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.