The Convention’s Conversation: Yoko Taro & Taura Takahisa (AniManGaki 2019)

The Convention’s Conversation is a series of Interviews with various folks. 😮

The following Interview is rated A for approved.

All content seen here is permitted to be distributed, with the consent of all parties involved in this interview.

Also Readers, Please Behave Yourselves. 🤔


Team Interviewees,

  • Mr Yoko Taro (Right)
    • Director of Nier Automata.
    • Guest Panelist for AniManGaki 2019.
  • Mr Taura Takahisa (Left)
    • Game Designer of Nier Automata.
    • Guest Panelist for AniManGaki 2019.
  • Miss Translator (Name Redacted for Privacy Reasons)

Team Interviewers,

  • Other Media Outlets
    • The Magic Rain, Psyfecta, BunnyGaming, etc.
  • S.I.R
    • A bunch of <Insert swear word here>.
    • Basically, the Author/s.

Interview START!

The following Interview takes place on September 1st 2019, AniManGaki Day 2.


Note: Italic words are translated statements from Miss Translator.

Mr Taura: “My name is Taura Takahisa, I’m from an Osaka based game development company know as Platinum Games.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “My name is Yoko Taro, I’m the director of Nier Automata, I have collaborated together with Taura-san on this title.”

Miss Translator: “So if you have any questions for them, please raise up your hand.”

*<Insert silence here>*

Miss Translator: “Ok? You may start now.”

*<Insert more silence here>*

“Come on, we’re running out of time.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “Finish?”

*<Insert Top 10 Anime Comebacks here>*

Question #1

Other Media Outlets: “Just to start things off with something a bit more fun, have you guys had the opportunity to try any of our local dishes?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Taura: “Yes, but maybe she can explain.”

Miss Translator: “We (AniManGaki Staff) took them around, but unfortunately we could only have the chance to get them Chinese Malaysian food at the moment.”

“We gave the chance to try Kung Pao Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Sambal Prawns, that’s about it. And also, Teh Tarik.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “It was really delicious.”

Mr Taura: “There wasn’t any beer, so it was a bit of a pity.”

Question #2

Other Media Outlets: “What was the Major Event that made you become a big game creator?” 

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Taura: “As far as I can remember, looking up to my seniors had really inspired me to become one.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “I’m not exactly that far in age, but Taura-San makes it sound like there’s a big gap between us.”

Miss Translator: “So, the reason Yoko-san became a game creator, was because he first played this shooting style game called…I’m not sure what’s it called in English, Gradius?”

Mr Yoko Taro: “In English it’s called, Nemesis.”

Miss Translator: “Ah, it’s called Nemesis. And ever since then, it has left an impression that really surprised him.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “Nemesis sort of portrayed this movie-like feeling, that not many games did back then, and as the game progressed, it changed quite a lot.”

“And as technology advanced, things such as computer graphic cutscenes, were being implemented into videogames, and that became more of a growing industry, so I took interest in it.”

Question #3

Other Media Outlets: “I would like to ask Mr Yoko, what real life inspirations did you implement into the Nier series, could you give us some examples?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Yoko Taro: “I’d rather have Taura-san answer this.” 

Miss Translator: “It’s just a joke.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “If you’re talking about real life events, it definitely has to be the 9-11 incident.”

“And it really made me think, how could somebody hate something or somebody so much?”

“There’s really not much happening right now, but as I created, things just sort of flowed in.”

Question #4

S.I.R: “What was it like to create the near end of Nier Automata? The process of erasing your save data to help other players that reach that point of the game, what was it like to program and create that?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

“Well…if you’re talking about the programming aspect, they’re not exactly too much into programming.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “Gomenasai.”

Question #5

Other Media Outlets: “I’d like to ask both of them, what kind of game would you like to make next in the future, together?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Taura: “After working with Yoko-san on Nier Automata, and having made a game within Platinum Games called Astral Chain, I haven’t really seen that far into the future.”

“But if there was a chance or opportunity to work together with Yoko-san again, why not?”

Other Media Outlets: “For what type of game?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Taura: “I can’t really say for sure, as it really depends on then and there. 

“As for Yoko-san?”

Mr Yoko Taro: “Because I was working on Nier Automata as the Game Director, and Taura-san was the Game Designer, I would like to see a new project with the roles reversed, where Taura-san would be the Director.”

“And I really look forward to the kind of orders Taura-san would be giving.” 

“That said, Taura-san, what sort of genre should we tackle?”

“Since Taura-san’s specialty is in Action Games, I guess it has to be that?”

Mr Taura: “Can you make anything besides action?”

“I’m willing to work on any genre, depending on the situation.”

Miss Translator: “TL;DR, even if you asked them what sort of game they want to make, they honestly don’t know.”

Question #6

Other Media Outlets: “Can we expect anything from the Nier series or universe? Like a sequel maybe? Or anything related?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

Mr Yoko Taro: “Oh, please ask Square Enix.”

“Or Nintendo.”

Mr Taura: “Nintendo no.”

