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Interview with Hero Must Die. again. Creator Shoji Masuda
Shoji Masuda speaks out about his experience with the RPG Hero Must Die. again.

The remastered version of the game will have additional elements to it, such as updates to new songs by Kenji Ito, and will be offered on multiple platforms. The game will be localized and deployed worldwide. Mr. Masuda speaks about this in more in the following interview about Hero Must Die. again!

Written by : Tomomi Yamamura

――Finally! Hero Must Die.’s remastered version, Hero Must Die. again. is about to be released! But this franchise was created a long time ago. How long has it been now?

Mr. Masuda: If you count the planning phase, it will be 30 years this year.

――30 years! Somehow that’s longer than I expected it to be…

Mr. Masuda: Some of the original proposals for the franchise were written twenty-some years ago, but even at that point I was already starting to sketch out stuff beyond the proposals themselves for Hero. All of this happened at the same time I was making Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines and Linda Cube.

It was also being made at the same time as Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru, though that was more towards the end of things. By that time Hero had already come out.

※ Oreshika is a role-playing game made for Playstation that was released in 1999.
※ Linda Cube, a psychological thriller made for SUPER CD-ROM² (PC), was released in 1995.
※Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru is a role-playing game made for SUPER CD-ROM² (PC) and was released in 1992.

――Which means that the Hero project was born sometime around 1990, then. Doing the math, that makes this year its 30th anniversary.

Mr. Masuda: After the planning began for this project, yes, it has been 30 years this year. But after it actually became a game, how long has it been? I wonder…

―― Hero was first released as a mobile game app in 2007. The director’s cut, which adjusted the game balance, was re-released in 2009 as Hero Must Die: Director’s Cut. It was remade once more in 2016 for the Playstation Vita.

Mr. Masuda: Okay, so counting all of that, Hero has been a proper game for roughly 13 years this year.

――That seems to be the case! So this time around, we have a new fully remastered game that’s going to be released. What would you say the reason is for this release?

Mr. Masuda: Well, the company that helped develop Hero, Pyramid Co. LTD, told me that “[Hero] is a game like none other, and when we released the PS Vita version, we got a lot of requests from fans for another remaster, so why not remaster it one more time? I wonder if we could put in a few more fixes?” That sort of thing.

Then after a while, we got together and started talking about things. Finally, we decided to do a remaster for Hero.

――Ah, I see. So it was a request from Pyramid’s side of things, then? What were the other requests from the users for the PS Vita version?

Mr. Masuda: I think the most common one we got was “I would like to be displayed over the head of someone I talked to” -- I think I actually said that during the development phase of the PS Vita remaster, but for reasons, I don’t really know I couldn’t make that happen. Did I not have the time to develop that function, or do I just not remember doing it? So I thought to myself that I’d make that a feature this time around.

After that, the PS Vita users challenged me in many other ways than I thought they would. Increasingly those people were complaining about how the battle systems were getting worse. So we changed things to where the weaker targets would jump off of you and not try to fight you in any way.

――If you look around the battle controls, you’ll see the “simple combat (weak targets run away after seeing the Hero)” and an auto mode. I also saw a “hastening mode (battle, demo, etc.)” where you can speed things up.

Mr. Masuda: Yes, that’s right. That’s part of what we added this time around. Some people said the game was “too small” in terms of playable content, but this time we tried to keep that in mind during redevelopment. I don’t think there’s any question of the volume of playable content this time around.

It’s also a game where you can proceed forward in-game without having to play small side-quests. I don’t think there’s a lot of people aware of that at the moment.

I thought about marking those who talked or marking those who didn’t talk. By doing so I think that the people who played through the events of the PS Vita version will be able to enjoy the game a lot more this time around.

――So basically, you can go through every nook and cranny of the game and find something enjoyable about it, right?

Mr. Masuda: Exactly! It’ll be easier and more fun to play this way, I think.