If the Dark Souls series managed to seduce players and journalists, it was mainly by word of mouth. It was such a great success that Dark Souls 2 was named "Game of the Year" 2014 by the vast majority of gaming magazines and websites. To date, this saga is one of the most important in the gaming industry. The odd thing is that these games are well known for their difficulty and their cryptic universe. This publication narrates the epic success story, but also describes its gameplay mechanics and its specific lore across more than 300 pages. Characters, plots and the scenario of the three Souls (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II) are deciphered by Damien Mecheri and Sylvain Romieu, who spent a long year studying these dense and enigmatic games down to the smallest detail.
We thought we had gone through the topic in the first volume, those two games opened new pists of reflexions. The in-depth analysis of Hidetaka Miyazaki's Dark Souls saga continues with this volume 2, decoding the Bloodborne and Dark Souls III episodes. An indinspensale ebook for all the fans of the game Dark Souls ! EXTRACT The project, christened Project Beast, began soon after the Astorias of the Abyss DLC was released in August 2012. At the time, FromSoftware was also beginning to build Dark Souls II, its cash cow. Miyazaki kept his distance from this sequel, which was handed off to Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, with support from the FromSoftware president and creator of King’s Field, Naotoshi Zin, who supervised the game system. On his end, Hidetaka Miyazaki formed a trusted team of regular collaborators, such as lead programmer Jun Itô (who had already filled this role for Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls), composer and lead sound designer Tsukasa Saitô (Armored Core games), and most of his regular artists: Daisuke Satake, Masanori Waragai and Hiroshi Nakamura. The success of Demon’s Souls, and the even greater success of Dark Souls, allowed FromSoftware to grow its ranks significantly. In total, no fewer than fifty programmers participated in the project, along with around twenty game system designers and fifty people working on visual creation (animation, scenery, characters, etc.). Thanks to financial support from Sony, many Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese studios were sub-contracted during the production to help with graphics and visuals. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Passionate about films and video games, Damien Mecheri joined the writers team of Gameplay RPG in 2004, writing several articles for the second special edition on the Final Fantasy saga. He continued his work with the team in another publication called Background, before continuing the online adventure in 2008 with the site Gameweb.fr. Since 2011, he has come aboard Third Éditions with Mehdi El Kanafi and Nicolas Courcier, the publisher’s two founders. Damien is also the author of the book Video Game Music: a History of Gaming Music. For Third Éditions, he is actively working on the “Level Up” and “Année jeu vidéo” collections. He has also written or co-written several works from the same publisher: The Legend of Final Fantasy X, Welcome to Silent Hill: a journey into Hell, The Works of Fumito Ueda: a Different Perspective on Video Games and, of course, the first volume of Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave. Curious by nature, a dreamer against the grain and a chronic ranter, Sylvain Romieu is also a passionate traveler of the real and the unreal, the world and the virtual universes, always in search of enriching discoveries and varied cultures. A developer by trade, he took up his modest pen several years ago to study the characteristics and richness of the marvelously creative world of video games. He writes for a French video game site called Chroniques-Ludiques, particularly on the topic of RPGs, his preferred genre.
