Publishing One Way Heroics in the West: An Interview with Spike Chunsoft

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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Spike Chunsoft is a Japanese developer who has created some of the most popular games date. These titles include: 999, Danganronpa, and Conception II. What some fans don’t know is that they also publish games in Japan. Just recently the company announced that they will be trying their hand at publishing Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics in the West. We had a chance to sit down and talk with them about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game at E3 2016. This gave us a chance to focus on One Way Heroics and get more of an insight on the game’s premise.


One Way Heroics seems to have that classic RPG look.

Yes, I think it’s a very niche game. It’s actually an indie game developed by one guy named SmokingWOLF. We ended up picking up the title at BitSummit in Kyoto, which is an indie game conference in Japan. So with this title, we decided to do a high res PlayStation Vita port for Japan.

How does the game play?

It’s a forced scroll rouge-like. And if you’re not familiar with this, it’s like a rouge-like dungeon crawler with randomly generated dungeons and item drops; kinda like Shiren the Wanderer, except instead of being in a dungeon, it’s on an over-world map. The player will go from the left side to the right and traverse randomly generated terrain. There’s this wall of destructive light following you, so every time you take an action the wall moves closer to you. This causes problems when you see two different dungeons and you’ll only have time to check out one of them. Even if you make it to the dungeon, you might not have time to clear everything. So you’ll have to clear the chest and fight the monsters all before the light gets to you.

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Will this be a game where you try to push yourself and try to get as far as you can?

Well, in the beginning you’re asked to reach a certain distance and fight this character or find this NPC.  But once you get familiar you can go for as long as the wall continues and who’s to say if there is an end. There’s a system where you can use a vault that will allow you to carry items from one play through to the other.

Even though this is a rouge-like, is there any type of level system?

Well, the levels reset, but you can kinda unlock new perks for your character. This includes stuff like higher strength or or increased carry load. There are also perks that can make the game harder for you. This will grant you a better bonus at the end of the quest. You can also build up your castle, so even though level and things reset, there’s still a sense of progress.

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What stood out about One Way Heroics to make Spike Chunsoft want to pick it up?

It’s very close to the heart [of our company] when you look at past games we’ve done, like Mysterious Dungeon type games. It just seems like a natural fit for us.

When did the team decide that they wanted to release the game in the West?

Well it actually came out in Japan last year. It’s kind of a low-key indie title, so we didn’t know if it was worth the trouble of going through a publishing company. Also, if we were to go through a Western vendor we would most likely need to look into a physical copy of the game. So we didn’t know the best way to approach it, being a mid-tier indie title, from a business standpoint. So we decided to self-publish. This will be a digital only release-via the PSN or Steam. Which kind of sucks if you’re a person who likes physical media, but for us it’s an important step forward. This is the first time we’ve handled all the localization and distribution ourselves. So this is our first truly self-published game and if this goes well who knows what we can do as we move forward.


So what do you think about Spike Chunsoft’s first attempt at self publishing in the West? Let us know in the comments below.

Spike Chunsoft is planning to release Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics sometime this Summer on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on PSN and PC through Steam.




  • Mantiskilla

    So, its the PC version then with updated graphics? The game on PC has been pretty successful so why didn’t they just stick that version on consoles like other indies. I saw that this version is coming to PC as well but from Steam fourm conversations it looks like some consumers are wondering if it will be worth the purchase after already having the game and Plus update. Good for consoles for sure though

    • Nicholas Perry

      It seems they added some more stuff too I think didn’t they?

    • SirPrimalform

      No, this is a Mystery Dungeon x One Way Heroics game. It’s a different game, although how different I have no idea.

    • Mantiskilla

      How do you figure its a Mystery Dungeon x One Way Heroics game? From what I read he just stated that the game reminded the team of a Mystery Dungeon type game not that its gonna be that way.

    • SirPrimalform
  • Mr0303

    It is very uncommon for a Japanese company to self publish in the West. I hope this becomes a trend.

  • Panpopo

    This is great for console gamers, as this game is not out for console yet. I have heard nothing but good buzz for this game. However, this game is already on Steam so I am not sure if they will bother with this version, unless there are dramatic differences between them.

