A new trailer filled with gratitude towards the Tsukihime fans
At the end of the Fate Project New Year's Eve TV Special, you revealed a trailer of Tsukihime - A Piece of Blue Glass Moon (shortened as TsukiR) as a surprise, shocking many Type-Moon fans. Please tell us more about the new information presented and the feeling put into the trailer.
Nasu: Without getting too confidential, I can say I was programming TsukiR on my computer this entire time, and by the end of 2020, it was almost complete. There are still some steps to be done, making the ROM, porting it to the consoles, and whatnot, but I believe we won't stray from our August 26th, 2021 schedule. With that in mind, we thought this trailer would be perfect to release around February or March of 2021, however...
Over six months before the release date is too early to release a trailer with that much content, right?
Nasu: Yes. Even so, many fans were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the doujin Tsukihime's release online. An excessively long time after TsukiR's announcement, the fans were still persevering waiting. We need to do something to repay these feelings. This combined with our wish to show a piece of the new Tsukihime we'll be releasing the next year inspired us to reveal the trailer at that time, on the last moment of the 20th year.
It had quite the impact for a trailer dropped with no explanation about the game.
Nasu: The target audience for TsukiR is old-school visual novel fans or Type-Moon fans. I trust the player base well enough to know let the information-packed video speak for itself, and I believe they also prefer seeing screenshots instead of wordy explanations.
Takeuchi: We were initially planning to take it in a different direction, with more puzzling images, but Nasu said the point was to show real screenshots to best convey what the game is like, and that's how it turned out like that. One idea was to make a longer show of the game's opening scene, but that's not some content we could simply put on TV on that timeslot. For the PV we ultimately made, it practically took no effort to choose what scenes were supposed to go in there, and the end result shows what the game looks like really well.
Nasu: We started with the opening narration as a 2-minute lead-in. Not the most visually impressive scene, but someone who played the doujin version could tell that was a Tsuki R trailer. Instead of blasting eye-catching image boards on the screen, we wanted to approach calmly and silently before we dropped our weight. In return, everything from minute 3 onwards showed a fresh new sense of entertainment to overturn the plainness of the intro.
I feel that quiet lead-in was a perfect match for TsukiR's tone.
Nasu: That lead-in is, in one way, expressing how our staff is valuing the source material above all else, not taking the remake as an excuse to go nuts. Didn't that 2-minute intro show well the mellow atmosphere of the old days of urban fantasy mystery? I also believe we managed to emphasize the rebirth aspect just as tightly with the animated opening in the second half.
What lead Ufotable to produce that opening?
Nasu: We asked Ufotable to animate the opening around the time they made the second Fate/stay Night Heaven's Feel movie if I recall right. It's been a long time.
Takeuchi: Ufotable has been putting so much care into animating Type-Moon's works for so long, we thought they were the only ones who could make Tsukihime's opening. The moment we asked their CEO, Mr. (Hikaru) Kondou, he was overjoyed to accept. Mr. Tomonori Sudou, director of the Fate/stay Night Heaven's Feel movies, personally requested to direct the animation and character designs. After the third movie was complete, he immediately started working on the opening.
Nasu: The opening is, in simple terms, a gift to fans who kept waiting for TsukiR.
Takeuchi: At the time of Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, I thought we didn't need opening animations, because I believed the in-game visual elements already showed everything there was to show, and that Mahou Tsukai no Yoru wasn't a game that pursued mass entertainment. But TsukiR is a piece of entertainment very unlike Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, so I reached the conclusion that the game would benefit from having an opening, and the players would love it.
How did you feel watching the video?
Nasu: First of all, Arcuied's new design looks GREAT! Sorry, her cuteness keeps stealing my attention all the time. The video showed pretty well the new sense born from moving the stage to the capital, and how the story is reborn as a modern-day urban fantasy. Also, I didn't want any spoilers on the OP, so I had to force a lot of the story's core elements out of that video, thankfully putting it on that sweet spot of "there's a new incident going on, but I can't tell what."
The metropolitan night scenes show how this won't be exactly like the doujin version.
