This is a continuation of the interview that is found here.
On 11/16/2017, Dengeki released the second volume of their Sen no Kiseki magazine series, which contained a variety of information, including a long-form interview with Toshihiro Kondo regarding Sen no Kiseki III. This is a ‘no holds barred’ interview, with the exception of some expert dodging and trolling, in lieu of answers from Falcom’s president.
Just like with the previous interview, this was translated by Gu4n. I provided the formatting, edits, and translation of the image captions.
As a warning, not only are there major Sen no Kiseki III Spoilers in this article, but some to Crossbell, as well. Please take note before reading on in this article.
This is the second half of the interview- if you have not read the first half, please check out the link above.
This game proclaimed that the State Mobilization Law is coming into effect for the entire empire.
Kondo: Its proclamation means that the nobility might see their properties confiscated or conscription being introduced. However, we did decide in what way Crossbell will be liberated, so please look forward to how that will unfold.
Since when has Musse been working toward the present situation?
Kondo: With the plot point about her becoming the next Duchess Cayenne, she demonstrated that she’s a highly talented girl and she didn’t pop up on-screen until now. I think she’s been working on things for quite some time. Based on a conversation she had with Aurelia, it’s likely that they’ve known each other from before the Northern Campaign.
Was Musse involved into drawing Aurelia to The 2nd Branch of Thors Military Academy?
Kondo: It’s still not clear yet whether that was through Musse’s guidance or by Aurelia’s own will. Speaking of the “2nd,” as in The 2nd Branch of the academy, the “2nd pillar” of the Society is also involved, but that wouldn’t be a plausible explanation. Well, she’s still the second pillar, ranking among the strongest. (laughs) She’s up there with McBurn, Selnate, Cassius, Arios and two still unseen S-rank bracers.
It does seem like Jusis knows Musse’s real identity, though…
Kondo: Looking at Jusis’ attitude in hindsight, it’s not like he didn’t know anything at all. As the nobility crumbled, Musse has had a lot of things to take into consideration. She might have also predicted the outbreak of the civil war and its conclusion. I also think she’s seen through what’s going to happen next. Of course, she might not have seen through everything, such as circumstances surrounding Ash.
s that one of the reasons Musse dropped out of St. Astraia Girls’ School and enrolled in Thors Campus Leeves?
Kondo: That hasn’t been revealed yet. She might have been keeping herself under the wraps in order to get in contact with Aurelia…
What can you tell about how the Weissland Resurgent Army came into existence or how it accumulated its military strength?
Kondo: So the Weissland Resurgent Army is what the Provincial Armies used to be. That alone wouldn’t be enough, however, so I think [Musse’s] involvement must’ve run much deeper. She managed to establish this force separate from Osborne’s. There’s definitely more to it.
Aurelia is just one person of course, but still it feels like a military strength that’s in a whole different league.
Kondo: It isn’t quite that simple. (laughs) Don’t forget that they’ve also got the Imperial Army under command of General Craig at their side. I wonder what they’ll do, with Aurelia in charge of the mission.
By the way, what’s up with Patrick’s strength toward the end of Sen III?
Kondo: Vita said she entrusted the place to him, so he has gotten stronger. When he remained at Thors with Rean, he must’ve grown as both a person and a warrior.
There’s a difference between Ouroboros’s plans and Osborne’s, right?
Kondo: You see, fundamentally, the focal point of Ouroboros’s plans are the Sept-Terrion. Looking back at the end of Sora no Kiseki, the Gospel Plan was active until Campanella presented the Sept-Terrion of “Space” to the Grandmaster following Weissmann’s death.1)This is the plane that was that the Grandmaster designated t o Weissmann. It was to unseal the Sept-Terrion of Space, the Aureole. At the end, Campanella presented the Sept-Terrion of Space to the Grandmaster. This time, it’s the Phantasmal Blaze Plan- of which the details are sparse- and in case people forgot, there’s also the Orpheus Final Plan.2)This is the plan of the Grandmaster’s final objective. The Gospel Project and the Phantasmal Blaze Plan are each one part of the Orpheus Final Plan, and these plans are heavily focused on the Sept-Terrion. However, I don’t think their aim is to gather all Sept-Terrion. They weren’t particularly interested in the replacement of the once lost “Mirage” Sept-Terrion of Crossbell. The Phantasmal Blaze Plan was originally supposed to end with the fight between the Ashen and Azure Chevalier, but those plans were derailed. The details of the plan are to be revealed after this. Osborne’s goal was bringing about the Great Twilight, and the Phantasmal Blaze Plan happened to fit within that process. Toward the end, Duvalie wonders what she lend her hand to, for whom Campanella sketches the situation as “you lend your hand to the end of the world”. In other words, yes, there should be a difference between Ouroboros’s and Osborne’s plans. How this collaboration holds up after this remains to be seen, I expect that it will go back and forth.
