tsukihime fate mahoyo rakkyo merubura

Rebirth of the Origin

Published in TYPE-MOON Ace 5
Translation by Molokidan

A Mahoutsukai no Yoru developer interview with Nasu Kinoko and Koyama Hirokazu from TYPE-MOON Ace 5, which was released on June 21st, 2010.

Mahoutsukai no Yoru Developer Interview
14 years since the original novel, Mahoutsukai no Yoru is now being reborn as a game. What kind of process will the original story undergo, and how will it change in its new reincarnation? In search of these mysteries, we've interviewed two of the core members of the production staff, Nasu Kinoko and Koyama Hirokazu!


Nasu Kinoko Profile:
The main scenario writer working on the story for Mahoutsukai no Yoru. He has changed the story a great deal from when he wrote it 14 years ago, and focused 100% of his efforts on fitting it with the visual novel game format.

Koyama Hirokazu Profile:
He's working on the art and character design for Mahoutsukai no Yoru. He also works as the chief art director and does CG background work, tackling many things at once!

Heading toward the finish line, which we've finally begun to see

You wrote the novel that Mahoutsukai no Yoru is based on 14 years ago, didn't you, Nasu? What was going through your head when you wrote it back then?

Nasu: I was still in my early 20s then, and at the time, I had this vague goal of becoming an author, so I had written many different pieces for publication. A lot of the time, however, they would never end up under the 350-page limit, so I would always stop before finishing. This happened numerous times, so that's when I decided to just try writing one long novel without worrying about page limits. That ended up becoming Mahoutsukai no Yoru. I put everything I liked and everything I wanted to do at the time into this story, and it ended up finishing at over 500 pages. At times I regretted not having the power to keep it only one volume long, though.

500 pages! That's a hefty amount.

Nasu: Yes, it is. That's normal for me these days, but at the time I wasn't even worth half a writer. So when I completed that story, I remember feeling deep satisfaction and being surprised that I had absolutely no regrets about what I wrote. At the same time, it gave me a lot of confidence. It was like I had seen a glimpse of what I could become. Up until that point, I was really nervous about whether or not I could actually write something that people would enjoy, but when I read back over that finished manuscript, I felt sure that at least 500 people in the world would be able to enjoy it. In that regard, Mahoutsukai no Yoru is the first long novel I completed, the work that defined my stance as a writer, and also the "starting point" that gave me the power to start on the path of writing.

So you clearly have a lot of memories attached to this novel. How many copies did you circulate?

Nasu: A very small number. Back then I was using the copy machine in convenience stores to make my books, and it cost 2,500 yen for one book. A poor university student like me was only able to make one copy for myself and another one to show my friends and family. The only one that remains now is the one that Takeuchi-kun saved for me.

You must really treasure that. Did you read the novel before you began on your work, Koyama?

Koyama: Yes, I did. Before we began developing Mahoutsukai no Yoru, I was handed a bound stack of dirty, yellowed copied pages and told: "This is what Mahoutsukai no Yoru is."

I suppose I read things out of order though, since I had already read Tsukihime, Kara no Kyoukai, and Fate before reading this one. I got the impression that this novel became sort of a model for those works, though. After all, this was written a whole 14 years ago, so I really felt how it was a collaboration of all the things that Nasu wanted to do at that time.

I'd love to read one of the original copies. Also, I heard that the release date was announced as September 30.

Nasu: Yes. I really feel bad about making everyone wait so long. Now that the release date has been announced, we've finally begun to see the finish line, and are really putting our noses to the grindstone.

You mean your work on the project isn't finished yet, Nasu?

Nasu: I've finished the script, but game scripts are different from novels in that simply finishing them doesn't mean that they're "done." They're more similar to movie scripts.

Movie scripts are changed a lot after the actual filming happens, you know? Similarly, we have to brush up the script sometimes to make sure it goes along with the CG and the directing. With Mahoutsukai no Yoru, we're trying to combine my words, Koyama's art, Tsukuri Monoji's directing, and the music -- all these different elements -- into a single scene, so it's closer to making a movie than it is to an adventure game. Therefore, we've had to say things like "Well, if that's how the directing's going to be, then we're going to have to change the sentence this way" over and over again until things are perfected, just like a movie.

How are you feeling about the current progress, then, Koyama?