    I really hope their self-publishing of games goes well. If they decide to self-publish another Dangan Ronpa that will be a sure hit.

  • Nicholas Perry

    Even if you have the OG PC game, buy it to support them!

  • SirPrimalform

    I would love to see it released on GOG.com and other such PC digital distributors rather than just Steam. Steam’s market dominance is in part a self sustaining thing, part of the reason for the dominance is that publishers don’t bother to release elsewhere and the reason for that is because Steam is so dominant.

    • Mantiskilla

      Well since the original was published by Playism you could buy a DRM free version through their site but you also got a Steam Key. With this being Spike Chunsoft publishing the game I’m willing to guess they are just playing it safe since the whole PC gaming landscape is still pretty new to a lot of Japan devs right now. I agree though I’m sure there are a lot of consumers on PC who would like more variety on where to buy the game or have a DRM free version

    • SirPrimalform

      I have the original, this is a different game. Also I love the Mystery Dungeon series (well, I can do without the Pokémon ones).

    • Derp Minos

      I’m not sure why you’re asking this. GOG doesn’t like Japanese games in general, they will most of the time answer the publishers that their game is “not good enough for GOG”, especially in the case of indie Japanese games.

    • SirPrimalform

      Errr… to address your comments in order:

      >I’m not sure why you’re asking this.
      1. I’m asking this because I would like to buy the game somewhere other than Steam. Surely my motivations are clear?
      2. I said “and other such PC digital distributors”. I don’t mind where, as long as it’s DRM-free. I mentioned GOG as a prominent example.
      3. My
      https://www.gog.com/game/la_mulana
      mistake,
      https://www.gog.com/game/ys_i_ii_chronicles
      clearly
      https://www.gog.com/game/ys_the_oath_in_felghana
      GOG
      https://www.gog.com/game/ys_origin
      has
      https://www.gog.com/game/ys_vi_the_ark_of_napishtim
      some
      https://www.gog.com/game/unholy_heights
      kind
      https://www.gog.com/game/guilty_gear_x2_reload
      of
      https://www.gog.com/game/guilty_gear_isuka
      problem
      https://www.gog.com/game/deadly_premonition_directors_cut
      with
      https://www.gog.com/game/the_legend_of_heroes_trails_in_the_sky
      Japanese
      https://www.gog.com/game/legend_of_heroes_trails_in_the_sky_sc_the
      games
      https://www.gog.com/game/recettear_an_item_shops_tale
      and
      https://www.gog.com/game/chantelise_a_tale_of_two_sisters
      doesn’t
      https://www.gog.com/game/elminage_gothic
      like
      https://www.gog.com/game/astebreed
      to
      https://www.gog.com/game/grandia_ii_anniversary_edition
      sell
      https://www.gog.com/game/hatoful_boyfriend
      them.
      https://www.gog.com/game/hatoful_boyfriend_holiday_star_collectors_pack
      Whoops!
      https://www.gog.com/game/gurumin_a_monstrous_adventure
      Damn,
      https://www.gog.com/game/hyperdimension_neptunia_rebirth1
      I
      https://www.gog.com/game/d4_dark_dreams_dont_die
      have
      https://www.gog.com/game/agarest_generations_of_war_zero
      to
      https://www.gog.com/game/agarest_generations_of_war
      keep
      https://www.gog.com/game/agarest_generations_of_war_2
      thinking
      https://www.gog.com/game/way_of_the_samurai_4
      of
      https://www.gog.com/game/mitsurugi_kamui_hikae
      more
      https://www.gog.com/game/corpse_party
      words.

      Phew.

      Admittedly, GOG does have a reputation for rejecting games but I wouldn’t say they have a bias against Japanese games. Your point was rendered moot already, since I wasn’t talking specifically about GOG.

    • Derp Minos

      Yes they do. Source: a friend who work on localizing Japanese doujinshi games.

    • SirPrimalform

      Wow, a sample size of one! And it’s apocryphal! Clearly that outweighs the actual hard evidence I posted, because “your friend said”.

