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C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon: Tokiwasure no Meikyuu was released at the end of last year over in Japan on Nintendo's Wii to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first Mystery Dungeon game on PSone that featured the yellow bird from the Final Fantasy series. Cubed3's Adam Riley caught up with developer h.a.n.d., the team behind the DS Chocobo game as well, to talk about the project in more detail and discuss possibilities for the future...

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

Cubed3's Adam Riley: When did you start developing Chocobo on Wii? And is it the same team that did Chocobo Tales on DS?

Yuji Yano; Director: The actual development began in November 2006. As the hardware and programming languages were different, some members of the Chocobo Wii team were different from the Chocobo DS team.

AR: Is this your first Wii project, or have you already become accustomed to working on the system? And what are your thoughts on developing for Wii?

Yuji Yano; Director: This is our second piece of software for the Wii. With the Wii there are lots of toolkits provided by Nintendo, which makes development a lot easier.

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

AR: Is this Chocobo Dungeon game fundamentally different from the two PSone versions, or are there main elements that fans of the old games will be familiar with?

Yuji Yano; Director: While some main elements of the game have been carried over to Wii, we wanted the game to be accessible to a wider audience, for example small children and female gamers, so some difficult elements of the game were removed. But to keep the game entertaining we added new elements such as the job system.

AR: Does the game support the Classic Controller and GameCube pad? And how is the Wii's motion control system used in the game?

Yuji Yano; Director: The game is best played with the Wii remote, holding it sideways, or normally. With this, we can create a control system unique to the Wii, for example shaking the Wii remote to change items or using it for fishing. Unfortunately the GameCube controller is not supported, but the classic controller is. Using the Classic Controller you can experience a control scheme similar to the older versions of the game.

AR: What is the storyline for Chocobo Dungeon, and are there any links with Chocobo Tales?

Yuji Yano; Director: Treasure hunters Chocobo and Sid wander in to a mysterious village of forgotten time where it is believed you can become happy by forgetting everything. In the centre of this town there is a clock, and when its bell strikes it makes everyone in the village lose their memories. In this town Chocobo enters the Labyrinth of Memories with a mysterious friend, Rafaelo, and sets out on a journey to find all the lost memories.

Chocobo Dungeons and Chocobo Tales have no real links, so you can think of it as two Chocobos on parallel worlds; though we tried to make both games have similar atmospheres to each other. Some characters appear in both games, so I'm sure people who have already played Chocobo Tales will appreciate this game even more.

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

AR: It has been reported that the Pop-Up Duels make a return, is this correct? And have they been developed more since Chocobo Tales?

Yuji Yano; Director: That is correct. You can collect cards that enemies in the dungeon drop and take them to a 'Moguri' named 'Moghouse'. At his house you can enjoy Pop-Up Duels with your cards.

AR: Can you please explain some of the job classes found in the game?

Yuji Yano; Director: They are similar to those in the Final Fantasy series. Chocobo Wii introduces a "job change" system, though. In total there are 10 job types. As the game advances you may do various jobs. With a job change you can change your Chocobo's abilities, stats and, of course, appearance. Depending on what job type you are some areas of the dungeons also change, so by changing jobs you can enjoy the same dungeon many times over.

AR: How long would you say the game is, and what extras have been included to give players better value for money?

Yuji Yano; Director: The main game can be completed in around 20 hours. Outside the main game, as well as Pop-Up Duels, you can play bat shooter and kick darts and various other mini games. At various areas within towns you can also go fishing, or in fields you can grow flowers. And we have included various other features that you can get side-tracked with. In the ranch, if you input certain phrases, you can get a rare Pop-Up Duel cards, or even unlock secret dungeons!

AR: Are there any Wi-Fi features included or multiplayer options as well?

Yuji Yano; Director: The Pop-Up Duels are Wi-Fi compatible, so you can enjoy battles with all of your friends wherever they are!

AR: The game had a strong first week in Japan before Christmas, but quickly disappeared from the charts. Has the game still met sales expectations, though?

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

Yuji Yano; Director: I am not fully satisfied, unfortunately. I want the world of Chocobo and the genre of 'Mystery Dungeon' to be loved and played by as many users as possible. I was extremely pleased with the launch sales. However, I believe there are still many people yet to have experienced the world of Chocobo, so with the next Chocobo project (if there is one...) I hope to create a game that more people can love and a game that fully expresses the beauty of the world of Chocobo.

