Last month, I was able to spend eight hours with upcoming Fate series game Fate/Samurai Remnant. After doing so, I was granted a chance to talk with the game’s director, Ryota Matsushita of Koei Tecmo Games, about the title. Here is what he had to say about making the game, the involvement of the various franchise creators in its development, and a tip or two about what to look forward to while playing the game.
What is your history with the Fate franchise? Have you read the books, played the games, seen the anime, or were you completely new to the series before working on this game?
Initially, I was at the level of “I’m a fan, but I can’t call myself a fan in front of hardcore fans.” At the time I was told about this work, I reviewed the series in its entirety, but since the theme of the title is to “fully depict the Holy Grail War,” I had to review Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero, especially in terms of their style and the themes depicted in them.
How involved was Kinoko Nasu with the creation of Fate/Samurai Remnant?
Kinoko Nasu was involved from the stage where we put together the plot to ensure that the story’s underlying themes and characters were accurate. He was instrumental in making sure that this work was a true “Fate” title. In addition to the story and characters, he was also very fair with us about the gameplay, which greatly improved the game.
It has been reported that Hikaru Sakurai (Fate/Prototype: Fragments of Sky Silver) and Yūichirou Higashide (Fate/Apocrypha) are the main writers of this game. How did they go about writing the story? For example, did they work separately on different scenes and characters or plan the entire story together?
Mr. Sakurai and Mr. Higashide worked with our writers on the story in general. They supervised all the text to maximize the game’s appeal without deviating from Fate‘s literary style. We had our team of writers review the story for each character, but many points were written and added directly to the story.
How was the setting for this game decided on? Why was the Keian Uprising chosen?
One of the reasons is that our company specializes in creating Japanese historical landscapes. We chose a setting that has never been used in Fate before to deliver a completely new experience for the Holy Grail War. Also, in the Fate series, the battle for the Holy Grail is a secret one, so the seemingly peaceful yet turbulent Edo period was the natural choice for this title’s setting in that regard.
The relationship between Musashi and Iori is central to the story. How did this come about? And was this decided before choosing the setting or after?
At the beginning of the project, Miyamoto Iori was not the main character. However, when we decided to make this game “a title that depicts the Holy Grail War from the Master’s point of view,” we decided that Iori’s background and depth as a person would make him an appropriate protagonist. At its core, the game is about Iori, a human being, confronting a Servant with extraordinary powers. His master, Musashi Miyamoto, is one such extraordinary being.
Musashi says Iori was born in the wrong era. What Musashi mean by that and why?
This is an important point in the story. The meaning and reason for this will be revealed in the story that Iori (you, the player) follows, including the Keian period in which it takes place and your encounters with Saber and Iori’s former master.
For Fate fans like me, it is evident that Berserker Musashi is the same “Musashi-chan” seen in Fate/Grand Order. Why was this choice made instead of having a male Musashi or another version of her?
The reason… Needless to say, Miyamoto Musashi in Fate should be Musashi-chan! Not only is she a fan favorite, but she has the power to strongly shake up the story and make this Holy Grail War even more thrilling.
I was always quite poor monetarily in my 8 hours with the game. Even doing every side quest I could, I never had enough money to buy healing items or magical gems for Iori to use in battle. Do you have any suggestions on how to make money in the game (or do you just get more money naturally as the game goes on)?
Iori is a ronin living an impoverished life in a tenement. However, have you accumulated junk in your inventory, such as broken tea cups and old amulets? You can get them in large quantities during your adventures and sell them for money at the general merchant.
What aspect of the game are you the most proud of and why?
That would have to be the novelty of the action in which the Master and Servant fight side by side. Servants are by far stronger than the human protagonist. As such, there is a huge difference in power, but we believe we have achieved a completely new experience of “partners with an unequal and united feeling” while still providing both the exhilaration of an action game and a sense of strategy.
Of the completely new servants in the game, which do you think is the most interesting and why?
Please pay extra attention to Rider. They teach players the overwhelming threat of Servants, the absurdity of the Holy Grail War, and the “unfair” and unpredictable charm of the Fate series.
Fate/Samurai Remnant will be released on September 29, 2023, for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC via Steam.