      Even if your friend submitted more than one game, those games have at least one more thing in common than being Japanese. Could it be that gog rejected your one friend’s game localisation(s) because they either didn’t like the game(s) or the quality of the localisation(s)?
      GOG are indeed picky about indie games, but clearly have no problem with Japanese games as I have already demonstrated. Try harder.

    • Derp Minos

      Keep sucking off GOG. Meanwhile you’ll never get Monster Monpiece, Trails in the Sky 3rd because they’re banned from GOG for being inappropriate.

    • SirPrimalform

      Not trying hard enough. What’s your source this time? It came to you in a dream? Wait no, a unicorn told you?

    • Derp Minos

      Where’s your source of those coming to GOG? Go shill your shit site elsewhere :))

    • SirPrimalform

      When did I make any claims about games coming to GOG?
      I said it would be good if the game came to other stores with GOG as an example.
      You then appear saying ‘GOG hates Japanese games’.
      I disprove this with a load of Japanese games on GOG and your only comeback is ‘They do! My friend said so!’.
      The burden of proof rests with you, I haven’t made any claims about games coming to GOG, just disproved your BS.
      You’re confusing me being anti-Steam with being pro-GOG. I’d happily buy OWH and Trails 3rd anywhere that’ll sell them properly DRM-free. Troll harder my friend, we’re just getting started.

    • Derp Minos

      Steam is saving Japanese games though.

    • SirPrimalform

      lolololol

    • Derp Minos

      Monster Monpiece uncensored on Steam. Eat your hat, faggot.

    • SirPrimalform

      Your impotent rage sustains me. I can’t think of a way to continue this exchange though.

    • Derp Minos

      I already BTFO you little shit :)) The only one in impotent rage is you because you know Steam is saving JP games and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    • SirPrimalform

      The angry outbursts and name calling suggests otherwise, but by all means continue. I’m sure it makes you look *so cool*.
      Besides, I’m not sure how Steam being willing to sell the uncensored version is them “saving Japanese gaming”. Certainly GOG has a reputation for not censoring games either, even when Steam does. For years Steam sold the censored US version of Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) where GOG sold the uncensored European one.
      Please reply soon my love, I have a very boring day at work starting now. xx

    • Derp Minos

      I’m sorry but just because I call you out on being a retard, it doesn’t make me go into “angry outburst”. I take it you come from reddit if you seriously think I am “angry” lol.
      So, where is Monster Monpiece on GOG?

    • SirPrimalform

      You’ve not called me out on anything, your arguments are poorly supported. And the language and tone you use certainly suggests an emotional response. 😉
      Monster Monpiece not being on GOG can easily be due to the publisher being pro-DRM. You certainly can’t draw any conclusions about censorship from it.

    • Derp Minos

      Nah, I’m just not a kiddo from reddit unlike you. Little reminder for you: a lot of people posting here are from 4chan, that’s why some of us may sound offensive because that’s how we are. Deal with it, k? Also you have absolutely no argument to begin with, so I find it hilarious that a retard like you think your “arguments” mean shit to me.
      Also considering that Neptunia RB1 was on GOG, it’s pretty clear IFI is not pro-DRM, it’s just GOG who doesn’t want Monpiece.

    • SirPrimalform

      Nope. Not from reddit, but certainly not from 4chan either. You’re still coming across as an angry 15 year old though, but perhaps that is the main demographic of 4chan.
      No argument? I completely destroyed your original assertion, you have still yet to demonstrate an anti-Japanese stance on GOG’s part.

      > Also considering that Neptunia RB1 was on GOG, it’s pretty clear IFI is not pro-DRM, it’s just GOG who doesn’t want Monpiece.

      Also considering that Neptunia RB1 is on GOG, it’s pretty clear GOG don’t have an anti-Japanese stance. Whether or not they want Monster Monpiece specifically is irrelevant to your original point.

      EDIT: Neptunia RB1 is published by Retroism on GOG, not IFI as on Steam.

    • Derp Minos

      KEK keep believing you “destroyed” my argument, based retard.
      GOG is a shit site, deal with it and it will NEVER EVER get any close as popular as Steam.

