RPGamer Feature - Trinity Universe Interview
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Developer: Idea Factory
Publisher: NIS America
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Crossover titles are a dime a dozen, but in the RPG realm they are less common, but serve the purpose of creating delicious fan fodder. Last year, NIS America graced North America with Cross Edge, and now this year, they're at it again with Trinity Universe. Featuring our beloved favourites from Disgaea, and some newer faces from the Atelier series, it would seem that Idea Factory, Nippon Ichi Software, and Gust decided to once again have a three-way to produce another piece of crossover pie.

RPGamer was lucky enough to get in touch with one of our favourite ladies in the industry, Nao Zook, to talk all things Trinity Universe. She also brought a friend along for the ride to share some insight into the localization as well. Let's dive into this wacky world known as Trinity Universe, especially before Etna throws a fit and more Prinnies get hurt!

First off, I just want to say hello to our good friends at NIS America on behalf of Sam Marchello and Michael Cunningham here at RPGamer! It has been a while since we last talked with you guys. It seems you guys are bringing over another crossover title - can you tell us a bit about Trinity Universe?
Nao Zook: Hello, hello! It is always fun to chat with you guys! Thank you for having me here at RPGamer. I am excited to talk about Trinity Universe! Trinity Universe was developed by Idea Factory as a collaboration with Gust and Nippon Ichi Software. There are familiar faces from Gust and NIS in the game. So even if you never played games from Idea Factory, I'm sure these characters will make you feel at home :)

Trinity Universe has two main characters, Kanata and Rizelea, with two different stories. Kanata became "Demon Dog King" after refusing to sacrifice himself and turn into a "Demon God Gem." The reason for this ritual is that his ancestors have found that the gemstone emits some special energy in the Netheruniverse that prevents drifting objects from colliding with the Netheruniverse's capital, Empyria.

So what's this gemstone? Well, it is just a big rock. As you can see in the image, it is not so pretty and wouldn't be fun to become one. So, you wouldn't blame why the good-looking young Kanata didn't want to become the Demon God Gem, right? Ha, ha...

Anyway, if Kanata doesnít become the gemstone, who will protect Empyria from these colliding drifting objects? Kanata came up with a brilliant way to prevent Empyria from getting destroyed! He thought if he sent all the drifting objects out of orbit before they reach Empyria, everything would be okay. That's how he starts his adventure. He encounters very interesting people and things during his journey. Now, it's your turn to take a Netheruniverse-style road trip with Kanata! (Or should I say... drift trip?)

I can go on and on about Rizelea's story, but let's keep moving. You can check out her story on the official Trinity Universe website.

We know there are two plotlines in Trinity Universe, but what are the differences between Kanata and Rizelea's? Since this is a crossover story, do their plotlines intersect at all?
NZ: Oops, I jumped ahead... well, there are two different stories, but they co-exist in the same Netheruniverse. So, Kanata and Rizelea interact with each other in their stories. You can see how they tackle the same goal differently and, maybe, eventually work together!

From what we understand, there are two factions in Trinity Universe: the Goddess Faction versus the Demon Lord Faction. What differences are found between both sides?
NZ: Yes, there are two factions in Trinity Universe. Let me explain what they belong to, and go over the differences and similarities!

As I mentioned earlier, Kanata's ancestors have sacrificed their lives to turn into Demon God Gems in order to protect the Netheruniverse' capital, Empyria. Even if Kanata decided not to become a gemstone, he still goes out there to protect the capital in his own way... whether it's a good idea or not.

Rizelea is a member of the Goddess Union, which keeps peace and order in the Netheruniverse. Even though Rizelea can be bit violent at times, she is pure at heart. Her job as a member of the Goddess Union is to defeat all evil-spirited creatures, monsters, aliens... you name it. She's traveled to hundreds of worlds, so she's been there, done that. Rizelea wants more than that, though. She wants to understand why these creatures turn evil, and why drifting objects are attracted to Empyria. So, finally she decided to leave the organization to pursue her own investigation.

Both of them belong to a faction that tries to protect the Netheruniverse. Even if their means to go about it are different from each other, their goal is the same. Kanata and Rizelea are also similar in a way that they donít just follow orders. They have their own minds and are very independent. So imagine if these two encounter each other somewhere in the Netheruniverse... will they butt heads or get along? I wonder...

Since this is a joint effort with Nippon Ichi Software, Idea Factory, and Gust, what guest appearances can RPGamers expect from these companies respective franchises? Who is your favorite guest character that appears in Trinity Universe and why?
NZ: Isn't it just so awesome to be able to play with your favorite characters from different games in one title? Let's see... there will be Etna, Prinny, Flonne, Pamela, Violet, and so on. My favorite guest character? This might be too predictable, but I have to say "Prinny!" With Trinity Universe's awesome system, Active Anime Adventure, Prinny, along with all other characters, are animated and look so cute. Prinny usually gets harsh treatment, but at least he looks pretty and lively.

Can you explain to us how the combat works in Trinity Universe? What are some of the unique aspects in the combat worth noting?
NZ: Trinity Universe has three aspects of its battle system: Skill Links, Fury Chains, and Soul Breaks.

