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SAND LAND expands manga and will have a vast map; read interview

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SAND LAND is a work written and drawn by legendary manga artist Akira Toriyama. The manga is not as well known in relation to other of his works, such as Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, with only a single volume published in November 2000. Well, now, 24 years later, it has been gaining space in the media, thanks to the anime that premiered on Star+ and a game, which Bandai Namco will launch in April 25.

The story takes place in a dystopian future, in which the world has been ravaged by wars and natural disasters. This caused a greedy king to control the distribution of water in a barren land called “Sand Land”. Seeking a long-lost lake to overcome this problem, Sheriff Rao asks the demon king for help, who sends his son, Beelzebub, and his assistant, Thief. With that, the trio goes on an adventure to cross the desert, while fighting dragons, bandits and the king's army.

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O MyPlayStation had the opportunity to interview producer Keishu Minami, who brought some interesting details about the action RPG published by Bandai Namco. Even though it is a short manga, ILCA (developer) opted for an open world adventure so that “players can experience how vast the map is”.

SAND LAND is the story of Beelzebub and his friends' adventure to find the Legendary Lake. In this desert world where demons and humans coexist, we have created a vast map so that our audience can experience the unique world of Toriyama-sensei's work. Although we are developing the game as an open world, we made sure to fill a large map with various sub-quests, dungeons, races and other elements to complement the original manga story. For that reason, we're developing the game in a way that players can experience just how vast the map is – from the desert and beyond, to the verdant land of Forest Land.

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SAND LAND contains only 14 chapters compiled into a single volume. Even with the little material available in the media, ILCA was confident that there was enough content to launch a game. According to Minami, players can look forward to new stories, as well as characters created by Akira Toriyama himself, who unfortunately left us at the beginning of March.

Although SAND LAND was completed in a single manga volume, we were confident that we could create a game that fully conveyed the world of this work.

In between, we wanted to develop a new world beyond Sand Land as an original story for our fans to enjoy, so we came up with the great idea of ​​Forest Land and the addition of Ann the Mechanic, who customizes “Toriyama Mechs,” which will be used throughout the Adventures. Both Forest Land and Ann were conceived by Toriyama-sensei.

The difficult part was designing the title so that it didn't become monotonous, which was the most important part of the creation process. The entire development team worked very carefully on creating the game.

Furthermore, the film and anime series (which is currently being released) are also based on the manga. I hope everyone can experience everything SAND LAND has to offer.

Speaking of Ann, the producer promises that there will be a deeper understanding of the characters' stories. Fans can look forward to “lines of dialogue that tell each of their characteristics and subquests that will help you better understand these figures.”

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Ann is the new character in the franchise

SAND LAND and Dragon Ball

As it is a work by Akira Toriyama, comparisons between SAND LAND and Dragon Ball are inevitable. Minami claims that ILCA used Dragon Ball titles as references, although it did not reuse or adapt game systems from them. In fact, the inspirations for making the new game more cinematic come from the powerful battles of Goku and his friends.

The game, as well as the film and anime, cover the original story. To express the “Toriyama-sensei style” in the design of the Battle Armor and the appearance of the characters, which were meticulously designed by Toriyama-sensei, the models in the game were designed in a very particular way with manga-style lines to express shadows and shading. . Additionally, the powerful battles from Toriyama-sensei's Dragon Ball series served as inspiration and reference when showcasing Beelzebub's power in the game, as well as when he expresses his strength.

SAND LAND will arrive on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and PC. A demo is available on the PS Store.

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