Special interview translation slot, also put as a request by: ZhugeEX
Update 22/12/2016: I had been mistaking the surname of Warriors All-Stars Producer as Yoshizawa, when it's supposed to be Furusawa. Thanks very much for @Colin90149 for pointing out the correction, and I deeply apologize to Furusawa-san for the mistake.
Dynasty Warriors 9 (JP: Shin Sangoku Musou 8) is finally officially announced at a Koei Tecmo special livestream on 17 December 2016. One of the brand-new characters in DW9, Zhou Cang, will also make an early appearance at Warriors All-Stars which is out in Japan on 2 March 2017.
Famitsu.com also instantly published an interview with Dynasty Warriors 9 Producer Suzuki Akihiro and Warriors All-Stars Producer Furusawa Masaki.
Dynasty Warriors' fresh new challenge
Famitsu: Finally information on Dynasty Warriors 9 has been announced.
Suzuki: We apologize for making you wait. We're finally able to announce Dynasty Warriors 9 in this occasion.
Famitsu: Many people were confident that DW9 would be eventually coming out, but what I'm surprised about is that it's an Open World. Why do you want to make it an Open World?
Suzuki: The Dynasty Warriors series, as numbered titles, has been mostly coming to a standstill. While we're thinking that we couldn't help to keep creating the same pattern over and over, I thought making it Open World would be the most interesting as a new Dynasty Warriors.
Famitsu: That's a great challenge indeed. However, if we were to take the words "Open World in Dynasty Warriors series" as is, we might end up expecting the whole China's lands to be reproduced...
Suzuki: That may be so (wry laugh). We're more or less planning to reproduce all of them. While the lands of China are vast, they have many mountains, but if we only [limit it] to the livable places, it's not really that wide. That's why even if we reproduce all of them, the places where battles are happening are already decided. I'm thinking we should create in detail places where major battles occured, like Hulao Gate or Zhongyuan (Central Plains).
Famitsu: So are you going to change the allocation of [development] power based on the places? By the way, Toukiden 2 was developed as an Open World game, so is there an exchange of technology between these fellow Omega-Force brand games in the same organization?
Suzuki: Of course the know-hows are being shared. The Open World natures [in DW9] are different from Toukiden 2, so it does not mean that we're bringing the technology [from Toukiden 2] to DW9 as is, but we're using what we can bring over from it.
Famitsu: So there are such kinds of sharing as well.
Suzuki: That, and this time we'd also like to touch up on the action part.
Famitsu: Are you going to change that too!?
Suzuki: Yes. I'd like to change what has been known as □(Square) button for Normal attacks and △(Triangle) button for Charge attacks. The concept of "Exhilarating sense of one-vs-thousand" still remains as is, so we'd like to keep things like Musou attacks intact.
Famitsu: I'm looking forward on how it will turn out from now. I'm anticipating on how I'll get to see a new shape of Dynasty Warriors series. Oh, and I'm also wondering about the appearing characters...
Suzuki: Regarding that, all 83 characters who appeared until Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires will be entirely appearing here.
Famitsu: Ooh, great. On top of that, [there may be] even more new characters too?
Suzuki: That's right. Including Zhou Cang who is revealed this time, we're also adding a number of new characters. However, they're not too many.
The reason why Dynasty Warriors 9's Zhou Cang is appearing in Warriors All-Stars
Famitsu: It's also a bit unexpected to see Zhou Cang as a new character in Dynasty Warriors 9, but what kinds of event made the attempt to put Zhou Cang in Warriors All-Stars (Musou Stars)?
Furusawa: I was the one who requested for this. Since appearing from already-released titles is so obvious, I'm thinking if we can do something different.
Suzuki: In this year (2016) there was an organizational reform, and we're now moving as a big organization within the Omega Force brand, so we'd like to spread out the cooperational structure. The reason why Zhou Cang is chosen is because he may have good compatibility with Warriors All-Stars.
Furusawa: In Warriors All-Stars, Zhao Yun from Dynasty Warriors is also appearing. In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel, there's an episode where Zhou Cang was totally beaten by Zhao Yun, so we could think of a clever connection, and so we're using him.
Famitsu: So, does Zhou Cang have many connections with Zhao Yun?
Furusawa: Of course he does have connections with Zhao Yun, but it doesn't mean he only has that. Zhou Cang is one of the heroes (in Warriors All-Stars), so I hope you're looking forward to his relations with the other characters as well.
Famitsu: What kind of personality does Zhou Cang have?
Suzuki: Right now we're aiming for him to have a comic role.
Famitsu: Ah, I see. If he's going to have a comic role, then I can fathom him getting totally beaten. His looks also have a lot of impact.
Furusawa: This hat is especially peculiar. There's actually an occasion when we overdone it a bit.
Suzuki: Yeah, a bit at that time (wry laugh).
Famitsu: Did you get scolded?
Furusawa: Yes that's right. Zhou Cang was created under a cooperation between the Dynasty Warriors 9 and Warriors All-Stars teams, but the All-Stars team overdid it a bit, and this hat ended up becoming too big. It looks like Mexican.
Famitsu: Like a Sombrero? (laughs)
Furusawa: I still feel like wanting to start dancing even now (wry laugh).
Suzuki: The colors also felt Mexican. With the yellow and green colors.
Furusawa: We were thinking that this should still make sense, so we made it casually, but it was no good. We got scolded by Suzuki "No no no, that's not good".
Suzuki: Actually I didn't say it in a nice tone like that. It's more like "If you're doing things on your own accord, we won't let [Zhou Cang] out there" (laughs).
Famitsu: So with a lot of things happening like that, he was revealed this time (laughs). So for Zhou Cang's weapon, is this a big sword?
Suzuki: It's called a Big Killing Sword (TN: Literal translation; I'm going to refer to it as Butcher Sword from here on). At first this weapon is being developed from farm tools that are used to cut hays, but this is really big, and it can unleash dynamic actions.
Furusawa: Zhou Cang is known as a fast runner, so he can attack while moving speedily wielding the weapon. He also has superhuman strengths, so we've also prepared actions that make use of power. He's a character that's both hearty and speedy, so I think he'd be interesting to play as.
(TN: The interview also has a section about Opoona's addition in Warriors All-Stars, but since that has zero relation to DW9 which is the main topic here, I'm omitting it until someone else requests it separately.)
Famitsu: Well then finally, please leave messages to the game fans who are waiting for Dynasty Warriors 9 and Warriors All-Stars.
Furusawa: Zhou Cang, as one of the characters appearing in Warriors All-Stars, will have the same amount of activity as the other appearing characters. He's being depicted not as a simple guest character but as one of the main roles, so I hope you can check out Zhou Cang as an early preparation for Dynasty Warriors 9.
Suzuki: Dynasty Warriors 9 is a challenge to a lot of things, like being the first Open World in the series. I want to finish it as a good title, so please look forward to future information batches.