Posted on: May 22, 2023 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

With the release of final fantasy 16 around the corner, I flew to London to play the game, which is certainly different from previous titles in the family-friendly franchise in a few key ways.

My game left me with questions, and a couple were already haunting me before I played. Fortunately, I was able to sit down with producer Naoki Yoshida and art director Hiroshi Minagawa (with localization director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox translating their responses) and hear their thoughts on their work on the new game.

By the way, you should definitely read my practices final fantasy 16 preview with my impressions, which will give you more information about what prompted some of the questions you’ll read here.

Giuseppe Nelva: I know a guy, you probably know him too, he is the producer and director of final fantasy XIV. At PAX East he said that he wanted to ask him about a possible collaboration between final fantasy 16 and final fantasy XIV. Has that conversation already happened? and what was the answer

Naoki Yoshida: (laughs) Yes, I read online about what the producer and director of final fantasy XIV said about the collaboration. I know him very well, but currently, that guy is hard at work on patch 6.4 and he’s basically locked in his office and hasn’t really come out. So I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. Now I’m here in London and I’m going to be here in Europe for a couple of weeks, but when I get back I have to knock on his door.

Nelva: So, it’s not decided yet?

Yoshida: Yes, we need to discuss this properly first, so you’re undecided.

Nelva: While playing the game, I noticed that early on it feels darker than usual. Final Fantasy game. However, not only is it darker, but it also depicts more mature themes more realistically. There’s even some sexual interaction between the characters early on. That’s something you normally see more in western RPGs like mass effect either dragon age and you don’t see much in Japanese RPGs. So I wanted to hear from you on how far this goes and what your reasoning is behind this move towards more mature themes that maybe a more mature audience can enjoy. After all, we’ve all grown a bit from the original. Final Fantasy.

Yoshida: The first reason behind this is that with the current generation of technology, the graphics are much better. So when you go to try to create a story based on reality, which is what we’re trying to do, if you don’t show what’s going on, it’s going to end up looking fake.

If you try to hide the things that happen in a war… You have the Iron Kingdom and the Republican Army fighting for their lives and fighting for the lives of their families. If you try to hide the violence behind the war, it becomes less real and ends up looking fake. It ends up looking cheap. Since it has these realistic graphics, it will look more mature overall.

The second reason is that I’m turning 50 in almost two weeks and my senpai is older than me. Even though we are still high school kids on the inside, we are adults who have lived a long time, seen a lot, and know how harsh the real world can be, and we wanted to create a story that felt real and resonated with people all over the world who they also experienced the same things that we have experienced. In the real world, not everything is good. There are bad things out there and then you have to show the bad because showing the bad accentuates the good. By showing the darkness, you can have the light and the light can shine. So we wanted to express that in our story.

Early in the game, one of my favorite scenes is a scene with Clive and Joshua’s father Elwin and their mother Annabella in their bedroom chambers. How he conveys that scene, not just with the dialogue, but with the facial expressions, his distance‚Ķ You get something that feels very, very real. You can do it thanks to technology. You can catch the subtle movements of their faces, and a lot is told without just the dialogue.

And if you tried to do that with just dialogue, it’s going to end up feeling cheaper. It won’t end up feeling as real and visceral. And again, that’s the kind of stuff we want to convey and we could do that thanks to technology. There are many scenes like this in the future. It’s not just about explaining, but also about telling the story in these kinds of different ways.

As for the adult themes and violence and sexual content, it’s not like we’ve made an effort to add them to the game. That was not our intention from the beginning. It was more that we had a story that we wanted to tell and those things fit into the story, and that’s why.

Watching the moon in Final Fantasy XVI
There is a beautiful full moon tonight in Final Fantasy XVI.

Hiroshi Minagawa: Actually, even though the game feels very dark and violent, sometimes there are a lot of things that we removed because we didn’t want to. also violent. For example, there’s one of the areas, and at first we had a lot of bodies on the ground, and they were covered in all this blood and it looked like a splatter or a horror movie. When we saw that, we were able to do that, but that’s not the story we wanted to tell. That doesn’t improve the story at all, so we removed it to better fit what we wanted.

