What inspired you to create the sequel to 999, Virtue’s Last Reward? What are some of the major themes of this game?
Well it’s not quite “inspiration,” but “999” received great reviews in the US, and that was the direct reason why we started production on Virtue’s Last Reward.
After the release of 999 in the US, we received a lot of praise and thank-you messages on our Facebook and Twitter from people all over the world. We are the ones who should be showing appreciation. We are very thankful, and it is a great honor.
Also, before the release of the Japanese version of VLR, we released our PV and OP videos on YouTube. Most of the comments we received on them were in English. We analyzed the access logs, and a mere 30% of visitors were from Japan. The remaining 70% were from the English-speaking countries.
In the Japanese game industry it is extremely rare for such things to happen—especially before a game is even localized. This made us realize that 999 was a work that was loved not only in the US, but all over the world.
Of course we had decided to start production on VLR before we released the movies on YouTube, but we heard news that many people in the US were supporting us, so it was only natural that we thought, “Why not make a sequel?”
On a side note, the reason we received such high praise for 999 in the US is because of Aksys. So since Aksys will be localizing VLR, it’s pretty much given that the translation-related quality is high. There’s no doubt about it. I guarantee it!
The theme of VLR is of course global warming and environmental destruction. Just kidding, ha ha ha. But you see? Humans can lie without breaking a sweat. “Lying” and “betrayal”…these are some of the major themes in this title. However, the main characters in this game aren’t lying on a whim or for a joke. Each and every one of them has their own beliefs, purpose, and goals, and in order to stay true to those they will have to chose “betray.” I think the real fun in this game is trying to solve those mysteries.
Another pillar of the gameplay is “selection” and “decision.” Will you choose “yes” or “no”? Should you go right or left? Should I hit on the cute girl at my work/school or should I not…? Our lives are formed from an infinite number of “selections” piling on one another, so this formation of history from the continuous selection is another big theme in this title.