This portion of the interview provides a glimpse at the passion and influences that went into making Radiant Historia. The creators featured here are Mr. Takayashiki and Mr. Konishi, both prominent designers who worked on the high concept and visual aspects of the game. This portion of the interview is presented in five parts.

In the concept stage, the protagonist was a sword

Radiant Historia was born of collaboration between Atlus and several creative minds outside the company. How did this project take off?

Takayashiki: It was around autumn of 2007 when I pitched my plan to Atlus, so it must have been around spring of that year when the idea first took hold. My original designs were for a game that would end up very niche, but I actually wanted something that would feel familiar enough for people to get into. That's how the prototype for Radiant Historia came about. From there, I consulted with Mr. Konishi quite a bit about the worldview and the character designs, and once I was sure of where we were going with it, I knew I wanted to get a video game company on board to make it a real game. It was sort of slow going at the beginning.

Konishi: If I remember correctly, there was a lot of talk about the story being a fictitious historical drama, where there would be a vertical axis of timelines. I remember thinking, if that's the case, this is going to need a lot of characters before we do anything else.

Takayashiki: See, I don't usually ask Mr. Konishi to draw characters based on any particular details or descriptions. I usually just give him a brief idea of what I have in mind for the world, and then I sit back and wait, looking forward to seeing the characters he comes up with. Once he creates them, I make them talk and move them around... That's our usual style, anyway. So I can understand why that was Mr. Konishi's first thought, Haha.

Beside the points you had in the beginning with timelines on a vertical axis and a historical drama on the horizontal one, what other elements did you consider at the beginning? How much had you already decided on in terms of the world?

Takayashiki: If you mean the theme of the story... Then there wasn't anything planned just yet. I had already considered making time travel the primary mechanic, but it wasn't like the parallel timelines kind of deal we have going now. It was more of an idea to let the protagonist move freely through time.

Konishi: We were also toying with the concept of immortality. One of the ideas we had was to make an immortal character that would stand by and watch the political drama of the people in each country play out.

Takayashi: After that, the story changed so that the protagonist would be a sword instead of a human. The idea was that the story of those that came into its possession would unfold into a grand epic.

A sword as the protagonist? That's quite a bold setting.

Takayashi: I just thought it made more sense than having a human traveling through time. But then I got some advice from Atlus. They said it would be hard for players to get any sense of emotional attachment to a protagonist that wasn't human.


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