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Tetsuya Nomura talks Final Fantasy XV in the latest PS4 Conversations with Creators video By Erren Van Duine on September 20, 2013 at 4:17 AM

Nomura’s promised PlayStation Conversations with Creators interview has surfaced online, arriving much earlier than anticipated.

Announced over seven years ago in 2006, Final Fantasy Versus XIII saw its transformation into Final Fantasy XV this past E3 as the first mainline entry to carry the action RPG mantle – and with a promise that new information would be shared at larger events such as TGS.

The interview – entirely in Japanese – focuses on Final Fantasy XV and what its move to the PS4 means for Nomura and his development team at Square Enix. A quick skim of the interview nets nothing new – with most of the concepts discussed simply a repeat from E3 – although Nomura is grateful for the PS4’s increased memory and ability to run typical dynamic pre-rendered scenes in real time. He recognizes that expectations are high for what is probably his biggest project to date, and with the increased hardware specifications of the PS4 the “impossible now becomes possible.”

When Final Fantasy originally transitioned to 3D, a good portion of the dynamic scenes had to be pre-rendered. As time advanced and hardware changed, however, scenes that previously had to be pre-rendered can now be displayed in real time, allowing for control over the player character. For example, the Leviathan scene in the E3 trailer where the summoned beast is causing a ruckus about the city, and the main character comes in fighting and flying around in a current of water – according to Nomura – scenes such as this previously would have been pre-rendered by Square Enix’s own Visual Works studio, but now it can be played in real time.

The concept Nomura created for the battle system is to be as seamless as possible including the ability to switch between actions and characters at a moment’s notice. Each character together with Noctis is very unique and they’ll work together to take advantage of each one’s special abilities. Actions such as these would have also been pre-rendered in the past, but are now displayed in real time – such as the scene where Prompto steps up to cover for our wayward Prince.

Because the game is action based, Nomura says that the focus of battles is speed and to cause the enemies to react as much as possible. The team is doing their best to stay away from situations where the character would not have control. Both enemies and party members will move around the field while the battle situation changes at a moment’s notice. This gives the game a sense of realism and is where Nomura believes XV differs from your typical FF game. FFXV will however maintain its similarities to the older titles by including the visualization of Hit Points on screen – like when an enemy or ally incurs damage and numbers show up on screen. The team decided to keep those elements in, otherwise they wouldn’t feel that it was “Final Fantasy.” With action and on-screen numbers present, Nomura believes there is no other action game currently presenting itself this way.

FFXV’s story is derived from the foundation that created both Final Fantasy XIII and Type-0 which takes its roots from the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology penned by series writer Kazushige Nojima. Despite those connections, the world itself is its own original concept that has a more modern feel. The game’s story is quite simple as it centers around heroes who must recover a stolen crystal from an enemy nation, but it also focuses on the relationships between the various characters that typically define a Final Fantasy style plot.

The game’s theme is a “fantasy based on reality” with the concept of its world similar to our own – that said, Nomura says that one of the larger points of XV is the fantasy that develops in the world. Trying to realize that concept before the advent of the PS4 had proved quite difficult for the team. As a developer, Nomura believes the most important part of a hardware is its memory and the more you have the more the impossible becomes possible. With more data allowed to reside in the memory, disc read frequency can be reduced and creating larger worlds becomes possible as well. Memory also accounts for the ability to render things in real time. Because there are so many characters in motion during battles with many weapons that can be permanently loaded – the synergy between FFXV and the PS4 is very good.

Following E3, Nomura had a talk with his staff about the video in which the Behemoth appeared to face Noctis and company. He thought the character’s expressions were great but for the monsters he still wants to usher in some improvements. From now on, he wants to create as much detail as possible.

As reported on several times since E3, Nomura is thinking about pairing the use of mobile devices with the PS4 title, since in today’s era it’s often hard to sit still in front of a TV. Nomura wants players to continue to experience the world of FFXV when they’re on the go. While it’s been a considerable time since Versus XIII was originally announced, Nomura recognizes that every has high expectations for his title. The staff will do their best to live up to those expectations, so naturally we’re made to look forward to their efforts.

