You can catch the interview in its entirety below after the jump! Hope you folks enjoy it! Special thanks to Matt Papa for acting as our translator.
Skybane: Aizu-san! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us again about your awesome games! First off, I just want to tell you again how much of an impact your games have left on me over the years. I cannot thank you enough for being there to give us these games that we all so thoroughly enjoy!
Aizu: Thank you very much!
Skybane: Thank you, great to have you! So, we got a number of questions together from our fanbase for you. In particular, there are a lot of people asking about Gunvolt 2, which is to be expected in light of all the news that's been revealed about the game lately. I know that you kinda have to be careful about what you say regarding your upcoming titles, though, so don't feel pressured to answer what you don't think you should answer.
Anyway, we saw the new Gunvolt 2 trailer a couple weeks back, and I must say, it was quite phenomenal! It certainly came completely out of the blue! Personally, I was not expecting to see so much Gunvolt 2 news so soon after Magfest.
But going in to the first question: why is the tail end of GV's hair now blue/indigo in the new trailer?
Aizu: When the designer was thinking about possible changes to make to the character design (as you saw, other things besides the hair were changed), there was talk about, like, "why don't we make GV's hair blue." That might, of course, lead some people to think, "Oh, well, that change was made because of Joule," but from a design perspective, there really isn't a particular reason for it. It's kind of up to your own interpretation. Of course, you also have to take into account that not everyone who has seen the new art has gotten the true ending of Gunvolt 1, so we can't just upright say "Oh, this was changed because of this reason." It would kinda kill the suspense of Gunvolt 1 for those who haven't played it. So that's why the change is there, but for the people who haven't played Gunvolt 1 or gotten the true ending in Gunvolt 1, it kinda leaves it up to their imagination.
|Gunvolt's new design features a darker color scheme and bluish braid.|
Aizu: Both stories start at the same time, but shortly after that, both characters branch off into their own stories. So, for both Gunvolt and Copen, they both start from the same place, but quickly branch off in their own directions.
Skybane: We also got a sneak peek at Lumen's new design in the Japanese version of new Gunvolt 2 trailer, and she appears to have merged with Joule completely. Does this mean that Lumen's personality is gone in Gunvolt 2?
Aizu: *chuckles* The answer to that very much lies within the story of Gunvolt 2, so we can't really speak about that right now.
|Lumen, as she appears in Gunvolt 2.|
Aizu: Well, with that whole subject line, there's really not a whole lot we can say at the moment. So, in terms of what is the deal with Lumen/Joule, you'll have to wait until you can play Gunvolt 2.
Skybane: Gotcha. Okay, here's a popular question. Are you guys translating the game yourselves, or are you getting 8-4 to do the job again?
Aizu: We are working with 8-4 again on the translation, but as you may know, we got a lot of feedback from the first game in regards to what people thought of its English translation. The team at 8-4 is very much aware of that feedback, so the translation for Gunvolt 2 may vary a little bit from what you saw with the first game. We have the utmost faith in 8-4's abilities, and have no doubts in our minds that they will produce a fabulous translation.
|Suffice to say that 8-4 took a...large amount of creative liberties when they translated Gunvolt 1.|
Aizu: We will not be cutting the voices.
Skybane: Has GV's gameplay style changed much in the second game? It kinda looks the same in the new trailer.
Aizu: For the most part, nothing's really changed with him. As far as his standard tag-and-shoot style is concerned, that hasn't changed, but as for his special skills, we'll have announcements on those later.
Skybane: This question is from our friend Kiwi: "How did Jota get that scar on his right shoulder [in the beach artwork drawn by Hatakeyama]?" I would like to go even further and ask: how did he get the scar on his left eye?
