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About
Book of the Past:
I originally got into gaming when my brother broke his collarbone from a stupid skateboarding stunt my father allowed him to do ("Hey, son, won't it be cool if you hold onto the back of my car as I drive around town!?"). As a get well soon gift, my parents bought him a NES, from which his gaming days began. Me, I just enjoyed watching him play, mostly RPGs until I tried them myself eventually. My first game was Dragon Quest and I remember quitting shortly after the first dragon killed me. lol

Since then, though, I have enjoyed games for multiple reasons, mostly because I love stories and characters...and games are the perfect way for me to experience the hard work and strife that the characters have to go through. It's fun and I feel like I can play a part in their story. It's a much better story than mine.

My favorite RPGs of the past are (in no certain order):

Chrono Trigger
Xenogears
Shadow Hearts 1 & 2
Baten Kaitos
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PSN ID:RekkaAlexiel
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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!










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/

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

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








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!

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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!


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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


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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!








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.








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.









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.