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  • TheeGAYmer

    I just… I really want this game now. T-T

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    I must say, I’m pretty disappointed. That being said, it surely can’t be long before we get some more news 🙂 just got to have faith that they’re working their hardest on it, and whatever turns up next will be worth the wait.

  • Eugene Voldo

    Well, all you need to do is just sit patiently and wait… another decade. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Or… you can buy a new PC and start playing FFXIV ARR. It’s the only way. Just abandon all yer girly hopes and dreams about this sausage fest and you’ll feel better. Much better.

  • TheeGAYmer

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or be insulted by your comment…

  • stevenm281

    people complains so much about FF15 being a “sausage fest” but I see nobody complaining about the movie The Expandables, which is even more of a “sausage fest” and guess what, the movie is badass!

  • Wassim Mokhtar

    O.O ……….. Please let FF XV come out ASAP…… Nomura is making me crazy……..

  • Erren Van Duine

    Not to mention, we had to play as Lightning or Serah for the past 7 years so I’m ready to play as a male protagonist again. In fact, we already have an all-female FF too so it’s only fair we get an all-male one.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    It still makes me laugh that they didn’t tell Braska’s story because it’d be an all male cast. So they went for an all female cast in X-2 instead. And now look where we are. I genuinely love this cast.

  • Erren Van Duine

    A FFX prequel probably would have made more sense.

  • Tom

    Two things that bother me:
    1 – too much time will be spent by adding details and this might significantly increase the development time.
    2 – the mention of mobiles…

  • Erren Van Duine

    On mobiles, the game will definitely support report play through PS Vita so he’s probably referring to that for the majority of it.

  • keriaku

    I think it’s be really interesting if they released FFXV simultaneously with a FFXV mobile game, that was a different, connected experience to the actual game.

  • Somni

    Initially I was pretty disappointed that there was nothing new for XV at TGS. Although I’m rather pleased that Nomura is at the very least being more public and direct with the development of XV now.

    I’m pretty much in love with this game through and through. From the art direction, to the character designs, the mood & atmosphere, the dynamic battle system, etc. On top of all that, they intend to make the world large, interactive, and seamless. I’m holding hope for some solid writing (so far so good.)

    The development team are talented and capable, and Nomura seems to be a sort of perfectionist.
    And gradually it shows trailer after trailer. This is an ambitious project that will take time to cultivate and finish. Even with all the missteps of SQEX itself, I can totally respect that.

    Love what I’ve seen so far (7 years and counting) so I know it’ll be worth the wait.

  • Protosin

    Seriously. Out with the pink hair. What FF needs is a large dose of testosterone.

  • Ya Bish

    I think that we’re not seeing any ffxv news at tgs due to lightning returns being so close to release, once thats out we’ll probably see news at more frequent intervals, because there are no new titles on the horizon after its release, this is more than likely a business decision to ensure that people focus on lightning returns,

  • Panos Dek

    7 years have passed since XIII was released? Woah! And I thought I bought it on day one in 2010… I get your point though..
    An all male cast within the XV concept is something I really like too now though! X-2 was fun but not that fun imo.
    You think an all male cast it will be a success for XV? From the comments here in NC it seems that the majority asks for more female characters at least to be revealed thus included in the game, even if they are NPCs.

  • Panos Dek

    Nomura has guts! That’s for sure! He demands total perfection in every aspect for this game. Though I hope it won’t take that long to be achieved, I too also prefer waiting more so that can be accomplished! Besides, we desire whatever he does, the best FF all times!

  • Anime10121

    I wonder about Jump Fest…. Though its sure to have SOME kind of presence since Lights story will be over by then…

  • Noctis Caelum

    I think Final Fantasy XV is about 54% finished.

    If you think the full-production began in (june?) 2011, so today we have september 2013,
    there are 27 month.
    So if you count 2% per month than we have 54% now.
    3% are so much, there are than 81%!!
    and 1% is to little, only 27% now.

