Lunar I&II Official Design Material
Translation by Maou
Kei Shigema x Toshiyuki Kubooka Long
Kei Shigema x Toshiyuki Kubooka Long
Mr. Kei Shigema, Scenario Chief
Principal occupation as a novelist, but involved exclusively
in "Lunar II" for the past two years. Also created
the script for "Lunar I."
Mr. Kubooka Toshiyuki, Character Designer
and Head of Animation Direction
Involved in works such as "Giant Robo," "Uchuu
Senkan Yamato" ["Space Battleship Yamato"].
This time, tasted the pain of simultaneous jobs in Animation
Directing and in game development.
**Why is there so much animation?**
Kubooka: From the start, we had the concept
that we wouldn't tell all of the story in the game but would
do important parts in the animation, so the animation parts
received necessarily large weight. As far as the opening
goes, that was still the beginning so we might have been
a little extravagant with it there.
Shigema: But, we made it and thought there
would be far too much, but when we finally saw the game
it didn't seem that way at all and matched strangely well.
Kubooka: Since I only did the animation
parts, I can't tell whether balance-wise there is too much
or too little in the full game. But I guess as far as how
it felt to me working on it, it seemed all right to me.
On the other hand, sometimes I think maybe it would have
been better in a different amount, too.
Shigema: For the animation of "Lunar
II," I think maybe that it's not that the animation
is independent of the rest, but that it was mixed in from
Kubooka: If it flew off in a different direction
you wouldn't be able to understand what was going on.
Shigema: In that sense, the way animation
is involved is a little different from other games, in that
the animation isn't actually something special, since it
was thought of as an element of the story from the start.
The reason animation was used so much in the first place
was because "Lunar II" emphasizes the story so
heavily, everything is there to tell the story.
Kubooka: Right, well, and since we really
can't do anything besides that part, we have it set up so
that the game itself is made fun by the game specialists.
We have as an ingredient the relief of knowing that if we
can weave these things together well, the game will be fun.
Shigema: Yes, that's right. Lucia ended
up being one of the big main themes. How were we going to
portray her? Could we make the player like Lucia? I think
Lucia was a difficult character in that regard. A girl who
doesn't have emotions gains emotions one by one, and then
she returns home. I guess what we really have to communicate
are the characters' emotions. First we have to try not to
paint a picture of the big-headed, carelessly walking characters
we see in the game. In that regard, it seems to me like
animation inevitably became necessary, lots of voice actors
became necessary, and tons of sound became necessary.
Miyaji: (The Company Manager suddenly intrudes!)
No, rather, I would look at Mr. Kubooka's continuity sketches
and think, "This is almost twice as much as in the
specs, but we need to do this, don't we?" "We
can't cut this, it adds emotional impact, so we can't cut
this part of the continuity," things like that. It's
not something to get mad over.
Shigema: No one was mad about it, but I
think it did cause some people problems (laughter). But
actually, in the stages before we gave it to Game Arts,
Mr. Kubooka and I had conversations back and forth countless
times about the continuity and we actually cut some things.
And there were many things on the other hand that I insisted
that we put inn. For example, Lucia is on the boat's deck,
and there is a scene when you're going to Pentagulia where
Lucia sings a song.
There was talk about making that simpler originally, but
since it shows the feelings in Lucia's heart there was the
argument that it was absolutely necessary. And of course,
Mr. Kubooka, you know, he has a fierce attachment to Lucia
(laughter). So that's how when writing the plot or the scenario,
I would hear a number of complaints.
Kubooka: I know what Mr. Shigema's scenario
is trying to express, but actually there are times when
it's not clear whether the things expressed are being shown
objectively and appear that way. And in Lucia's case, the
player in the end has to be able to sympathize with her,
to the point where if the player were in her position, he
would feel like he would have done the same thing, and not
just for the sake of the mission. If the player can't feel
that way, the character won't become likeable. If done badly,
she could have become that kind of unlikeable character.
We wracked our nerves on this one a lot.
Shigema: That's why the question of how
the player will receive it [the story, characters, etc.]
isn't always solvable just by doing our work together. So
we made it by using each other as a mirror, asking "I
wrote this, but what do you think?" But I don't know
about Mr. Kubooka's case. Oppositely, when I would get continuity
sketches from Mr. Kubooka, I might look at it and say, "No,
I don't think we can use this." We had these kinds
of discussions countless times.
**The Reason for Having the Ending Twice**
Miyaji: There was a two-step ending, wasn't
there? One after the other. In a movie, we couldn't do that
kind of approach.