Koyama: Nasu compared it to making a movie, but to me it feels more like cooking. We supply the elements necessary to build the game: the script and the CG, while Tsukuri is like the chef who prepares them. As of now, we've assembled almost all the ingredients, but now Tsukuri is tasting a bit of the food as he prepares it, saying things like "Now these ingredients taste better than they did before. "

Nasu: I think that's a really accurate description. Each ingredient tastes good on its own, but you can't tell how they really taste until you eat them all together as a full-course meal.

Koyama: In this case, though, we suppliers are giving the chef a lot of orders, like "Add a little more salt here. " And in return, Tsukuri will tell us things like "I'd like to add this ingredient too. " TYPE-MOON works at this kind of pace, slightly adjusting the taste here and there up until the release.

Choices have been removed from the story to let users completely immerse themselves

Now, could you please tell us about the overall flow of the game's story?

Nasu: It's a "mixed residence" type story revolving around two witches named Aoko and a boy named Soujuurou who comes down from the mountains and ends up living with them for a certain reason. The plot revolves around these three main characters.

Koyama: It has the same unique atmosphere as other Nasu Kinoko works, except this time there's a bit of a juvenile taste to it. It has these sort of raw contemplations like "What's going to happen to us now?" and "How long can we continue living like this?" that many people experience during their high school graduation, so I think that users in their teens will really resonate with it.

Nasu: We've spiced it up as a juvenile piece, but it's still the same kind of TYPE-MOON world that people have come to like. I think it would be a good way for new users to get exposed, though.

You said that there were three main characters, but isn't Soujuurou the main character, and Aoko and Alice are just the main heroines?

Nasu: That's the interesting peculiarity of this work. Unlike Tsukihime and Fate, Mahoutsukai no Yoru does not come from one male main character's point of view, but from a third-person perspective that chronicles the three. We originally began this project with the intention to "Remake Mahoutsukai no Yoru as a game," so we stuck with the original in this regard. And since the story is originally from a novel, no choices appear within the game.

There were never many choices within TYPE-MOON games, but I see you've removed them altogether this time?!

Nasu: If this was a scenario made to have the users enjoy making their own decisions in the story and then watching what happened, then we would of course need choices. For Mahoutsukai no Yoru, however, we want to have the users become totally immersed in the story, so we came to the conclusion that choices wouldn't be necessary this time.

So that means there aren't multiple routes for the heroines?

Nasu: Yes. The original novel is a single story that takes place over a single time frame, so it does not branch out into different story paths for the heroines.

Koyama: It's not like there is an "Aoko Route" or an "Alice Route," there is just one story for all three characters.

Nasu: Although, I did think about putting in choices at the start. When I test played the alpha game with the CG and Tsukuri's directing, however, I thought: "putting choices in would ruin the story." If a choice appears right when the reader is immersed in the story, it will yank them back into reality, and ruin the tempo of the game. There's no need for them in the first place, either. The story is told in the third-person, after all, so the player is god. A different kind of "meta" choice is necessary from that point of view, though.

What did you think when you heard that there would be no choices, Koyama?

Koyama: There have been visual novels like that before, and because of the source material, I had pretty much expected that this would happen, so I wasn't surprised. Since the story is just supposed to be enjoyed how it is, I don't think choices are an issue. When I think about novel games that have no choices, Nitro+'s Kikokugai -The Cyber Slayer- comes to mind. When I enjoyed reading through that, I never saw the lack of choices as a negative aspect.

True, that didn't bug me either when I read it.

Koyama: I've always originally thought of novel games not as "games," but singular tales that are meant to be enjoyed as stories, so we realized that choices were not necessary in order to make this story as enjoyable as possible. Of course, I don't mean to negate novel games that have choices. Obviously choices can make things interesting, but basically in Mahoutsukai no Yoru's case, choices were not a necessary element.

Nasu: Of course, this isn't to say it's completely devoid of "game" aspects. We have status windows like the Servant ones in Fate where the users can play around a bit. It's a gimmick to make the experience more fun, but I just think of it as a little side dish to the main course.

I'm excited to see what you have planned. That reminds me, fans have been excited about the fact that something about the "magic" that appears in TYPE-MOON games will be revealed this time...

These images may seem like CG, but they're actually still images transposed on backgrounds using the director, Tsukuri Monoji's special technique.

Nasu: Well, it would be false advertising to call something Mahoutsukai no Yoru and not have magic appear at some point. I'm sure everyone understands that, and has thought up their own expectations, but things may end up a little differently than they're anticipating. People who've played Melty Blood, the fighting game that Aoko appears in, might not be surprised by this, but the bottom line is, it's not as simple as people imagine...

