Disgaea 1 Complete - Mr. Niikawa, (President of Nippon Ichi Software) Interview Part 2/2


Platform(s): Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 
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Since you’ve had the opportunity to meet both Western and Japanese fans of the Disgaea series, could you let us know the differences and similarities you’ve noticed between the two?

Niikawa-San: They are very similar in a sense! To go into this a little deeper, it has less to do with fans themselves and more of how people act in different countries. Japanese fans tend to be a bit quieter and are on the shy side, whereas Western fans are more outgoing and more likely to be excited about the series at conventions. When we made the game I didn’t expect it to do well in the West, because it was written with a Japanese otaku audience in mind.

All the terms and parodies in the game stem from Japanese culture and were made with this specific audience in mind and I wasn’t convinced this would resonate with people abroad. But, when it was released in the West it sold more than in Japan! So, I wondered why. With this question, I started to wonder why do these people like Disgaea

When I was first invited to the West, I remember seeing fans over here excited about seeing Disgaea trailers even though they were in a different language. I would see fans laugh at the Japanese parts of the trailer, which I found very interesting from them. They all recognised the parodies from Japanese otaku culture and at that moment I realised otaku are all the same all over the world. Because they’re all the same, if we can increase the number of otaku around the world, we will be closer to world peace! No more wars!


NISA Europe: We’ve probably found the answer to world peace now.

Niikawa-San: You often hear in Japan that games are bad for children, but I don’t buy it for a second. Games will give us world peace.

NISA Europe: That’s really nice I’ll have to tell my mum about this!

The Disgaea 1 Complete Rosen’s Finest Edition looks really good, which of the items is your favourite and why?

Niikawa-San: I like the Prinny Pouch Collector's Box, but Prinny Cube Plush looks cute. To be honest I like it all. I really wish the limited edition was like this in Japan.


Niikawa-San: This probably the best-limited edition I’ve ever seen!

NISA Europe: it seems a lot of the fans really like the Noppai Etna Flat Mousepad.

Niikawa-San: I hope the fans realize they can’t use that at home in front of the kids’ right?


What would you say to encourage someone who’s never played a Disgaea game before on giving Disgaea 1 Complete a go?

Niikawa-San: First thing is there are tons of games out there today, from AAA to Indie titles. Disgaea offers something different in terms of playstyle and you won’t find it anywhere else--whether it’s AAA or not. For newcomers to the series they should definitely enjoy the cute characters in the series and the story too, and whilst that’s happening the gameplay will pull them in so they can appreciate the depth of the systems in the game.

What is your fondest memory from when the first game released?

Niikawa-San: So as you may know towards the end of the game there is an item called the “Horse Wiener” and when we sent the game for submission, we were told, “No way, you can’t have this in your game!” By that time all the dialogue had been recorded with lines where Laharl’s voice actress would say wiener multiple times and there was no way, we could not afford to put this in the game. We were told multiple times we can’t have this in the game, but we asked why not? We didn’t see this as a rude or dirty term since we thought it leaned more on the cute side. Eventually, after numerous back and forths, we were able to get it in the final product. I think fighting to get that through submission is probably the best work I’ve ever done, to be honest.


NISA Europe: That’s crazy! It’s funny how things have changed since back then.

What does Disgaea 1 Complete mean to you?

Niikawa-San: Fifteen years later, these characters still feel just as fresh as they did when we first made them, and I feel they haven’t lost their charm. The fact that they’re still just as alive as they were back then is something I want to continue, and I feel Disgaea 1 Complete is a great opportunity for people who have never played the game before to meet these characters and that what this title means to me.

Also, I have a personal rivalry with this game. Although I’ve made many games in the series over the years, there are certain parts of it I feel were better in them. But as a complete product, nothing has been able to beat Disgaea 1, so I feel like we still need to create a game that beats that in the future. I hope someday I will create something that surpasses the first Disgaea game.



Translation by: Alan Costa

Click to here to view Part 1