Fate/Samurai Remnant Interview: Director Ryota Matsushita answers why Jeanne Alter walks the streets of Edo
On September 29, 2023, fans of the Fate series will be getting their first major action RPG release in some time with Omega Force and Koei Tecmo's Fate/Samurai Remnant, a new original title that brings the devastation of a Holy Grail War (or rather, a Waxing Moon Ritual) to the streets and alleys of Edo in the 17th century. The project is helmed by Director Ryota Matsushita, a veteran of titles like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Omega Force's crown jewel Dynasty Warriors.
We had a chance to speak with Matsushita about the game, and he sounded off on topics like Fate/Samurai Remnant's narrative team, the game's relationship to the Warriors franchise, the team's coordination with TYPE-MOON, the team's plans for DLC, and the presence of popular Fate servants, including fan favorite Jeanne d'Arc Alter. Read on for our full interview.
- RPG Site (Josh Tolentino, Josh Torres, and Kite Stenbuck): Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Mr. Matsushita. We’re looking forward to playing Fate/Samurai Remnant which is coming out soon! We have a few questions for you before its release and would love to hear more about your involvement with the game.
Ryota Matsushita, Director at Koei Tecmo Games: Thank you for taking the time to interview me! This is a title we've been carefully developing over a long period of time, so we really want to convey all of the great aspects of the game!
Ryota Matsushita, photo courtesy Koei Tecmo Games
- RPG Site: Mr. Matsushita, you’ve previously designed Samurai Warriors 4 and Dynasty Warriors 9. You’ve also directed Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. What makes Fate/Samurai Remnant different from your previous works? Were you familiar with the Fate series or Type-Moon’s works when accepting the project?
Matsushita: This title is not part of the Warriors series that we have released up until now, but rather an action RPG set during Japan's age of the samurai. This was a significant challenge for us to take on because this game was designed to be a title that depicts the Holy Grail War of Fate from the Master's point of view, and a title we received a large amount of cooperation from TYPE-MOON on, and which they have high expectations for.
I was at the level of a fan that "can't call themselves a fan in front of hardcore Fate fans," but there are many dedicated Fate fans on the team, so I worked with them to incorporate the charm of Fate into the game.
- RPG Site: Fate/Samurai Remnant is a collaboration project between Koei Tecmo and Type-Moon. In an interview with Kinoko Nasu in Type-Moon Ace, he mentioned that some members of the Fate/Grand Order writing team, Yuuichirou Higashide and Hikaru Sakurai, were also involved.
As the director of the project from Koei Tecmo, how closely did you work with Type-Moon on Fate/Samurai Remnant and what was that experience like?
Matsushita: Everyone at TYPE-MOON was involved from the point where we were putting together the plot to ensure that the underlying themes of the story and characters were true to the Fate series.
I would really like to thank them for working together with us to ensure that the story was expressed in a way that would fit the video game medium and be appealing to players. This has allowed us to create a unique game experience where the story and the gameplay are closely connected and the player can truly become Iori and experience their journey to survive the Holy Grail War, all while being shocked by the unpredictable developments.
- RPG Site: In that same interview with Type-Moon Ace, Kou Shibusawa also mentioned that the Koei Tecmo writing team who worked on Fire Emblem: Three Houses also worked on Fate/Samurai Remnant . Many of us at RPG Site loved Three Houses and would love to know more about what specific narrative elements is the Koei Tecmo writing team overseeing.
Matsushita: Actually, I have known the in-house team of writers for a long time, having worked with them on Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. This game depicts the story from the perspective of a single protagonist, which is rare for our company, but as was the case with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, I think it's to the credit of our in-house writers that they were able to convey the appeal of a multi-protagonist drama.
The synergy with TYPE-MOON created a wonderful story that allows you to feel the weight and power of human thoughts and feelings, and the sense of being unable to leave things as they are, which is the essence of the Fate series.
- RPG Site: We’re also particularly impressed with Fate/Samurai Remnant ’s story setting. Despite taking place in the past Edo period, most of the Masters like Miyamoto Iori, Yui Shousetsu, and Zheng Chenggong are based on existing historical figures who were active in the same era.
Did these decisions come from Type-Moon themselves, or did Koei Tecmo’s writing team also have some say on the ideas?
Matsushita: In the early stages of the project, TYPE-MOON and our team had been discussing the most appealing time period and characters, and we made our own suggestions regarding the characters. The production of the story didn't fall solely on our team but instead we would go back and forth between our ideas and TYPE-MOON's until we were satisfied with every aspect of the story.
Miyamoto Iori wasn't the main character at first, but it was decided that his background and depth would make him a suitable protagonist. Thus, we created the game in which Iori, a human, confronts a Servant with incredible power.
- RPG Site: Several of the Servants that appear in Fate/Samurai Remnant, like Miyamoto Musashi (Berserker) and Jeanne D’Arc Alter (who is Lancer here) first debuted in Fate/Grand Order . What process did the team use to decide which preexisting Servants to add to Fate/Samurai Remnant?
Matsushita: Although all of the Servants from existing works are popular and have a large fan base, this is by no means a simple all-star title, and instead each character is vital to the story and make their appearance with this in mind. Musashi is closely related to the main character, Miyamoto Iori, and Lancer has a certain connection to her master, Chiemon.
- RPG Site: The Fate series already had Warriors-styled action games made by another company titled Fate/Extella. Some of the Rogue Servants like Cú Chulainn and Arjuna also appeared there, so the international fans couldn’t help but make comparisons between both titles. Were there any influences from those games’ releases in Fate/Samurai Remnant’s planning and development?
Matsushita: Of course, we are aware this is title is going to set a precedent moving forward, but because Warriors-style games already exist, this title takes a completely different approach as an action RPG that allows you to experience the Holy Grail War from the perspective of a Master. I can guarantee that there is a brand new experience waiting for you, so I hope you will all play it!
- RPG Site: Fate/Samurai Remnant will receive additional content via downloadable add-ons, as well as a Season Pass. What sort of content is planned to be added to the game after release?
Matsushita: The Season Pass allows you to experience three new episodes. We'll be able to provide more details as they become available, but we have content that further expands the story and gameplay of the main game.
- RPG Site: As people play Fate/Samurai Remnant , are there any specific characters and/or narrative themes you want players to keep in mind throughout their time with the game?
Matsushita: We want players to keep in mind that they can deepen the relationship between the Master and the Servant. In other words, keep an eye on your partner, Saber, as you are always together. This is true not only during battles but also when exploring the city of Edo, and having the uninhibited, selfish, and adorable Saber following you around should keep you immersed in the game.
- RPG Site: Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Matsushita. We appreciate this opportunity to speak with you. Congratulations on the upcoming release of Fate/Samurai Remnant . Before we end our time here with you, do you have a final message for the fans of the game?
Matsushita: Thank you for your time today! We didn't have enough time to tell you about all of the best aspects of Fate/Samurai Remnant, but I enjoyed the interview. This work is a story in which you are the Master and recklessly try to survive the Holy Grail War. Your partner, Saber, will be very dependable during this harsh battle to the death. We hope you can experience the game and enter the profound and thrilling world of the Fate series.
Fate/Samurai Remnant launches on September 29, 2023 on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Check out RPG Site's preview of the game's first few hours.