This is going to look awkward if DWaM somehow manages to take out the title..!
This is the Member of the Month; an interview that I do at the end of each month. It's a fun way of finding out about respected members of the community.
I personally select each month's Member of the Month. People are picked based on their contributions to the community, whether they are: making excellent trials, providing comic relief or just being a brilliant person. The next Member of the Month could be you!
If you have any questions about the Member of the Month system, please PM me.
My pick for this month actually boiled down to who I could interview on such short notice, because I spent all my free time working on the competition entry. I didn't realise I had to do the interview until a couple of days ago, and luckily, I was in the middle of sending a PM to enigma, so it seemed a good fit. Besides, enigma is a respected and well-known member of the community and a fellow country man, so choosing anyone from NA or EU was completely out of the question.
Tap: Hello, and welcome to the thirty-fifth Member of the Month interview.
enigma: Glad to be here. Sorry if I'm not as exciting as DWaM was to interview. Ha ha.
Tap: Tell us about how you found AAO, and what made you want to join.
enigma: Actually, my sister formally found it first, though I had heard about it before. In fact to begin with we shared an account on here, actually. But then I decided I wanted to
make a case by myself which was the first case I released.
Tap: Your debut to the community came in the form of Turnabout Rapidfire, later re-released with a completely new spin on it. Tell us about your first and 'anniversary' project.
enigma: Ah, crap. I remember the first Rapidfire. Or as more people remember it, The Virtual Turnabout if it was made by brain-dead monkeys. Honestly, there's not much I can say, it was just a vehicle for my obsession Ace Attorney, really. I wanted to make a series and I wanted to show-off my knowledge of the AA formula and characters. Needles to say... It didn't end well. Maybe it was because I had never attempted to write an AA character before or maybe it was just because of my awful pacing, but the story was just plain... Well, bad. Not only that, but in a bizarre coincidence I was basically accused of being a plagiarist because of all the similarities it had to Blackrune's famous case The Virtual Turnabout. I actually played virtual later and... Uh. Iol was kind-of hard not to see how Rapidfire could be accused of being an awful version of it. Anyway, skip forward a year now. I had just finished PE:CA's first case which had... Very mediocre reviews at best. I had, however, gained more confidence in my writing ability I around that time and I wanted to do something special. I still had a few ideas of what I had planned doodling with Rapidfire and, well, I saw promise in the last case that was planned. So, it was then that I condensed everything intfingers idea for a single case revival of my very first case.
Tap: What other trials/projects are you working on?
enigma: Besides Infinity's Prism and my next Endless Night, I'm actually working on one other trial. It's... Kind of a bridge between AJ and T&T. That's all I'm saying on that though. As for non-AAO projects, if you'll excuse this shameless self promoting, I have been working as the head of the Ghost Trick musical project. A fan project and the sister project of PW:TMP that aims to turn the game Ghost Trick into a radio play musical. So far we only have a few of the music that will be present but it seems to be going fine so far.
Tap: You're also working on a trial with me, Infinity's Prism. Tell us about the development process, why did you approach me, and so forth?
enigma: The development process for IP? Well, it was certainly the most effort I've ever put into a case. Before it, I had never bothered to plan anything outside of my head and everything was,well, only following a vague plot. However, with the nature of IP, everything was planned. The actual plot, without giving too much away followed two inspirations for me. Towards Zero by Agatha Christie and, well, the other one might give away minor spoilers so... I guess, it's easy to guess a upon playing? XD. Anyway, I wanted to do something different and experimental and IP had all the makings to be that. The reason I approached you was because, well, you're one of my top 3 authors and the most likely to say yes. After all, Rune was busy doing something else and DWaM had said something about not entering this comp, which turned out to be a lie, and so I was lucky enough to get you.
Tap: And to think I nearly said "no" because I had intended Hope Springs to be my final trial... Well, your decision to ask me was definitely the right one!
Tap: I think it's time to ask one of the most anticipated questions of this interview. Do you happen to have a favourite fan trial?
enigma: I can do better than that! Here's my top 3 (mainly because it's so damn hard to choose just one. XD)
1) DWaM's Turnabout Tomorrow.
Yeah, big shock. I know, right? Anyway, there's a very good reason why this is on everyone's favourite lists these days. It's a genuinely dark and enjoyable story with really good twists. It's smart. That's it really.
