Again we asked the idea behind Type-0

――Firstly, why did you choose warring nations as the setting.

The biggest reason would be, wanting to make a game about history of survival. Initially the game was being developed for mobile phones, and we were thinking of a system linking real time with the games progression. A calendar will be created the date the player starts the game, and any event or battle will be marked following along the real date and time; as if the player is sharing the same time-line with the game. We did not want to change the concept of "playing along history" even when the platform was change to the PSP.

――So why a group performance story?

We felt that you will not get the sense of history if the story was told through a perspective of one character. We wanted to make history the focus of the story. it was deemed that allowing control of multiple characters that lived that time was the best style for this. As a result it became a story that unfold as all these charactered performed.

――Is there any film that was used as a reference during the production of Type-0?

I love the documentary show on NHK titled Centuries of Picture*1. I made all the staff members watch it as a tool to share the initial vision. The show has a very cool theme titled Is Paris Burning?*2. I've used this to convey the vision of the production to BUMP(BUMP OF CHICKEN*3).

*1 - Centuries of Picture

A documentary show created between 1995 and 1996 for the 70th Anniversary of NHK. It was a total of 11 part show featuring on films and memoirs of the time, showing the change in time society and world war in the 20th Century.

*2 - Is Paris Burning?

The main theme of Centuries of Picture, composed by the man who was responsible for the show's music, Takeshi Kako.

*3 - BUMP OF CHICKEN

The rock band that worked on the Type-0 theme song. Other than being used in the ending, an arrange version was also used in the opening.

――Anything that was used as a reference for the story?

When it was being developed for mobile phones, the story was all about challenging god. So We did use Animes and Mangas that shared the idea. However when we moved to the PSP, that change it to a more believable history. I doubt there is anything left of anything that was from the original references [laugh]. But the story's texture and feeling lends itself from a lot of war film and drama.

――How did you choose the personalities of the fourteen heroes?

First, we would choose a few basic trait for characters that Nomura would draw. From there we add some more slowly adding distinction to the characters. We choose traits that would avoid making any of the 14 character similar.

――Is there characters that has a drastically different personality from its initial design?

I didn't really expect Nine to be a character that yells out "Korā". Also the voice actors/actress has a lot to do with some of the decision with character personalities. Some times during record of normal dialogs, we will feel that a character might be lacking that extra punch to become impressionable. Personality will slowly be changed as the recording progressed. Listening to the recording later on we will notice things like Jack saying "Yes siree!" [laugh]. It made us question "Was this character supposed to be like this?" specially with Nine, Jack, and Cinque. These character definitely surpassed their initial design.

――How about characters with different weapon from initial design?

Not so much a different weapon, but we had a hard time coming up with an image of how Deuce would fight while playing the flute. We though it wouldn't be that weird if in close quarter she would use it to "smack" the enemy; so we actually did implement it. However during test play everyone just kept using the flute to smack the enemy, so it didn't even made sense having it as weapon. So ultimately we removed the "smack" command and made the rest of the party cover each other better. Oh and I also remember us having trouble with Ace, motion wise.

――The motion captures are really cool.

I don't think it was really that cool to begin with [laugh]. Throwing cards in the middle of the battlefield gave only an impression of a weird guy [laugh]. It was really more of a test at the beginning, and even the animation staff member were holding back; the actions were held back. But as we progressed everyone started feeling comfortable and there was a point where it we started saying "Oh, that was cool!". Even the movement of Cinque fixing her skirt*4 was rather muted to begin with. When we said "Nobody would notice this.", they did the exact opposite the next take [laugh] almost making us wonder "Is this too much?".

*4 - Cinque fixing her skirt

Female characters including Cinque will fix their clothing whenever a specific attack or evasive maneuver is performed. In Cinque's case, she brushes the hem of her skirt.

Digging into mysteries left unanswered

――Firstly, as written on the Book of Void(P.240); how did you come up with the Locus of Ten and Six for the heroes.

It was near the end of the development cycle when we presented the idea. We initially had the roles and personality decided, but were unsure to present the background. However as we neared the end of development, we felt that adding the element of fate and the Fabula mythology were a good idea. We asked the scenario writers to try squeezing it in and that was the result.