AR: Is it likely that this game will be released outside of Japan?

Teruaki Matoba; President: While I would love Chocobo to be appreciated around the world, there is nothing I can officially comment on this. If there is it will be revealed at a private Square Enix show at a later date.

AR: What do you think about the possibility of a Chocobo Dungeon game on DS? Or is a DS sequel to Chocobo Tales more likely?

Teruaki Matoba; President: I have nothing that I can officially reveal about this, sorry. If there is it will be revealed at a private Square Enix show at a later date.

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | hand Talks Chocobo Mystery Dungeon on Nintendo

AR: Chocobo has already appeared in his own racing game. But what do you think about the idea of Chocobo featuring in the Mario Kart Wii line-up?

Yuji Yano; Director: I think it would be very amusing. Characters crossing over from other companies and consoles is an irresistible concept for fans. I believe collaborations like this will help improve the gaming world so I hope this sort of joint effort will happen in the future.

AR: Does your team currently have any other ideas to expand the Chocobo series?

Teruaki Matoba; President: This game involved a huge effort from the Square Enix team to create. I am extremely interested in expanding more on the Chocobo world. I am not allowed to reveal anything official about future Chocobo games, but if we did create them, I am sure you will hear about them at one of Square Enix's private shows in the future!

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25.03.2008 13:38

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I stopped reading after 'we removed some of the difficult elements'.

MYSTERIOUS DUNGEON IS MEANT TO BE HARD!

Chocobo's Dungeon is the easiest in the series, why make it even easier by removing the elements which make Mysterious Dungeon Mysterious Dungeon?

MD is not for families and kids, MD is for the hardcore. Leave it alone ;-;

If they've done the same to Shiren the Wanderer 3 I'll fucking kill them.

( Edited 07.01.2013 01:31 by Guest )

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Shiren 3 is by Chunsoft, though, not h.a.n.d. This is the first time this company's done a Mystery Dungeon game and from all reports, despite what you may think from that comment, it's meant to be a cracking game, especially thanks to the various additions.

I really hope S-E gets round to confirming its Western release asap now DQS is already out in the US.

I also hope h.a.n.d. gets another crack at Chocobo on DS, since Chocobo Tales was great fun :-D

( Edited 07.01.2013 01:31 by Guest )

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

The hardness is what I like about MD, though ;-;

It's pretty much the only game now which makes you rely on your wits alone. If it's not difficult then what's my motivation to play it?

I'll buy it anyway, mind. I'm trying to build a collection.

( Edited 07.01.2013 01:31 by Guest )

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Then you should pick up Shiren on DS, and then this as an extra treat on the side...then you get the best of both worlds - the original SNES game remade, and completely rock solid, plus the extremely attractive Wii game that has the high production values and multiplayer/Wi-Fi extras :-Smilie

Sad to hear sales expectations weren't met...I think the game is around 100,000 units in Japan right now, which is a far cry from the 500,000 of Dragon Quest Swords.

( Edited 07.01.2013 01:31 by Guest )

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

Nice one, Raz!

I can't believe I let the MD series pass me by for so long given how much I now adore Shiren DS. It's just a shame that so many of the games only ever get released in Japan, or take months/years to make their way to the West (at least this one IS coming, though Ė just saw that news!)

I don't think the N64 Shiren sequel ever came out in Europe did it? I could be wrong about that, though. Either way, I'm definitely going to start looking into some of the other installments in the series Ė Chocobo included!

The lowered difficulty is a tad worrying, but as long as the game is sufficiently engrossing/deep, I'm sure it will plenty of fun. Smilie


Cubed3 Staff < Retro Editor :: Previews Editor >
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Well, for me, when I read 'reduced difficulty' I imagine the Pokťmon Mystery Dungeon games, which still held a lot of challenge, but just was aimed at a wider market rather than putting people off by being too hard.

I shouldn't worry too much... Smilie

Chocobo Dungeon 1 & 2 never made it to Europe. The only Mystery/Mysterious Dungeon game to do so is SEGA's offering and the two Pokťmon versions.

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

There are plenty of other roguelikes around though.

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

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