Continuing coverage ahead of release, Dengeki PlayStation had a chance to sit down with some of FINAL FANTASY Type-0’s development staff, including Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Director Hajime Tabata, and Character Designer and Creative Producer Tetsuya Nomura.
Please note that the following contains spoilers, but provides some great insight into some of the game’s design choices, as well as where the series will go next.
Kitase: It’s been five years since the announcement, after such a long time it’s nice that it’s finally releasing.
Tabata: Actual development started 3 years ago, however, I had to take care of other things mid-way, so to me it doesn’t feel like that long ago. For future projects, we’d like to work faster.
Nomura: To me, it doesn’t feel like it’s over until the release date has come and I can hear people’s impressions. Still, it makes me excited that now that the Type-0 project is coming to an end, Versus will follow.
Tabata: Regarding the discs, the first UMD has the prologue, first chapter, last dungeon and final chapter, while the second UMD has the rest. The first UMD is focused on the single player, thus multiplayer isn’t possible on it. While it may seem like the first disc swap may come too early, it doesn’t mean that the first disc’s length is low, just that it was split into multiplayer sections, and not. If you want to play the multiplayer mode, you’ll have to bring the second UMD with you.
Tabata: In the world of Type-0, the crystals make people forget about others when they die, so they don’t understand the feelings of sadness or grieve like we do. This is done for the convenience of the crystals and the Providence.
Tabata: The main concept of Type-0’s story was a group of youngsters caught up in a war between countries. That, along with the concept of “the weight of life” and the Fabula mythos, is the foundation of the plot. I think everyone will unleash their hatred towards death as the plot unfolds.
Nomura: This is the first time in the series’ history with so many leading characters and so many voice actors. That’s because, the story was crafted on a character-by-character basis.
Nomura: If we had only given voices to the main characters, then the impact of the sub characters would have diminished–that’s why we decided to give them wonderful voice actors as well.
Tabata: The cast really brings the game alive, and makes it seem like a dark drama. Without them, the game might have gone in a completely different direction.
Nomura: As a creative producer, I knew I couldn’t make characters that were showy and loud, but as a character designer, it’s something I can’t help but do. I think they came out well in the end, though.
Tabata: The biggest difference with the demo is the camera and Phantoma absorption. We’ve adjusted the camera in tough spots. For the Phantoma, absorbing multiple ones was planned at first, but was then dropped; however, due to fan feedback, but also because we wanted to do something similar in T3B, we changed it back. With the rest of development time we improved several other things, and made Machina stronger.
Tabata: Machina isn’t the only one. We also made a few adjustments to King and Ace in order to ensure similar ease of use for all characters.
Nomura: It was hard to not have them fail to live up to themselves.
Tabata: For long distances, I’d say Ace and King are the best. For close distance, Nine. The best ones at dodging attacks are Eight and Cater.
Tabata: For your second play-through, the battles and strategies you face will change.
Tabata: In the second round you’ll see Class Zero’s true role in the story. The second round has a more world oriented look to the story, so you’ll get the whole picture. There’s also a secret ending.
Tabata: You keep your character’s levels and items, and you also get an item to turn back time to do things you couldn’t do before.
Tabata: Regarding a rumored secret main character, we have to say that all characters have already been revealed.
Nomura: Comments that made people think weren’t referring to a secret character, but the ones we’ve already revealed instead.
Tabata: The reason why there’s no character for the 10th spot is covered in the story.
Kitase: As a producer I wanted to tie the Fabula mythos into the story in a cohesive way, and also keep the [CERO] rating in check.
Tabata: During development we ran into a lot of bugs. This was my first time working on a game of this scale.
Kitase: In other words, the game has so much volume we spent a really long time in the debugging process.
Kitase: Both the action and RPG components of the game are very strong and enjoyable. The things you can do on the world map expand little by little as you conquer new territories and cities. Something people who aren’t so good at action games, but who are good at RPGs will be happy to know is that if they find some part of the game too difficult they can always level up.
Nomura: Some people who played the demo felt this wasn’t FINAL FANTASY; that this was too new, but I think whether something is or isn’t FINAL FANTASY can only be seen once you play the game to the end. To me, FINAL FANTASY is about mixing the old while introducing new elements to make it fresh.
Tabata: We didn’t want to do a compilation of our previous PSP games; we wanted to do something that was really new and fresh.
Nomura: Regarding a sequel or possible new development, we cannot say at the moment what’ll happen, but there has been meetings.
Kitase: Looking back, there’s definitely a lot to work with what we have. It could go in many directions from here on out.
Kitase: I’d like to apologize for the last minute two week delay, but we really needed to ensure quality in the product. I assure you, all the time spent was used to ensure this.
Nomura: The ending movie and BGM were adjusted to match, and the result is really exceptional. The CD holds nice surprises.
Tabata: Directing Type-0 has been a huge challenge over the course of the game’s big development cycle, but it’s all worth it so be sure to experience it for yourself.