Lineage II elicits a great deal of excitement from players, thanks to its fantastic game play and magnificent graphics! The entire world seems alive with refined characters that move with individuality and beauty. Players often ask, "How could Lineage II portray such a fantasy world that seems so perfect?" You may be curious as well to know how this world was made and who created it. We hereby present the "Story of Making Lineage II", which includes exciting stories of the development team that you won't find anywhere else.

All the objectives that will be included in Lineage II started to take shape following the work of designing the original mythology. After building up an enormously huge amount of original mythology, revisions were made many times until the final version was determined. Based on that, the designers started their full-scale graphics work. If the planning stage can be compared to planning the overall frame for the game, the graphics stage can be compared to giving that frame flesh. The job was difficult and it took a long time. In order to create the fascinating and refined graphics of Lineage II, the time and effort taken was 2-3 times that of other games. The catch phrase of the Lineage II Development Office was, "You who work hard must work even harder!" It's not an exaggeration to say that this communicates accurately the mindset of those in the development office.

It's a real honor to actually meet the Production Team of Lineage II, of whom I had only heard (laugh). The thing that players say most often when they see Lineage II is, of course, "What a large land mass!" The history of the land, origin of the regions and sources for things like the etymology of words --where did you get those ideas?

Team Head Hyeong-Jin Kim (hereinafter, referred to as "Kim"): Of course, the mythology of Lineage II was influenced for the most part by Lineage I. There are many cases where the locations and characters have been borrowed directly from Lineage I. In fact, they both take place along the same timeline, so it's natural that there would be the same locations and characters.

When we look at the story, we can see not only the myths of Creator Einhasad and Gran Kain but also various behind-the-scenes stories for various gods. In particular, it was very shocking to have established the close relationship between Shilen, god of death, and Gran Kain, who is his father. Could there be some other areas that were influenced by ancient mythology too?

Kim: You say that it is shocking and that really shows your interest (laughs). There aren't any myths that have had a direct influence on the myths of Lineage II. On the other hand, the myths of northern Europe and Greece, and the traditional fantasy myths of Tolkien and others can be said to form an overall framework.

Oh, really! The mythological factors are very important in Lineage II and it seems that they are embedded all over in the game. I mean, roaming around in the world, there just seem to be so many carefully prepared areas that stand out. Does the Tower of Giants in the Cruma Marshlands have a mythological background?

Cruma is in the shape of a giant turtle and is one of the genesis creatures created at the beginning with the gods. There are various types of genesis creatures in addition to Cruma. In fact, the Worldtree in the Elven Forest is also one of the genesis creatures. And the other genesis creatures will also make their debuts one at a time with the progression of episodes in Lineage II.

The Giant Tower had a lot of strong power while being prepared for battle with the gods at the end of the Titan Era, but Cruma, which was in the shape a peaceful creature, was a laboratory used in an attempt to change it into a battle fortress. Core is a creature like a main computer that controls the entire laboratory. The titans were destroyed, but the ruins of the titans remain here, and they are performing some functions. What could Core be thinking about in the deep places of Cruma Tower?... That's something nobody can know.

Here is something I'm thinking of from the perspective of an advance look at future updates (laugh). Lineage II strongly satisfies the visual desires more than any online game. Perhaps it's because the characters have strong avatar characteristics with detailed graphics, but the game is being recognized as having a feminine feeling. What do you think about that? In particular, what "feeling" did you intend to give to players who access the game for the first time?

Kim: This is really something to be addressed by Head of the Graphics Team (all laugh together). I don't really know about the graphics all that well, but the graphic concept envisioned by our Development Team was a feeling of "advanced-ness". This is related not only to the graphics but also to the content of the game itself. Rather than putting together something that's just "different", we were trying to achieve our successful outcome through the differences in pure qualities. Therefore, we have really put a lot of effort even into the parts that can't be seen well and we have put our full heart into each of the small details.

The fields are cool, but we can't leave out a discussion of the castles. I'm curious how the plan for the castles came about. For example, Gludio Castle has an outer castle entrance structure that is similar to castles from the Middle Ages, and looking at it makes one feel that it's a barrier that cannot be penetrated in actual battle. But in addition to the visual effects, are there other actual effects that stand out here when playing the game?

Kim: Castles are one of the structures that we ended up recreating over and over the most times during production. We started by gathering the pictures and diagrams of castles from all over Europe and then we created initial prototypes. After that, we used those castles and tried trial sieges in the game, and finally we went through multiple revisions to adjust them in a way that would be more comfortable for sieges and to introduce more strategy. The concept that I ordered from Head of the Graphics Team was one of being visually "overwhelming". Sieges in Lineage II are very important in terms of appearance, so it was necessary to give features that feel "overpowering" when a character actually stands in front of a castle. As a result, we are very happy about the cool castles.

Wow, those castles really came from the blood and tears of the members of the Graphics Team (laugh). So how are the siege weapons to be used? There are lots of these siege weapons when looking at the mythology.

Kim: There are various kinds of siege weapons. In addition to the siege weapons for destroying walls and taking castle gates by storm, we plan to make it possible to add various other strategies, such as to attack the defending side using catapults that go over the castle walls. Also, it is true that they are "siege" weapons, but we also plan to add weapons that can be used by the defending side as well.

When was the first plan for Lineage II hatched and how many people were involved at the beginning? Lots of people are curious about how the plan came into being, so please tell us a bit about it.

Kim: If I have to say when the initial plan started, I'd say that the first concept itself is something I did myself. However, at that time, it was no more than an idea sketch, so the time that we really started the plan to create the game (laugh) must have been around November of 2000. There were two other designers that worked with me at that time.

The way that we designed the game -- well, I'll explain it this way. There is a table around which the four of us from the Planning Team sit with our backs to it. If someone has an idea, we gather at the table and have a meeting. Also, there is an idea bulletin board on the company computer network, so whenever someone that isn't in the Game Design Team has an idea, they can easily share their opinion.

When we look at the game story, it is set up in a structure of three kingdoms established through the mythological period that keep each other in check. Are there territories to be added later? And if there are, can you provide us with a simple introduction and explanation of the functions of those territories?

Kim: Unfortunately, the territories that we are showing in the open beta are only some of our original plan. It's a game that shows the fighting between three countries, but we're sorry we weren't able to release even the full territory of one country so far. Perhaps the Aden Kingdom can be completed in the update by the end of the year. Then at a rate of about one update every six months, we'll update the new territories. Please be looking forward to the entrance of the vigorous Elmore Empire to the north and the mysterious country Gracia across the sea.

OK, then finally, please give a word of advice to the many gamers who are dreaming of becoming planners.

Kim: Planning is something that is divided into the two tasks of "dreaming" and "solving problems". It's difficult enough to dream up clever ideas, but actually realizing those clever ideas is something difficult that requires a talent for solving the problems that come up.

The ability to dream things up is something that's somewhat inherited, so nothing can be done about that, but there are good methods for developing the ability to solve problems. The advice that I always have for people that want to get into designing is to "study hard in high school". High school studies include all the knowledge necessary for a designer. And you can learn a lot of stuff in a very short time. A high school level of math is required for making games and in particular, the subjects of politics, economics and world history are also important.