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The 3rd Birthday Developer Interview

Nomura and Tabata discuss the Lightning costume, Aya's changing voice, and shower scenes in a recent Dengeki interview.


Tetsuya Nomura and Hajime Tabata shared a few bits and pieces on The 3rd Birthday in a recent Dengeki Games interview that was summarized today at FF Reunion.

Development on the game is currently 85-90%, said Tabata. The staff is currently making adjustments, adding in smaller elements to gameplay systems, and doing debugging.

Although The 3rd Birthday was demoed at TGS, players were only given a general look at how the game plays. There are a number of systems that weren't in the TGS version of the game, and some of these areas are related to Aya's true strength. Tabata said to expect specifics in future announcements.

Nomura shared some details on his character work. He personally drew Aya, Eve, Hyde, Karud "Boss" Owen, and a number of unannounced characters. He'd originally intended to just do Eve and Aya, but after seeing the settings for Hyde and Boss he wanted to draw them too. He pointed out, however, that there's no relation to a character being a major character just because he's the one who drew it.

Nomura designed Hyde, shown left, but not Thelonious, shown right.

One of Nomura's most famous recent character designs is making it into The 3rd Birthday as a costume. As previously announced through Jump, The 3rd Birthday will have a costume that makes Aya look like Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning. Dengeki asked Nomura about this area.

It looks like we could get a closer look at the Lightning character in The 3rd Birthday compared to FFXIII itself. Nomura confirmed to Dengeki that Aya's Lightning version will see her clothes tear off as she incurs damage, similar to standard Aya. You'll end up seeing Lightning's l'Cie marking. Areas such as this, which couldn't be clearly seen even in FFXIII, will be shown here.

Nomura didn't say how much of the the Lightning character will be shown, but here's an image Tabata previously shared via the game's official Twitter showing how far the game's damage system can go:

Square Enix has yet to share official images of the Lightning costume outside outside of Jump.

When you change into Aya's Lightning costume, Aya's looks won't just change. The tone of her voice will also change. The game actually has a number of costumes, and they will all feature voice changes. Nomura said that you'll feel just how amazing the character's voice actress is, which seems to suggest that this won't be a cameo appearance by Lightning's voice actress but just the current voice actress changing her voice around to match the costume.

So how will you go about getting all these costumes? For the Lightning costume, Nomura said the method is a secret, although it apparently will not require that you buy Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (which lets you unlock an Aya Brea costume if you have a product code that's included in the first print run of The 3rd Birthday). The other costumes will be unlocked gradually as you play the game.

Dissidia's Aya costume.

Finally, a question about the inclusion of a shower scene in the game. Tabata and Nomura both gave unclear responses to this.

Nomura responded that Parasite Eve 2, from which the shower scene originates, had quite a few extreme scenes. This is because the producer directed the staff to take this "sexy" approach to the game. "This time, we've considered the reaction from then and are making a refined sexual portrayal." (I think Nomura is talking about the game as a whole.)

Tabata reminded us of a past Nomura Tweet saying that the staff has managed to produce some test shower scene footage that they felt would be of the quality they'd want were they to use it in The 3rd Birthday. The question is if they can fit it into the game in an acceptable fashion. He said that players will need to see for themselves if it's in there.

Aya in the CTI locker room in this image shared via The 3rd Birthday Twitter. Is there a shower in here somewhere?


9/27 3:53 -- A previous version of this story had a mistranslation indicating that Nomura was designing the game's bosses. The Dengeki text was actually referring to a character known as Karud "Boss" Owen. Read more about Nomura's design work here. (Thanks for the correction, Duckroll!)

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