August 17th, 2015

Happy 1000000 posts

We just reached a milestone here on the forum: one million posts.

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July 31st, 2015

Takumi X Ishii (999 producer) discussion interview

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July 23rd, 2015

Takumi Special Interview

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July 21st, 2015

DGS in September 2015 Dengeki Nintendo


DGS has been out for a few weeks now, which means a few magazines are starting to publish longer-form articles on the game!

This month Dengeki Nintendo is running a huge feature on DGS, with a very long article with Takumi, Kojima, and Nuri, as well as bunches of concept art and comments. While I unfortunately don't have time to translate/organize everything, you can check out the full scans at L~A's Perfectly Nintendo.

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July 18th, 2015

Takumi on Columbo (Kono Manga ga Sugoi interview)

A discussion between Takumi Shuu and mystery writer Ookura Takahiro was posted last week on the Kono Manga ga Sugoi site (a famous annual ranking of popular manga). It had some interesting points, like Takumi talking how "Perry Mason" was an important hint for Takumi to create the "Ace Attorney" series and how Awasaka Tsumao's "A Aiichirou" series influenced "Ace Attorney" (both being comedic mysteries), the usage of something mystic like 'channeling' in a detective story (and the reactions of fans to that), to for example how Arisugawa Alice's "Double-Headed Devil" was a big influence to AA3-5 (both featuring a case happening on both sides of a river). But it was a bit too much to translate all of it.

They also talked a lot about "Columbo", but it was cut from the original interview. But today, this part of the discussion was also added to the site. I am a big fan of the TV drama Columbo,so I just couldn't leave this untranslated.

TAKUMI Shuu (Director, scenario writer of the AA series, Ghost Trick)
OOKURA Takahiro (Lieutenant Fukuie series)

A Neverending Love for Columbo

Takumi: I too love "Columbo". Lots of people urged me to read the "Lt. Fukuie" series, because it was written by someone who loved "Columbo". And that was indeed the case, I found out once I started reading the books.

Ookura: Actually, I only started writing the "Lt. Fukue" series, because I wanted to write something like "Columbo". But doing an inverted mystery like in "Columbo" is difficult, and as the culprit is known from the start, there's little left to hide. On screen, they can do thinks like showing it together with Peter Falk's performance, but in novels, the complete truth is written there right from the start, and there's nothing interesting left. I thought about that problem for 2, 3 years. Then I remembered what my editor said when I was given the job of writing a novelization of "Columbo".
"You can do anything you want, just don't let us know what's going in Columbo's head. Nobody knows what Columbo's thinking, and that's the point." And that's exactly it when you watch him. He might be saying something about his wife, but we don't even know if he really has a wife. Having remembered that, I came up with the style of always describing Fukuie (the protagonist of the series) in the third person and have the crime solved without ever knowing what Fukuie was thinking.

Interview: Mr. Takuma, how do you write your characters?

T: Games are meant to be played by the players, so I am of the opinion that the protagonist should not have a strong, clear-cut personality. As a result, I think I'm doing something similar to what Mr. Ookura just said about "Columbo". For example, I don't touch upon Phoenix' past in the games, and the players don't even know where his parents are. Fans often ask e about the birthdate of a character, or their bloodtype or favorite food, but I don't talk about them on purpose.
On the other hand, my own personality might be shining through my characters... In the game, Phoenix' thoughts are shown as monologue, but those inner monologues are just my own, personal thoughts. So when people say "Phoenix is actually quite sarcastic", they're actually talking about me (laugh).

O: "Detective Conan"'s Conan's inner thoughts are sarcastic too, thinking "Don't you even know that?!". I think it's something like that. I actually like that though. It might be a bit sharp-tongued, but it's a refined sharpness. You can't have a mystery story with a bit of spite. I think Columbo too can be a bit mean too. He is not as nice as he seems and can be a bit meanspirited.

T: Mr. Ookura, what are your three favorite episodes of "Columbo"?

O: When discussing "Columbo", it always comes to this. I am a fan of "Identity Crisis".

T: Whaat!?

O: My no. 1 is "Identity Crisis", no. 2 is "The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case" and no. 3 is "Columbo Cries Wolf", of the ABC series.

T: No! Oh, sorry. I'm just surprised at how different our picks are. I haven't seen much of the ABC series actually.

O: Well, of the original run, my no. 3 could be "Now You See Him", "Candidate for Crime" or "The Conspirators". So none of the fan-favorites like "Any Old Port In A Storm" or "Forgotten Lady". What are your favorites, Mr. Takumi?

T: When I was a kid, I used to record the audio of "Columbo" episodes on a casette tape and listen to them in my room, but the one I listened most to was "Negative Reaction". Looking back, I think it has all the essentials of "Columbo". The surprise ending, but also Columbo being mistaken for a homeless guy, it has everything "Columbo". If I needed to recommend one episode, it would be "Negative Reaction".

