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The creator of Final Fantasy returns to his world; Sakaguchi anecdotes in Final Fantasy 14

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

When Hironobu Sakaguchi first wanted to experience Final Fantasy 14, he knew what he was going to get involved with. An avid gamer himself, he once forced members of the Final Fantasy 14 game development team to experience EverQuest under the pretext of research.

Sakaguchi recounts his memories of the event this way "Orquest was my first major online MMORPG experience. I was really addicted to it, and at that time I forced dozens of Squaresoft employees to experience it and told them that we needed the knowledge we gained from playing it. "Incredibly, most of them got involved in the game, and that led to the creation of Fantasy 11." "In fact, some employees never gave up on the experience of that game and returned to the real world," he says with a laugh.

Despite this previous experience, Sakaguchi knew that by playing Final Fantasy 14 after Since its revival in 2014, it is gaining more and more popularity every day, it will suffer the same fate again. However, the desire to be fully prepared for the on-stage dialogue at Tokyo Game Show 2021 against Naoki Yoshida, the director of Final Fantasy 14, eventually led him to the world of Eorzea (Final Fantasy 14), and of course what he did happened. "Part of the reason why I had never played Final Fantasy 14 before was because I always liked big online role-playing games, and that's why," he says. "I was afraid I would get addicted when I started playing." It may be the fear that, at least in the beginning, prevents many of us from immersing ourselves in the world of Final Fantasy 14 or other large-scale online map-making.

Sea Goblins

Those early waves of gamers who succeeded in sustaining the industry at the time were later divided into two general categories. The first category is developers who become executives and put a business-oriented perspective on the agenda. The second category is people who maintain their field of work in this media with appreciation. Sakaguchi seems to belong to this second category.

Sakaguchi has been creating video games since the 1980s. One of his first projects was a text-based adventure game called The Death Trap, which was released in Japan for personal computers. A detailed article in Oral History of Final Fantasy 7 by Paligan describes Square's office as less of a company in those days, and more like a room where different people used to go, and Sakaguchi, where he worked part-time. He was developing the game.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Center-left, Nobo O'Matzu (left) with Final Fantasy Team 1 (1986)

Working profession. We just wanted to do what we loved. "We were not worried about rights or living conditions or thinking about what the company was going to end up with." Sakaguchi has always been interested in video games. Even before Dragon Quest entered the field and formally introduced Japan to role-playing games, he experimented with the Apple II and was fascinated by the genre's strong and powerful works, including Ultima. Was. This experience led him to create the Final Fantasy game series. An important game series that defined his career.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Sakaguchi, who now lives in Hawaii, has not worked on the Final Fantasy series for more than two decades, but he still has a deep love and attachment to the role-playing series. The famous Square Enix has survived, to the point that Final Fantasy 15 was named his favorite game in 2016. When he first left the Ul'dah area in Final Fantasy 14, all the old memories came back to him.

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BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Design by Yoshitaka Amano; Artistic director of Final Fantasy 1 to 6 and the logo of all episodes

It was not long before the news broke that the creator of the Final Fantasy series was playing Final Fantasy 14. Sakaguchi used his name in the game, so fans quickly recognized him and welcomed him. Some players approached and greeted him with what they described as a "handshake", but Sakaguchi laughed and suggested that they be calm so that they could have a good conversation.

These interactions Reminiscent of Sakaguchi in the old days. In those days, fans corresponded with development teams, and even hard-core fans sometimes joined the development team as game testers. "You come to learn relatively personal things about other players in MMORPGs," says Sakaguchi. They may say that their cat is meowing or talking about their children, for example. You will also find out how old they are at these moments. However, you do not go very deep into their lives, do you? "It's almost like a new form of relationship in which you only know a little bit about a person's private life."

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Sakaguchi character with a number of other players.

" On the other hand, you talk to them in depth about the game itself and make suggestions. You help each other and talk about game areas or its mechanics. This is the kind of weird conversation I like, and it usually happens between players. However, it may happen that someone types "my hands are so cold that they do not move" and I reply "I'm sorry, but here in Hawaii the temperature is 27 degrees (81 degrees Fahrenheit)!" "

Sakaguchi carefully recorded his progress, shared updates, and made observations that surprised many across social media. Fans were surprised by his rapid progress in the game. The creator of the Final Fantasy series managed to finish the main game of Final Fantasy 14 and the Heavensward expansion pack in about two weeks. This is something that, according to HowLongToBeat, requires at least more than 100 hours. BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Sakaguchi (lalafel in the middle of the picture) gets a little tired with the other players Complete. He experienced the game even in more intense moments so that he could prepare enough time to attend his daughter's wedding. In the Final statistics, he spent more than 1,000 hours in Final Fantasy 14. "I really shouldn't be so involved in a game, right," Sakaguchi says with a laugh. I have things to do!

