi: Let’s have Auchi lose his hair as his damage animation this time.
Iwamoto: What! But that takes a lot of labor!
Takumi: Fool! Where are you going to pour all that effort in if not in this?!
Iwamoto: …You do like these ideas with hair, don’t you?
Takumi: What?
Iwamoto: Do you have some complex about hair?
Takumi ….

The hair on Auchi’s head flying off whenever he takes damages. It looked fantastic once they finished it. However, this led to one big problem. It was really hard to see all the hairs flying off with the prosecutor’s bench as the background. But it would be a waste to not use the animation….

And that is how I came up with that climax scene for prosecutor Auchi. The whole team really loved it when we showed the finished scene. But I had to sigh at another problem that had arisen now.

…Now the murderer has lost her place beneath the spotlight… With Auchi blowing up in such a grand way, the murderer would have to leave the scene quietly. But I needed to portray this person carefully: she needed to make an impression. How would I do that?

I finally got hold at the larger image of the story of 3 at literally that very moment. You might not believe it, but it all started with that foolish scene of Auchi. Yep. This is what a little happening is.

Another irregularity happened right after we started development. While I was preparing the scenario, the programmers were experimenting with various programs. One of them was a new credit roll. …It was still a bit early for that. We always have the characters appear and talk during the ending, but this new credit roll looked very nice too. This time we prepared a “Voice Cast” part, and we wanted to use the new credit roll there.

Takumi: This effect looks nice.
Programmer: Yeah. We cut out the outline of the character, and place it over the screen.
Takumi: …It looks complex.
Programmer: Not at all.
Takumi: Oh. So we can also use this in the game itself?
Programmer: Yes. We can do this in the courtroom for example. At the defense bench, anywhere.
Takumi: ….

It was that moment. A certain scene came up in my mind. That one scene at the end of the final episode.

…All I needed to do, was make sure the whole story would head towards that vanishing point…

That moment when the blinding light appeared in my mind. I really felt grateful I was writing this scenario. Yes. This is what a little happening is.

And with little moments like this all adding up, a story is completed. With “story” here, I mean the story outside the game, a scenario we will not talk about. The story of our development team. 

No comments:

Post a Comment