Final Fantasy X-2 Team Interview: Page I
This interview originally took place in November of 2003. Yoshinori Kitase
was X-2's producer, Motomu Toriyama was the director, and Tetsu Tsukamoto
was the costume designer.
IGN: For our readers not familiar with your previous experience,
what are some of the projects that you and your team worked on prior to
Final Fantasy X-2? And what was your involvement with the original game?
Yoshinori Kitase: I was the Producer for Final Fantasy X. My past
credits include Project Planning on Final Fantasy V, and VI and Director
for Final Fantasy VII and VIII.
IGN: Why was Final Fantasy X the first Final Fantasy game to be
given a true sequel?
Kitase: We included a short story/movie titled "Eternal Calm"
in FFX International, which was released in Japan in January 2002. "Eternal
Calm" showed life in Spira, after the ending of the original story
in FFX. Fan reaction was larger than we expected and we decided to continue
the story of Yuna and surrounding characters in a sequel.
At that time, our team was ready for a new challenge (for a new game,
not a sequel) but we thought that creating a sequel to FFX would still
be a challenge in a different way and so we made the decision to create
Motomu Toriyama: FFX was a "complete" product that it
made it very difficult for us to just say good-bye to it. Also, the characters
were so appealing that many fans wanted to see more of them. However,
what really triggered us to move forward with a sequel was the inclusion
of the "Eternal Calm" in FFX International (only released in
Japan); a short story that depicted the world of Spira two years after
the ending of the original story.
IGN: Was it always the plan to be told in this manner? As two
parts or even three-parts? Or is this the result of something that happened
after the game had already been released?
Kitase: No, it wasn't planned - as mentioned in the previous answer,
it was triggered by fans reaction to "Eternal Calm."
Toriyama: When we were working on FFX, there were no talks about
a sequel. However, after completing FFX, we thought it would be nice to
create a new story in this same world some day. Personally, I wanted to
create a game where one could revisit the world and the characters - say,
maybe once every two or three years. So, it was quite meaningful that
we were able to do a sequel with FFX-2.
IGN: Why are Rikku and Yuna's character designs so radically different
from the first game?
Tetsu Tsukamoto: From a planning standpoint, I would say that
the differences are due to the changes in Spira between FFX and FFX-2.
FFX had more of a darker, religious feel, whereas in FFX-2, there is a
huge cultural change. I think those changes are reflected in the character
Kitase: Even though FFX-2 is a sequel, if everything was an extension
of the previous game it would not be fresh. In order to completely change
their style/look, we changed the characters' costumes to make them more
active. In fact, before we even had a complete story for the sequel, we
worked on recreating Yuna's (and the girls') look first and then decided
on a story that fit that style/image. In a way, the new designs included
a message to us (the development team) by constantly telling us "to
make a change."
Toriyama: Women of that age go through a lot [laughs].
Two years after defeating Sin, Spira and its people are making changes
in FFX-2. In a livelier world without the threat of Sin, Yuna and others
try to live positively and the fashion reflects their state of mind. With
these changes for the girls, we came up with the idea of "dressing
up" and what you see in the game - dress-up system - is a result
of that idea.
IGN: Which costume did you have the hardest time designing? And
which costume do you like most?
Tsukamoto: The ones that were hardest or most challenging were
the ones that are "cute". It's a personality/style that I'd
never worked on (since I have been designing monsters in the past). I
think the songstress is at the top of that list.
I remember gathering all kinds of materials and having a hard time finalizing
the designs. My favorite costume is dark knight - I'm a fan of armor and
suits of armor.
IGN: Did you work on character designs outside of FFX-2?
Tsukamoto: No, this is the first time. On other titles, I designed
monsters. This project really helped me see "design" from a
completely different standpoint, specifically, costumes. It definitely
broadened my horizon and made me realize that I have to continue to discover
IGN: Was Final Fantasy X-2 originally designed with the YRP in
mind, or were there other characters and approaches being discussed? What
were some of the other ideas being thrown around as alternative stories
Kitase: In the beginning, we decided on the direction of action-adventure
with a trio of female characters. We had already decided to bring back
Yuna and Rikku so we designed a new character as the third female character.
Toriyama: It was decided early on to make the three girls, YRP,
as the lead characters. Even though this was a sequel, we wanted to challenge
ourselves to as many new things as possible. Having female lead characters
was one of them. One other approach we had discussed was depicting the
story of Jecht and Auron's generation. But that would have ended up being
a traditional game, thus we ended up with a story surrounding the girls,
IGN: What do you think is the biggest expectation of fans who
enjoyed Final Fantasy X for Final Fantasy X-2?
Kitase: Maybe a reunion with "him" after the separation
in the previous game?
Toriyama: I would think and hope that fans are interested in how
Yuna is doing in Spira now and being able to journey with her again.
Click here to continue to page II
of the FFX-2 Team Interview.