Skill Linking is something similar to a fighting game. Let's say you are playing with Kanata, and press "o, o, o, x, o, o, o." That will activate a special skill. And if you combine several sequences, like "o, o, o, x, o, o, o, x, x" you will be able to combine a special skill attack and other attack. (The sequences here are not real, I just made it up!) The more you combine sequences, the more powerful attack you'll do. Also, each character has their own special skills, so there will be a lot of "button-pressing!" It might be a good idea to play some Tekken or Street Fighter before playing Trinity Universe! Ha, ha!

Fury Chain is a system where you can pass the attack onto the next character. If you press the R1 button during your turn, you will see icons of characters. When you pass the attack to the next character, attack damage and accuracy will increase, and as a bonus, you may receive extra points for your AP or HP after battle. So, teaming up with other characters is important!

Last but not least, Soul Break! This is an attack where you can destroy a boss' barrier. When you use this attack, you can decrease the enemyís defense, so it should be easier to defeat them. Not only that, it tends to increase the chance of rare item drops as well!

Does picking a faction influence which characters you get within the game?
NZ: When you select Kanata as your main character, you'll have Tsubaki, Etna, Prinny, and Pamela as your allies. And Rizelea will have Flonne, Violet, and Lucius. You can get other characters as your allies even if they are not originally in your team.

We know that this is the second crossover title that you've brought over to North America. Do you think there is a strong audience for these crossover-RPGs? What factors did you consider before announcing Trinity Universe?
NZ: I believe there is definitely a strong audience for crossover-RPGs. NISA has released most of Gust and NIS titles in the past, and our strong fan base is built upon their titles. So I believe it is such a treat for our fans to be able to see these familiar faces in one game. It is a pure joy to have an opportunity to release a title like this, which we know our fans will enjoy.

What are some other series that youíve worked on that you would like to see make it into a crossover and in what way?
NZ: Hmmm, this is a tough question. Personally, I think it would be interesting to see Gig from Soul Nomad, Thursday and Champloo from the Disgaea series, and Overlord Badman from the My Lord series in one game. I donít even know how they could be in the same game, though.

How much replay value do you believe Trinity Universe has? What is its lasting appeal? Is there a New Game + mode or lots of bonus content?
NZ: Let's see, there are two stories, so you can play two rounds of the game for sure. Each story has 3 different endings, so if you'd like to see all of the endings you can play 6 times. After the ending of each story, you will get more dungeons and there is a New Game + function to help you stock up on items and such. You can keep exploring the added dungeons. As for bonus content, youíll get to unlock lots of images, and there will be plenty of DLC as well. So, I say the reply value of Trinity Universe is massive!

Will there be a deluxe edition for Trinity Universe?
NZ: We are offering a gorgeous hard cover art book at the RosenQueen store for pre-orders. This art book contains full color artwork, rough sketches, information, and lots more! It is 8 x 10 inches and comes with 40 pages of Trinity Universe illustrations. I had a chance to take a look at the sample art book, and it is simply beautiful. I hope you'll like it too!

How difficult is it to localize a crossover project? What are some of the challenges you've faced while localizing Trinity Universe?
NZ: Let me introduce you our editor/script writer for Trinity Universe, Nick Doerr! He worked on Trinity Universe and several other NISA titles. I think he would be the right person to answer this question.

Nick Doerr: Hello! Thanks for taking interest in Trinity Universe. Localizing a crossover project like TriUni is a pretty daunting task. It involves knowing about any crossover characters beforehand, what their personalities are like, and the game they've previously appeared in. That said, a lot of the information comes naturally from the translation. I just infuse what the characters are like in the US. One challenge was Violet Ė her title, Atelier Violet, never made it to the US. Her character is completely new to us, but she's an established alchemist in Japan! In those cases, we have to rely on the personality of the original Japanese. Trinity Universe actually has as many original characters as crossover characters, so as a whole it wasn't too difficult. The greatest challenge will be the fans' reactions to the game. I hope everyone enjoys the flavor of humor Trinity Universe got injected with.

Considering how close you work with Gust and Idea Factory, are you guys at all considering the possibility of licensing titles such as Ar tonelico III?
NZ: I got the feeling that all these questions above were just a buildup to this question? :P

Well, we are hoping that we can release this title. So to answer your question, yes we are definitely considering Ar tonelico III as our future title. As much as our fans want it, we want it as well! :)

What about any of the new Atelier games such as Atelier Lina or Atelier Judie PSP?
NZ: We don't know if we will get these titles at this moment. We do have Atelier Rorona on the horizon, so we'll have to work on it and release it to our fans first! Then we may be able to consider another Atelier series. :)

RPGamer would like to thank Nao Zook and Nick Doerr from NIS America for taking the time to answer our questions. Trinity Universe is set to release sometime June 2010, but until then, check out NIS America's official website, and while you're at it, have a look at the contest they are running! Vote for your favourite Trinity Universe image and see it transformed into a Giclee Print! Voting has already begun, although personally my vote is for all things Prinny!

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