Story of a saga video games... If the Dark Souls series managed to seduce players and journalists, it was mainly by word of mouth. It was such a great success that Dark Souls 2 was named “Game of the Year” 2014 by the vast majority of gaming magazines and websites. To date, this saga is one of the most important in the gaming industry. The odd thing is that these games are well known for their difficulty and their cryptic universe. This publication narrates the epic success story, but also describes its gameplay mechanics and its specific lore across more than 300 pages. Characters, plots and the scenario of the three Souls (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II) are deciphered by Damien Mecheri and Sylvain Romieu, who spent a long year studying these dense and enigmatic games down to the smallest detail. The serie Dark Souls and her spiritual father Demon's Souls will not have secrets for you anymore! EXTRACT In May 2014, Hidetaka Miyazaki succeeded Naotoshi Zin as president of FromSoftware, after the studio was purchased by Kadokawa Shoten. This was a highly significant promotion for the person who had led the company’s most successful project, Dark Souls. And yet, he did not lose from view what had attracted him to the field: an insatiable creative drive. In spite of his new status within the studio, one of the conditions he requested and was granted was to remain creative director of his new project: Bloodborne. This allowed him to successfully design this spiritual successor to the first Souls game, while also assuming his new responsibilities. Given his drive to work and create, it is not surprising how quickly Miyazaki moved up through the ranks. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Passionate about films and video games, Damien Mecheri joined the writers team of Gameplay RPG in 2004, writing several articles for the second special edition on the Final Fantasy saga. He continued his work with the team in another publication called Background, before continuing the online adventure in 2008 with the site Gameweb.fr. Since 2011, he has come aboard Third Éditions with Mehdi El Kanafi and Nicolas Courcier, the publisher’s two founders. Damien is also the author of the book Video Game Music: a History of Gaming Music. For Third Éditions, he is actively working on the “Level Up” and “Année jeu vidéo” collections. He has also written or co-written several works from the same publisher: The Legend of Final Fantasy X, Welcome to Silent Hill: a journey into Hell, The Works of Fumito Ueda: a Different Perspective on Video Games and, of course, the first volume of Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave. Curious by nature, a dreamer against the grain and a chronic ranter, Sylvain Romieu is also a passionate traveler of the real and the unreal, the world and the virtual universes, always in search of enriching discoveries and varied cultures. A developer by trade, he took up his modest pen several years ago to study the characteristics and richness of the marvelously creative world of video games. He writes for a French video game site called Chroniques-Ludiques, particularly on the topic of RPGs, his preferred genre.
Continue the discovery of the famous game The Legend of Zelda! Featuring in the pantheon of video games, the Breath of the Wild episode of the mythical Zelda saga is fully covered in this new book. Following the first Chronicle volume of a legendary saga, this second part focuses exclusively on the episode Breath of the Wild, decrypting its references, its game system and the inspiration of its developers! EXTRACT Starting production on a title that sought to radically redefine the core elements of a franchise as iconic as The Legend of Zelda involved a certain amount of risk for Nintendo. To fully understand the situation, we feel it is essential to start by determining what was really at stake in this challenging effort by looking at the many promises that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild carried with it from the earliest announcement of its development until the moment it was released. With this perspective in mind, we will first step back in time to examine any clues potentially found in other recent installments of the franchise as to the creators’ desire to rethink the game’s most basic conventions. We will then consider what fans were expecting from this attempt to go back to basics and revive the ambitions of the original Legend of Zelda. We will also look at Nintendo’s communications strategy by way of the trailers and other official presentations that were used to introduce the game, and consider the credibility of Breath of the Wild’s claim to innovation in its approach to the open world genre. Of course, we will also focus considerable attention on director Hidemaro Fujibayashi’s history with the series, and listen to the development team’s thoughts as we attempt to better understand the origins of this latest Zelda game. We then close the chapter with a look at initial reactions from fans and video game journalists when the game was first released on March 3, 2017. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Better known by her pseudonym Romendil, Valérie Précigout spent 15 years as a journalist for Jeuxvideo.com, Europe’s largest video game website. A fan of Japanese RPGs, she managed to establish herself as an online critic when the Internet was still struggling to keep up with print media. She loves manga culture and Japanese leisure activities and shares her impressions about video-gaming news at Extralife.fr. She is also the author of Dragon Ball: The Tribute, from the Force label at Third Éditions, and contributes articles to the Level Up book series from the same publisher.
Death, Culture and Leisure: Playing Dead is an inter- and multi-disciplinary volume that engages with the diverse nexuses that exist between death, culture and leisure. At its heart, it is a playful exploration of the way in which we play with both death and the dead.
