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10:27 AM on 12.15.2014  

Xenoblade X: More Designers Announced

Takahashi Tetsuya of Monolith Soft, who pushed forward the development of the open-world RPG “Xenoblade X” (read as “Xenoblade Cross”) for the Wii U, has been releasing the names of designers involved in the production little by little. 

It has now become known that Fumihiro Katagai and Rare Engine will be participating in the development of the game.


 

Fumihiro Katagai is known for the following anime titles:

Shangri-la
Towa no Quon
Chou Soku Henkei Gyorozetter
Chiaika – The Coffin Princess
Code Geass

Visit Fumihiro Katagai’s Facebook Page Here!


 

Rare Engine is known for the following video game titles:

Sangokushi Taisen
Sengoku Taisen

Visit Rare Engine’s Home Page Here!


 

Visit the Xenoblade X Twitter Page Here!

Source: Game Jouhou | First Published ondrakengard-3.com


 

12/18/14 Update

Tetsuya Takahashi has just announced the final designer who is currently working on the new Xenoblade X title: Hideyuki Matsumoto.

He previously worked on the weapon system in Xenosaga, so he will be involved in designing weapons for the new title.

Takahashi also announced that Kusanagi, Inc. will be producing the background artwork.

Source:  The Official Xenoblade Twitter Account


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9:10 PM on 12.11.2014  

NEWS: Yoko Taro is working on a new game!

According to Game Jouhou, it seems as though Yoko Taro is hard at work on a new game idea! There is no further news besides this right now, but man…! Let’s have fun speculating what this might be!! Some people are speculating that it may be a game for mobile divices (Android, iOS) and that it might be a collaboration with Mistwalker rather than Square Enix. Others wonder if it might be a revitalization of the cancelled game Cry-on for the Xbox, which was actually developed by Mistwalker with art by Fujisaka Kimihiko

The Dengeki Playstation 20th Anniversary issue (in tandem with the Playstation 20th Anniversary) was just released the other day to confirm this news. It features a brief question and answer interview with 107 creators and developers.

Here is my translation of Yoko Taro’s interview:

Creator No. 107
Yoko Taro

  • Question 1: Out of the PS titles you were involved in producing, which one did you feel the most attached to?

    I feel attached to all of the games that I worked on as director. The thing is, they were such a pain to work on that, when I think about it, I feel like I’m going to vomit, so I tend to think on it sparingly. But I appreciate the various support that Dengeki has given me.

  • Question 2: What past Playstation game do you still look back on fondly?

    Well, I’m sorry to always give the same answer, but I’d have to say it’s “ICO”. I think it was a game that showed it was okay to “only play up to a certain point.”

  • Question 3: For the game or person most on your mind, what would you ask that person?

    I want to say…… Ueda-san from “The Last Guardian”, but I’ve changed my mind and would like to ask Hiroshi Inai, who recently joined M2, the following question: Are you making a shooting game for M2? It’s a shooter, isn’t it? Please make a shooter!

  • Question 4: Not exclusively about gaming, but what topic is most on your mind?

    I don’t know why but I feel like I’ve been stricken with the unprecedented steak fad and eat it everyday. Why? Because it’s so good. I hope that cheaper and more delicious steak places will spread throughout the world!

  • Question 5: What memories do you have working on a title in 2014 or please tell us something about your most recent work!

    Unfortunately, I didn’t work on a game that was released in 2014. I am working on a new title but I would be murdered by many people if I let anything slip, so for now it’s a secret. Actually, I worked as creator for a stage play this year and was throughly impressed by a genre that I had never worked in before. Also, the new manga series that I created and am working as director, “Thou Shalt Not Die”, will be published in the monthly Big GanGan on December 25. I’m sorry to end this with such unabashed self-plugging, but I would be extremely grateful if you pick this up when you go to the bookstore.

This translation was first published on drakengard-3.com, with a heads-up on the breaking news by Siliconera and Game Jouhou.


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11:24 AM on 12.09.2014  

CONTEST: Drakengard 3 - 1st Anniversary

In celebration of the Japanese release of Drakengard 3 (DOD3) on December 19th, I'm holding another open contest for fans of the game to show your appreciation for the creators and developers. The contest has been going on for a while now, but the deadline is creeping ever closer! Get your submissions in by December 19th to be eligible to win authentic DOD3 goods from Japan!

 

Goal:
The aim of this contest is to offer a fun and creative contest to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the game’s release in Japan on December 19, 2013.

Deadline:
The deadline for entries is December 19.

Prizes:
One lucky participant in each category has a chance to win a double-sided DOD3 poster that was available only in an issue of Big GanGan. On top of this random drawing, if I receive a good number of participants, I will also award winners according to the number of likes your entry will receive.