O: True, "Negative Reaction" is a very balanced story. There's the nun, and the drunk who starts talking and there were also great guest stars.

T: The Japanese dubbing was great too! (laugh). I originnaly wanted someone like talking like that too in "Ace Attorney" but it was too difficult and I gave up. Oh, and these might be predictable, but I also love "Suitable for Framing" and "Short Fuse"

O: I think that not many Columbo fans would mention "Short Fuse".

T: And I also like "An Excercise in Fatility".

O: That's a good one too. But fans probably like all episodes (laugh)

T: To be honest, of the titles you just mentioned, I don't remember much of "Identity Crisis". It didn't leave much of an impression.

O: Patrick McGoohan directed and starred as the murderer in "Identity Crisis" but it's not really a mystery story... He's just going with it. The trick is really rather simple. But for me, "Columbo" is not about the script or mystery plot, but about the directing and the performances.

T: I see. So as a visual product.

O: Yes, how good it is on the screen. So my list of three favorite episodes is probably quite different from people who focus on the mystery plot.

I: It's been an interesting discussion, but it's about time... Do you have something to say to the fans?

O: I can feel the influence of "Columbo" in "Ace Attorney". For example, there's the thing with the IV drops in "Turnabout Succession", episode 4 of "Ace Attorney 4". I won't go into details, but the part where it goes "the only way you can know about this if you were there at that time", that's a type of logic often used in "Columbo". I definitely got me. Mr. Takumi, I hope you'll make more stories with these kind of reasonings. In my opinion, the heart of "Ace Attorney" lies not in proving your client's innocent, but the process towards that.

T: I'm happy you, being such a big fan of "Columbo", say that. "Columbo" is an orthodox inverted mystery, but lately, you'll see a lot of inverted mysteries on websites with list of "Recommended Mystery Stories". Inverted mysteries are fun as they always have a big surprise waiting at the end, and I am a fan of a lot of inverted mysteries, but I wouldn't want people to think they're the norm.

O: True. Inverted mysteries might be easy to understand for the modern reader, but I'd be a bit disappointed if all the titles mentioned in a list of "Recommended Mystery Stories" would be inverted mystery stories.

T: The real fun behind mystery stories lies in the logic when you connect all the hints and solve the mystery. Inverted mysteries on their turn have their chance to shine because they're the outliers. But if people would first start with inverted mysteries and then work their way through the classics, I'd be happy with that too as a mystery fan. The world of mystery stories is wide and deep. I'd also love it if people would watch the TV drama "Columbo" once again.

Interviewer: Mr. Takumi, Mr. Ookura, thanks for your time.

Reply || Read Comments By Ash
July 16th, 2015

Dai Gyakuten Saiban - ~135k sold in week one, first DLC

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July 11th, 2015

Capcom Legends interview with Nuri (art director DGS)

Capcom has put a new "Capcom Legends" interview on their site, this time with AA illustrator NURI Kazuya. It's very informative interview on character designing, but also very long, so I'm just going through the main points.

Nuri Kazuya studied Economics in university, entered a company after that, but switched to Capcom in '99. Illustrators & mangaka he likes / was influenced by are HARA Tetsuo (Fist of the North Star), OZAWA Satoru (Submarine 707).

He was first added to the Breath of Fire team, where his first job was a character 'dotter' (sprite artist) for BoF IV. With BoF V, he helped with character designs, 3D modeling & some animation. After BoF, he did Demento, and then moved on to Ace Attorney, doing character design and original art until AA4, and then art director & character designer for Professor Layton VS AA. And he also did some work for the Capcom Lounge in PS Home.

Nuri was asked by producer Matsukawa if he was interested to become the new illustrator for AA around the time AA3 (GBA) was released. He had just started playing the first game and loved it, so the timing was great (Matsukawa asked Nuri this in an udon restaurant by the way). Takumi had Nuri draw the four main characters as a test, and he loved it. Those illustrations are on the cover of AA1 (DS) (Japanese version).

Nuri designs his characters to look simple, but to actually convey a lot of information. A large part of this comes from making a basic 'cel' of a character and putting shaders on it, giving the illusion of depth. For Layton VS AA, he focused on doing stuff they could only do in 3D, while keeping the good points of the 2D era. For DGS, he wanted the graphics to have an 'illustration-like' touch to it and convey the feel of the material of the clothing and objects of the period.