Aizu: Ah! I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head about that one. That's something that I unfortunately won't be able to answer right here and now. I'd have to check with the scenario writer about that. *chuckles* It's a pretty detailed question, a good question, but it's a pretty fine detail, so that's something that probably only the scenario writer would know off the top of his head. The scenario writer, Toshiyaki Tai, has a lot of ideas going around in his head when he writes these things, so make no mistake that there is a point and reason behind it, but all those small details aren't always conveyed to every person on the team. If there's anybody who knows all those small details at any given time, though, it's him.
Skybane: I would guess that it had something to do with his military activities?
|Jota (bottom-left corner of the picture) has a scar across his right shoulder.|
Skybane: This is a game development question: Mario Robledo asks, "When making a game, how important do you believe the story aspect to be in contrast with the actual gameplay? Do you look for a balance or is the gameplay definitely the most important part of the product?"
Aizu: Obviously, balance is very important, but when you're making an action game like Gunvolt, the first thing you really need to figure out is how the game is going to work, how the gameplay elements are going to all come together, and how to make it enjoyable for the player. Once you get those ideas set in stone, then you can start thinking about what enemies you're going to incorporate in this game, what the bad guys are going to look like, and then from there you can really start to craft your story. The story kind of falls into place from there. So, you can say that we sort of start with the gameplay, and then the story comes after that. But obviously, striking balance is very important.
Skybane: Here's a question from Joshua Lagorio: "Who's your favorite Adept?" And you can't say all of 'em!
Aizu: Ah! In terms of abilities, I like Carrera the most, but in terms of just pure character, I like Daytona the best.
Skybane: Daaaaytooonaaaaa! [Those who've listened to the Gunvolt drama track "Fire and Water" know who I'm mocking here.]
Aizu: *laughs* I like the fact that Daytona likes what he likes and is not afraid to broadcast that to the world. I think that's pretty cool.
Skybane: Here's a good question from Taichara: "Will QUILL be any part of the plot in GV2? Surely there are other cells -- and Asimov's death is going to cause a mess."
Aizu: Yeah, you can imagine that Quill's in a bit of a jam after the events of the ending of GV1. They're kinda having a bad time, so maybe you won't be seeing them around.
Skybane: I'm pretty sure this next question has been answered someplace else, but I don't exactly know where, so I'm going to ask you it anyway. Charlotte Bowen asks, "Will any of the Steam updates be added to the 3DS version of GV1?"
Aizu: What we can say for sure is that the Japanese Voice Mode from the Steam version is definitely coming, with the voices and re-translation to go with that. That much we can say for sure. As for the other Steam updates...*Aizu gave a long "Hmmmm" here* There's not a whole lot we can say on the matter. There are various hurdles that you have to clear for this sort of stuff. But again, what we can say for sure is that the Japanese Voice Mode with the re-translation is definitely coming.
|The Steam version of Gunvolt featured many gameplay modes that were not present in the 3DS version, such as a permanent Anthem mode and a "Christmas Mode".|
Aizu: You know, it's funny, I personally don't think Zero 4 had much of a sad ending, because at the end of the day, the world is restored to peace.
Skybane: Zero dies, though, right?
Aizu: Well, you don't know for sure whether he's alive or dead. So, since the world is at peace, how sad of an ending is it, really? For all we know, Zero might live on to fight for humans and reploids another day. All you know is that his helmet was there [at the end of the game].
Skybane: Okay, I have a follow-up question to that now: What about in ZX, then? Doesn't Model Z contain Zero's soul? The biometal is even voiced by Zero's voice actor.
Aizu: Well, a lot of time has passed between the events of Mega Man Zero 4 and ZX. It's not established 100% whether Zero is alive or dead. So, if he does continue on after the events of Zero 4, you may lose him at some point in between that very long span of time. It's hard to say.