    • SirPrimalform

      Haha, and that’s what it’s always been about. You hate GOG and so decided to pick a fight.
      When I say I hate Steam, I mean that I don’t like to buy stuff there. But you seem to hate GOG with a personal passion. It’s it because they dare go against your beloved, the exalted Gaben? I hope we can get to the root of your anger in a future session.

    • Derp Minos

      At least I’m not a cuckold like you :^)
      How’s your wife’s son doing? Is your wife having fun with her black boyfriend?

    • SirPrimalform

      Ooh, your aim is a little off there son. But don’t worry, you still look just as cool as you did before.

    • Derp Minos

      So I hit a nail? As expected you were a cuck! Why do you let your wife have sex with black men? Also is she getting paid for it or is she doing it for free?:^)

    • SirPrimalform

      Far from it, no wife. Glad you’re outing yourself as a racist though. Secret racists are the worst.

    • Derp Minos

      Glad you’re outing yourself as a SJW. People like you deserve to be gased.

    • SirPrimalform

      So your definition of SJW is “someone who isn’t racist”? Why would the skin colour of the imaginary man my imaginary wife is sleeping with matter?

    • Derp Minos

      I definite a SJW by retards like you that use retarded terms like “outing yourself as a racist”. You are clearly one of them, so your opinion has absolutely no value. So you have no wife, huh? I guess all the women you’ve been white knighting didn’t really give your reward yet eh.

    • SirPrimalform

      Well in that case I have no problem with *you* calling me a SJW, racism is racism. As for rewards, I guess you’re used to the idea of getting sex in exchange for something instead of from someone that actually likes you.

    • Derp Minos

      At least better than being a white knight who never get sex from the women you white knight. Must be frustrating right?:^)
      Your kinds are not very well liked, deal with it SJW-kun.

    • SirPrimalform

      I don’t do any white knighting, unless you mean “having friends who are women and treating them as equals”. And there’s no frustration, as I said, I don’t get my sex as some kind of reward. 😉

    • Derp Minos

      Oh yes you do, please don’t pretend otherwise SJW cuck.

    • SirPrimalform

      So you still think I have a wife? Look, as fun as trading insults with you is, it was the actual ‘debate’ about GOG that I found interesting even if I am using that term very loosely. GOG almost certainly won’t ever be as popular as Steam, but I don’t particularly care about that. All I am interested in is that DRM-free alternatives to Steam exist and it would be great to be able to buy MC:OWH DRM-free.

    • Derp Minos

      Your fault for starting SJW shit m8.

      As for GOG the problem is they do have a grudge against Japanese games, Degica themselves confirmed the CAVE games were considered “not good enough for GOG”. The thing is, if you really want the game to come DRM-free on GOG you will have to find a way to make them change their mind about niche games because the way they do it, they scare away Japanese games publishers. Personally I have nothing against DRM-free, but I feel that GOG is not the one you should ask. You’d be better off asking the pubs themselves if they could provide a DRM-free version on Humble, because seriously it’s very very unlikely that GOG will let the game on their site.

    • SirPrimalform

      We’d been off topic for a while before I pointed out your racism. Although seriously, why specify the skin colour of the imaginary man if not because in your head it’s somehow worse if he’s black?

      Thing is, it’s not a grudge against Japanese games – GOG are just picky bastards and a *lot* of games are apparently not good enough for them.
      I’ve said this a few times, I gave GOG as an example of a DRM-free site.
      >”2. I said “and other such PC digital distributors”. I don’t mind where, as long as it’s DRM-free. I mentioned GOG as a prominent example.”
      Perhaps they do scare off some publishers because of this, but there’s still no evidence they’ve got anything against Japanese games.

    • Derp Minos

      I’m saying they have a grudge because a certain friend who work at JP games localization literally stated that. Also the whole “cuck” thing is a 4chan meme, don’t ask me why it has to be a black doing the NTR, I guess it probably has to do that women usually find black men more attractive for this due to penis size among other things.
      IMO the only chance is Humble Bundle, I wouldn’t put too much faith on a GOG release. Personally as long as it doesn’t make the devs put less work on the Steam release (cloud support, etc which are features that make Steam attractive), then I don’t see the problem with a DRM-free release.

