E3: Agetec Interview
05.16.04 - 5:45 AM

Today at the show, RPGFan had the opportunity to talk with Agetec about their newest localization project, Media Vision & SCEJ's Wild ARMs Alter Code: F. On hand for majority of the discussion was Media Vision president Takashi Fukushima, as well as SCE's Kentaro Motomura along with their translator Yuri Kato. What follows is what we learned not only about the game itself, but some insight on how the game came to be as well.

First off, Motomura doesn't actually consider Alter Code: F a "remake," due to just how much in the game was reworked. Along with the entire script being rewritten (though still based on the same plot), the "remake" also has as many new gameplay additions, mini-games and sidequests as they could fit in. Obviously, the graphics have been redone entirely, taking the game from a 2D, sprite-based RPG to a fully-polygonal 3D look. The maps and layouts of the dungeons have been changed, and the music redone by original composer Michiro Naruke, who is considered an integral part of the series.

It's been reported that the game will have additional playable characters compared to the original. Along with the main cast of Rudy, Jack and Cecilia, Jane, Emma and Magladene are now fully-playable characters as opposed to NPCs. Two other characters will also be playable, though only for selected portions of the game. The characters will be more or less the same in how they interact with one another, though the story and scenarios will be altered. Also of note is that some of the 'tools' each character uses have changed. While fan favorite Hanpan is still intact, some of the other characters will have a different assortment of tools. The newly-playable characters will of course have their own sets as well.

Character equipment will be handled differently now as well. Equipment will no longer be purchased. Rather, new weapons will be attained by upgrading them. The upgrade process will differ between the ARMs-using characters and the rest, however.

Finally, after finishing the game, players will be able to go back and uncover further secrets. Alter Code: F will also have the option to start a new game while carrying over stats and items, similar to the Chrono games.

All of the major changes were made with the intent of providing players with an all-new experience, instead of the same game they already know with a different face. With most remakes, one already knows the game by heart, what will happen and how to get through it. With a re-written story, new tools and equipment as well as new puzzles (or old puzzles with new solutions) and dungeons, it's more than what people might expect from a simple "remake."

Mark P. Tjan