Interview: NIS America on Disgaea D2
posted on 09.28.13 at 12:02 PM EDT by (@Rednal29)
Nippon Ichi's strategy RPG sequel due out next Tuesday.

NIS America is known for a lot of quirky and interesting titles, but none stand out quite as much as their beloved flagship franchise Disgaea. With the next entry launched yesterday in Europe and due out next Tuesday, October 8 in North America, we sat down with Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness script editor Steve Carlton for to discuss the game just prior to its release. 

For those who aren’t already familiar with this game, could you briefly explain the story, characters, and gameplay of Disgaea D2 for us?

Carlton: The story takes place in the Netherworld, where Laharl, the main character, is trying to make the denizens of the Netherworld recognize that he is the new Overlord (which he became during the course of Disgaea: Hour/Afternoon of Darkness). To help him, he enlists the help of his vassals, Etna and Flonne. And along the way, they come across many interesting and mysterious people. The gameplay consists of battles fought on a gridded map in a strategy RPG style. But unlike most strategy RPGs, your stats can go up into the millions and beyond, and you can deal damage into the billions.

Every entry in the Disgaea series has made a number of changes to the “formula” of the previous games. What do you think sticks out the most for the changes in D2?

The most notable change is probably the new Mounted System, which replaces the Magichange System and allows your humanoid characters to ride your monster characters. Unlike Magichange, you can stay mounted as long as you want, and it helps increase the likability between the humanoid and monster, which is part of another new system.

While we’re on the subject of gameplay, I hear that a lot of the game has been adjusted to make things more player-friendly. What smaller changes can experienced players expect to see?

The Extra Gain mechanic has been brought back and updated. You can now change who a character’s master is, instead of it being restricted to whoever called the Dark Assembly to create the character. The master now teaches the apprentice their skills, and they no longer need to be next to the character for them to use the skill until they learn it.

Disgaea’s always promoted abuse of the system mechanics… and in true Netherworld style, there’s even a “Cheat Shop” within the game that players can take advantage of. What would you suggest that new players do with this mechanic to help them on their journey to being recognized as the Overlord?

Well, the beauty of the Cheat Shop is that you can change how you cheat whenever you want. I tend to prefer to lower the HL (money) earned in order to boost the EXP and Mana earned. That way, I can level up faster, and have more Mana to use at the Dark Assembly to create new characters or pass a few bills. But if you find yourself running low on cash, you can lower something else to boost your income.

Let’s talk about the characters for a little while. How has it felt to get back to working with characters that have been such a big part of NISA’s history?

It’s always fun to get to work with Laharl, Etna, and Flonne, because their personalities are so diverse and they all have interesting motivations. They have also gotten to the point where they all know each other very well, so the interactions between them are fun to characterize.

Etna or Flonne?

The correct answer is you take Flonne to be your wife, and you take Etna to be your mistress. And then you end up as a bloody corpse, but it was probably worth it…until you come back as a Prinny…and then you cry. Yes, all other answers are incorrect.

Many players seemed to enjoy the funny quotes you added to trophies in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory. Disgaea’s always had a strong comedy element, so are you doing the same thing for D2?

We usually try to have some fun with the trophies of our comedic and/or lighthearted games, but I suppose it’s up to the players to decide if we have succeeded or not.

On to more localization details! We already know that D2 is getting a dub, but can you tell us how much of the content is being voiced?

I believe that the only content that we cut the voices for were the tutorials and the stuff that the characters say when you talk to them around the Overlord’s Castle. Everything else should be voiced, including all of the event scenes.

About how long do you think it will take players to get through the main story of the game if they don’t go too deeply into side content?

I think it should take about 35 to 40 hours to clear the main story.

Finally, do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans of Disgaea before D2 comes out?

Thank you all very much for your support! If not for all of you, we wouldn’t be able to continue to bring wonderful games and anime to western audiences. I hope you enjoy the new adventures of some of our most popular characters, and that you come to love the new characters that are making their debuts.

Thanks, Steve. Good luck on the launch!

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  • Andrew Arndt

    i have my eu copy just wait on my US LE copy i hace a jp LE to

    • Yuri4prez

      By the way, speaking od Disgaea, is there any info on when Disgaea 4 is going to be localized to US?

      I know it’s coming out, but have there been any announcements or time frame for western release?

      • GhostNomad

        Disgaea 4 came out in the US back in 2011…. O.o

        Unless you mean the Vita version, in which case, no news. Only a Japanese release date.

        • Yuri4prez

          Sorry hahaa version. I should have wrote that. Thanks for the info guys!

          • Rednal

            If you want info on localizations, it’s best to talk to NISA directly… but if you really want to know these things, try signing up for the Prinny Bomb newsletter. That’ll get you direct emails about new announcements and such, so you’ll hear about the release pretty much as soon as they announce it. Assuming they do, of course, but I’d give good odds. ^^

            • Yuri4prez

              Yeah, I signed up for Prinny bomb when I pre ordered the D4 Collector’s edition a few years ago… Wonder why they stopped sending mail……

              Thanks for reminding me, I’ll have a look into it.

              • Elvick

                Maybe it’s been sent to your spam folder. I get mine just fine and I signed up many years ago.

                Though if you like them on facebook, they post all the Prinny Bombs there as well. They tweet about them too.

      • Anime10121

        It’ll more than likely be announced sometime after it releases in Japan :)

  • GhostNomad

    Etna or Flonne?

    The correct answer is you take Flonne to be your wife, and you take Etna to be your mistress. And then you end up as a bloody corpse, but it was probably worth it…until you come back as a Prinny…and then you cry. Yes, all other answers are incorrect.”

    This man spoke directly to my soul.

    • Rogerrmark

      Thats the best answer of humanity,lol

    • Sevyne

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I don’t think I could have come up with a better answer than that.

    • Raiu

      Definitely…. This man sure knows what to say…. He came up with a better answer than I ever could to that….

    • Rednal

      I couldn’t resist asking that one. XD

  • Yuri4prez

    Cool. I’m going to have fun on this one. Long Live Disgaea!

  • Anime10121

    Awesome interview! LOVED his response to the Etna/Flonne question, he is so right, that IS the only answer lol.

  • Leon_Tekashi

    They got two series backing them up. Disgaea and HDN, but something tells me HDN might become as popular as Disgaea if done right.

  • OverlordZetta

    Well, I’m waiting on the Vita port for this one, but it’s good to see them all in good spirits about it!

  • Xaltmas

    Etna is my waifu.

    • Sal Romano

      That Sexy Beam is for you. <3

      • Willgaea

        It’s strong, but is it sexy?

  • Willgaea

    Can’t wait to make Laharl the main character again.

  • DarthBrian

    Isn’t it two tuesday from now? o_O

    Pre-ordered the limited edition set from NISA. Can’t wait.

    Also, ETNA IS MINE!!! >_<

    • Xaltmas


      • GhostNomad


        • Xaltmas


  • Syltique

    Didn’t know you guys did interviews too. Nice job.

    • Rednal

      Well, my personal goal is to get one done for every game NISA puts out. ^^ Several are up already, and you can look forward to more right here on Gematsu as games get closer to release!

  • shogunknight

    I need this game…..asap

  • Elvick

    Great interview!

  • Micheal Scott

    Can’t wait for this