LONG TEXT BELOW; 16 SUMMARIES
Nasu & Takeuchi Interview(Summarized) - FGO 5th Anniversary Famitsu
- Regarding welcoming FGO’s 5th anniversary.
Takeuchi thinks that since this is a live-service title, there’s the feeling of “it’s already the 5th anniversary” mixed in with the feeling of “it’s still only 5 years”.
Nasu: For me, rather than an anniversary, it feels like I’ve reached the point where I can say “I’ve come this far”. When starting Part 2, I knew that I’d be able to see the goal once I reached the Olympus chapter. Reaching that point makes me feel strongly that “now, this is where it gets going”.
- Regarding things they kept in mind in the past year.
Nasu: While the main story is written for the entire work as a whole, events are made so that the players can have fun every month. The summer event in particular are so that the player can feel that they’re having fun somewhere while being at home. I try to rev up the gear of entertainment one step higher than a normal event. While the main story is the most important thing to produce carefully, I keep in mind that it’s just as important to treat the summer event in the same way.
Takeuchi: Part 2 Chapter 5 was supposed to be [a final battle, in a certain way] from the beginning of Part 2. That’s why I was careful to overcome this obstacle properly. On TYPE-MOON’s side, we laboured to prepare many event cutscenes. Musashi’s designer in particular worked really hard and produced a good scene, I think.
Nasu: Though it might be a self-homage to Kara no Kyoukai, I thought to make Chapter 5 a big point in the story.
Takeuchi: As in Chapter 5 is the longest.
Nasu: It’s the longest, and where you fight the one who’s ideologically the strongest… well, the enemies after this are strong too, but their ideology can’t be understood by normal people (laugh).
Nasu: Anyway, if we didn’t pull off Chapter 5 well, all our effort so far would’ve felt wasted. After it was all done, I did feel relieved that the players had a good opinion of it.
- Regarding Servants that made an impression on them over the past year.
Super Orion for Takeuchi - Nasu didn’t think that such an illustration would be made.
Takeuchi: Orion is an extraordinarily “FGO”-like character. Originally he was supposed to be a common unit (bronze), and a Berserker. I asked for a character with glittering muscles, but someone looking like that being a womanizer would be a bit disgusting, so he became gentler like he is now.
Nasu: The dango nose is reminiscent of the sort of jolly guy that appears in old Showa manga. It’s comedic but since he could flourish in various likeably ways, it became a very good design. In the first place, I was wondering who should be Grand Archer, but this made Orion the most suitable for the choice. It was just too convincing.
Arjuna (Alter) left the deepest impression on Nasu; he calls it very fitting for the final samsara of Indian myth. When looking at the illustration, he felt as if it was the total sum of all the heat that pako-san has injected into FGO.
Takeuchi brings up Space Ishtar and Calamity Jane too as examples. Space Ishtar started off with an illustration full of the Mystery of a primordial religion, but the design was too simple so she couldn’t be an SSR. And so Takeuchi talked to Morii Shizuki-san, and the design settled in a form that had some flamboyance while retaining some of the original simplicity.
Takeuchi: Calamity Jane was designed from the start, but she wasn’t blessed with the opportunity to appear. I think she’s the character that had to wait for the longest time for her appearance.
Nasu: Jane, Red Hare and Caenis are the big three who took the longest time till implementation. Caenis was planned for the showdown in Olympus so there was no worry, but there was no place for Jane to show her stuff. So, since the ball was in my court for “Saber Wars 2”, I decided to try writing Jane and Ishtar as a space bounty hunter duo. I wanted to do it, a space road trip movie.
- Regarding any other incidents like the “Nobukatsu Incident” spoken of in the 4th anniversary interview.
Nothing on that scale happened, but the character designers do speak out on how they want a Servant’s design to be, like with Space Ishtar and Sei Shonagon. For Sei, the writer went along with the design that the illustrator felt strongly about. Nasu mentions that since the historical Sei Shonagon was someone who created the latest trends, she should have a shockingly new feel if implemented in FGO. It was regarded as too early for Sei to be released, since they didn’t want people to think that Sei’s release was connected to Murasaki’s release.
Nasu: We’ve just about used all the famous ones, so I think there’ll be more Servants that make you go “who?” from now on. Even so, there’s lots of material that should let you come to like them, so I think it’ll be fine.
Takeuchi: I think it’s rarer to have Gudaguda-type Servants like Oda Nobunaga and Okita Souji who everyone knows about. It’s probably more Fate-like to have some rather unknown hero with something extra added onto them. We’ll likely be making more and more of these characters from now on.
- Regarding the 5th anniversary advertisements that started in May of this year.
Nasu didn’t know about the details of that marketing plan right up until a huge bunch of illustrations and drafts landed on his table one day. It was planned by Aniplex in conjunction with the 5th anniversary at Tokyo Dome, but sadly the Dome event didn’t pan out. Nasu’s first impression of it was that the deadlines were too early - they had to start preparing earlier than other years and there were more illustrations to check too. The advertisements were designed in mind to get tourists who saw the ads to play the game, and they got the local news agencies in each prefecture to recommend the best local spots for the ads.