Skybane: Interesting! This is why we need a bridge between Zero and ZX. *chuckles*
Aizu: But going back to the scenario question for Gunvolt, the Director for the Zero series and Gunvolt are different people. I think everyone knows that happy endings always make you feel very good, but there's no real "shock value" to them. It's just like, "Okay! Everything's happy! Okay. We're good." Whereas a not-so-happy ending tends to stick with you more. It leaves a more lasting impression. So, with that in mind, in a case like Gunvolt 1, it all really depends on how you look at it. Depending on what you focus on [in a "sad" ending], you could either be like "Maybe it's happy" or "Maybe it's unhappy." So, with that being the case, everybody kinda makes their own judgments and it leaves a more lasting impression.
Skybane: This one's from Riela Marcellis: "Western fans are missing a lot of info from drama tracks and other sources of supplementary story information, any plans to do something about it?"
Aizu: As you know, we're a pretty small company, so anybody responsible for making English things often happens to be the person sitting across from you at the table. So, while we were able to do the Fleeting Memories side story, the drama tracks are a whole different ballgame. But since we are a small developer, it kinda comes to the point where we have to say, "Okay, do we want to focus more of our manpower and efforts on working to expand the story of the first game for others, or do we want to make a separate game?" So, obviously, we're making a separate game, but in terms of the sub-content, from here on out we'd like to do what we can to make that stuff available in English so more people outside of Japan can enjoy it.
|Three Gunvolt drama track albums have been released in Japan thus far, none of which have made their way to the West. As a result, fans are taking the liberty of translating the tracks into English themselves.|
Aizu: It's a true mystery! No comment!*laughs*
Skybane: Well, the Dengeki Nintendo Magazine said that he was dead, or at least the translation that English people received said that he was dead. Mistranslation? *laughs*
Aizu: *laughs* No, that's not a mistranslation. It's a true mystery, though! A very mysterious adept, after all.
Skybane: Ah, here's a question that I've been wondering about for a long time! What is Gino's septima?
*Matt didn't need to translate this question into Japanese. Aizu caught it right off the bat and started laughing.*
Aizu: Ah! We get this question a lot. That, too, is a mystery! *laughs* Perhaps Director Tsuda or Scenario Writer Tai has that information, but they have never passed it on to me. Maybe it's a matter of them not wanting people to know. Perhaps.
Skybane: They don't even want the President to know? *chuckles*
Matt: We're not sure. Only they know for sure!
Skybane: How long until Fleeting Memories season 2?
Aizu: As you can probably imagine, Tai-san has been very busy doing all this stuff for Gunvolt 2, and other games as well (he doesn't just work on Gunvolt, he works on other games, too). So, as of what we know right now, you'll probably be looking at some time towards the last quarter of the year: October/November/December, something like that.
Skybane: Are Monica and Gino scheduled to make an appearance in GV2?
Aizu: Hmm. No. *chuckles*
Skybane: Really? So we may not find out about Gino's septima until much later, then?
Aizu: Well, okay, they probably won't show up. I shouldn't say definitely won't. It's more like probably won't.
|Aizu's reaction to this question.|
*...followed by another "Hmmm"*
*He was finally forced to answer, "Pretty low chance of that happening," and then laughed again.*
Skybane: Okay, next question! "Did Asimov ever care about Gunvolt, or was he always just a means to achieve an end for him?"
Aizu: Ah. Well, what I believe is that Asimov definitely wanted to work with Gunvolt, but at a certain point in the game, their relationship kinda changed. Until he revealed his true intentions to Gunvolt, he didn't know whether he would follow along or not. So, up until that point [when Asimov betrayed Gunvolt], he very much indeed wanted to be as close as he could to Gunvolt because he had his own "secret goal" in mind, and wanted Gunvolt to be a part of that. So yeah, I believe that he indeed had his best intentions at heart, in the hopes that Gunvolt would join him in his true goal.
Skybane: Asimov's such a cool character! I like how he's an American!
