Dengeki Playstation has published an interview previously run in issue 661 of the magazine on the official Dengeki website with staff working on the Neptunia series’ latest instalment, Yuusha Neptune (Brave Neptunia), the English language release of which is to be named Super Neptunia RPG
『勇者ネプテューヌ』開発チームインタビュー。地球規模で制作を進める究極のRPG https://t.co/c4nHTsHzCX #dengekips #勇者ネプテューヌ #勇者ネプ #ネプテューヌ pic.twitter.com/fMDCVB9zNb
— 電撃オンライン (@dengekionline) May 20, 2018
Featured in the interview are executive producer Kochiwa Norihisa, producer Mizuno Naoko, illustrator Tsunako, assistant producer Igarashi Tomoki, and script writer Mukai Shougo.
The interview begins with them looking back at the series, which sees Brave Neptunia as the fifteenth release since it first began eight years ago. Kochiwa says that due to parallel development, it feels like they have been working on the series for fifteen years rather than eight, while Tsunako says that she is always surprised whenever she hears the number of releases, as it always sounds more than she thought it would be. Mizuno says that the nature of the series is what allowed them to make games with different settings and genres, which is something that is otherwise not easily done, and mentions how they have done an increased number of collaboration projects recently.
When asked what Neptunia means to them, Kochiwa is unsure aside from it being something important to him, Tsunako says it is akin to a friend’s child due to how it’s created by multiple people, Mizuno calls the series something like a mentor to her due to how it has led her to meet many people and learn and experience many new things, and Igarashi calls it a rival that is frequently challenging him to do better.
The interview moves on to Brave Neptunia. Kochiwa talks about the first meeting with Quebec-based Artisan Studios, which is developing the game, and how they gave him the impression that they were very passionate about the Neptunia series, the RPG genre, and Japanese video games, which resulted in them talking about working together. When shown a demo later on, he felt that it was something that Japanese developers would never be able to create, which matched his desire to create a new Neptunia game that would be different from what had come before. Igarashi mentions how the video shown earlier this year also mentioned how the game was going to be developed by a foreign studio, and that some fans thought it was a joke.
The concept of Brave Neptunia came about from one of the roughly fifty proposals they received for the game’s setting, which was “Neptune gets amnesia”. They thought that if Neptune with no memories defeated a dogoo she would definitely think of it as a great accomplishment and that she was a great hero, and the preview image of her wielding a branch is from the scene which does that.
The interviewer brings up the game’s subtitle of “Behold, World and Universe!! This Is the Ultimate RPG!!” and Kochiwa says that because they are working with a foreign studio, this game is being created on a “world-level scale”, and that the title is them declaring that they’re creating the ultimate RPG as a way to portray the size of the project.
The interview next asks why the game is 2D, and Igarashi’s answer is simply that it is because Artisan Studios is good at 2D games. Kochiwa adds that it being 2D makes the art more refreshing, and that there are things in there that they could not make on their own. Tsunako says that the backgrounds are especially different; Backgrounds in the series up till now were more anime-like, while Brave Neptunia’s backgrounds are more painting-like, with a lot of contrasts within a single piece of art.
Igarashi mentions that while it may be hard to tell due to the change in art style, Brave Neptunia still takes place in the world of Gamindustri, but in a different dimension, and that the town seen in screenshots already released is in fact Lastation.
The game’s story follows an amnesiac Neptune who goes on an adventure and learns of an organization called Silkworm that considers 3D to be evil, which she decides to defeat as she thinks that both 2D and 3D are fine. Due to her amnesia, she does not remember returning characters when meeting them. Mukai says that he went through a lot of trial and error while writing the script, and says that due to the series’ characters all having distinct personalities, he tried to make the new characters able to leave strong impressions despite having less screentime than the old ones, and that their having unique speech patterns is a part of this. It is also mentioned that Histoire, who is a book in this game, now cannot speak, but can communicate through text on her pages. The text is in a language that the characters cannot understand, however, meaning that their only way of understanding her is through emoticons at the end of her messages. Her actual personality is said to remain unchanged.
Tsunako mentions how the cover illustration has the greatest number of characters in the series, which was done in order to express the fantasy setting.
The interviewer asks about the dungeons, and Igarashi says that there are unique gimmicks in them, and that though the game may be in 2D the dungeons are not one way corridors, and that they are proper mazes.
The limited edition comes with an artbook and soundtrack, in a special box with new art by Tsunako, and Mizuno says that this art, while still work in progress, is going to be an homage to a certain retro game. The pre-order bonus will be a dynamic PS4 theme.
The interview concludes with them emphasising on how Brave Neptunia is going to be a refreshing change from previous entries in the series, and how they hope that fans will enjoy it.
Yuusha Neptune: Sekai yo Uchuu yo Katsumoku seyo!! Ultimate RPG Sengen!! will be released in Japan on 27th September 2018. The US release, Super Neptunia RPG, has been announced for fall 2018
(This article was edited on 5/21 to better reflect the versions of names used in the English versions of the games)