Shigema: First, we showed the ending with
some loose ends lingering. The reason I came up with that
was become I wrote with the plan of it being a novel. I
really started wanting an epilogue after putting an end
mark at the finale when I wrote how Hiero heads toward the
Blue Star and sets out walking. Since the opening started
with Lucia sleeping on the Blue Star, I wanted to end with
Lucia one more time. I wrote that kind of epilogue into
the plot. Then, in the novel, when you just turned the page,
that moving scene would be there in the epilogue, but since
this is a game... The act of just turning the page could
actually be in the game, I thought. I thought we might be
able to put this into the game.
Kubooka: And after all, if we had ended
the game there, there would have been a lot of people who
were angry, even though you could say it was to be expected.
I thought there might be a few more people who didn't mind,
though. I think that maybe connecting their parting with
her going there [to the Blue Star] all at once made the
game end with a shock. People would think, "what?!"
Shigema: Hiero's emotions are sad in that
scene, but there is actually hope, which makes it quite
an orthodox, good, happy ending, I think. But a lot of postcards
came, saying they didn't like unhappy endings. And there
was not necessary the unhappy ending, but issue of the lingering
loose ends. I guess that maybe I like a clear happy ending.
Kubooka: I like them too (laughter).
-For those who found it [the epilogue],
I think they would have thought that just like there is
an opening at the beginning, there naturally must an epilogue.
Shigema: It seems like most people were
-Yes. If the game had ended like they usually
do, an end mark would have normally appeared and it would
have stayed on the screen forever. But [in Lunar II] it
goes back to the title screen. In that way, I think people
found out there was an epilogue after all.
Shigema: They must have felt lucky when
they discovered it.
-Yes, actually (laughter).
Kubooka: That's right. It was different
from the way the original plan was going to go forward.
People would think, "huh?" as the game suddenly
returned to the title screen. So I wonder how many people
there were who decided to try to continue.
Miyaji: At least 80 percent, I'd bet.
Shigema: But I would naturally like for
it to actually be 100 percent, though.
**The story is a saga [i.e., a roman-fleuve]?**
Shigema: When I came up with the story of
"Lunar," I more or less had the image of a trilogy
in my mind. Three charismatic streams in history. In that
sense, I'm glad they were cleanly assembled together.
Miyaji: The earliest is the untold story
of the Four Heroes.
Shigema: Right, the story of the battle
Dyne and Ghaleon and the others fought. Next is the story
of Arhes in "Lunar I," then comes "Lunar
II" here. I can't say it's a saga, but if you look
at "Yoshimune" and "Dynasty" now you'll
understand, how these sagas are actually three-staged stories,
and there's basically the three stories of the parent, the
child, and the grandchild. The story itself starts with
the parent's generation, there's the parent's generation
and the child's generation, and finally the grandchild's
generation. The reason for this is that the audience's stance
is always that of the child's generation, or now, in other
words. You look at now, the present, and then the past generation
of the parent, and then the future that may come to be.
In that sense, when making a drama, you have to take a stance
where you think about the history. So at the time I started
the story for the Lunar world, I had to first make the story
for the parent's generation. That's how I thought of the
story of the Four Heroes. Then, the world of "Lunar
I" was finished, there was an atmosphere, and there
was the future. Therefore, if we hadn't been able to make
"Lunar II" to continue in that future, I think
it would have come into existence as a drama. And since
the chance to make "Lunar II" did come about,
I thought, "Well, why don't I paint a picture of the
grandchild's generation that was in the background."
Kubooka: But Lemina is clearly supposed
to be a direct descendent...
Shigema: No, I didn't say that.
Kubooka: No...? Why didn't you?
Shigema: Well, I guess was worried about
what would happen if I said too much about who was whose
child, like whose descendent Hiero was, or what happened
to Killy and Jessica or the others. But I don't mind that
types of people like Ghaleon or Nall transcended time, though.
And Ramus plays a small but important role. Well really,
it's because he's sort of the comedic role.
Kubooka: Wasn't he sort of a personal part?
Miyaji: You wanted to appear in the game,
didn't you? Ah, maybe not (laughter)?
Shigema: No, no, he's not me (laughter).
In the very first plot, lots of people were going to appear,
with Arhes and Killy fighting together with Hiero, weren't
they? But at the point when we decided that wouldn't be
the story of "Lunar II," we decided to erase as
many traces of that as we could. I thought we especially
didn't need stuff about the decedents of heroes or genes
and blood relations, things like that.
Kubooka: But I was shocked that it how they
["Lunar I" and "Lunar II"] connected
more than we expected (laughter). Though it was the idea
that "Lunar II" should have no problem as a stand-alone
Shigema: I think that even if you haven't
played "Lunar I," it would be fun. But actually
I hardly hear any opinions from people who didn't play "Lunar
I" and only played "Lunar II" (laughter).