Nuri's favorite AA characters are:
- Apollo (first protagonist he designed. He kept a balance between "looking cool" and "easy to get attached to" by playing with his expressions).
- Ema (first character Nuri designed. Also because he was able to draw her in different stages in her life).
- Gant (did a lot of work on his design and animations. Thinks he's a real AA-like character who leaves an impression).
- Darklaw (has a lot of elements Nuri himself likes. They also got the voice actress he wanted for her).

Capcom characters are often designed so their silhouette is recognizable, which is especially important for action games (so you can see your own character). With AA, this is a bit different, as they need to be recognizable only from the chest up. For DGS, the characters tend to have a more 'realistic' touch to them, as their (more realistic) expressions and movements are necessary for their roles. Witness and jury members on the other hand tend to be more comic-like, so you can recognize them instantly even if they are all sitting next to each other.

What he did with the DGS characters was:
-Ryuunosuke: the student uniform was so you could instantly set him apart from Phoenix. The hairstyle was the most difficult; Phoenix' silhouette might be very recognizable, but such a hairstyle wouldn't fit Meiji at all. Nuri tried a lot with the few hairstyles available around the time, and he did around 50 variations.
- Susato: starting with the keyword Yamato Nadeshiko, Nuri made sure she looked the part as someone with a good upbringing and gave her a 'sorta-believable, but actually not possible' hairdo. The sakura family emblem was to emphasize the Japanese theme. The overall design is fairly subdued, to contrast with the English team.
- Asougi: clothes are designed to be more influenced by both Japanese and Western culture than Ryuunosuke. The headband fluttering in the wind was something they could only do in 3D and was something Nuri really wanted.
- Holmes: Nuri made a lot of designs for him: Depresssive Holmes / Cute Holmes / Adventure Holmes / Dark Holmes / the Sleeping Holmes, but they settled on a slightly arranged version of a 'classic' Holmes, that worked to contrast with his actual personality. The pistol is for contrast with Ryuunosuke's sword.
- Iris: the keyword "genius girl" invoked ideas of gothic and 'mad-scientist' elements. Details were made so she would look good on the screen together with Holmes.
- Barok: Death God -> vampire, wolf, fallen angel ideas. Nuri used those elements to make a upper-class type of character.

For AA, unique characters and showy movements are important, but for DGS, these characters needed also to look the period. It was difficult to come up with characters considering the more limited choice in clothes and hairstyles then. Everyone had a suit, had and a mustache then, so he had to bring out their personalities in different ways.

Reply || Read Comments By Ash
July 8th, 2015

Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Release Day in Japan


Dai Gyakuten Saiban was announced in the most unassuming of ways: as a "new Ace Attorney project" in a Nintendo Direct, with no details save that it would be directed by Shu Takumi and be quite different from other games in the series. The theories flew hard and fast, but I don't think anyone expected a Meiji-era prequel. Nor a Sherlock Holmes crossover. Nor a Watson who was ten years old and had pink hair, but I digress.

A year and a half after that first tease, Dai Gyakuten Saiban releases in just a few hours in Japan. If you'd like to play the game immediately, you can purchase it now on the Japanese eShop and pre-load it; it'll be available to play as soon as the clock strikes midnight there, if not sooner. If you're waiting for localization news, or otherwise just can't play it - as always, C-R strives to provide coverage without spoilage. Stop by Baker Street to discuss the game and share your impressions, screens, or rips, and keep an eye out for more DGS news over the coming days and weeks.

Of course, the Japanese release isn't the be-all-end-all. DGS is shaping up to be a fresh new entry in the series, and it would be a terrible shame if Capcom USA and Capcom Europe didn't bring it over to the West. Now (as always) we encourage to make your voices heard - tweet to @Capcom_Unity, swing by their forums, awkwardly work #GAA4West into a Tumblr post - let Capcom (respectfully!) know that we'd love to see this game released worldwide.

That's more than enough introduction, I suppose. The game is afoot!

Reply || Read Comments By Bolt Storm
July 2nd, 2015

Ace Attorney 3DS Themes on sale in NA eShop (and DD/Trilogy)

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July 2nd, 2015

Official DGS Countdown: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke's Sinful 7 Days


DGS launches in just under a week, and to celebrate Capcom has set up an official countdown - in the form of a very long trial for Ryuunosuke!

Titled "Naruhodou Ryuunosuke's Sinful 7 Days", the countdown sees each day revealing a new video explaining what crime Ryuunosuke is on trial for that day. In today's first episode, Holmes accuses him of spoiling DGS by revealing that Holmes is in the game! It's up to readers to vote as to whether or not revealing any info about a detective game constitutes a spoiler.

Tomorrow the votes will be tallied and a video showing Ryuunosuke's fate will be posted. Then it's on to the next charge! Gonna be a long week, Ryuunosuke...

(You can vote at that top link, or share your vote on Twitter to have it count 100x.)

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