Final part. For my next gig, I may translate Katsura's column from the latest Dengeki Games (hey, the Catherine stuff proved popular). It's a very short one this month, which will make a nice change from the mega interviews.
Was there a character who was surprisingly popular?
Takumi: One who who surprising was Viola Cadaverini. On one fan site, she placed higher than Maya in their character ranking secion, and that depressed me a little (laughs). Other than her, there's Luke Atmey.
- You didn't think Atmey would be popular?
Takumi: He's an excessively eccentric character, so I had no idea how people would react (laughs). Speaking for myself, I had a lot of fun writing him so I love the character, but public reaction is a separate matter.
- But he was a character that was easy to write.
Takumi: Yeah, he was one of those. Thinking about it, the more orthodox the character is, the more difficult they are to write (laughs).
- So for example, Gyakuten Saiban 3's prosecutor Godot was easy to write?
Takumi: So easy that I had a collection of killer lines for him before the story was even written (laughs). But before we had Godot it was terrible. For Gyakuten Saiban 2, we decided to have a parallel to Edgeworth with Franziska von Karma, but we didn't have that for Gyakuten Saiban 3. We came up with characters like a robot prosecutor, and when Godot finally materialized among all the fumbling, I was very happy.
- On the other hand, Franziska was a set character?
Takumi: That she was. To tell the truth, originally she didn't exist. When I first wrote Gyakuten Saiban 2, Phoenix battled with Edgeworth. But when we looked at the reaction to Gyakuten Saiban 1 and it turned out Edgeworth was very much loved, I thought it wouldn't be fair to have him lose all the time (laughs), and I decided to let him have a more important role in the story. So when we turned the script into a game, we changed him into Franziska. ...we strayed out of topic a little, didn't we? (laughs).
What would you say to Phoenix Wright now that ten years have passed?
Takumi: If it's just one thing, I'd say "thank god we met each other". Until we finalized Phoenix's current design, his look had many twists and turns, and I think the way he ended up was a twist of fate. The design of the second draft's Phoenix was a reflection of opinions at that time, such as "since it's for the GBA it's good to have a kid-oriented design" and "it's better to have him young". But both me and Mr. Suekane who helped with the design felt it wasn't quite right, and we struggled with it a bit. Then Mr. Mikami and Inaba came out and said it's okay for the design not to be kid-oriented. That's the origin of Phoenix's current design. I remember that when I first saw him, his personality immediately came to me.
How did you relieve stress during development?
Takumi: I walked around a lot. Even when I was stuck, I had no choice but going on looking for a solution, so I was always thinking after all. The stress didn't really disappear, so I don't know. But after being stuck for a long time, all the stress purged out when I suddenly came up with a good idea.
- Recently playing with Missile (Takumi's dog) also relieves stress, doesn't it?
Takumi: Ah, certainly. Playing with Missile is fun.
- He recently appeared in media quite a bit.
Takumi: He got some attention because of "Ghost Trick". To tell the truth, I wasn't really a dog person, but he sure is cute (laughs). He's a well-made Pomeranian. He had considerable influence on Ghost Trick, too.
- He's that important (laughs).
Takumi: Yes. But his name's origin was in Gyakuten Saiban.
Do you have interest in the Nintendo 3DS?
Takumi: Of course. I'm very interested in 3D imagery, to the extent that I bought a Virtual Boy on release day. 3D has an impact - it's a dream. I think it's a challenge to see what form we creators can give that dream. I want to make a game that treats that impact well.
What about ten years from now?
Takumi: I'd be happy if people will still be playing my game ten years into the future, but such long-lived games are limited to the likes of Super Mario, don't they? That's why I have no idea what will become of the series from now on. But, I'd like it if people still play the game in whatever form, for example if it came installed by default on mobile machines.