No sooner have we left E3 behind than Tetsuya Nomura is at it again, out speaking to the press and enthusiast outlets alike on upcoming titles Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. Both FF Dream and Finaland had the chance to sit down with the director at Japan Expo, taking the chance to delve deeper into the game once known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
Seven years have come and gone since FFXV’s original conception, and in that time Nomura has seen himself involved in many different capacities in several projects along the way. “Actually I am not very good at managing myself, especially at managing lots of different projects,” admits Nomura. “But because of my staff and all the staffs are very very intelligent, very good and very capable I’m able to run all the different projects at the same time. And also the most important are the co-directors in each project, again they are very capable and skilled people, they are the people actually managing the actual everyday job on the ground. That’s why I’m here, they are supporting me all the time.”
Having been apart of the company since the Squaresoft days, it’s no secret that Nomura has created a good portion of the characters fans have come to know and love. Naturally Nomura has a known favorite in the form of Sora from Kingdom Hearts, but is already priming his next creation for the spotlight. “Also there is Noctis, he hasn’t been in front of you, I mean moving, etc. yet in a real gameplay but he will soon, in the future,” said Nomura. “Do you know the name Sora mean the “sky,” in Japanese and Noctis, his family name is Caelum which mean sky as well so basically, Noctis mean “night sky,” so they are kind of complete opposites to each other. There is a reason why I named these characters as opposites. Noctis is kind of like my latest boy, or latest son and I expect him to be more clever than Cloud.”
Vehicles will play a part in FFXV, but in a way that we’ve already seen, according to Nomura. “Well two things you probably could use… first, the car – the car is gonna be the vehicle you’ll use probably the most in the game. The other one, the magitek armor, you can actually control and ride the magitek armor as well, in a future reveal you’ll probably find more.” As Noctis and his friends tend to travel together, the chances of him riding around on a motorcycle like Cloud are rather slim.
On the subject of characters, Nomura admitted that he ended up changing Stella’s design in order to make her a little bit prettier. “When I created Stella, back in 2007, I actually created something that is not my type of character, but obviously time has passed since then, about six years now, and then she actually became something that I quite like now.” But will she or any other female characters be playable? It might be quite difficult, according to Nomura; he didn’t elaborate on the subject.
As for Noctis, there’s a reason why he has appeared several times with red eyes. “In the last promotion trailer, Noctis got red eyes because he got the ability of teleportation,” said Nomura. “When you actually play the game, you can’t really see and zoom in the face of the character anyway. And he moves very fast as well so… if the character’s face is actually seen in a zoomed-in on the screen, we probably could still make his eyes red but we haven’t decided whether we’re gonna need the red eyes or not.”
Originally, Nomura had made plans to force the player into a game over if Noctis died in the game but now it might not be the case. “At some time I said that the game was gonna be over when Noctis died, when we were talking about Versus XIII, but now as Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV we haven’t decided it actually so we can’t really say if it’s going to change or not, we’ll see.”
Gameplay changes aren’t the only thing that have made their way into FFXV – the addition of FF Type-0 director Hajime Tabata is now a well-known fact and one that came about due to Tabata’s own ambitions. “I asked him in the team, his vitality and mentality are always very motivated and very high,” said Nomura. It looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the near future as he’ll be making the press tour rounds ahead of release as well.
For the rest of the interview – including a few bits on Kingdom Hearts – head on over to Finaland’s lengthy post.