2) Rune's Turnabout Of Courage
Is it okay to sum up why I love this in one word? Hazama. Oh, yeah sure the ending. Damn. The ending was a amazing and was, to put it in a sense, practically memetic as an AAO case ending as well as being quintessential Blackrune. But, the real reason I can play that one case again and again when I can barely bring myself to play other fantastic trials more than once is the humour. Before it, Blackrune was... Well, just a riddle author (I didn't really like his previous cases besides Kutter Exxer and the solutions, actually.) Upon playing ToC, though, he became a truly witty and entertaining author for me. And Hazama sums up that humour best. Well... Also, Luna. But she's, hm... A very special character. Like Oldbag I can alternate freely between wanting her to die and finding her hilarious.
3) Tap's Mysterious Sirens and Turnabouts
I know you probably don't want anyone bringing up JM ever again but... Well, I can't help but include it. I mean, the writing and characterisation's solid, the plot is deliciously intriguing and it draws you in. Also, Gaines. I love Gaines. Hell, I think I made a smiley of him a while back I thought he was such a great character. But most importantly, MSaT was what taught me that AAO cases weren't just emulation's of the original games they could be amazing stories on their own. I mean it. MSaT was the first fan-game that taught me that AAO could make games better than Capcom.
And, for the record, my favorite misc. and comedy trials are, respectively, Glase Canon and I Wanna Be the Turnabout. IWBtT mainly because I defeated that son of a she-dog by myself without a walkthrough. Glase Canon because... IT'S ****ING GLASE CANON!
Tap: What is this "Mysterious Sirens and Turnabouts" and "JM"? Never heard of it!
Tap: Now let's talk about your personal life. What was your childhood like?
enigma: Hahaha... Ooh boy. It was mainly good considering I lived in a very secluded and, well, remote area. In fact, up until last/this year, it took me over two hours to load anything with over 1000 frames. =_=' Besides that, though, there was also the issue of the complete lack of stores to buy manga, movies or video games. Mainly, I just waited until holidays to go and buy anything and just hope like hell that it would tide me over until the next one. XD Needless to say, I got pretty obsessive over games and the like. Besides that, though, it was actually a pretty great place to live. Very natural and unpolluted so I'd really enjoy the occasional walks. And, like Hinamizawa, everyone knew each other so I could commit murders in plain view and not get arrested and always count on my neighbours for anything.
Tap: That brings me to my next question. What is your average day like?
enigma: School, homework, AAO. XD Well, in more depth, besides school and homework most of my free time is spent on working on trials, reading manga or mystery novels, watching anime or getting through the large stack of unplayed video games. There's not much else to my life besides that except Youtube videos. And I only really watch them when I'm really bored. I also play chess occasionally, if that makes me sound anymore interesting. XP
Tap: What are your plans for the future?
enigma: Become a lawyer. That's my main goal in life. Mainly because it's like being a detective with less, uh, poking the corpses. Even before Ace Attorney or AAO, I've been very mystery and riddle/puzzle obsessed and I've got a healthy interest in law, so what's not to like? Besides that my other goal is to learn japanese to the extent that I can buy manga and video games that are in Japanese only and enjoy them to their full potential. Besides that, I'm not the kind of person who ever sets goals that are short term, I guess.
Tap: Yay for Abbott or nay?
enigma: I'm not the kind of person who talks politics but... well, nay. But nay for Gillard as well. I don't really like any of the politicians right now. Well, except for the Australian Sex Party. Because... Read the name. That's why.
Tap: Which is your favourite Ace Attorney game?
enigma: Oh, boy. I know that this is going to either be interpreted as copying DWaM or being an AA-hipster but it's Apollo Justice. Why? Because, besides being the very first AA game I played, it was just more interesting as an overall story. Frankly, it had barely any cases I consider to be filler. Even that damn Serenade one had something to do with the overarching plot. And, while Turnabout Gangsta seemed kind of fillery it had a point to it. You know, introducing all our characters, getting us used to percieving, seeing how Apollo became a member of the Wright Anything Agency... And maybe it's because I hadn't played the originals at that time but, I always liked Apollo better than Phoenix as a lawyer. Also, it had Stickler and Brushel who, despite a lot of hate, are some of my favourite characters when it came to comic relief. Also, like T&T, the first case wasn't so obviously tutorially.