So that kind of composed judgment hasn't really been made.
It's still not too late even now, so if you see this, please
send us your thoughts.
**Unreleased Design Information of Interest**
Shigema: Oh, right, right, Nall's Sword
is sealed by Luna's scarf. Not a physical seal, but a spiritual
seal. Also, the fallen Vheen was supposed to fly, too. And
Leo had four legs. They said these weren't doable programming-wise.
I really wanted to do them, though. But the idea to have
even Mauri be a horse [i.e., a four legged design] got many,
many objections. They said it was hard on Rong-fa.
-There are pros and cons to that horn, though. They're lovers,
aren't they, so there's the problem of how they were supposed
to be able to kiss.
Miyaji: Maybe they could lie down or something.
Shigema: Aren't there a number of variations
for the kiss?
-No one is thinking that far (laughter).
Shigema: And a special kind of play would
be fun or something (laughter).
Miyaji: Mr. Shigema has been wanting to
get married lately, you know.
Shigema: I have lots of aspirations to get
married....(laughter). Oh, and there's also that triangle
on Ghaleon's forehead.
Kubooka: Right, right, that's something
that the dead wear...
Shigema: I didn't notice that. Mr. Kubooka
does things like this sometimes. And the belt of Admiral
Mel of Meribia had some pattern on it, didn't it? He said
that "the sea" was written there. Since he's a
man of the sea, it should say sea. This guy...(laughter).
Kubooka: I tried drawing it in a dragon
Shigema: Do people normally notice this
kind of thing!? (laughter)
-I'm sorry, I didn't notice (laughter).
Shigema: No, usually people don't notice.
He does this kind of trick a lot. It's a subliminal process
**The This and That of the Initial Design**
Shigema: Originally around when we were
beginning "Lunar II," I was insisting that for
Lucia's design we do a beautiful woman in men's clothes.
-Yes, there was that one of her with the
light wave, wasn't there?
Shigema: As an image of another world, it
was a result that matched the image perfectly. In that sense,
I thought it would be good, actually, since the Lunar world
itself is another world. And her breasts are tiny (laughter).
-She is thin, isn't she?
Kubooka: That's right. She's not a human,
she's more like a child, even if she's called a goddess
Shigema: It was to give the meaning of her
being an immature, [gender-] neutral character. I thought,
"yes, that's right, isn't it [when I saw her]."
Kubooka: For Lucia's medallion, I had tentatively
thought it would be one of the crests for those who take
on Althena's duties over the generations. Maybe you would
be able to use it in dungeons to see or something. Sort
of like a certain type of portable item [i.e,. portable
Shigema: At first, we had the idea of having
a time limit set up. There was the idea of having that time
limit shown in a color timer. And in the beginning, Lucia
was an absolutely neutral, loyal judge. She comes for judgment,
and watches humans' conduct, and the scale tilts, and it's
like it would decide whether this [world] should be destroyed
if necessary. In the beginning, her role was like that.
Kubooka: But even if that was the beginning,
she was supposed to have had that role.
Shigema: In the middle, we turned towards
the story Althena's [power of] creation and destruction,
so I think it's true that it [the judgment theme] weakened
a little. Speaking of which, in the postcards we received
it was interesting to hear, "In both 'Lunar I' and
'Lunar II,' the story ends up being one where you happen
to save the world while trying to rescue a girl." I
thought this was absolutely the case, that they had noticed
something good. After all, isn't the story of an adventure
essentially the story of saving a girl?
Kubooka: The so-called "Kidnapping
Shigema: Right (laughter). Interestingly,
no matter whether it's an animation or a book or a novel
or a comic, this can universally make an interesting story.
In games, this simple pattern is no exception. Why? Because
isn't it always the case that the evil dark lord appears
and you save the world, or the world's going to be destroyed,
or something? But the important thing is to save the girl,
isn't it, and it's good if you save the world along the
-That's the man's romance, isn't it (laughter)?
Shigema: Yes. That's the way the adventurer
is, for the young protagonist, the world is something he
saves while incidentally saving the girl. That's the most
important. It's the dynamism of the action-adventure drama.
If people say it's not a real story, that's exactly right,
it isn't real. We make a story that isn't real, and that's
the fun of making stories.
Kubooka: Um, this isn't related, but...
that parting scene [between Lucia and Hiero]. That scene
is actually inspired by "Hakushon Daimaou" ["The
Sneezing Dark Lord," a beloved children's animation]...
