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RPGamer Feature - XSEED/Falcom Interview
Ys Seven
Platform:
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date:
2010




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Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Platform:
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date:
TBD




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Ys I & II Chronicles
Platform:
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date:
TBD




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Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC
Platform:
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date:
TBD




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If the hints all around the internet weren't enough to clue you in on what's going on, we'll break it down for you. XSEED Games has partnered Nihon Falcom to publish a bunch of the company's PSP RPGs. Starting off the releases will be Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys I & II Chronicles, and the trilogy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (mistakenly thought to be Road to the Sky by us earlier). If you want to learn more about how this deal came to be and what RPGamers in North America are in for, check out what XSEED's own Ken Berry had to say about the deal.


First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us about this new partnership. All of these Falcom games at once is a fanboy dream come true, so could you share some background on how this deal came about?
Ken Berry, Director of Publishing at XSEED Games: We've been holding talks with Falcom since before we published our first title under the XSEED Games brand, so this has been a long time in the making. Their games have so much depth to them with deep engrossing stories that we kept discussions with them open in hopes of being able to finalize a deal at some point when it made sense for both parties. Fortunately for us that time has finally come.

Falcom has a hefty selection of PSP titles. Why were these specific ones chosen? Some of these have been out for quite some time now.
KB: Ys SEVEN was a no brainer being that it was the first of the Ys series to be made specifically from the ground up for the PSP, and it shows in its gorgeous widescreen graphics and virtual lack of loadtimes. The other Ys titles offer fantastic elements on PSP not available in any previous versions, such as the rearranged soundtrack for Ys I&II Chronicles and fully-voiced event scenes in Ys: The Oath in Felghana.

Regarding The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, the Trails in the Sky (Sora no Kiseki) trilogy has widely been regarded as one of the best RPGs around, but people have been afraid to localize it due to the immense volume of text it contains. We were fortunate to have dedicated people willing to tackle this gargantuan task because they love the series so much.

If these go well, any thoughts of which of Falcom's other PSP titles might be revisited?
KB: We would love to work on them all as Falcom is one of the most consistent game developers we know, and you can be assured every game they put out is a quality offering.

The Ys titles seem manageable, but the Legend of Heroes: Sora no Kiseki trilogy is a beast in terms of dialogue. How are you planning to manage all of the localization?
KB: Like I mentioned, we have some dedicated, and possibly crazy, people both internal and external that have committed upcoming years of their lives to make it happen. Don't question how it gets done because the specifics on the amount of text being translated is mind-boggling, just enjoy the fruits of their labor finally getting this amazing trilogy to American shores for all to enjoy.

What about Sora no Kiseki SC? This one was two UMDs for the Japanese release, have there been efforts to trim that down for the North American version?
KB: To be honest, Sora no Kiseki FC is keeping our hands full for now so we haven't even thought about how to tackle the larger SC yet. We've never trimmed any of our previous releases before and don't intend to start anytime soon, but you may want to check back in with us in about a year on that one...

Do you have a current timeline for releasing these titles? At least a release order perhaps?
KB: Ys SEVEN is scheduled for a late summer release, and that will be followed by Ys: The Oath in Felghana by the end of this year. Early next year will see Ys I&II Chronicles and then The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Sora no Kiseki FC). SC will obviously need a fair amount of time to complete after the release of the first Trails in the Sky.

Prior localizations of Legend of Heroes RPGs (by Bandai and Namco Bandai) have fallen flat and lost their charm due to dry dialogue. What steps are you planning to make to distance yourself from these less than stellar releases?
KB: Our translator for this trilogy is not only an excellent translator, but he's a huge fan of the series. It was because of his dedication that we were able to tackle this project. Between him and our editor, I'm confident we will do justice to this great series, something we work hard to achieve with each and every title we localize.

Falcom games clearly have more of a cult following, including many on our own site. Any ideas of how to garner more recognition for Ys and Legend of Heroes?
KB: Falcom is well-known by core gamers the world over for putting out great RPGs, but their releases in North America have been a bit sporadic and inconsistent, in both the platform and multiple publishers that have handled their titles. By releasing all their recent titles on a single platform (PSP) with one publisher overseeing all quality and marketing efforts, we're hopeful that Falcom's sterling reputation for quality will finally get a chance to reach a new group of players, something that fans have known for decades. As soon as people play Ys SEVEN for the first time, they will be hooked on all Falcom games to come.


RPGamer would like to thank Ken Berry from XSEED Games and the rest of the team for getting us the scoop on the Falcom deal. Keep a lookout for future updates on these upcoming PSP RPGs.



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