And I’m back with part 2!
Most of the questions were answered by a variety of the development team members, along with a few from me (i.e. PSN availability). Hopefully this last part will cover off on the remaining questions you had.
Well, that’s all from me on Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together. Thanks for all of the questions and feedback… and most importantly… HAVE FUN!
What is the retail price going to be? Will it get a digital release?
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together will be available at retail and via download on the PlayStation store for $39.99 on Feb. 15.
Just so I’m totally clear, does this series have anything to do with Final Fantasy Tactics? The art design looks kinda similar.
Tactics Ogre was created by the same core team that created Final Fantasy Tactics. Hiroshi Minagawa, Yasumi Matsuno, Akihiko Yoshida, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Masaharu Iwata all worked together to bring the world of Ivalice to life in Final Fantasy Tactics, and have reunited again to create the amazing world that Tactics Ogre takes place in. The art design you recognize is probably that of Akihiko Yoshida, who has worked on a variety of Square Enix titles, including Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, and of course Final Fantasy XII.
Is a collector’s edition on the way, and will it include the OST?
Unfortunately, there is no collector’s edition planned for North America.
Are those Tarot Cards, which I cannot find any info on the official site of, part of a collector’s edition package?
The Tarot Cards are our special gift to fans of Akihiko Yoshida and Tsubasa Masao and are available for those that preorder the game at GameStop and Amazon.com.
Do the tarot cards come w/ instructions on how to use them?
As there is such a variety of ways to use tarot cards, we’d like for you to enjoy them the way you like best.
If this is coming to PSN for PSP Go users who will get screwed out of the awesome Tarot Card Deck will there be any PSN exclusive DLC for this?
Since the Tarot Card deck was a pre-order exclusive for GameStop and Amazon.com, sadly the answer is no.
Will we be getting the free DLC that’s been announced for Japan? If so, will it be on the UMD or will it be downloadable post release?
In the North American edition, the free DLC that was released in Japan will already be included in the game (in both the retail and PlayStation Network versions). This means players can enjoy the extra scenarios without having to download them later; they are immediately available to play.
Bet you thought I disappeared without delivering the developer Q&A I promised a while back… Sorry it took so long — the team was entrenched in development, so it took a while to catch up with the director of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Hiroshi Minagawa.
Before we get to the Q&A ,a quick note from me to Minagawa-san: Thank you so much to you and the team for making Let us Cling Together everything we had hoped it would be (and more)! :-)
Now, without further ado, here are answers to some of your questions.
How much of the original team, if any, is actually involved with the remake?
Hiroshi Minagawa, Director, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: Besides Yasumi Matsuno, who led the overall game design and gameplay scenarios, the composers Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata were involved, and from our Square Enix staff we had myself and Yoshida Akihiko (artist). Additionally, we had members who are the heart of the Final Fantasy Tactics developers and other staff members who have partaken in the development of the Ogre Battle series, but not Tactics Ogre specifically. We also have new team members who enjoyed playing the game and are now putting in that strong passion as developers of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Surprisingly, those new members who were merely players of the original game remembered the finer details more so than the original development team.
Could you talk about the localization process? In comparison to previous Ogre Battle Saga games released in North America, are the changes (names, dialogue, and so forth) made to more closely reflect the original vision?
HM: Joseph Reeder and Alexander O. Smith led the localization for this title. Joseph and Alexander are among the best in our translation staff and have worked on other titles such as FINAL FANTASY XII and Vagrant Story. From the early development stages of the Japanese version, the two chatted online with Yasumi Matsuno directly when examining character and class names. In the original version, there were strict word limitations, but in this title we were able to localize Yasumi Matsuno’s scenario and worlds in the best possible form.
So what’s the relation of tarot cards to this game? Is the game steeped in the supernatural?
HM: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together has two new systems named after the tarot cards called the “C.H.A.R.I.O.T.” (Combat History and Refined Implementation of Tactics) in which players are able to take back moves, and the “W.O.R.L.D.” (Ways of Reordering Life’s Destiny) system in which players can turn back time with their current party. Each action is a system that changes a destiny, and together we call the two systems the “ring of destiny.”
The Tarot cards play an important role in the game – the game starts by asking players a series of questions based on the tarot cards. Tarot cards are also essential to getting specialty items. Based on the answers given by the player, the main character’s parameter varies in the beginning of the game. But rather than worrying about the minor details, we want you to think about the choices and make the decisions in the game.
Does the development team plan to work again on new episodes and do they have a vision for the saga as a whole in terms of gameplay and story?
HM: I would like to say that we do, but because there are strong feelings associated with the series, I don’t want to do a half-hearted job. As a graphic designer, I wanted to express Ogre Battle on a console system, but that would mean an even tougher job requiring more staff members. This was the first time we were able to gather a team of people who have had significant involvement with the Ogre Battle series, and the team we gathered was larger than we had expected.
However, I feel that gathering another team in the future would be difficult due to everyone’s schedules. Given the chance, I would like to work on the continuation of the series but cannot officially talk about it because of the timing and scheduling conflicts. However, the Ogre Battle Saga plotline lies inside Yasumi Matsuno’s imagination. Yasumi Matsuno designs games by having a game system and then creating a plot and scenario based on that game system. Because his style is to create more content as he goes, there is no clear-cut vision for the saga as a whole. On the other hand, we dream of many things, but I wonder if we can make it a reality during our lifetime…