Nasu: Back when I made the doujin version, the general rule of urban fantasy was that it was about a being or incident hidden in the shadows of society, but never a major enough case that it reached civilian eyes or affected society. This tide has been changing since the 2000s, with people feeling okay with bigger, bolder cases happening. Things like an explosion that burns a countryside forest being covered up as a gas leak. Knowing this is valid now, I felt like moving Tsukihime to the big city and upping the stakes a little. Seeing all those changes on the opening, I was surprised by how modern my game felt. Yeah, I was right to choose the word rebirth to describe this.
2 routes of high octane entertainment
Tsuki R is split into the Arcueid Route and the Ciel Route. Please tell us what you were thinking when you decided to shorten the route count to just two.
Nasu: The doujin version couldn't be any longer than what it was, thanks to the size of this crew and budget, and my own lack of competence. The 5 routes were lacking in volume, but I thought being able to release all routes at once was satisfactory enough. But in these 20 years making large-scale games like Fate/stay Night and Fate/Grand Order (shortened as FGO), I changed my way of thinking. Now I want to make every single heroine route the best it can be, making each into something that could be its own game. On the other hand, this would inevitably inflate the budget and time it takes to produce (and play) a single route. Therefore, we're first reducing TsukiR to just Arcueid and Ciel's routes and aiming for the best score with those two alone. Finishing the Arcueid route will feel like finishing a whole game, with a completely different game bundled to it. I hope this is enough to give you the same level of satisfaction and completely different level of accomplishment as the doujin Tsukihime.
Are the routes selected from the moment you start the game?
Nasu: If you play the game normally, you'll get the Arcueid route. If you start again after beating that route, the branching points into Ciel's route will start appearing. I think this format is a staple for Type-Moon works. The two stories have different themes... different genres even, so what's there to enjoy will vary a lot.
Will this be as full of BAD ENDs as the doujin version?
Nasu: ... Uh, well... yes... Urban fantasy is about walking side by side with death... You have to enjoy some fun bad ends. Like in Fate/stay Night, this an extreme situation where any mistake spells your death. It's a videogame's best way to convince the player that the protagonist is crossing a battlefield. TsukiR is no exception.
What does that mean for our BAD END hint show, the Teach us, Shieru-sensei...? I'm looking forward to that! By the way, how long will be this game?
Takeuchi: In terms of pure text volume, I'd say it's about twice what the doujin version had. If you playing listening to all voices until the end, it should be about 45 hours.
That's longer than I was expecting for just 2 routes.
Takeuchi: We're using Mahou Tsukai no Yoru as a base for the visual parts, so I believe it'll be even more satisfactory than what the text volume and playtime make it sound like.
Nasu: As you could see in the trailer, the gameplay follows the good old visual novel format, but with a lot of flair. Looking at how VNs show the story, it's easy to appreciate the charming, comical approach taken by the Ace Attorney series, or the more recent Buddy Mission: BOND, but I still think the classic way is unmatchedly the most immersive way to enjoy literature. Personally my favorite aesthetic style.
Takeuchi: The industry's level of technology increases day by day, and with that, we constantly get new ways to express ourselves, but the classic visual novel style we used for 20 years didn't change much. It was born practically perfect as a video game genre. TsukiR has always been following its recipe, but I feel that's all the more proof that something resides on the genre.
Nasu: The text is the star of the visual novel format. The visuals, soundtracks, and all other parts are there just to improve on the text, and the writer needs to use their head to do justice to their effort. Visual novels are all made of this synergy. And when I reached the apex of that synergy with Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, I thought it was more like a high-quality movie than a mass entertainment product. You spend this time in this atmosphere, living this life in the house. The game was a raw mass of ambition. And now it's the time for us to pour all the methodology we developed in Mahou Tsukai no Yoru and our 20 years of experience into TsukiR, a bloody, bombastic mass entertainment piece.
Takeuchi: Many of the parts we already showed could still be easily improved with the current technology, but I strongly feel this game's visuals are our graphic team's best efforts given form.
The feelings put into the console release
Why are you releasing Tsuki R on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4?
Takeuchi: As I already mentioned before, I was personally planning to release the game for the PC until a few years ago. But a lot changed when Nasu said "Nowadays games are only taken seriously when they're played on consoles."
