The 13 August 2020 issue of Famitsu includes an interview on Fate/Grand Order with Nasu Kinoko and Takeuchi Takashi to comemmorate FGOs’s fifth anniversary.
This interview includes spoilers for Fate/Grand Order up to the latest chapter of part 2 in the Japanese version
The interview starts with the two being asked about how they feel about the fifth anniversary. Takeuchi says that because of the nature of it being a service-type game, he has an odd mixed feeling of it both being “already five years” and “only five years”. Nasu does not think of it in terms of years, but rather of how they managed to come this far: When they started on part 2, they knew that Olympus would be the point where they would start to be able to see the goal, and now they have reached that point.
Next, they are asked what they have done in the past year since the fourth anniversary. Nasu says that while the main story parts are important to the game as a whole, events are made for players to enjoy every month. Summer events are particularly important, as it lets players feel like they are going on a vacation while staying at home. While the main story is the most important part of the game, Nasu feels that summer events are almost as equally important, and has acted accordingly. Takeuchi says that chapter 5 of part 2 being a sort of decisive battle was something determined at the start of part 2, and he spent the past year working towards it. There were multiple cases of Type-Moon preparing events, and he says that Musashi’s designer especially did a lot of work towards making good scenes.
Nasu also says that chapter 5 is a self-homage to Kara no Kyoukai, with it being a big point in the story, being the longest chapter, and fighting the strongest enemy in ideological terms. The next enemies may be strong as well, but they have the sort of thought processes that regular humans cannot understand. He says that if Greece did not go well, everything they had done up to this point would have been for nothing, and so is relieved that it was well-received.
When asked about which servant left an impression on them the most in the past year, Takeuchi says Orion. Orion was originally a common rarity berserker, and had a more realistic design, but combined with his womanizer personality this felt a bit too disgusting, and so he was changed to his current more comical design. Nasu says that the round nose makes him look like an old Showa manga character, the sort who is not oustandingly handsome but still well-liked. When they were pondering over who to make the grand archer, Orion became the perfect fit. Takeuchi says that Orion was interesting in terms of how much he changed and ultimately became a grand, and made him feel that this is why creating characters is so fun.
Nasu’s answer is Arjuna Alter, whom he says has a “persuasive” design, fitting of the final cycle of Indian mythology.
Takeuchi adds that Calamity Jane and Space Ishtar also left an impression. Nasu notes that Space Ishtar’s original design felt too simple to be an SSR character, and Takeuchi worked with designer Morii Shizuki to make the design more fancy while still retaining the simple “ancient religion” feel of the original design. As for Calamity Jane, Takeuchi says that the designn was ready for a long time, and they were just waiting for a chance to implement her, and she ended up the one with the longest wait to be implemented. Nasu says that Jane, Red Hare and Caenis were the ones that took the longest to be implemented, and while he wasn’t worried about Caenis since it was always the plan to have a showdown in Olympus, Jane was the only one who didn’t have a chance to shine. He thus decided to include her in Saber Wars 2 as a bounty hunting partner for Ishtar, saying that he always wanted to do a space road movie.
The interviewer next asks if there were any cases in the past year where unexpected characters were created like in the case of Nobukatsu previously. Takeuchi says that while there was nothing on that level, there were cases where the designer made requests and suggestions that resulted in the character changing to some degree. He cites Seishou Nagon as an example where the designer put a lot of work into the character, resulting in the writer putting in additional effort ot match it. Nasu says that in history, Seishou Nagon was a person who made trends herself, and so requested that designer Mika Pikazo make it so that she does all sorts of new things.
Takeuchi also mentions that they initially felt it was too early to release Seishou Nagon, and Nasu elaborates, saying that they felt that having her implemented a year after Murasaki Shikibu would make users feel like there is a sense of continuity between the two characters, and that Seishou Nagon’s character is dependent on the existence of Murasaki Shikibu’s, which they did not want. He says that Murasaki Shikibu was created with no “before” or “after” in mind, and so they wanted to release Seishou Nagon at a point when most people had forgotten about her.
Nasu says that they have used up most famous characters, and from now on most servants will be ones that most will not recognise. Takeuchi says that having famous heroes like Oda Nobunaga and Okita Souji like in Gudaguda is actually out of place in the series, and that he feels that having not-so-famous heroes and adding on to them is more Fate-like, and he wants to make more such characters from hereon.