Compilation of games puts new spin on FF series.
In an upcoming issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Executive Editor Shane Bettenhausen sits down with Shinji Hashimoto, Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura to talk about Square Enix's extraordinarily ambitious Final Fantasy XIII project. While the complete interview doesn't appear in the pages of EGM -- it appears here, below.
EGM: Could you tell us a little about the history of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project?
Shinji Hashimoto: Right when we were about to finish Final Fantasy X-2 and Kingdom Hearts, the Fantasy XII project was already well underway, so we began to think about the next Final Fantasy project. We had learned many lessons from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII project, and we really wanted to build upon this idea...this was the genesis of the Fabula Nova Crystalis concept.
Yoshinori Kitase: Initially, we were thinking about making FFXIII on PS2 and FFVersusXIII on a next-gen platform. But we altered that plan and decided to make both titles on PlayStation 3. For the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, the binding concept was the original game , FFVII. Everything had to relate back to that. Fabula Nova Crystallis is slightly different because there is no central title upon which everything is based, but there is a central theme: the tale of new crystals. This mythology is an element that exists in all facets of the project. Now we have FFXIII, Versus XIII, and Agito XIII ... there may be other projects further down the line. The common element will be the tale of the new mythology. This binding element is simply a source of inspiration, it's more about freedom, and we want the directors to be freely inspired by the mythology and make the games the way they choose.
EGM: Will we see narrative crossover between the games?
Tetsuya Nomura: Even though there is a common source of inspiration, each world is completely separate and different, which means that the characters within each world won't meet each other. There might be a possibility in the future to have them meet, but we're not sure about that yet. And even though these games are all part of the FNC project, that doesn't mean that you'll have to play all the games in order to understand each game's secrets.
YK: The characters in each game have their own distinct lives, but FFXIII has a clear ending. There is this binding mythology that links the games together.
EGM: The setting seems even more futuristic than we've seen in FFVII or FFVIII ... are you worried about taking the game too far into sci-fi territory?
YK: Combining magical elements and high technology felt rather unique to us. Speaking of FFXIII, the baseline is the story of the crystals, and in the world of FF, crystals play a large role in the creation of the world. When you add high tech elements to this, it's very challenging to make it all work together, but also really exciting.
EGM: What can you tell us about the heroine of FFXIII?
Motomu Toriyama: We can't tell you all the details, unfortunately. Looking at the history of the FF series, there were already female main characters, like in FFVI, FFX, and FFX-2. This time, one of the characteristics of this heroine is that she's not that feminine. I tried to make her someone very strong, independent. When I asked Mr. Nomura to design this character, I requested someone like a female version of Cloud from FFVII.
EGM: Can you give us any info about FFXIII's battle system?
YK: At first sight, it might seem like an action game, but FFXIII inherits the long tradition of the numbered FF games, which is the active-time battle command system. We are trying to use a similar system to what you've seen, but the major difference is that the battle will be speeded up considerably. In the past, you had to wait to input commands, but our goal here is to reduce that waiting time as much as possible, so that the battles are greatly speeded up.
EGM: While 13 seems like an evolution, Versus seems like a radical reworking ... how far will you take it?
TN: FFXIII will continue the underlying traditions of the Final Fantasy series, but Versus XIII will go far beyond the traditions. I'm relieved that FFXIII will honor those traditions, so that I can feel free to experiment with everything that I want. Versus XIII isn't a simple combination of Advent Children and KH2, though. The game parts of Versus XIII will be created by the KH2 team, and I'm much more interested in what type of a game will my team create on the base ground of FF. It's not really about trying to create some kind of evolution of the KH battle system, but rather trying to create something new and different. As long as the team remains the same, there will be several different elements that will be reflected in the battle system: Traditional FF elements, and totally new ideas inspired by other games, and all the game ideas coming from the knowledge of my team.
EGM: Is the main character of Versus XIII a hero or a villain?
TN: At the beginning of the trailer, there is a quote from Shakespeare about good and evil, about how there is no absolute good or evil. This matches quite well with the concept of FFV13, and that aspect of the game is reflected in the main character ... a real ambivalence towards good and evil.
EGM: Do your actions determine if your character is good or evil?
TN: That's an interesting idea, [laughs]
EGM: Will the FFXIII PS3 games use the PS3's motion-sensing controller functionality?
TN: Yeah, we already have some ideas about how to use it.
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mad props to square enix this year what a EXPLOSION of amazing media
from ff:7 advent children CG movie to there valkyrie profile for psp.....to there ff7 crisis core and ps3's FPS ff7 DIRGE OF CERBURUS! to the ICING ON THE CAKE! the first EVER!
MULTI-CONSOLE MMORPG ( Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)
the newest in the Final Fantasy series this has just been an amazing year! trueley a satisfying SQUARE ENIX FILLED year! thanks for the news SP!!
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