Almost a month later... At last, here it is.
Lazy me didn't do it on her own though so the credit goes to the German online journal animePRO (Original to be found here [link] ) and the writers, namely Bianca Weickert (Celest_Camui) as the author, Aylin Hoffmann (Tuulikki) as the editor and Nathalie Schöps (Erdbeermonster) as the graphic designer. I only did the translation after asking for permission to do so.
In honor of the original authors, I tried to translate as close to the (German) original as possible (which was in some cases hard, as I had my own incomplete version open and in mind already...).
To be honest I was kind of relieved to see someone already typed a written copy of the question and answer panel.
Yet again, I feel like it's missing content, for which the author is not solely to blame though.
I failed to properly translate (the Japanese original!) everything myself so I probably shouldn't complain. It won't stop me from adding comments and such in [square brackets] though.
Some questions made me feel embarrassed for somebody else but overall I'm surprised. I expected a lot more questions to be out of place rather than only 1-3. Some were really fascinating, because the answer interested me while I couldn't have thought of the question myself!
To make things clear in case you haven't understood it yet: This was an OPEN question and answer panel and NOT AN INTERVIEW. Everyone attending the panel was free to ask one or more questions.
I only asked one out of three I prepared because I'm that kind of a shy person who didn't want to stand in the spotlight (aka in front of the mic) longer than necessary...
1. Is it possible to choose japanese voiceover in the PAL/European version?
Baba: Unfortunately no. But as many Europeans have asked for such an option we are thinking about releasing a Japanese audiotrack in European games in the future.
[Adding "It would be better if it had, right? (audience loudly agrees to and applauds) *laughs* We will do our best." here. So we just have to bug them long and often enough for them to actually consider it? XD I was surprised for this to be the very first question.]
2. How important is the multiplayer mode for you?
Baba: It is meant for siblings, friends or family in general to be able to play together. We prefer fast battlesystems and they are getting ever faster. It's very important to us that the players are able to enjoy role-playing-games together.
[Sometimes the replies felt very incoherent. But he really said it like that.]
3. In "Tales of Xillia" there is a small problem regarding multiplayer. Due to the games Link-system linked characters will be set to "Auto" and can't be fully controlled anymore. Why?
Baba: Our main aim for this game is to play with two persons. The linked characters act as supporters and support the main character. When playing with others, everyone just does what he/she wants to. Linking in that kind of situation would result in utter chaos. That's why the link-system is insignificant when playing together.
[Good point I must say. I was bothered by it last year but it does make sense like this.]
4. What's your favorite Tales of game?
Baba: I often get asked that. As the father of the series I think each of them is adorable of course.
It's the same as with children: While I do not have one myself, some of you might do and you can't just decide which of your children is your favorite either, right?
[The questioner then stated "You are a good father then." to which Baba-san laughed.
Fun fact: He didn't really say that he doesn't have children but that he's single xD]
5. Are there any plans to bring older Tales of games to Europe/Germany?
I often get asked that as well. First of all we want to bring the main titles to Europe. Unfortunately I can't promise anything regarding other titles. Maybe, maybe not.
[Main in this case means of course "mothership titles" while the others mean "escort titles". Also, while not stating it directly, I'm pretty much certain this only holds true to NEW mothership titles. Just look at later questions.]
6. A trademark of the Tales Series are skits, little dialogues between the characters while running around the world. It's always been several hundreds of them. Does "Tales of Xillia" have the same amount or will they loose their importance?
Baba: Of course! You could see it in the presentation earlier. When running around a button might appear in the left bottom corner. Upon pushing it the characters will start talking. "Tales of Xillia" works a bit differently. It's possible that a character suddenly states "Gosh, I'm hungry!" while exploring the area. That will be displayed at the bottom right away. Maybe there's also something like "Wow, that girl looks cute!"... Just kidding!
[He explained the different chats of Xillia a bit more detailed. But I guess most of us know how it works anyway?
While I personally do like skits, I don't want another Rebirth with nearly 1000 XD Though Xillia's ~250 including(!) story-relevant skits is a bit too little.]
6. How is it decided whether a Tales game gets an anime adaption or not? Some games got an adaption years after the original release.
Baba: For example, "Tales of the Abyss" had been animated because it was the 10th anniversary.
While nothing has been decided yet we are thinking of doing a "Tales of Xillia" anime. It's not sure yet though.
We are also thinking of bringing the "Tales of the Abyss" anime to Europe and publish a German version. We are doing our best!
[This is my question. It felt like he didn't quite get it though. Abyss was the 10th anniversary alright. But why was the anime years later? Additionally, I also asked whether the animation studio comes to Namco or they ask the other way round (or why else is there suddenly Sunrise for Abyss and Ufotable for Symphonia?). That was not covered at all T_T Maybe I should've prepared them in Japanese after all...]