The amount and type of prizes available to this contest will vary according to how many people participate in any given category as follows:

ART & VIDEO CATEGORY
10+ people enter:
1st Place: Mikhail & Zero or Pink/White A2 poster
2nd Place: DOD3 -The Complete Guide-
3rd Place: DOD3 -The First Official Guide-

5-9 people enter:
1st Place: DOD3 -The Complete Guide-
Runner Up: DOD3 -The First Official Guide-

1-4 people enter:
Grand Prize: DOD3 -The First Official Guide-

MUSIC CATEGORY
10+ people enter:
1st Place: Mikhail & Zero or Pink/White A2 poster
2nd Place: DOD3 Official Soundtrack
3rd Place: DOD3 Official Piano Score Book or Onitsuka Chihiro “This Silence is Mine” Single CD

5-9 people enter:
1st Place: DOD3 Official Soundtrack
Runner Up: DOD3 Official Piano Score Book or Onitsuka Chihiro “This Silence is Mine” Single CD

1-4 people enter:
Grand Prize: DOD3 Official Piano Score Book or Onitsuka Chihiro “This Silence is Mine” Single CD

     

Who can participate:
Anyone is welcome to participate regardless of where you live. I would hope that anyone who enjoyed playing the game would participate despite the fact that prizes are involved. Participants may submit only one piece for each category but are ineligible to win multiple items. Please refer to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS for further information on this.

Entries:
MUSIC THEMED
Create anything musically related specifically to DOD3. Sing a song from the series. Compose an original remix. Play something live in a video. You have the choice of either sending me the audio file through the E-mail address listed above or uploading it to YouTube and sending me the link. Original remixes, compositions, vocal performance, instrumental performance; anything related to music and DOD3 is acceptable as long as YOU created it.

ART THEMED
Create a piece of art related specifically to DOD3. Traditional paper/pencil art, CG/Photoshop art, ceramics, cosplay photography; any visual, still image is possible in this category. Any possible art form is acceptable in this category. Painting, drawing, ceramics, sewing, cosplay, photography, sculpture; anything visually artistic is acceptable as long as it depicts something or someone from DOD3 and is a single, still image. Entries must deal with DOD3 characters. You may write in other characters from the previous games such as DOD1, DOD2, and/or Nier, but DOD3 must be the focus. Artwork with guest characters from other franchises and/or original characters will not be accepted.

Images must be received via E-mail in JPG format, no larger than 1024×786, with a file size no larger than 900KB. The artist reserves complete copyright of their original works, however; final images may be resized and/or cropped to better display on Facebook or the DOD3 Web site.

VIDEO THEMED
Create a “fan-vid” to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Japanese release of DOD3. Videos should be at least one minute long. I suggest thinking using one of the two following themes: —a video to convey a genuine thanks to the creators and developers for making the game. —a persuasive video showing all the good parts of the game to get other people interested. I suggest uploading your videos to YouTube yourself and then sending the link to me.

Procedure:
Entrants must include their Full Name, User Handle/Nickname, and E-mail address. Names will be added to a list of participants. Items will be added to the DOD3 1st Anniversary Contest Album on the Facebook page for people to vote on their favorite items in each category. Votes will be tallied and winners announced on Christmas Day.

How to submit your work:
Please submit your work for the ART and MUSIC category via an E-mail attachment to: contest.drakengard3 AT gmail DOT com (Please replace the AT and DOT with the proper punctuation and no spaces!!). Since video files are generally much larger than images and simple .mp3s or .wavs, I suggest uploading your videos to YouTube and sending me the link to the file there as your submission.

* Please note that I will not respond to submissions until a couple days before the deadline. If you do not receive a response from me by that time, please contact me at the other methods listed below.

Problems?
Please note that only E-mail based submissions will be accepted this time. If you have a problem submitting your entry via E-mail, please send me a private message through Facebook or Tumblr.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RekkaAlexiel
Tumblr: http://rekka-alexiel.tumblr.com

DO NOT POST A LINK TO YOUR ENTRY PUBLICLY. All entries will be uploaded to the DOD3 1st Anniversary Contest Album on the Facebook page simultaneously on Friday, December 19. No personal information will be displayed during the voting process.

For complete information on the rules and regulations, please visit this page: http://drakengard-3.com/blog/2014/11/30/dod3-1st-anniversary-contest/


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4:47 AM on 05.14.2014  

CONTEST: Drakengard 3 - Art and Writing Contest

There are just a couple days left of my Drakengard 3 (from here on referred to as "DOD3") contest for anyone who's interested in participating.  Please note, this is a separate venue from the one Siliconera is offering.