Shigema: What are you saying?!
Kubooka: I liked the final episode of "Hakushon
Daimaou." I used it as a base (laughter). There are
people who say it looks like the movie "Sotsugyou"
["Graduation," or "The Graduate" in
the original American release], but the truth is it wasn't
anything that refined, but Hakushon Daimaou.
Miyaji: I thought it might be the scene
on the tracks in "Sayonara Ginga Tetsudou 999"
["Adieu Galaxy Express 999" in its English release,
a well-known Leiji Matsumoto animated film].
Kubooka: That's true. Looking at Lucia's
clothes, there's certainly that too.
Miyaji: Where is that scene in Hakushon
Shigema: Well, it's the farewell and the
loneliness of the time of parting, so the "unavoidable"
Kubooka: [Hiero] can't get near her on naturally
on his own.
Miyaji: If you even yawned, she'd have disappeared
Kubooka: You could call it one of those
Miyaji: Yes, that's it. An inevitable parting.
Kubooka: Yeah, if it weren't like that,
there's no reason Hiero would have been silent the whole
time and watched her go, right? He definitely would have
tried to hold her back, wouldn't he?
-On the other hand, there's the opening.
Like the implication of Lucia awakening and appearing naked.
Kubooka: That [the Blue Star/the crystal Lucia sleeps in]
was more or less supposed to be like a womb. The sleeping
Lucia is like an embryo, and she's supposed to pass through
the birth canal and come out into the outside world. When
she meets Hiero, it's the same as when-both for children
and animals-they think of the first thing they see as their
Shigema: That's why it was natural that
we would have Lucia in there naked in the beginning. It
isn't something indecent or anything (laughter). It was
Kubooka: I never really hear anyone say
that it seemed indecent. I'd have a problem if I heard that.
Shigema: Also, the scene where Lucia changes
her clothes [at the Carnival], that was my own selfishness.
Kubooka: That scene, it was pretty embarrassing.
Miyaji: But I'm glad we had it, all crazy.
Kubooka: It was a promise.
Shigema: I thought a promise would be necessary.
And we were able to do the beautiful woman in men's clothing
I had wanted so much, too.
Kubooka: Speaking of this, there's the False
Althena. Almost everyone knew [she was fake]. There's practically
no exceptions, I think.
Shigema: Probably not. Ah, I just remembered,
there was this part. People said at the time of "Lunar
I" that it was too readable [i.e., its plot twists].
That's because I made it so that it was readable. Laeik
was really Dyne, Ghaleon was a bad guy, Nasch will betray
the party later, I wrote it so that you could figure out
all of these things. That's the way the story is constructed,
to give an example, in the old "Tiger Mask" [a
Japanese comic and animation centering on a wrestler], there's
this huge guy called the Great Zebra who's over 2 meters
tall, and his weapon is the Juurokumon Kick or something,
or the Sanjuunimon Rocket Kick or something. The announcer
says, "A mysterious wrestler. Who on earth could he
be!" or something, but you get who it is. "It's
Giant Baba, isn't it!!" [According to the story, Giant
Baba supposedly had died.] There was penetration like that
(laughter). But that's the kind of thing you have in the
story. You know it, and look forward to the process. But
there were a fair number of people unhappy or irritated
with how you could figure out the story. So this time I
hid what Lucia was or what the Four Heroes of Althena were,
things like that, and thought not being able to figure it
out would make it interesting. So [game] magazine development
was probably difficult. But for me personally, I actually
liked the story composition of "Lunar I." It's
easy to understand.
**Inspecting Every Character**
Kubooka: Regarding Lucia, the base was what
kind of clothes Luna would probably wear if she were to
appear in a sequel.
Shigema: You were pretty particular about
the culotte skirt, right?
Kubooka: Well, I like them a lot, personally.
Shigema: You said that strongly, energetically,
"this is more indecent than a skirt."
Kubooka: (Ignores this) I thought it would
be pretty good to have a part that seemed outside of the
Lunar world. Something that felt modern. And I put this
together with the shawl because when she became a game character,
she looked surprisingly plain and there was a visible difference
when you compared her with the other party characters.
Shigema: This design would have been pretty
indecent [drawn] with a bust shot. Afterwards you'd notice
and see it and think, "this is actually pretty indecent."
Kubooka: I didn't draw it with an indecent
pose in mind, though.
-Looking from the girls' side, I wonder
how it doesn't just slip off, since she has no breasts.
Without them, if there had been any slack I think it would
have just fallen off, normally.
