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Interview: Famitsu w/ Tsujimoto and Fujioka on MH3, 2008

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Famitsu, a Japanese gaming magazine, interviewed MH3 producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and MH3 director Kaname Fujioka about Monster Hunter 3. This interview took place on September 20, 2008. Found on [1].

Someone by the name of "Ben Wood" from the "Army of Puppets" is given credit for translating the entire interview.



Interview

Development Concept

1. First, please tell us about the development concept and status of TRI.

F – We are making the game with the intention of packing in absolutely everything that we currently want to do. The process really is a lot of fun.

T – Saying “going back to the starting point” may cause some to jump to mistaken conclusions, but the basic development concept is to look over the game “Monster Hunter” again from the very starting point. Lots of ideas have been produced through the process of rethinking everything from zero, and the current development status is that everything has finally started to come together.



2. What changes did the move from PlayStation 2 to Wii bring about?

F – The change in hardware allowed us to rebuild the system side of the game from the roots up. The effect of this is huge. Up until DOS we used the same system as MH1, simply developing further along that already established line. However, among the development staff there was also the thinking that simply building on MH1 was also going to make it difficult to truly expand the breadth of play in the game. So, with the hardware changing, we decided to just go for it and look everything over again from zero. It feels a lot like it did when we where making MH1, constantly trying new things and going through trial and error, and eventually creating another, totally new “Monster Hunter.”


Game Field

3. What kind of place is this island you have shown us?

F – The first field that the hunters will explore. The place that outlines our concept for this title.



4. As it is an island, we presume that means it is surrounded by water?

F – Correct. You can also go underwater. When underwater you can not only swim forward, back left and right but also up and down. This was a big challenge for us.



5. Is the need to breath an element?

F – Yes it is.

T – However, it is not designed to greatly limit play. Only to the extent that while underwater you will sometimes have to think about breathing.

F – While underwater a gauge will be displayed that gradually goes down. Just like the stamina gauge used when running on land. It was something of a problem to start with, but now it is an easy to enjoy, exciting new element.



6. Will controls on land and underwater be very different?

F – Just like the hunters, monsters can also move up and down, so you have to be able to respond to those movements. But the controls on land and underwater are not totally different.

T – What is important during underwater hunting is depth perception, a sense of distance. Once you get a grip on that underwater hunting is quite easy to enjoy.



7. Some of the screenshots also show fish swimming underwater, don’t they.

T – That’s right. You can kill these fish and cut materials from them, obtaining things that will be useful in your life as a hunter.



8. There is also an image of a hunter using a torch in a dark cave. Will things like that be needed in order to explore dark places?

F – Torches are used, as items. They are used to provide light in caves. Up until now even entering the darkest cave did not hinder your vision, but this time some locations will be pitch black. So when in a cave you will need to use a torch to light your way to continue the hunt.


Monsters

The types and life cycles of the monsters have been totally renewed. The staff say that one of the points they have focused on most closely in really bringing the monsters to life this time is finding the place of each within the ecological system. How will the monsters act within this newly established circle of life? Next, we pursued some details concerning the new monsters and they way in which they will live.

Lagiacrus - A giant monster, known as the ruler of the seas. The power of this blue scaled titan is beyond belief! A flick of its tail is all it takes to sink a passing ship. Just as its name suggest, it mainly lives in the sea, but it is also more than capable of functioning on land.

Jaggi - The male of a species of smaller monster that dwells on the island. The image shows it eating a fish, suggesting that it lives near water. Is far more brightly colored than the female.

Jaggia - The female of a species of smaller monster that dwells on the island. Protects their eggs in the nest while the male is hunting, viciously attacking anyone who comes too close.

Great Jaggi - A middle sized monster with a large white crest. Apparently similar to standing to the pack leader monsters from previous games. The sharp talons on its legs look like its primary weapons.

  • Some of the monsters from the previous games will reappear, but they will act totally differently to how they did before.



9. All of the monsters have been reworked?

F – Yes. All elements relating to monsters have been reworked from zero. The new monsters are, of course, brand new, but even those monsters from the previous games that appear again should feel new and different.



10. You’ve provided images of four monsters for us here (those outlined above). The main image this time is sea dragons, then?

T – That’s right. These are representative of the image we are going for with the game.

F – The Sea Dragon equates to the ruler of the seas. It is in the position that Reoreus (Rathalos / Rathian) has filled in the series up until now, and it’s a pretty handsome fellow (laugh).

T – I guess it could be called straight-up strength…? It isn’t one for tricky moves.



11. And you fight the Sea Dragon underwater?

F – That’s right. But as the hunt progresses it will also come up onto land, so you never only fight it underwater. If you don’t feel comfortable with underwater hunting yet you can bring it up onto the land. That is up to the player.



