Creators talk about
"Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV (RTK14)"

Welcome to interviews with development team members of "RTK14" which will be released on 28 February, 2020.
We will have deep conversations about their thoughts on the game and their favorite aspects of RTK14!

Volume 8

General producer

Kou Shibusawa

The founder of many historical strategy games, including the Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. In 1985, the first RTK was released for the PC and became a hit. He is still active and contributes greatly to raising awareness of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms in Japan.

Q1
What does Romance of the Three Kingdoms mean to Kou Shibusawa?

First of all, I greatly respect China's vast historical literature, and I am always grateful for encountering the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel and being fortunate release the first RTK game in the world. Also, the first historical simulation (strategy) game to feature 'human drama' was RTK.

Q2
35 years have passed since the first Romance of the Three Kingdoms was released. Do you feel any surrounding changes since then?

When the first game was released, the novel was well-known but lately I feel that the official historical account is gaining support. Also, our CG department creates handsome and beautiful characters portrayed by popular voice actors, so our female fans are definitely increasing. With the various RTK mobile games available, the overall fan base is expanding.

Q3
This is the 14th installment of the series. In the future, how do you want to show the Romance of the Three Kingdoms that is uniquely Koei?

Basically, we have continued our efforts in this series by combining these 3 core elements: the development team's ideas, fan requests, and the latest hardware and software capabilities. Recently, we have been focusing on creating a RTK world that is more realistic and has a sense of urgency with unique officers driven by AI.

Q4
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV will be released next week. Do you have a message for the fans?

For fans of the early games, I think they will feel that the map coloring, fire attacks and strategies are nostalgic features. For fans of the series, I hope they will take the time to enjoy how the AI provides movements suited to each officer. And for those playing the game for the first time, there is an easy-to-understand tutorial in the game, so I hope you will give it a try.

Volume 7

singer-songwriter

Mayo Okamoto

Japanese singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer and arranger. Her hit single "TOMORROW" sold a record 2 million copies, and she continues to produce many hit songs for commercials and theme songs for anime, TV dramas and movies. She wrote and performed the Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV ending theme song "Traveler".
Official Website: https://www.mayo-okamoto.com/
Official Twitter Account:https://twitter.com/mayookamoto510

Q1
It is rare to write songs related to historical events. Was there anything particularly challenging?

I didn't feel there was an especially difficult part.

Q2
You have written many songs, but is this the first time to write an ending song for a game?

Yes, this is the first time! I am extremely happy to be involved!

Q3
What were you thinking when you came up with the title "Traveler" and its overall lyrics?

Actually, the melody was something I composed 15 years ago. Because it has a different taste than the songs I usually create, I kept in on the backburner, so when this offer came, I thought "Oh! This song was sleeping all this time just waiting to encounter the Romance of the Three Kingdoms." While it is a ballad, there is a "quiet fighting spirit" and an image of a world where you are "carrying a burning passion, to reach the place you seek."

Q4
Many people will encounter this song after the game's release. Do you have a message for the fans?

It's slightly different than the usual musical world of Mayo Okamoto, but I would be thrilled if you enjoy listening to the song as you enjoy Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV.

Volume 6

Voice actor

Voice actor

Actor, voice actor. Represented by the amuleto agency. Primarily a voice actor for anime, voice overs, CM narration and a radio personality, he is a multi-talented individual also appearing in stage productions. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV, he is the voice of Cao Cao, a wicked hero in chaotic times.
Official Website:http://tsudaken.com/
Official Twitter Account:https://twitter.com/tsuda_ken

Q1
When playing the role of a non-fictional person, is there something in particular you pay attention to?

I play them without worrying about the general image people have of them.

Q2
Cao Cao is a person who is intense but also loves talent. Did you face any difficulties playing him?

I didn’t have any difficulties at all. I had fun.

Q3
Cao Cao is a popular military officer of both literary and martial arts. Do you have a favorite historical person?

