Interview | Suda51 Talks Flower, Sun and Rain (Nintendo DS)

By Jorge Ba-oh 20.07.2009 7

Flower, Sun and Rain originally came out on the PlayStation 2 back in the 1990s, but has recently been resurrected for the Nintendo DS, launching in Europe late last year and finally hitting the US last month. Mixing logic puzzles with a quirky script and fantastic soundtrack, the whole experience proves to be rather an eclectic one indeed. To celebrate the game's North American launch (review here), Cubed3 caught up with the man behind the original title, Goichi Suda, to discuss the title in more detail and touch upon the possible re-occurrence of protagonist Sumio Mondo in some form or other...

Image for Interview | Suda51 Talks Flower, Sun and Rain (Nintendo DS)

Cubed3's Adam Riley: Why did you decide to resurrect FSR in the first place, and why put an old PS2 game on the DS rather than a home console like Wii?

Goichi Suda, CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture: I received an offer from Wada-san of Marvelous Entertainment. He is the well-known Producer of the "Harvest Moon" series and a very intuitive person. He is also the person who chose to make a "No More Heroes" for Wii. Therefore, I had no choice but to accept his offer right away!

AR: What were some of the biggest issues during the transition from PS2 to DS, and how closely did you work with h.a.n.d. to ensure the game remained as faithful to the original as possible?

GS:A developer called h.a.n.d ported "Flower, Sun, and Rain" from PS2 to DS. I wasn't really involved in the actual production! Hashimoto-san, a producer from Marvelous Entertainment, worked hard to ensure the game remained as faithful to the original as possible with them, though.

Image for Interview | Suda51 Talks Flower, Sun and Rain (Nintendo DS)


AR: Has the game's sales exceeded those of the PS2 original so far and met your expectations in general? Also, considering Europe is a strong market for adventure games were you disappointed it did not receive more attention there?

GS: FSR didn't receive much attention in Europe!? I didn't know that. I am very disappointed to hear that! The adventure genre is not as big as other genres in Japan anymore, so I expected that "Flower, Sun and Rain" would be played in overseas territories more.

Yen Hau, Product Marketing Assistant at Rising Star Games: Although it would have been nice to have great numbers, the fact of the matter is that the type of game FSR is and how old it is really pigeon-holes the game as a very niche title. It's definitely not something mainstream consumers would consider, for example. Considering the budget we had to work with and the response from retailers I think it did okay overall.

AR: Can you briefly tell our readers about the background story in FSR?

This is a story where Sumio Mondo, the main character, repeats the same day, every day of his life. Mondo looks begins looking for something that guests staying in the FSR hotel have left behind or lost. His everyday life ends after finding the lost items, but at the end of the day he is always left with the riddle of why an aeroplane keeps exploding in the sky…

AR: The script is very amusing in places, even mocking the game itself at times. Was this the original plan, or an idea that developed whilst making the game to help keep players entertained?

GS: This was the original plan. I wrote the script in an improvisational manner. I felt like it was very relaxing just as if I was actually in a holiday resort when I wrote ideas.

AR: Clearly there are changes made to how the game controls, but what other main differences are there between the original and this remake? Was anything from the original cut for any reason?

GS: There is nothing cut from the original. I merely asked Hashimoto-san for it to be possible for the game to be played with touch-screen and stylus. That is definitely the greatest strength of the DS!

Image for Interview | Suda51 Talks Flower, Sun and Rain (Nintendo DS)


AR: Music is always very important in games, especially adventure ones such as FSR. Thankfully the soundtrack is definitely a very positive addition to the game and some of the remixes of old classics are very impressive indeed! But why choose to use old music rather than a completely new score? And were there any licensing issues that meant certain songs were not used?

GS: I had an idea using old music when I was making the PS2 version. I told a sound team to create lounge-style music to fit the atmosphere of the game's setting. Unfortunately there were songs we couldn't use, but ultimately it was not a big issue.

