Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview
, Sega's Ryutaro Nonaka and Shuntaro Tanaka have been discussing critically acclaimed PS3 strategy title Valkyria Chronicles
, revealing a nuanced message that humans "overcome our animal instinct -- or necessity -- to fight each other."
Such themes can be distilled to a shallow essence, like "war is bad" -- but can a game where characters can die forever create a game with more impact?
Explains Tanaka, "What's unique about the storyline of Valkyria
is Welkin, the main character. When he talks about the war, he doesn't say that war is bad, because the background for Welkin is that he studied biology as a college student, and he wants to be a biology teacher."
"He understands that all animals evolve by fighting each other," he adds. "Animals maintain their society by fighting each other, and the strong survive."
"Humanity fundamentally being animals, he understands that it's part of humanity to be engaging in war against each other. However, he also believes that because we're human we're different from the other animals of the world."
So, according to Tanaka, the game's message is that human knowledge and the ability to think helps in overcoming animal instinct or necessity to fight one another.
"I realize that if it's just 'war is bad,' then this really doesn't get across to the players," says Tanaka. "There is a difference in saying, 'War may be a necessity in a sense, but because we are human we have the strength and the knowledge and the capability to overcome it.'"
You can now read the full feature
at Gamasutra, in which the Sega veterans behind Valkyrie Profile
discuss their aims, gameplay evolution, visual style, themes and more.