Aizu: Well, he doesn't speak much English, but... *laughs*
Skybane: Yeah, that's really funny! I loved that part in the "Ninja Arts" drama track when Monica is pointing out to Asimov how he doesn't speak perfect English, despite being an American. *laughs*
Aizu: *chuckles* Yeah, it's very much a funny joke. Maybe at the end of the day he can speak proper English after all. *chuckles*
Skybane: Alright, here's another one: "If you had a septima, which one would you want?"
|Aizu had to think about this for a moment, but he eventually came up with an answer.|
Skybane: Are you planning on a physical release for GV2?
Aizu: If that's something that we feel that a lot of fans are asking for, that's something we can certainly look into and consider.
Skybane: How old was GV when he met Asimov?
Aizu: GV was nine years old when he met Asimov.
Skybane: How about a Gunvolt artbook? Is that something that you guys are still thinking about?
Aizu: We are very much aware that a lot of fans want this, and we, too, would like to make an artbook. We're basically thinking, "When would be the best time to release such a thing? In what manner would be the best way to release such a thing?" That is something that we are putting a lot of thought into, so at this point, the best I can tell you is, "Look forward to more information about that in the future."
Skybane: This question isn't listed, but I'm wondering about it anyway: "Is Ippo Yamada Asimov?"
Aizu: *chuckles* It is a complete and utter coincidence!
Skybane: *laughs* I have a hard time believing that! He looks so much like him!
Aizu: Yeah, we can't really believe it either! *laughs* There's absolutely no relation between the two, though; it is completely a coincidence. The directors and the designers said this themselves.
Skybane: We [English Gunvolt fans] were making a lot jokes about this in the chat of the Magfest stream, when your shows were going on.
|Suffice to say that Aizu found this more than a little humorous. |
Fellow Inti Magfest chatters, with this reaction we have reaped our reward!
Skybane: Will the same songs be shared between GV and Copen storylines? Assuming that there's a kudos system for both characters, which it looks like there is.
Aizu: There is indeed a kudos system for Copen as well. The songs, too [are shared between both characters].
Skybane: Leland Queen asks, "What have been key influences as far as the series is concerned? Any specific connections to Mega Man X?"
Aizu: If there are any instances of that, that would be because Tsuda-san, our Director, not only did direction work for Mega Man X2, but he also worked on Mega Man X3 as well, so if there are specific MMX references in Gunvolt, that would be all his fault. *chuckles*
Skybane: Why isn't GV in perma-Athem mode in the new Gunvolt 2 trailer?
Aizu: No comment! You just have to find out when you play Gunvolt 2.
Skybane: Thought I'd try my luck! Okay, got an additional note here from my streaming pal, Josh. He says, "Bring back the Chain Rod (Mega Man Zero 2)."
Aizu: While that's not much of a fit for Gunvolt himself, we would love to think of a game where you'd be able to use a cool weapon like that again.
Skybane: What do you think people will enjoy the most about Gunvolt 2 in terms of gameplay?
Aizu: Copen being a playable character is by far the biggest addition to the new game. Just the fact that you can play as him is definitely something that I think a lot of people will enjoy. Not only that, but people who played Gunvolt 1 will be familiar with the way Gunvolt plays, so if they're looking for a gameplay style that they know, they'll have that option available. Also, considering that the game branches off into two separate stories, there's basically twice the amount of content this time around, so people will be able to learn more about the world of the game itself.
|The Adept-Killer, Copen, was recently revealed as a playable character for Gunvolt 2, to the pleasure of a ton of fans!|
Aizu: In order to make the most enjoyable game that we can, our team has been working extremely hard to make this game [Gunvolt 2] as fun as possible. So, while some time might pass between this first announcement that you guys got and the next one, be sure that we are working as hard as we possibly can to make Gunvolt 2 as enjoyable a game as the first one.
Skybane: Alright then! Well, Aizu-san, I certainly cannot wait for Gunvolt 2!
Aizu: Thank you very much!
For more news from Inti Creates, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out their English webpage here.
Huge thanks to Takuya Aizu for agreeing to this interview, and Matt Papa for acting as our translator! I hope you folks enjoyed this interview!