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In about two months, Nippon Ichi Software America will send Disgaea 2 into North American retailers. We killed a man for a chance to talk to one of the game's producers.
 
RPGLand.com

Before we get started, could you introduce yourself and your connection to the Disgaea series?

Souhei Niikawa, Nippon Ichi

Hello, my name is Souhei Niikawa and I am the producer for Disgaea 2.

 
RPGLand.com

Ten words or less, the "Cursed Memories" subtitle referrs to...

Souhei Niikawa

It's referring to the main character's traumatic past.

 
RPGLand.com

In Disgaea 2, what are the major changes in the battle system, if any?

Souhei Niikawa

There are quite a few major additions to the game. For instance some of the new features are stack attack, Geo monsters, newer geo panel features, and the unpredictable Dark sun system. Essentially for Disgaea2 we did not want to make major changes that would disrupt Disgaea's original game play.

RPGLand.com

Okay, so, conversely, how is it similar?

Souhei Niikawa

Like I mentioned the basic game system is the same with the grid based battle system and the linear story telling. However, we have a lot more packed in to this game then Disgaea 1, so fans will not be disappointed.

 
RPGLand.com

Disgaea is famous for the outrageous number of combos and damage you can inflict on your enemies. What's your favorite new attack and why?

Souhei Niikawa

Personally, I like Adell the main character's super moves. They've got a nice sprite animation to it with great looking effects.

 
RPGLand.com

Let's pretend for a minute that Disgaea 2 shows up in the US and sells awesome. Gimme the odds of a Disgaea 3, just from that. Would you specifically make a third game, or let it end at 2 and go the way of creating other original titles? Take a guess if you're not sure.

Souhei Niikawa

Well sales number always helps for sequels, but we have no intent on ending this series just yet, so you can count on part 3.

 
RPGLand.com

We've seen Etna and Laharl appearing in artwork, and Etna even being in the game's opening movie. What are their roles in Disgaea 2? Also, what other familiar faces from the first Disgaea are going to participate in the story for the second one? Any from other NIS games such as, say, Makai Kingdom?

Souhei Niikawa

This time neither Laharl nor Etna will take the leading roll. However, you can expect to see the two throughout the game. You’ll definitely see guest cameo appearances from our past NIS games. There are quite a few of them, so be prepared to spend hours of game play to unlock all of them.

 
RPGLand.com

What will newcomers to the Disgaea world need to know about the first game in order to understand the second, or even the anime? What might they possibly be mising?

Souhei Niikawa

Other than the guest appearances of past characters, the story should be quite straight forward. Newcomers shouldn't have too much problem understanding. However, they should know the characters.

RPGLand.com

So is Flonne all grown up now?

Souhei Niikawa

Kind of sort of. She’s a little grown from Disgaea1, but not by much.

 
RPGLand.com

The Underworld seems awfully democratic, with its own court system and all. Any chance of a special unlockable "Lawyer" class?

Souhei Niikawa

Hahaha, that is an awesome idea. It's a bit too late for Disgaea 2, so we will consider it for the future Disgaea series.

 
RPGLand.com

Would you rather be stuck in the Underworld or in Heaven of Disgaea's world? The Underworld knows how to party, but in Heaven it seems like you'd have less of chance of horrible torture.

Souhei Niikawa

Hahaha, well the underworld seems a lot more interesting, so I'll try it. I just hope I don't encounter any of the horrible Overlords.

 
RPGLand.com

It seems a lot of people bark about the graphics in these games. Is any NIS TRPG ever going to get a hi-res treatment? What's the reasoning behind the looks?

Souhei Niikawa

You might be surprised with the graphics of Disgaea2. Both the 2D and 3D graphics has received a nice little treatment and looks a lot better than our previous games.

 
RPGLand.com

What worries you about Disgaea 2? Is there anything you fear American fans of the original might not react particularly well to? Totally don't even cop out and say everything's perfect, either.

Souhei Niikawa

Well the obvious concern is the fact that Laharl, Etna, and Flonne are not the main characters for Disgaea 2. I know some fans are going to be upset, but we’re pretty confident that fans will enjoy the new characters as well. Especially, the frog character called Tink. He's a unique one.

 
RPGLand.com

Roughly how long will it take the average player to beat the game, and how long will it take them to unlock everything?

Souhei Niikawa

Whoof, that's a tough question to answer. We had some people play for 100 hours and still haven't beaten the game. But, I think if you focus only on the main story and nothing else a solid 40 hours should do it. Now if you try to do everything in the game like the item world and other various side quests, it would take 150-200 hours. I tell you, it's madness.

 
RPGLand.com

Any chance we can look forward to a singing Montague in Disgaea 2 to honor your Rhapsody days? *ducks*

Souhei Niikawa

Hmmm, we don't have a singing Montague, but you can expect something from Rhapsody to show in the game.

 
RPGLand.com

An angsty forum community member wanted us to ask why he can't buy a new Etna figurine in the US. What should I tell him, if anything?

Souhei Niikawa

Perfect timing to ask that question, you might want to check out nisamerica.com for the latest news. You might be surprised.

Heath Hindman

...Okay, Niikawa, I'll play into your commercial. Hang on...
Wow! I can't believe the great stuff I found at the NISA store! Like OMG! Figurine sets, stuffed prinnies, shirts, guides, and NISA games for reasonable prices!

Andrew Duff

What's that you say, Heath? You got this all at the NISA store? I think I'd better get their quick and buy my stuff before supplies run out!

Heath Hindman

This is cause to get down and pray to NISA every night! Plus cause to read the other part of this interview, the part about the Disgaea anime!

 
RPGLand.com

Thank you very much for answering our many questions. We wish you the best of luck in finishing the anime and localizing the game. Do you have any closing comments?

Souhei Niikawa

Please look forward to Disgaea 2, it's looking to be an amazing, so we won't disappoint you. Also thank you very much for this awesome interview opportunity, we really appreciate it.

This interview is not done rocking! We also asked about the anime here. Props go out to Mr. Niikawa, as well as various people at NIS and NIS America for helping us to bring you this interview.

LINKS FOR WINNERS

  • Disgaea Anime interview
  • Forums: discuss this interview
  • NIS America Official Site
  • Disgaea 2 import review
  • Disgaea Anime preview
  • Disgaea Anime media


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