Hideo Baba answers your Tales of Xillia questions

Plus, the second part of the series recap video

You were quick to comment with questions for Hideo Baba, Producer on the ‘Tales of’ Series, on last week’s Tales of Xillia recap! We are back with Hideo Baba’s answers, and the last part of the recap of Tales of Xillia’s story. Tales of Xillia 2 is out next week on 22nd August and we couldn’t be more excited!

Where do you find inspiration for creating games? Books? Music? Art? Or does is just happen in your brain with no external factors/stimulants?

Hideo Baba: Basically I hardly draw inspiration from specific books, music or arts. We describe a fantasy world through its storyline and world setting, so we always keep in mind to bring brand new game experiences to everyone such as the world setting, main character’s adventure and battle system in every new title. If the world setting and the adventure looked same as something else existing, I suppose no one could enjoy the game, especially in the long series. Therefore, we create almost everything from our original ideas.

Do you have any goal as video game producer? Any dreams? You are already famous! So what more can one achieve? World domination? That… wouldn’t be so bad…

Hideo Baba: My goal is to keep creating new gameplay experiences in the shape of videogames in “Tales of” series while keeping the traditional features. I would like to keep sending various messages through games to encourage players to live and to try something hard.

Do you have any favorite book or poem?

Hideo Baba: I have lots of favourite books but I would like to say “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull” and “The Giving Tree”. Both books are not difficult but really heart moving so they are important to me.

In “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull”, not only he uses his wings to catch prey but also he looks for the true meaning of flying with his wings that every bird naturally owns. His way of living is really impressive where he sticks with his conviction, even though he gets funny looks from friends around.

“The Giving Tree” describes “love” and its shape, and the shape of giving love, through short sentences. This is a really thought-provoking book.

What possibilities do you see for future games. Would you consider futuristic sci-fi, or darker themed games? Where does the series go from here?

Hideo Baba: This is an interesting question. I believe a story can be any storyline and can be described in any ways, but Tales of series has been described in the adventure of sword and magic with the theme of storyline and its message, so if I have an opportunity to develop a sci-fi game, I would like to make it in the other new series.

There is a running joke in the Tales series to do with badly drawn wanted posters. Is there a history to this? Who draws them?

Hideo Baba: We describe both serious storylines and elements that players can get a good chuckle in the worlds of Tales of series. That’s a sense of fun of the developers which makes the series more than games. Most of these illustrations on WANTED posters were traditionally drawn by directors of each title for some reason. These posters describe the interesting gap between the actual characters and their “portraits” in an amusing way..

If Tales characters really existed, which one (main or supporting) would you date/have as best friend? And which one would you prefer having nothing to do with?

Hideo Baba: This is an interesting question. A character whom I would like to go on a date with? I can consider from various perspectives. If I would like to go on a date in a romantic mood, I would like to say Milla. But I like to go on rather lovely date, so I think I can always have a joyful time with Pascal, who never makes me bored, like slapstick. Rowen is a character who I would like to make best friends with though he is older than me. He is reliable and I think he would give me some good advises. I think I can be good friends with Lloyd, too. He is actually a good guy.

A character I prefer nothing to do with… is Teepo. He is dangerous. It would be awful if he said “Bazongas!” to a woman on his own during a date. But he is a lovable mascot.

Is there any chance for having Japanese Audio included in future Tales of games?

Hideo Baba: I know that lots of users who support Tales of series in North America, Europe and Asia would like to have original Japanese voice-overs. We want to try to solve various problems to make it happen.

Were you surprised at the number of people who campaigned for dual audio options in Tales Of games, and the number of people in the EU/US who prefer to listen to Japanese actors with English subtitles, even if they don’t speak Japanese themselves?

Hideo Baba: Honestly speaking, I feel this is natural. When watching dramas or movies, I myself enjoy them more as perfect video pictures with original voice-overs and Japanese subtitles. Thus, even if players cannot understand Japanese, no wonder they want to feel the original performances and their original expressions in the original language.

I cannot make a promise, but I would like to challenge to bring the original Japanese voice-overs to everyone.

