TGS 2009: Interview: The Last Guardian's Fumito Ueda

We had a few minutes to chat with Fumito Ueda, director of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and the upcoming The Last Guardian. He explained the game's unusual Japanese title to us, and talked about the possibilities of PSN support. Read on for more:

The Japanese title of The Last Guardian is much longer than the English one. Can you explain what the Japanese title means?

Initially, the project started as "Project Torico." In the past, we haven't used the project name in the actual title of the game. For example, Shadow of the Colossus (Wanda to Kyozo) had a different project name, "Nico." I wanted the project name to be in the title this time, but it wasn't so well received by the international crew. They said a more simple, more direct title would be better. My hope, or my intention is that the Japanese title is the original title of the game.

[A literal translation of the title, as suggested by Sony in the presence of Ueda, was "Man Eating Giant Eagle: Torico."]
What relationship does Torico have with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus? Even the name is very similar.

It's true that the original project names do have some kind of connection. It's actually a pun, with the first one being "Ico" (one), the second one being "Nico" (two), and the third one being "Torico" (three).

There is some meaning behind the project names. "Nico" was initially thought of using the Network in some way. "Torico" is the third one; "Tori" is the Japanese word for bird and the beast has some bird-like features.

"Nico" didn't eventually end up having Network connectivity. However, do you see The Last Guardian taking advantage of the PlayStation Network in any way?

There are some plans, but it's really a big question mark whether it will be realistically achievable. So, I can't really explain the content of it.

Many gamers may have missed Ico or Shadow of the Colossus on PS2. Do you, or Sony, have any plans to reintroduce those games on the PS3?

There isn't any concrete activity on that, but I do have a great interest in it.

SCE's Shuhei Yoshida once called you Sony's "Olympic Team" for releasing a high-quality game every four years. Obviously, The Last Guardian isn't going to make that four year benchmark. Why?

We initially had difficulty in understanding the PS3.


Unfortunately, Ueda couldn't elaborate much further on the details of The Last Guardian and its development process. For now, it seems like the "man eating giant eagle" will be shrouded in mystery.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.