The news of Sony of Japan Studio’s demise, all but shattered the hopes of a Legend of Dragoon “Remake” for the game’s fans. However, hope has been rekindled by a recent unexpected development.
“It has been a rough 21 years. Our parent company (Sony) showed no interest in the IP whatsoever. Our game (Legend of Dragoon) sold well in the US, but it didn’t take off here (in Japan).” Legend of Dragoon Director, Masayuki Kasebe, said in a recent interview with Sempai.net.
The Director had lost hope for Sony to greenlight the project, as the Japanese giant refused to remaster the game, “Final Fantasy sold better than we did, and games like Chrono Cross were received better than our game, but after Final Fantasy VII Remake’s success a Sony Executive contacted me.” Kasebe continued, “He approached me saying, “You know, that one internal property, Panzer Dragoon, we want you to resurrect it.” And just like that, I am pleased to announce to our loyal, and at times rabid fanbase, that it is coming, we don’t know when, but it is coming.”
When the Never-Ending Realm learned about the news, we decided to contact Kasebe himself, and he graciously accepted to be interviewed by editor and Never Ending Realm co-founder Sam Rivera. Here is the transcript.
A Remake Inspired by a Remake
Samuel Rivera: “To start off, congratulations on achieving Sony’s approval for the upcoming Legend of Dragoon project!”
Masayuki Kasebe: “Thank you! It has been a long-time coming, but Sony heard the fans pleas and they responded in kind.”
SR: “I was not a fan of the original. I, along with other critics, felt that it was a Final Fantasy VII Clone.”
MK: “Oh no, no! The critics misunderstood our intent. Were we inspired by Final Fantasy VII? Yes. But who wasn’t? Even Mario 64 was inspired by Final Fantasy VII”.
SR: “Mario 64 was released a year earlier…”
MK: “Is that so? Hmm. You learn something new every day. Either way, to answer your question, I have some regrets with the original title, Legend of Dragoon’s story did not really develop as I intended, even though I wrote the game’s script myself.”
SR: “The game has certainly garnered a cult following. Personally, I didn’t like the story, I don’t know if it was the translation, or something on your end, but I just didn’t enjoy it. However, some of our readers did like, and even loved the story, so what do you intend to do in this new chapter in terms of storytelling? Are some original cast members, like Dart for example, coming back?”
MK: “Well, everyone is coming back!”
SR: “But Lavitz and Rose…”
MK: “Ah! Our male Aeri- Ahem, Yes, well, this project will be a remake, as I told Sempai, Sony wants to ride the wave of FFVIIR’s commercial success. So, it will be a retelling of the original story, but the way that it was always meant to be told.”
SR: “So, you will stick to the original’s tradition and this will be a Final Fantasy VII Remake Clone then?”
MK: “The word, is ‘inspired’ this will be a remake ‘inspired’ by FFVIIR.”
SR: “‘Inspired,’ got you. You said, the remake would retell the story as it was ‘always meant to be told’ that sounds a lot like Square Enix’s promises with FFVIIR, which didn’t turn out to be a true remake, but more of a sequel of sorts.”
MK: “No, this is a remake, I trust that fans of the original game will enjoy our game, even if critics shower it with 7 out of 10s again. But what would you say if I told you that maybe, just maybe, Lavitz gets to live in this new original retelling of the original story in the way that it was always meant to be told?”
SR: “I didn’t really like Lavitz. His death was kind of corny to tell you the truth. However, I did like Rose, much more than Shana, which I felt was forced onto the main character. Will Rose survive? She and Dart make a better couple, Zieg can take Shana for all I care.”
MK: “Well, with the introduction of the Ghost Whisperers, which is one of the best plot devices that I have ever conceived, the possibilities are endless.”
SR: “Fantastic…your originality is truly awe-inspiring … So, do these Ghost Whisperers serve as Arbiters of Time like the ones Nomura pulled out of his rear end in FFVIIR?
MK: “No. The Ghost Whisperers are Time Keepers, they are watchers. Always watching, making sure that things stay the way that they always were, but our heroes must unite to overcome such unsurmountable odds! Change their fates, revolt against destiny itself!”
SR: “Let me guess, Lavitz and Rose survive because this entire thing takes place on an alternate timeline.”
MK: “Wow. How did you? You should be a writer! I might have to change things up if our story is so predictable already…”
SR: “You are literally doing the exact same thing that Nomu-”
MK: “So Yes! The Ghost Whisperers will make the Legend of Dragoon experience feel new again, even to longtime fans.”
SR: “At the expense of making sense…”
MK: “Excuse me?”
SR: “The Ghost Whisperers are the same as the Whispers in FFVIIR. Plot devices pulled out of the blue in order to change the original game’s story, but there is no rational explanation for their existence.”
MK: “Let me ask you a question? Think carefully before you answer, does the Kingdom Hearts Saga make sense?”
SR: “No. But then again, fighting dark shadowy creatures with Donald Duck and Goofy at your side never made any rational sense to begin with.”
MK: “Do you think people running around with colored stones and morphing into winged Dragoons is rational?”
SR: “Well, the Power Rangers…”
MK: “And there you have your answer. Within the context of our storyline, we believe that the existence of the Ghost Whisperers in the Remake makes perfect sense. In fact, it is a natural evolution of The Legend of Dragoon’s Storyline.”
SR: “Well, can’t say I am excited.”
MK: “Definitely not nearly as excited as I am!”
SR: “Any closing words?”
MK: “Yes, in order to deliver the complete Legend of Dragoon experience, and to tell the story the way that it was always meant to be told, I am pleased to announce that The Legend of Dragoon Remake will be split into Episodes, all of them complete with their own set of paid DLC. I assure you that Sony couldn’t be happier, and more excited about this project!”
Legend of Dragoon Fans Can Finally Rest Easy
As confirmed by Kasebe, the Legend of Dragoon will finally get its long-awaited remake. It remains to be seen if fans will warm up to the episodic nature of it, and the potential storytelling implications that the “Ghost Whisperers” will have on the on the original work. As always, we will keep you posted as more information becomes available.
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