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Square Enix dev on Final Fantasy IV’s mechanics and original scenario plans, Chrono Trigger ending and sequel talk

Posted on December 24, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

IGN recently spoke with Final Fantasy IV lead designer and Chrono Trigger director Tokita Takashi for a new interview. Regarding Final Fantasy IV, Takashi spoke about the challenges of implementing many new mechanics and discusses some scenarios that were originally planned for the game. He also weighed in on which Chrono Trigger ending he believes is canon, and how ideas for the cancelled Chrono Break made it into Fantasy Dimensions II.

You can read these responses from Takahashi below. For the full interview, head on over here.

On the challenges of implementing new mechanics for Final Fantasy IV…

Tokita: The Active Time Battle was truly a result of repeated trial and error. In actuality, we were unable to envision, in the slightest, which characters would take action after input based on the initial conditions in which the order of character speed, and wait time between actions were set. As a result, we omitted the wait time associated with direct attacks, and lengthened the wait time for things such as powerful magic, adjusting the specifications so that the behavior that follows an input would be more imaginable. The number of colors available for graphics also increased versus the Famicon, but even so, the overall size of the ROM itself was 8 Mbit and quite small, so it required us to get creative, such as holding back on the color count on features aside from the airship and main characters. Furthermore, we had to cut down the scenario to a quarter of its original length, so we focused on changing the pacing, and placed utmost importance on the tempo for areas other than the standout moments. Personally, it became a really good learning experience when it comes to scenario production.

On which Chrono Trigger ending he believes is canon…

Tokita: It has to be the ending where you lose the Epoch and everyone is unable to see one another, ever again. The fact that the game is coming to an end, and the fact that the characters are saying their goodbyes are in sync, and I’m sure those who have played the game can share the sadness and memories. The relationship between Tidus in FFX and the player may also be a prime example. I personally like the face-off between Frog and the Fiendlord (Magus), which is a portion of the game I created. It was depicted solely with sound effects throughout the credits, and it’s unclear as to who ultimately won the battle. It’s very minimal, but I feel like it turned into an impactful ending.

On whether we’ll ever see another Chrono Trigger game…

Tokita: There was actually a time when I planned a new title called Chrono Break. Though it was canceled before accomplishing anything, the overall idea for the title was carried over to my latest game Final Fantasy Dimensions II. Aemo’s character setting and the balance between the three characters at the beginning…these were based on the original concept, but were reworked for this title. I’d love for you to try out my latest game!

On any scenarios for Final Fantasy IV that got cut that he wishes could have made it in the game…

Tokita: For FFIV, the original idea behind the character Yang was to make him a blind martial artist. Like Zatoichi, he is unable to see, but he senses energy and is extremely strong. We wanted him to have an active role in the dungeons where many enemies would inflict darkness. Aside from that, there was an idea that involved Kain in which, not only his volition, but his body would be suppressed and controlled, to make him appear as a boss character that precedes the final boss battle, only to be defeated by Cecil and his comrades. This idea was passed down and changed in the form of Edge’s parents. That said, I’m glad that Kain ended up fighting alongside the others while bearing his sins. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t have resulted in the last scene where he alone, stays behind on Mount Ordeals, and a sequel would have been unlikely.

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