Game Informer: We saw the trailer on the show floor, and we were wondering if you could tell us what elements you are hoping to bring out and highlight with the trailer.
Hiroyuki Kobayashi: The things that we really wanted to show you that are new are Trish, Lady and the Devil May Cry store that shows up in the trailer. These are the new things we wanted to let you in on.
GI: Can you talk a little bit more about the store?
Kobayashi: By introducing the store, we wanted to tell the audience there’s a reason Dante is in town, and that would be because he has a job to do – as he has done in other games. We show the three of them talking inside the Devil May Cry store – Trish, Lady and Dante. Up until now, we have kind of shown Dante as being more of a bad guy. And fans were not sure that he was going to appear as a villain or a hero. Now we know he’s in town to do some devil killing. We find out that he’s one of the guys who kills Nero’s group. I thought by showing a scene with these three talking together it would really get the fans riled up and ready to see more. The scene with these three together is only for a short period of the game.
GI: Both Lady and Trish were kind of love interests in the previous games. Do they work well together? Is there any conflict between the two girls?
Kobayashi: You know the order of the stories – it goes three, one, four. So, basically, they’re all together to fight demons and there doesn’t seem to be conflict between them, they’re just doing their jobs. It’s kind of a triangle between these three. In one Dante and Trish get together and do some work, but it’s not like they’re always meeting together at all the time. But it’s the first time they’ve all gotten together at once, but the feelings between the three are not yet known.
GI: Could you explain the role these new villains play?
Kobayashi: All of this is the order of the sword, and it’s the group Nero belongs to. Nero and Kyrie are childhood friends, and this is Kyrie’s brother – Credo – who is a high up in the Order of the Sword which makes him officially Nero’s superior in this organization. This would be a boss, and he would kind of be a soldier in this army. The three of them are key figures in this organization. Agnus is a researcher. This is a knight boss. Kyrie is kind of wrapped in mystery but rises in the ranks and kind of comes out of no where. We don’t know much about her.
GI: In the trailer we see Kyrie get held hostage and be restrained by one of the characters. How do they end up getting turned against each other?
Kobayashi: Within this organization there are still some underlying conflicts. We know that he is kind of a shady character – we’ve painted him that way. When Dante shows up to kill a demon, we get the feeling that something isn’t right in this organization. Nero looks at Dante as being an enemy right off the bat because Dante kills one of the people in his clan. Within the clan, because of Dantes appearance, things start to happen. We see Agnus take Kyrie hostage with a knife at her throat in the trailer and kind of faces off with Nero at that point. The reason why this all happens is still waiting to be seen.
To give you some other information, this group, the Order of the Sword, as an organization that fights demons. But one of its key members – Nero – has this demon-like arm. From Agnus’s standpoint, she’s like, “We’re fighting demons, but what’s up with your arm? We really don’t know if we should trust you.” That spurs Agnus to do some things that he doesn’t get. That stirs up a lot of conflicting feelings within Nero as well. “I’m fighting for this cause but I have this arm! Why do I have this arm?” He feels cursed and blessed at the same time because it gives him power. As he struggles with his arm the story progresses along.
GI: In terms of content it seems like the same area that’s been shown since last year. Could you talk about what areas have been improved upon the most in terms of gameplay.
Kobayashi: The major changes that we’ve put in since the gamer’s day include graphics, placing of the enemies and balancing the enemies. There’s more balance to the gameplay, too. This is the first time that we’ve actually shown the gameplay in Japan, where it’s actually out for people to play.
GI: Regarding the 360 versus Sixaxis, I’m assuming you’ve been playing around with the game a lot in the office. Of the two controllers, is there one that people at Capcom tend to favor over another?
Kobayashi: Of course, everyone is different. Personally, for myself, I played one, two and three on the PlayStation and I like the controller, but if you’re an Xbox 360 player you may favor it when you play this game. Both games will support the rumble feature, now that the Dualshock 3 controller has been announced for PlayStation 3.
GI: You’ve said in the past that there’s a prescribed place in the game where you’ll be able to play as Dante. Will you be able to, if you beat the game, play through it again as him, even though it would kind of mess up the story?
Kobayashi: To answer your question, no, because the story dictates when you’ll pass to Dante. You can’t go back and play as Dante from the beginning.
GI: Can you say anything about if Vergil will play a role?
Kobayashi: Sorry, but Vergil will not play a role.
GI: I was at the Capcom Spring Gamer’s Day and at TGS last year. Why is there not a new playable level here?
Kobayashi: We mulled over then idea of having Dante being playable at this show, but the end decision was made to save him and make you wait to buy the game to play him. One reason is that the initial press reaction to the announcement that Dante would be a playable character was kind of so-so, and in reaction to that we decided not to push Dante too much. Also, because he’s so fun to play—he’s just so powerful—we thought the reaction to him being playable would overshadow Nero and kind of take the spotlight away from him. He’ll use this weapon called the Gilgamesh, which is a very difficult weapon to use. It’s a very high-level weapon, basically because Dante shows up halfway through the game and the player already has a certain level of skill. To have a player who’s not familiar with the series at all play this here for the first time we thought would be overwhelming and might even be a turnoff for new players because of the difficulty. That’s another reason. This active style change is another advanced feature that we only expect advanced people to use, and by the nature of game shows we want to get more people into the game, so we left it out.
GI: Has adding the 360 version added any extra development time and pushed back the release date?
Kobayashi: Yes, it did add a little bit of time. We didn’t even start development on the 360 version until after the announcement was made—it was like, “Oh, we’re going to make it for the 360. We’d better get started.” It wasn’t that we were almost done with the 360 version and we made the announcement, it was the other way around. We made the announcement and then we started development.
GI: Can you talk about the jewelry that you’re wearing?
Kobayashi: Dante wore jewelry—he’s sort of a stylish character—but we didn’t know what to do with Nero. So, we designed everything in his outfit and everything in his costume around the blue rose. That actually comes from the game. In the goods counter, you can actually buy a ring that was based on one that Nero wears. By the way, most of Dante’s accessories are modeled around a skull, which you can see on my belt buckle. And Dante’s T-shirt is like this skull.
GI: You’re releasing a game on the Xbox 360, and in other parts of the world it’s doing very well. What do you think about the Xbox 360’s lack of success here in Japan, and what do you think it needs to do to make it more successful here.
Kobayashi: Japan is a no-go. You can’t do anything about it. There’s nothing they can do. It really has a lack of games that Japanese people want to play, so it’s not viable until they got more games that are geared toward Japanese people. The games for the Xbox are obviously good. They sell millions of copies around the world, which is evidence that they’re good. They’re just not games that Japanese people want to play. For that reason, there’s really not anything they can do except add games that Japanese people want to play. Because Xbox is doing so well overseas, when we make a game for the overseas market we would be shooting ourselves in the foot to not make it on Xbox. So, the market determines which platforms we design for. In the six years that Devil May Cry has been out, there have been a lot of action games that came out but haven’t lasted. So Devil May Cry is one of the survivors of the genre. There is a big fanbase out there of people who want to play a good action game, so to not ignore that group of people we put it on the 360. The reason we added a new character is to create a new starting line. The older crowd can look forward to playing as Dante, and everyone can play Nero for the first time.