    • SirPrimalform

      And what makes your friend think this? The fact there’s a whole bunch of Japanese games on GOG suggests that the games your friend was pitching were rejected for different reasons. Maybe someone was just butthurt their games got rejected?

    • Derp Minos

      Every single games his company has requested for GOG release were rejected. Quite a few of them are VERY POPULAR on Steam.

    • SirPrimalform

      That might be the reason. Sometimes GOG rejects games if they’ve been on Steam for a while already, especially if they’ve been heavily bundled. They mostly prefer to release indies at the same time as Steam. I think it’s a stupid policy, being someone who wouldn’t have bought it on Steam even if been there 5 years already. Seems like they’re trying to take customers from Steam. Personally, I think they’d be better off continuing to differentiate themselves, go after the customers who don’t like Steam.

      EDIT: Which games by the way? I want to know how annoyed I should be with GOG.

    • Derp Minos

      The reason why I can’t tell is because my friend doesn’t want to be involved in the GOG JP games drama. But what I can say is this Japanese game has over 200K owners on Steam and apparently it was still “not good enough” which he found distressing when something like Gone Home was “good enough”. I think I already stated but I believe one of the staff of Degica also stated all their Cave games were considered “not good enough” for GOG as well.
      Also there are rumors that GOG refused to get Monster Monpiece when it will be out because it had “problematic content”, though I dunno if it’s true or not so don’t quote me on it.
      I think GOG has a long way to go before they’re a Japanese games heaven like Steam became.

    • SirPrimalform

      Sorry, I’ve got to call BS if you can’t give details. All of your evidence is anecdotal and apocryphal, I’ve actually demonstrated that there are plenty of Japanese games on GOG. If you want to make accusations of an anti-Japanese bias then you need to back it up. I’m not saying you or your friend are lying about those games being rejected, it’s just that there’s no evidence of it being because they’re Japanese.
      Also Steam isn’t a haven for Japanese games so much as it’s a haven for anything at all. Although greenlight allowed for lots of cool stuff to get on Steam, it also filled it with turds. GOG’s approach is heavy curation which keeps the turds out but also excludes lots of stuff that simply isn’t to their taste. It sucks, but it doesn’t make them anti-Japanese.

    • Derp Minos

      As stated there’s a reason why I can’t give detail. Also for the Cave games being not good enough it’s common knowledge that GOG answered that if you read shmup forums.

    • SirPrimalform

      Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t support your argument as actual evidence if you can’t substantiate it. I have heard of GOG rejecting shmups for being too niche, but if anything that’s a genre bias. Also something that was pointed out in this thread: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/the_vast_majority_of_good_old_japanese_games_is_not_drmfree_and_it_makes_no_sense/
      GOG is not big on region locking and Japanese developers and publishers are. Rather bizarrely, Japanese games that are on Steam are quite often not available if you’re in Japan. If a game is on GOG, it’s generally available worldwide unless there’s a legal requirement for locking (like say a censored version for Australia).

    • Derp Minos

      It can’t be helped. The bias of GOG toward Japanese games is still real, hence why it’s a shit alternative. No matter how much you want to pretend it’s not true, it’s still the truth and it’s not ending anytime soon.

    • SirPrimalform

      Right, because who needs proof when “my friend said”? Unless you come up with something else, the only one pretending is you.

    • Derp Minos

      Even if I did state the company he works for you’d still ask for more proof. So you keep dreaming of seeing Japanese games on GOG while I’ll play them on Steam and laugh at you for not believing me. Enjoy your wait, m8. You’ll wait a LONG LONG time :^)

    • SirPrimalform

      And when Trails 3rd arrives on GOG? We have the first two, so it’s only a matter of time.

    • Derp Minos

      I doubt trails 3rd will come on GOG due to the graphic child rape scene in it.

    • SirPrimalform

      I doubt it would make it onto Steam unscathed if that’s the case.

    • Derp Minos

      Steam is much less politically correct than GOG though. They approved the release of Monster Monpiece uncut despite it having to be censored on console to avoid an AO rating.

    • SirPrimalform

      GOG has some AO games. It remains to be seen.