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Final Fantasy VIII director on the game’s original reception, scrapped plans for Laguna, what he would change

Posted on November 24, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch eShop

Game Informer recently interviewed Final Fantasy VIII director Yoshinori Kitase, who spoke about the game’s initial release. The two sides discussed how it was initially received, some plans for Laguna that never came to fruition, and the one thing Kitase would change.

You can find excerpts from these topics below. For the full discussion, head on over to Game Informer.

On Final Fantasy VIII’s original reception…

Final Fantasy VIII sold very well, and in that sense, it was successful. But as far as reviews at the time went, they were kind of all over the place. They were very mixed. For example, up until then, if you defeated a monster, you got money. But in Final Fantasy VIII, we decided to give players salaries, so after a certain period of time passes, they get money. There were definitely people who weren’t happy about that, because it wasn’t what they expected or were prepared for it to be. But equally, I thought it would present a new appeal for people. Like I said, we didn’t have internet at the time, but now we can see what people are saying about the game online and a lot of fans have said – as far as the draw system and juctioning go – that it takes some time to get into it, but once you do, it’s really fun. So I think we managed to present something new and appealing. Even now on forums, if I see posts titled something like “Actually, Final Fantasy VIII was pretty good,” I’ll go look at it. [Laughs] Like, “This person knows what’s up!”

On fans discovering assets/data for scenes featuring Laguna that were cut, and what was originally planned for those sequences…

I honestly can’t remember much about the scenes that got cut, but I do seem to remember that, when we were first making the game, there was supposed to be about the same volume of story for Laguna as there was for Squall. In the end, Squall’s story became the main one, but originally they were supposed to kind of be parallels of each other with the same amount of content. Because it ended up focused on Squall, a lot of the scenes with Laguna got cut.

On the one thing he would change…

There’s this scene where Squall and Rinoa are talking at Fisherman’s Horizon, and I don’t remember what the conversation was about exactly, but Rinoa says something kind of sassy to Squall, and he throws his hand at her. She dodges, but even at the time, [Kazushige] Nojima-san was like, “He shouldn’t be hitting her. It’s really not good to have a guy hitting a girl.” Looking back, I wish I could change that.

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