Fortunately, I make a habit of saving whatever I was working on last time as a just-in-case backup, which means that I have the complete Page 222 interview here.
PAGE 222 - INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVELOPERS 5
Interview with Mr. Tsutomu Terada
Tsutomu Terada: Born in 1972. Freelancer. Was in charge of monster designs, and contributed to development of the game as an artist. Based on his long experience in [game] development, he was focused on the design of structures that would break expecations, while constantly paying attention to whether features could be feasibly realized or not. He considers fundamentals to be very important, and likes using a method where progress comes from fundamental theories. He seeks designs that make sense instead of just being cool for the sake of it. He says he's a bit of a coward and therefore can't achieve anything without a clear point of reference, and relies on gathering documentation and his training in [having the right] mindset to get things done.
Interviewer: What were you focused on with the Gnosis designs?
Terada: The image keywords Mr. Takahashi gave me were "spirits", "mysterious", "beautiful", "like living beings", and also a feel along the lines of "[bower/bois/bowa]". [Really not sure about that last one, seems to be some sort of foreign loanword, but I can't figure it out]. I couldn't look at all of it as a big whole, so I made them one by one, with this monster having two elements, this one having three [and so on]. In the beginning, I designed them in an exaggerated way. Kind of like geometry, or like a collection of blocks.
Terada: That's right. Since having joints gives [the design] a sense of rigidity, I wanted to try making something outside of that box. But I feel like I definitely took that too far, so I reined it in a bit, and thought about the kinds of places the Gnosis would inhabit. [They would need] a body shape that would function in space. So I started thinking along the lines of "space = the ocean" and came up with the idea of sea creatures, and after that it was a straightforward decision.
Interviewer: And apart from shapes and textures?
Terada: I tried to avoid drawing eyes as much as possible. If they have eyes, they feel more sentient, and then they're not as scary anymore. You start feeling like they might help you if you could just find some way to talk things through with them. So making them entities it wouldn't be possible to reason with was one reason, but even without taking that into account, I might not have given them eyes anyway. If you have two eyes, you've also got one nose and one mouth. That kind of design is just like the animals we have around here [in real life]. It's not mysterious. So I tried to give them a slightly odd feel by drawing a mouth without eyes, or an eye without a mouth, and so on.
Interviewer: So those are the fundamentals of monster design?
Terada: There's also what you might call the "easy way". In that case, you stick to the fundamental design, [and make] something that 100 people out of 100 would see and think "that's a goblin". [A bit unsure about this one, sorry]
Interviewer: You trace the symbols, then?
Terada: That's right. When you're working with a standard, you consult the materials, and thoroughly stick to that standard. On the other hand, with more freedom, you can deviate much more. For example, if you suppose that "something long would be scary", snakes come to mind. You use that as a foundation. You can also use any number of insects, and so on. You go flying off in the direction of piercing heresy.
Interviewer: What's important when it comes to materials relating to [making] design standards?
Terada: For example, even if we're both thinking about clothes, the outfits designed by me might be different from the ones designed by a fashion designer. But instead of becoming stubborn and just consider it by myself, I'd rather borrow the wisdom of those who have gone before and bring it all together going forwards. If I keep at it by myself, I'll just end up becoming biased. That's when I'll consult the materials to correct my course. There's a lot of good sense in that wisdom from our predecessors. There's a reason behind everything in the world.
Interviewer: What was the standard for the Gnosis in this game? Heresy?
Terada: Their shapes are sharp heresy, but their exteriors came from the materials. I gave them a textures that would feel like something no one else could have thought up. That made them feel strangely "alive".
Interviewer: How about the designs for those Gnosis with "easy way" names like "Gremlin", "Goblin", "Golem" and so on?
Terada: My plan with those was to make people who saw them mistake, say, something that would be gremlin from is appearance for a cyclops. Those were designs that would safeguard one special element, while letting the rest collapse. Everything but the general outline would crumble, and that's okay. Humans see objects in terms of outlines. With older hardware, we couldn't show much more than that. We're recognize things like a heavy person or an inverted triangle through their characteristic shapes, and so we picked up the habit of thinking in terms of outlines. A person is expressed through his or her boundary lines from others.