Interview with Ryousirow Hasukawa (May 1999)
The following interview was conducted by Golbez and sent to GhaleonOne to post at LunarNET. The subject being interviewed is Ryousirow Hasukawa. He did a lot of the scenario development in some of the LUNAR games. The interview speaks a lot of plot and storyline in the LUNAR series.
Golbez: How did you get your
job with Studio Alex/ESP?
Ryousirow Hasukawa: I was a friend
of Mr.Shigema who is main the scenario writer for all of
the LUNAR series. And I asked him to hire me as writer for
LUNAR2 on SEGA-CD. That's how I started.
Golbez: What would you say to
anyone else looking to get into this business?
Hasukawa: I can't say anything
about recruiting (I don't know any circumstances in the
States). But if you ask me, I'd say read a lot of books,
and feel something from them. Also have alot of writing
experiance. It's not so important to play games (But surely
you have to do that.).
Golbez: What exactly
did you contribute to LUNAR 1 and 2?
I was a one of the scenario writers in LUNAR2 (for SEGA-CD).
I wrote a lot of townspeople's messages and some other dialouge.
And I don't know why I did this, but I placed the treasue
boxes. And I was the "game scenario director" in LUNAR SSS.
The Basic script was written by Mr. Kei Shigema. Then I
received it, And made the scenario for the game out of it.
Golbez: What do
you think it is about LUNAR's story that makes it stand
Because we wanted to write very dramatic feeling things
in the game. It's story is not only about the main character,
the party, and their story. It is also about all the townsfolk
and other inhabitants who live on LUNAR. They have backgrounds
of their own. We had this in mind when we were developing
the game. I think (and hope) this could be part of the reason
the drama in the game stands out.
Golbez: How long
did it take to write the scenarios for LUNAR 1 and 2?
It took almost one year to do my part of the writing in
LUNAR2. It started on the 7th of January, 1994, and ended
in early December of 1994. The development of the charactors
and basic story probably took much longer.
LUNAR SSS took 8 months to write all of the scenarios. It
was really hard job. We thought that this would be an easy
project to write at first, because this is remake product.
We thought we could use some parts of the text from TSS.
But that was misunderstanding. 95% or more of the text had
to be rewritten. We did not use any part of the central
story's text from LUNAR TSS.
Golbez: When LUNAR
1 was made, did you have in mind the story for LUNAR 2 already?
Did you plan on making a sequel?
I did not work on the origanal L:TSS. But I heard Mr. Shigema
say he thought so in his mind. He made three stories on
LUNAR while he was making LUNAR TSS.
1st: Story about Ghaleon, Dyne and Althena.(Pre-story of
2nd: Story about Alex and Luna(Lunar1).
3rd: Story about Hiro and Lucia(Lunar2).
Golbez: LUNAR is
known for it's great humor, did you contribute to any of
Yes, I did. During writing development, All of scenario
writers were trying to make each other laugh.
You can talk to Blue Dragon in the dungeon of the lake on
LUNAR SSS. His text changes eight times. I wrote it. It's
a little bit silly. Maybe less than 10% of players would
actually read this. That Blue Dragon sure is a talkative
one. Some of scenario writers totaly laughed when they saw
this dialouge. I won the laughing contest that day.
In another scene, you can eat huge
carrot in the garden of Iluk. There is an only one carrot
which tastes good. It's a meaningless for the main story.
But it sounds funny, doesn't it? We wanted to entertain
player of Lunar by any means possible. That's why we made
some humor in our scenarios.
Golbez: Did you
gave any suggestions or comments to the creation character
No, that was not my part of my job. But Mr. Shigema did
so, I think.
Golbez: Who are
your favorite Lunar characters? And why?
It's Lucia. Little by little, with help of Hiro and others,
she restores her humanity. It's good story, isn't it?
Golbez: How did
you make the Lunar characters have so much depth and realness?
Any tips for other writers?
Characters in the Lunar world are not perfect people throughout
the game. They have weaknesses and faults. Just as real
people are. So it helps us feel the characters of Lunar
are so real, I think.