――It refers to the locus originally was originally one before it became ten and six. Does this mean that the locus was originally a single person?

This is not unified answer. But I believe it does not mean it was a single person, but rather the element required for Agito. Arecia in the course of attempting to create Agito, started to realize that the element she was looking for was something individuals hold within themselves. This is why Ace among everyone who hold the element for becoming Agito were gathered together.

――Tiz and Joker are part of the Ten and Six. But what are their objection?

At the rough draft stage, Tiz and Joker was going to play a big role following the ending in the new world. However at final stage of deciding the game's scale, it was decided to focus on the other 14 instead. At the very least we indicated the reason for them being being one of the chosen in the Book of Void, to avoid their story hanging in limbo. They were thought to be necessary for Agito, and later deemed by Arecia otherwise. They took on a support role helping the heres. Either way they are still the closest two to Arecia; the two are able to retain their memory every time the cycle restarts, unlike the others.

――How about the time Joker refers to Machina being his "other self" (see image below); are they the same person?

They are not same person. That was said by him due to their circumstance and roles being similar; the role of supporting the growth of Ace and the other twelve's soul. Joker having Tiz for support, just like Machine having Rem for support.

From Character ranking by achievement of level 99 (P.245)

Rem's popularity was unexpected?

 So why is Rem so popular? I myself love Rem a lot as well. Even during development, the staff started to say that I was favoring her. She was the first one among the female characters to have little touches like adjusting her clothing added. So when she's this popular with all the player, it makes me really wonder "Did I really favored her?". It's a little embarrassing [laugh].
 Also one of the ability that Rem learns "Do Not Die" is something she was not even aware about. We she was using it, I asked the staff "What is the logic behind this ability?" [laugh]. I was answered, "This is a skill created by Rem, who is very good at magic.". I wasn't quiet happy with the answer. I just though to mysel, "Even though she never leared revival spells?". Since they already moved on in the battle, all I could say was, "I see, I guess", "It's weird, but it's alright." [laugh]. But again I'm glad she is popular. Very happy.

――What essentially the meaning of the Book of Void and Tome of Akasha?

The Tome of Akasha is like a revelation, a prophecy; the summary of Orience's history for every cycle is written on this tome. It was never reveal in the game, but one of the Suzaku's Magistrate duty is to maintain history's darkest record in the tome generation by generation. The Book of Void is to tell myths and legends.

――As if someone from outside the spiral providing the information for an unknown reason?

Exactly. If the Tome of Akasha was to tell the repeating history of Orience, the Book of Void is to tell the myth of Fabula to Orience. No one knows who it was written by, or for what purpose. But it does Arecia's past and future action is written on these books; therefore, it is not Arecia that has ordered for these books to be written.

――So why does the memory of those fallen, erased by the crystal?

People fight and war; this heightens their soul, making them a stronger being. The goal is to prevent anyone from fearing death, or from killing another man. A world convenient for Arecia and the crystal, is a not a good world for everybody else.

▲ Image from At the Imperial Capital (P.231). Joker along with Tiz, after being escorted by Machina tells him "We are similar", "my other self".

――When a l'Cie fulfills their calling, they turn into a crystal. Is this how the Suzaku and Byakko crystals are born?

No, the 4 crystal the 4 nations are in possession were created by Arecia; in the terms of the Fabula myth would be a Fal'Cie*5. Initially the story did reveal them as Fal'Cie. This means Arecia is a higher being capable of producing Fal'Cies.

*5 - Fal'Cie

Known in the Fabula mythology as a being with callings given by god. They create subordinates called l'Cie to help the fulfill their calling. l'Cie'scallings are given my the Fal'Cie, but the onces who ignore these calling will turn into a monster called Shigai, which does not have any volition.

――So if the crystals are Fal'Cies, would this mean that they some what have a will(see image bellow); a will wanting to fulfill their calling?

The crystal does have their own will, though very minute; and this is not always dictated by Arecia. They do fulfill their calling of heightening the should of people specified by Arecia. Toward the end of the story, no longer having any purpose, they slowly stop activities and lose their powers.

▲ Image from Tiz and Joker (P.236). Tiz referring to the crystals as vermilion and white; and how it has fulfilled its calling.

