Hashimoto-san, do you have any weapons in particular you like or would recommend?
Atsushi Hashimoto, Director: “Let’s see… My favorite weapon is among those not announced yet.” (laughs)
“I would recommend the katana. It’s the first weapon you play with so it’s made to be easier to use, but it feels pretty good to use it. For those who want more heavier, deliberate action there is the axe, and the preferred weapons even among the development staff are quite split. In that sense, each weapon has managed to bring its own personality.”
How did you decide upon the theme of going back and forth between the Living World and the Beyond?
Hashimoto: “Going in order, we first had the idea of going between two worlds. It started off jokingly as going between the worlds of I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, but swapping through worlds as the story progresses was genuinely interesting. And so when it came to the game theme, it sorted flowed into discussing, “Hey, wouldn’t the theme of life and death fit into this system? If we have to go back and forth, then how about a theme of reincarnation?”
What are your thoughts on the world and the story?
Hashimoto: “When deciding the direction of the game, Tokita-san mentioned, “Let’s make it even more gruesome, and I did keep that in mind when creating it. I say gruesome, but that’s limited to the story and shocking scenes that will stir the imaginations of players, rather than actual gruesome portrayals.”
Takashi Tokita, Creative Director: “During the Famicom, Super Famicom, and PlayStation days, games couldn’t really portray everything, so we couldn’t spoil the players with cutscenes that protrayed everything, and instead left it to the players’ imagination.
New intel is up, from 4Gamer translated by Siliconera:
“You have a duty to protect this country. You ones of the living have the duty of connecting life and blessing the birth of people.”
A sovereign who lives in isolation, only trusting herself. Apart from remaining at distance from others, she barely shows herself, to the point where some of her subjects don’t recognize her appearance. Lobelia will uphold the reincarnation cycle above all else, to the point of obsession.
“Resisting against me means resisting against the sovereign. Which means resistance against the country.”
Lobelia’s loyal right-hand man, and trueborn son. The sovereign is the only one he trusts, and he has respected her as a leader rather than a mother since his childhood. He does not have any friends, nor any other people he trusts, but he has never felt anguish over that. With his blind faith in the sovereign, Leo takes upon an antagonistic position against the Watchers, who heed the words of other beings.
The world in the game is split into two planes, the Living World and the Beyond, where dead souls live. While Watchers can go into both worlds with their own will, the first time they visit certain parts of the Beyond, it will be masked in darkness, making it hard to fight. By defeating certain enemies that are linked to the Beyond, they will be able to return the Beyond to an explorable state.
The two worlds have different rules, with the general rule being that Living World objects are breakable and interactable, while the Beyond’s versions are not. This means that you can use tactics like going into the Beyond to use the unbreakable gravestones as cover, while some places will require you to pass over in the Living World, as things like levers don’t function in the Beyond.
The Beyond also has treasure chests that contain items left behind from an unknown era, and spacequakes that warp Kagachi to places unreachable in the Living World.
There are also the ‘Rules of the Beyond’, which can affect battle by installing various conditions onto both Kagachi and the enemies. For example, one Rule that has been activated here is that every attack becomes a critical hit, which can be helpful but also very dangerous when against strong monsters.
The Watchers have the ability to detect the presence of lost souls wandering around with lingering regrets, and their task is to guide them back towards reincarnation by helping solve the reasons for their lingering will. There are also encounters with Daemons awaiting Kagachi, who will lend their power to turn the tide in his favor.
You are able to quick travel between areas in the world that you have been to.
The ONINAKI Demo includes a “Story Mode” that lets you experience the opening part of an epic tale about life, death and reincarnation, and “Battle Mode” where you can enjoy thrilling combat using an upgraded character possessed by four daemons that perform different job roles. You can also carry yo
Dualshockers translated Dengeki interview with the game director and producers :
First off, they explained why they decided to launch a demo for Oninaki. According to Director Hashimoto, one of the main objectives of the Oninakidemo was to make players realize Oninaki isn’t a “high-speed action game”, but an “action RPG”.
Director Hashimoto also spoke about how Oninaki is similar to Final Fantasy V in how you can have fun and choose which jobs to level. Just like in FFV, you’ll be able to clear Oninaki even if you don’t level and use all your jobs. You can just keep using the ones you like the most. Hashimoto added that Oninaki was balanced so that you can clear the game even if you stick to a single job your whole playthrough.
Takashi Tokita mentioned how Oninaki is different from Final Fantasy III, which is reputed to have very difficult boss fights depending on which jobs you use. He specifically mentioned the Hein boss fight, which is reputed to be extremely hard unless you use a Scholar in your party. Oninaki doesn’t have any boss fights like that.
The trio also spoke about Oninaki’s story and how dark and gritty it is, even more so thanI Am Setsunaand Lost Sphear. Atsushi Hashimoto mentioned that while he likes writing dark stories, it’s actually Takashi Tokita who pushed the staff into making Oninaki‘s story this dark. As such, Oninaki‘s scenarist Hirotaka Inaba was initially holding back, but he went all out after a while. Nonetheless, Tokita mentioned how they couldn’t make Oninaki‘s story too dark either, as that would make the game’s rating too high, losing potential players. They mentioned how they ended up self-censoring things to make the game get a rating of Cero B/12 and older.
At the end of the interview, Takashi Tokita explained how in the past, games didn’t have the technology to be more expressive, so nearly everything was portrayed through the story and the text itself. He mentioned games needed stories that were strong enough to fight by themselves, hence why a single good story could make or break a game in terms of reputation and sales. This created an environment when developers would focus a lot on the story, and write stories that couldn’t be portrayed in anime or movies. This is why Tokita decided to make Live a Live‘s iconic story back then, and how he decided on Oninaki‘s as well.
Lastly, Tokita added how he believes we’re in an era where ethics and regulations for content are becoming harsher. So he decided to make a story that tries to push the limits and does as much as it can. He wanted to show just how far you can go with an RPG. He believes that he achieved that with Oninakiand that it’s the biggest point showing his involvement with the game.