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Intervista Final Fantasy XII

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  • Intervista Final Fantasy XII

    (F = Famitsu
    M = Matsuno
    S = Sakaguchi)

    F: In FFXII there's no class system, or is there?

    M: Yes, there're indeed no real classes. The characters obviously feature different stats, but the player is open to shape his cast according to his wishes. If, for example, the player uses magic often, the character will slowly become a white magician. But then it's also possible to invest more than 100 hours to create a character that's fabulous in all regards.

    F: Mr. Sakaguchi, at the unveiling of FFXII last year, you mentioned "change" to be one of the series' trademarks.

    S: At the beginning Dragon Quest was a much more prominent product in comparison to our's. So it was obvious that we had to create something different to stand up to the competition. This was probably the first time that we took "change" into the concept. The second time was during the production of FF2, when Kawazu Akitoshi created a new battle system and invented a whole new scenario. It was probably that time that shaped the notion that each Final Fantasy had to be different from the previous.

    F: Mr. Matsuno, when FF1 first came out you were just a normal gamer, too, weren't you?

    M: That's correct, until the second part I was only that. Each time when a new DQ or FF part was released I bought it instantly.

    F: So you also waited in line in front of the shops? (laughs) What was the deciding factor for you?

    M: The illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano. In regards to Square I only new that they once produced a game called „Highway Star“.

    S: Ah, that was still at a time when our games wouldn't sell. (laughs)

    M: Amano's illustrations made me aware of the game and I quickly realized that it was actually quite interesting.

    F: It was also said at the presentation of FFXII that it's going to be a game with the special atmosphere that Matsuno games are known for.

    S: Indeed, when I first saw Ogre Battle this difference was already noticable in the opening credits. [...] The text felt like a poem and that's what's representative for his games. It's a special feeling, to touch something that hasn't existed before.

    F: So in some way it was you literary style, Mr. Matsuno?

    M: To be honest, that was just a emergency solution. (laughs)

    F: What kind of feeling was it to be entrusted with the game that Sakaguchi created and watched growing over all the years?

    M: There exists a certain rule for change. That I was approached with this project, was kind of as if they said "Let's do something new." Just doing a sequel to FFX isn't right. If nothing changes then there's no sense in creating something new.

    F: Have you been consulting Mr. Sakaguchi often during the project?

    M: When I asked "May I change this?" came "Yeah, why not.". (laughs)

    S: That obviously doesn't mean that the game won't be recognized as an FF anymore. I didn't worry about that, and after all I've seen so far, I can say that this is still an FF.

    M: With FFX as the turning point, there'll now come the next ten installments, or so used to say Hiromichi Tanaka and Kouich quite often.

    S: What, another ten FFs? I'll be in my fifties by then. (laughs)

    F: FFXII has been playable at the E3 show floor, did you have a chance to play-test it, Mr. Sakaguchi?

    S: Yes, when I played it for the first time, Mr. Matsuno was present as well. I told him "I can't concentrate, please leave me alone.", but he'd always come back. (laughs) I was almost close to saying "Fuck off, get lost!" I think, FXII is like a child to him.

    F: What were your impressions?

    S: Before all, I was impressed by the graphics. There'll yet be a countless other games to be released for the Ps2, yet I think it'll be hard to top FFXII in terms of visuals. I'm quite confident in this regard. The team did a wonderful job. I already spoke with Yoshinori Kitase about this and said: "If FFXII is already looking like this, what else can we do for the next entry?" (laughs)

    F: That sounds as if there were demonic powers present in the game almost. In fact, there's an unprecedented sense of quality in this game.

    S: One can definitelly feel the wish to create a new world. The characters move, thanks to motion capturing, absolutely natural, the faces are just impressive. There are countless facial expressions that even if there isn't dialog tell quite a bit. One is almost wanting to say "How about we take this and make it into a movie?" I think we already reached such a high niveau.

    F: If so much weight has been put on details one surely wonders about time. No matter how much you do, there's always more you could do, or not?

    M: Will we ever finish it? (laughs)

    S: Well, the release date has just been pushed back. (laughs) But with FFXII you just can't do anything about it, there's only a few games that reach such a high niveau and I also want that the whole game will at the same high level.

    M: In our team of about 100 people there's been questions like "We don't have to go THAT far, do we?" already and even I thought "Isn't this enough already?" at times. But at the end, everyone still wants to go as far as possible. In my team there's this unspoken rule that we'll go till the end. I'm just seemingly the only one that doesn't know of it. (laughs)

    F: The game starts with a moggle parade?

    M: Right, the scene with Ashe and the man in the silver armour ...

    F: THis scene will probably be very popular between female fans ...

    M: We had actually planned from the start to put the love scene at the beginning. (laughs)

    F: Haha, is there maybe more to it? The scene with Brasch, when does it take place?

    M: Directly after the intro when you assume playing. It's the same scene as found in the E3 demo.

    F: There's something about this scene that interests me: The young knight Rex calls out Vaan's name, what's the reason for it?

    M: Those that played it at E3 can probably already guess it. There's a special conncection between the two ...

    F: Ha! Anyway, there's another scene in which Vaan finds himself in a dungeon. When does that take place?

    M: In the actual game you'll reach this passage about 3 or 4 hours into. Vaan intrude the King's palace on his own to steal a special item. The reason behind this for him is to pay back something to the royal guards. At the same time there's a succession of events that bring him together with Balthier. After that they're imprisoned together.

    S: Balthier is an interesting character. I heard Matsuno actually would have liked to make him the main character. *laughs*

    M: Naah, this time the story revolves around Vaan and Penelo. The story of Balthier might be center point of a future game.

    F: The ADB seems to be quite deep, it's a completely new combat system.

    M: Because the enemies you see on the map are the same you see in combat, no? There're also fights you can't excape, and surprise-attacks in an ambush.

    F: It's also possible to avoid battles by cleverly evade enemies, isn't it?

    M: Yes, exactly. The different monsters also have different fields of view and if it's a monster that reacts to what it sees you can avoid it by staying out of its field of view. But there're also enemies that react to sounds or smells which aren't avoided as easily.

    F: So that's it. An absolutely different atmosphere than in the previous games.

    M: Yes, this time we want to get away from the previously used random battles that take place "off-screen". The logical conclusion was to make the battles take place on the field map. To make this more interesting we created the ADB system.

    F: A system that takes place on the field map. But there're still familiar elements to it, so I felt.

    S: Yes, that's correct. Some parts from the "ATB" are still to be found.

    M: These have been included conciously to make it more accessible to the 2-3 million FF fans. In contrast to Vagrant Story we want to make it more accessibly this time.

    S: Haha ... but then it gets deep, or not? (laughs)

    F: THanks to the "gambits" the characters are controlled pretty easily and fight quite effectively.

    S: Yes, the fun is probably to come up with the most effective combinations. It looks like a system that's very deep.

    M: Most FFXII player probably come from FFX and not FFXI, so we had to make this new system as easy and usable as possible. Indeed, some players at E3 had a few problems to adjust themselves to it in the beginning but had no problems after that. We'll still add some improvements till the release, just be patient.

  • #2
    Most of the goals of the punch are fit for the attempt for the goals. The fact of the field and link for the goals. The succession is formed for the held approach for all issues for humans.