About Mashu and Artoria’s design, Takeuchi has this to say: There’s a lot there (laugh). Some day, you’ll look at it and go “Oh, so that’s what it was”.
- Regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on work.
The schedule has changed a lot due to the need to change over to working remotely. After a period of adjustment, they think they’re back at the pace where they were before. Takeuchi says that the schedule should proceed as originally planned from summer onwards.
Nasu: FGO’s schedule as a whole would be extended after all, I think. The number of years scheduled to complete the scenario planned for it would also be greatly increased. For main story chapters, the content and material needed to make it takes anywhere from 6 months to 8 months, but that has to be revised due to the decrease in working hours.
As for the earlier timing of the summer rerun this year, Nasu says that they were conflicted about whether or not to rerun Las Vegas in July or June. Since last year the rerun was in July and the new swimsuit event was in August, it felt like a long continuation of swimsuits and Nasu didn’t think that was good.
Nasu: So, this year we reran swimsuits earlier, so that once the players forget swimsuits, they’ll be happier when the new swimsuit event begins.
- Regarding this year’s summer event.
Nasu: Like I said earlier, the summer events so far were meant to supply players with the dream of “I want to go to Hawaii” or “I want to go to Las Vegas”. But when it comes to summer, there’s another classic event for it, isn’t it? We’ll give that genre a try this year.
When asked if it’s horror or zombies, Nasu replies: Gee, I wonder. Still, if we do that other genre seriously, many players would be shocked by it, so we’ll just do it FGO-like, in a comical manner. We’re in the final stages of adjustment right now so I can’t say anything, but I’m interested in seeing just how much the players understand that genre.
- Regarding the Machine Gods of Olympus.
The characteristics of each mythology was thought of by Nasu before FGO, while working on Fate EXTRA. For Greece, he thought of it as an ancient yet advanced civilization, so sci-fi factors would come into play. The Olympian gods were conceived of as a migrant fleet from other celestial bodies then and were finally implemented as such in FGO. This is also why I-IV was chosen to design Orion and Artemis and Artemis has a rather sci-fi-ish bow. Once it was decided that the Greece chapter would be a go for real, they spoke to I-IV again and had the Olympian Gods designed as “12 spaceships that can combine into a giant robot” as the fundamental concept. All of the Olympian Gods have a design, even those that don’t appear in Chapter 5.
When asked if Zeus is the face, Nasu says this: Actually no. He’s the lower body, or rather, the crotch. Since the design had combination as a premise, we went ridiculous with it. So when fighting him as separate unit, it became a rather amusing illustration somehow. Well, that giant, stern face is cool, though!
Nasu mentions that only the Twelve Olympians are directly descended from Chaos, and besides them would be new gods who have picked up concepts of the local gods or formed from combining with some concept or another on Earth. That’s why Heracles, a Heroic Spirit born from humans, would not have a true machine body. Those machine bodies only exist in the Lostbelt in the first place - they have been destroyed in Pan-Human History long ago.
- Regarding the Black Barrel.
The Black Barrel design in Melty Blood was simplified for various reasons, but since it’s really a very dangerous weapon, this is what it should look like at least when used seriously. Nasu was the one who had the idea of the FGO Black Barrel being an equipment for Mashu’s shield, but if it was just an attachment then it would look weak. So they had Mashu’s design transform when using the Black Barrel.
- Regarding the 20 Servants of the Godbreaking Alliance.
Nasu: There are two types for those who fled the Godbreaking Alliance. There are those who went “I can’t do this” (old man’s voice), and those who were truly smart and departed, thinking “we can’t accomplish anything as a faction; sorry, but I’ll be leaving”. From those, one of the Heroic Spirits from the former group might appear in the story to come. That Heroic Spirit might still be concerned over their retreat.
The Godbreaking Alliance could reach Olympus because Artemis was yet to get serious, and Odysseus hadn’t been deployed yet, so it was easier for them compared to when Guda arrived in Atlantis. In a way, Odysseus was dispatched and Artemis went into full genocidal mode because they managed to break through.
- Regarding Mandricardo’s popularity.
Mandricardo appeared because the writer in charge of Atlantis suggested “I want a Servant who can be the protagonist’s friend”. However, Nasu was worried that such an existence might become too much of a burden for Guda, and so the go-ahead was given after Chapter 4. If this was in Chapter 3 or 4, Guda would have had to continue fighting on with the feelings of having lost a friend.
Takeuchi didn’t expect Mandricardo to become such a character when they made the design, but he definitely ended up looking like the vice-president of a school club. It was a very wonderful design whose charm he thought the writer also managed to express extremely well in writing.
Nasu: It’s nice that he’s such a minor hero. “Who’s this, it’s hard to remember his name” (laugh)
Takeuchi: I think no one was able to guess his real name, yeah.
- Regarding Olga-Marie.