And I think there is another reason. When made the scenarios
of the Lunar series, we took the time it needed to be just
right. It took quite a long time. We wrote and rewrote the
scenarios many times. Sometimes, we rewrote it over 20 times
(Every change was so little). It helped make the chracters
of Lunar have more depth.
For example, Jean hated to dance and live in the circus
in the first draft. She wanted to leave from circus because
she had to have revenge with the masked man. That's the
reason why she comes into Hiro's party. But this plot didn't
satisfaction to us. So, we talked about it. Then we made
her story as in the game.
Golbez: Lunar is
supposedly set on the Moon, inhabited by people who were
brought from the Blue Star (Earth). Does this mean that
it's setting is in the future?
Maybe or maybe not. Nobody said that "Lunar is the Moon".
But name of the first dragon master is "Neil". And in the
legend, his first step was on that place so silent. And
his "arms were so strong".
Golbez: Could you
explain the background of Beastmen? (Mel, Jessica, Leo,
Gwyn is also. Jessica is half-beastwoman. We din't think
to deeply about a background for the beastman. There is
no racism. We just want to make some kind of an atmosphere
of a "fantasy world".
Golbez: Is Hiro
from Lunar 2 a beastman? What do the markings on his face
I don't think he is. His markings are just a tatoo or somethig
like that, I guess. And Gwyn is not his real grand father.
Maybe he is an orphan. We didn't make a lot of back ground
for Hiro, Because Hiro is you (as player).
Golbez: What is
the story behind the fairies that Ghaleon seems to care
Ghaleon brings them to his castle, because he wants to protect
this race which is too weak to live in the desert of death.
We did not want to make him a simply evil character, like
a dark ruler of the world without any reasons. He just wants
to make correct world in his way.
Golbez: What race
is Ghaleon? (Elven?) What do you think about his character?
Ah...maybe he is elven. Frankly, we don't care much about
appearance, or race of character. The previous answer can
be an answer for rest of the question. He is not a selfish
man. He just believes in power. He thought only through
power can the world be lead. And only he can get the power
to make world correct. So he becomes the Emperor. He is
a lonely man.
Golbez: Could you
tell me anything about the relationship between Althena
They are almost twins. They have the same power. Lucia is
the keeper of the Blue Star. Althena is the keeper of the
Lunar. If power of Althena hadn't vanished from Lunar, Lucia
never would have awakened until power of the Blue star had
been restored enough.
There was two crystals in the sleeping place of Lucia on
the first draft of LUNAR2. One for Lucia, and the other
for Althena which had empty for so long a time.
Golbez: Is there
anything you'd like to tell Lunar fans in America?
Thank you for playing our Lunar! And it has surprised us
a lot that Lunar could get so many fans in the US! This
is not 3D game, like Final Fantasy VII or VIII. The Lunar
games have a more "classic" feel and use older styles. But
we are proud of what we have done. We hope that our Lunar
could move your hearts. Thanks again.
Golbez: Did you
have anything to do with the creation of Lunar:Magic School?
What is your opinion of it?
No, I did not. And I didn't play it. So, I have no comment
about this game.
Golbez: What else
besides Lunar 1 and 2 have you worked on as a writer?
I wrote a scenario for appendix CD of LUNAR2(original SEGA-CD
version). And also 3 compact discs of sound drama of Lunar.
Others are secret :) At least, there is no other products
of mine published in the States.
Golbez: What is
your opinion on the RPG industry as a whole today? How do
you think it compares to when L:TSS was first released.
It's getting so huge! But I think elements to move player's
heart will never change for all time.
Golbez: Thanks a
lot Hasukawa-san you've made many American Lunar fans smile!
You are welcome. And I'm really suprised that our Lunar
has gotten so many fans in the States. Thank you for your
End of Interview.
We would like to thank Golbez
for allowing us this opportunity at an exclusive interview
with someone the likes of Ryousirow Hasukawa!