This is the third official contest I've hosted to try and get fans of the game series involved in a creative and fun event. The first involved a Halloween themed contest in which fans submitted their artwork of DOD3 characters. The second was a self-portrait contest in which fans sent in their photos with Zero's EyeFlower--with their hand. The idea came from a group photo of producer Shiba Takamasa and others posing with their hand held open over one of their eyes to simulate Zero's EyeFlower.  Awards for both of these contests were given to the chosen best 3.

The contest this time around actually has two sides: an Art Side and a Writing Side. Fans were to submit their fanart including one or more characters from DOD3 (cameo appearances of characters from the other titles in the series are acceptable *if* there is still a DOD3 character present) in any artistic medium or style as they wish.  For the Writing Side of the contest, fans were asked to write anything about DOD3.  It could be a short story about any of the characters, an essay about the series in general, poetry, prose; anything.  

All entries are to be submitted by:

Japan Standard Time: Saturday, May 17 - 1:00AM JST
Eastern Standard Time: Friday, May 16 - 12:00PM EST

Entries will be posted on the Facebook page the afternoon on Saturday (JST) and voting will conclude on:

Japan Standard Time: Wednesday, May 21 - 1:00AM JST
Eastern Standard Time: Tuesday, May 20 - 12:00 EST

DOD3 prizes shipped from Japan will be awarded the top winners in the contest, however, at the winner's expense. Prizes include official promotional posters, the Official First Guide, and the double-sided posters originally included in an issue of the Big GanGan monthly comic books.

If you have any further questions or want to read up on the official rules, you may stay up-to-date with this event over on drakengard-3.com or on Facebook!

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11:18 PM on 04.01.2014  

Drakengard 3: A Closer Look at the Complete Guide



The guys over at Dengeki were all excited about receiving one of the first copies of the finished Complete Strategy Guide book that they took several photos of it as they held the book open. lol  

A quick recap for what to expect from the complete strategy guide that will be released on April 10th:


*  Art Gallery:
Includes package and publicity illustrations by character designer Fujisaka Kimihiko, cute “chibi” Twitter icons illustrated by Yokoo Yukiko, as well as the collaboration illustrations of Zero and Mikhail for “Lord of Vermilion 3 Ark-cell”, illustrated by Fujisaka Kimihiko and Takagi Masafumi.  Other illustrations by Ayakura Juu (haino), Tanno Shinobu, palo, fukahire, MAYA, Morii Shizuki, and Yaegashi Nan.

** There will also be some illustrations of the Utahime Sisters in Japanese high school uniforms as they relax in the evening at a family restaurant.  They’re calling this the “DOD3 Campus”.  lol


*  DOD1.3:
This is a novel that will explore an alternate DOD1 as it follows the events in DOD3.  In this reality, there are no “contracts” or “pacts” between humans and dragons…  So it will be very interesting how this will affect Caim & Angel’s relationship.




*  Detailed information on the various branches in the story, which leads to each ending.


*  Complete schematics on all weapons and items, including information on how to acquire every weapon and trophy.


*  The Perfect Strategy Guide in Three Parts:
1.)  System Strategy Guide:  Includes special methods and techniques on how to clear each mission.

2.)  Mission Strategy Guide:  Includes locations of every treasure chest on the map and further details about each mission.  Accord’s Request Missions are also listed here.

3.)  The Data Corner:  Includes information on weapons and items, the various DLCs, and trophies.


*  “The Last Song” Cheat Sheet:
There will also be a helpful guide somewhat like a musical score that will help to clear the final stage.


*  Weapon Materials and Proper Timing:
Includes information on when and how far to upgrade certain weapons to make the process of levelling up each weapon easier.

Also, don’t forget about the nice fan kit they put together for us to help advertise the release of the complete guide.  You can find this and more on Dengeki’s main site for the guide book:

http://dengekionline.com/sp/dod3/complete/

________________________________________________________________________________________

Sources:  
@dengekionline on twitter
Dengeki Online – News Report, April 2
Dengeki Online – News Report, April 1
DOD3 Official Complete Guide Book Page

________________________________________________________________________________________

* This blog post was originally posted with all content included on drakengard-3.com. Various images and other information was condensed for this post.

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3:45 AM on 03.09.2014  

Drakengard 3: Info on the New Story DLCs and the Manga

I've made a bunch more blog posts about the recent news regarding Drakengard 3, so for anyone interested in reading my full coverage, please head over to my site on drakengard-3.com!

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Here’s a my recap from the Nico Nico Live Broadcast #7!!
As with anything on these pages, please read at your own risk! Spoilers may be within!!

