Interviews// Yoshinori Kitase and Hideki Imaizumi

Posted 25 Apr 2008 17:45 by
Yoshinori Kitase (left) and Hideki Imaizumi.
Yoshinori Kitase (left) and Hideki Imaizumi.
SPOnG: You have moved away from the traditional turn-based battle system in this game. What made you decide that?

Hideki Imaizumi: Well in terms of the new battle system, this title leaves the traditional party system – where you only control Zack, not a party. Story-wise that was necessary, to make this a story about Zack. So, when you create a battle system around controlling one character; when you use a turn-based system that you see in a party system it doesn’t work as well.

So, we took elements of the command selection structure – you can still expect to cast spells and such but then we incorporated new elements to keep the combat fresh. The new DMW system – the slot-reel system - which is a wheel-of-fortune type system that’s been implemented, plus the classic material system that you see in VII as well, kind of meld together to create this battle structure.

Yes, you’re controlling one character but so many things are changing and moving at the same time that it’s always fresh. So, it was this obvious evolution of how do you keep a single-player, single-character battle system fresh at all times.

Yoshinore Kitase: One of the motivations was that Zack is a member of an elite unit of fighters called SOLDIER in the Shin-Ra corporation, which is part of the plotline in the VII universe. One of the things we wanted to do was to show the power of this elite warrior and how he gets even stronger as the story progresses. Really a lot of the action elements make you feel like you’re controlling this adept warrior: you can use a button to evade, you can press a button to swing a sword and such. There’s this kind of directness about it that shows the power of the SOLDIER operative Zack, so presentation-wise it was very important to have this system as well.

Hideki Imaizumi: In terms of the (DMW) concept… what we really wanted for the battle system was for it to have this element of luck in it that separates it from pure action – to have this uncontrollable force, this twist of fate within the combat, where you fight some boss monster twice, but one time you win because the slots matched, or all your MP was recovered, or all your HP recovered… DMW has these kinds of effects, depending on which combinations come up. But then another time you’ll lose because you got none of these things and it was too difficult without that kind of support.

So, even within the same battle you have different results, depending on the luck of the draw. We really wanted to keep that element of luck in there just to make it so that every time you fight this boss it won’t be the same experience. At the same time, though, you shouldn’t think of it as a completely random system. A lot of times we’ve been asked (whether) the experience, the leveling up system is actually tied into the DMW system; people think “Does that mean leveling up is completely random? Could I stay at Level 1 forever if I’m unlucky?” and that’s actually not the case. There are certain elements of DMW that are not completely random.
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joe 4 Aug 2008 18:46
please make final fantasy X3! i beg of you yoshitori kitase
joe 4 Aug 2008 18:48
make X3 for ps2 of course
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