By Randy Thompson / October 1st, 2012
Back before TGS kicked off, Siliconera sat down with Tales of series creator Hideo Baba to get some insight on the creative process of one of the world’s most popular JRPG franchises. During this conversation, Baba brought up the importance of memorable characters in the Tales games.
“When we are developing titles, I first prepare a rough world setting and the basic storyline. Then the team works together to add details to the plot and atmosphere. The most important thing is the Tales series is part of the JRPG genre so I want to create characters players can emphasize[sic] with and they will want to follow as the story continues.”
One of the characters brought up as an example was Tales of Vesperia’s Yuri Lowell as he is different from most RPG protaganists. Instead of being on the usual path of self-discovery, Yuri is a fully realized individual, knowing who he is and comfortable with that fact. Baba responded to the topic saying:
“There is a possibility to have another Yuri-style character again, but I think it’s important to listen to the fan’s voices,” Baba responded. “The development team is always creating new worlds and characters, so it’s possible to see different kinds of leading characters.”
But what of future Tales games? Tales of Xillia 2, specifically? The protagonist, Ludger, is meant to also be different than the traditional young, headstrong main characters of other games. He was created in mind with having the player “feel like a hero” by giving more freedom to the player by way of moral and plot choices, something very different from Tales games of the past, especially Judge from the first Xillia.
When asked about other characters from Xillia and how they’ve grown since, Baba responded:
“If we talk a lot about what happened between Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2 it might be a big spoiler for everyone,” Baba laughed. “Xillia’s theme is ‘unwavering convictions’ and at the end of the game they found their own way. I changed their facial expressions and costumes for characters like Alvin and Leia to explain how they’ve grown after one year.”
Despite being a direct sequel, Tales of Xillia 2 is shaping up to be a completely new and fresh experience to players of previous Tales games and other JRPGs alike. Tales of Xillia 2 is due out in Japan on November 1st, 2012 on Playstation 3. North American gamers can expect the first game, Tales of Xillia, to be released in 2013.
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