Koyama: On your first time through, you'll probably see something happening on the surface, but you won't really understand what, and you may not be able to handle the sheer amount of information you're bombarded with. If you play it two or three times, though, you'll make little discoveries and think "Oh, so that's what happened!"

Hmm, now you've gotten me really curious.

Nasu: But remember, this is juvenile fiction at its core! It's not quite as over-the-top as Fate was.

Unlike what we did with Fate, we're taking a more cinematic approach to the directing

Compared to what's been done so far, what parts of the directing differ from that of Fate?

Nasu: The screenshots we've released this time include images of the actual story. These are not CG events, but images composed from background elements and still images. If you look at those as the normal game screen, then you should be able to understand the differences from Fate.

Does this include the image of Aoko in a down jacket and Alice by the window?

Koyama: Yes. We basically merge one still image with one background -- and it sounds easy when we explain it like this, but we put a lot of thinking into which element goes well with each part, and what kind of nuances we can express through them. I think we've achieved a special kind of 2D experience that simply placing images into backgrounds normally cannot achieve.

Nasu: That's the special touch we get from our director, Tsukuri Monoji. Unlike what we did with Fate, we're taking a more cinematic approach to the directing. We think it's more intuitively similar to watching a silent movie than actually playing a visual novel. We've used a more basic methodology this time, and created the story solely from using background elements and still images. I hope that somewhat answers your question.

True, if the story is told using Koyama-san's beautiful images, then I'm sure I'll be dazzled. And it seems like there is a lot of depth to the story, too. How long would you say it is?

Koyama: I think it'd be easiest to describe it as the same length as Saber's story in Fate. In terms of hours, I think it will last about 18 if every sentence is read at a normal speed.

Nasu: I think Fate is like reading a 15-volume manga all at once. Mahoutsukai no Yoru is more like watching a two-hour movie. I'm not talking about actual length here, but the overall feeling. Compared to Fate's "Conquering the entire restaurant menu" feeling, Mahoutsukai no Yoru is more like "thoroughly enjoying a meal prepared from rigorously selected ingredients."

Koyama: I feel like this has gotten a little too metaphoric (LOL). Anyway, I know everyone's going to be really excited to find out what happens, but I want to encourage people to really take their time and enjoy without rushing things.

Nasu: The story is split into chapters, and they all end at good stopping points before switching over to the next one. If you keep your eye on where the chapters end, I think you can play at a good pace.

I'll make sure not to hurry myself. Incidentally, will the characters be voiced this time?

Nasu: There will be no voices in Mahoutsukai no Yoru. Obviously, adding voices to the characters would give them more impact. At the same time, however, it would also cement their images. I think there are pros and cons to both having and not having voices in a game.

So you're saying that users will be able to enjoy Mahoutsukai no Yoru enough without the inclusion of voices.

Nasu: Yes. Our idea here is to make "a novel into a novel game," remember. We're mixing the text on screen with cinematic directing, music, and sound effects. We're worried that adding characters' voices to the equation would increase the amount of information on the screen to a point that users wouldn't be able to focus on the points they should. Additionally, the screens in Mahoutsukai no Yoru are top notch. Koyama-san's art is high quality to begin with, but we've also added rigorous directing to them, perfecting them so much that we've had to change the actual text to fit them. To add voices to that kind of atmosphere would force us to change our concept altogether...

So that's what you meant at the beginning when you talked about it being like a silent movie.

A mixed residence story that revolves around three characters

Next, we'd like to hear about the three main characters. First, let's start with Aoko. What kind of a girl is she?

Nasu: Aoko was born from my desire to create a female character who you can enjoy reading about. Not a weak girl who would make men want to protect her, but a heroic girl who stands up to threats. At first glance, she may seem violent or rude, but she's actually so gentle to others that it can seem awkward at times. On the other hand, she's extremely hard on herself.

Koyama: She's also a smart, capable enough student to become president of the student council, so she's really a beautiful girl without any reproach. Since she's hard on both herself and others, however, she may seem hard to approach. But she's really just a larger than life girl who has the same problems that all other girls her age have. She seems like she has no weak points, but she does. You could compare her to Rin from Fate. You could say that she tries to do everything herself far more than Rin does, though.

Nasu: That's because she's just the sort of heroine that Nasu Kinoko always creates -- you could compare her to Rin, or Akiha from Tsukihime, too.

From the sketches we've seen, she doesn't look very stoic, in contrast to how much of a perfect student she is.

Koyama: Yes, Aoko has many different face patterns, and many different expressions, in contrast to Alice, who is comparatively dollish.