    So you can count it futher in the future.
    When is this game ready?
    In August 2015,
    because 46% are remaining, so 23 month have to wait, until now.

    The years between 2006 and 2010 were the preparations.
    But don’t forget the game comes 08.2015 in Japan and worldwide I think not less than 4 month,
    so in 12.2015

    Lightning Returns is in every month by 5% finished, they said.
    Now the game is 90% ready.

  • Panos Dek

    I hope that Jump Festa will include both XV and KHIII in regards some in-game footage or at least a simple trailer about the story of each…We have a long way until December though..

  • Panos Dek

    I like that! Hope it’s true! I believe though that it’s 27% ready… “There is work to be done, please understand” and “SE works both on XV and KH3” so these facts suggest that we will wait for 2 years at least. I believe too, that the release date for XV will be late 2015…
    As for LR, it was way easier for them to produce another sequel, than creating a new main titled FF! So it’s excusable that LR’s production lasted 1.5 year…

  • Anime10121

    I’m thinking we wont be hearing anything about KH3 for some time yet 🙁

  • DarmusXIII

    that or probabaly like something gta v did this year

  • awwwsorry

    why asian face? lol

  • Mark

    “The years between 2006 and 2010 were the preparations”

    No. The game has been in development since about 2006, no matter how little. Just because it entered “full production” in 2011 doesn’t mean they’ve been doing nothing for the past 4 years.

  • Mark

    XV and KHIII both have entirely different teams, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Hard Truth

    Anyone happen to have a text translation of the interview? Just curious.

    In any case, not surprised. It is how these interviews tend to go. But, glad that we were able to get some insight into the game development itself. It at least is better than how the previous several years went with keeping us engaged with this. Onward to Jump Festa!

  • Panos Dek

    Unfortunately I believe that too! But! We can expect the best KH game of all times! Nomura is really serious about his current projects!

  • Panos Dek

    They definitely have done something so far, but the game will not see a release date before 2015! That’s for sure…

  • Panos Dek

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s not entirely two different teams. As far as I can remember, KH team worked also on FFXV (where is Ehren or Erren when you need them?). Plus Hashimoto said that Nomura’s involvement in both FFXV and KHIII might have some impact on their production. I remember a NC post on this…

    EDIT: http://www.novacrystallis.com/2013/09/creating-final-fantasy-xv-and-kingdom-hearts-iii-at-the-same-time-is-difficult-for-square-enix/

  • Oleander

    Omgoodness! I’m so excited for this game! *o*

  • Hard Truth

    I think the only thing that the development of both games share is the director. Nomura is definitely involved in both projects (probably more in XV than KHIII at the moment for obvious reasons, but the point still stands.)

    The team/s working on XV are the team that worked on KHI, KHII, and the Final Mixes…as well as the team that worked on Type-0. The team working on KHIII is I think the team that worked on the handhelds like BBS and 3D, but hopefully after finishing with XV the team that worked on the previous core KH titles can help out…I feel that would be fitting.

  • Erren Van Duine

    The translation summary is what I included in this article. It’s his words, just written in an article-style rather than direct quoting the entire thing.

  • Hard Truth

    Ah okay that’s what I felt was the case, just was curious is all. Thanks Erren.

  • Casval

    中途半端じゃないだろう。I really can’t tell at this point. Anyway, I can only wish Nomura, Tabata, and the entire XV team all the best as they complete XV.

    Thank you for informing us of the video, Erren.

  • LightZero

    They weren’t doing nothing but they didn’t actually start to develop the game until 2008. 2006-2007 were more of the preparation years. 2008 was the year they truly got started developing the actual game.

  • LightZero

    The KH and FFXV team are one and the same. The FFXIII team is separate. However they are apart the 1st production team or whatever (I forgot the actual name). However, KH3 is being developed by team Osaka and some team Tokyo I believe. FFXV is being developed by some of team Tokyo and the Type 0 team.

