Capcom on Monster Hunter Stories – world, systems, game length, amiibo, and more
Last week, Famitsu published an article on Monster Hunter Stories. It included an interview with Ryozo Tsujimoto, producer of the series.
There was quite a bit discussed during the interview. Tsujimoto talked about things like the world, systems, how long it’ll take to complete Monster Hunter Stories, and the brand new amiibo. That’s in addition to a few other topics like the anime.
We’ve gone ahead and translated Famitsu’s interview with Tsujimoto. Head past the break to read it in full.
Famitsu: Please tell us the details on how you planned this game.
Tsujimoto: While we were making the Monster Hunter series, there were a lot of users who became interested in the world setting and the monsters’ livelihood. So from there we’d like to make an RPG based on these as concepts. We had been talking about this since around 2010.
Famitsu: Did you also make the setting for Riders at that time?
Tsujimoto: We wanted to give a spotlight to the monsters. We created a position different from Hunters, which are Riders who coexist with monsters. And I think it’d be fun if you could look at Hunters from their point of view, and also if you could pet monsters.
Famitsu: I see. Now what in the world is the “Black Insanity” which just got announced?
Tsujimoto: Black Insanity is a phenomenon that happened once before in the world of this game, and it was solved at that time. That was being told as a legend, but as time passed by people eventually forgot about it. From there the Black Insanity begins to occur again… There are many effects to this phenomenon, like plants withering, monsters that shouldn’t have been alive suddenly appearing, and existing monsters disappearing. The main story is about solving that [once again], but other than that there are also subquests. Please enjoy those [subquests] too.
Famitsu: Next we have a question about the system. Please tell us in details about Otomon and Bond Gauge.
Tsujimoto: Since you’re finally journeying with a monster, we had a thought to have it “do something together with the Rider”, and the Bond Gauge was born. By having Otomon move by themselves, the Bond Gauge will fill up. Riders can also give them orders, but by doing so it will use a bit of the filled Bond Gauge. If this gauge is filled to the max, [Riders] can ride on [the monsters], and unleash unique Bond Techniques.
Famitsu: Next, please tell us about the Transmission Ritual.
Tsujimoto: Transmission is a system for cross-breeding two monsters to awaken a monster’s stats. Monsters become stronger by leveling up, but for another way to grow, we have prepared this Transmission Ritual. Each of the Otomon have 3×3 slots, and by Transmitting the Bond Genes into the empty slots, the stats get awakened. By the way, the shapes of the empty slots are different for each monster even if they are of the same [species]. For example, if there are two Rathaloses, there may be a case where the second Rathalos’ empty slots can be utilized better than the first. So that’s why there’s also a fun factor in finding a monster with easy slots for Transmission Ritual, and also in determining which stats to transmit.
Famitsu: Are you implying that even weak monsters like Velociprey and Aptonoth can have such thing as “Godlike slots”?
Tsujimoto: That’s right. There is also a rare item that can make slots empty. But it’s rather difficult to obtain that, and if you really want to have a strong Otomon you’re going to need this item (laughs).
Famitsu: Speaking of which, how long is the play time you’re predicting will be when creating the game?
Tsujimoto: It’s currently still in the testing phase, but if you only progress with the story it may take around 40-50 hours. The next goals for the story are shown so that it’s easy to proceed without getting lost, but in this game you can also do things like collecting and mining items. When you see item collection or mining points, you will nonchalantly take a detour. When you also spot a monster nest, you’ll also feel the want to get an egg. However, even when you do take detours, the items you’ll get will be useful much later, so they won’t be for vain. There are also many subquests beside the story.
Famitsu: Speaking of item collection and mining, does that mean the main character’s equipment will be produced from materials?
Tsujimoto: That one is close enough to the usual Monster Hunter series. You can buy or produce them at the Weapons & Manufacture Shop. After that you can also strengthen them, but for more details please wait for new information [in the future] (laughs).
Famitsu: Okay I understand (laughs). By the way there are only four weapon types in this game, so please tell us why you limited them to this few.
Tsujimoto: This game is being made as a RPG. If it’s an RPG, even if we were to provide many weapon types, they won’t really have much substitution, so that’s why we’re limited them to Sword & Shield, Great Sword, Hammer and Hunting Horn, each of which have characteristics. As for the equipment, you will see a lot of things that have appeared in the previous Monster Hunter games.
Famitsu: The characters look relatively cuter compared to past series, but how about the play layer?
Tsujimoto: You’ll understand it when you play it, but the monster movements are also “very Monster Hunter”, and if I had to say about the story, its contents will be able to be shared in our generations. We’re developing this with the aim for it to be enjoyable by a broad range of generations, so I hope you can play this at least once.
Famitsu: We’re changing the topic here. So this game also supports amiibo, right?
Tsujimoto: Yes. It’s the first time ever that a Monster Hunter game supports it. It’s an amiibo of a Rider riding on a monster, but you’ll be able to change the rider. We are also preparing other gimmicks, so please look forward to those.
Famitsu: What kind of things can be done by using the amiibo?
Tsujimoto: There are pleasant bonuses like obtaining original Otomon. There are also many other things, but I can’t say them for now (wry laugh).
Famitsu: We’re straying a bit from the game contents now, but please tell us about the launch timing of the Monster Hunter Stories anime we’re also looking forward to.
Tsujimoto: It will be broadcast at Fuji TV from October, every Sunday at 8:30 AM.
Famitsu: Well then, would it be like ‘playing the game while watching the anime?’
Tsujimoto: The anime is also based on the game, but I think we’re also going to prepare stories told from the perspectives of the sub characters, which you can’t see in the game.
Famitsu: As a user, that’s really worth looking forward into indeed.
Tsujimoto: The contents will be enjoyable to those who have played the Monster Hunter series, and to those who have never played Monster Hunter but like RPGs. Please wait in excitement!
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