Elden ring (opens in new tab) has been a huge success for FromSoftware and publisher Bandai Namco, and Xbox Japan (opens in new tab) recently spoke with Hidetaka Miyazaki. Miyazaki is one of those figures where you have to be careful not to attribute too much to him – after all, these games are made by hundreds of people – and at the same time recognize that, as a game director, the titles he works on have characteristics distinct and unique.
He makes this point early on when answering Xbox’s questions, saying that because Elden Ring is so much bigger than previous projects, “the part left to the team beyond me has become bigger”.
One of the questions is which boss is Miyazaki’s favorite. Your answers below are machine translated and edited for clarity.
“I’m a little confused by the question, but it’s Radahn. He’s attractive as an individual character, and I like the Radahn Festival setting.”
If you haven’t played Elden Ring, or indeed encountered Radahn, his appearance is triggered by a combat ‘festival’, which changes the location of Castle Redmane and populates it with interactive NPCs.
“I wonder if there’s a feeling of loneliness that’s unique to us,” continues Miyazaki. “Alongside a literally festive and uplifting feeling. I miss when I first spoke about the idea of a ‘Radhan Festival’ and no one on the team took it seriously!”
There are also some consolation prizes: “Runners are Godrick and Rykard”.
Miyazaki goes on to mention some of the titles that inspired the game. “As a user, I’ve played many open world games called ‘masterpieces’ and been inspired by each one. There’s no time to name them all, but certainly The Elder Scrolls series and The Witcher 3. I think The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should be mentioned.”
Interestingly, the interview ends with some complaints about those horrible hands that grab you at certain points in the game – which always struck me as inspired by a type of enemy in another Zelda game, A Link to the Past.
“What can I say,” says Miyazaki. “I’m very sorry.” He is not sorry.
“Actually, Ubimushi is one of my favorite cartoons. Feeling like you can’t look at him is really bad… Can’t you get over him by looking hard and defeating him?”
Miyazaki ends by saying that while FromSoft is pleased with the success of Elden Ring, it will not lead to any change in their attitude towards game development. “We have always made games that we believe are interesting and we will continue to do so in the future. […] this is the best way to convey our joy and gratitude to our users.”