Ahead of the launch of the Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja action JRPG Fate/Samurai Remnant, we interviewed the game’s director, Ryota Matsushita. We discussed the team’s efforts with this highly anticipated title, development challenges, the game’s setting, and more.
You can view our full interview with Matsushita below:
Orpheus Joshua: What prompted the choice to set a Fate game in the Edo period, contrasting with the more modern-day and futuristic settings of other Fate entries?
Ryota Matsushita: One of the reasons is that our company specializes in creating Japanese historical landscapes. We chose a setting that has never been used in Fate before in order to deliver a completely new experience for the Holy Grail War. It’s an era in which many historical characters have strong wills that make them “Masters,” including Miyamoto Iori, a disciple of the most famous swordswoman Miyamoto Musashi, as well as Yui Shousetsu and Chiemon, a survivor of the last civil war, the Shimabara Rebellion.
Orpheus Joshua: The Rogue Servants all seem to be returning characters from other Fate titles. Did you choose them based on popularity, or was there another factor that determined who ended up in the game?
Ryota Matsushita: Although all of the Servants from existing works are popular, each character is vital to the story, and we had them appear in the game with this in mind. The Rogue Servants, who can be either enemies or allies, add flavor to Iori and Saber’s journey and trigger subquests, thus enhancing the volume of the RPG experience.
Orpheus Joshua: Fate/Samurai Remnant has quite a bit of character customization and growth compared to previous Fate games. Were Fate/Extella and Extella/Link used as inspiration and then refined, or was this title made to be an entirely unique experience for players?
Ryota Matsushita: Since players will play as the protagonist Iori for a long time, the customization and growth systems are very expansive with a lot of variety. This is a unique feature that existed from the very start of this title. The skill tree is based on Iori’s “five stances,” and as the story progresses, it will eventually expand to five times its original size. In addition, not only Iori but also Saber and other Rogue Servants can expand their abilities through the skill tree, although not on the same scale as Iori’s.
Orpheus Joshua: Trying to write an entire Grail War with a large cast is likely challenging, perhaps doubly so in the context of a console release. How did your team manage to focus on the several pairs of Masters and Servants as well as the supporting cast so everyone got time to shine?
Ryota Matsushita: When I look back at the game again now, I feel that characters look more attractive because the story basically unfolds from the perspective of the protagonist, Iori. Our internal writer team worked on “Fire Emblem: Three Houses,” and they are good at portraying an interesting ensemble drama in the game. The synergy with TYPE-MOON also helps bring a wonderful storytelling experience to the game.
Orpheus Joshua: Omega Force has done many collaborations in the past, but what was it like to dive into the Fate series and create a unique game that borrows elements of Musou titles but also has the spotlight on the story?
Ryota Matsushita: Actually, I did not participate in the project from the beginning. Instead, I joined as a director after I finished my previous project. At that time, I was told that the concept of this work was “the ultimate Holy Grail War experience.” Although my team members, including myself, struggled a lot, we put together each element of the game in order to create “a game where you can experience the Holy Grail War from a Master’s perspective.” The project is really meaningful as it was started with the high expectations from TYPE-MOON and a lot of cooperation from their side.
Orpheus Joshua: Before jumping into the role of director, did you and the team need to brush up on your Fate lore, or have you been fans of the series for a long time?
Ryota Matsushita: I’m a fan, but one that can’t say that in front of hardcore Fate fans. Many people on the team have been Fate fans for years, so I work with them to incorporate Fate’s appeal into the game.
Orpheus Joshua: When it comes to DLC, are there plans for additional story scenarios or costumes post-launch? Can you share any ideas with us about these offerings?
Ryota Matsushita: Three new DLC scenarios will be available through a season pass. We will be able to provide more details in the future. The content of the DLC will further expand the story and gameplay of the main game!
Orpheus Joshua: You’re fairly new to the director role. I’m curious how you feel about taking on this great responsibility? Do you ever find yourself wanting to pop into the designer room to assist the team? What are some of your future goals as you take on new challenges?
Ryota Matsushita: The Fate series has a long history, and many fans that are deeply attached to the franchise. I was always thinking about what I should do as a game director in this context because I was a newcomer to this IP and its fanbase. How is it in other game studios? I’m always in the dev team room with other members, facing the screen and holding a controller. On the other hand, I will still have the presence of mind not to jump in on members who have situations they don’t want to be found by the director. As for my future goals, I would also like to start up a new and original IP!
Orpheus Joshua: I know Fate/Samurai Remnant hasn’t been released yet, but are there plans to make this a series so maybe we can see a sequel?
Ryota Matsushita: We do not have any detailed plans to share at this moment, but we feel that with this work, we have, to some extent, established the format for depicting the Holy Grail War as an action RPG game.
Orpheus Joshua: Do you have any comments for Western fans excited to play Fate/Samurai Remnant?
Ryota Matsushita: While this title will, of course, satisfy Fate fans, it is also suitable as an introduction to the Fate series. The protagonist you play as knows very little about the Holy Grail War, which is about to take place. He will learn the rules, terms, and ways to survive in this world through the gameplay and experience the intensity and thrill of the Holy Grail War alongside you. In the sometimes grueling and heartbreaking battles, your partner, Saber, will be very reliable. We invite you to experience this story and enter the profound and thrilling world of Fate.
Fate /Samurai Remnant will launch for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on September 29, 2023.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.