By tansuikabutsu 2 Comments
The Gyakuten Saiban design documents from 10 years ago
- In previous interviews, you said you got the chance to make Gyakuten Saiban after making Dino Crisis 2, when the company decided to try let you make something of your own.
Takumi: That's right. I'm very thankful for that. That's why I spent my break after completing Dino Crisis 2 writing design papers.
- I thought the story was that Mikami remembered he had a proposal of yours buried somewhere. Is that wrong?
Takumi: That's not how it happened. Mikami's story is probably about some other proposal I wrote.
- I see...
Takumi: When I was hired at Capcom, there was talk about teaming up with a certain correspondence education company and making a detective game with educational elements. The plans never materialized, but I was involved with it for a while. When I was thinking about that game, I wrote a design based on the concept of pointing out contradictions. The protagonist wasn't a lawyer, though. Maybe Mikami was thinking about those plans.
- So, after Dino Crisis 2, you took your ideas from that time and wrote a new design?
Takumi: Yes. By the way, I brought along the design documents from that time with me today. (pulls out two design papers for Gyakuten Saiban)
- Wow, amazing!
Takumi: This one, with the title "Lawyer Game" was the first draft.
- The date on the front page is September 1.
Takumi: We had a lot of time off in August, so I spent my summer vacation writing this first draft. This second draft I have here was written one month later. Ah, this image of the courtroom was drawn for me by Suekane-san (Kumiko Suekane, the series' first designer).
- It seems the title on this draft is "Sabaiban" 
Takumi: "Sabaiban", a title full of self-confidence, isn't it? (laughs)
- I heard the story many times, but this is the first time I've seen it in writing! By the way, except for the illustration what changed between the first and second drafts?
Takumi: In a word, the first draft was just an outline.
- Ah, so when you got the green light on that you went ahead and filled in the details for the second draft?
Takumi: No, they said I can make anything I feel like, so they didn't really mind what was in the proposal. I wrote the second proposal in more detail to communicate my thoughts to the team. The contents ended up being much more of a game.
- They really said, "you can do whatever you want"?
Takumi: That's right. ...However, when I said, "how about a lawyer game?" I ended up receiving a phone call from Mikami (laughs).
The first Gyakuten Saiban proposal
Takumi: I wrote the first proposal during the summer vacation, so it doesn't have any illustrations.
- The contradiction concept was taken from the previous detective game, but I see this time you used a lawyer from the get go.
Takumi: To strengthen the game's main selling point, "pointing out contradictions", I wanted a profession more suitable for the job than a detective. Thinking that, I noticed that there was an opening for a lawyer (laughs).
- An opening for a lawyer.
Takumi: At that time I thought it would be a game where your target is becoming a lawyer.
- Not a prosecutor?
Takumi: A prosecutor is someone who delivers evidence in order to corner a suspect. For showing contradictions, I thought you needed the one who opposes them, the defense attorney.
- I see. You intended to make the game for a portable console from the very beginning, didn't you?
Takumi: I like the closeness of holding a game console with both hands. The concentration you feel when looking at a small screen.
- A similar feeling to reading a book.
Takumi: That's right. When you want a personal sense of absorption, nothing beats a portable console.
 "Sabaiban": A portmanteau of saiban ("court") and survivor (in its Japanese pronounciation)