A new Fate property is always a big deal, and here we are heading into Fate/Samurai Remnant’s release. Coupled with being a new game from Warriors developer Omega Force, there’s quite a lot to be excited for when players are finally able to jump into Fate/Samurai Remnant and fight through the Holy Grail War themselves. Despite being made by Warriors series developer Omega Force and utilizing many aspects of its gameplay, the game is very much its own thing and a full-fledged action RPG. It allows players to not only play as the game’s main character, a master being forced to fight in a version of the Holy Grail War, but as several Servants as well.
Fate/Samurai Remnant is coming out later this month, and we got to pose some questions to a director at Koei Tecmo games, Ryota Matsushita. Matsushita-san has over a decade of experience working on major games, including being a planner on Pokemon Conquest, before doing game design for Samurai Warriors 4 and its spinoffs, including working as the lead game designer for Samurai Warriors 4: Empires.
Notably, he made a huge impact directing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the smash sequel to Hyrule Warriors that acted as a prequel to Breath of the Wild. As such, we’re very excited to see what he was able to accomplish with this foray into the beloved Fate franchise. Matsushita shined a lot of light on the game’s development, which we’d been wondering about since our preview of the game.
The English localization of the game puts Japanese names in the correct order (family name before given name.) Most games don’t do this, including Koei Tecmo’s own Samurai Warriors titles. Why does Fate/Samurai Remnant break this cycle?
Ryota Matsushita: In recent years, it has become more common to use the last name and then first name order in to better respect Japanese culture, and this is something we have updated as well. Fate/Grand Order also uses the order of last name and then first name for Japanese names, and we believe that English-speaking fans of the Fate series will be familiar with this.
Why specifically was the decision made for the game to be its own thing as opposed to a sort of Fate Warriors title?
Ryota Matsushita: Since there was already a game with a similar style in the past, we chose the path of “a new title that depicts the Holy Grail War from the Master’s point of view in a grandiose way.” We were able to take on this challenge because we started this project with high expectations and cooperation from TYPE-MOON.
Fate/Samurai Remnant doesn’t have a block button, unlike most Omega Force games, much like in Persona 5 Strikers and One Piece: Pirate Warriors. Why was the emphasis put on dodging over blocking this time around? And can players expect any upgrades that allow them to use dodges to cancel out certain attack animations?
Ryota Matsushita: In order to represent the high-speed battles that appear in Fate’s works, we didn’t include the ability to block in order to maintain the tempo of each battle. Each player can take part in battles in which they dodge the enemy’s fierce barrage of blows and collide with them at top speed. However, Iori’s “Earth Stance” attacks can also be used as a way to block attacks. Evasion cancels are possible with certain attacks and timing, and more attacks can be cancelled with servants who are more capable of high-speed battles than humans.
It’s interesting that the game is an original story instead of using an existing Fate story. How did this come to pass?
Ryota Matsushita: I think it was thanks to all of the support we received from TYPE-MOON that made this possible. Our scenario team has a deep understanding of the Fate series, and Mr. Nasu, Mr. Sakurai, and Mr. Higashide worked together to create a completely new story.
Fate/Samurai Remnant was developed simultaneously with Wild Hearts. Did the two games end up inspiring each other in any way?
Ryota Matsushita: Since we work on the same floor developing games, we always support each other (although there is some serious competition among the development teams). Because of the different kinds of games we create, there has not been a direct influence on game design. However, we do, of course, share and improve each other’s technical skills.
Was this a more challenging game to make versus Warriors titles, such as Samurai Warriors 5?
Ryota Matsushita: Although there are, of course, some elements that we have taken from our previous titles, it was very challenging to portray the Holy Grail War as an action RPG. The main character, who challenges the Holy Grail War as a human, cannot always play the role of a Warriors character. Therefore, it is important for the Master and Servant to fight as partners, and I believe that we were able to achieve a completely new experience of an “unequal and united partner” while combining the exhilaration of an action game with strategy elements.
What engine does Fate/Samurai Remnant run off of? Is it using the same engine that Samurai Warriors made use of? If so, was it modified at all?
Ryota Matsushita: We’re developing this title using our proprietary engine, the “Katana Engine”, which we also used for SAMURAI WARRIORS 5. Since this is our proprietary engine that we use during development, we’re constantly updating it with the necessary features needed for each title. For example, in this title, we are updating the characters so that they can be represented in a 3D space with all of the charm of their 2D illustrations.
I’ve read that while Type Moon members outlined Fate/Samurai Remnant’s plot, the scripts themselves were written by some of the people who wrote Fire/Emblem: Three Houses. Is there any truth to that? If so, how involved was Type-Moon in this process after the scripts were done?
Ryota Matsushita: The production of the story was not created fully on our end, but instead, we worked with TYPE-MOON closely by going back and forth on the details. The scenario was mainly written by our team of writers and supervised by us, but many points were written and added directly by TYPE-MOON. We worked together to make sure that the story was expressed in a way that would fit the video game medium and be appealing to players.
Holy Grail Wars are serious business. What Heroic Spirit of a legendary warrior would you want to fight by your side if you became a Master?
Ryota Matsushita: Ahhh… that’s a difficult one. No matter how strong of a Servant I choose, there are always pitfalls in the Holy Grail War. Since it can’t be a sane and fair person chosen by the other Masters, I don’t feel like I could outwit them for good. I’m thinking of summoning the “Hassan of the Hundred Faces” (a Servant with multiple bodies), and hopefully, I can blend in with them, and they can help me with the work I’m trying to do.