** EDIT:  Be sure to check out the full broadcast, now available on YouTube by Flying Wonkey!  Thank you!! **

The broadcast started out rather awkward with the three hosts Hirohashi Ryo, Aoi Eir, and Matsushita Tadatsugu from Dengeki talking like normal without really giving much regard to the start of the broadcast…with no sign of producer Shiba Takamasa in sight… Until the camera panned over to the cracked-open door!  He was just standing there, listening…  He later talked about why he was a few minutes late and why they started the broadcast out that way… but I missed the details.  Sorry!  It was pretty funny how they kept panning over to him inching closer and closer to everyone at the table.  He was shown sitting on the floor in traditional seiza form at one point, too.  haha

The first main topic of discussion was player responses… mainly complaints.  The most common complaints about the game were the following:

*  It was too difficult.
*  Loading time took too long.
*  DOD3 was too different from previous DOD titles.

Although I completely agree with the people saying that the game was overall too difficult… but I agree that it likewise wouldn’t have been good for it to be too easy either.  There have been many people saying that the game was TOO EASY…and to those people, I am completely envious.  I don’t believe it is within my skill range to even clear the Platinum Trophy.  :(


This is a photo of Producer Shiba Takamasa looking serious at some point during the broadcast... probably when he was discussing the somewhat negative feedback from gamers who have played DOD3.

Before getting into the details of the DLCs, we were able to see an exclusive uncensored version of a cut-scene that takes place at the end of Chapter 1.  This is not in any way related to the DLCs, so unfortunately there is no way to actually see this version of the cut-scene within the game.

Next was a long segment detailing on the new DLCs that will be coming out weekly starting this Thursday with One & Two’s DLCs.  They also announced that Two’s chapter will be FREE as a trial DLC until March 13th!



To better show what the DLCs will be like, they showed several video clips of both specially made trailers and realtime footage of the gameplay (check my videos until Wonky Monkey posts his HQ videos!).

First we were shown a really nice trailer that gave is a quick and simple view of what to expect from the various DLCs.  It looks like we will certainly be able to get a deeper understanding into the sister’s personality and backstory.

During the short clip of One’s chapter, we can see that her younger brother One will fight alongside her, not against like I had previously stated.

The third video clip shows more of One’s gameplay as well as a first look at Gabriella…and his/her voice!!  It is *VERY* different than what I had expected Gabriella to sound like!!  xD

Next they talked a little bit about Zero and Mikhail making an appearance in the card arcade game "Lord of Vermilion 3: Ark-cell" which will be out on March 27th!



The illustration of Zero was done by DOD character designer Fujisaka Kimihiko and Mikhail was done by Takagi Masafumi.

Moving on to news about the comic series, the 2nd volumes of both Utahime Five and Shi ni Itaru Aka will be released on April 25th and can be pre-ordered via online shops like Amazon.  They expect the next volume to be sold out like before as well, so pre-order your copy today!!  To commemorate the release of the 2nd volume of the comic, they will be having a lottery for more cute cell phone straps like before, but this time it will be of Two and Three!!  If they will be doing this for every new release of a book… I really, really hope they will sell this as a whole in the end…!!!  They would be absolutely awesome to collect!!



Next, they touched briefly on the Complete Guide Book that will be released on April 10th (my birthday!! YAY!).  I believe they said that it will be 256 pages long, but it seems kind of short compared to the other DOD Complete Guide Books…  Hmm.  I guess that’s why we have the 10th Anniversary goodies!!  <3  We were shown several sample pages from the book as well as a couple pieces of art that were made by fans, which will also appear in the complete guide!  :D  There are many, many talented artists out there making awesome DOD fan art!!  :D



Then the talked a little bit about the mysterious “DOD 1.3” game idea that was dropped a month or so ago… and it seems like it will be yet another novel written by Eishima Jun and others!?

There was also a segment of the broadcast where Aoi Eir gave the audience another keyword to type in the comments to be eligible to win a copy of the soundtrack, signed by the four of them.  It was one of Octa's classic lines toward the very end of the game.

Lastly, Aoi Eir introduced her latest album AUBE once again reminding us that the complete music video for “Kuroi Uta” appears on the DVD that comes with the album!  :D  She will also be having more concerts around Japan in March and April!



So, that’s the majority of the broadcast tonight!  The main event was obviously about the new DLCs that will be coming out this week!  I will be watching the video again and taking more notes and adding photos from it, too.  <3

And here are some updated video clips from the broadcast:

Censored Scene

Official Trailer for the new Story DLCs:


One’s DLC Preview

The Full Broadcast on YouTube by Flying Wonkey!


—————————————————————————————————————————————



I've already completed much of the new DLCs (just need to level up One & Two to their max level: 10). Here are the chapter, verse, and stanza titles from the first two chapters of the new story DLCs that were just released for One and Two.  I've also included some crap videos that I took while playing through the story chapters.