Nasu: In the past decade, smartphones kept getting more and more hi-tech, we've been getting a lot more people who don't play anything outside of mobile games. On the other hand, we're also getting more hardcore gamers who can't get enough with just the mobile and build their gaming PCs. In this world of constant change, your choice of platform is something you must put pride in. With that being said, I believe nothing compares to the experience of playing a classic visual novel on a console. I put a lot of my soul into that text, with beautiful visuals and songs to match, so I want you to play it connected preferably to a large TV screen. I know that's the creator's ego talking, but I wanted you to play under the best conditions possible on your first experience with TsukiR. So I asked Takeuchi for a console release.
Takeuchi: We were never planning to make this as an adult game, but the CERO rating we were planning for this game was Z (18+). It was necessary for the game to have blunt and plain depictions of violence, for example on the intro scene and on one scene with Shiki and Arcueid. If anything, this Z rating should be taken as a message from us saying "We're faithful to the source material, we're not running away from what we did".
I see. And wasn't there an option to release TsukiR as a smartphone app like FGO?
Nasu: Until a few years ago, we thought people would only play the game as a compact mobile release. Many people are enjoying FGO nowadays thanks to that mindset. But after playing many mobile games myself, I noticed I forget all about them the next year, no matter how well they were made. With being so easy to get, easy to play, and easy to finish, our memories of them are easy to be overwritten. That's enough for simple, one idea games, but TsukiR is the complete opposite of that. It's a media that makes you straighten your posture on your chair to play.
Takeuchi: Mobile games are casual fun, and that's you can't feel someone's "flesh and blood" in them. That's how I imagine digital manga must be like. If you're not flipping each page, it feels like your consulting for info rather than reading.
Nasu: I get that, reading digital manga does feel a bit like reading a Material book. Even the best manga is just information as images + text when read digitally, so the feeling of enjoyment follows a feeling of consumption. That's an excellent thing to have... after all, it's all so much faster to gain information... but TsukiR won't be getting new chapters every week, so I believe a slower read will fit its writing style better. Also, I once played TsukiR on a 50-inch TV and the impact was immense... If you can go that far, playing on at very least a 24-inch monitor is more than enough to make me happy.
Changes caused by the new in-universe date
The doujin version was set at the end of the 90s, but looking at TsukiR's latest background CGs, it looks like the date was shifted to the current year...
Nasu: Not exactly. It was changed to be set in the 2010s, not the 2020s. When smartphones were starting to become commonplace, and social networks were slowly but steadily expanding.
I see. And how will this date change affect TsukiR?
Nasu: The biggest difference will be in terms of moral values, I guess. The doujin version was set in the late 90s, when the economic bubble had already burst for all, and everywhere you went felt decadent and everyone was negative in some way, but it was okay to express your individuality. However, today is a lot more difficult to express your individuality without being any performative. For expressing became easier, at the same time, complying with the norms became all the more important. I assure you I adjusted everything so that nothing in your reading experience feels out of touch with the era it's set on. For that reason, our protagonist, Shiki, losing and gaining some things in terms of emotions. The doujin Shiki feels surprisingly alive even to me who wrote him. He looks like just a basic bookworm, but with a strangely strong-willed side to him. Active and strong-willed protagonists were the trend for PC games at the time, so his emotional range must have aligned with that. We're not living those times anymore, so we some adjustments to how Shiki reacts to his times while preserving the essence of doujin Shiki.
Even his hairstyle was modernized.
Nasu: Up until he made Fate/stay Night's Shirou, I told Takeuchi to design our protagonists as generic as possible. I'd tell him awesome guys doing awesome things is a given, but when someone not that different from us fights, that's what makes him a story's protagonist. This might have been the core of the Fate/ series. That's a point I'm very particular about, but even so, I decided that TsukiR's Shiki should be more good-looking. I mean, what other chance will I get to write a Babel II-inspired protagonist, complete with the gakuran uniform + black hair look? That's my personal reward for all the work...