Discover an analytic work of Sekiro, a game that spectacularly marked the 2010s. Few video game series can boast having marked the 2010s as much as Souls. FromSoftware mainly owes this amazing and unexpected success to the talents of the now-famous Hidetaka Miyazaki, whose radical vision of video games was quick to charm and win around players. In May 2014, the director was promoted to president of FromSoftware. He could have continued to create Souls forevermore, but instead chose to develop new franchises. The first true representative of this new era was Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a game with unprecedented richness and flawless thematic consistency. This book will discuss the work’s development process, an analysis of the storyline and characters, the soundtrack, themes, and its historical, cultural and artistic influences. It will also present an analysis of the problem with Sekiro’s difficulty—which saw a lot of ink spilled at its release—and take a look at the evolution of Miyazaki’s games. This book will provide you with an analysis of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice : it will discuss the game creation process, as well as the themes, the storyline, the characters, the soundtrack and its diferent influences. The book will also present an analysis of the problem with the game's difficulty and the evolution of Miyazaki's games. ABOUT THE AUTHOR It is by exploring the world of Super Metroid at the age of seven that Ludovic Castro finds himself for the first time captivated by a world of video games. A big fan of Japanese RPGs, he later became passionate about the background stories about his favorite games in Gameplay RPG magazine. Now a doctor of theoretical chemistry, he sometimes manages to find enough free time to write about his favorite series, Megami Tensei.
What gamer hasn’t tried Final Fantasy IX ? "Final Fantasy IX is the closest to my ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be." This quote is from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy saga. For his last great RPG, Sakaguchi wanted to get back to the roots of his series in order to amaze the players one last time. The Legend of Final Fantasy IX deals with the creation of this episode, sharing a lot of fun trivias. The scenario is also decrypted, as well as the mythological inspirations. For its return to heroic fantasy, the game is dressed as a magical theatrical play, including many colorful characters. The book dives into the influence of classical authors and History on the game, and unrevealed its last secrets. An essential book to (re) discover the universe of the mythical series Final Fantasy ! ABOUT THE AUTHORS - Fascinated by print media since childhood, Mehdi El Kanafi, alongside Nicolas Courcier, wasted no time in launching his first magazine, Console Syndrome, in 2004. After five issues with a distribution limited to Toulouse, France, he and Nicolas Courcier decided to create a publishing house under the same name. One year later, their small business was acquired by Pix’n Love, a major publisher of books on video games. Over the next four years in the world of publishing, Mehdi published more than twenty works on major video game series, and co-wrote several of those works: Zelda, Chronicles of a Legendary Series, Metal Gear Solid: Hideo Kojima’s Magnum Opus, and The Legend of Final Fantasy VII and IX. Since 2015, his publishing endeavors have been focused on analyzing major video game sagas through a new publishing house he co-founded with Nicolas: Third. - Video game journalist for fifteen years, Raphaël Lucas worked for most of the mags that existed before the fall of Mer 7 (formerly Future France and Yellow Media), from Joypad to Joystick, including the official magazines, Consoles More, etc. He started with PC Team and with FJM, the publisher of Gameplay RPGs. Today he writes mainly for Video Games Magazine, a bit for his blog, and he has a few projects in the works relating to other gaming topics. RPG Story Author / BioShock Co-Author: From Rapture to Columbia and The Legend of FinalFantasy IX He also runs the Geekomatick blog - Fabien Mellado
Through this study of Hayao Miyazaki's universe, discover the major influence of the Japanese animation master, whose works have marked Japanese animation and the world of cinema. Through his creativity, technical wizardry and talent for storytelling, Hayao Miyazaki has left an indelible mark on Japanese animation and world cinema. The animation master has been able to create magical worlds for a children’s story or a darker tale. But he has also known how to cast a cynical and innocent look on a world and its societies undergoing great changes and facing grim futures. And yet, his work is often reduced, firstly, to his handful of feature-length movies created under the auspices of Studio Ghibli, but also to a superficial view due to cultural elements that are extremely difficult to grasp for anyone outside of Japan. This work, which explains biographical elements and presents Studio Ghibli and the master’s entourage, will give you a detailed analysis of Hayao Miyazaki’s works, decrypting their themes and offering transversal keys to their understanding. This book will offer you a detailed analysis of Hayao Miyazaki's works, enriched with explanations on biographical aspects. The book will also provide you with reading keys that will allow you to better understand the specifically Japanese cultural elements present in the works.