AR: Also, was the lack of proper voices for characters due to the limitations of the DS, or was it for another reason, such as keeping the budget lower or creating a unique sense of style?

GS: In all honesty the voices were simply transferred across from the original PS2 edition. We didn't have enough in terms of budget to do any voice-over work during that time so we created voices that sounded like random foreign languages.

Image for Interview | Suda51 Talks Flower, Sun and Rain (Nintendo DS)


AR: Many people see links between FSR and your previous games. Do you include connections such as these to keep loyal fans happy or is it done for personal reasons?

GS: I always try to create innovative games. If people see links between FSR and my previous games this might be the point… *smiles* If fans enjoy this then I would like to keep trying to do so intentionally and / or unconsciously!

AR: Given the increase in popularity of adventure games on DS and Wii lately, will you be considering making another adventure featuring Sumio Mondo and the intriguing Lospass Island for either Nintendo system? Or even on DSiWare / WiiWare with monthly downloadable missions?

GS: If there is a chance, of course, I would like to make adventure games, but I have no plan right now. However, I am interested in making a new Mondo-related story for new hardware.

AR: With the game only just being released in the US, is there anything else you would like to say to readers that are still unsure whether to buy FSR or not?

GS: This game is rare style of adventure game not only in Europe and the US but also in Japan. This DS version is faithfully ported from the original PS2 version that was never released outside of Japan, and you can play the game with only a stylus! Also this is the origin of killer7 and No More Heroes, so fans of those games will enjoy seeing familiar scenes and characters. Please support "Flower, Sun, and Rain"!

AR: Finally, for those adventure fans who have completed FSR and are eagerly waiting for more, do you have any update on when the two Silver Case games will be arriving on DS and what sort of changes will be made from their original versions? Will you be considering re-making Moonlight Syndrome as well?

GS: The DS version of "Silver Case" is still up in the air. Actually the game has already been completely ported to the DS, but I have decided that the game itself is very old. Therefore, it is certainly necessary to remake it properly to fit in with the current generation of gamers. So, for now the game has not been released.

As for the "Moonlight Syndrome" IP, unfortunately it doesn't belong to Grasshopper, meaning we cannot do anything for that right now.

- SUDA51

Box art for Flower, Sun and Rain
Developer

Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Comments

This interview was a lot less in-depth than I had hoped. No explanation for Suda's perceived abandonment of Nintendo support, no real insight into the this or future projects. He's basically just advertising the game. I'm disappointed.

Considering it's an interview about Flower, Sun and Rain, you really shouldn't be so surprised. Any other details thrown in are simply nice little bonuses...

I hope that when he does another Sumio Mondo game, Suda does indeed try to take the adventure route again, perhaps trying the download channels to reduce the risks.

Anyway, people really should try Flower, Sun and Rain out - it's definitely an intriguing experience Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Guest 20.07.2009#3

Hmm, I'm going to check out that review.

It's received a lot of unfair criticism from reviewers that don't seem to 'get' it...The game's meant to be rather odd in style and keep gamers on their toes with its strange puzzles. I found it to be a very unique adventure experience with a fantastic sense of style, with a brilliant soundtrack.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Guest 21.07.2009#5

Well, I definitely want to try it, I'm intrigued. But the thing that keeps me off it is the fact that I'm very bad at adventure-puzzle games, and I'd hate it if I get stuck half an hour into the game and give up.

I'll see if I can get it cheap somewhere though.

jesusraz said:
Considering it's an interview about Flower, Sun and Rain, you really shouldn't be so surprised. Any other details thrown in are simply nice little bonuses...

I guess, but seeing as the article earlier last week simply promoted "an interview with Suda51", I didn't expect it to necessarily have such a narrow focus, especially when there's quite a bit more that Nintendo fans would undoubtedly like to chat with Suda about as of late.

Sorry for the confusion then Smilie

Have any of our US readers picked FSR up? I really hope Suda doesn't prevent Silver Case from getting an eventual release, especially considering work is complete on the game now!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Insanoflex, Renan, Sasari

There are 4 members online at the moment.