In this second part of Weekly Famitsu’s interview with Level 5 president Akihiro Hino we get some more details on the upcoming Ninokuni. Hino talks about working with Studio Ghibli, and sheds some more light on the ‘Magic Master’ spellbook that comes packed with the game. You can catch our previous coverage of Ninokuni here and here, and part 1 of the interview here.
Weekly Famitsu editor-in-chief, Katsuaki Kato: The thing that most surprised me about Ninokuni is that Level 5 is making the game along with Studio Ghibli.
Level 5 president, Akihiro Hino: Ninokuni’s most outstanding feature is that Studio Ghibli with be in charge of the art and animation. Now that Studio Ghibli is handling the visual side of the game, it has a very charming look. The plan to work with Ghibli has been advancing since we announced that we were working on “an RPG in which you fight with your heart.” It was only very recently that the deal was finalized, but now this project, which has been in the oven for so long, will finally see the light of day.
Kato: I see. Another thing that caught my eye was the packaging.
Hino: The packaging is still a moving target, but the game will definitely include a book. The book is designed to look like an old spellbook. It’ll have all sorts of stuff inside like a bestiary, magic spells, and so on. For example, you might find a door that can only be unlocked by magic. So you have to look in the book for an unlocking spell and use the stylus to draw the spell you find there.
Kato: So you play while looking at the book?
Hino: That’s right. You play as if you were a real sorcerer. If there’s information you want to know, you can get it from the book and use it in your quest. For example, you may come across a demon that’s so strong you just can’t beat it. So you look in the book for information on the monsters that inhabit Ninokuni, and you might find a hint on how to kill the demon, or you may even find that you can feed the demon a certain item to put it to sleep and continue on without killing it. There’ll be short stories, and hints within stories that will help you clear dungeons and such.
Kato: Wow, that’s something we haven’t seen before.