I am very interested in Katsushika Hokusai.

Q4
The game will be released next month, so is there anything you'd like to say to the fans?

I hope everyone enjoys it to their heart's content. Thank you very much.

Volume 5

Illustrator

Keiji Hida

An illustrator who has worked on many illustrations for books, games, and trading cards. Hida is also responsible for the cover design of "Nobunaga's Ambition."
Official Website:https://kettoo.com/
Official Twitter Account:https://twitter.com/hida_keiji_jpn

Q1
How did you decide to approach the cover design for this game?

I wanted to go back to the visual elements of the three rulers from the first ROTK game cover, and center the design on that. After countless rough drafts that took those original elements into account, I eventually settled on the current design.

Q2
This is the first time you've drawn characters for the ROTK series. What did you focus on, specifically?

There aren't any specific stylistic traits in my art, but one thing I did try to do was make sure that the characters' facial expressions and poses expressed an air of power. Hopefully, when you look at the cover, you can get a sense of what each character's backstory is like, and what they are feeling.

Q3
You must have drawn countless Three Kingdoms characters by this point, but who is your favorite officer?

With all the charismatic officers from the Three Kingdoms series, it's very difficult to narrow them down to just one, so I'd have to choose both Zhang Liao and Guan Yu. I'd like to try drawing those two fighting someday.

Q4
Your cover is sure to catch the eyes of people looking around in stores. Any last words for fans looking forward to the release?

I'd like to mention that I couldn't have produced this cover art without the game's other staff, who helped me with the important details. I hope that the cover makes you want to pick up the game, and that the world of ROTK XIV will capture your imagination.

Volume 4

Voice actor

Shizuka Ito

A voice actress and singer affiliated with Ken Production Co.,Ltd. Ito has voiced many characters, but her best known roles are Sailor Venus in "Sailor Moon Crystal", Yayoi Kunizuka in "Psycho Pass", and Irina Jelavić in "Assassination Classroom." In ROTK XIV, she plays Diao Chan, one of the Four Great Beauties.
Official Website:http://www.kenproduction.co.jp/talent/member.php?mem=w5

Q1
Who is your favorite officer is in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and why?

That would have to be Zhuge Liang, although there's no deep meaning behind why he's my favorite. He's a pretty scary guy, because he can antagonize even the smartest people. You definitely want him by your side as an ally. That's how he gets you!

Q2
In this game, you played as the famous beauty Diao Chan. Was there anything about her you intentionally tried to portray in your performance?

I wanted to make her seem as wise and refined as I could, so I tried to think of all the things that would make her sound ladylike and exude femininity.

Q3
Are there any other historical figures in or outside the Three Kingdoms period that you would like to play?

I'd like to try playing one of the other great beauties of the Three Kingdoms, and maybe some of the world's other great beauties that have existed throughout history. Maybe the roles will influence me so much that one day, I'll be considered a great beauty myself... Just kidding! That would never happen.

Q4
The game finally releases next month. Any last words for your fans?
*RTK14 will be released on January 16th in Japan/Asia.

I really fell in love with the Three Kingdoms period during the recording sessions, and had a lot of fun playing Diao Chan. I hope you'll all enjoy my performance once the game comes out!

Volume 3

Composer

Hideki Sakamoto

A composer and Waseda University graduate, Sakamoto is the CEO of noisycroak Co.,Ltd. In addition to movie and anime soundtracks, he has composed many game soundtracks over the years. He continues to approach game soundtracks with a comprehensive point of view.
Official Website:http://www.noisycroak.co.jp/staff/hideki_sakamoto.html
Official Twitter Account:https://twitter.com/HidekiSakamoto

Q1
What did you aim to achieve with the music in this new game?

I wanted to make sure that each song had a simple yet memorable melody, rather than just blending into the background. I also tried to create songs that would capture a Chinese feeling without losing their contemporary feel, using Chinese musical scales and instruments like the erhu.