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23 Comments 0 Author replies
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Zieghardt 14 August, 2014 @ 6:56 pm   1

I’d really love them to make a sci-fi series since Star Ocean is kinda dead 🙁

I think I can be good friends with Lloyd, too. 😀
Nice interview. 🙂

tenshi_alpha 14 August, 2014 @ 7:13 pm   3

I am really glad he’s so receptive to the idea of dual-audio. I feel a degree closer to the original director with subtitled media. (Plus some people in my family… their hearing is not so good, so subtitles are always welcome)

Thank you guys! I was waiting for it. Sorry for spamming twitter asking about it 😛

I’m going to order those books and read them 🙂

But… Pascal? 🙂 I mean… she doesn’t like bathing too much… it could be well… sensational experience 🙂

Anyway I’ve already pre-odered both Tales of Xillia 2 and tales of Hearts R and you can be sure that I will pre-order every next game from tales series! It would be nice for true Vita exclusive not just “R” but still… want it!

Bit sad about SAO though… digital only :/ I hope that at some point you will release game with nice retail edition (maybe with all DLCs) because it deserves it It! I even started petition asking for it… but I failed so hard that it is embarassing to talk about it 😛 Like I said… value of digital games for me is about 5 EUR… and I will buy SAO if it will ever drop to 5 EUR no sooner :/ But for retail I can pay 40-50 EUR whenever you want!

But still… I want SAO 🙁 I would pre-order it from Hong-Kong if only I could buy dlcs for that :/ Huh :/ Ow well it seems 2 volumes of SAO LN that are coming to me will have to be enough for me :/ that’s bad news :/


Great answers. Currently playing my way through Tales of Graces f while I wait for SAO to be released next week. That will be my Game of the Year, I think.

Initially this was one that I wasn’t too keen on at first, largely due to the childhood arc and Asbel’s attitude, but coming back to it I find I’m loving this game now.

Bacon_Crispies 14 August, 2014 @ 10:21 pm   6

Just my 2 cents, with everyone wanting to keep the orignal jap voices, I prefer the english dub.
Dubs can be bad, I know, but I have never had a Tales game with what I consider bad voice acting, the cast has always been top notch and I enjoy watching the cutscenes over reading them.
I’m not against keeping the orignal audio, I know some people prefer it, but please don’t take that as a reason not to do an english dub.

    DarkBahamut87 15 August, 2014 @ 10:10 am    

    You see, the fact is that not everyone prefer an English dub when they don’t actually use English in their everyday life. Some of them are fine with whatever they are given, some others (that are maybe more attached to the Japanese VAs, because they watch anime/dramas with original audio and subs, for example) prefer to have the Japanese audio. I’d even say that I’d like a dub in my language, but I know that’s impossible as it’s already expensive to dub in another language than the original. But that’s why I like being able to choose which one to use.

    While it’s true that the English dub in Tales games is mostly very good (in some occasions even better than the original), that’s not the real matter, here: certain fans, for example, adore Miyuki Sawashiro (Milla’s Japanese voice) and have never heard of Minae Noji (Milla’s English voice), that’s why they’d much prefer to be able to play while hearing a voice they know and love. It’s not necessarily a matter of understanding the language, it’s a matter of emotional attachment to those certain people.

    Yes, there also are those who think that “the original audio is the only one who delivers the real meaning of the opera, the dub it’s a betrayal to the authors!”, which I think is pretty much nonsense, but while I don’t necessarily agree with them, I can understand where they come from.


    It’s not emotional attachment to any actors voice. It’s the simple fact that I want to enjoy the film, anime, game in its original form. It doesn’t matter if I speak the language or not as I can read and subtitles are the best option. I watch films from around the world with subtitles. I really do not want American voices coming out of cute Japanese anime characters. Any game that has English dub I simply turn down the sound on the vita or PS3. It means I won’t listen to the music or anything else in the game.

    It’s also better to use terms like JP or JPN because otherwise it comes off sounding a bit racist

    zalwelgoedgaan 15 August, 2014 @ 4:06 pm    

    Kind of related, but I am Dutch and English is basically our second language. When I was 8, my parents wanted to buy the Toy Story VHS for me and I chose the English spoken version with Dutch subtitles instead of the Dutch dubbed version. We read subtitles all the time on TV, so we are used to reading.

    There are Americans who want everything dubbed; they claim that reading subtitles takes them out of the movie. They just happen to be slow readers, really. We’re used to it, it doesn’t bother us. I remember one American saying that subtitles are a bad habit. Inbred hick. >=/

    What does rustle my jimmies are games that have poor subtitles:

    – Single line subtitles that don’t contain enough information and lead to incomplete sentences, which is a no-no.

