Gematsu recently had a brief chat with Makoto Asada, producer of the upcoming remake of classic science-fiction visual novel YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World., who shared a few details about how the remake came to be, its visual style, and what other classic visual novels he would like to see return.
Get the interview below.
—YU-NO first came out for PC-9801 in 1996. The remake was announced 18 years later in 2014. Why was then the right time for a remake?
Makoto Asada: “We announced it at that time because we happened to receive the rights from the original publisher, ELF Corporation, and finalized the transfer process right around Comiket season.
“Due to the passing of Kanno-san, the original writer and producer, they were hesitant to carry on with the project, but rather than allowing it to lose its recognition, we wanted it to be carried on by those who had a connection to the game. That is how the transfer moved forward.”
—YU-NO‘s narrative is often held in high regard, even cited as an inspiration for 5pb.’s own Steins;Gate. What is it about the story that makes YU-NO so special?
Asada: “I think that for its time, the Auto Diverge Mapping System (A. D. M. S.) is a revolutionary idea for an adventure game. It visually displays the splitting storyline, which lets you see the story path, adding a RPG-like exploration factor.”
—Browsing through game forums and comments, some fans are concerned about the change of art style in the remake. What went into determining the right style for the remake of a visual novel classic?
Asada: “First of all, the decision to create an anime had already been made when we decided on making a remake of the game. Part of the reason we changed the art style was because we wanted something that was easier to transfer to the anime medium. I expected there would be users who prefer the original art style, but thought it would be hard as a business to bring it back to the same aesthetic as 20 years ago.
“To honor and recall fond memories of the original game, we added the original soundtrack to our limited edition. We are planning to add a five-disc soundtrack to the United States and Europe too, so I hope the users enjoy it.”
—You come from a history of shoot ’em ups at Cave before joining 5pb. in 2013. How did your past experience prepare you in producing the remake of YU-NO?
Asada: “We created 8-BIT YU-NO’s Great Adventure, which is included as a bonus for the Switch Day 1 Edition, as a side-scrolling shooting game. I think we did a great job incorporating the world of YU-NO, so please give it a try.”
—With a resurgence of classic visual novels like YU-NO, Eve, Desire, and Doukoku Soshite…, what other visual novels of the past would you like to see brought to the modern era?
Asada: “My number one answer is Famicom Tantel Club… However, by the time this article is published I’m sure it would’ve been announced that I have been given the privilege to work on it! (Editor’s Note: It was announced.) So since I will be working on the title that I’d like to have brought back, my second choice is Nintendo’s Yuyuki. I’m curious to see how they would bring back that eccentric Sanzo character to the modern era. (Laughs.)”
—Thank you for your time, Asada-san!
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World. is due out for PlayStation 4 and Switch on October 1 in North America and October 4 in Europe, and for PC via Steam on October 1 worldwide. Read more about the game here.