  • Death Penalty

    I’m thankful that one of the new bits of information was trying to make all of the party members as unique as Noctis is. After seeing Noctis’ special abilities in the re-reveal as XV, I was starting to worry that the other characters wouldn’t be able to deliver anything as cool as his warping, multiweapon strikes and telekinesis. Noctis is gifted with such a suite of magical capabilities that it’s hard to see the other characters performing to his level, which would be really unfortunate given that one of the key things being stressed about combat is the ability to switch to the other party members on the fly. That would seem somewhat pointless if they don’t have powers on par with him.

    Here’s hoping that what Nomura says is true, and that he’s not just referring to say Prompto’s third-person aiming. I mean, neat and all, but Noctis can teleport and rain improbably-sized weapons down on a foe. It’s no contest.

  • 4FFAN

    Hey! There’s a bit of new footage here! That’s news for me. I’m happy with just that!

  • Sapientia

    No…FFXIII came out in 2010. xD
    7 years since it was announced in 2006.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    Yea, this was a concern for me as well. I don’t like how characters lose their individuality in other FF games when they all end up with the same abilities by the end of the game, or become redundant because they’re just not as good. It’s not exactly a job system here, persay, but I do love it when all characters have assigned roles and are necessary in their own ways to survive. Like perhaps one character lays traps, another supports with essential buffs and spells. That way you need to think about who does what and when, and keep everybody alive in order to keep the advantage in battle.

  • Death Penalty

    I don’t see any new footage except for Nomura flapping his gums.

  • 4FFAN

    Well there’s that part where Noctis teleports on the behemoth’s head or something like that. That’s pretty much all of it! At least we got that…

  • Death Penalty

    That was old footage, I’m afraid. It was in the two trailers revealed at E3.

  • Hard Truth

    The only two clips of new footage (though they are minor) are within the trailer that was shown at TGS. If you haven’t seen the trailer (it is mostly a copy and pasting of E3 footage, but they are there), check out the video attached to an earlier story. They are at time stamps: 2:13, 2:56.

    Beyond that…nothing new.

  • Jaylen Lightbourn-Levine

    leviathan destroying the bridge

  • Death Penalty

    That’s not new it’s from the TGS trailer and it’s not here in this interview video…

  • 4FFAN

    I saw all the trailers but I NEVER saw the part at 2:50 where Noctis climbs on the behemoth’s horn and teleports to reach the behemoth’s back.

  • Choji Miyamoto

    FF XV only for PS4 hahaha
    It has to be, think about it. If the TGS only focused on lets say nintendo, sony, etc then why was the 360 logo in the LR trailer 😉

  • Death Penalty

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBilT83Uq4A

    Starts at around 3:07. Posted in June.

  • 4FFAN

    Oh…I’m so stupid! 🙁

  • Death Penalty

    You’re not stupid at all, you just missed that bit of the trailer when you watched it. And hey, by noticing it later it’s like you got a piece of news anyway, haha! Nomura confirmed that Noctis can climb on large opponents as you saw in order to fight them. Imagine him with Leviathan!

  • Starlord

    Don’t kid yourself, FFXV is a big hit ( hype wise), I’m sure this will be a worldwide release. Earliest November 2014, latest August 2015. My guess

  • Hard Truth

    The more I think about that battle, the more I feel it has the potential to be one of the more epic battles in the franchise. Seems to be really massive in scale. Can’t wait to attempt it! 🙂

  • Yuri Godoka

    They were going to do it, but Toriyama was against it- because boobs. Proof: http://www.gameskinny.com/w1epb/square-enix-members-exclusive-e3-interview-with-kitase-and-toriyama

    “Toriyama & Kitase: We were talking about a X-0
    involving Braska, Jecht, and Auron…but it was just a party of men and
    did not seem to have that flare, so we went and created the all-female
    team (for FFX-2).”

    Everyone whining about it being all guys are mostly just fanboys that mad they can’t control their waifus and dress them up.

  • Panos Dek

    Yeah I know that! I was stuck on my pc screen back then every day to learn more! xD
    I wouldn’t miss Lightning’s debut in any way!

  • calliopium .