Shigema: It's, um, with magic.... (laughter)
Kubooka: The uniform is like this. Um, black,
and then white. Personally, I think white is good. It sort
of feels like a muku [a formal Japanese white kimono for
women]. I really wanted the characters to have some sort
of strong shine you could see with one glance. I ended up
thinking wine-red would be nice, though.
-Speaking of which, when she wears red,
I thought maybe it was showing her strong will to fulfill
her mission coming out.
Shigema: Oh, we hadn't really thought of
that (laughter). Oh, I see...I might not have thought of
that if you hadn't said it.
Kubooka: Also, I actually wanted to make
her hair blond. Hmm, I sort of wanted an image that made
her feel a bit like a foreigner. In the end, making it the
same color blue as Luna's hair showed a connection between
Shigema: There was the idea to make her
a character with a hat, though I'd mostly forgotten about
Kubooka: I thought it might be interesting
to have that kind of old custom or tradition remain to a
certain degree. This is sort of getting SF after all, though.
Reading the postcards, I saw there were a number of people
who interpreted Lucia in a SF way, waiting for her time
of awakening and hibernating.
Shigema: Pure fantasy actually isn't really
my specialty, and I like something different that adds some
Kubooka: The thing I thought of earliest
was always a time capsule. This was in a comic a long time
ago, for generation after generation there were tons of
time capsules, and one by one people would wake up and go
to complete their missions. There was this idea, and I also
wanted to use the image of "a girl who seems to be
sleeping in a tomb."
Shigema: That's the very first image, very
Kubooka: You could say we went a little
astray of our promise to make a basic fantasy, though. To
some extent, from the design standpoint there was the restriction
that we couldn't deviate from the line of "Lunar I."
Shigema: But, I wonder about that. Isn't
it pretty distinct from "Lunar I?"
Kubooka: Hmm, well, I hear that from everyone,
but I wonder about that. We went ahead and did Leo and Mauri.
In my mind, they weren't very "Lunar"-ish, I think.
But then it seems like it was fine to have stuff like that...
Shigema: I feel like the other characters
are really different, too. It's not the difference between
a cold place and a warm place, it seems like the image of
the characters' clothing is different now.
Kubooka: No, I didn't plan on them being
that different.... I thought about the long clothes of Nasch's
priest fashion for Rong-fa...
Shigema: That's true, but looking at the final product,
they seem different.
Kubooka: Hmm, I may have a problem if that's
-It seems like Hiero here was decided on
Kubooka: I put tattoos on his forehead [see
early designs, p. 14]. That was self-inflicted punishment
(laughter). In Hiero's case, I had no idea that Gwyn was
his grandpa (laughter).
Shigema: We changed it to that quite a bit
Miyaji: There were a lot of problems with
that, weren't there?
Shigema: No, I'm actually glad we changed
it. He's not an ordinary human, and there's all kinds of
different races mixed together. I think as a result it worked
Kubooka: Actually, Hiero also had the mission
of his father's will...
Shigema: He did have that, but, see, Lucia
had a mission too, and it seemed better not to have too
many missions. Conversely, Hiero acts by intuition, but
it's actually the right thing he's doing. I think Dragonmasters
have that kind of disposition.
Kubooka: In short, there was also the conceptualization
of justifying his being a grave robber or something by having
the reason be that he's searching for things related to
Shigema: Right, right, so originally the
reason Leo was calling him a rival was because, as a believer
of Althena, he was protecting those ruins and was investigating
them and thinks, "this guy is a grave robber."
Kubooka: Jean also completely changed, 180
Shigema: She's 180 degrees different. In that design, she
was the princess of a ruined country and was always sobbing,
and was shy and withdrawn...but she actually had incredible
power. She changed 180 degrees and became a big sister who
looks after other people. But even in the game with the
mini characters, we expressed that very well. And in the
battle scenes with Jean's movement. In that sense, I earnestly
think that if you don't make the entire game, you won't
know [how well she will turn out].
Miyaji: I think she grew up to be a good
character. She lived within the game, becoming a fighter
too. If she had just ended up finishing as a dancer, it
wouldn't have been interesting. She becomes a fighter, and
does that Renpatsu ["Continuous Burst"] technique...
Shigema: That was interesting, wasn't it?
Kubooka: And Rong-fa, I wanted him to have
a beard he was too lazy to shave.
Shigema: I wrote in the dice later.
Kubooka: There's really not too much attachment
there, is there (laughter)?
-Even so, you decided his design fairly
quickly, didn't you?
Shigema: We decided it on a hot springs
-So does it end up being easier to decide
on the male characters rather than the female characters?
Kubooka: Um, with other work this was also
the case, but with the protagonist I had no problems.
