Disgaea 3 Interview

With Disgaea 3 on shelves, we thought we’d drop in and chat with the fine folks behind the game. We were fortunate enough to have some of our questions answered by Jack Niida, Marketing Manager for NISA; Souhei Niikawa, Producer and writer for the Disgaea series; and Steve Carlton, Disgaea series editor with some extra input from the Disgaea 3 dev team.

RandomNPC: We’d like to thank you all for sitting down with us to answer a few questions.

Disgaea 2 had a lot of referencing to Disgaea 1. Are there specific tie-ins to past Disgaea titles in Disgaea 3? If so, Disgaea 2 assumes a particular ending as the ‘true’ ending of Disgaea 1. Does Disgaea 3 take place after a specific ending of Disgaea 2?

Jack Niida: Disgaea 3 takes place after the story of Disgaea 2, but since it’s in a different netherworld the two don’t really tie in together. But, there are guest appearances from past games. Some appear to overthrow Mao as the main character and take over the game, so you’ll have to fight and defend your title.

RandomNPC: Can we expect to see cameos from characters from other games/series? Any ties to future games?

Jack Niida: There are no “future” release character cameos, but yes you can expect a few guest appearances from the Disgaea series and also from other series.

RandomNPC: What was your favorite scene in Disgaea 3?

Jack Niida: My personal favorite is when Salvatore mocks the guys and tells them how to attack her and die. It sounds strange, but it’s a pretty hilarious scene.
RandomNPC: What was the hardest part to localize for the North American release?

Steve Carlton: The hardest part was researching all of the parody gags to make sure that fans of all the different anime and manga series would not only appreciate our spoofs of the characters, but also laugh at them.

RandomNPC: What was the most significant change the increased power of the PS3 allowed you to make over previous games?

Dev team: The most significant part was the increase in data we could use and display at once. In previous Disgaea series there were many features we couldn’t pull off due to the lack of memory, but for Disgaea 3 we were able to incorporate many new battle features, and increase/expand the number of units and maps. The fun factor has increased by ten fold from Disgaea 2, so please look forward to the game.

RandomNPC: What was the hardest part of programming for the PlayStation 3?

Dev team: Simply getting used to the programming style was the most difficult part. It was our first title for the PS3, so we had a lot of questions, but once we got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad.

RandomNPC: What was the inspiration for making Disgaea 3 take place in a Netherworld school?

Souhei Niikawa: For Disgaea 3 we wanted to do something different. Disgaea 1 had a netherworld castle theme, 2 had a village theme, so we thought why not a school campus theme. Almost everybody has gone to school and can relate to some of the content, so we thought it might be fun. However, since the school setting is themed after schools in Japan, some of the content might be a little different from the west. Still many of the class features should be similar, so I think gamers could catch on quick. One noteworthy feature using the school setting is the seat change. If you change your unit’s seat to another location, it could alter stats and relationship with another unit. There’s a lot of interesting little things in the class room, so please look out for them.

RandomNPC: Disgaea 3 has a lot of new features over the previous games. Were there any ideas that you wanted to include in Disgaea 3 that did not make it into the final game?

Dev team: There were some cool features that we thought of, but couldn’t make it into the game due to game balance issues and/or time restraint. As a developer, we want to put as much content as possible, but we have to make deadlines and release dates, so we don’t always get our way. However, ideas that doesn’t make it often times gets reflected in future titles.

RandomNPC: Can we expect a Disgaea 4?

Dev team: We love Disgaea and it’s our most major title, so I’m pretty sure we’ll work on a sequel. But for now, I think we want some rest before we get back.

RandomNPC: Who is your favorite Disgaea character? Why?

Souhei Niikawa: My favorite characters would have to be the original 3 main characters Laharl, Etna, and Flonne. I always have a great time writing for them because they have such a unique personality and relationship. It’s hard not to like them.

RandomNPC: Thanks again for your time!

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