|[Dept. Heaven World Guidance] → Dept. Heaven World Guide part 5 translation
||[Sep. 25th, 2010|03:20 pm]
And it took me a full seven months to get this thing done. In my defense, I was busy translating other things (like Yggdra Unison and Blaze Union) at the time, I too have a life, and Ito's tl;dr at the end of this thing is really daunting, but all the same.
Happy second birthday, Knights you ridiculous game you! c:
Vol. 5: The World of “Knights in the Nightmare”
The world of “Knights in the Nightmare” isn’t a special place like Riviera, but instead one of the “normal” surface worlds. In other words, it’s close to the world of “Yggdra Union”. However, in “Yggdra” the kingdom was mostly formed of one race, and in “Knights”, the Gleivnir Knight Kingdom which forms the game’s main stage has a multi-ethnic royal family, and the country holds a number of racial conflicts. The fact that there are racial tensions with the original inhabitants of the island becomes a large point of the story.
The “Gleivnir Knight Kingdom” Revived by Immigrant Races
The Knight Kingdom was a country built on the island “St. Celestina”, which had accepted outside influences since ancient times, by the Elvale knights who had migrated from the continent. Due to the details of that construction and the fact that the Elvale are given such preferential treatment, a large part of the citizenship does not approve of the government. Seeking to improve the situation, King Willimgard revived the ancient traditions and set policies in place that would be friendlier to foreigners.
The Multi-Ethnic Knight Kingdom
The kingdom had three races to begin with and expanded from there, and possesses a racial hierarchy.
The Elvale is the race that possesses the control of the royal family and makes up the core of the nobility. In comparison to ancient times, the number of them on the island of St. Celestina has increased.
Because they lived on the island before the Knight Kingdom was constructed, they were given middle-class status as the indigenous residents. The name of their race means “moonlit one”.
A race accepted into the Kingdom due to the number of them that had been blessed with wisdom and magical power. The name of their race means “those who harbor wisdom”.
The demon Zolgonark who destroyed the Knight Kingdom is a fearsome demon god who calls himself the “King of the Underworld”, and brought the three Accursed Rivulia, Dotauros, and Scoppio with him when he appeared in this world. After he was defeated by the “Arbitrator”, he fled to Riviera, and wound up crossing blades with the Grim Angel Ein as “Hades”. Having still been capable of so much after losing a large amount of his power proves that the title “King of the Underworld” is not just for show.
Dispossession of Souls by Niflheim’s Beings
The knights of the kingdom had their souls stolen by demons, but that condition is simply “the separation of body and soul”, not death. If done quickly, it is possible to revive the victims if the “soul” is obtained once more, but the longer the soul and body are separated, the higher the chances of actual death. Resurrection by return of the soul to the body is also depicted in “Riviera”.
Species Directory 5: The Tiamat
A race that has existed since the ancient times when the boundaries between worlds were still vague. They carry the blood of five proud dragons, and depending on which dragon and how strong the blood connection, the color of their skin and eyes is different. Aside from the fact that they have horns and wings, their physiology is not different from other humans, but because they are wiser and more long-lived, they once lived upon St. Celestina in glory—though eventually they declined. In the end, this resulted in their land being stolen away by the Knight Kingdom. With their sovereignty taken away by the Knight Kingdom, the survivors fled into the ancient impenetrable realm known as the “Sanctuary”, and still make a bitter living there.
Ito Shinichi’s Dept. Heaven Secret Story, part 5
Since this game would have more characters than any other part of the series, I had the feeling from before we started that there would be a lot of problems, but… What took even more work than I expected was the sheer amount we’d need to create to really give the feeling of “mobilizing an entire country’s knights”. But if it were put in simple chess-piece terms, then we would need about fifteen Priestess and Wizard characters, about twenty Lance Knights, and so on.
Designing that many characters meant that in order to keep them all individual and diverse, the character detailing was first settled very minutely. By detailing, I mean things like unit class and affinity, things that were important to the game like race, affiliations and blood relationships, general appearance and personalities, and other things that would have a roundabout effect on the scenario. Because of those things, just by creating a single knight, the volume of the data became much greater than what we had expected, somewhere around 300 people’s worth. As the developer I remember the details of the piece being in complete chaos, with cases like characters that were supposed to be brothers getting labeled as separate races, parents and children having ages that would make that impossible, and lots of other data mistakes piling up. With things like that, the scenario staff who helped compile the character data took about an entire month just on that. At first the data were all big Eins (for portraits), but that didn’t make it any less hard on Tobe-san, who had to do every single one of those bust-up portraits alone. I’m so grateful to her.
And so as we went through development, above and beyond the problem of having so many characters, there was also the point of the direct connection between the game balance and the graphical components, which was even more difficult. Also, mixed up with the issue of character settings I talked about before, the illustrations were also coming in, and we were saying things like “Fewer archers, and let’s have some more priestesses in their place”, but from the look of things, we were just trying to run away from the problem. In order to settle that, we set parameters to reduce the problem of character image, and changed the classes and skills to preserve the balance. I asked Tobe-san, who was still doing all the illustration work, “preserve the characters’ skin tones on a separate layer”, so the problem of changing the races’ skin tones was settled easily, but that really saved us. And digressing from the balance problems, we have three patterns for the units screaming “Uwaahh!” when they get KO’d (killed), and while looking at the pictures that Tobe-san gave us, we went around going “this one gets a middle-aged voice” and “this one gets a boyish type”, and I remember having fun with it. From the characters, we had some making us worry about who should get an old man voice and who should get a boy voice, and there were some cases where bearded old guys got stuck with boy voices, and we got flagged down by the debuggers and flew around in a panic trying to fix things… so anyway, the work was full of problems.
“Knights in the Nightmare” has all of these knights, but it’s also a story about fighting various enemies and demons to protect the castle, and at the same time the Episode where the guardian angel Marietta’s form changes. This work also takes place between “Yggdra” and “Riviera” for these reasons.