――In the Chapter of Shadow cut scene, we see the crystal shattering. Are the crystal something effected by the cycle?

Crystal can never break, and are not affected by the cycle. Even if shattered, it will naturally heal itself.

Truths related to the ending

――Re-watching the opening right after watching the ending; you get a pretty different impression. Was that something intensional?

Yes it was. An opening where Izana is facing death, and an ending were Class-Zero is facing death leading to the future. Ace saying "I am here" at the beginning, and "We are here" at the end. It is all planned. Specially Izana's will give you a very different emotion after watching the ending.

▲ Image from 3 Hours Past Mission Commence (P.191). A very striking entry scene for Ace. He yells "Here! I am here!" to answer a calling of the heavily wounded Izana.

――A lot of people have died the closer to the ending it gets. Was this something planned since the beginning?

In regards to Class-Zero, the heroes, it was planned from very early stage. The theme of the story is deciding the way you live, die. The two reason we intensionally kill off a lot of people is to maximize the impact of the story, and to add a realism of a world in desolation during Lulusath appearance.

――Wouldn't you agree that Qator and Aria would be dissident of the way they died?

I think Qator's death is acceptable. At that situation, after leading a life of battle, he could have chosen to take the enemies with him. Instead, he chose to save the city instead. I guess Aria would be be pretty dissident [laugh]. However, it was decision during at a time of war to remain under enemy forces. Since she would have been treated similar to a spy, I feel the outcome was pretty realistic.

――Emina and Magistrate Khalia did not appear in the ending. Does this mean they are dead?

I won't go in-depth regarding Emina. But being suspected of espionage, she probably will not be able to avoid capital punishment. Khalia can actually be seen in the first ending we created. But since the story states that he went into hiding underground when Lulusath attacked. I doubt he would be coming out blindly. Personally in the back of my head, as a result of all of these events, he is dead. Incidentally, the one who kept performing some questionable and dangerous experiment, Kazusa, is actually alive. I think it was Naoyoshi's idea, he is seen in the ending helping the reconstruction of Soryu. I was rather happy about this [laugh].

――How about all the Suzaku bureau directors?

They might have all died during Lulusath's invasion. The Commandant died in the Chapter of Shadow. We doubt that his fate was to live either way, so we killed him off.

――How about Nimbus?

Nimbus' mask appears in the ending. After Arecia has left, the crystal began to cease function and weaken. Possible outcome I could imagine were either he took his own life, or he eventually ran out of strength and died.

――So is it the same across the board for l'Cie like Soryu, Gilgamesh and Atola?

It's never implied they died, but the concept is they are destroyed along the crystal. However since they crystal does not suddenly cease to function, they would lose their power slowly along with it.

――Was it the power of wind or water that Machina recommended in the ending?

It's natural energy. Machina himself did not have the knowledge to build windmill and such. But since the civilization created by the crystal is no longer, he wanted to say that they could rebuild buy just the power of people.

――At the end, who was the wife that took care of Machina?

That part was something created by me and the writers; and we wrote it intending to be Rem. However, since in the last section of the Book of Void expressed Etro's Smile, we first had Etro's Smile in this scene. The goddess Etro said to have created humans, and through Rem with tender watch, took care of Machina. That was the image we were going for. We avoided specifically writing Rem's name for this reason.

Development inside stories we can now talk about

――Mr. Tabata, you were initially in charge of war history plot. How much change has it gone through to reach what it is now?

The plot I was writing initially was closer to a time table, showing the progression of the battle as the focus. Elemenents of the Fabula mythology is added by the scenario writers. There are a lot of things that was kept from the original, such as the weapon development race between Suzaku and Byakko, the cease-fire that was decided ignoring the actuall battle field. A lot of it is realistic political element.

From Enemy ranking by number of defeated (P.247)

Are Imperial Soldiers, Examiners?