Nasu: Aoko-san also has a way more womanly body (LOL). Nasu Kinoko himself was even surprised, saying: "Huh? Was Aoko always this sexy?"

Koyama: That's not true! Alice is just slender, so it makes Aoko look that way.

We'd like to hear about Alice next.

Nasu: Alice is simply "a doll of a girl." She may look like a cold and boring girl, but she's actually very "princess-like."

Koyama: True, she may seem cold from the material we've released so far. And we can't say much now, but she actually has a very big weakness. When we first started production, I had a hard time figuring out how I would do Alice's facial patterns. When Nasu taught me about her big weakness, however, it was suddenly like all the pieces had fallen into place, and she became very easy to draw.

Nasu: She does show some amazing expressions once in a while. Koyama even drew a great comical face for her, but unfortunately it didn't make it into the game.

A character who looks like a featureless doll at first glance but actually has a very big weakness sounds very interesting. Now then, we'd like to hear about Soujuurou.

Koyama: He's an unsophisticated boy who comes down from the mountains. He seems other-worldly and aloof, but has just as many problems as Aoko and Alice.

Nasu: When Takeuchi designed him in the original novel, he looked more like a reliable soldier rather than a boy from the mountains, and he had a really buff body. He was often silent, but when times were tough, you could really count on him. This time, however, we went with Koyama's suggestions, and made him more boyish.

Koyama: As a result, I think it'll be easier for users at the same age level to sympathize with the character as they go through. Normally, he's calm and composed, but also has serious worries about the future, which I think blends his overall character very well.

Nasu: Thanks to that, this Soujuurou has become a different, mysterious character. He easily steps into things that normal people would usually think twice about.

And if I said that because of that, he can be sort of socially awkward, then I'm sure you'll understand what I mean. He's a guy who's good-natured and unsophisticated, but there's something unusual about him that is capable of changing the lives of Aoko and Alice, these more-than-human girls with special abilities.

The sub-characters each have their own important roles

He seems like a very new type of main character for TYPE-MOON. Now, we'd like to hear about the three new characters who have been introduced this time.

Nasu: Kojika is Aoko's friend from school. They go to a different school than Alice, and Aoko was just desperate for a friend with whom she could have girl talk with at her school. There aren't very many kind and gentle girls in this story, so we should have given her a softer personality, but she's actually strong enough to give Aoko a run for her money.

But with that wave she has in her hair, she looks like a very cute young girl...?

Nasu: True, she looks cute in these sketches. If we made Kojika too cute, though, she'd end up looking more like the heroine than Aoko...

Koyama: I think that when I drew these, I was really hungry to draw a traditional "heroine" type character, so even though it wasn't requested, I did so anyway (LOL).

Nasu: She looks pretty, but she's a staunch realist. Even other girls who are harsh like her, for example Aoko, will answer a good-natured comment with a good-natured answer. In Kojika's case, however, she'll bounce everything back off this iron shield she's put up.

So here's yet another girl who's got a large gap between her looks and her personality.

Koyama: I was told that Kojika is "a classic tsundere, except without the dere." Just leaving the "tsun" part in would make her a very harsh, callous character, so I decided we should do a 180 and make her look cute. So I imagined a dollish character like Alice, but with a completely different personality.

Can we hear about Tobimaru next?

Nasu: Tobimaru is a rich kid who's Vice-President of the student council. He's the most talented and good-looking in student in the school, but for some reason he's a bad-mouthed, violent delinquent. He speaks very frankly, and often says things others can't.

So he's kind of like if Issei from Fate turned into a punk?

Nasu: Yes. You have the order mixed-up, though. Issei was actually born out of my desire to make a 'friend' character of a different type than Tobimaru.

So if Tobimaru is the Vice-President, and Aoko is the President, that means they're a beautiful guy/girl duo.

Nasu: They work together well, and share similar opinions. And they have a great visual balance, but as far as their relationship is concerned, it's kind of like: (Tobimaru) "Even if my parents and siblings were killed, I'd never shack up with you." (Aoko) "And even if everyone else in the world died, I would never live with you! That reminds me, when are you going to go die already?"

They seem like very good friends (LOL).

Nasu: I suppose they're more like old war buddies. But they would never become lovers.

And how about his relationship with Soujuurou?

Nasu: He's a reliable friend. Because of Tobimaru's unusual family circumstances, he's taken on a cynical attitude towards people and dislikes them. Despite that, however, he sticks with Soujuurou because he doesn't lie, so he's "easy to be around."