What about Arianrhod’s goal?
Kondo: She’s said before there’s something she has had to settle for ages now, but whatever this entails remains to be seen. Still, her loyalty is absolute, so she will still act to realize the Grandmaster’s goal.
Is the Sept-Terrion of “Earth” not needed for the Phantasmal Blaze Plan?
Kondo: That’s still unclear, isn’t it? The Holy Beast of the “Blaze” also hasn’t showed up, so I think that will be related to the tale that’s still to be told.
Please tell us about the the cult Ennea was in and the school Ines is affiliated with.
Kondo: As for Ennea, that’s the D ∴ G Cult from Zero no Kiseki. In her case, she holds no loyalty toward the cult. The school Ines is affiliated to hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s from about the center of Zemuria. She used to be a junior bracer, but when she challenged and lost to Arianrhod, she tossed her badge at the spot.
Look at the series as a whole; it’s rare for someone to reject the path of the bracer.
Kondo: In Ines’s case, there were several circumstances that led to it. The incident she she was dragged into involved the state. Because bracers are also involved with the state, they couldn’t act quickly. Maybe she felt that she was too restricted as a bracer.
With which branch of the Bracer Guild was Ines affiliated with?
Kondo: That’s still unknown. Central Zemuria, maybe a bit further east.
Were Arianrhod and Emperor Dreichels in love?
Kondo: That’s right. I think that was pretty clearly illustrated in this game. But the Arianrhod that left then has returned as a changed person.
The Black Record that described the final years of Emperor Dreichels mentioned “her waving melted blonde hair”, which should be Lianne, right?
Kondo: Yes, that was Lianne.
What can you say about the assassin order Sharon used to work with?
Kondo: Sharon’s old haunt, Order of the Moonlight Horse, is a historical assassination order, different from jaegers. The scope of its organization was fairly large, but like the D?G Cult it didn’t cause major incidents nor did it take the center stage. Despite its antagonism against Ouroboros, the fourth Anguis, the Thousand Sinner, and the third Enforcer, the Golden Butterfly, were jointly absorbed into Ouroboros after the order’s destruction.
Activities of the Sinner are spread throughout the continent, aren’t they?
Kondo: I think that’s the result of accepting missions from the Grandmaster. There are also places that haven’t been described [or depicted] before, so it’s also possible the Sinner’s there. If Sept-Terrion are involved in Ouroboros’s Orpheus Final Plan, it’s only natural they’d visit areas where the Sept-Terrion hasn’t showed up yet. The Sinner will definitely show up.
Will the still unknown First Anguis also make an appearance in the next game?
Kondo: I’m not sure about the First Anguis, but there’s more, right? (sweats) I realize how vague that it sounds to say that, but it’s something that should necessarily be taken into consideration.
While the Enforcers are granted liberty of their actions from the Grandmaster, that doesn’t apply to the Anguis, does it?
Kondo: The rule(s) surrounding the liberty of their actions haven’t really explained. The Anguis accept missions that they have to carry out accurately. After Campanella says he’s starting his observations, they can’t do as they please. Campanella’s always like that. Having direct contact with the Grandmaster and such. In that case, he’s even more of a riddle than Roselia. He’s become this characters that’s just too complex and incredibly hard to follow.
With Campanella’s appearance in Sen no Kiseki III, it feels like it’s been ages since he last was active.
