Discover all the secrets of The World Ends

The World Ends with You is one of the bravest and most interesting JRPGs in the entire Nintendo DS catalog. Everything about him exudes courage, risk and novelty: his combat on two screens, his plot based on the Reapers game, the relationship between Joshua and Neku…. Today we review its keys and reveal its secrets. It’s time to prepare for the launch of its sequel.

Those of us who love the JRPG remember the Nintendo DS catalog fondly . The fantastic Etrian Odyssey series (how I miss it), classic Final Fantasy remakes, Dragon Quest reviews, Pokémon Black and White edition (my favorite of all), Sonic Chronicles: The Sinister Brotherhood (Bioware’s Sonic , friends), the Inazuma Eleven , Solarotobo … but, above all, there was the exceptional The World Ends with You . I have to admit that I love this game because it reminds me of Square Enix 16-bit and PlayStation: Squaresoft. At that time, the developer gave everything in her role-playing games and bet on strange, very interesting and risky concepts: Super Mario RPG, Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve, Xenogears…. JRPGs are not made like this anymore ; it’s as if that ‘crazy’ spirit from before has been lost. Anyone would say that the departure of his vice president in 2003, Hironobu Sakaguchi, had something to do with it. For something he declared , after voluntarily leaving the publisher and developer after the failure of the film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within: “I hated Square (…) in everything related to the business part.”


But The World Ends With You brought me (us) back to the old Square; at least, for a little while . And what has his Shibuya, Neku, the Reapers game and all the pins that we have collected and used in combat to be so magical? Lets start by the beginning. The World Ends With You rupture with respect to other Japanese role-playing games is born of two wills. The first is that the team wanted to offer something radically different from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. And the second, as explained by its director, Tatsuya Kando, was to create something that maximized the possibilities of the Nintendo DS: “Being a portable console, the development team was smaller than in other developments. We were very encouraged throughout the process. , in each step of its creation. We approach the project from many angles but always with the same premise: to modernize the classic RPG . This is how we came up with the pins and pins to activate psychic movements, also that buying and dressing in the latest Shibuya fashions was so important. ”


This is a great approach and the reason I love video games on handheld consoles: Less graphical potential means shorter development processes, which often translates into less financial risk and allows for greater creativity and risk . Hopefully these game systems never go away. More expensive and time-consuming developments, more creative conservatism.


The World Ends With You Concept

General Trailer of The World Ends With You -Final Remix-


But although Kando says that the original concept always remained intact, the truth is that he admits that they considered the possibility that it was a musical game: “at the beginning, we were going to use the upper screen of DS to make a rhythm game , but we changed idea and that concept was discarded. However, the idea of ​​’noise’ in the title is a holdover from that concept. Music remained a key element in the story, which is reflected in various aspects of the production. ” . And is that The World Ends With You is music . Neku, the protagonist, isolates himself from the outside world thanks to her, and all that noise that Tatsuya Kando talks about represents the enemies of the game. The concept of noise is interesting.


In essence, they are those brands that appear floating around Shibuya with angular and aggressive shapes. They are souls that get caught up in people’s negative feelings. They have no will of their own and only want to devour souls and possess them. Neku and his friends can see it, but not ordinary people, since they are entities that navigate in an intermediate plane between the real world and the underworld. Surely this of the souls that remain trapped in an intermediate place between death and reality, feeding on negativity, sounds like something to you ; from Kingdom Hearts and the Heartless. It is normal.

The team wanted to offer something radically different from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.Tetsuya Kando, as part of the game’s main development team, Jupiter, has been associated with Sora and Riku’s adventures since their inception. He was animation director in the first and second, and co-directed Kingdom Hearts X. Tetsuya Nomura, director of the saga and main creative, participated in The World Ends With You with one of the most important roles, and it is not the design of characters, but of creative producer . In other words, he is in charge of ensuring that his vision of the project remains coherent and faithful until the end, coordinating the teams to achieve it. There has always been a good relationship between Jupiter and Square-Enix , as it is the studio that brought out the Kingdom Hearts portable games.


In fact, in Jupiter they remember : “the idea of ​​developing this game started when Jupiter finished Kingdom Hearts Chains of Memories for the Game Boy Advance. We had a long chat, Square Enix and Jupiter, about working together again and we considered some ideas. It was then that I got an offer from Tetsuya Nomura […] Almost immediately we started writing a script and the setting for that new game, The World Ends With You […] It was around November 2004. Nintendo DS was not there yet in stores, but we were already planning a game for her . ” It is wonderful to see how this project was born out of friendship, from the desire of two creative teams to work together again and from passion. The World Ends With You connection with Chains of Memories goes further. In that same interview, they recognize that the pins, the idea of ​​collecting and touching them to attack and do magic, comes from the desire to be able to touch the cards that we used in Chains of Memories.


