Akitoshi Kawazu Talks Final Fantasy
03.15.06 - 8:25 PM

In an interview with Mainichi Interactive, Square Enix's most senior developer, SaGa series mastermind Akitoshi Kawazu, talked about his company's flagship Final Fantasy series. Asked to define Final Fantasy, Kawazu pointed to various development teams working on the series. Since every new installment is created by other developers, there are no binding ties between the various installments. Even series trademarks like Moogles, Chocobos and Cid don't stay the same, but appear in different forms as decided by the respective developers. As an example, Kawazu cited the different Final Fantasy worlds created by Hiromichi Tanaka (the producer of Final Fantasy XI) and Yoshinori Kitase (director of Final Fantasy VII and producer of Final Fantasy VIII, X and X-2).

After talking about his personal involvement with the series, Kawazu commented on Final Fantasy XII, which will go on sale in Japan tomorrow. After director and producer Yasumi Matsuno fell ill, Kawazu was chosen to oversee the completion of the highly anticipated title as executive producer. One of the game's highlights was its movie scenes. Just watching those scenes was very well worth it, he remarked. Another highlight was the game's seamless transition from field to battle map, the movement of the characters, and the wonderful environments.

Last but not least, Kawazu shared some insight into the difficult development process. In the early development stages, there apparently was doubt whether a unified field/battle map could even be realized. And some even went so far as to suggest that it would have been better not to implement this ambitious system. During the development process, tension among members of the development was insanely high.

Final Fantasy XII will be available in Japan on the 16th.

Chris Winkler

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