Through June and July 2001, shortly after the release of Flower, Sun and Rain, Weekly Famitsu published an interview with director Suda Goichi spread across four issues (652 to 655.)
I find this interview remarkable because Suda does go into certain story details that are otherwise unexplained or unexplored within the main game, or any other interview I could get my hands on. Twitter user Row has translated some select entries from this interview; Me, IwazaruK7 and Rake have financed a translation for the rest of the interview through Dijeh Translations. Keep in mind that we decided to skip over the first page since it’s nothing more than a general summary / explanation of the game, providing no new information.
The director unveils the mysteries of Flower, Sun and Rain (part 1)
Flower, Sun and Rain: you may complete the game, but it still it remains steeped in mystery. We decided today to try to approach the truth by asking the creator, Suda Goichi, a few questions.
Grasshopper Manufacture Managing Director
Flower, Sun and Rain’s director. Famous works include Moonlight Syndrome, (Human Corporation), The Silver Case (ASCII Corporation). He recently cut his hair like David Beckham, but it ended up resembling a plateau and that makes him sigh in grief every day.
Q1 How did you settle upon that password system?
A1 We changed the mystery-solving system several times. I first wanted to introduce a Swiss Army knife, but it would have ended up looking exactly like Suzuki Bakuhatsu, so I talked to the producer and gave up. I decided to let the players play uninterrupted, without imposing any sort of special learning; I figured I could use numbers people could become familiar with and the result was Catherine.
Q2 Please tell me about Mondo, the protagonist. For example, what kind of life did he have before coming to Lospass Island?
A2 Just before the case on Lospass Island, he received a request from the largest local general contractor and he solved that. From that involvement, he received the request from the hotel through the same business. Actually, this business is rather suspicious…
His history as a searcher is actually surprisingly short. From December 24th, 2001, roughly around one year and a half? However, in that time, he has completed all the jobs he has undertaken, so it’s certain that his skills are good.
More or less, he has the belief that “professionals do not work only for money,” but this time around he really can’t hold to that. He himself wants to put out the image that he’s hard-boiled, but in reality he’s not that naïve… he’s quickly become comical, huh. (laughs)
On the private side of things, he has no family. He just likes cats, currently he owns two cats named Jam and Stycoun*. On the topic of a lover, it seems there was a woman he was longing for before, but she appears to have died. He is fast on his feet because he has experience playing badminton.
[lit. Sutakan, short for The Style Council. The Jam and The Style Council were English bands both fronted by Paul Weller.]
Q3 Why is the story basically straightforward?
A3 Because I don’t have this complex that games absolutely need multiple routes. When you decide to use multiple routes, you also risk diluting the content of the story and data for each route. There aren’t that many people who think about “what ifs” when it comes to fate and it’s not that useful in life either. I am against turning fate into a simple list, even when it comes to games.
Q4 What is the meaning of Toriko’s scene after the explosion? What is her objective?
A4 I hadn’t written a young woman in a while, so I was wondering what to do (laughs). A realistic, contemporary Toriko wouldn’t have been as charming, so she became a strange girl floating in a fantastic time, symbolizing the peculiarity of the game. Nevertheless, she has another role. Mondo is directly involved in the incident and the curtain falls after the plane explodes. You can call it cleaning up after the mess. This also happens in reality: in order to settle something you also need the process of what comes after. Consider this: solving the mystery, obtaining the result and the turning it into memories is Toriko’s part. The “rescue” part that Sumio was unable to accomplish. This is also one of the themes of the game. Long story short: complementation. That is what Toriko does.
Q5 Do all the people on the island have another facet?
A5 This world has 3 big organizations operating behind the scenes and a lot of characters are definitely part of that one way or another. Take the hotel people for example: Edo is definitely attached to an organization. Sue is part of a type of resistance, a management association watching over the island itself. Another example is Step, who’s easy to guess.
The director unveils the mysteries of Flower, Sun and Rain (part 2)
The second part of last week’s interview with Suda Goichi, the creator of Flower, Sun and Rain! Today we will puruse the mysteries of the setting, Losspass Island. Here are our questions about the world of Flower, Sun and Rain.
Grasshopper Manufacture Managing Director
Flower, Sun and Rain’s director. Famous works include Moonlight Syndrome, (Human Corporation), The Silver Case (ASCII Corporation). Currently rooting for Dan Henderson.
Q1 What is the truth behind the 17 days experienced by Mondo Sumio? Did time really loop on Losspass Island?
A1 From the outside, Mondo Sumio does look like he only spent one day or, more precisely, two days and one night, on Losspass Island. The real Sumio went to sleep and woke up in the last chapter. The remaining 15 days are the same day over and over again. The one behind everything is Morishima Tokio, the man with the Silver Eye. That one day does complete an entire cycle, but time, broadly speaking, doesn’t.