Please note that these are my translations and therefore are not official. :)

Also, please be aware that these DLCs are not accessible until you complete Branch A of the game, so there may be spoilers below. This is your warning!!

NOTE: Each chapter number refers to each corresponding character of that name. Chapter One is One’s chapter and Chapter Two is Two’s chapter, etc.



Chapter One, Verse 1 - November 4, 998
1st Stanza: The Utahime of Reason
2nd Stanza: Childish Blind Faith

Chapter One, Verse 2 - August 1, 998
1st Stanza: The Journey of Liberation
2nd Stanza: Peace and Violence

Chapter One, Verse 3 - August 14, 998
1st Stanza: Reunion
2nd Stanza: Understanding
3rd Stanza: Protection

Chapter One, Verse 4 - August 18, 998
1st Stanza: The Anticipated Trial
2nd Stanza: Zero
3rd Stanza: The Silence of the Night

Chapter One - Graphics Glitch Gremlin - Water Wings



Chapter Two, Verse 1 – April 14, 999
1st Stanza: The Affectionate Utahime
2nd Stanza: The Love Birds

Chapter Two, Verse 2 - April 18, 999
1st Stanza: A Tender Moment
2nd Stanza: A Beloved Moment
3rd Stanza: A Peaceful Moment
4th Stanza: The Touch of Affection

Chapter Two, Verse 3 - April 25, 999
1st Stanza: A Predestined Love
2nd Stanza: The Omen
3rd Stanza: Trembling

Chapter Two, Verse 4 - April 25, 999 (Same Day)
1st Stanza: Growing Unease
2nd Stanza: A Shattered Sound
3rd Stanza: Together Forever


—————————————————————————————————————————————


Drakengard English Manga Update

There have been several chapters of both mangas available for some time now, but there has been little coverage on the Utahime Five manga.  I recently worked on the first chapter of that one until I found someone had already done chapter 2.  Since it took me such a long time to complete, I don’t want to work on something that has previously been done.  This is mostly why you won’t find all chapters on my site.  There had previously been only chapters 1-5 available for Shi ni Itaru Aka, which I why I only worked on the later chapters… but another manga group completed chapters 6 and 7, so it may be better to check those versions out since I’m an amateur, one-person translation and production team.  lol  

Anyway, since it’s difficult for my site to load in Google searches for some reason, here are the chapters that I’ve worked on thus far.  I just completed the newest chapter of Shi ni Itaru Aka, Chapter 16 last night.

** ALSO A SPOILER WARNING **  

You should be pretty safe reading through Utahime Five since those events were said to have occurred before the events in DOD3, but since Shi ni Itaru Aka takes place after the events from the first ending of the game, it may be wise to *at least* not read past Chapter 12.  But if you’re a spoiler whore like me, have at it!  The end of Chapter 16 is seriously awesome!!

Utahime Five:  Chapters 1 and 9

Shi ni Itaru Aka:  Chapters 6-9, 13-16


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All of this information and more can also be found on my main blog on drakengard-3.com!

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9:39 AM on 02.28.2014  

Drakengard 3: New Story DLCs for all 6 Utautai Sisters

Starting March 6th, separate story DLCs will be released weekly for all six of the sisters.  Firstly, One and Two’s DLC content will be available at the same time with the others following thereafter weekly.  Each story will focus more deeply on each of the sisters and their relationship with their respective Apostle.




Here’s the line up:

One & Two’s DLCs:  March 6th
Three’s DLC: March 13
Four’s DLC: March 20
Five’s DLC: March 27
Zero’s DLC: April 3rd

Each DLC is 600 yen. From April, however, all sales taxes will be razed, so the price will then be 617 yen.  These extra story DLCs are only accessible after you have completed Branch A and have downloaded and installed the newest patch of the game.

 
One Vs. One (Brother)

Looks like there will be a scene in which the two twins fight within the Capital Tower.  Hmm…


Gabriella Fights along side the Twins

There’s a scene in which Gabriella will aid the twins in battle.


Memories of the Past

As you play and level up the sisters, it will unlock further “memories” of their past by which to further develop their character.
 

Utautai Mode

Each sister will of course have the ability to use their Utautai Mode in battle.


One and Gabriella

There will be a scene or two in One’s story in which you can ride on the back of her dragon companion, Gabriella.  At least in this point in time, she resembles a normal dragon rather than her chaotic form which Zero had to battle.  She also seems to have one heck of an attitude! “Shut up, porky.  I’m tired of you.”


Zero and Michael

Zero’s story will involve her past along with Michael as her dragon companion.
 

Gimme da Gold!!