Discover Katsuhiro Otomo’s visionary work and post-Akira Japanese comic culture. The catalyst of an era, of a world that was unaware of its downfall, Katsuhiro Otomo’s visionary work marked a turning point in the industry. First, in his homeland, Japan, in terms of graphics and plot on an entire generation of post-Akira artists who adopted his attention to detail, his realism and his dizzying views. But above all with his international reach, which threw Japanese comic strips and animations into the limelight in numerous countries, by trampling the rest of the world’s notion that cartoons are exclusively for children. This book dives headfirst into the radioactive culture that is the creative power of Katsuhiro Otomo, from the mangaka’s— already explosive—beginnings, up to winning recognition for Akira. Discover the themes and influences of this fundamentally anti-establishment work by exploring its socio-economic or simply literary aspects. The author of the work analyzes the phenomenon, from its tiny seed to the mighty tree, and reveals why Akira is, above all, a purely Japanese series. This book will provide you with an analysis of the socio-historical context of Akira. It aims to help Western readers to better understand the escence of this graphic and narrative treasure. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rémi Lopez graduated with a degree in Japanese from Bordeaux III University. In 2004, he cut his teeth as an author when he wrote website columns on video game soundtracks. Two years later, he joined the Gameplay RPG magazine in which he carried out the same task. He then followed the then editor-in-chief, Christophe Brondy, and his entire team to a new project: the monthly Role Playing Game magazine. Rémi wrote The Legend of Final Fantasy VIII and the book on the Original Soundtrack for Pix'n Love publications in 2013.
Discover all the secrets and mechanics of the famous Japanese video game Dragon Quest ! This book looks back at the entire Dragon Quest saga, tells the story of the series' birth, retraces its history and deciphers its mechanics. In this book, the author shares us all his expertise and his passion in Japanese gaming to decipher the creation and the story of this saga and his creator, Yuji Horii. EXTRAIT Even with only limited knowledge of Japanese and somewhat difficult technical conditions, the story was very well told. This was perhaps what surprised players most. Dragon Quest V is a large family cycle of emotions, as transparent as an epic tale by Alexandre Dumas, the author of famous works such as The Three Musketeers. In the end, I was lucky that my first taste of the series was this excellent episode, since VI was far more extravagant, with its tales of parallel universes and heroes traveling on flying beds. A slightly puzzling game, but not without levity nor offbeat humor. One of the most emotional moments of Dragon Quest V is when we end up going back in time to change the past, thus saving the future. The time travel theme has been so often used in science fiction, particularly during the 1980s, that it should have left me impassive. It was not even the first time I had experienced it in a video game. But this adventure, with its simple graphics and persistent melodies, glanced lightly upon feelings that leave no one unmoved. “What would I have done differently if I could have changed things” is a very common concept used in fiction, from A Distant Neighborhood by Jirô Taniguchi to the Quantum Leap series. Well-told, it is so simple and so effective that it affects each and every one of us. CE QU'EN PENSE LA CRITIQUE Un libre passionnant que j'ai dévoré au point de rogner sur mes heures de sommeil. Ici, l'auteur ne nous bassine pas avec des tartines de textes pour nous conter avec détails l'histoire de chaque épisode, les ventes incommensurables de la série ou encore un almanach des jeux estampillés DraQue. - Kaisermeister, Sens Critique Un livre plein d’anecdotes qui feront vibrer votre corde nostalgique et qui donne envie, une fois terminé, de replonger dans l'aventure. - neotsubasa, Sens Critique C'est une biographie très détaillée, riche en anecdotes et bien romancée, Yuji Horii est un personnage fascinant au CV bien rempli et la genèse de la saga est tout aussi passionnante à tel point que j'ai parfois eu du mal à décrocher. - Nixotane, Sens Critique À PROPOS DE L'AUTEUR Daniel Andreyev is an author and journalist of Russian origin. His career in video game journalism began twenty years ago, during the golden years of video gaming, with Player One, Consoles + and Animeland, with a particular interest in Japan. Having spent some time on translation, he is now part of the New Games Journalism movement, which places the player at the heart of the video game experience. He produces the After Hate and Super Ciné Battle podcasts. He also trades memories with his friends in Gaijin Dash, the Gamekult show on Japanese video games. He is a fan of far too many things to list them all here. But when he is not writing, not watching a movie, not reading comics and graphic novels, not climbing mountains or exploring ruined buildings, he might be cooking, exercising or dreaming of one day owning a dog.