Shigema: Plus the girls are important, you
know. The males, well, they can be whatever.
Kubooka: With Lemina, originally I really
thought of making her exactly like Mia.
Shigema: Hmm, but there were surprisingly
few postcards saying things like, "She's Nasch and
Mia's descendent, right?" Making her blond was going
to give her Nasch's image. That's what I was thinking. This
girl seems this thoughtless and carefree, but actually she
has a mission. So she's actually like Mia and actually has
a mission, but the way it shows up is different so there
was pressure. In Mia's case, this was shown through her
introverted side and she's very hesitant. Conversely, you
could call Lemina a cheerful, attacking type.
-Considering her personality, her clothing
is subdued, isn't it?
Shigema: But black makes women seem pretty,
or maybe not?
Kubooka: I wanted to make her a standard
Shigema: Just like with Mia. Except her
waist is held in very tightly.
Miyaji: The measurements are short.
-Yes, it's a lively image, isn't it?
Shigema: For people who have played the
game, I really want them to take Lemina with them to Temis
village after the first ending. If you do, you can hear
something pretty funny. There's no event, but the dialogue
is funny. It gets stranger and stranger, though (laughter).
Kubooka: To this day, I still end up calling
Shigema: She was Mink for a long time, wasn't
she? Ruby is a very cute character.
Kubooka: I wanted to have Ruby transform into a human, though.
I feel like something happened with that. What was the reason?
Shigema: That's my greatest regret. It's
because at a certain point, the story was growing far too
large, and we did a lot of cutting, and when deciding where
the main point would be, we decided on portraying Lucia.
Ruby's human form was one of those parts that was cut. There
are various others besides that, of course.
-I'm sure you'll get many postcards after
Shigema: Nall and others were supposed enter
the party too.
Kubooka: And he's always burdened with carrying
Althena's Sword (laughter).
-It sure was cute when she [Ruby] attacked
during the battles.
Shigema: You may not have noticed this,
but after she matures [into the true Red Dragon], her attack
-Right, from 3 to 6.
Miyaji: That's hardly any change at all
Shigema: But it is doubled, you know, doubled.
Miyaji: But no one will probably notice
that kind of thing.
Shigema: You're falling over, it's so funny.
Miyaji: The programers probably thought
it would be funny and did it.
Kubooka: Will she do that in boss fights, too?
Shigema: She won't fight bosses.
Miyaji: We didn't want Zophar to be defeated
by Ruby in the end (laughter).
Kubooka: And with Nall, it looks like there
were people who didn't realize it was him even when they
heard his name.
Shigema: You're kidding?!
Kubooka: It's true. Something like "But,
it sort of looks like him, but..." (laughter).
Shigema: This is the easy to understand
pattern of "Lunar I."
Miyaji: But this guy is pretty lonely, isn't
he? Machine Mountain has incredibly cheerful music, but
it feels so incredibly sad and lonely.
Shigema: The sadness of the [Dragon] tribe's
long lives is maybe why he's rebellious and went a little
Miyaji: The way it's just him who's still
Shigema: And because new children always
join and others leave... So in the middle of making the
game, I almost wanted to make a side-story where Nall was
the protagonist. Also, the voice actress, Rika Matsumoto,
is just great! She's really great.
Kubooka: She's exactly like the image.
Shigema: Yes. Ruby was also incredibly good, so I wanted
them to do a comedy where Ruby and Nall talk back and forth,
Kubooka: For Mauri's image, there was Audrey
Hepburn from "My Fair Lady." Personally, I like
a slightly decadent air.
Shigema: Right. She's a beastwoman, but
with the air of a beauty. That's actually, you wouldn't
call her dirty, but she's a character that uses her dangerous
personality to cause trouble for Rong-fa or Leo.
Kubooka: In the graphics, Leo is quite...
There's hair around his neck. Is he all covered in hair?
Miyaji: This is the first time I've heard
-Seems like he'd be really warm.
Shigema: It does seem like he'd be really
The Masked White Knight was funny, wasn't he? The first
time I came up with him, I burst into laughter. And speaking
of that, the reason I made him was because Leo is very strong,
sincere, and unaffected, or headlong, or inflexible, a very
serious character. That seriousness comes out in contrast
to Hiero. Hiero is very relaxed and devil-may-care, but
he always chooses to do the right thing. Leo is a character
who is so over-serious that he may make the wrong decision.
Miyaji: We were able to show that really
well in that event.
Shigema: And in the battle scenes, we got
people to work really hard, and the letters say, "The
White Knight," don't they? That wasn't going to happen,
we weren't going to have time.
Miyaji: And he's wearing his mask and everything...