    I think the majority of people complaining about the all male cast in FFXV are women who are tired of a lack of positive representation in video games. Yes, FFXIII and XIII-2 have female lead characters, but they’re two games out of thousands. EEDAR did a survey of action, shooter and RPG games, sampling 669 games – only 24 of them had exclusively female protagonists. That’s roughly 10% (a little less, even), which is a pretty low percentage when the numbers of women playing video games has been rising in recent years.

    As for the Final Fantasy series in particular, the number of male leads compared to female leads is still significantly higher. Now, I’m not saying XV should have a female lead character, but it’s disappointing to me that so far it seems like it’s going to be an all male playable cast. Keep in mind that X-2 was a sequel, not a main title, and X had a male lead – it’s not really the same situation at all.

    XIII and XIII-2 also still had prominent male playable characters; Snow, Sazh and Hope in XIII and Noel in XIII-2 respectively. In XIII there were segments where you controlled all of the characters, and by the point in the story where they all were reunited, you could control any of them. Since XIII had equal amounts of character development for each character, it was everyone’s story, not just Lightning’s. Noel also received just as much attention and screen time as Serah did, and you could switch to him whenever you wanted except for the very beginning and one other section of the story.

    And, again, X-2 was a sequel and also one game in a series that’s had many, many male leads. My point isn’t that they should change any of the current playable characters for XV, because they all seem interesting; it’s that it’s disappointing that yet again there’s disproportionate gender representation in a video game.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re planning to do with Stella’s character and the other unnamed female character, but I do have to admit that I’m tired of the way the video game industry treats female characters in general – and Final Fantasy is not exempt from being flawed in
    this respect.

    This isn’t a criticism of XV, because I’m excited for it and obviously it’s silly to pass judgment on a game so early in development – it’s just that I think it’s unfair to say it’s unreasonable for people to be complaining about the lack of female playable characters, or to belittle these complaints. To each their own, of course, and I know that for a lot of people it isn’t a problem and that’s completely fine. But it’s important to have these criticisms, because eventually developers might catch on and start to treat female characters with a little more respect. That’s really all most people are
    asking for.

  • Sothe Zephyr

    Wait….i thought it was for both Xbox 1 and PS4……doesnt matter since il likely get both just curious O.o

  • Erren Van Duine

    It is but… it’s Japan. The game will not sell on Xbox in that region. SE and Sony are also partnering up for promotion as they usually do, so this is pretty normal.

  • Sothe Zephyr

    Oh i see 😉 #Fail lol thanks for clearing that up

  • Yuri Godoka

    Final Fantasy VI was the pinnacle of female leads- Terra & Celes were so awesome XD In FFXIII, Lightning, Fang & Vanille were the most important characters. Since XV used to be a spinoff (Versus XIII), it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a mostly male cast.

    But I agree with you- even if they have a female lead, they should treat the character with the same respect they’d give a male lead. Think of the difference between the original Tomb Raiders & the recent reboot. A lot of it is in the camera work and outfits.

    Or also just adding in random guy protagonists when the female is more important to the story. Ashe should have been the protagonist in XXII, Vaan was pretty pointless. Same for Tidus in X- the story revolved around Yuna, Tidus was just a bystander (and Yuna’s love interest).

  • Aly Hesham

    I am a little concerned by the over whelming focus on the visual , CGI-like aspects of the game.Nothing ever mentioned about world building depth , greater gameplay variety , large size , well thoughout NPCs and ambitious quests design. It simply shows what is the priority for the game’s design.

    I like nice visuals ,but ,with games like The Witcher 3 coming soon, I don’t know if a movie FF game will be enough anymore.

  • calliopium .

    Oh yeah! Of course, I wasn’t disputing that – Terra and Celes are amazing, as are Lightning, Fang, Vanille, Yuna, Ashe and Serah. (And practically every FF lady, who am I kidding.)

    The only reason I brought it up is that if you look at it that way, FFX-2 and LR when it comes out will be the only games in the series that had no male playable characters at all. Both games, however, still do have loads of prominent male NPCs. X-2 for instance had Nooj, Gippal, Baralai, the rest of the Gullwings… oh right, and Shuyin. Probably should have put him first, huh. Logos and Ormi too if you count them. Noel and Snow seem like they’re going to play important roles in LR as well, along with Hope, Sazh and Caius. Naturally there are important female NPCs in these games too, but the numbers of male NPCs to female NPCs are fairly even.