Kondo: It’s been about six years since we’ve fought him in Ao no Kiseki. In terms of strength he’s Joshua’s equal, positioned slightly under Sharon.
Do you have advice for what we should pay attention to regarding the Ouroboros’s next move?
Kondo: Ouroboros’s goal. Whatever is happening in Erebonia will be primarily Osborne’s doing, but it’s Ouroboros that has propelled the entire series so far. Their actions have been foreshadowed since Sora no Kiseki and tie in with what is to follow. In any case, I’d like you to remember that their aim is the Sept-Terrion.
The Septian Church also showed up.
Kondo: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Septian Church plays a bigger role- please remember that haven’t been exactly quiet this time around. Considering the circumstances, the Septian Church is deeply involved in the story and are expected to go even further. The “Primal Ground”, the Holy Beast, the Sept-Terrion – you can’t expect them to not be involved. Even among the Original Class VII there’s a member of the Septian Church now. Under those circumstances, please consider them as one of the big players that will continue to develop from here on onward.
Are you referring to Sen no Kiseki specifically, or the series as a whole?
Kondo: Both. Sen no Kiseki tells a tale about two of the Sept-Terrion. Ouroboros and the Septian Church are both involved in that, which means that one component will be increasing their presence. And in this story about the “curse” that the Empire suffers from, I feel that both groups will support part of the tale.
If the Septian Church retrieves treasures, do they seal them at the High Seat?
Kondo: Who’s to say? So far, they haven’t been able to retrieve the Sept-Terrion. Because the Great One was uncontrollable, it had to be sealed. What the Septian Church did around that time remains a mystery.
It feels like the Gralsritter are active in several places.
Kondo: Several of them have showed up. Sir Hemisphere really took me back. Thanks to the active camouflage on the Merkabah, their movements are unrestricted.
Where does Gaius come in on the list of power levels?
Kondo: He’s clearly become strong based on McBurn’s “Oh?”. In the game he also got considerably stronger. We actually had to tone it down a little. In the beginning, he was a bit too strong to fit in with the narrative. (laughs)
What can the Dominion that have appeared so far do next?
Kondo: Thomas is definitely involved. The current situation is a major concern for the Gralsritter as well, suggesting they might have to resort to introducing a certain degree of fighting power. Furthermore, with Dominion active in Erebonia, they can’t afford to idle around now.
Has inheritance of a stigma happened before?
Kondo: I think it has in the past. Kevin’s has been described to a certain degree, and Wazy fits the pattern of a sudden manifestation. However, the fact that there can only be twelve Stigma at a time has not changed.
Who saved Ash during the Hamel incident?
Kondo: It’s said that he was rescued by a “disheartened aged man” strolling across the mountain path. At least, it’s not the father of his classmate Maya, but that still leaves us with no answer. Fact is that there’s a third survivor where there should be only two. Rean also has doubts about something. Someone who is connected to it other than Ash might know the answer.
Did Joshua and Loewe know about Ash?
Kondo: Since it’s a small village, I think it’s only natural that they knew each other. Ash is about three years younger than Joshua.
I got the impression that Weissmann was the one responsible for manipulating the officers of the noble faction.
Kondo: The person to give information about that area to the empire was none other than the Anguis active in Liberl, so timing-wise Osborne and Ouroboros were in touch at that time. The attack itself was due to the curse.
Did the “curse” vanish because Ash shot the emperor?
Kondo: He wanted it to return on an emotional level. Just because he ultimately carried out his mission and was rescued by Aurelia I don’t think it’s possible to say the “curse” vanished by just looking at him.
Even though the “curse” would be lifted, it looks like he can’t stay in Erebonia because he shot the emperor.
Kondo: Not just Ash, but Aurelia and Musse engaged into hostilities toward Osborne as well. Time will tell if he’ll be allowed to stay at Thors Campus Leeves.
By the way, Ash’s craft Acid Rage focuses on his eye. Is that where the power of the “curse” is at?
Kondo: I suppose so. Acid Rage is a powerful craft, one I used a lot in battles as well. He might not be able to use it if the “curse” is lifted.
