We were able to interview the legendary composer and creator Shoji Meguro (Shin Megami Tensei Persona series) for Fire armshis new gun RPG which is seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Fire arms is Shoji Meguro’s new RPG set in a desolate, post-apocalyptic future where relationships and character development are central. If you are looking to support Fire armsyou can find his Kickstarter page here.
Without further ado, here is our interview with Shoji Meguro:
Shoji Meguro interview for Guns Undarkness and more
Niche Gamer: I’m sure you’ve been asked many times since leaving Atlus full-time: why go independent?
Shoji Meguro: Guns Undarkness actually comes from a blueprint I originally pitched while working at Atlus. Development of the game was canceled and I found it hard to let go of the dream of bringing my own game to the world. So that’s what made me decide to release it as an independent game. And it’s also worth mentioning that I have a positive relationship with Atlus to this day.
The original Guns Undarkness reveal didn’t mention crowdfunding, was that a tough decision to make? What factors have been taken into account compared to a traditional editor?
Crowdfunding is not just about raising funds. It’s about having passionate fans and working with them to polish the game, I think. So I chose to ignore the potential downsides of this one and stay positive as we moved forward.
The use of hand signals is interesting, how does this affect gameplay? Is it only before the battles start?
Using hand signals to get your allies to hide is a very important part of the gameplay. In normal JRPGs, you encounter enemies and it starts an encounter where you fight.
Hand signals are done with a little effort, but that effort gives you an advantage in battle. However, we make sure the game is balanced so that people who think hand signals are a pain can still complete the game.
How much emphasis is placed on stealth? Will there be stealth-only segments?
Shoji Meguro: There are no sneaky “reach the goal without your enemy seeing you” type elements in the game. Basically, you can just use it to get close to enemies without being noticed, shoot them above to start a meeting, and that’s about it.
However, if you are seen by enemies, the level of caution in the field increases. So if you are seen by an enemy, it might be a good idea to shoot them and get rid of them as soon as possible.
Was there an attempt to make the game a real-time RPG? Or an RPG shooter?
Shoji Meguro: The plan was born out of the idea of merging shooter elements with a JRPG. We never considered doing the filming in real time.
What I’ve learned from working 25 years at Atlus is about JRPGs, so I’m trying to use that while still delivering interesting systems in a JRPG that will keep players entertained.
Dividing progress into character and gun trees is fascinating. How customizable and robust is the gun EXP path? Can players expect a ton of guns?
Shoji Meguro: At the moment, we plan to have around 40-50 types of guns and 30-40 types of customizable parts. However, if during development the fans want more, I would like to increase this amount.
That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to do crowdfunding, to be able to interact with fans and hear their desires.
This is a loaded question (pun intended). What is your favorite type of weapon?
Wow, what a tough question! I’m a fan of the HK416. But if we talk about pistols, I like the 1911 and M92. I also like the SIG 552, which I often use in airsoft games with friends.
The main character of the Japanese comic Cobra uses a Python 357 (although the name has been changed from the real name), and I think it’s also a handsome one.
I love RPGs with a base that you can upgrade. Can the Maroon hub be upgraded? Customizable?
Shoji Meguro: There is no way to upgrade Maroon Hub. But you can customize its design. At the moment, it’s only about customizing the parts assigned to the main characters, but we plan to customize other parts of Maroon Hub as well.
A relationship system makes a comeback in the Persona series. Is this a feature you love? How is it similar or different from what Persona fans would know?
Shoji Meguro: Yes, I couldn’t resist putting this kind of system in this game. Thanks to this system, it facilitates the progress of the dialogue between allies and makes your allies all the more valuable for the player.
And by improving the communication system, you can perform combo attacks in combat.
The protagonist(s) and the story are teased discovering the “truth of love”, will there be romantic relationships? Several romantic partners?
The theme of the game is “the truth of love”, but it is not romantic love or sexual love. It is agape (a Christian concept that refers to the love of God for man and of man for God).
However, there are romantic elements. However, you cannot have more than one love partner at the same time.
Since this is a post-apocalyptic story, while avoiding spoilers, what kind of tone can fans expect? Something more serious, light or in between?
Shoji Meguro: The story is very serious. It is a question of how humanity would succeed in a revolution. However, there are certain parts of events where you can laugh about everyday things. This way you can always relax while playing.
Is the story somehow inspired by the WEF’s actual promises of a ‘great reset’ policy? If it contains comments on modern issues/topics?
I actually started writing the story before 2020, so it has nothing to do with the Great Reset. However, I find the subject quite fascinating and draw inspiration from other real-world events.
There are also classic philosophies like primitivism and “A Thousand Plateaus” that appear in the story.
Since you’re the maestro – maybe it’s an unfair question, but what’s your favorite self-composed track for the Persona series? Or maybe some leads.
Shoji Meguro: The answer to this question changes every time I am asked it. But I think the one I like the most is Persona 4’s Reach Out to the Truth.
I think the hook of this song might be the best melody I’ve ever written.
What kind of soundtrack can fans expect for Guns Undarkness?
I decided to do the OST with an alternative rock theme which might be a little harsh, and some people might not find it as easy to listen to as the pop music from the Persona series.
However, we plan to use vocals in many songs. So maybe it’s a bit harsh, but I really think people can expect great songs from us.
One last request – can you share a message with your fans?
It might be hard for game fans to accept a composer becoming a game designer, but I promise not only will the music be great, but the game has tried and tested JRPG systems, combined with things like guns and futuristic sci-fi elements. that JRPGs often don’t have.
So I think we can meet everyone’s expectations. So if anyone wants to help me make this game even better, please join me on my journey to crowdfunding.
A reminder that Shoji Meguro’s new RPG Fire arms is looking for funding on Kickstarter – they have several days left and they still have several ambitious goals.