 Among all the enemies the Imperial Soldier (ranked 3rd) and the Enhanced Soldier (ranked 7th) are my favorites. During the initial development, I wanted to make a game that was "fun fighting the Imperial and Enchaned soldier for a extended period". So I would say the development team has defeted a lot of Imperial and Enhanced soldiers the most [laugh].
 Initially, the Arena's War Game was extensibley use for battle test during development. When a character's ability was completed, or a setting was changed, the people in charge of the battle system would test it first using the War Game. We made a rule that only if a character is able to survive fighting the Imperial soldiers, would we then accept the new changes [laugh]. If they are unable to win, then we consider it having a problem needing corrections. This is why we consider the Imperial and the Enhanced soldier a touchstone, or examiners for a commercialization ordeal.

――Incidentally, the initial plot was Cid who held supremacy of Orience goes to war with the western continent?

There is another continent that in the west with a possession of a black crystal. The name is west in Latin. The Orience Alliance Army will launch an attack to this continent, similar to the invasion of Normandy *6. When Class-Zero found out the truth to Khalia and Cid's intention, it turns into a fight to protect their homeland rather than something motivated by political reasons; for every soldier for each nation including Class-Zero. During this mission the majority of the troops are ahnialated, in the enemy stronghold, Class-Zero would be in the life-or-death battle. This war written 4 years ago, so I don't really remember much [laugh]. I do remember a child being born at the end.

*6 - Invasion of Normandy

The largest amphibious operation ever to take place in World War II. Joint forces of 3 million Amercan and British troops, crosses the Dover Strait landing on French territory Normandy.

――Kids of the heroes?

That's right. We were thinking along the line that of changing who's kid it is depending on how the player choice in game, or even making the kid the true Agito. Initially, it heightened their life force by pushing the limit of their life; it's not what's known as Phantoma. When the crystal made out of that energy is passed down their off spring, a human capable of traveling between the Current world, and the past version of the world Invisible world; an Agito. That was the original setting. This would mean that in some way or another, the plot I wrote did turn out to be mythical [laugh]. Just the last part though.

――By the way, the mysterious masked person actually had a weapons in the designs

The initial plot had him as a character from the western continent, and someone who was going to fight Class-Zero. Even though the scenario changed and the scale of the was cut down, we still needed him to conclude some part of the story. But there is so little depiction of him, he really just became a mysterious person.

――There was no plan to fight Arecia?

At first, we did think that fighting the creator of Orience would been some sort of ending. There was an argument the scenario writing used over and over, but in the end we could not find a good reason for the fight.

From Spell ranking by most/lease equipped (P.249)

We would like to apologize to Wall

 The most equipped spell is Cure, and the least is Wall. It's understandable since everyone would like a healing spell handy, and Wall isn't really used much. At the beginning, it was Nakaaki's who brought up the concept of using FF magic in an action game; specifically emphasising on the defense spell Wall. Imagine fighting the enemy, hiding behind a wall created by the spell. But since there were so many controllable character, there was no way we could fit all the motion information in the amount of memory available. This is were the misfortune of Wall starter [laugh]. You make a wall, but since you need to advance you can't really hide behind it. It was an obvious flaw. If there is a next time, we would like to include the action of actually hiding behind this wall [laugh].

――Anything else that changed from the original concept?

Even though knowing Arecia's intention, Magistrate Khalia still did her deeds; carrying the weight of the entire world. We thought about making him the ring leader of Lulusath, but the progression of the story would have been questionable.

――Was there any plans for an in-game romance?

We did not think about that. Some of us though it would have been funny having an event in the game, were the player gets to try seducing the ladies in the academy. But that would completely change the character is perceived, so we abandoned that idea [laugh]. But we decided to put a burst of surprise in the bonus video.

――In the bonus video If..., Eight likes Cater.

Even I though, "Huh, so Eight like Cater? How about Ace and Mutsuki?". So who know what's really true [laugh]? This is an "If", it has no connection to the actually world in the game.

――The background music played in If... had a big impact in me.

Ah, you mean Colorful Fall in Love [laugh]. During the production of If..., we told them to take their time and go to surprise us. So when it was all finished they did manage to surprise us; everything about it, the content, music and the lyrics [laugh]. If it surprised me, I think it was a good surprise for everyone else. Also, the signer singing the song was a rookie voice actress that Ishimoto's*7 sound team found. It not sang by any of the character from the game.

*7 - Takeharu Ishimoto

The composer incharge of Type-0's music. He was also involed with music inDissidia: Final Fantasy and It's a Wonderful World.