Shigema: He's wearing his mask, and the
mini character is disguised. I thought, "wow, they're
good!" And, "what are these guys thinking?"
(laughter) I was surprised. You don't normally do stuff
Kubooka: When I first decided on Leo's colors,
he was wearing red clothes. I'd totally forgotten about
the White Knight.
Shigema: Right, I was wondering what was
with Mr. Kubooka. But that wasn't a ruse, he'd simply forgotten
Kubooka: And the blue Linus of the Blue
Fist? I forgot that guy was blue, too, I was thinking yellow...
Shigema: In the game, Borgan survives, but
I had planned to kill him.
Miyaji: When you kill a character, you know,
it isn't interesting. And in "Lunar II," no one
ends up dying. And Ghaleon was dead from the beginning.
Kubooka: To the end, Mr. Shigema tended
to stick to having characters live.
Shigema: That's right. In my mind, I thought,
"I'm not gonna kill characters if possible." Killing
people is such a final measure, and we don't really have
the right to do what we want with their lives, do we, since
once characters are born, they have a life span, too.
I can't just go and kill them. However, Ghaleon himself
wanted to disappear. The first image was of a man living
in disgrace. Even though he was living in disgrace, he chose
to keep living. In Ghaleon, I really wanted the shame of
still living while in disgrace. Even though he's living
in a crumbling condition [i.e. his worn-out body], that
ended up seeming appropriate for Ghaleon, instead. But Ghaleon
wanted to disappear in the end. Well, I think that the result
ended up being pretty good.
Kubooka: His embarrassment at being called Dragonmaster
didn't show up very much.
Shigema: In the original process, when Leo
or Borgan or someone would call him Dragonmaster Ghaleon,
he would say, "Don't call me by that name." He
unwillingly wears the mask of Dragonmaster in order to deceive
Zophar, but for Ghaleon it's the thing he wants to hear
the least, since that's the symbol of his dear friend, Dyne,
after all. I wanted to do a character who performed even
if he had gone ahead and shed blood, or lived in disgrace,
and story-wise, that's how it was.
Kubooka: We didn't end up being able to
do this, but I thought it would be cool to do something
like a scene where Hiero wrapped Luna's scarf around Ghaleon's
wounds, and then as Hiero and the others headed off, the
scarf would come off and flutter away. I wondered if we
would be able to do that kind of visual well.
Shigema: Even while Ghaleon understands
that humanity is able to surpass the imagination, he was
unable to the end to surpass [the limits and obstacles they
faced.] But Hiero and the others were able to surpass those
limits without trouble. The condition for becoming a Dragonmaster
actually isn't bravery or power or something like that,
it's having a free heart that doesn't think limitations
are limitations, and this is both the condition for a Dragonmaster
and humanity's true power, he finds. Personally, I like
characters like Ghaleon very much.
Miyaji: And Zophar... We ended up making
him a character who it wasn't really a problem if he was
killed. So we made him heartless and inhuman...
Shigema: So there essentially isn't any
real significance to Zophar. The story's focus isn't here.
Miyaji: Last bosses are difficult.
Shigema: If you give too much significance
to them, it's a problem. Zophar had no image at the start,
so we asked Mr. Satou for ideas...
Kubooka: Zophar changed quite bit from the image we thought
of, didn't he? At the time of the original design, he was
Shigema: Right, right.
Miyaji: An ominous child?
Kubooka: In the beginning, he had no shape.
There was the idea of him being inside the womb of the False
Althena. So at first, the design itself was more grotesque,
and the False Althena herself had more significance. The
reason for making the Cult of Althena or something was so
that those evil things would be sucked in, and he would
grow larger and larger inside the False Althena's stomach.
It's kind of a gross image. At first, there was this curtain,
and the False Althena would appear, but she wouldn't move
from the tank in back. If you wondered why, and if you opened
the curtain, in the back, there would be this huge thing
like a womb. And Zophar would be gushing around inside.
That's the kind of image we had thought of. But I thought
grotesque things kind of wouldn't fit with the Lunar world,
and got rid of that.
**Now, what about the characters of "Lunar
Shigema: In "Lunar I," there was
that, there was Evil Luna, those risque clothes were something
else. Where did things like that come from?
Kubooka: Ah, well, I thought elements like
that might be necessary. And the reason I made Arhes' eyes
green was because he was a descendent of the earth, of the
Shigema: In the original design, that is.
Kubooka: Arhes was spelled using "Earth,"
Shigema: Right, and Luna was from "Moon." But
we changed that in the middle.
Kubooka: So, the clothing. For the design,
it was a northern people, and at that time at any rate,
someplace cold was part of the design, and I adopted fur
for some parts.
