Translations Archive

30th Anniversary: Dragon Ball Chōshishū –Super History Book–
(21 January 2016)

Video Games Selection – Pick Up! 05

The game representative of a period of evolution that broke new ground for Dragon Ball games

Creating a new “Dragon Ball experience” online!

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

In a first for a Dragon Ball game, Xenoverse came out for a total of four platforms. With online capabilities and a custom character, players could, for the first time, enter the Dragon Ball world as themselves. Players could fight alongside characters such as Goku and Vegeta, stop an unknown entity from disrupting the Dragon Ball history, and protect the Dragon Ball world.

Series Data1

Dragon Ball Xenoverse
• Gaming system: PlayStation 4/PlayStation 3/Xbox One/Xbox 360
• Release Date: February 20152
• Publisher: Bandai

Memorial Interview: Masayuki Hirano
Dragon Ball Xenoverse producer

“I wanted to introduce a new way to love Dragon Ball

PROFILE: Producer at Bandai Namco Entertainment. He previously also worked on other games such as Shinra Banshō Frontier and Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden.

The Dragon Ball games so far, particularly the ones that came after the Dragon Ball Z series3 on the PlayStation 2, were built upon two basic premises: either “fight as Goku” or “relive the story from the original comic.” That had been going on for a bit too long though, and so the proposal for this game came from a desire to see if there might a different way to “love Dragon Ball.” Furthermore, Dragon Ball Online (a game4 available in continental Asia between January 2010 and October 2013) had just ceased operation, and this was a game that Toriyama-sensei supervised and contributed designs to, a game that included a lot of elements and lore that nobody had seen yet.5 So we also wanted to use that material in a game for a home console, which is what we specialize in.
This game includes player avatars, which are rare in home console Dragon Ball games.
That idea was actually the very first focal point of the game. If you make an avatar in an online game, you would obviously want to show it off, right? Then, in terms of the story, we started thinking: “what would we do if we could enter the Dragon Ball world…?” And from there, the first thought that came to mind was: “we would change the Dragon Ball world.” But we obviously could not put everything into the game that each and every fan would want to change it to, so we did a complete 180 on our approach and came upon the idea of restoring a disrupted Dragon Ball history back to the one everyone knows.
How did you come up with the individual changes to the history?
We tried to think of things that would surprise you the more you knew about Dragon Ball. But we tried to be careful not to go overboard. There were many ideas I rejected back during the planning stages. Stuff like your custom character coming running in and knocking everyone over, including Goku, as if they were all Yamcha… (laughs)
There were a lot of ideas that didn’t come from Dragon Ball Online, but were instead original, weren’t there?
Things like Mira, Towa and the Time Nest all came from Dragon Ball Online, but Tokitoki City, Tokitoki and Demigra are all Xenoverse originals. The design of the Kaiōshin of Time is also original and was supervised by Toriyama-sensei. We made a lot of different possible designs.
The Tenka’ichi Budōkai6 that happened in the summer of 2015 was really lively.
We had about 40,000 participants from all over the world. I also participated, but in 20 matches, I lost all of them… During the stream, we got about a thousand comments from North America, but when it was time to wrap up, after management sent a message saying, “thank you very much, have a good night,” the players replied with things like, “thank you for providing us with so much excitement for over seven months.” These kinds of interactions were not possible with the old Dragon Ball games, so there were really good experiences, even for me. With the first edition, we found out who was the number one player in every region, but if we make the whole world battle it out between each other in the second edition, things could get pretty interesting!

Secret Files

These are some of the original character designs that were made for Xenoverse. They were remade over and over to ensure that they fit in with the Dragon Ball world. The final designs were decided upon after a lot of trial and error.

Tokitoki’s Design
Originally, he looked more like an actual crested ibis7. Then, after going through a lot of redesigns, he grew to look more like an eagle, or a sparrow, but after going to Toriyama-sensei for supervision, he ended up getting more of an owl-like look.

Kaiōshin of Time’s design
For the Kaiōshin of Time, many designs that featured a taller young woman were considered, but in the end, judging it to be better to have a larger gap between her age and her appearance, it was decided to go with this cuter design.

Demigra’s design
This is Demigra, a character that was created completely from scratch, and therefore the one that was the most difficult to design. There were a lot of design submissions, both for his regular form and his transformation.

Concept art of Tokitoki City
Tokitoki City was also an original design, conceived as an online hub. This was the design we arrived at after considering many ideas, always being very careful to make it feel like part of the Dragon Ball world.

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 At the time of the Super History Book‘s publication here in January 2016, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 had yet to be released — that would come later that same year in October.

2 More specifically, 05 February 2015. It then later came out 24 February 2015 in America and 27 February 2015 in Europe, as well as worldwide for PC through Steam.

3 What was released under the “Budokai” title internationally was simply called the Dragon Ball Z series in Japan. This reference to “the Dragon Ball Z series” is referring to these “Budokai” games specifically, and not the later three Sparking! games (themselves renamed internationally under the “Budokai Tenkaichi” series titles).

4 More specifically, Dragon Ball Online was an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game).

5 Not outside of Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, at least… where Dragon Ball Online did actually come out and receive ongoing support for its limited lifetime!

6 An online, in-game event in Dragon Ball Xenoverse that took place in May 2015.

7 Called a トキ (toki) in Japanese.

English Translation: Zénpai