Creating the heroes of SaGa Emerald Beyond

SaGa developers discuss the creation of SaGa Emerald Beyond’s unforgettable cast of characters.
By Duncan Heaney

SaGa Emerald Beyond is blessed with not just one protagonist - but six!

Unlike typical RPGs, this new adventure lets you choose between five sets of heroes (one is a duo) and experience a story that changes depending on who you pick, the worlds you visit and more.

Each of these heroes is bursting with charm and character, from the sarcastic with of Tsunanori Mido to the dark and brooding undertones of the vampiric Siugnas. They’re all very memorable.

So much so that we asked SaGa franchise creator Akitoshi Kawazu and Producer Masanori Ichikawa to introduce them, tell us about their inception and more!

We hope you enjoy their insights!

Tsunanori Mido

Akitoshi Kawazu (SaGa Franchise General Director): Tsunanori is the descendant of a family line that stretches back into antiquity. For a long time, his family was at the heart of politics, the ruling class of the nation. But their true power lay in their ability to control humanoid puppets known as kugutsu.

Due to an international war and the following modernisation of the country, the clan lost their status as the ruling class. However, they haven’t lost their power to manipulate kugutsu.

Tsunanori takes control of the kugutsu and throws himself into battle to protect his country and his world. But he has a secret that not even the other members of his family are aware of - the ability to control the Emerald Wave!

Masanori Ichikawa (SaGa Franchise Producer): For players outside of Japan, I imagine that Tsunanori will be the protagonist that feels most Japanese. I might even recommend him as a good character to play as first.

Kawazu: Tsunanori is a really cool character, inspired by a particular genre of fiction in Japan that focuses on otherworldly or strange happenings. Often, these will feature characters with supernatural powers who fight against evil organizations trying to misuse the same kind of power, or against spirits that have gone on a rampage.

It’s also my first time creating such an overtly Japanese character and world (although the game doesn’t come out and specifically say they’re Japanese). That means there’s an extra level of depth in what I’ve been able to depict, compared to more standard fantasy worlds.

Ichikawa: From a Japanese perspective, Tsunanori seems like a classic main character - but I’m really excited to see how players outside of Japan take to him.

He’s someone who’s central to the whole game!

Ameya Aisling

Kawazu: Ameya is a magical girl. As a witch-in-training, she’s sent to another world, Miyako City, for her graduation exams. Her task there is to collect magical energy, whilst assuming the identity of an elementary school student, Yumeha Izumi.

Her dream is to graduate from her training and become a fully-fledged witch who will help fight the calamity threatening her homeworld, the Witchdom Pulchra - with her familiar, LoLo, by her side.

Ichikawa: Ameya is a magical girl main character, like you’d see in a Japanese anime. She’s the kind of character you don’t see very often in standard JRPGs, so I hope people will enjoy playing as her.

Kawazu: The influence of the American TV show Bewitched led to a huge number of stories in Japan about magical girls keeping their true identity secret. And so, Ameya’s story came from a combination of that trope and the idea of a magical world like Oz.

Ameya has her own unique style of gameplay that the other protagonists don’t share. I hope players will enjoy the daily life of Yumeha Izumi in Miyako City as well!

Ichikawa: Ameya’s growth is a lot of fun, too, as she works towards becoming a fully-fledged witch. I recommend playing as her if you’re a cat person!

Diva No. 5

Kawazu: Diva No. 5 is an entertainer mech. But, due to singing a forbidden song, her singing function is locked down, and she loses most of her memories. Shortly after, a mysterious man appears before her, inviting her to join the travels of an extradimensional exploratory task force. Will Diva No. 5 be able to reclaim her song?

There had to be a story starring a mech protagonist. In terms of gameplay, mechs unlock their abilities gradually - so the story had to follow that pattern too. That’s where the idea of a songstress trying to regain her lost functions came from.

The song she sings is “Auld Lang Syne” by Robert Burns. I’d decided that was where everything would begin.

Ichikawa: After quite a long hiatus, mech characters are back in SaGa!

Kawazu: Playing as Diva No. 5 allows you to enjoy the unique way mechs work in the game. There’s also the advantage of not having to worry about status ailments in battle!

Bonnie and Formina:

Kawazu: Bonnie and Formina are two new cops on the beat. They stumble into another world while pursuing a suspect in their current case - the attempted assassination of the president. There, they discover a mysterious triangle piece, which leads them both on an adventure that spans multiple worlds.

Ichikawa: These two protagonists play on the buddy cop trope. If you like stories about unlikely duos, Bonnie and Formina are the characters for you!

Kawazu: Formina is a bit naïve but extremely shrewd in her calculations. Bonnie is a realist who has experienced a lot in her life and has formed her own unique philosophy. This is the story of their adventures together!

Kawazu: In SaGa SCARLET GRACE, there was a story that followed a duo of male protagonists, Balmaint and Arthur. This time, I wanted to try a pair of female protagonists – that was the genesis of Bonnie and Formina.

I actually wanted to write some characters like Thelma and Louise, but since they’re on the run the whole time, they don’t work very well as protagonists in a game. That’s why I ended up making Bonnie and Formina cops on the side pursuing the culprit instead.

Ichikawa: If you play as Bonnie and Formina, you might get to see a different side to some of the worlds you’ve already visited.

Kawazu: In that sense, I recommend that you play their route after playing some of the others.


Kawazu: Siugnas is a vampire and the Dismal King. The story opens with the throne of Yomi, the land of darkness, being stolen away from him.

Siugnas steals the life force of others and converts it into his own power. Will Siugnas play the role of a ruthless and vengeful king, or a stoic dark hero? The choice is up to you.

Ichikawa: Siugnas’s path allows you to enjoy the bonds of friendship between men!

Kawazu: I wanted to include a protagonist that was an antihero. Not just a villain, but something more elegant, more romantic. And what could be more appropriate in that kind of role than a vampire?

Siugnas is the most arrogant and self-assured protagonist in any SaGa game to date. Of course, we can’t actually make him invincible in the game itself, so there might be some quite comical developments as you play through. But if you want to play as someone who thinks the world of themselves, Siugnas really lets you get into character!

Ichikawa: He’s the King of Yomi, the world of Darkness, so he has a different perspective on all the worlds!

Many thanks to Kawazu-san and Ichikawa-san for introducing us to these captivating characters. Who do you plan to play as next in SaGa Emerald Beyond? If you’re still struggling to decide, you should check out this article:

SaGa Emerald Beyond is available now for PS5, PS4, Switch, PC via Steam, iOS, and Android.

You can also experience the game through the free demos, available now on PS5, PS4, Switch and Steam. Each platform lets you try a different protagonist (Tsunanori on PS5/PS4, Ameya on Switch and Diva No. 5 on Steam), and carry your progress to the full game!

Find out more about it here:

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