Designing the Shibuya from The World Ends with You

Tetsuya Nomura was in charge of accentuating this union with Kingdom Hearts. Neku and his friends appear in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, and those of you who have played Kingdom Hearts III and Re: Mind will know the paramount importance of their Shibuya in the future of the license. To create their signature fictional world, the Jupiter team made it clear. If the original concept of the adventure wanted to break with the canons of the classic role, also the way of representing it : “we greatly exaggerate the perspectives to maintain the unconventional style that the game has. That is why we forced the angle of the perspective of building 104, to make it look gigantic and captivating. It seems that it is falling on the city. We wanted to break convention. “This explains why in the launch trailer for the sequel: NEO: The World Ends With You , the buildings seem to collapse even further back and forth. This is the brand’s signature artistic hallmark. And why travel only through Shibuya and not all of Tokyo or Japan? Because “at first we wanted to use all of Japan […] but finally we believed that we could better express contemporary Japan if we focused and limited ourselves to Shibuya”. it happens with video games that remain to be remembered, less is more .

Nothing in The World Ends With You is a coincidence. That his birth was the result of the desire to change the gender is also noticeable in the conception of his battles . Both Jupiter and Square-Enix members knew that random matches were out of date, causing tedium and stress on the player. Something different had to be proposed. That is why the enemies appear on the map and we have to go to meet them. But this was something that had already been done in other games, how to motivate the player to want to battle and put their new powers to the test? This is where the idea arose of being able to control the relationship of difficulty, risk and reward at will. That way, every fight, even the dumbest one, became interesting. The great thing about this question is that this manipulation of the reality of the battles, and its rules, was very consistent with the theme of The World Ends With You: the game of the Reapers (or Reapers).


The title plunges you into a gymkhana all over Shibuya. After dying and paying the most precious thing you have, the Reapers challenge you to fulfill a series of objectives day after day. Each trial has its own conditions, so it makes all the sense in the world that they can be manipulated, such as combat. This approach allowed both Jupiter and Square-Enix to co-write a story wrapped in a complex narrative halfway between Gantz and Evangelion , but do you know that they had similar problems to make a video game in times of COVID ? That’s how it went.

Nothing went well until the project was already in the middleVideoconferencing wasn’t that easy in 2004, and Jupiter headquarters and Square Enix were far apart. One was in Kyoto and the other in Tokyo . Each manager on each team had a group of assigned writers who worked on different aspects of the game. Once a part was written, it went through the QA team and shared. But there were problems: “Because the central story was about why the character was trapped in Shibuya, everything had to have a permanent air of mystery. It was important that there be no holes left in the script. A small contradiction could be fatal [… ] and our testing team kept finding plot inconsistencies. The problem was that both Jupiter and Square Enix had two completely different company cultures, but we each believed that ours was the standard […] We had permanent phone conversations but It was very difficult to truly understand the other from a distance and without seeing each other, “he explains.


“Although we were very happy with the final result of the story, nothing went well until the project was already in the middle. At first it was all confusion and constant rewriting .” These problems are often very present in complex storytelling video games with flashbacks, alterations in the personality of their heroes, travel back and forth in the narrative time. Not long ago I interviewed Akiyasu Yamamoto about creating the narrative for the fantastic 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim. He explained to me that Vanillaware also had trouble getting the game’s main storyline right, especially in regards to how all parts of the story connected and flowed together. These types of narratives are difficult to elaborate, but when done well they are wonderful.


Launch of NEO: The World Ends With You

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The story of how The World Ends With You was created reconciles you to the world. Two teams, who became friends after developing Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, had the desire to change the rules of the JRPG, and they succeeded. It is from this passion, this friendship, that all the connections between Kingdom Hearts and TWEWY are born, and the reason why they suit Sora and Riku’s universe so well. It also makes us understand the need for portable consoles. These systems require developing with lower development costs, with an investment and with a smaller team, which translates into being able to create more freely. That freedom, and the enthusiasm to test what the Nintendo DS was capable of, created a video game that reminded us of the old Sakaguchi Square: the one that risked, experimented, tested and did not care so much about the business side of things. For all these reasons, if you have not yet enjoyed this game, do so and, if you can, better on Nintendo DS than on its Nintendo Switch version. You have to prepare for what comes in the summer: its long-awaited continuation. Surely at the end of the game you will do the same as Neku: smile.It’s a Wonderful World .


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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