Arcueid is a character who always felt like the older girl**, but in this game, she looks like she's the same age as Shiki.**
Nasu: When Takeuchi showed me the new design and told me this is what he wanted Arcueid to be like, I did question him, just to make sure he really was okay with her losing her older girl vibes, and he insisted this is the design he wanted. And so, I started updating Arcueid to match with this look. That said, she's still the same vampire sunny on the inside as she always was. You might feel like this Arcueid looks too young at first, but once you spend time with her, you'll feel that she's the exact same Arcueid you remembered. That's how it went with me, after all. "Her skirt got quite a lot smaller, but her heart still the same size it were before", you'll say. Meanwhile, Ciel is looking a bit older with her new design, so we're still getting an older girl with us.
But the doujin Ciel was the one who looked the closest to Shiki in age...
Nasu: She did. Her new design and new voice do a lot to solidify her character as the senpai everyone trusts and admires. Even I am seeing her in a different light.
What about Akiha?
Nasu: Akiha practically didn't have any big changes, aside from the more chic uniform. We did take until the very last second to decide if her skirt should be red or black.
Takeuchi: That's right. Looking back, we thought that Akiha's original red skirt wouldn't blend too well with the backgrounds, but it was iconic enough to make us hesitate on the change. Ultimately, I had to trust my instincts telling me this was better.
And Hisui and Kohaku weren't changed, as far as I can tell.
Takeuchi: I didn't change their base image much, but I did brush up on a few details. The people in the Toono household, Akiha included, are not the kind to change themselves to adjust to the times.
Nasu: They're sorta like old Japanese aristocrats, people detached from time. Them living in the Toono estate makes the life in the mansion a little different from the life in the city. I hope the atmosphere there feels nostalgic to you.
Takeuchi: Also, not something we can bring to the forefront, but we updated the order of the Dead Apostle Ancestors.
Nasu: Back when we established the abilities of the 27 Ancestors, we thought having a certain level of power was enough to make one a top ranker among Dead Apostles. But, judging our dear members of the 27 Ancestors by the post-Fate/stay Night Kinoko Fantasy standards, the ones who are just "relatively amazing" will have to leave... In our current era, having decent strength and abilities doesn't cut for someone trying to call themself a Dead Apostle Ancestor. I'm sorry, better luck next incarnation!
The world of Dead Apostle is in a tough fight for survival...
Nasu: Taking TsukiR's final destination into consideration, I organized which members needed to be laid off, which new members needed to be added, and which pre-existing members needed to be upgraded. That said, it's already been 10 years since I came up with the new Dead Apostle Ancestor lore, so now I regret not having made them a bit stronger.
Yeah, FGO has a series of world-threatening enemies, so the Dead Apostle Ancestors could feel lacking if strong enough in comparison.
Nasu: FGO introduced a lot of new lore. But FGO's scale is only that large because TsukiR was produced first and laid that groundwork. Without TsukiR, FGO would have ended as a much smaller story. In that sense, pausing TsukiR's production to produce FGO paid off, and we'll get the brand new experience of seeing people learning what those plot points they've seen in FGO were about.
TsukiR completely renewed its cast list. What criteria did you use to choose the new cast?
Nasu: The first and most important thing is fitting the character. The next priority is how each voice balances the other out. Like, if Arcueid's voice is one way, Ciel's can be one other. This balance is a central part of the selection.
Takeuchi: We went mainly with younger actors because we want TsukiR to be a story that continues for a long time.
Nasu: A huge part of the game was already complete by the time we went to record the voices, so the way we recorded the voices this time was quite special. Scripts are normally made of just text, but anime voice actors record watching the video to make it easier to perform. But for video games, the best we can do is filling the text script with images. With that, it takes hours for the actor to properly interpret what the character is feeling in that specific scene and find the right way to express it. Scripts can be encyclopedia-sized, especially for videogames, so the load on the actor can be immense. That's why I made my script include the character's faces in every scene. Something of a lifehack that can only be done because the game was already complete. The actors seeing the character expressions drawn into every line of their script does wonders to lighten their load. I'm confident this will lead to an improvement in quality.
Didn't it take a lot of work to add the facial expressions to every single scene of the script?
