Square Enix on what makes a Final Fantasy

#1kupo1705Posted 11/26/2012 5:56:11 AM
kotaku.com/5963157 (I don't recommend going there, enter at your own risk.)

This last weekend in Tokyo, Square Enix held an open conference centered around its real-time tech demo, Agni's Philosophy: Final Fantasy. While presenting the technical aspects was paramount in the design of Agni's Philosophy (as it was meant to showcase the detail and flexibility of Square's new Luminous Engine), its creators were adamant it feel like a Final Fantasy. But what exactly makes a Final Fantasy a "Final Fantasy"? To answer this question they put together a list of the five minimum components for a Final Fantasy.

The first item on the list is "magic," an obvious point on the list given it is a key component in every iteration of the franchise. The second is "summoning," which has been a staple of the series since Final Fantasy III. The third on the list of needed components is "gorgeous beauty." This one is interesting as, given the sprite-based nature of the first six Final Fantasies, "gorgeous beauty" didn't really enter the equation until the PS1 era. Still, no doubt modern Final Fantasies are very much into being visually stunning in both design and graphics.

The fourth thing needed in a Final Fantasy is a little ambiguous: "refinement." They didn't specify refinement of what exactly, but each game in the series has at least tried to refine the parts of gameplay that didn't work in the previous iteration. The same can be said of graphical refinement as there can be no doubt that each Final Fantasy has looked better than the previous incarnation (with the possible exception of the MMOs).

Lastly, they stated that Final Fantasies need "change and challenge." The "change" part is obvious, with each numbered Final Fantasy taking place in a new world with a new cast. The battle system also changes from game to game as well. As for "challenge," that is a bit more ambiguous, but it could mean that each world has a challenge that must be overcome. It could also speak to finding the balance in gameplay between tedious grinding and welcome challenge.

So there you have it: what Square Enix thinks are the basic components to a Final Fantasy. For the most part I agree with this list, though I think things like "a world threatening conflict" and "an unlikely group of heroes" are also key components to the Final Fantasy formula... not to mention Moogles. I don't know about you, but I get really angry if my Final Fantasies are Moogle-less.

I agree with the last sentence.
#2Honey-BoyPosted 11/26/2012 5:58:46 AM
good story telling didnt make the cut huh SE?
~choose death~
#3marcBookPosted 11/26/2012 5:59:05 AM
Honey-Boy posted...
good story telling didnt make the cut huh SE?
#4King_Shortt_IXPosted 11/26/2012 6:04:08 AM
Honey-Boy posted...
good story telling didnt make the cut huh SE?

Toriyama made sure of that.
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#5Honey-BoyPosted 11/26/2012 6:11:57 AM
just what happened?

final fantasy used to be the mark of compelling and interesting stories with amazing character development...

rich and detailed worlds...

now its been reduced to this, the 13 series is the perfect example with everything wrong in modern game design and bad story telling.

Square used to be called "the greatest game company in the world" back in the 90's, and in the early 2000's made some of the most interesting and experimental games in existence...

vagrant story
secret of mana
secret of evermore (the most experimental game square EVER made)
final fantasy Tactics
brave fencer musashi
final fantasy 5,6,7,9
BOTH parasite eve games
mario rpg legend of the seven stars

HOLY CRAP, they made THE best games for like 10 years straight and then BAM...


~choose death~
#6marcBookPosted 11/26/2012 6:13:38 AM
You make it sound too dramatic.

It's not. Spirit Within happened. It's as easy as that.
#7Honey-BoyPosted 11/26/2012 6:13:55 AM
OH MY, i forgot to mention the immortal classic Chrono Trigger...

also, its highly underrated sequel, chrono cross.
~choose death~
#8kupo1705(Topic Creator)Posted 11/26/2012 6:15:54 AM
They can't make a billion games anymore.
Games in the SNES/PS1 era were relatively cheap and easy to make.
If a game fails nowadays, you're in big trouble.

They still publish some of the best game this gen, so they're still good to me.
#9Honey-BoyPosted 11/26/2012 6:17:23 AM
marcBook posted...
You make it sound too dramatic.

It's not. Spirit Within happened. It's as easy as that.

there must be more to that...

creativity is free, it dosent cost money to have quality story telling or smart characterization.

you can have all the best graphics in the world and none of it will matter if you cant get the important thing right... an emotional connection to he audience.
~choose death~
#10ZvonarevaPosted 11/26/2012 6:18:39 AM
Honey-Boy posted...
good story telling didnt make the cut huh SE?

I giggled.
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