FGO US Tour - Interview with Albert Kao Part 2

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Element of Surprise

What are the difficulties of reaching out to an audience that already has expectations to compare to?

It’s kind of, a lot of times we have, like I’ve said at some panels before, our fandom, especially NA, we have a lot of people that play JP already. Either concurrent with NA or they might know what’s going on in JP but they wait till NA to start playing, but with that they still know everything that’s coming down the line.

What makes it difficult is that you start missing that element of surprise in how you can do a panel. For JP, they can plan a big event just to refill something, do some really cool stuff with it… For NA, we can do the same thing and people might say, “What’s the point, we already know it”. That’s the difficult part when it comes to NA events, “How do we create some sort of element of surprise?” or “How do we still make it entertaining, knowing that our fans already know the information is coming?”

That’s what I think about too, because I tune into the JP streams and it’s always like they can reveal a Servant animation or a silhouette and we’re like “Oh sweet!”

It’s like “Oh my god!” And then it’s like “Oh that’s what we have for today”, or an animation update or something. Unfortunately for NA, we have to plan a little more.

Yeah, you guys have an uphill battle, absolutely. But you're doing good with it, 'cause even with the reveal of Shinjuku today, everyone still got super hyped even though many knew it was coming.

Yeah, so that makes everybody really happy knowing that fans are still super excited for the content that’s to come.

It seems you’ve moved up the Memorial Quests, is there a reason why?

No, not specifically. I mean, we are doing the FGO Tour, and we felt like we wanted to do something along with it.

What can we expect to replace it during next anniversary?

I don’t have much information on that, so I can’t really say.

Dream Event

If you could have any FGO related event here in the USA - an escape room, a fashion show, anything, what would you like to see?

I kind of like.. JP hasn’t really done this, but what’s really interesting is that like, it’s almost like a combined concept of what they do in Universal Studios Japan and the Halloween-themed amusement parks where they turn the entire park into something. Kind of want to recreate, like, a miniature city.

*laughs* I don’t know, or like a scene from FGO, or a miniature version of Chaldea so people can almost feel like “Oh, we’re inside Chaldea” and then go see what, you know, this room will be like and that room will be like. I think it would be fun for kind of an immersive experience like that outside of the game, that will bring peoples’ favorite memories back.

I also want to build that Mash shield out there, follow the same concept, which is that we want people to relive that moment where - it was exciting, it was funny, it was touching. I want to do more to recreate the experience.

Ok! That sounds like it would be really cool, especially for cosplayers!

For this tour, will there be an NA exclusive craft essence?

I don’t have any information on that, so I can’t say anything.

Just saying, it would be cool!

Will the Extella Mystic Code be coming to the Rare Prism Shop?

The.. other uniform one?

Yup. A fan asked this one!

That, I don’t have much information.

Translation Difficulties

So this is kind of a personal question, since I do talk to a lot of the fan-made translators from JP. If you know anything about the translations, Epic of Remnant 3

We have been talking about it. Epic of Remnant 3, Shimosa, so… The hardest part about starting to work on Shimosa would be that everything is Japanese. Heavy Japanese lore, sprinkle in some religious and cultural influence here and there, especially when it comes to that Caster and then how his ideals… It’s a giant mass of Japanese culture, and when it comes to Japanese culture we always suffer the dilemma of “Do we translate the meanings, translate phonetically like just leave it as what it is, or how do we do this?” We have to start looking for references, is there already existing translation literature?

For example, for some of Musashi’s translations, we had to look through existing literature that … You know, Musashi’s Book of Five Rings, we had to go into that and draw references from it. For Shimosa the hardest part would be finding the references to see if there’s even existing references, and one thing about Fate is that it has everybody’s favorite historical figures. It’s one thing to want to make a video game sound cool, but if it’s drawing from historical reference we kinda have to stick to it.

