TYPE-MOON Co-Founder Nasu Talks About Why He Likes Falcom’s Ys Series; Protagonist Immersion

The co-founder and prominent author from TYPE-MOON, Kinoko Nasu, known for his work on the Fate series, TsukihimeWitch on the Holy Night, and The Garden of the Sinners, recently conversed with the president of developer Nihon Falcom, Toshihiro Kondo.

In the Newtype October 2023 magazine, the two notable creators discussed various subjects, such as the Ys franchise. However, a portion of this interview was uploaded for free via Newtype’s official website via Kadokawa.

We previously covered a comment from Nasu where he emphasized his love for the Ys series to the extent of him following it yearly and having beaten Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana three times.

Another interesting exchange regards why Nasu likes the Ys franchise in the first place, with it then becoming a conversation about the importance of retaining Adol’s state as a silent protagonist.

You can view Nasu’s and Kondo’s comments below, translated by our team’s Ryuji:

Interviewer: What about the Ys series appeals to you so much?

Nasu: There are many things, such as the feeling of playing the game, the graphics, and the unrivaled BGM, but for me, it’s the way you “feel” the emotions of the characters and how they deliver their lines.

In Ys, you can move the main character and make his adventure itself your experience, and as a result [of your own choices], the story’s situation and your relationships progress. This is one of the best parts of the game, making you feel that although Adol is not yourself, he is definitely your “alter ego.”

Kondo: I think one of the reasons is that Adol is basically a character who does not speak. In the Trails series, for example, the main character explains his feelings and makes his own arguments, but in the Ys series, I think the story can become more of a first-person narrative by allowing the user to make choices.

Of course, throughout the series, there have been times when we have received comments from within the company about the possibility of making Adol speak. But a part of me thinks that the moment Adol speaks, the game will probably become boring (laughs).

Nasu: That is certainly true. I feel that if he talks, Adol’s unique character will be lost. It’s a convenience of the series, but every time Adol goes on a new adventure, he returns to level 1. Still, something about that makes me think, “Well, that’s just the way Adol is. He always has a problem with “fresh adventures,” after all.” Even after saving the world, he leaves at the end and goes off to the next adventure. Typically, he would be attached to his position and wealth, right? But he doesn’t. He is truly a “boy with wings,” so to speak. So, if he started speaking his own lines, I believe his uniqueness would disappear.

Kondo: (laughs). When we were working on Ys VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana, we received a letter from a fan saying they want Adol to get married.

Nasu: I’m sure there are people who feel that way.

Kondo: I didn’t realize it before, but I guess there is a way of thinking that you want a character to stick with you (laughs).

While I disagree, since I always prefer protagonists who speak, plenty of people find themselves more immersed with a silent type they can project some of their decisions onto, which is where Kondo and Nasu stand, at least in regards to Adol.

You can view the free version of this conversation between Nasu and Kondo via Newtype’s official website.

Ys X Nordics will launch in Japan for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch on September 28, 2023.

Ys X Nordics will also launch in Traditional Chinese and Korean for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch on September 28, 2023, the same day as the Japanese version.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.