Go behind the scenes of the creation of the Fumito Ueda trilogy ! Fumito Ueda has worked on 3 games: ICO, Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian. Each of them was able to express the depth of their author's reflection, his love of purity and showed a real poetry. Are video games art ? This study of the Futimo Ueda's work focuses on the question of the artistic essence of video games. EXTRACT When the game ICO was released in 2001, it had several decades’ worth of video games behind it. The game itself was significantly influenced by video games that had touched its creator, Fumito Ueda: Another World by Éric Chahi and Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner. Yet, when a player takes the ethereal Yorda’s hand, when they feel this physical contact through the vibrations in the controller, something happens. Something new and profound. Something that can only exist through a video game. A simple idea, attached to the R1 button, and digital interaction opens a new door. Of course, this insignificant-seeming gesture is but a small representation of what can really happen. Its strength lies elsewhere; it draws from everything that makes up ICO: its art direction (everything in chiaroscuro), its vanishing lines, its simple and clear game mechanics, its lack of visual interface, its quest for physical realism, its minimalist narration, its extraordinary sensibilities. It is an opening to an evocative otherworld that lets our imagination soar. Contemplative, slow and nearly speechless, ICO offers an uncommon, poetic adventure, rejecting traditional video game standards while still drawing from them. Many remained indifferent to it. Just as many were touched as rarely before. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Passionate about films and video games, Damien Mecheri joined the writing team of Gameplay RPG magazine in 2004 and wrote several articles for the second special edition on the Final Fantasy saga. With this same team, Damien continued his work in 2006 for another publication known as Background, before continuing the adventure online in 2008, with Gameweb.fr. Since 2011, he has written and co-written numerous works for Third Éditions, including The Legend of Final Fantasy X, Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave and Welcome to Silent Hill: Journey to the Center of Hell and actively participates in the “Level Up” and “Video Game Almanac” collections from the same publisher.
Throughout his career, Taro Yoko was despaired by the image of humanity returned by most big budget video games. Taro Yoko's strange work reviews the entire career of this extraordinary creator, his games (Drakengard, NieR) and sheds light on the link that constitutes his work. Check out this complete book on Taro Yoko, which explores the contours of its games, their development, the complexity of their stories and their thematic depth. With a preface by Taro Yoko himself ! EXTRACT Nowadays, most of the players who have heard of Taro Yoko do not associate his name to any particular face. Inconvenienced by public appearances, the director systematically equipped himself with a device to cover his face during meetings with the press, at least since the creation of NieR. Shortly before the announcement of NieR: Automata at the E3 2015, Yoko even had a mask made, based on the character Emil, by a plastic artist from PlatinumGames for a mere four hundred euros. Since then, he has worn it every time he is in the presence of photo and video cameras. His persistence in hiding his face under this thick layer of plastic naturally arouses curiosity. One might be led to believe that this is a communication strategy or the eccentricity of an enigmatic creator. Nevertheless, the visual anonymity of the director is in no way a means to nurture the mystery of his personality. Far from comparing himself to the likes of Banksy (a famous street artist and statement maker, who prefers to remain anonymous), Yoko just prefers to let his games speak for themselves. In fact, ask him, and he will answer with no difficulty that he grew up in Nagoya, in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi. Restaurant managers (izakayas, ramens, tempuras, etc.), his parents flitted from one restaurant opening to the next and entrusted their son’s education to his grandmother. WHAT CRITICS THINK Overall, I enjoyed my time with The Strange Works of Taro Yoko, especially as a fan of the man’s works [...] It’s a great companion piece for long-time fans, and if you’re looking for more unofficial content to read about for the Drakenier universe, you can’t go too wrong. - RPG Site ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nicolas Turcev - Journalist specialized in pop culture, he has contributed to the following magazines: Chronic’Art, Carbone, Games and Gamekult, and occasionally participates in the video game analysis site Merlanfrit. He is also the author of several articles of the Level Up collection at Third Éditions.