Nasu: It indeed made the script very costly to make, but it helped the actors a lot with planning their roles, and consequently, staying focused on the character. They could get it done on their first try. This format was a win-win for us producers and them actors.
Takeuchi: TsukiR has a very considerable amount of sprites, making it easier to tell that the voice acting wasn't matching the sprite's expression, in my opinion. But with all the sprites on the script, the voice acting aligned perfectly with the faces.
Nasu: Oh, but Shiki doesn't have his sprites on-screen, so we had to make the script without his faces. That's why I think his voice, Ryousuke Kanemoto, worked thrice harder than the rest of the cast. For all that effort, we got a mega cool ideal Shiki. Thank you, Kanemoto! You were the best!
A production supported by a high-level staff
With the game's visual department sharing so much with Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, was it any difficult to make?
Nasu: We're thankfully blessed with a great staff, so while things weren't easy, we never reached a stalemate. They make any idea I have come true and draw any image I want. Whenever I say I want a new sprite, it feels like they had already made it before I asked (laughs). We planned for an amount of special scene CGs, but as we advanced, we saw we were doing too little. I couldn't tell them I wanted more because I had already given them a solid number on the meeting... But this always ended on an "Ok, I'll tell them tomorrow!" (laughs).
Takeuchi: We got an amazing number of CGs because this process was cyclical...
Nasu: I feel awful for putting so much work on such a small crew, they always accept it once I explain my reasons. This ad hoc approach and nimble footwork are the main strength of us small companies.
Takeuchi: That said, this is not an anime. We can't make visuals for every single scene. Our bread and butter still are the basic backgrounds with sprites. TsukiR's script and visuals are melded together almost singlehandedly by BLACK, but at the late stages of the development, we had to admit he couldn't do it on his own, so we added Urushinohara to the team.
Nasu: In animation terms, the team making the backgrounds, sprites, CGs and other graphical tools are like the key animators. And the scripters who program the gaps between each image are like the storyboarders, animators, and the photography team. BLACK steadfastly did all this scripting work little by little for years. If you know an experienced scripter, have them play TsukiR and tell them it was mainly done by one person, they would think we're insane.
Takeuchi: It really was an overwhelming workload, but BLACK pulled through, with Urushinohara's support, and now it's finally complete... I think.
You're using some very modern visual tools, like those sprites that are merged with the background in a way that they look like a CG.
Takeuchi: Yes, one example would be that sprite of Hisui leaning her back against the dining hall wall. These kinds of images use assets laid out by our art director (Hirokazu) Koyama. That's what you get when our scripting team takes the baton from him and kneads the assets into a screen. Mahou Tsukai no Yoru was relatively low on the CG count but was still very rich in content because of how clever the scripters were in composing the screens.
Nasu: The scripters are not the only ones responsible for making a classic visual novel look this cinematic. We also have to thank the immense amount of sprites Takeuchi's graphical team made.
Takeuchi: I made a lot, so it'd be easy to see the main heroines on the most varied scenes. Most were done trying to stay one step ahead of the game, on assumptions they might be necessary, so in the end, our team couldn't find a place for all of them.
There are shelved sprites? What a waste.
Takeuchi: To my surprised, most of the ones I made just because I thought the move or the expression would look cool went unused. I wish we could locate a good spot for them. It'd add a nice spice to the game and made my work not have been for nothing.
The next question is about the music. In addition to Keita Haga, your musician for the doujin version, Hideyuki Fukasawa is joining the team. What kind of soundtrack are you making?
Takeuchi: We had Fukusawa as the main composer for this game because Haga was too busy making music for FGO. Most songs are based on the ones Haga composed for the doujin back in the day, so we could say Fukusawa is composing while Haga is setting the direction. The process followed this format for the most part, but the OST does have some tracks composed by Haga's own hands, and some by Mr. Kegani, who we had hired to compose the main theme.
Nasu: All songs included in the doujin version have been improved to sound like the songs in the trailer did.
Takeuchi: At the first phase of production, Fukusawa was struggling a lot to get a good grasp of what TsukiR was supposed to feel like as a game. But during production, we've been slowly solidifying Tsukihime's new image, so he managed to make a lot of tracks that elevate the excitement of a Kinoko Nasu Urban Fantasy Game. TsukiR's OST is an absolute blast to listen through.