This is the meaning of Tokio’s words — “the will of God”. However, the cycle of life itself does physically experience those 15 days, even though the date does not change. As a result, Mondo ends up absorbing a huge amount of information, and it is obvious there are other people involved in this flow of time as well. Then how come they didn’t notice anything? This is the power of the place known as “Paradise”.
Even if the Silver Eye didn’t stop time, the resort itself erases the sensation of the passage of time. Paradise basically makes time disappear. I only made a few abstract allusions to that idea, so I hope players catch on to it.
Q2 Are the characters based on anyone in particular?
A2 Mondo’s name is based on Nakamura Mondo, since our Mondo is also a type of professional. Despite the different background, the Balboas were named after Miami Vice‘s Sonny and Tubbs. Edo was written in the image of Tim Roth. I really wanted to bring out that suspicious attitude (laughs). I have heard Sundance resembles a certain creator, but it’s only a coincidence.
Q3 Who are the “Eleven Children”?
A3 Out of the characters who appear in this work, the ones who are part of the Eleven Children are Mondo, Remy, Koshimizu, and Step. None of them originate from the island. By the way, Sue is different. Her role is that of a “Priestess of the Island”. Lospass Island is a man-made island that has a history of being remodelled 22 years ago. Back then, what happened was that actually a certain organization invaded and the tragedy of a mass killing of the island’s inhabitants occurred.
Sue lost her memories because she witnessed this when she was a child. I really was thinking about having R. explain the circumstances of this story, but I didn’t because the background was too intense. At that time, the surviving eleven children from the Eleki Island underground facility escaped, and they took refuge within the ruins located in the forest that existed then. There is history which states that the forest itself burned to the ground.
Q4 Characters like Stephan, Ritz, Morishima Tokio or Sundance have a lot of meaningful things to say. What secrets are they hiding?
A4 This is already an open secret, but Flower, Sun and Rain and The Silver Case are set in the same world. Morishima Tokio is a key character in The Silver Case and came to Losspass Island to look for the roots of his Silver Eye. Ritz is more like a hermit, but he is also the living witness of the tragedy that happened 22 years ago and is related to Tokio’s Silver Eye.
Sundance is the leader of one of the three organizations that control the world. The eyepatch may make you think he also has a Silver Eye, but truth is, he’s already lost it. Stephan is currently on a mission to investigate the island at the request of another organization. He has been to the island many times, so Edo is vaguely aware of his true identity.
The great analysis of “Catherine”, the biggest mystery of the game!
“Catherine”: Mondo’s partner and problem solver, the suitcase shaped code input device. Catherine has been by Mondo’s side ever since he started working as a searcher, but her background remains shrouded in mystery throughout the game. Today, Catherine’s secrets will be revealed.
All-Purpose Cipher Input Device “Catherine” Performance Specifications
Dimensions: 30cm (height) x 40cm (width) x 13cm (thickness) [11.8 x 15.7 x 5.1in]
Weight: Equivalent to an adult woman (Less than 50kg?) (110lb)
*However, for Mondo, it feels light.
Owner: Sumio Mondo
Remarks: The case portion is solid enough to not suffer damage even from a direct bomb explosion at point-blank range.
Rules for jacking in
The image on the right shows the number of types of devices linked to each serial bus in the game — you can see that “H” and “I” are the most popular. Apparently each serial bus has general pre-established types it can connect to. “C”, for example, used for the first input, is a serial bus that connects to human or humanoid bodies, while “I”, the one used the most, is suited for medium sized devices.
It is impossible for anyone but Mondo to even open, not to mention connect, the suitcase.
It is possible to connect to human bodies
Many were surprised at Peter’s jack in, but Catherine is somehow able to connect even to targets that do not have holes for this kind of operation.
You can select numbers by moving the + button or the left stick up and down. In the story, you rotate the knob in the middle or insert your finger in the hole of the dial’s outline and turn to the number you want, then press the middle button. However, unlike usual phones, you turn it to the left.
There’s a “silver eye” inside Catherine!?
Why does it solve things just by inputting passcodes… the Kai family finds fault with it, but in actuality Catherine is a technological product that exceeds modern science. A certain person discovered relics of a prehistoric super civilization, and it was entrusted to Mondo. In particular, the core section has embedded within it a “silver eye” which has the power to warp spacetime. Therefore, it also has the potential to exhibit magical effects. However, Mondo is unaware of that fact.
What is that console?
You use the console when you need the expansion function. It wasn’t the case now, but there are times when even Catherine finds it impossible to solve problems with her usual specifications; that is when you insert the multi-color power kit in order to complete the mission.
The secret in the suitcase lining
If you turn over the lining on the side with the guidebook, you can see a lot of banknotes hidden inside. This is actually the full reward from the major contractor Suda mentioned. All of Mondo’s money basically.