Shigema: The reason we made it a cold place
was become at that time naked girls swinging swords were
popular, and I didn't like that. So, I decided to make it
a cold place. If you make it cold, there's at least a bra
for resistance, isn't there? That's why I decided to make
Kubooka: Considering that, there were complaints
about how exposed her legs were...
Shigema: But it wasn't me. I was fine with
that, and since much later, risque Luna got to live on.
Kubooka: People said Luna was like that
Bulgaria Yoghurt commercial or something. Sort of an ethnic
tune. Also, that scarf, a girl at the dentist I was going
to then had that fashion every time I went. I thought it
would be good. And Ramus had a face like Housaku Samon [a
fat, glasses-wearing character in the baseball comic, "Kyojin
No Hoshi," or "Star of the Giant"], and since
they wanted me to make him cute, I wondered how it would
be if I made Mr. Shigema cute.
Shigema: No, I'm different from that, though.
Nasch is flashy. How on earth does his hair get like that,
Kubooka: Well, mostly, in general I'm not
good at particular details, so I try to make designs with
features centering on one, simple point.
Shigema: I think that for games, this is
Kubooka: Mia and others are like this, too.
This Magic Guild and the priestess style are different concepts.
The Magic Guild has Russian Orthodox elements, doesn't it?
That's how I planned it.
Shigema: The design for the town of Vheen,
that seemed like Moro.
Kubooka: As for Jessica, I wonder how she
Shigema: Well, Jessica's a beastwoman, she's
called a beastwoman. With six breasts or something...
Kubooka: I don't know about that (laughter).
Shigema: There wasn't that, of course. She
has a tail [note: apparently he is speaking about an early
Kubooka: And with Killy, it was that....
As in image, I used something like "Willow"...
[an American fantasy film by George Lucas]
Shigema: I wanted a guy carrying a big sword
over his shoulder. Arhes' sword is relatively slender.
-That's right, it looks like you really
wouldn't be able to carry it.
Ghaleon: For Ghaleon, I asked for a bad
Kubooka: I had some trouble with Ghaleon.
Shigema: That's right, there were quite
a lot of different patterns, weren't there?
Kubooka: And Ghaleon was separate from the
Magic Emperor at the start, right? So him being inside [the
Magic Emperor's armor], that wasn't there at the start.
Shigema: In the beginning, there wasn't a plan to have Xenobia
in the story. Mr. Kubooka just suddenly drew her one day...
Kubooka: Yes, I felt like I wanted to draw
a witch, and I asked them to let me do it.
-Is there anything else you would like to
Shigema: If you would like a "Lunar
III," please keep sending Game Arts requests. Also,
well, your impressions and things, definitely.
-But if you decide to make "Lunar III,"
it'll take another three years, won't it?
Kubooka: Yes, that's right.
Shigema: But if that's the case, maybe the
next game will be a different part of the "Lunar"
Kubooka: I think we could make another one.
Shigema: So in the same "Lunar III,"
I think I'd like to make something a little different. And
you, Mr. Kubooka?
Kubooka: Hmm, well, I think it might be
fine if the characters aren't connected, but I'd want to
create the world of "Lunar" well, and then look
towards new ways of development. However, there are definitely
things we weren't able to do in "Lunar II." There
were other things we wanted to do in "Lunar II,"
but we just weren't able to. Regarding "Lunar II,"
there were lots of parts where we wondered whether they
work well as a game or not. I was definitely concerned about
the reaction of the audience in judging these parts.
Shigema: That's right.
Kubooka: There aren't any games crafted as carefully as
the Lunar RPG series. I haven't seen much besides other
games' demos and relevant scenes, though.
Shigema: On the other hand, I've seen a
ton of them.
Kubooka: So I didn't know at all what we
could and couldn't do, and I learned afterwards what was
a challenge to do.
-Yes, that's right. I've seen the scenarios
and continuity of games made by other people many times,
but there is never this kind of attention to detail. For
scenarios, "Lunar II" has such a large amount,
but other people's scenarios don't have very much.
Shigema: I actually hadn't been aware of
Shigema: I actually
had no idea that the scenarios for "Lunar I" and
"Lunar II" were so extensive. I couldn't understand
why in other games, after an event had finished, the dialogue
didn't change if you returned to the cottage. Even though
the story is always advancing. I thought that was weird,
so I ended up deciding to change that. Well, I can understand
the reason no one else does this. It's quite difficult,
you know. But I'm very pleased that its reputation is so
good, thank you so much.
-Thank you very much for taking the
time for such a long interview today.
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