    In XV, there’s only two confirmed female characters and way more male characters, so my point was that it seems like there’s still going to be a real disparity? And that’s what people are complaining about. It’s entirely possible they’ll announce more characters later, but my disappointment stems from the fact that even in X-2 and LR, there are plenty of male characters around. So I’m really hoping that XV will have… more than just two important ladies around, lol.

    And yeah, there’s definitely a lot of skeeviness in the industry when female leads do happen. Tomb Raider’s a good example – and Remember Me is an example of a game receiving a lower budget than it should have just because they wanted Nilin to be a woman. They also had to cut out a romance they’d had planned because the publishers of the game said male gamers would “feel weird” if the character they were playing as kissed a guy. (I don’t know how that makes sense. But that’s another kettle of fish entirely, hahaha.)

    And actually the article you linked earlier brings up a good point. They thought an all female team would have more “flair”, which I’m going to assume means they like designing fanservicey outfits. In X-2 and also in LR, the only two games with female only PCs, changing costumes is a core part of the battle system. I’m like 99% certain that if they’d had a game about Braska, Jecht and Auron, there wouldn’t have been any dresspheres or magical girl transformations mid-battle. (Though that’d be pretty funny, not gonna lie.)

  • Yuri Godoka

    You have a lot of really good points, and i agree. I think it’s a little too early to judge though. Stella I think will be a really prominent character, and she looks pretty awesome. Really crossing fingers that if they do do some spinoffs or sequels that she’ll be a protagonist. Also, we have to remember the Godess Etro seemed to be essential to the mythos of the world, she may be a villain or something (haven’t had a female FF main villain since Ultmecia). Nomura does pretty well with strong female characters (Aqua was awesome, and arguably the protagonist of Birth by Sleep.) He does tend to include more guys though.

    We’ll see, game probably won’t be out for years anyways. We probably won’t have the full cast until the start the whole thing of updating us with Jump articles every month. I remember for a long time all we knew about XIII was it had Lightning, Vanille and Snow. We didn’t know about Fang until the last second.

    Lol I’d love to see Auron and Jecht’s dresspheres haha XD

  • calliopium .

    That’s true! I am especially excited for Stella! I admit I didn’t think about Etro being a villain, but that’d be pretty cool. (I’m kind of hoping Yeul is a villain in LR!? The shadowy Yeul, at any rate.) And yeah, Aqua is really, really awesome, even if poor Kairi got shafted a bit.

    And yeah, that’s a good point as well. Once they’re further along in development and start updating us more regularly, I’ll be super excited to see what other info will be coming out.

    LOL me too. I feel like they could have had some pretty fashionable and/or just plain hilarious outfits. (I’m imagining Jecht in aviators, tbh.)

  • EX+

    D23 expo is gonna have KH3 there.

  • Anime10121

    Let me modify my original statement, I’m thinking we wont be hearing anything substantial about KH3 for some time yet 🙁

    I’m HOPING D23 will be more about KH2.5’s unveiling than anything else, because I doubt KH3’s far enough in development to show much more than what we’ve been shown at E3. i honestly believe the only reason they even announced it, was to put fans hearts at ease that it is indeed officially being worked on.

  • EX+

    Yeah, that’s true.

  • Mark

    The KH I and II team are working on XV, but the KHIII team is not. KHIII is being made by the BbS team, which is entirely different. Nomura is the only connection, and I fail to see how one person, albeit an important one, will impact the development.

    It’s much easier if we call it the 1st production department team instead of specific game titles as to not get confused. Like the “KH team” is really just the FFVII and VIII team, they then moved on to make KHI and II and now XV.

  • Mark

    Actually, it would be more fitting if they went back to developing FF, as that was what they were doing first.

  • Siraj

    please make it for PC …………………..

  • Siraj

    so do u mean i ll be designed for pc ……. 😀