This is like Disneyland

Sakaguchi's embrace of Fantasy 14 came at a time when the game Which was at its peak when he had many problems. After the many improvements that have been made to Final Fantasy 14 over the years, and the players' whispers about this effect becoming more and more positive, in 2021, while many left World of Warcraft, a huge wave of players headed to Final Fantasy 14. they came. The influx of new players affected Final Fantasy 14 servers and at one point forced Square Enix to stop selling new versions online.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Until a few months ago, there was no room for needles on game servers.

People who liked Final Fantasy 14 They praise the quality of storytelling, the support and timely delivery of new content, and the transparency of its developers. the reason Its success is often attributed to Naoki Yoshida, popularly known as Yoshi Pei. He was the person who directed and produced this work after the catastrophic release of the game in 2010. Yoshida is a special fan of both Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft games, bringing elements from both game series to Final Fantasy 14.

  • Director of Final Fantasy 14: Don't Say World of Warcraft We've Defeated

That's why Final Fantasy 14 is full of different references from the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy 14 also includes scenarios created by Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno, who is also said to be a big fan of MMO works.

He came to her for consulting on the project. "When I first went out to dinner with Yoshida, he asked me, 'Is it really okay for me to make [Final Fantasy 14]?' How much of your game series can I change? I replied, "Final Fantasy 14 belongs to you. "I do not intend to interfere in any way, this is yours, so treat it as you like." "It seems to have resonated somewhat with [Yoshida], and he said that in that case he would really take it seriously."

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Naoki Yoshida, director of Final Fantasy 14 and producer of Final Fantasy 16.

Sakaguchi says that since He has since contacted Yoshida several times via email. One of the times he expressed his thoughts on Final Fantasy 14 in a long post. Yoshida responded that he was reviewing Sakaguchi's Twitter account and that the entire game development team was impressed by the fact that Sakaguchi was experiencing Final Fantasy 14. Sakaguchi says that this has made him very happy.

Sakaguchi's favorite work in this series is Final Fantasy 9, which is a kind of nostalgic journey for this game series. Sakaguchi called it that even before it was published. Especially because it reminded him of the early days of Final Fantasy on the NES console - a period that still resonates strongly in his mind. From this perspective, Final Fantasy 9 has found more meaning in the following years. Sakaguchi resigned from Square in 2001, and Square soon merged with longtime rival Enix. Also, Final Fantasy 9 is the last work in this series, which was completely composed by Nobu Oematsu. This kind of evokes a sense of the end of an era.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

It was not an easy time for Sakaguchi. The failure of the "Final Fantasy: Inner Ghosts" animation, which almost bankrupted Square, left him depressed and exhausted, and it was years before he was able to release another game. Sakaguchi finally re-entered the gaming industry in 2004. his first project for his new studio, Mistwalker Studio, was Blue Dragon, a traditional Japanese role-playing game designed by Akira Toriyama. He is best known for his work on the Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball series.

Sakaguchi's work in later years was often nostalgic. his studio's next game, Lost Odyssey, was compared to the 16-bit era's creations, and some fans referred to it as the real Fantasy 12. Their other game, ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat, was inspired by old tactical games such as Fire Emblem and Daisenryaku. Even Last Story, which tried to combine exploration-based combat with action-packed action, made its references to Final Fantasy clearly visible.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Last Odyssey (2007)

So it's no surprise that Final Fantasy 14 - which is itself a great tribute to the Final Fantasy series Is - strongly resonates with Sakaguchi. "It makes me feel nostalgic," he says. For example, Magus Sisters (the three characters who first appeared in Final Fantasy 4 and later returned in other versions) had such a situation. "Just seeing them made me jump for joy." "Although I was a little disappointed that they left even before they showed us their real faces," he adds with a laugh. I would love to see more of them. "

In tweets about Final Fantasy 14, Sakaguchi points to characters like Ultros, the evil octopus like Final Fantasy 6, and writes:" Ultros! You've been to an opera, haven't you? "

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Sakaguchi in Final Fantasy 14 with a Chokobo mount.

