What was first hinted at in part of our Little King's Story interview is now a reality, as XSEED Games is bringing Lunar: Silver Star Harmony to North America later this year. XSEED Games was kind enough to coordinate an interview with Game Arts for us, and while he couldn't reveal too much about the game yet, Development Producer Masato Dobashi still had a lot to say about this upcoming reborn classic.
First off, Lunar has had many developers over the years, who exactly is handling this? GameArts? Japan Arts Media? A combination?
Masato Dobashi: This title is a collaborative development effort between Game Arts and Japan Arts Media.
Will combat allow for characters to move around like the original or are they stationary like in Lunar Legend? Could you share any other details about the game's battle system?
Masato Dobashi: Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is basically a remake of the Sega Saturn version. The battle system is also based on the Sega Saturn version, but the graphics have been updated significantly.
During battle, you can manually instruct your character to run up to the enemy to attack, or you can let the AI take over.
Lunar's always been big on music and sound. How much voice acting will there be? Should we expect more songs such as Luna's Boat Song? Any drastic soundtrack changes or is Noriyuki Iwadare still at the helm?
Masato Dobashi: Since this time the title is on a UMD with large capacity, we will have the same movies that were played on the Sega Saturn version. This means you will be able to enjoy Luna's Boat scene as well.
Regarding the soundtrack, of course we will have Iwadare-san continue to work on Lunar. Iwadare-san has made some extra arrangements for this game and created some great music.
This one could be a deal breaker for me. Will there be bromides?
Masato Dobashi: That's still a secret. Please stay tuned.
So, does this perhaps mark a Lunar series revival or just another chance for newer gamers to play this classic?
Masato Dobashi: It's a bit of both. That way everyone can enjoy it, right? I'm personally looking forward to how the Lunar series is going to develop in the future.
The last remake of Lunar on the GBA wasn't as well received by fans as the Sega CD and PlayStation versions. What aspects of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony will appeal to new fans? Long-time fans?
Masato Dobashi: I really think the opinions of Lunar fans towards the series is very important. For this PSP remake, I really wanted to use the Sega Saturn version as the basis to create a solid title because it was also what everyone was hoping for [in Japan].
For the new fans, I would love for them to experience an adventure full of dreams and hopes. Don't you feel like we're lacking those types of RPGs lately? I really wanted to show why Lunar has been loved for 17 years with this new PSP version.
For the old time fans, I would first like to say thank you to everyone. The reason Lunar can be played on the PSP now is because of their long time support and love for this series. For this version, Kei Shigema has put extra effort into the scenario and created a new episode to make it a more complete version of Lunar.
How does XSEED plan on handling the game's quirky humor and sexual innuendos? That was one area that really stood out for me in the prior releases.
Jimmy Soga, XSEED Games: We're still in the early stages of translation so it's hard to say how we will handle it, but it would be a fine balancing act between keeping the original Working Designs English translations as is or to retranslate some of the stuff to be more true to the original Japanese. Working Designs did an excellent localization job, but their text has a lot of 90's pop culture references and possibly some copyright issues that might have been okay when the original was released, but something we need to be more careful about today (such as "Tootsie Rolls", "M&M's", "Wheaties," etc.)
Working Designs was looked on as the North American parent of the Lunar series and always had tons of bonuses (and tons of delays) included with the games. Any early ideas of how you'd like to handle pack-ins?
Masato Dobashi: We are currently discussing with XSEED on this matter so we can't give out any information at this time, but please stay tuned for more details at a later time.
Thank you very much for this opportunity!
We hope everyone is looking forward to the PSP Lunar and will continue to support the series.
RPGamer would like to thank Ken Berry and Jimmy Soga at XSEED Games for helping to coordinate this interview, as well as Masato Dobashi from Game Arts for taking time out to answer these questions for us. Lunar: Silver Star Harmony will be released later this year for the Sony PSP.