Thanks to dojimasdragongirl for translating this crazy long interview with nagoshi from famitsu. This one is from back in August right after Shin Ryu ga Gotoku was announced!
There’s some neat little details in here especially about our new series protagonist Kasuga Ichiban.
Q: So, that explains the New Ryu ga Gotoku Project. Incidentally, the new protagonist Kasuga Ichiban, what kind of person is he?
Nagoshi: Our protagonist until now, Kiryu Kazuma, though he might have been a naughty kid at one time, when we met him in Ryu ga Gotoku he was more of a capable person. Someone who knows himself, and can deal with even hostile people with tolerance. Of course, we filled in Kiryu’s youth later, but when we met him he gave a strong impression of being already mature, I think.
Q: That’s certainly true.
Nagoshi: In the New Ryu ga Gotoku Project, we decided we wanted to redo the story of a chinpira. Because his way of life is completely the opposite of that name “Ichiban” [“First/Best”] he develops a name complex, and we thought that would be an interesting story to tell. You could say he was beaten by his name. I think the New Ryu ga Gotoku Project, being the story of the growth of such a man, should be a success story.
Q: I see. That’s really different from Kiryu’s image as a protagonist, isn’t it.
Nagoshi: Since Ichiban has such a complex, that makes him reckless. He’s a completely different character from capable Kiryu. Even if we made him a person who could rival Kiryu in the same sort of situations, if we don’t make him different from the great man, the player would probably end up saying, “Yeah, Kiryu could have done that.” We wanted to make the new protagonist someone that would make people think, “Kiryu is great, but I like this guy too.”
Q: So that’s the true meaning of the statement that “Kiryu’s story is finished, but the story of Ryu ga Gotoku is not.” So next, I want to ask about the PS4 release Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami 2. The original, Ryu ga Gotoku 2, was impressive for having such a short development period, with its release coming so soon after the first Ryu ga Gotoku. Looking back on Ryu ga Gotoku 2, Nagoshi-san, what sort of game do you see it as?
Nagoshi: Though I didn’t really pay much attention to coverage of the original Ryu ga Gotoku 2 at the time, honestly Ryu ga Gotoku 2 wasn’t meant to have such a short development period. Even so, having produced the first Ryu ga Gotoku, the producer Kikuchi (Kikuchi Masayoshi) insisted, “Since we accept that creating a new IP would be difficult in these circumstances, while we have that energy we should make it our priority to put out the best possible sequel we can as quickly as possible.” There was also a counter viewpoint: “We did it properly once, so rather than rushing it, we want to make it our priority to do it properly again.” There were also voices saying that.
Q: That must have made it a hard decision to make.
Nagoshi: At that time, as the PS2 was maturing, its successor the PS3 was about to appear in the marketplace. As it would take time for the PS3 to mature in the marketplace, I thought we should release a PS2 sequel before that. But the timing meant there wasn’t much time to make the sequel, so it would take a lot of processes happening at once to do it in that one year period.
Q: And so, more than 10 years later, again, what kind of title is Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami 2 going to be?
Nagoshi: In 2016, using the first Ryu ga Gotoku as a base, we released Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami. What I felt at that time, while revising the parts of the images and production etc. that were badly done 10 years ago, was that I was happy to finish it off and perfect it. As for Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami 2, it’s the same with that, because the development of the original Ryu ga Gotoku 2 suffered at that time because of technical limits and time limitations etc. – to properly complete what we couldn’t complete, you could say that’s the games’ tagline. Other than that, the added scenario in Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami was popular with players, so we wanted to put effort into an added scenario in Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami 2 to answer those expectations, I think.
Q: You mentioned the added scenario at the presentation. Since it seems to concern the fan favourite Majima Goro, I’m curious about the contents.
Nagoshi: Despite Majima’s part in the first Ryu ga Gotoku being limited, his unique presence made him a popular character. Because of that, in Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami, we added to his part, but in Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami 2 we thought maybe we could add a scenario that would allow Majima to be more active. The staff immediately agreed. While I think Ryu ga Gotoku Kiwami’s extra Nishikiyama sections increased the amount of drama, being able to play as Majima and enjoy his battle action this time is something else entirely. Also, the episode continues the story of Makoto, who appeared in Ryu ga Gotoku 0: Chikai no Basho, so you can look forward to that.