Last Story Director on Banana Peels, MMORPG Ties and Surprises
Sakaguchi sheds more light on Wii RPG in post presentation interviews.
During a presentation yesterday, director Hironobu Sakaguchi shared first details on The Last Story's exciting banana peel system. More details have surfaced.
As detailed yesterday, The Last Story allows players to shoot banana peels via main character Elza's bow gun. During the game's story mode, the banana peels can be shot at townfolk, making them slip over. During online play, you can use the banana peels to make your fellow players slip.
The banana peels tie into events, Sakaguchi revealed during a group Q&A session that followed the presentation. For example, a group of nobles are having tea in the plaza and looking down upon the commoners. A waitress will tell you, "It would be nice if they'd slip on a banana." Fulfill the waitress's wish, and she'll give you a reward.
Banana peels aren't the only way to make townfolk slip and fall. As another example, Sakaguchi mentioned lemons in a basket. If you should scatter the lemons on the ground, people will slip over them.
In past posts at his development blog, Sakaguchi made some comments suggesting that The Last Story could be his last game. He was only speaking figuratively -- that is, he's working on the game as if it's his last game. However, there may be some truth to the comments. Said Sakaguchi during the Q&A, "If the game is received poorly, perhaps my sense does not match with the times. In that case, while I won't go as far as 'I won't ever make games again,' it would be meaningless to make games for a while. With that feeling, I've given my all."
The theme of The Last Story is "Nakama," or "Companion." When you work through the end of the game, you'll have this theme on your mind. During production, Sakaguchi made an effort to push the theme and hopes that people end up feeling "It was nice to have an adventure with those companions."
Does the game's battle segments look somewhat MMORPGish to you? Sakaguchi feels that the game does, in a sense, resemble a sort of single player MMORPG in that you experience a 30 to 40 hour quest with a party of six friends who speak throughout. Also, at the system level, the game has some elements that resemble the systems one finds in an MMORPG.
Incidentally, as far as MMORPGs go, Sakaguchi is interested in playing World of Warcraft. He's never played it, but it's the number one thing he wants to do once The Last Story is finished. In the past, he played EverQuest quite a bit.
Regarding the background conversation system, where characters speak continually in the background as you run through the dungeons and during other gameplay parts, Sakaguchi feels that there may not be a game with the equivalent amount of this type of conversation. The dialogue gives the game a "live" feeling, Sakaguchi feels. While quite a bit of the conversation is insignificant, towards the latter part of the game in particular, there will be a lot of story-related conversation.
One of the big surprises at the event was when Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata showed up to speak to Sakaguchi and other developers briefly. This was a surprise for Sakaguchi himself. He hadn't been briefed on Iwata's appearance.
Although Sakaguchi was on his own most of the time, the conference itself was Nintendo's idea. Sakaguchi was surprised when he heard of the idea.
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