Q2
Was there anything that left an impression on you during your recording sessions?

I must say I was very impressed by the performances of all the wonderful musicians during the recording sessions. Considering how busy I usually am, I was very fortunate to be able to make it to all of their performances. Aside from that, the timpani was too big to fit in our studio, so that part had to be recorded separately in quite a hurry (laughs).

Q3
While it might be difficult to choose, was there a song you really took a liking to, and why?

Yeah... That's a tricky one, but I would probably go with "Monarch's Majesty," the first piece I completed for this soundtrack. It's melodious, it has a contemporary harmony, and it definitely has that distinct Chinese feel to it. It very much feels like a song done in my own style.

Q4
I'm sure many players will be paying attention to the soundtrack once the game releases. Any final words for those players?

It's an honor to be credited as the composer for the newest title in such an esteemed series. I tried as hard as I could to express the character of ROTK XIV's world through my own music, so it would make me very happy if players would turn the volume up just a little more for this game (laughs).

Volume 2

Director

Toshiyuki Kobayashi

Kobayashi joined Koei (pre-merger) in 2001. After being involved in the development of Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX, X, and XI, he was put in charge of the management and development of online and social games. Returning again to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, he now sits in the director's seat. His favorite games in the series are ROTK II and ROTK V.

Q1
In the development of this new game, was there anything you chose to focus on specifically?

Probably having the scramble for territory contained in one single map. By having the entire battlefield encompassed by one map, players can create their own strategies and execute them to the letter. That's definitely one of the things we focused on with this game, at least.

Q2
I can definitely see that being appreciated by players. What did you have trouble with during development, though?

Well, we wanted to make the heroic adventures of the officers exciting, but at the same time keep the strategy side of the game interesting and deep. That ended up being a trial and error process.

Q3
Are there any combinations of ruler and scenario you think players should try out?

Out of all the well-known rulers, I'd say go with Sun Ce and the 194 C.E. scenario. In previous titles, it was relatively easy to brute-force your way through that scenario, but that won't quite be the case in this new game. You'll have to try all kinds of strategies this time in order to conquer Jiangdong.

Q4
Any final words for players looking forward to the game's release?

Out of all the different play styles we could have chosen from, we decided on a large, single map system for ROTK XIV. We hope that you'll approve of this choice, and come to love this new game just as much as you all loved IX and XI. As always, thank you for your continued support.

Volume 1

Producer

Kazuhiro Echigoya

After joining Koei Tecmo (pre-merger) in 1994, Echigoya first contributed to the development of "Sangokushi Eiketsuden." He subsequently went on to become lead game designer for "Taiko Risshiden IV" and the "Dynasty Warriors" titles. This game marks his first role as producer for the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" series. His favorite game of the series is the first of its thirteen releases.

Q1
"Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV" features quite a few new elements. Are there any that you're particularly excited for players to experience?

The increased roster, for sure. We didn't want there to be any trade-off between quantity and quality, however. That's why we made sure that all generals are viable units, and that end-game unification is possible with both Yuan Shu and Liu Biao, for example.

Q2
Since the commanding units' characteristics vary from game to game, we'd love to hear what this title's generals have in store for us.

Well, I'd say Lu Bu, with his incredible strength, is a stand-out unit for sure. But in the end, whether that strength is a useful asset or not depends on the player's strategy, which is the real focus here.

Q3
It may be too early to say, but what do you have planned for the game post-release?

Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but personally, I'd like to make more content available well before any large updates that players would have to wait a long time for. In the meantime, we'll be working on periodic patches that will improve the AI.

Q4
Finally, do you have a message for players of the series?

Using past releases as a base, we're now creating what we hope will be the new foundation for all future "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" games. There may, of course, be some rough parts, but I hope that together, we can smooth them out and strengthen that foundation even further. Thank you, as always, for your continued support.