Falcom president: Trails team divided into two, more PS4 ports being considered, Ys IX uses motion capture, and more

Tidbits from PlayStation Festa in Seoul.

Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo

Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo shared various tidbits of new information regarding the future of Falcom during a stage event at PlayStation Festa in in Seoul on March 9.

Get the roundup of quotes below.

  • “In Japan, we have already decided to port Ys: Memories of Celceta to PlayStation 4. While I can’t promise anything for sure right here and now, starting with Memories of Celceta, we’re considering moving little by little to make previous titles playable on platforms like PlayStation 4. If there is a title you would like to play, I definitely want to hear your thoughts.”
  • “We’re hearing from more people, even within the company, that want us to do a collaboration title. While I can’t promise anything for sure, I would like to get the opinions of the staff, as well as the fans, while discussing within the company whether we can release a title that would follow up Ys vs. Trails in the Sky.”
  • “While the numbered Trails series will continue to move forward in the future, there are still parts left unfinished, such as stories we weren’t able to tell in the already-concluded Trails of Cold Steel series. I’m considering deliver things like that and story continuations in some form. Since this year is the 15th anniversary of the Trails series, I think that we will be able to share information regarding that during the 15th anniversary.”
  • “Developing a game takes one year at the very least, and two to three years when it’s a long one. We have to make something that does not take any longer than that and is a showcase of our hard work. Speaking loftily, I want people to remember Falcom games as fun when they grow old. And to do that, we need to create draws that are unique to those games.

    “For example, they might say that the Trails series’ draw is that we tried to create a proper story, or that Ys VIII‘s draw is that we tried to create a strong heroine, which resulted in the birth of that sort of character. I want to put forth something that when players hear the game title, they remember something that stuck with them.

    “Falcom is made up of ordinary people, so we will do whatever we can. While working our very best on the minor details—like running around towns with a stopwatch to figure out how much time it takes—I want to make playing our games as pleasant as possible. We’re really valuing those two things.”

  • “We’re aware of our weaknesses in the graphics department, as it’s been pointed out when we’ve participated in events in various countries. In Trails of Cold Steel III, we increased the quality of our models. And while we’re using motion capture in some areas in Ys IX, I also want to increase the quality more than before. When getting information on games, what first catches my eyes are graphics and illustrations, so I want to treat this as a future challenge.

    “However, I would like to say this for the honor of Falcom’s employees. They aren’t slacking off. Trails of Cold Steel concluded with the fourth title, but they created four games over the course of five years. There is almost no other company in the Japanese games industry that can continue to release 50 to 80-hour RPGs at that pace. For example, if we made CG movies over the course of two years, we would be able to achieve higher quality. But even so, at around 20 hours, the Trails series’ event scenes are far from two hours long. The staff naturally wants to increase the quality, but considering the release period of the Trails series and trying to deliver the games as quickly as possible, we have to make a compromise somewhere along the line. If we’re working while also raising the quality, we probably wouldn’t finish in our lifetimes.

    “However, I would like to have nice graphics. I myself have been told ‘the graphics are shabby’ when recommending games I like to people, which was painful to hear. Currently, we have young new talent joining Falcom, who are making all sorts of proposals with the thought of further improvements. I think that those results will gradually show face, so please look forward to that.”

  • “We have already decided on the area in which the latest entry in the Trails series will be set. That selected area includes The Republic of Calvard. While some left-over areas will be depicted, it will be an area whose name has appeared between Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel. I think there will be talk about what’s going on with the east side of the continent through the Trails of Cold Steel series, so please look forward to it while playing Trails of Cold Steel IV.”
  • “There is a certain character that made me want to join Falcom. And that was Gueld, the Moonlight Witch who appears in the third entry of the Legend of Heroes series. In this RPG, which depicts a journey that traces the footsteps of the Moonlight Witch, her fate remains unknown as you progress through the adventure and see the things that she did and left behind in each place. And while the hero and his party finally learn what happened to the Moonlight Witch, the episode was breathtakingly beautiful and I played it with trickling tears. It was that experience that made me want to create a story for a game. I also ran a fan site at the time, which caught the attention of Falcom, who then approached me to join the company.”
  • “Right now, my favorite character is Dana from Ys VIII. Among fans, Ys I and II heroines Feena and Lilia still leave a strong impression. Dana was born from the question of, ‘How can we best surpass them?’ While they were not playable, I wondered whether them being playable and depicting their lives might change how people feel about them. However, since Ys is a game where you control Adol, I wondered whether everyone would be upset about controlling a heroine, so we came up with the idea of ‘controlling her in his dreams.’ With Dana as the heroine, the overall game system of Ys VIII was set.”
  • “Something big is already underway in terms of the numbered Trails series. This one is ambitious and is going to take some time. However, since we don’t want to keep fans waiting too long, the Trails team has been divided into two teams. There are people who say things like​ ‘I want to see this sort of episode,’ ‘I would like to try this,’ or ‘I want to know more about that.’ In order to deliver on those wishes, I’ve actually been thinking whether another team could make it possible.”

Thanks, Games Talk.

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