Ishiwatari and Mori Interview (Blazblue)
In the world of hardcore fighting games, everyone has heard of Guilty Gear. We got a chance to sit down with Daisuke Ishiwatari, often credited as one of the creators of Guilty Gear, and Toshimichi Mori, character designer and one of the creators for BlazBlue.
T-ONO: The story has always been an important part of fighting games. Since both Guilty Gear and BlazBlue have story modes, how much thought did you put into the story?
Mori: (laughs) I put all of my energy into the making of BlazBlue, so I don’t think I slacked off anywhere.
T-ONO: Can you compare the process of making a high-resolution game like BlazBlue versus a standard resolution like Guilty Gear?
Mori: Since it is high-resolution now, there are a lot of details in the character design. It now takes longer to create characters compared to standard resolution.
Ishiwatari: (laughs) Actually I didn’t really work on BlazBlue, so I don’t know much about that.
T-ONO: Could you briefly describe the design process of a character from start to finish?
Ishiwatari: For example, when a player wants someone with longer reach, that is where we begin the character design and creation process. The characters are created depending on what the fans and gamers want.
T-ONO: How about a design like Noel Vermillion since she is a popular design. Was there any particular inspiration?
Mori: Noel Vermillion was my dream character. All the other characters, including the main character, were designed by advice given by other creators on how to create them. Noel was my one character that I wanted to create in my own way. (laughs)
T-ONO: Which character was hardest to design?
Ishiwatari: For Guilty Gear, the main character.
Mori: For BlazBlue, same exact thing, also the main character.
T-ONO: What about them was hard to design?
Ishiwatari: It is really hard to design that one character that stands out as the main character.
Mori: It is also the same with BlazBlue. The hardship of designing the main character is when you line up all 20 characters, you need to design a character out of these twenty that has to be obviously the main character to the player.
T-ONO: Both BlazBlue and Guilty Gear have a big competitive scene featuring lots of combos. How closely does the competitive game play compare to your original vision of the game?
Ishiwatari: Just because you could create the game doesn’t mean that you are going to be good at playing the game. As the game’s creators, we are surprised watching good players using combos in a different way.
T-ONO: Were there any players that you know that stood out?
Ishiwatari: A player named Ogawa-kun.
T-ONO: Ishiwatari-san, you said that you rarely have a flash of inspiration for the music. But are there bands that inspired you?
Ishiwatari: The bands Halloween and Judas Priest were one of two biggest inspirations.
T-ONO: Which particular track did they kind of provide the inspiration for?
Ishiwatari: The songs with a fast beat, the heavy metal ones.
T-ONO: Were there any songs that you had hard time writing?
Ishiwatari: It is the same with the character design, the main character.
T-ONO: Are you guys currently working on any projects or future projects that are coming up?
Ishiwatari: We haven’t started anything. We’re working on things, but only through the BlazBlue world.
Mori: There might be something coming up with BlazBlue, but we can’t say yet. (laughs)