He talks about riding a Chocobo in Final Fantasy 14 and How this reminds him of Final Fantasy 3 or the opening of Final Fantasy Tactics. He also agrees with Yoshida, who likens Final Fantasy 14 to a Final Fantasy theme theme park, and acknowledges that the development team did a good job of creating it.

It's like Disneyland, even their deterrent approaches. Disneyland is able to determine its own reality with rules such as that two Mickeys cannot be present in one place and at the same time in Disneyland. I love that the game uses its rules in a way that allows you to enjoy it as a theme park for Final Fantasy that has its principles, not just put everything good in the Final Fantasy series together. .

Saka-Gucci becomes a costume designer; The Story of the sakaGUCCI Brand

While playing Final Fantasy 14, Hironobu Sakaguchi generally tries to present himself as an ordinary player and prefers to adventure with ordinary fans who get used to his presence quickly. However, his fame can sometimes hinder his desire. his clothing brand, the sakaGUCCI brand in the game, is a testament to this claim. The game world is changing. There is only one problem.

He explains: "The parts I make have my name on them, so if I put them on the market they will be resold and destroy the game's balanced economic system, but this It also means that I can not sell what I make in the gaming market. "

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14 BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Sakaguchi's solution is to force players to keep items to themselves. As a result, players can not sell the product in the market, but in fact it means that the product is now priceless. Sakaguchi donates gifts in the game. Some items are given to acquaintances and others to a handful of players, allowing him to make his mark in the world of Final Fantasy 14. In fact, Sakaguchi's career as a fashion designer may have just begun. "Please, Aijian, help me work with the real Gucci," he jokingly says. There are times when he inevitably looks at Final Fantasy 14 from a professional perspective. In one part of the conversation, he talks about how there are points in the game where the game's gameplay systems struggle to keep up with the rhythm of the story and take him out of the game experience.

Sakaguchi says: "This It happens in different waves, but Final Fantasy has always been that way. Forcing a story into the player's throat causes them to say to themselves something like, "Some black hole was not so much fun." However, without such moments, you can not have a successful combination of story and gameplay systems. "You do not want the two to be too far apart, but I think it 's all about finding the right balance between them."

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

He describes adventure with other players as a large group dance in which players move in sync with each other, which he sees as validating the emergence of today's Internet connections. "If you want to force your way alone, you will not fully enjoy the battles and conflicts of the game, but on the other hand, you will always have players in the environment that lead to lag in the game," he says. So you do not want everything to be an attack that requires a precise timing. I think a lot of trial and error has been done when it comes to emphasizing game mechanics. I imagine that everyone moves together to defeat the enemy by overcoming a series of game mechanics. "It feels like a great dance in a group of 10 or more people."

We do not know how much he has invested in video game development in recent years. When he introduced a mobile game called Terra Battle in 2014, it seemed to outside observers that he was planning to start his retirement half. Even the introductory video of the project almost announced that something like this was happening.

Sakaguchi and the studio Mistwalker made good money from Terra Battle and was downloaded about 1.8 million times, but as Final Fantasy 14 went on to become popular, the game became relatively obscure. The sequel was disappointing, and its servers shut down quickly. The same fate befell the first game in 2020. In 2021, Sakaguchi re-unveiled its new project called Fantasian, which is a more traditional role-playing game for Apple Arcade. He spoke explicitly about the possibility of retirement.

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Game "I think this could definitely be my last project," Fantasian told VGC in an interview. "This is something I was thinking about when I was developing the game." Sakaguchi backtracked on the comments in subsequent interviews, but said he would be "very happy" if it was the end of his long career.

However, given the timing. Who spends his time playing games, Sakaguchi does not seem to be tired of video games and still has a love and affection for them. Sakaguchi avoided answering a question about the Final Fantasy 16 experience by saying that he does not really play much, but went on to talk about playing Ghost of Sushima and Horizon Forbidden West (of course, Alden Ring does not, as Sakaguchi probably says. The game is good but he still worries that it will be too much for him). These are in addition to the 1,100 hours he spent in Final Fantasy 14, where he became so immersed in the game that he created his own brand clothing line in the game called sakaGucci.