Nasu: I had to send Fukusawa the game's complete story file because the story is the only thing we had ready at the time... It took forever before he understood how things would look like. But after this long period of trials and tribulations, every piece he composed was truly wonderful... "Our battle OST rocks! Wait, but it doesn't mesh well with this other battle... Could you please make another one?", rinse and repeat until we ended with over 90 tracks on our OST.
Fukusawa worked on many of the best tracks on Mahou Tsukai no Yoru. Is there any track on Tsukihime that hit your heart as hard, Mr. Nasu?
Nasu: Many. All tracks on both routes are masterpieces. I get to listen to these songs on my way back from work 2 whole years before everyone else can. This is my creator's privilege.
By the way, Mr. Nasu, in TsukiR you're credited not only as the writer but also as the director. What was your role here?
Nasu: Nothing different from what I always did. I talk with the visual department, request songs, supervise the voice recording, etc. It's all meant to improve on the story, so if anything is not doing that, I have to make some minor adjustments. The only thing that changed is that I recently learned that society refers to this role of seeing everything and taking responsibility as "directing".
Takeuchi: Nasu was the head behind all of Type-Moon's VNs, not only TsukiR. That's what makes Nasu different from a writer who works behind a producer or a director. We have our crew of visual staff, coders, and musicians working very hard on their roles, but despite their efforts, our final product will be a Kinoko Nasu game. That makes it appropriate to say Kinoko Nasu is the writer and director.
But one thing that allowed TsukiR to rise to this level of quality was this support from the production staff who stayed with you for almost 20 years.
Takeuchi: Yeah. We don't pay much attention since we're always together, but taking this look back at everyone's individual jobs, we see everyone is really high-spec. One thing I felt now that we're TsukiR's last production stages is that we're not experts in one field each, we're all experts in multiple fields. Aside from drawing, an artist also plans the visuals and helps with other people's parts. I'm being reminded that with this level of constant elite support, even the smallest crew can make a hit visual novel.
I believe this was produced in parallel with FGO. Did this point make anything difficult?
Takeuchi: Producing FGO is like publishing a weekly manga, and producing TsukiR was like producing a movie while the whole staff focuses on keeping the manga's weekly release going. Both games mean a lot to us, and we wanted to give them our full attention, without compromises. Without FGO, TsukiR would have been completed earlier, but there are some places we could only reach because FGO happened. I couldn't be more proud of how things happened.
Nasu: That's right. Without FGO, TsukiR would have been out earlier, but we have been a lot less demanding about its quality. I mentioned before that FGO is the game you play casually while TsukiR is the game you adjust your posture to play. Making both at the same time was important to keep this dynamic constantly in my mind.
We can throw away the outdated parts and Tsukihime's fundamental appeal will remain
How much of the doujin version of Tsukihime will remain on the remake?
Nasu: Barely anything was kept intact from the source text. Imagine we disassembled the doujin Tsukihime, and then rebuilt it with new pieces. The old pieces were discarded on the spot, but the reassembled object retains the same shape it always had. One writer who playtested for me said it was an unusual experience. "It's all made of things I know, of things I've seen before, and yet it's all so new. That's a new way to create a remake.", he said. Those words meant a lot to me because that was exactly the kind of game I was trying to make.
Thank you. Mr. Testplayer's words tell us what the game will be like very precisely.
Nasu: The doujin version is a lot less polished than people think. Working on this remake made me painfully aware that the game was the very definition of amateurishness, but the foolhardy power and passion put into were so huge that people look into it warmly enough to overlook that amateurishness. We saw TsukiR's production as 20 years spent gathering experience so that we could revive Tsukihime just for these fans.
What do you believe to be the core part that makes Tsukihime good? The one thing that makes it stay Tsukihime even after all the old pieces were discarded?
