Tri-Ace President: Ask Square Enix for More Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile
Yoshiharu Gotanda, Masaki Norimoto weighted on new Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile console games during the Anniversary Fes 2020 event.
If you want a new Valkyrie Profile or Star Ocean console game, you’ll need to let Square Enix know your love for the series even more. On April 4, Square Enix held the Star Ocean x Valkyrie Profile Anniversary Fes 2020 Seikaisai. The event included a concert part and a talk show part. The talk show focused on the Episode 3 update of Star Ocean Anamnesis, the SO mobile game. As you already know, VP also has its own mobile game, Valkyrie Anatomia. Needless to say, due to Covid-19, the whole event was streamed, with no audience physically present at the venue.
The concert section was divided into a Valkyrie Profile part and a Star Ocean part. The Valkyrie Profile part included story bits from the game voiced live by the seiyuu of Lenneth and Freya: Yumi Touma and Maria Kawamura. It’s definitely great fanservice for anyone into the series. A talk show event with the same duo also happened back in December 2019. We covered it here. Motoi Sakuraba, the music composer of Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean, was present during the concert. He played multiple tracks together with an orchestra.
The Star Ocean x Valkyrie Profile Anniversary Fes 2020 Seikaisai can be watched on YouTube. The event is around 3 hours long in total. The top comment on the video also has a playlist with timestamps:
Moreover, Square Enix published a pamphlet for this anniversary event. The pamphlet most notably includes an interview with Tri-Ace’s Yoshiharu Gotanda and Masaki Norimoto, alongside Motoi Sakuraba. That’s not all. At the end of the interview, the trio were asked about new Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile games. (Shoutout to @nashiranadir for pointing it out). Here’s our translation of this part of the interview:
Interviewer: “Last year, Star Ocean Anamnesis held a Valkyrie Profile collaboration event. Its scenario was extremely well received by fans. It even featured new characters. Did you have this scenario in mind since back when developing Valkyrie Profile 1 and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria?”
Masaki Norimoto: “No. I wrote everything specifically for the collaboration event. Be it the scenario or the new characters. Back when we made Valkyrie Profile 1, we didn’t plan to make another game. That’s why the game has a conclusive ending. So I thought if we made a Valkyrie Profile 2, it would definitely have plot inconsistencies. And it did, especially since I didn’t directly write the scenario for 2 and couldn’t get my hands on certain details.”
Interviewer: “Does this mean you regret how Valkyrie Profile 2 turned out?”
Masaki Norimoto: “I see it more like a challenge.There’s a gap in my heart between Valkyrie Profile 1 and Valkyrie Profile 2. I tried to close this gap if only by a little bit with the collaboration scenario.”
Interviewer: “The collab scenario has a conclusive ending, but it has a lot of implications. So I feel there’s enough material to keep writing much more. I’ll be blunt. Did you already start thinking about a sequel?”
Masaki Norimoto: “I do want to write more, but it’s not for me to decide… But to answer whether I already started writing or not, the answer is no.”
Interviewer: “Wait really? Even though a lot of interesting things could be happening next?”
Masaki Norimoto: “I only have vague ideas on what to do for now. Such as “I want to do this kind of thing for the ending”. “I want to include that kind of scene”. And “I want this character to have that kind of role”. I’ll think about it more thoroughly if I’m ever required to write a continuation.”
Interviewer: “Valkyrie Profile is celebrating its 20th anniversary, so many wish to see a sequel for the collaboration scenario. Moreover, Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile were both initially console series. Many fans are expecting new console games. Do you have any plans regarding that?”
Yoshiharu Gotanda: “I know many fans are awaiting new console games for both series. But to be honest, the only thing you can do is ask the games’ publisher, Square Enix, about it. It’s complicated business-wise. (bitter laugh). So we can’t say anything concrete regarding new games.”
Interviewer: “Game development is a business, so whether a franchise is profitable or not is a huge prerequisite for a new game to happen. There’s also the company’s schedule and staff availability to think about.”
Yoshiharu Gotanda: “We hope that we can keep making many new games in the future. But for now, we can only do what we can. That’s all I can say.”
Interviewer: “I’m happy you do feel like making more games so I’ll leave it at that. I’m sure every Tri-Ace fan is looking forward to more games.”
Yoshiharu Gotanda: “Thank you. It’s thanks to all the fans and their intense support we were able to organize events like this in the first place. We always try our utmost to meet everyone’s expectations. I know you might be disappointed sometimes with how things turn out. Even so, I hope you will keep supporting us.”
Personally speaking, I thought Star Ocean 5 was really cheap. If a Star Ocean 6 does happen, I hope it’ll be much better. As for Valkyrie Profile, the original game is great in itself. However, I believe a simple but effective remake in the vein of Star Ocean First Departure R would be great before delving into a Valkyrie Profile 3.
The interview in the pamphlet is incredibly long, but we’ll have a full summary coming very soon. Like Ulala would say, stay tuned.