Did you know that Astral Chain was originally going to be a fantasy game that focused on magic? That tidbit of information comes from a Polygon interview with director Takahisa Taura. Check out the discussion below about the change from fantasy to cyberpunk, and the influences picked up along the way.
P: In the past few years, cyberpunk has become trendy again.
TT: First off, I should start by saying that we didn’t start working on Astral Chain thinking we’d make a cyberpunk game. We were actually trying to make a fantasy game where you would use magic.
What you see now is the result of talking a lot with Nintendo along through the development process, because we realized that there were lots of other games set in a fantasy setting. We wanted to make Astral Chain stand out among other games. And that’s what you see now.
P: So it evolved from fantasy to cyberpunk?
TT: Yeah, that’s right.
While we were making it, actually, I was influenced by a lot of different anime that I liked. For example, Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. And we used designs like that as a motif to build the setting that you see before you now.
P: Were there other films or books or media that influenced the visual design, particularly of the future city, the Arc?
TT: I should mention that Masakazu Katsura is the character designer for this game. He draws a manga called Zetman. Which is another type of science fiction manga. A lot of what you see before you is influenced by the type of environments of his manga.
Astral Chain is the result of all the types of Japanese anime and other things that I like, put into one place.