It will be much easier to obtain a ton more gold in the new stages compared to the regular run through the game.  Be on the look out for those Gold soldiers that drop money when you attack them!!


Weapons of the Utautai

Each of the sisters will come with their own unique weapons that can be levelled up to unlock its Weapon Story.

 
LoV3

Zero & Mikhail will appear in the new version of the arcade card battle game “Lord of Vermilion III Ark-cell” from March 27th (tentative).  Zero’s card illustration is by DOD3 character designer Fujisaka Kimihiko and Mikhail is illustrated by Takagi Masafumi.

Sources: Famitsu Issue No. 1317 and at Dengeki Online.
Scans made and edited by: Rekka Alexiel at drakengard-3.com.

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7:23 AM on 02.13.2014  

Drakengard 3: New DLCs to Play as All Intoner Sisters

According to Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 560, which was just published today (February 13th), we have learned that story DLCs involving all of the Utahime Sisters will soon be released.

Although he couldn’t reveal much at this time, in a brief interview with Producer Shiba Takamasa, we have learned that we will be able to play as each of the Utahime Sisters in a new story chapter for each of them.

He was asked if they would have another NicoNico Live Broadcast featuring this news, and he responded lively saying that he would like to do it again if the fans would be interested in watching, but only after the new DLC contents have been released.

So, hopefully these new DLCs will further develop the Utahime Sisters and give them a little more depth that the initial run through the game lacked.



Here’s the translation of the short interview with Shiba Takamasa:

DLCs are all set! The world of DOD3 is about to get much larger!

Dengeki: Previously in a live broadcast on NicoNico, you talked about future DLCs that would eventually become available. Could you tell us anything more about this?

Shiba: Yes. I came here simply to talk about this…although I can’t talk about the details just yet. I believe I also touched briefly on this in a previous broadcast on NicoNico, but we’re about ready to release some new Story DLCs. We’ll make an official announcement about this in a few days, so please hang in there until then. In any case, we’d like to add onto the game with these contents without making you wait too long to play with them. As far as what these contents will entail, you will be able to play as each of the Utautai sisters as they play the main role in a new story. These stories will fit into the beginning portion of the game, like a prequel. Please look forward to it!

Dengeki: Wow, that does sound pretty awesome!! Then, will you put on another NicoNico live broadcast before this release?

Shiba: I knew you would bring this up. There are a lot of factors–and courage–involved with doing a broadcast after a game’s release…… But if it’s for the gamers, I’ll try my best! In the end, I hope to announce more information about these extra contents soon! To all the fans, I really appreciate your support!

Dengeki: Thank you very much!

Translation by Rekka Alexiel.
View the full article here.

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11:32 AM on 01.31.2014  

Drakengard 3: Yoko Taro's "Bad Thought Process" (3 of 4)


What it means to have game developers speak before the media

Hello, I am Yoko Taro.  How is everyone doing during these cold days?  Since I just finished a bunch of work, I hopped over to Singapore for a short vacation and am thoroughly enjoying the high-end, elaborate resort life and some nice, ethnic food.

I’m totally lying.  What the heck is ‘high-end, elaborate resort life,’ anyway?

Over the New Year, I was stricken with a pretty bad cold.  I had a horrible cough that actually made my back hurt.  …but I guess this really isn’t the story you want to hear from me, right?

This is today’s story.

My job is creating games.  If I—at age 43—had written nonsensical poetry like:

I went to a restaurant

For the best French toast

In Shinjuku San Chou-me— :)


People lined up a long way.

But the maple syrup was so good

It was hard not to make a mess. :D


I seriously doubt anyone would want to hear this from an old man like me.

But actually, for anyone who makes games, the real job is selling the product that you create.  It’s best to use the game to tell your message.  That’s what I think, anyway!

Nevertheless, before a game is released, I received word about interviews from Famitsu and Dengeki, and Famitsu and Dengeki (they were joint projects, so I tried to write it side-by-side).

But then, even if I give an interview before a release, there is absolutely nothing I can talk about. I can’t talk about spoilers and totally ruin the gaming experience for the customer.  So, unfortunately, the interview turns into something like this:

—What is the most important aspect the of the game?
Yoko: There’s a really interesting character that will make an appearance.
—Really!?  Who is it?  Tell us!!
Yoko: Please look forward to buying the game. Heeheehee

What the heck is this?  What are you giggling “heeheehee” for!?  That’s no different than saying nothing at all!  It’s a waste of paper and resources!!  Don’t say about 3 lines worth of information in an excess of 4,000 Japanese characters!!  The amount of entropy increases drastically!! heeeeeeeeeee!

……I’m sure is the feeling that spread throughout much of Japan.  Simply put, game creators are not entertainers or commentators, so it’s not feasible to think that what we end up talking about will be interesting.  It will only be the most depressing feeling of boredom you have ever experienced.

