Sakaguchi and Uematsu Talk Future
11.28.04 - 2:55 PM

In an interview conducted by Weekly Famitsu's editor-in-chief Hirokazu Hamamura, Final Fantasy series mastermind and Mistwalker president Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu, who only recently left Square Enix, talked about their future. Sakaguchi mentioned that immediately after starting to work on the three titles currently in development at Mistwalker, he approached his old friend Uematsu about the composer job. Contradicting previous information, Sakaguchi confirmed he was still acting as executive producer of the Final Fantasy series and remained in touch with producers Yoshinori Kitase (director of Final Fantasy VII, producer of Final Fantasy X, X-2) and Yasumi Matsuno (director and producer of Final Fantasy XII). Despite these remaining ties with his long-time employer Square Enix, Sakaguchi also said the desire to create something new has been very strong within him. While he refused to name specific platforms, he confirmed ongoing talks with Microsoft and Nintendo. As far as the development of one game was concerned, a first draft of the scenario will be completed soon. The story should obviously be interactive and emotional and some methods of conveying it will be rather old. The system and playing style have been completed, however exactly how the player will play the game has yet to be determined, since the scenario is not yet complete. While RPG-like characters and a traditional progression system will find their way into the game, the setting will be rather adult-themed. Kiyoshi Shigematsu will also be involved in the project. The popular writer will contribute some short episodes on family affairs and lovers, conveying deep dramatic emotion with an in-built tear factor. Sakaguchi is already planning a long series of 10 installments, which might take up to 20 years to complete. The title's presentation will take place sometime next year.

Nobuo Uematsu, who explained he was seeking a new challenge, only joined his old friend this month. Regarding his new job, the composer explained that he would like create an honest reflection of the dramatic scenario Sakaguchi has created with his music. According to the Sakaguchi, the composer will have all the freedom to create what he called "Uematsu melodies". Currently both were thinking about the main theme's melody, but Uematsu clarified the style would be different from his compositions for the Final Fantasy series.

Sakaguchi only briefly touched on a second project of his, saying he envisions a positively thinking protagonist unwilling to give up, to contrast the real world's dark times of late. Furthermore, Nobuo Uematsu's new company will be called Smile Please.

Chris Winkler