Nasu: Upon a thorough examination, I'd say it's how no matter incident happens, you're always face-to-face with the heroine. In many games nowadays, the heroine's presence just isn't very important. Most of them are pursuing a story, and the heroine never gets to be anything more than a component that exists just for the plot's benefit. That might be a big current trend, maybe even the mark of an era. Tsukihime and Fate/stay Night, on the other hand, treat their heroines as the center of the story. We solve the case because we must, but the heroine in front of us is a lot more important. Even I, when I first played the complete versions of Arcueid's and Ciel's route, reminded myself after 20 years: "Ah... I wasn't trying to make a romantic game, but that was way more romantic than I expected..."
Love blooms better in extreme situations.
Nasu: Yes. I think playing a route will make you fall in love with its heroine. I can't hide that I fell for all of them... The art and voices were so intense I went out for the wool and came home shorn... I finished Arc's route thinking "I see... I've lived my whole life just to meet this Arc... Hehe, how cute...", and then I went to play Ciel's route, the speech changed to "I can't believe this... Ciel is my waifu...". And when I returned to my senses, I remind myself that I'm too old to be saying those things (laughs).
(laughs) It's great that things can feel this new with someone you knew for 20 years already.
Nasu: I have to comment on how great Takeuchi's new Arcueid and Ciel look. And not only that, but their voice acting is also wonderful. The girls from the original can't compete with that.
By the way, I heard the news that after TsukiR's release, a two-player fighting game titled Melty Blood:Type Lumina (shortened as MB:TL) will be released. What are you aiming for with that?
Nasu: You'll know the details of this project in your interview with the developer duo from French Bread. TsukiR tells the story of the Near Moon, so I still have to make the Far Moon, and the players must know about one more thing I'd want to show. Finishing TsukiR will leave you satisfied, but not full. I approached French Bread in hopes of satiating this hunger with a fighting game.
Where does MB:TL's story happen in relation to TsukiR?
Nasu: An what-if event happening 10 days before TsukiR's starting point. I wanted MB:TL to show a bit of what I couldn't fit inside TsukiR.
What part TsukiR players should pay attention to?
Nasu: We included a lot of battle voices on this one. We tried to do it like Granblue Fantasy VS, where the dialogue changes a lot for specific pairs of characters. For example, when a character takes a hit, they say "You're good!", but when they fight a character they already know all too well, this damage line changes to "Stop!" or "You're annoying!".
I had a lot of fun testing all the different character combinations on that game.
Nasu: When you stop to think about, Shiki fighting Arcueid saying the same things he says to every other vampire he fights feels very wrong. That's why I made MB:TL with a lot of different voice sets to enjoy. For example, Shiki vs Arcueid will feel less like a life-or-death battle and more like a lovey-dovey couple having some fun. When Arcueid's combo lines change from "This will finish you!" to "Of course! Absolutely! I'm a lady!", you see she's having a bit too much fun, even.
Takeuchi: The barks on every attack change? That's amazing, but isn't it a lot of dialogue to make?
Nasu: Yeah. I started doing it just because I felt like it, but I realized this will be the death of me... That said, every bit contributes to the fun. If you try MB:TL after playing TsukiR, it'll feel like the best dessert imaginable.
We talked a lot about many aspects not only of TsukiR but also of MB:TL. Give one final message to the fans eagerly waiting for the release.
Nasu: I had you all waiting for a lot longer than I should, due to miscellaneous problems, pausing the development once, and my own incompetence. However, I finally finished the game and I can proudly say that everything that happened helped us reach where we are now. Hold on a bit longer until the planned release date, August 26th.
Takeuchi: I must first apologize from the bottom of my heart for the huge gap between the game's announcement and release. The doujin version of Tsukihime was composed of the stories of the 3 main heroines Arcueid, Ciel, and Akiha, and of the two sub-heroines Hisui and Kohaku, but TsukiR is being first released with only Near Moon side, containing Arc and Ciel's pair of main heroine stories, so I must apologize even harder to the fans of the remaining Far Moon heroines. Please wait just a little longer for their stories. We asked ourselves for a long time what we wanted to after releasing Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, often considered the peak of the traditional visual novel genre, and it feels like we finally have a solid answer: a game filled with all the technology, passion, and heart that Nasu's Type-Moon staff can provide. Please look forward to the release day.}}