That’s why I absolutely hate interviews, even to the point of DYING!  Preferably, I don’t want to be in the spotlight at all.  But there have been times that I have had to be an adult and do it.  I can’t say yes to one interview and then no to another, so……  I often tend to fall into this sort of negative spiral.  I shall die.  Instant death.  *Splat*

Our job is to create something that customers will enjoy (?), so it would be bad for a nobody like me to be in the spotlight.  If there’s absolutely no way out, even if it becomes a horrible mess, a ton of effort is needed to make it the slightest bit interesting.



With that said, I did some research.

First of all, if you read this and thought it was interesting, then you are more than likely quite eccentric.  People who say things you have no clue what they’re saying are naturally interesting to watch.  It’s the same with famous animation directors, isn’t it!? Self-esteem and pessimism are like screws that really mess with one’s head.  It’s like the insensitivity of saying in an interview that someone else’s work was uninteresting. Such extreme people would watch it and be highly amused.  But it’s impossible!  That is talent!  But for me an impossibility.  Ahahaha~!

The next interesting thing were the editorial-like comments.  It’s fun to read because you cannot see the transparency of writer’s arrogance and opinion.  More than making a comeback on the spot, I think it’s simpler to say “what you want to say” rather than “be asked” in the first place. It’s okay to have those questions that are like “if you have something you’d like to say, please feel free”, right?  Huh?  What if you don’t have anything to say?  You can’t ask those people to speak! The whole thing will be silence!

Um……?  “As a result of saying whatever you feel like, you can’t have someone like Yoko come on and talk so incoherently”, you say?  You can’t worry about the details. I’m also writing this column as a thank you to Famitsu— (said in a monotone voice).

Ahh, what was I talking about?  Ah, right!  The most overwhelmingly boring thing I thought about was……  (the following text has been omitted by the editorial department).

But you know what!  It’s not logical to think that developers who only make games will make a good match.  Since the Interview Corner section of a magazine is more independent than the rest, it would be best to carefully think of who to interview!  That way the girls are bound to be happy!  Crap!  There’s that “pretty boy” topic again! What the heck did I do to be confronted by this obvious reality!  To hell with “pretty boys”! To hell with French toast!  To hell with those high-end, elaborate resorts!  Even if this world is de—

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The original article was published in the 2/6 No. 1312 issue of Famitsu magazine. Illustrations by Yukiko Yokoo.  Translation by Rekka Alexiel.

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8:49 AM on 01.27.2014  

Drakengard 3: Shi ni Itaru Aka Manga, Ch.14 - English

I've recently scanned and made English translations of the newest chapter of the Drakengard manga "Shi ni Itaru Aka" or "Red Obtained by Death", Chapter 14, which you can find here: http://drakengard-3.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=57

Since the translations are in image form, I cannot post them all here, but here's the title page:


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10:41 PM on 01.25.2014  

Drakengard 3: Kuroi Hana - An Interpreted Translation

I was asked to translate the lyrics from “Kuroi Uta”, but since lyricist Kikuchi Hana also wrote this in complete katakana, it’s very difficult to make an exact translation. There are a few reasons why I am okay with this:

1) Like poetry, song lyrics need not be completely coherent and they can break from traditional norms of grammar.

2) Simply by using all katakana like this it conveys the sense of an old language, or perhaps even the language of angels or gods.

3) Somethings are not meant to be fully understood, but rather felt or experienced. It is what it is and holds no room for explanation. There is a sense of beauty in ambiguity.

So with that said, please note that this is my personal interpretation from the bits that can be understood from the lyrics on the page. There is no official English translation, so it is illogical to claim one interpretation is THE correct meaning; that’s the whole point of interpretation–it cannot be wrong but simply viewed differently from another perspective. In that case, all interpretations are viable.

Therefore, here is my interpretation of the song:

Everything exposed
The song shall meet its doom
Becoming and killing the monster

All stolen away
The music as needles
As I’m reborn again, alone

Spreading my wings I soar with death
Love shall spring from the darkest of white
When or how distantly may it be heard
How sweetly they whisper, the wings of the past

The black flower
Is the voice
With just its shattered eye

The black flower
Is the song
With just its made-up dance
There be purpose

Everything exposed
The song shall freeze over
I shall dance in nightmares that day

With nothing I break away from death
Emerging from a crimson forest
Pregnant with the tainted children of dread
This pitiful memory is ripped away

The black flower
Is the voice
With just its prayer of blood

The black flower
Is the song
With just a day of repentance
All shall disappear

This disaster
Shall wait and fall
For the time it shatters, to dream

As this repeats
We go our separate ways
You shan’t be forgiven, flower of song,
In the final moment


Originally posted by Rekka Alexiel here:
http://drakengard-3.com/blog/2014/01/26/kuroi-hana-an-interpreted-translation/

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11:22 AM on 01.21.2014  

Drakengard 3: Yoko Taro's "Bad Thought Process" (2 of 4)



Here's the 2nd editorial column by creative director Yoko Taro.  Sorry for the delay in translating this article.  I had a bunch of events this weekend that kept me busy.  This was originally posted on drakengard-3.com.