Riyo really likes Olga-Marie so he suggested to use her in Learning with Manga!, but then the way he suggested to implement her there actually turned out to be a spoiler for Part 2. Of course, Riyo didn’t know that when he drew it. That’s already something 4 years ago now. There was the option of not letting her be in Learning with Manga!, but having her there would let the players keep remembering her so Nasu gave the go-ahead.
As for U-Olga’s design, the fundamental image is that of a space monster. She’s not just cool, but also expresses Olgamarie’s human nature everywhere. Nasu asked for her clothing design to be that weird. The intent of the design is to make people taken aback at it. The title of President of the Earth might be a bit strong but Takeuchi finds it hard to decide whether to be deflated or to feel relieved about it.
- Regarding Kirschtaria and Daybit.
Kirschtaria was designed as an elite pretty boy mage that is like a protagonist. He was conceived of as someone who has achieved the highest level ideologically even amongst TYPE-MOON’s legends. Although he’s not exactly the reverse side of Guda, Nasu considers them the same type: If Kirschtaria and the protagonist’s positions were reversed, the same story would probably happen, I think.
Kirschtaria’s recollection of saving the Human Order with Daybit will eventually be spoken of one day, but Nasu reveals that Daybit cleared the Human Order restoration with his own strength, so he didn’t need Kirschtaria’s help.
Nasu: Why Daybit is acting on his own, and knows various things? Such questions might appear, but they’re planned to be gradually explained from now on.
The mental world of each Crypter where Kirschtaria journeyed to restore the Human Order was prepared by the God of the Foreign Star, and in there the Lion King did not appear - Camelot remained as Jerusalem. The Lion King’s appearance is an irregularity as far as the God of the Foreign Star is concerned.
The Servants used by the Crypters in restoring the Human Order are different. Even if they somehow summoned the same Servants, there’ll be something different about them.
Regarding the Lostbelt that Takeuchi and Nasu would like to live in, Nasu wants to live in a Lostbelt where Tetris was successfully released on the Megadrive. Besides that, he would pick Qin’s Lostbelt since there is no suffering and troubles. For Takeuchi, if he were to pick from an existing Lostbelt, it would be Scandinavia since there are Valkyries there and it’s a romantic and beautiful place.
- Regarding player opinion.
Takeuchi once mentioned that Nasu cared too much about what the players think, though he doesn’t remember it when the interviewer brings it up. Nasu cares because he wants to know what the players want. Luckily, what he enjoys doing now and what the players want to see match up. Takeuchi thinks that Nasu is actually still unflappable when it comes to the direction of the game; while everyone else is thinking that this is a live-service title from the start of Part 1, Nasu has been insistent that there is an ending for the game, and that he’s heading towards it. The Fate Extra CCC event was the event where Nasu was most implacable, unwilling to give in on any aspect of it.
- Regarding the game’s ending.
Nasu: Endings are not something that can be avoided. How do you prepare your heart for when the time comes, how do you face it, is an omnipresent theme for humanity. Even in FGO, everything in Part 2 Chapter 1 till Chapter 4 has been fundamentally about doing all you have to do while seeing the end of many things, and preparing to make the conclusion on one’s own end. Rather than making it like this because FGO has an end, it’s more that I’m trying to make people aware of the end because this is the theme.
Nasu: At the end of Fate/stay night, it was the ending of Shirou and Fuyuki’s tale, but Shirou’s life continued past that. In comparison to that, FGO’s ending would probably more strongly emphasize “this is the end of FGO”. At that time, if there are still people who think “No, I don’t want it to end”, there are also people who will think “I’ll wait for the next new content”. At the beginning of FGO, I thought that would be nice.
Nasu: Even though I say that, there are players who have played for 5 years saying “I’ve played FGO through middle school and high school, so it’ll definitely continue from now on!” with sparkling eyes… It makes me think I should work hard while I can.
- Regarding their plans heading towards the 6th anniversary.
Having to cancel the 5th anniversary has really put a damper on Takeuchi, but they’re trying their best to get back to normal and continue making games. With the conclusion of Part 2 Chapter 5, FGO is now heading towards the true climax. Even though the 5th Anniversary festival is cancelled, the game has a new objective to aim for. He’d like to reach there together with the players.
Nasu will work hard so that FGO’s potential continues to grow. To those lukewarm voices saying “but there’s only 2 chapters to go, no?”, he has something to tell them: the end of the Olympus chapter only marks the halfway point of Part 2.
Nasu: Experimentally, we have Chapters 3.5 and 4.5 in Part 2. The Tokugawa Labyrinth Ooku was Chapter 3.5, and so similarly there is a Chapter 4.5 which will be released in the latter half of 2020. In that way, big stories will be released between chapters after Chapter 5, so including those, in terms of volume Part 2 is only halfway done.
Nasu explains that just Chapters 6 and 7 wouldn’t be enough to resolve all of the foreshadowing that has been put in thus far.
Takeuchi: Chapter 6 has a Servant that’ll make people go “please announce them faster!” for the first time in a while.
Nasu: The Servants in Chapter 6 might just surprise everyone.
Takeuchi: We would like to convey it to everyone as soon as possible, so we’ll work hard for that, and please wait with hope.