The next game will finally describe Crossbell’s liberation, right?
Kondo: It’s impossible to go into this without depicting it, so it will definitely get its close-up.
Didn’t Pleroma Grass originate in Crossbell?
Kondo: Originally, it was unique to Crossbell. As for why they also showed up in Erebonia, that is one of the unusual circumstances of the situation at hand.
Has KeA’s power of the Sept-Terrion of “Zero” returned?
Kondo: It’s so much as stated that it hasn’t returned. It would’ve been unexpected if she had gotten the power back on her own. You can’t just do as you please with the ability to manipulate the laws of causality. (laughs)
Which individuals did Rufus have sequestered on Mishelam?
Kondo: I think it’s a wide range of people, such as Lloyd, KeA, Arios, Elie and Mayor MacDowell. With the situation the Bracer Guild is in, they can’t stick together or transfer to other countries.
It surprised me how much of Crossbell’s map was re-visited for Sen III. Will it also make an appearance in the sequel?
Kondo: I think it will. There are parts of the city, such as Downtown and the Entertainment District, that haven’t appeared yet. Crossbell will be greatly involved in the sequel. Of course, not just the areas that were already in Sen no Kiseki III, it’s possible that more areas will be added.
Does that include areas in the outskirts of Crossbell, like Armorica Village?
Kondo: Who knows? Armorica Village’s quite a distance on foot. I’d also like to go to Mishelam Wonderland.
We’ve seen Scherazard’s name pop up in Sen no Kiseki III, so will she herself make an appearance in the next game?
Kondo: Maybe later. That’s still a secret.
Given the current situation, will something from Liberl show up?
Kondo: With an incident of this scope, neighboring nations might not stay uninvolved. We don’t know how much it affects, but I think Liberl will have to be depicted. We’re in the middle of the process to decide who would show up.
How about the City of Grancel in 3D?
Kondo: That might be hard since it’s so vast. (sweats) There’s also that courtyard that feels like a dungeon.
Talk of Zemuria’s eastern half came up. Was this some kind of foreshadowing?
Kondo: It’s that the “world is ending”, so it might be related to that. It certainly involves future developments for the series from here on out. We don’t know if it’s related to Osborne’s or Ouroboros’ goals.
A special ops from Calvard appeared. Were they sent by Kilika?
Kondo: That organization is not controlled by only Kilika, but considering it’s involved with the intelligence agency, it’s not like she’s completely in the dark. They must have made serious considerations to go as far as having a special ops infiltrate in order to investigate the timing of the outbreak of the war.
Tell something about the RAMDA, a new type of tactical orbment.
Kondo: It was developed at the same time as the ARCUS. The Epstein Foundation developed the ARCUS with the Reinford Group and the RAMDA with Calvard. There should be a difference in what was emphasized during their development since the technology is fundamentally identical.
Was the last of the three pupils, Doctor Hamilton, involved with the development of the RAMDA?
Kondo: That might be the case. It might be fun to have all these old-timers gathered, Doctor Novartis from Ouroboros included. (laughs)
Isn’t it time Master Ka-fai makes his entrance?
Kondo: He’s traveling through the East right now. There’s not really a chance for him to show up, not until he returns.
What’s in the area of East Zemuria that Master Ka-fai is heading to?
Kondo: It refers to the east of the continent, including Calvard. There’s a plot thread about the acceptance of immigrants from the East.
Where’s the Holy Nation of Arteria located?
Kondo: Its exact location hasn’t been decided, but it’s in the center of the continent. By the way, the Principality of Remiferia is situated north of Crossbell, about northeast of Nord.
It looks like Sen no Kiseki and Sen no Kiseki II will be released for PS4!
Kondo: We decided to port the games to meet the demand to play the games on PS4. They’re fundamentally the same games, with convenient functionalities added. The graphics have also been touched up.
Are there bonuses to playing the games with Sen no Kiseki III data?
Kondo: Yes, that’s what we’re thinking about. Aside from that, we’re also investigating a system to transfer save data from the PS3 and PlayStation Vita versions to the PS4. Playing with save data from the PS3 and PlayStation Vita version and Sen no Kiseki III data means you can play with numerous perks. We’ve asked animation studios to clean up the opening animation as well. It’s going to be beautiful, so please look forward to that.