Koyama: Tobimaru is a sub-character, but he's also an important character who acts like a guide for Soujuurou's worries. So Nasu gave me some more detailed instructions as to how he should look: "He should have slicked-back hair, with fuzzy sideburns and look like Columbo, but with a beautiful face." In the actual game, he looks like a "boy so beautiful you could mistake him for a girl," because I just couldn't draw an image from Nasu's instructions... Columbo with a beautiful face? What is that even supposed to look like? (LOL) So I had a lot to worry about when I designed him.

Nasu: I like how he turned out! His face looks great, so as long as the proper hair and clothes get into place, then he'll be a perfectly noble-looking beautiful boy. He looks a bit suspicious, though. Ah, okay, maybe I should have said "eccentric detective" instead of the whole Columbo thing...

True, he does look like a very skilled lawyer. Now, last but not least, please tell us about Kinomi.

Nasu: He's an idiot. He's the moodmaker that Fuji was in Fate. There weren't very many students who dyed their hair in the late 80s, but here we have Kinomi, already ahead of his time. He sees Eguchi Yosuke, who put long hair in style, and thinks "Eguchi's living in the future," so he copies him and goes to school like that, only to be stopped at the front gate with: "Kinomi, come to the teacher's office... no, to the principal's office!" I really like him, he always makes me think: "If only he wasn't an idiot..."

The way the camera zooms up on certain frames and moves around delicately almost makes it seem like you're watching a movie.

Koyama: I drew Kinomi with a "silly sub-character" image in my head. I got a suggestion that he should have short hair and an energetic body, like someone who plays a lot of sports, but I felt that would be too much like Arihiko from Tsukihime, so I tried giving him long hair. That makes him look a bit heavy, though, so then I gave him dyed hair, and he just kept turning more and more into a failure...

Nasu: And that's what makes him so great! If we gave him a great haircut and smooth features, he may become popular with the girls, but that wouldn't do anything to fix his idiotic nature.

Graphic Chief Koyama on drawing original art for the first time

You've been Graphics Chief on older TYPE-MOON works, Koyama, but can you tell us about how it's been to work on original art for the first time?

Koyama: I did have a lot of pressure when I started, because of the original art and how much attention is on this game. I also wanted to find out how high I could make the quality of the CG, as the Graphics Chief. My greatest hurdle this time has been managing my responsibilities as both graphics chief and the original artist.

Nasu: He's done character design, drawn original art, and participated in the directorial meetings. He's also added color to the CG, and measures the quality of the current graphics team. He even does outside supervision on the landscape visuals, so he's pretty much in charge of every visual aspect in the game. If you measured a normal original artist's workload as "1," then I'd have to say Koyama's workload this time is a "5."

Koyama: It's tough, but it isn't as bad as he makes it seem. It's not like I did all that alone, after all. Just like other game makers, we separate the graphic work across a team for smooth production. I did act selfishly this time, however, and let no content leave the lab without my personal seal of approval. Takeuchi had done all the original art up until this point, and I had just fit his work into my graphics. The original art was my job this time, though, so it was hard for me to accept that the graphics wouldn't be all "mine" anymore.

Nasu: He had a super high-class, relaxing ropeway that was going to take him to the top of the mountain, but he chose to climb the harder, lesser trodden path...

What did you focus on most for the graphics?

Koyama: The overall atmosphere was my biggest priority. I think we did a great job capturing that not entirely dry, moistly cold period of time in between autumn and winter. We were pretty limited in Fate, because we'd use dark blue for night, and orange for evening. In real life, though, the night has many different colors mixed into it, and obviously the evening sky isn't just orange. We've added many different colors to the darkness in the nights in Mahoutsukai no Yoru, and we've tried to keep the colors vibrant even when the tones are calmer.

The composition of the event scenes is very unique. For example, Soujuurou standing with his back to the screen in the scene where he meets Aoko.

Nasu: Yes. This first meeting scene is very important to the story. Otherwise we would have made both of their faces visible like a normal scene.

Koyama: That scene isn't unique, either. All the art for Mahoutsukai no Yoru was created with directorial guidance. We aren't just making the camera scroll from the top to the bottom of the scene. We're adding other CG elements in the middle of the scroll, trying different directorial techniques, and experimenting with layouts like the one you see there to create a unique composition. Therefore, Soujuurou having his back turned to the camera, and Aoko being deep in the background are both things that we chose to do on purpose.

So you've treated the composition as a part of the directing.