12. I’m also seeing Ranpos (raptor) like monsters here?

F – Yes, there are the Ranpos of TRI. There is both a male and a female, with the female protecting their eggs. The mail hunts around the nest while the female protects the eggs. These monsters live in packs.

Ecosystem

13. Has the ecosystem been made more realistic?

F - One of our concepts is to depict a far more solid, realistic ecosystem. To take on the challenge of just how much of a feeling we can impart of the hunters entering into an already firmly established ecosystem. That is what we are paying the most attention to.

T – We have been thinking about the relationships between the monsters that exist together in the field, and the nature of the symbiotic relationship that exists between them. These elements are totally depicted as well as heavily reflected in game play. That is what we are aiming for, anyway. So, until now the situations that occur in each area have been predetermined, to some degree, but this time things are different. All of the elements in every area of the field will all move and act at once. The way in which these move will also change depending on the situations the hunters come across.



14. Can you give us some more details of this?

F – This is just a small example, but until now each monster has acted alone, haven’t they. They rarely acted with an awareness of the other monsters around them. However, this time they will act with a very distinct awareness. The smallest movement by the main monster will effect and begin to change the surrounding situation.

T – You enter a certain area and there just happens to be a large monster in the back of the area, and just happens to be a pack of smaller monsters in the front. How do the hunters respond to this situation? That kind of thinking is going to be required.

F – Due to this setup, it means this time out you will often actually be inciting monsters to fight each other. Just coming across such a thing happening on its own accord is enough to make you smile. This is a different kind of fun from that of simply hunting a large monster. “Monster Hunter” is, originally, a game that hopes to show a depth to the ecosystem in which these monsters live. The fun of hunting the big game remains, more solid than ever, but I always want TRI to show off an appealing, deep ecosystem.


Weapons

One of the biggest questions is how will hunter’s equipment and actions changed? It seems that there are plenty of new elements that will create this totally new hunting experience!



15. The process of obtaining materials and creating weapons and armor is the same as previous games in the series?

F – No changes there. Of course, it has become more convenient, and elements that were lacking have been added, but fundamentally there are no big changes. Each monster has its own set of armor, just as they have until now.



16. You’ve revealed some images of equipment here. Has everything been changed?

F – Everything has been redone. Everything has been reworked, right down to the route along which armor and weapons are enhanced.



17. I take it we can look forward to new weapons, too?

F – I can’t talk specifically about new types of weapon at this stage of development. The only comment I can make is that it is okay to have expectations of some interesting new elements… can you let me off with that? (laugh)

T – For now, just look at these illustrations and let your expectations build. We’ll be giving regular updates from now on.


Hunter Actions

18. What about changes in hunter actions?

T – Concerning the actions used when hunting monsters, you’ll feel a clear difference as soon as you play the game.

F – In TRI the status applied to each monster have been increased. Although it is impossible to see these status for yourself, maybe making it a little hard to realize right away, but the hunters have new actions that allow them to influence these new status.



19. You’ve rebuilt actions from zero too, then?

F – As some things didn’t need to be changed this aspect isn’t totally different. But we’ve added new elements of interaction between the hunter and monsters, and so the feeling of playing the game is quite different.

T – You can still hunt as you have until now, but stick solely to that you’ll run into a few things that will make you think “huh?”

F – That is the time to use the new actions and bring things back in your favor. There are other ways of hunting outside of simply whittling down monster’s health. With the elements we’ve talked about the monster’s status will then change in various ways.



20. What kind of changes?

T – Until now we’ve only seen three states – normal, angry and weakened. This time we have a lot more of these.



21. Like getting hungry?

F – That’s a possibility, these are living creatures after all (laugh). What we want to do is show these elements in real time during your hunt.


Village and Town

22. The village and town will be used in the same way as until now?

F – Exactly the same. The village is the offline mode, during which you play alone. The town is the base for online operations. There are facilities here for playing online with other people.



23. What are the concepts for each?

F – “A town surrounded by desert” and “a village surrounded by the sea.”



24. And you can interact with the villagers in the village?

F – Yes. Offline the game progresses through your relationships with the villagers. Listening to their problems, things like that. In the town your interaction with other, real people is the focus.



25. Will the balance between offline and online be similar to previous games, too?

F – Yes. Offline only players still get a good slice of game. But if you have the ability to play online, we hope that you will do so.


End of Interview, Tidbits

1) The movements of the monsters have taken a big step up. T – “The overall motion of the monsters have really evolved. You should be able to clearly see the difference as soon as you see them moving.”

2) The new system also allows for monsters to now pursue the hunters from area to area. However, the staff are currently deciding whether or not to include this in the finished game.

3) Concerning controls. “The control system is pretty much decided now. We are taking advantage of the unique properties of the Wii Remote.” This means the control system will likely be very different from that which the series has used until now.

4) Among the items in the game there are some that will change the monster’s status. For example, the torch. Some monsters may flee when they see the light of a torch, while it may attract others toward you.

  • Development Status – 33%

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