7. Is it possible for "Tales of Graces f" or "Tales of Xillia" to be released on the Xbox 360?
Baba: Hm... Right now most of the Tales of games are still Japanese only and most Japanese people own a Playstation 3. That's why unfortunately, there is only a Playstation version.
I'm trying to release the games as close to the original japanese version as possible.
[no comment... I /DID/ try to stop him from asking this before we entered the room as I accidently overheard their conversation.]
8. Another question regarding anime adaptions. "Tales of Symphonia" was made into an OVA. May other titles also get one if a full anime TV series is not possible?
Baba: We are thinking a lot about this but animations also mean huge expenditures.
"Tales of Vesperia" for example had a movie adaption.
In any case, we are trying to adapt as many games as possible. But unfortunately I can't make any promises.
[Pretty self-explanatory. I'm really wondering myself what the next anime will be. Guessing it won't be Graces but rather Xillia. And of course no Destiny, Rebirth or Legendia, which would be the ones /I'd/ want to see.]
9. "Tales of Legendia" had a long epilogue after clearing the main game. Are there any plans of doing something similar for a new game?
Baba: We really did our best with that game and invested a lot of time and money into it.
We can't promise future games to be like that but we will try to by all means. After all, one were able to play another 40-50h in that game.
[In a sense, Graces f had one. It just was way shorter xD]
10. A question regarding "Tales of Xillia 2". To what extent will the plot of "Tales of Xillia" play a role in it?
Baba: In Japan we already showed trailers of it. The second game is set a year after the first. There are two worlds in "Tales of Xillia". While the first game focused mainly around one of the worlds, the second one will be about the other world.
[Was laughing in my mind at this. A spoiler question and even a spoiler answer? XD In the actual reply he /did/ use the words "Liese Maxia" and "Elempyos" by the way.]
11. "Tales of Xillia 2" will be released for Playstation 3 in Japan soon. Will the upcoming titles also be for this console or are you preparing for the next generation of consoles already?
Baba: That's difficult to answer. Of course we want to release games on the next generation consoles as well. But as we don't know anything about those yet we can't work with them as of now.
[The questioner was aiming at "Is it still worth getting a PS3 now?" which was - if I recall correctly - also included in the question.]
12. A question regarding DLC. Will they be bundled in a big package or are they to be purchased individually?
Baba: Like in Japan each content will be sold seperately.
[I was confused here. I thought the questioner asked about the pre-order costumes, which is usually a set XD; But I guess this makes a lot more sense.]
13. Are there going to be certain "relationships" between the characters in new titles? Like, getting certain benefits for prefering a character or not?
Baba: In "Tales of Xillias" link-system the characters will be able to do certain combo-attacks depending on which characters are linked. You can try various different combinations then. It doesn't matter if you're just linking your two favorite characters all the time or combine the most fitting ones for a certain situation like a pro.
[This question was totally misunderstood. The actual question was about whether there would be something like Symphonia's affection system again or not. While I know Innocence has an affection gauge, I don't think it had much of an effect. Acted as a skit-trigger perhaps.
I can see myself in the answer though; I use both. Linking favs (Alvin/Leia, Jude/Milla) and getting the best out of the combinations (12-link-chain with Milla/Jude and switching supporting character depending on the monster? XD)]
14. Will the DLC consist of costumes only or are there any storyline additions?
Baba: Mainly costumes, but also level or weapons.
[I'm glad there's no story DLC. You can pass on costumes, but not on story.]
15. Will the German version also get the "Code Geass" costumes?
Baba: Unfortunately, that's not possible.
[I knew that, but Baba included this in his answer: it's because of copyright issues. Hence not only no Code Geass but also no Haseo, Miku or Idolmaster. Just like in the US.]
16. Could older Tales of games be possibly made available on Playstation Network?
Baba: We got an offer by Sony but we haven't decided on the games to release yet. But the odds are good.
[Sounds like there is a limit on games to me. Well, everything besides Hearts had a Playstation release so far and thus also an Avatar pack and PS3/PSP theme as DLC on PSN already. I'd say everything is possible.]
17. A question towards soundtracks. Other major games series often release a completed boxset with the music of the whole series. Will the Tales of Series also get something like that?
Baba: Ohhh. There are no plans regarding this but this is indeed a very good idea!
[He seemed to really like the idea. If you do Namdai, please include those Vesperia and Graces PS3 tracks, okay?]
And that's it. A lot for mere 30 minutes of questioning time.
I initially wanted to ask if she'd like it for AC, but because I didn't write it myself after all and also like to comment like this, it felt wrong. So I will leave it at this deviantart journal entry :')
I hope it was interesting! I thought it would be unfair if only German fans would be able to read it.