    – [Subtitles (eve double-lined) where the last word of the sentence is shown on the next batch of subtitles on the]

    – [screen.]

    – Subtitles that don’t use enough horizontal space on the screen and prefer to jam everything in the middle as if it was a poem.

    – Subtitles that are too small, subtitles that cut away too fast. Companies should just hire anime fan subbers, seriously. They know about timing, easy on the eyes fonts and placement.

    !!! Options are always good !!!, and sometimes an English dub is enjoyable enough. Then again, there are also Japanese games featuring amateur voice actors that just sound… off… Hideous or obnoxious voices that aren’t really suited for voice work, even if you barely understand what they are saying. Thankfully it’s pretty rare.

    zalwelgoedgaan 15 August, 2014 @ 4:08 pm    

    The typos I made just now are intentional, btw. Another thing that I don’t like about subtitles if they are too frequent. >_<


    I’ve recalled people on the blog from The Netherlands writing about poor Dutch dubs. In all honesty its probably cheaper just to do subs than to hire out voice actors. The only main issue with anime fan subs is quite a few of them use odd or decorative fonts and that can be problematic as they end up not playing properly or there are issues with the SRT file. I do like that some will go into an in depth explanation of concepts we don’t have or use in the west (ex wabi sabi) .

    Maybe Europe should have stuck with Esperanto as it would make game releases a lot easier. I’ve watched films that were English but had Dutch subtitles. I don’t know Dutch but on the surface it seems to be a link between English and German. A lot of the words seem to be very similar to English but with different spellings.

    zalwelgoedgaan 15 August, 2014 @ 8:10 pm    

    Hahahaha. I remember some Bleach fansubbers having subtitles where words were added as they were spoken, that was really stupid.

    Oh, and to be clear, I am fine with English subtitles. I always have them on if they are available because I might not hear what characters say. If a huge demon is talking and his voice is all distorted, then I want to read the subtitles to find out what the script is saying rather than guessing what he’s mumbling about.

considering the anwser he gave on the japanese dub being included i take it Tales of Zestiria won’t be having japanese dub. would be lame considering that was the reason i diden’t buy Tales of xillia and won’t be buying the 2nd one cause it ruins the experience for me.

i will be buying Tales of hearts cause thank god original audio.
i just hope with theses questions it will be thought off more seriously considering they had time since Tales of graces.


english dub distorts the japanese meaning sometimes and i do know cause i know a bit off japanese that Ni no kuni subs weren’t really good with the meaning behind it either.

Killerattax 15 August, 2014 @ 10:03 am   8

While I’m disappointed that Xillia 2 won’t feature Japanese Audio, I’m happy to see that Hideo Baba is considering this for future installments like Zestiria. Also lookin really forward to Hearts R with Japanese Audio 🙂

Chocobo115 15 August, 2014 @ 11:29 am   9

Hmm, as expected.

EternalChaos72 15 August, 2014 @ 6:48 pm   10

Can we get the PSN avatars for this game please?


Mr Baba, one of the coolest and nicest guys in the industry! I love reading his interviews.

Please include JP audio in the next Tales game.

The reason for not including them in Xillia is legit, it would take far too much legal work but the same reason does not apply to Zestiria.
Just like with Symphonia Chronicles, you are now able to sign the proper contracts that allows you to include dual audio tracks.

It would be great if online co-op could be introduced to the series aswell. (though that is more for the developers to decide)

Timovisch 17 August, 2014 @ 2:26 pm   13

Cool! Nice interview.

I am definitely going to get Xillia 2 (finished Xillia 1 severall times and loved it). I believe the recap is also quite handy for people that are interested in Xillia 2 but haven’t played Xillia 1.


I’m not complaining about dual audio,it’s difficult to bring the Tales of in Europe because of the multi 5 translations and the low expectation sales.
I ‘m ready and i can’t wait for Xillia 2 in 4 days.

Ultramarinus 20 August, 2014 @ 5:27 pm   15

If I’m not getting the proper product but a cheap imitation, then I won’t be paying for the full price and wait for a 75% sale. Milla’s dub was atrocious, LANTH OF KRETHNIK is still ringing in my ears. Companies like NISA and Aksys include dual audio for their even more niche games with the same famed voice actors so I’m not buying this “sorry but we can’t work it out”. It’d be done if they cared enough about it.