The now and then for Type-0

――Any impression from player comment after the release?

The fact that there was a lot of people that liked Kurasame, and that there was a lot of people that did not understood some terminologies such as l'Cie or Perystilia. I'm thinking it could have been better explained. Also, I was thinking that people would be feel gratification after completing the game; but there was a lot of people with the opinion of the final chapter progressing too fast or "Bad ending was really painful". We really didn't try to make it into a tragedy.

▲ Image from "This technically the first time we meet" (P.194). Kurasame casually receiving Class-Zero. His apperance and department was both cool. His popularity can also attributed due to his dark past.

――It is not a tragedy in the sense that Class-Zero is trying to just do what they believe is right?

Right. They weren't trying to get themselves killed, they made a decision and accepted the result to come; and the world was saved by them. Their death is sure a very sad thing, but it was a way to save the world.

――Topics such as the female characters or Shiva's sexiness has been brought up. Was this something you were expecting?

We weren't intensionally showing their panties. But being an action game, it wouldn't be a lot of fun without having a freely movable character and camera. And because of some of their costumes there was plenty of "Ah, there is no way. You can see it." [laugh]. So at the very least, we added a motion of character hiding any part they don't want shown. I really wanted the topic to be more focused about the character's motion rather than their panties, but I guess it was unavoidable [laugh].

――So, it wasn't because you wanted to include a sexy scene?

The panties were not intentional. But we did want to include a different sexy element, like Shiva or Emina; I won't deny that. But nothing that would go against public order and morality.

――Has anybody in the development team including you Mr. Tabata, have played multi-player with the Ad-Hoc Party*8?

I unfortunately have not. But I believe a lot of the other member have, specially right after release. We really wanted to make it a on-line multi-player, but reality was much tougher; and we really regret it. But we were still curious to how many people participated in multi-player play. Specially the member in charge of the Multi-player plays multi-player.

*8 - Ad-Hoc Party

Original material was not available for translation.

――What was the impression of those team member who have played multi-player?

During the initial release, everyone enjoyed and had a lot of fun; they were very happy to see how active it was. But after a while, we've found out that there was a room called the Pudding Room where monsters would appear infinitely. Shortly after that, the next the and the following the, most of the rooms in the Ad-Hoc Party were all the Pudding Room. There was really no way to fix it, and there was nothing we could do. I believe it's really no fun even for the players playing in this room, but I guess it was very practical when enhancing characters. With no way of stopping it, it really made us realize how important and open beta test*9 is.

*9 - Open beta test

Original material was not available for translation.

――Was the comicalization and novelization something your were also supervising, Mr. Tabata?

The details are all checked by the scenario writers. I only check it at the very beggining, and occasionaly. They pretty much have free roam. Not only the comicalization, but the plot for the novelization look very interesting. From what I hear, they are going to write a different past. You will find out the reason why Machina became a l'Cie if you read it.

――How do you feel about the world of Type-0 expanding beyond the game?

Please go ahead! I know the scenario writer want to comicalize a story about Kurasame. As long as there are no negative impact to the over all content, I'm feel like they should do it.

――Is there possibility of a spin-off about Magistrate Khalia's past or the Mysterious Masked Person?

The possibility is not zero. We want to see where the series can develop, with Type-0 as a prototype. So we don't really have any plans at this point for a series to follow up the story of Type-0. I do have a concepts but there is only one of me, so I'm keeping it as a future chance for the Type-0 staff.

――Any plans of making an HD version for console?

We did think about how fun it would be playing Type-0 on a HD television. In fact we did experiment with it, and it was definitely submersive. But unfortunately, there are no plan as of yet.

――If you were to make a continuation of Type-0, what kind of game would it be?

During the creation of Type-0, if felt that it should have been a content high-end machine. If there is a continuation, it defenitley would be for a high-end machine. So part of the world will be carried over, and some not; but not to the point of making the two unrelated, but playable by some one who has not played Type-0.

――Finally, any game genre you would like to create unrelated to Type-0?

I would say something historical, like a documentary. Type-0 was a fictional world, so it would be nice if I could take in something non-fictional; the genre doesn't really matter. That's what I've always been wanting to create.