__________________________________________________________________________

Hello, I’m Yoko Taro.  Can you hear me?  Alright.

So, this time I’m going to talk about “Making a Character”.  Well, I suppose since we’re going to think about a character who has neither hopes nor dreams, so it may be better if you don’t read this column.  Okay?  Is that alright?  Well, even if it’s not, I’m going to continue.

The absolutely first thing that must be dealt with when creating a character in an Action RPG is the cost.  Cost—.  Money.  Ahh!  That was the sound of your hopes and dreams being blown away!  Even so, the story must go on!

If we were to only create characters we liked, we’d seriously run into some grave problems.  For example, if we were to make a new Suikoden game, even if we created all 108 of the characters, it would be impossible to make the models for all of them.  Events would be cluttered with too many characters on the screen, plus we’d have to create unique faces for each of them; therefore, it would be best if we just killed off at least 90 of those characters……  Simply put, the more characters you have, the more expensive it’s going to get.

That being said, generally in action based games, there are all sorts of enemy characters in which you don’t necessarily see their faces, like those wearing masks.  It’s okay to create a sense of mystery from masked enemies.  It would be even better for these character to cover their mouths, like a ninja.  Since lining up a character’s mouth with verbal speech is such a task, it would be better if we couldn’t see their mouths moving at all.

Then what about those characters that aren’t human but have a monster-like form?  We wouldn’t have to give them specific facial expressions, right?  It may be better, but that in-and-of-itself becomes a problem.  For example, if we have an insect that has reversed-joint appendages, it would be a difficult job for the motion designers.  Likewise, if we have insects with wiggling antennas and a bunch of unnecessary appendages, all of those things need to move.  Trying to animate a boss enemy like a giant centipede would mean certain death. That's why the huminoid figure is much more cost efficient.  No, actually the most cost efficient form would probably be a floating sphere.

Then we have to worry about clothing and other troublesome things.  Anything that might impede movement like a long skirt or a men's hakama are absolutely out.  Additionally, short hair styles are preferred.  If it were at all possible, full-body tights or a sort of clothing that would stick tightly to the character's skin and no hair would be preferable.  As far as character designs go, this is the worst but let's take a break for a moment.

Well, although the mood is rather gloomy, we still need to save on cost.  As a battle action game, we need large bosses, but there is also a device for this.  There's no avoiding the rising costs from designing different bosses with unique movements all the time.  That's why we need to change some body parts, the color, or even change the movement to something that could be shared between multiple bosses.  Also, since any game needs bosses, we have to come up with a clever solution with the programming.  Money, money, money……  Simply put, bosses mean money.  Have you ever thought, "What?  You just changed the color."  From the perspective of the developers who know the sorrow that comes with making short to medium length games, they may say, "Yes, you're right……"  This is why there is no way to see the result of our labors without tears.

So because of this, I often develop my characters by designing the monsters first.  We need to decide on how many bosses we need for however many stages.  I'd really like to have a boss for every stage, but there just isn't enough money to do that.

Then, the next thing we need to plan are the events.  How long do we work on multiple events……  Well, since I mess up this estimate every time, I can't say too much about it, but in the end we may or may not be able to fit in the entire scope of the event.  Plus, the only character who can wrap up these events has to be the main character.
I'm only saying this here, but actually, when we were working on DOD1, we failed on making many of the events.

We originally planned to have 6 partner characters referred to as "Contracts", but it would have been impossible to tell the story with that number of characters.  Since we couldn't fit descriptive FMVs into the camp segments like we wanted to, we had to forcefully change the wording, thusly cutting a large chunk out of the original script which made it necessary to add in supplementary explanations in text between missions……

But looking back now, text-based supplementary explanations also felt new……  Simply, at the time many people had pointed it out, we thought, "Ah!  So that was it!  This would have been junk if we had done that!"  I remember how earnestly we made modifications while scratching at our heads and refusing to give in.  No, actually, there are many things that we humans may understand if we try. (<---said in a monotone voice)

……Umm, yeah, hmm.  Any remaining money is usually used on the main character and other supporting characters, I guess.  Yeah, this is usually how I come up with characters and stuff like that stuff, yeah.

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