Final Fantasy X-2 Team Interview: Page II
IGN: So just between us, which mini-game do you prefer? Blitz Ball or
Kitase: Sphere Break!
Toriyama: Sphere Break. We have the most amounts of mini-games in the
history of the FF series in FFX-2, so I hope you enjoy them. One of the
concepts we had was having a complete line-up of mini-games with lots
of variety so that if you bought FFX-2 you wouldn't need any other game.
IGN: Do you think that the already proven success of FFX-2 in Japan and
the expected success of the game in America will signal further "true
sequels" to past Final Fantasies for the future?
Kitase: I think it certainly created an opportunity, or at least triggered
other ideas. However, whether other sequels will be created is up to the
director of each of the Final Fantasy titles, so I wouldn't be able to
say whether there will be others or not in the future.
Toriyama: Under a series of circumstances, the best environment for making
a sequel was prepared for FFX-2.The Final Fantasy series will continue
to evolve with the best resources - from talented staff to technology.
Just because it was successful this time, that doesn't necessarily mean
that we will create more sequels in the future.
IGN: Okay then, but if there was another sequel to an existing Final
Fantasy game, which one would you like to work on most? (I myself would
love to see a follow-up to IV or VI)
Kitase: Recently announced at TGS, a sequel to FFVII titled Final Fantasy
VII: Advent Children is in the works as a visual piece (movie) and scheduled
for release next year.
Tetsuya Nomura, who was the character designer on the original title,
is on the project as the director. There are no plans at this time for
FFIV or FFVI that you mentioned. Takashi Tokita was the director on FFIV
so if he wants to, it could happen. I was the director on FFVI but right
now, I have my hands full with FFVII: AC so it would be difficult.
Toriyama: Right now, I want to work on a new story so I don't
have much interest, but I do like the worlds of FFVI and FFVII.
IGN: What's different about the American version of Final Fantasy X-2
compared to the Japanese release?
Kitase: It's basically the same. The artist singing the theme songs is
different, so the direction of the movies for the scenes with the songs
is slightly different in the two versions.
Toriyama: There are no differences between the Japanese and North American
versions of the game but the story is on the lighter side and very entertaining
so I think it will be widely accepted in North America. We were very conscious
of the North American version from the early stages of development.
IGN: What do you feel were the most important elements of Final Fantasy
X that needed to be incorporated into Final Fantasy X-2?
Kitase: Of course it would be about "him."
Toriyama: Naturally incorporating the peaceful world of Spira achieved
in FFX and unification of characters' state of mind (Yuna and the group
have not changed as much as they look) was very important. In terms of
gameplay, speediness and some freedom during battle were a must.
IGN: Why the big difference in theme between Final Fantasy X and Final
Kitase: FFX's theme was "independence" from the ties of law
and customs, whereas FFX-2 is about the "changes" that occurred
from the chaos after gaining that independence.
Toriyama: From their (the characters) achievements in the original story,
their growth in two years is depicted under the theme of "change"
in FFX-2. In FFX, each character had something enormous they had to face,
but in FFX-2, we show their journey as they search for their new self.
There were some sad moments during the journey in FFX so I wanted them
to have a fun trip.
That was the first thing I knew we were going to do. That is the background
for having a very "pop" and upbeat atmosphere in the first part
of the game.
IGN: Why was the sphere movie shown at the end of Final Fantasy
X International changed for Final Fantasy X-2? Not only was the perspective
changed quite significantly but so was the dialogue and location too,
Toriyama: Of course we didn't want to change it but when we created
FFX International, it had not been decided that we were going to create
a sequel. Thus, we did not have new character models or maps.
New backgrounds and character models were created for FFX-2 so the sphere
movie was remade to match the story completely. However, the basic story,
world and character settings are the same. The dialogue was refined with
no changes to the plot. It should not feel out of place as it can be seen
as a part of the FFX-2 story.
IGN: There seems to be a lot of pop-culture references scattered in various
areas of the game. What were some of the direct influences that helped
shape the overall presentation of FFX-2? And is it safe to assume that
Charlie's Angels was one of them?
Kitase: Not just Charlie's Angels, but as a recent trend, there are more
and more movies where strong female characters take the lead/action. That
is something that I've kept an eye on and felt it could work for us. Also,
the costume change/transformation (dress up system in the game) was based
on styles derived from anime series featuring magic girls who have the
ability to transform and other hero transformer-type characters that have
existed for a long time in Japan.
Toriyama: Female characters taking the leading role are not new for Hollywood
films and it's strange that we have not seen more of it in games. We did
have a "Charlie's Angels" style/look in mind as a concept, though.
The sub-characters, Le Blanc Gang, are positioned as a typical comical
role often seen Japanese anime series.
Tsukamoto: I think this question is more for the art director,
but from my standpoint, I believe it is an element that can be seen throughout
the game. Personally, I feel as if I still have a lot to learn about pop-culture
and I wouldn't want my designs to be seen as just another version of something
that already exists.
IGN: The same duo that composed the Bouncer soundtrack (Noriko Matsueda
and Takahito Eguchi) was responsible for the music in FFX-2, was there
a particular reason that you brought this duo in compose the music and
was Uematsu-san ever approached for some kind of involvement with the
Toriyama: As symbolized in Yuna's live performance in the opening, we
wanted to incorporate a pop feeling even with the music this time, which
is very different from the typical Final Fantasy world. Ms. Matsueda and
Mr. Eguchi were a perfect fit to the changes we were trying to achieve
so we asked those two to handle the music for FFX-2.
In fact, the drastic change in the music is one of the big differences
that gave new direction for FFX-2. I wanted Mr. Uematsu to participate
but due to other projects, we weren't able to have him on board for FFX-2.
Click here to return to page I of
the FFX-2 Team Interview.
Thanks to IGN for the transcript.