Tap: The only downside is that it didn't have Oldbag in it...
Tap: What other games do you really like?
enigma: Higurashi, Umineko (if they count), Ghost Trick (my absolute favourite game), Virtue's Last Reward (though I haven't finished it), Blazblue, Professor Layton, the Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon series and Drawn to Life are some of my favourites. Though, one of my favourite "casual games" would have to be WarioWare:DIY. It's just so ridiculously fun to make your own mini-games. In fact, before AAO, I was making little games on there. I think at one point I even made a series of mini-fighting games on there. Anyway, those are the first ones that come to mind.
Tap: You're probably AAO's biggest Higurashi fan, one of 07Expansion's published works. Why do you like Higurashi over Umineko? (Not that I disagree with you, I completely agree! Higurashi > Umineko)
enigma: Well, put simply, characters. In Umineko, we do get a lot of character development but put basically the characters aren't... emotionally appealing to me. I mean, besides Shannon, Beatrice, maybe Maria, Battler and Kanon(?) none of the characters are developed enough for me to care, in my opinion. Whenever Krauss or Natsuhi dies, I just go "Cool. Ghoda, Kumasawa and Genji next, right?" I mean, don't get me wrong, Erika is my favourite character ever and she's an Umineko character but... It has too large of a cast, I guess and the limelight isn't shared enough. Higurashi, though. Mion, Shion, Rena, Satoko, Rika, Keiichi are all explored in deep, deep detail. You understand what makes them tick, what makes them feel sad or happy, they become something like real people. Hell, even Ooishi is better developed than Ghoda was.
Scenes between any character from Ooishi to Rena to Shion were always built so that you could feel what the characters were thinking and feeling and respond. Everything was made so that reveals of character's other sides were shocking and death's made you feel truly sad. Also, it might just be me, but Keiichi is better than Battler. Keiichi is a very... human character. He's flawed to the point of, well, play game three and see what he does and he does terrible things in some arcs but you can't help but take his side in the end. To me, as great as he is, Battler was always a typical good-guy at heart. On another note, I know Higurashi gets a lot of flack for it's solution but... and I hate to say this, at least I get a solution. I mean, I know Umineko has an official solution but... I just need my games to be canonically solved, I guess.
Tap: Have you played any other published works by 07Expansion, such as Rose Guns Days?
enigma: I've read some of Higabana which was also by him and, yes, I have played the Rose Gun Days demo. It seems 07th is taking a break from mystery to show us something new. And, well, as much as I love mystery I'm really digging how fresh and interesting it is. It's just an explosion of cool in a lot of areas. Also, I love the Beatrice hair on the waitress and the Rena in the Overkill emblem (Rena's my favourite female character in Higu so... Bonus points. XD)
Tap: What was the first video game you ever played?
enigma: Hmm... Well, technically, the first game I ever played was a rip-off of pac-man called "Yummy Dots" on an old PC. Though, the first non-pc game I ever played was... Space Invaders. On an old fake cartridge for the GBA with a bunch of other "games". Though, my REAL first game in my opinion was Pokemon:Leaf Green on my Gameboy. So many good memories. I recently replayed it and, well, it's ridiculously hard. I guess I've become used to easier games over the years. XD
Tap: Last question, now. Do you have any other interests?
enigma: Hm... Psychology, philosophy, logic and paradoxes. I just can't get enough of reading things about those kind of things. I believe I once spent a whole night reading wikipedia articles on philosophical experiments. Though, my interest in them is like my interest in chess. I'm not a genius I don't understand them perfectly but... I get the gist of them and they interest me. I also like old semi-sci fi books like 1984 (in fact, all of Orwell's work is amazing) and Brave New World. On a less pretentious, and more normal note I also enjoy watching British comedies like IT Crowd, Vicar of Dibley and such as well as American sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother. Also, animated shows like the Simpsons, Futurama, South Park and (sometimes) Family Guy.
Tap: Aha, I know all too well what you mean...
Tap: Before we conclude this interview, do you have anything else you'd like to say?
enigma: I guess, I'd just like to end on a generic note and say that this is my absolute favourite internet community. It's just a really friendly and great place.... The Umineko anime is much better than people say it is.