Question #7

Other Media Outlets: “How did you come to work with Final Fantasy 14, with your involvement in developing the 24-man raid?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

“Well, if you were to ask for a reason, there is one, but if he were to talk about it, it would be a bit problematic.”

Question #8

Other Media Outlets: “What are the core values or work principles, that made Nier Automata possible? And what are the biggest challenges?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

“Is it about the story or the game design as a whole?”

Other Media Outlets: “Both.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “For Nier Automata, the first thing I thought, was to make a title where people who enjoyed RepliCant and Gestalt could enjoy Automata.”

“At the same time, I had in mind the idea of making Automata a game where players who’ve never played the first Nier could still play this.”

“And so, Taura-san implemented a system where people who aren’t too used to action games could still enjoy the game as a whole.”

“As for that Beginner’s Friendly mechanic, I’ll pass to Taura-san to explain more.”

Mr Taura: “So with Auto Mode, for those who don’t know, is almost like an Autopilot system in the game (Nier Automata) that’s made more for beginners.”

“While developing the game, its combo system was designed to be similar to its predecessor, so that players who played the preceding games would feel right at home.”

“The enemy movements were also made to be slower than the main character’s speed, even though the main character is quite fast, players could feel right at home with the same button combo.”

“Since enemy movements are slow, it helps players get attuned with the game.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “So, is Astral Chain designed with that same mission in mind?”

Mr Taura: “The short answer is no, since the goal was to make something different that wasn’t Nier Automata.”

“Also, why is Yoko-san here into grilling me and not the people here?”

Question #9

Other Media Outlets: “What do you think about Lootbox transactions and microtransactions in games? Is it Ethical? Do you believe in microtransactions and lootboxes? And would you implement this in your future games?”

Miss Translator: *translates*

“Personally from Taura-san, he has not created such a game, and he’s not really the type that likes to cash in, as he does feel that it’s a bit of a waste of money, and he generally doesn’t like this genre as a whole.”

“Even then, his impressions and opinions might not be so positive about it, but as long as people can have fun and enjoy the experience, then why not leave it as it is?”

“As everyone has their own style of enjoyment.

“As mentioned earlier, Taura-san has no experience in making such a game.”

“But Yoko-san however, has made a mobile Gacha game.”

Mr Yoko Taro: “Even though I’ve made this game, I’ve never in my life pulled a Gacha before.”

Miss Translator: “And this is where the generation gap comes a bit into play, as all of you know, Gacha is on the rise, it’s sort of the gaming of this generation.”

“Yoko-san and Taura-san are sort of like the previous generation, so they sort of can’t really quite understand what’s the rave or hype about it.”

“And so, with games that have microtransactions and lootboxes, it can sort of give a bit of freedom in the world of expression, so Yoko-san thinks that it’s a system that can definitely stay and go.”

“Nowadays, there’s quite a lot of Gacha games that are quite similar together, so Yoko-san is a little bit disappointed.”

“He would like to see new games that will take on new spins or new genres.”

“So he has sort of ideas like, what if you bet your life for this game, kind of mechanic, and other sort of interesting mechanics.”

*Interview Over*

Off The Record

For events, activities, observations before, during, and after the interviews.

  • Shortly after announcing him as a Guest at AniManGaki, Mr Yoko Taro made a tweet about AniManGaki.
    • Basically, he was wondering if the event he was invited to, looks like a circus.
    • TL;DR, AMG got memed by Mr Yoko Taro himself. :O
  • Mr Yoko Taro and Mr Taura arrived in Malaysia on August 31st.
  • Before the interview session on Day 2, Mr Yoko Taro and Mr Taura were seen roaming around the event.
    • It’s possible that most attendees did not recognize him out of the mask.
  • Mr Yoko Taro addressed the question on, “How did the mechanic of sacrificing the player’s Save Data, to help future players who reach the near end section of Nier Automata came to exist?” during his Panel Talk on Day 2.
    • He explains that, it was difficult to convey how painful it was to lose his game’s save data to his parents, when the technology used to store save data back in the day finally gave up.
    • This motivated him to come up with a system that could allow players to make use of their save data, by making a tough decision on whether it’s worth losing everything for someone else.
    • In addition, he wanted the world to (re)experience the pain of losing a save file.
  • The famous mask worn by Mr Yoko Taro, is not put on like a helmet.
    • Rather, it’s attached together around Mr Yoko Taro’s head.
  • At one point during the photoshoot session after the interview, Mr Yoko Taro asked if us media had taken enough photos.
    • This was a humourous jab, not meant as a negative view.
  • It’s uncertain if either Mr Yoko Taro or Mr Taura likes Durians. ._.
    • Like the answer given above, probably ask Square Enix I mean, AniManGaki about that.
    • Apparently they liked it, but would not eat it again for a lifetime.
      • They found the taste too heavy.


Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for reading!

Massive thanks to the AniManGaki crew for inviting Mr Yoko Taro and Taura Takahisa to Malaysia! 🤔

If possible, I’d love to hear your feedback on what can we do better.


Check out more stories over at S.I.R House, of Content 2019.

That said, siteinrelief has a Facebook page now!

Page us anytime, anywhere, Amway offers will be shot on sight, no questions asked.



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