Interview with Working Designs' President, Victor Ireland.
Arnold: With the recent release of Square's Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy IX, how do you think Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete can compete with the two powerhouses?
Victor: I think it will perform very favorably. There is some overlap between LUNAR fans and Square fans, but it's not the same market. The fans that buy LUNAR are generally looking for strong, cohesive character interaction and an immersive story. You don't always get that in a Square game.
Arnold: What are some of the changes made in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete over the SEGA CD counterpart. Any different plot lines or deeper backgrounds on characters?
Victor: Yes, the backgrounds on many of the main characters are explored in more depth, especially Ronfar and Mauri. Also, more emphasis is given to Lucia's awakening to human emotions. That development really pays off in the end because it allows you to care about these people so much more.
Of course, there are also a number of changes to animations (small ones taken out, others added or greatly expanded), and there have been some quests and bonus dungeons added.
Arnold: What exactly was the motive behind including all of those extra "goodies", such as the beautiful looking Lucia's Pendant and the 17 character standees?
Victor: We just felt that we needed to present LUNAR 2 in the best possible light and make it something that gamers would think of fondly for a long time to come. The packaging and presentation is the finest ever executed for a game, console or otherwise, and the game deserved that.
Arnold: With the online videogaming craze as popular as ever, do you see Lunar as being an online game in the future on next-generation consoles such as the PS2, GameCube or maybe even X-Box?
Victor: Since a strong narrative is the hallmark of the LUNAR series, I don't see how this could be accomplished right now, but never say never.
Arnold: "If" a PS2 Lunar is released, do you think you will continue the tradition of selling the game with pre-packaged goodies, just like Lunar: Silver Star Story and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete were for Playstation.
Victor: We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. We decide that kind of stuff on a case-by-case basis. I will say that LUNAR 2's packaging and presentation was really, really difficult and we're quite tired, so it will probably be some time before we get that extravagant again.
Arnold: Gun Griffon Blaze is without a doubt an exciting first person mech fighter, do you think that maybe somewhere in the future we may see another Gun Griffon title released for the PS2? If so what kind of things would you like to implement into the sequel that didn't make it to the Saturn and PS2 games?
Victor: I can't speak for Game Arts, but I'd like to see the internet version. Wouldn't you?
Arnold: [In response to Victor's question]-Definitely!
With the release of RayCrisis on PSX and Silpheed: The Lost Planet on PS2 (both by Working Designs), do you believe that the top-down shooter genre will be kept alive for the next five years, or do you think that people won't care for them anymore because of their simplistic visual style. And are there any plans on possibly some other shooters being released for the PS2?
Victor: Hard to say. We've been supporting the genre for some time, touting the ability for gamers to pick up these kinds of games and play them in short, satisfying bursts. Silpheed is visually amazing and fun to play, so it will be a bellwether for future decisions.
Arnold: Thank you very much Mr. Ireland for this interview and taking some time to answer the questions, we are looking forward to the release of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete. Good luck with the game's success!
Victor: Thanks for the opportunity!