Pages 34 to 38 in Weekly Famitsu No. 1228 (6/28/2012) contain an interview with Tales of Xillia 2 producer Hideo Baba. Bits from this interview can be found in our Famitsu report summary post from mid last week. Find the full interview below.
— First off, could you tell us about your decision to create Xillia 2?
Baba: I had called the previous Xillia the 15th anniversary title and the more I thought on it, the more details about things like the events that happened before and after the original story and the world’s establishment came to me. I was actually preparing for a sequel before it was decided on, thinking, “I might be able to make a sequel, it’d be good if I did.” In the end it was thanks to the positive push from fans of Xillia that I decided to do it.
— What kind of changes have occurred in the world one year since the ending in Xillia?
Baba: Well, just because the Shell that separated the levels of civilization and other aspects into two worlds has been lost, it doesn’t mean that the world can easily become one. Although both countries have repeatedly had various political discussions regarding the most suitable way of dealing with their hardships, as a whole both countries are gradually moving toward harmony at the moment.
— What about the Clanspia Company?
Baba: They’re improving the convenience of society, contributing to the raise in the level of people’s livelihoods. Their activities cover a lot of ground, doing things like subjugating monsters and contracting bodyguards for important people. They’re similar to the wealthy elite, so to speak.
— I think that one of the characteristics that defines the Tales of series is the setting that matches a medieval European fantasy world with high tech aspects well together. What about in this title?
Baba: Looking at the image visuals and screenshots of Elenpios, I’d have to say that the inorganic impression you get from the high-tech aspects stand out the most. However, when you virtually walk in this world, you feel the thoughts of the people who live there and experience the flavor of their culture everywhere you go. We developed that game with the mindset that the characters live here and move about freely, it doesn’t feel out of place when you’re walking around.
— Will the main characters of this title be going to Liese Maxia?
Baba: Well… (Laughs.) The Shell is gone, and since I want to satisfy the expectations of everyone who played the previous title, I’ll just say look out for the follow up report.
— The theme of the story is “Are you prepared to destroy the world for a girl?” Please, explain the meaning in more detail.
Baba: The theme doesn’t just apply to the story, but the game’s system as well. The main character is a 20-year-old boy named Ludger, he’s reached that age where he’s responsible for his own behavior, whether it’s bad or good. Life is about repeatedly making choices, normally we aren’t conscious of it, but assuming the choices you make have major consequences, you can undoubtedly feel the impact of your choice. This idea is incorporated into the game system of this title.
— The theme seems to hint that inevitably, you might make a choice to destroy the world for a “girl” in the story.
Baba: That’s right. It’s more than just whether or not you’ll destroy the world for a girl, but groping for another option as well. There is one major base in the story, though it doesn’t diverge innumerably depending on the choices you make, there are various times you’ll be able to make choices. The way the story progresses and the impressions you get from it will be greatly different depending on the way you play it.
— Ludger seems to differ from the main characters of the Tales games so far, it seems the player will see themselves in him.
Baba: Regarding the main character’s lines and actions in the previous title, you got the sensation that you were adventuring alongside them. Instead in this title, the player becomes Ludger, and you make choices big and small, weaving your own future.
— Ludger’s surname is Kresnik, it seems to suggest something.
Baba: Right! (Laughs.) It sounds the same as a keyword that is familiar to those who’ve played the previous title, but of course, it’s not a meaningless surname. Right now it’s a secret!
— That’s interesting. (Laughs.) By the way, Ludger was designed by Daigo Okumura of Bandai Namco Studio. The previous title was considered the series’ first collaboration between Kousuke Fujishima and Mutsumi Inomata, will they be involved in this title too?
Baba: We couldn’t call it Xillia 2 without both of their involvement. I can’t tell you the details yet, but I think the fans will be very pleased. Please look forward to the day we can make a public announcement.
— Like the previous title, the theme song is being handled by Ayumi Hamasaki and the animation is being done by Ufotable.
Baba: Yes. In order to make something that surpasses the previous title, everyone is pouring their power into it, including the theme song and animation. It’s a challenge to represent something unique in a sequel, so we’re really looking forward to how it turns out.
— So will Elle take the role of the so called heroine?
Baba: That’s right. She’s the youngest in the history of the series since Tales of Rebirth to be a heroine who doesn’t participate in battles. Ludger is 20, that’s a little bit older compared to the past main characters of the series, but in contrast, Elle is only 8 years old. It might look extreme, but the characters we’ll introduce in the follow up report have a lot of personality, hopefully you’ll look forward to meeting them on your journey.
— How do Ludger and Elle wind up meeting?
Baba: Their meeting was entirely accidental; Elle wants to help her father, however she’s only a child and couldn’t possibly travel alone. From there Ludger and Elle travel together, but how they interact with one another is up to how the player chooses.
— How does Lulu become involved in the story?
Baba: It’s actually a cat that Ludger’s older brother kept, but it attaches to Ludger since he takes care of it on behalf of his busy older brother. When he accidentally meets Elle, she takes a liking to the cat and it travels along with them. However, as far as the story goes, it exists as a mascot. It’s not shy and meows cutely, but it doesn’t speak human languages. It’s actually the boss of the neighborhood cats and it seems to get along with Elle quite well.
— Lastly, can you tell us more about the battle system? Specifically, the “XDR-LMBS” feature?
Baba: Speaking frankly, the battle system takes the best parts from the series, especially Graces and Xillia. You can shift weapons according to the situation. For examples, Ludger can unleash rapid slashes with a pair of swords, or use a powerful hammer with a large reach, or if the enemies are a ways away he can wield two guns with mobility. The allies other than Ludger have their own individual characteristics and you’ll be able to operate whichever ones you want during battle.
— Is there a structure unique to this title?
Baba: Of course! We’ve just begun to talk about the battle system, there is a lot of information about it and the story line that haven’t been revealed yet, so please keep an eye out for it.
If you missed the debut trailer for Tales of Xillia 2, catch it here.