So it’s that choice of how we want to localize it is going to become very difficult. All the Japanese terms, I think, will kill us, but we’ll do our best to do our research and make sure we didn’t overlook anything so that everybody can enjoy it.

So would you say that Shimosa is the chapter that’s proved the most difficult for the translation team, or has there been another roadblock?

I mean Shimosa’s not a roadblock yet, it’s just we’re talking about it right now to be like, “Hey it’s coming up the pipeline, what’s going on.” Actually, starting from Epic of Remnant, the difficulty of localization definitely spiked with the references thrown in the game now. Especially once, every time Holmes shows up, it’s basically a lore bomb with a bunch of stuff that he explains, and stuff like that.

I would say Shimosa is difficult just in terms of the Japanese references. Starting from Epic of Remnant, every single one has an aspect of that Singularity that’s really difficult to localize, just because different references that we have to look for - not just historical ones, but Fate universe ones that we have to look for. Kind of making it difficult.

Favorite Chapters and Events

For you personally, which of the Lostbelts are you most excited for?

Personally, Lostbelt? Well, JP’s only up to 3 right now. 3! Cause I’m Chinese, so…

I think it’s called SIN?

Yeah, SIN! It takes place in China, so… And how they depict the First Emperor is really interesting. It’s a really refreshing thing to see them depict the First Emperor that way. And then Old Li Shuwen, that guy is awesome, so I’m really looking forward to Lostbelt 3 when we get to that part.

What about the Epic of Remnant chapters? Which one?

Oh, the CCC event!

No, that one doesn’t count! I mean, it does count, but other than that one, which of the four?

Other than the CCC event, from Epic of Remnant… Ooh, that’s a giant spoiler… I really like Shinjuku just because. I like 1 and 3 for different reasons. Shinjuku, I like how the story unfolds - like that battle of the wits, that aspect I really like. And then the interaction between Jeanne Alter and Saber Alter, we had a lot of fun writing that. So Shinjuku for that aspect.


You and the team frequent a lot of social media. What is your favorite meme, FGO related?


Oh, “Whassup my homies!” will remain as the greatest creation all-time. Got that T-shirt, I’m gonna frame that T-shirt. *laughs*

So that is number 1?

Number 1, absolutely.

But second place?

I love it how every time when it gets to the gacha and then people start posting, “You’ve been visited by - “ like the wiggly Altera, or great emperor, I was always like “Aw, that’s cute.” *laughs* Or Gudako - whatever she does, I’m just like in love with that stuff.

The heathen Riyo Gudako.

*laughs* The heathen.

So for you, personally, what has been your favorite event so far in NA?

In NA? Hmm. I think I always say the Garden of Sinners event, I really like it just because the tower brings out a different aspect of the Servants. It brings out their regret, it brings out the side they’re trying to hide, and that part I really like especially when it comes to Elisabeth, you know where she’s saying, “I never wanted to become the vampire Carmilla! I’ve been screaming for help and nobody heard me!” That kind of agony, that kind of struggle - the different side that we get to show people, that part we really enjoyed working on. So I’ll say the Garden of Sinners.

My favorite event in JP has been CCC. Can we expect it anytime soon in NA?

*laughing* Pass.

Thoughts on shop and Tsuruoka-san

The shop is so popular! Will any fan-favorites ever see sales through an online store after the tour is complete? The demand is there and it was our most frequently-asked question by the community.

There’s actually some.. how do I say this, technical and logistics hurdles that we have to go through. Do we fix them in the future, I’m not sure to be honest, but we’ll see what opportunities we will have, but right now I can’t make any promises.

So that was the last question. But yes, thank you so much for doing an interview! It was really awesome.

No problem.

You had a lot of really good banter on stage today with

He’s.. from my own impression, he’s extremely professional. He really loves his job, he loves the fans and loves the franchise as well. I wouldn’t say that’s surprising because I worked with him before already, but I always love that part about him and working with him has always been such a delight!

Albert, thank you so much, we really appreciate it.

No problem!

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