Koyama: Of course, we have a lot of CG that was simply completed as a single picture. The scene were Alice is sitting on top of the clock tower is where the story switches over to the "world of the night," so we tried to compress the mysterious world of Mahoutsukai no Yoru into one picture there. We can't tell you the details of that scene since it will ruin the story, but it's a scene that directly expresses the unique magic that Alice possesses.

So it's more like a scene from a fairy tale than from a novel game.

Nasu: There's a blue bird in that scene, and right after it was drawn, it caused some kind of spontaneous reaction through our staff, and became the most popular character among them. It would have no effect on the main story if the bird wasn't there, yet now it's a "beloved character" whose absence would depress certain people.

Could it be Alice's familiar? I'm really excited to see what kind of character the bird ends up being... Looking over all the new scenes released this time, though, it seems that all of them have very unique compositions.

Koyama: It's very reassuring to hear that. I really don't want to make the CG I draw into something that's "mass-produced." As a creator, that may sound like a naive thought, but this will be the first product that I've worked as the original artist for, so I wanted to do my best. Even if I end up thinking later, "I could have been a bit more practical," at the very least, I don't want to have any regrets right now.

Once you release this art to the world, though, you'll never be able to drop below its quality again.

Koyama: Yes. That's the problem here.

Nasu: Braving a dangerous mountain path will allow the hiker to see a wonderful view, tranquil fields, and beautiful flowers. But which method of drawing will make them look the best? How do we draw it so that our users get maximum enjoyment out of it? I've been making games for 10 years now, but it's always a series of trial and error.

Character design that invokes "mai waifu"

Are there any memorable events that happened between you two during the process?

Koyama: One thing I can remember is what happened when we were designing Aoko. When I was designing her clothes, Nasu told me to make her "cute, like a heroine." OK, I thought, she's the main heroine, so I gave her cute clothes that a normal girl would be wearing. Then he comes in and says "Well, you can't make her TOO cute." But that's what he told me the first time!

Nasu: And that's not the end of it, either. There was one set of clothes in there -- knee socks and a mini-skirt -- that he thought would win for sure. Well of course, from a male viewpoint, that's what you want to see, but too cute would be bad for Aoko's character, so I shot it down.

Koyama: Now that I think back on it, I agree with Nasu. At the time, I think I was misjudging the point of compromise from the user's viewpoint and the overall character design.

Nasu: I completely understand. If we had done that, though, she wouldn't have been Aoko anymore, so I had to shoot it down, like cutting off a bad leg. It hurt in its own right. I really wanted to say "add some color to it and secretly give it to me"... but I'm a good human being, so I didn't (LOL).

Koyama: We had the original character designs that Takeuchi made for Mahoutsukai no Yoru, and some of the characters appear in Tsukihime, so it was a bit different from creating a completely new character from scratch. I redesigned them while talking with Nasu about how to really breathe new life into them.

Nasu: The Alice and Aoko that Takeuchi drew appear in the 2006 doujinshi Character material, so we used that as a base and had Koyama enhance them. The main idea is still the same, but with Koyama's help we've been able to give them a special uniqueness apart from other TYPE-MOON characters.

Who is your favorite out of the characters that appear this time, then?

Nasu: Aoko, I suppose. She's the most important character in Mahoutsukai no Yoru, and the character that took me the most work to create.

Koyama: True, I have attachments to all the characters, but Aoko's in a class of her own.

Nasu: If this was a game I hadn't worked on, however, I would only have eyes for Alice. No matter how many times I play it, I always get hooked on the Alice route. "Is this a serious bug?!, the only bug is the one inside my brain."

Koyama: If I had to put it in layman's terms, I'd say Alice is the girl you want to protect, and Aoko is the girl you'd trust to cover your back.

So then it'd be tough to have Aoko as a wife, unless you became man enough to stand beside her.

Nasu: Yes, it would be a tough struggle for any mundane person. The greatest thing we could possibly hope to hear is someone say "I would love to have this woman as my wife," though. Our entire impetus behind this project has been to make the users fall deeply in love with the characters. I am confident that Aoko and Alice are both women that no man would be embarrassed to have as a wife.

Now, to conclude, do you have any messages for the users who are excitedly waiting for the release?

Koyama: Now that we have all our ingredients, we're taking special care to prepare them for our customers at the table. Please try to wait just three more months until we can deliver our feast to you.

Nasu: This project started out as a light meal, but now that we're close to the end and I can look back, I really think it's turned into an extravagant feast. I know we've made the users wait a long time, but we're working hard to make this truly worth the wait. We hope reading through the new CG and information compiled here makes you even more excited for the release.