Yoshida: With that being said, we still want those accessories to feel real. So that corpse that’s going to be there, since it’s on the edge, obviously, that guy didn’t die there. That guy was dragged there. So it’s about having that trail of blood that tells the story that he maybe he fought there and he was dragged here, without crossing the line. Again, he has never been about violence for violence’s sake. It’s about making it real and telling that story and not overdoing it.

Nelva: Personally, I think this is in your DNA as a developer, since you started showing these somewhat shocking scenes in final fantasy XIV. Perhaps not to this extent because the engine is more limited.

Yoshida: Yes. Indeed. There are certain limitations on final Fantasy XIV, but there are things that we try to do with the graphical quality that we have in that game. We’re also a little more constrained by our rating, but again, there are things that we wanted to show off and we didn’t want to shy away from that, like a character having their arm cut off for example. There were things that we wanted to show but couldn’t show, but we tried to show them in a way that still conveys it without shying away from these kinds of things.

Nelva: You’re portraying a real, realistic war, and now we’re seeing a real war happening right before our eyes every day. I would say that the world itself is a darker place now than when you started making final fantasy 16. Has this influenced you in any way in the way you portray war in your game?

Yoshida: With the fact that a war started while we were in development, we didn’t really change anything about our story or the main theme based on that. However, it affected us somehow. We had to decide how we were going to release the information, when we were going to release the information, and how we were going to do it in a way that wouldn’t harm people in any way.

So the question is, why don’t we change history, given the opportunity to do that? In the end, our history is not a history of war. It is a story about how people can overcome war and finally achieve something that is hope. And we think that’s something that we can give to the public and show that in all this chaos, and by showing the chaos there, there is a way out, that there is a way to have hope, and that’s what’s very important to us.

Final Fantasy XV Shiva
Shiva fans, assemble!

Nelva: While you put a lot of effort into making combat more accessible, the boss battles are quite challenging. In many RPGs, you don’t need to lower the difficulty level, but you also have the option to grind and level up the content. can you do this in final fantasy 16?

Yoshida: I mean you can do that a little bit, but you won’t get to the point where you’re that over-leveled… So yeah, you probably can’t grind enough to be super powerful. However, if you level up and also upgrade your gear to max early on and max Limit Break bars, this will give you an advantage where you can force your way through the content, but this is probably only going to work on the first game.

But I mean, you do have the option to grind, but if you’re going to grind, I’d recommend using the right accessories anyway because it’s going to be so much more fun. Grinding is not fun.

With that being said, the real challenge returns with the new game plus. As developers we really believe that the new game plus, specifically the Final Fantasy mode, it’s the really hard mode and the challenge really starts there. You pass on all the skills you learned. You pass on your level and all your attributes and use them in a new, very, very challenging game. And it’s all about your skill, your technique and choosing the right accessories that will enhance the skills you’re using at the time.

Nelva: So it’s Savage again. Speaking of Savage, is there anything the producer and director of final fantasy XIV learned from the producer of final fantasy 16? Is there any learning that you can apply again to fourteenth of the development of 16th?

Yoshida: It’s difficult because the game design is fundamentally different. Probably the most important thing is just learning how to make those tough decisions. It doesn’t matter how many people are on staff. It’s about knowing what to cut, what to keep, and making the tough decisions there. Having had to do that in final fantasy 16 I will be able to use that on fourteenth.

nelva: I see That makes sense.

Yoshida: If you use too much money, you’re in trouble, so I’ll be sure to tell the producer of fourteenth be careful with budgets. (laughs)

Nelva: Is the new CEO going to be mad at you otherwise?

Yoshida: (laughs) The new CEO is very nice to me, so it’s not a big problem.

Nelva: I heard he’s a fan.

Yoshida: (laughs) That’s probably because we made him a lot of money.

Nelva: Well, let’s hope it works that way with final fantasy 16 too, right?

Yoshida and Minagawa: (Laugh)

final fantasy 16 it will launch for PS5 on June 22, 2023. If you want to read more, you can check out our new hands-on preview.

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