Trinity Trigger

Japanese gaming outlet Famitsu recently sat down with four of the developers behind upcoming RPG, Trinity Trigger — which was leaked earlier this week for a Japan release later this year.

They spoke about their goals in creating a "traditional RPG" in the vein of Bravely Default, Octopath Traveler, and Seiken Densetsu (the Mana series), which some of the developers also worked on, as well as what to expect from the music, and what it's like for younger members of the team to work with industry veterans.

The interviewees are:

  • Composer Kikuta Hiroki
  • Scenario Planner Kubota Yuura
  • Director Isobe Takumi
  • Character Designer Kazama Raita

Here are the highlights from the interview, translated by Robert Sephazon:

The game has been in development since 2019

Isobe-san: The project started at the beginning of 2019. At the time, development of traditional RPGs had halted at my company, so I had decided that if no one else would create one, I would make one myself, and so proceeded with the planning process. I have been reaching out to fellow developers since then. In recent years, the number of new original RPG franchises have also decreased, and when I asked my colleagues to join in making a traditional RPG, there was a positive reaction, and I was very happy for the support.

Trinity Trigger follows in the footsteps of new, traditional RPGs

Kubota-san: When I first spoke with Isobe-san, he was enthusiastic when expressing his desire to create more traditional RPGs such as Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler that I was involved in developing. Recently, there have been few traditional RPGs with this level of action, so I was excited to hear about Isobe-san’s plan.

Kikuta-san: I was happy when Isobe-san told me that he wanted to make a game reminiscent of Seiken Densetsu games we made 30 years ago. When I think that new creators look up to me and that there are new games I can create now, I’m thrilled that I worked so hard back then. [laughs]

Kubota-san: The narrative is traditional at the beginning of the story, but gradually develops into something more. I hope everyone will enjoy playing this game and how the scenario develops over the course of the game.

"It's a gathering of some fantastic creators"

Kazama-san: I think it’s a goal and dream for illustrators to have characters they design to exist in the world as they have designed them. This game, which is an action RPG, was able to fulfil those wishes, and I accepted the invitation in two replies. When I learned that Kubota-san and Kikuta-san were also participating, I was even more motivated.

Kubota-san: I was also surprised when I learned of all the participating members. It’s a gathering of some fantastic creators. [laughs]

Isobe-san: I was very nervous [to work with them]! [smiles] These creators have been involved in some of my favourite games, and I felt pressured because of our age gap, but they enjoyed the direction of the game, and we were able to continue.

The world is set in the ruins of an ancient god battle

Kubota-san: The fundamental specifications of games such as Trinity Trigger are determined at the beginning, so it’s more of an approach on how to flesh out the world and narrative. It feels like we’ve put together a number of ideas while sharing our thoughts and feedback with each other while also coming up with various ideas together with Three Rings.

Kubota-san: Regarding the visuals of the game, it was challenging deciding how they would represent the world itself. I first came up with the idea of a tall tree or tower, but I was wondering what to try and do from there. In this world, weapons that gods used when fighting in the past are embedded in the world here and there, and when I came up with this, I felt that it would symbolise the world.

The soundtrack was partially composed before the game had visuals

Isobe-san: After identifying the number of songs [in the game], the total number was 70 on the high end, but Kikuta-san was in charge of all of them.

Kazama-san: There are that many songs? Amazing.

Kikuta-san: Making music for games is more difficult than it should be. One can't compose music in a fictional world without diving deep into your imagination. Occasionally, I had to work in an environment that lacked definite visuals—I had to make music for artwork that didn’t yet exist.

Isobe-san: Kikuta-san finished the main theme and the battle theme first, and both were as spectacular as I had imagined. The main theme is a song with a deep feeling that makes us feel the grandness of the world itself, but also hints towards the future of the main characters. The battle theme is cool as well, and I believe that players will feel a nervous tension while fighting.

The "joy of discovering" is the hook

Isobe-san: This game is being developed with “the joy of discovering” as a major pillar... if you see a curious back alley, you may wonder what’s down there, and if you find a mysterious box, you think about what could be inside.

This excitement of discovering something is integrated into the game in various ways. In battle, players can freely switch between eight types of weapons, but we have also made it possible to discover the weaknesses of enemies by using various weapons.

Isobe-san: There are many elements that can be found in the field, which makes it the most visually appealing part of discovery. We prepared different things to discover in each area.

For example, in one forest with overgrown trees, we placed partially dead trees. In fact, there’s a hidden path between the dead trees, and further along, there are treasure chests as well as rare enemies. Additionally, there are many elements that players can also discover implemented in the city itself, and it’s entirely possible to discover suspicious information through overhearing conversations between the residents in order to find special goods of the city.

Three Houses
Three of the game's main characters, Cyan, Xantice, and Elise

The main three characters changed a lot

Isobe-san: Xantice caused a bit of trouble. I think it was difficult to balance because I wanted to include Xantice as an adult character who could lead Cyan and Elise.

Kazama-san: Among the three, Xantice had many corrections. In particular, I recall adjusting the armour design many times in detail. While playing, both the front and back of the armour are entirely reflective, so I had to wholly adjust the design and colour.

Kubota-san: It’s interesting to note that Elise changed her personality after the first illustration was completed.
Kazama-san: That did happen! What kind of character was she at first?
Kubota-san: I was thinking about her being slightly more mysterious, but when I saw the completed illustration of Elise, I thought it would be better to change her personality, and so she became a cheerful girl instead.

There will be local multiplayer

Isobe-san: I had been considering local multiplayer since the beginning of the project, and when I first explained the project to Kikuta-san, I was told that multiplayer between three players was an absolute must. Today, playing online is the primary method of multiplayer games, but it's also fun to gather in front of a TV and play with everyone together.

Kikuta-san: The Seiken Densetsu series that we made 30 years ago was also popular because it was fun to gather and play together in front of a TV. It's a wonderful experience, and I’m proud that Isobe-san, who played the games at that time, has entered the gaming industry and is trying to express that same excitement with new and original games.

Kikuta-san: Every developer who helped create this game did so with passion, and I hope that not only friends and siblings, but also parents and children will enjoy playing together.

Translation by Robert Sephazon for Nintendo Life.

A demo for the game is now playable on the Nintendo Switch Japanese eShop, so you can get your own Japanese account if you want to give it a try.

There's no information available on whether it'll be coming to the West yet.

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