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Interview: Understanding NIS America’s The Guided Fate Paradox

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the guided fate paradox
Of all the games NIS America has announced for the PS3, The Guided Fate Paradox is the one I’m most excited for and if you enjoy dungeon-crawling, rogue-like RPGs, then you should too. This unusual and fanciful adventure allows players to control the world’s newest god as he attempts to help people find their happy endings and discover exactly what good a god can do. GamerTell was able to speak to NIS America’ Nick Doerr, who’s acting as Script Editor for The Guided Fate Paradox, to learn about Renya and the way the game works.

GamerTell: The Guided Fate Paradox has been compared to Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman. How apt is this comparison?

Nick Doerr: When talking about The Guided Fate Paradox, I would say the comparison is pretty spot-on. After spending just a few hours with the game, you’ll feel right at home if you’ve played Z.H.P. in the past. But since Z.H.P. took place in a “sentai”-themed world, think Saturday morning cartoons, and GFP takes place in Celestia, there are a few differences.

Your hub is a little different; it’s more reminiscent of a standard Disgaea game’s home base instead of the “build your hero fort” feel in Z.H.P..

The mechanics in GFP are familiar as well, but now you have a helpful angel traveling through the dungeons with you. You can give her some basic commands, like “search and destroy,” or “stay with me,” or even “wait right here, I promise you won’t die horribly as soon as you’re out of my field of vision” Note: that one may not exist.

This creates a new dynamic as giving your partner appropriate equipment is key. For example, if you want your angel to stay right next to you, she needs equipment with skills that can target enemies from more than one panel away, as you’ll be the one initiating battles with that command active. It’s a lot of fun, and I feel it is definitely the evolution of the Rogue-like mechanics that made Z.H.P. such a hidden gem.

GamerTell: In The Guided Fate Paradox, Renya is suddenly a god. Can you get into how this happens and why?

Doerr: Well, a little bit of setup is necessary before getting into that. Renya is a typical high school student, but he has never had much luck. As in, he’s never won a prize, found money on the street, or was given any sort of surprise in his life either material or…girl-related. So the game opens with him wandering through his local shopping center, talking about how unlucky he is, when suddenly an adorable girl in maid cosplay calls out to him. “Come try your hand at this lottery,” she says while reaching out to take his hand. At first he struggles to accept her invitation, but eventually tells himself that a girl this cute has to have ties to the goddess of luck, so what the hey! Lottery time!

As it turns out, he gets the grand prize! Oh boy! Whatever could it be, he wonders. The maid curtseys and tells him plainly, “You have won the opportunity to become God.” So there ya go!

the guided fate paradox
GamerTell: It seems like The Guided Fate Paradox is softer in tone than other NIS America games, perhaps even more fanciful and similar in tone to Phantom Brave. Would you say that’s true?

Doerr: I actually would say that’s half-true. It doesn’t have the ridiculous and over-the-top situations and characters seen in many other NIS titles. But it isn’t “soft” in tone, either. This is a markedly more serious entry in the NIS catalog, dealing with some pretty complex concepts, like the existence of Free Will, Fate, Destiny, and what “God’s” role in all of these are. We settled on this title for the US version because of such themes.

To clarify, there is this machine called the Fate Revolution Circuit that “God” uses to dive into the souls, for lack of a better term, and help them to overcome their personal obstacles that are holding them back from achieving their dreams. So we thought, “If God is guiding these people’s fates by secretly eliminating the obstacles holding them back, does that mean Free Will is an illusion?” because the people are not deciding, solely on their own, to tackle their doubts and fears. So it creates a paradox between Free Will and Guided Fate; The Guided Fate Paradox!

GamerTell: We know Asagi will be in The Guided Fate Paradox as one of the characters hoping Renya can change her fate, and hopefully help her get her own game. Can you tell us about some of the other characters who want a different destiny?

Doerr: Since we haven’t finalized the names of some of these other characters, I’m hesitant to say. But in our initial trailer, we said that he will guide the fates of “all God’s creatures.” This includes certain fairy tale princesses, the unfortunate zombies stuck in the Netherworld, and yes, as you said, the wonderful Asagi. Let us hope her fate changes and she can finally achieve her dream!

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The Guided Fate Paradox will be coming to North America in Fall 2013. You’ll be able to find out how fate, destiny and free will all work then, so long as you own a PS3.

Site [NIS America]

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  • Blastoise

    Nice interview! Looking forward to picking this title up!