Any changes in the musical department?
Kondo: The audio quality will be improved. We haven’t decided whether all tracks will be arranged.
So, the way you envision it is that after people cleared Sen no Kiseki III, they can play through the PS4 versions of Sen and Sen II before the next game in the series is out?
Kondo: That’s the plan.
About when will the next Sen no Kiseki game release?
Kondo: After that ending, I don’t really want people to wait too long. We’ll try to make sure they can enjoy the sequel as soon as possible. I’d like to release it next year, if possible.
The ending mentions the “Last Saga”, so will this really be the end of the Sen arc?
Kondo: Please think of the “Last Saga” as the concept for the next game. It will be the last of the Sen arc and will be a very important milestone for the series as a whole.
Will Rean continue to serve as protagonist like he has been so far?
Kondo: That’s information I’d like you to wait for. All I’ll say is that the beginning of the game may differ from how the games usually start.
Do the mechanics in Sen III serve as the basis for the sequel?
Kondo: The basics will be the same, yes. The next game also makes use of the ARCUS orbment, of which battle links are a fundamental part of.
Have you decided that its title will be Sen no Kiseki IV?
Kondo: That’s still up for debate. Because it’s the last, we might do something extra. When the whole series is out for PS4, I’d like to unify them or something.
Please let us hear about the prospect of the series from here on out.
Kondo: As Last Saga implies, it’s really the last. I often get scolded for saying that, but the next game really is the last. We’re working to solve all riddles of the Erebonia arc, meaning the sentiment of ‘it’s finally over’ lives amongst us as well. But that doesn’t mean the Kiseki series will be ending; it will continue after that. Even so, a big pause will follow the end of the Sen arc. After that, we’re planning to have a new setting. I think it’s going to take a while to get there, so please look forward to the Last Saga of Sen no Kiseki for now.
As for the Last Saga, are there particular characters you want us to pay attention to?
Kondo: Throughout the Sen arc, a lot of characters made their appearance. I’d like you to focus on each and every one of them. I’d like to have them gathered because it’s the last game. It’s still too early to say which members of the cast will show up, but I hope everyone is thinking about which characters would be fitting for the last Sen no Kiseki.
The way Sen no Kiseki III ended was shocking, so do you have an idea how the story will resume in the sequel?
Kondo: A flying start from the outset! I think people will be surprised when they see the party members.
What should the homework be of the fans in preparation of Sen no Kiseki’s Last Saga?
Kondo: As the story is getting more complicated, we want to make something to get everything organized as well. As for their homework, I hope they’re looking forward to information about the sequel.
Will the game be structured like Sora no Kiseki The 3rd, where various stories are collected?
Kondo: I think it will differ from The 3rd’s structure. It’s not structured as an omnibus like that, it’s a completely, big streamlined work.
Is there a final thing you’d like to say to the people who have finished Sen no Kiseki and are motivated to play through Sen no Kiseki again?
Kondo: Those who finished the game might feel this frustration because riddles are left on both the macro and the micro level. These will certainly be revealed in the next game, so please look forward to it if you will. Those who’ll be playing from on, don’t only look forward to the new game next year, but also look back on developments in older game. Because the series has been going on for such a long time, it might be difficult to feel that we’re halfway there. The reasons we’re being supported and what allows it to go on for this long are definitely there, I think. But first, look forward to the development of the PS4 versions of Sen no Kiseki and Sen no Kiseki II. I’m thinking of next year as “Sen no Kiseki Year”. It would make me really happy if people would be able to pick it up from there.
|This is the plane that was that the Grandmaster designated t o Weissmann. It was to unseal the Sept-Terrion of Space, the Aureole. At the end, Campanella presented the Sept-Terrion of Space to the Grandmaster.
|This is the plan of the Grandmaster’s final objective. The Gospel Project and the Phantasmal Blaze Plan are each one part of the Orpheus Final Plan, and these plans are heavily focused on the Sept-Terrion.