The creator of the Final Fantasy series says: "They are still in There are planning stages, where we are deciding how the business works and setting up contracts, so it's not like we started the development process, but I think I'll work on something. "Of course, the more specific and focused these programs get, the more I feel I have to play Final Fantasy 14 while I can still play."

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

Despite his keen interest in Final Fantasy 14, what he is sure of is that he does not like to be involved in the development stages of Final Fantasy 14. And have a role in it. "I'm so obsessed with Final Fantasy 14 that I do not want to be involved in its development and I do not want to know anything about its internal information," says Sakaguchi. Knowing the game in that way makes it impossible for me to enjoy it as a player. That knowledge even changes the way I interact with the other players around me. I want them to feel a certain superiority when they come in contact with me.

For example, he imagines in his mind a simple interaction with the audience that would not have been possible if he had known more about the game. "Take this conversation, for example," he notes. That someone would say to me, "Mr. Sakaguchi, I'm sure you're doing it wrong," and I'm going to say, "Really ?!" h2>

Hironobo Sakaguchi is a long way from the days when he worked part-time as a former employee in Square's former office, which is now a coffee shop. At the same time, in some ways, he feels that he is closer to that era than ever. In Final Fantasy 14, Sakaguchi got an opportunity that few people might get in their lives; An opportunity to look back on his career with a fresh perspective.

For example, when he talks about how he approached Final Fantasy 14 with his highly structured roadmap based on predictable content reduction. It speaks, this new insight can be discerned. "I always thought it was the developers' job to surprise users with new things, but now I feel like when players can predict something about half or two-thirds of the future of the game based on what they've been told," he says. . "You can really build a more sustainable foundation that is fun in the long run. I think this is an innovation of its kind."

BingMag.com The <b>creator</b> of <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> <b>returns</b> to <b>his</b> <b>world;</b> <b>Sakaguchi</b> <b>anecdotes</b> in <b>Final</b> <b>Fantasy</b> 14

He also talks about music and to that point Points out how combining classical music with more modern music is an integral part of shaping the game's atmosphere. He explains: "The game uses the familiar music of Final Fantasy in important moments of its story. This is a smart choice. "At first I felt that the game did not need vocal music, but now I see that I have decided to sing some of those songs using karaoke when I return to Japan."

However, this is probably Final Fantasy 14 Is the one that receives the most acclaim from fans, and it seems that this element has been able to attract Sakaguchi's attention as well. Of course, Sakaguchi is no stranger to quality storytelling, but there was a time when he did not think that role-playing games were necessarily compatible with strong stories. However, this idea may seem a bit offensive to a genre that has dominated games almost before any other genre.

He explains: "When it comes to the past and the era of the first Fantasy finale We made, I think, role-playing games like Wizardry, or Dungeons & Dragons, if we want to go back and start over. In those games, you play a special role in a bigger world. The story is more important at the level of myths and narratives in the game world and becomes more interesting when you go to a black hole. "I used to think that role-playing games were like that." It changed because Square was trying to combine a game-based systems approach with strong writing. "Since [Final Fantasy 1] we've been trying to make significant role-playing with characters and characters, and I feel like this is what we finally got in [Final Fantasy 4]."

Despite this, Sakaguchi continued to believe that large online role-playing games could not have truly great stories. Even World of Warcraft - with its vast legends and famous characters such as Thrall, Sylvanas and Jaina Proudmoore - is more dependent on raids, guilds and loot. Final Fantasy 14 changed that dynamic and made the development of his story more valuable than anything else.

Sakaguchi says: However, the game kept telling me that you are the protagonist and it does that for all players. It made me think that they are doing what we were struggling with from the first Fantasy to the Fantasy 4. This is why I think that the basic composition of Final Fantasy 14 is the same as the basic composition of the Final Fantasy game series. "They have managed to properly inject the story into a system that is completely different from the stories."

It is great and, in his words, cosmic, it glorifies it. Sakaguchi, who has been focusing on the Final Fantasy 14 experience for about four months, says it feels like a big story that is now, at least for now. As the creator of this game series, he was able to predict almost everything that has happened in the story so far. However, the game has managed to surprise him in the end.

Sakaguchi is now completely caught up in the story of Final Fantasy 14, but with a recent release and future content for this work Will be released, it can be said that Square Enix is not done with this macro online role-playing game (MMORPG) and Hironobo Sakaguchi is not done with it.


Source: IGN

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