News / Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age

Hiroaki Kato and Takashi Katano talk XII: TZA, Revenant Wings and more

Hiroaki Kato and Takashi Katano talk XII: TZA, Revenant Wings and more

Written by Brayden — 16 May 2017

Hiroaki Kato and Takashi Katano, the producer and director of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age respectively have answered some interesting questions from Final Fantasy World, Finaland and Final Fantasy Dream.

Kato talks about improving the graphics and sound, and making the game easier and more enjoyable before then talking about making it possible to unlock a second Job in The Zodiac Age.

But next he was asked about a remake or remaster of the game's sequel, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings which earlier this year celebrated it's 10th anniversary.

"The main objective of this project was to improve Final Fantasy XII to make it a modern game. Of course, the other major objective was to offer the contents of the International Zodiac Job System version to Western players, as well as to use the PS4 to make it an even better game. We did not really think about adding Revenant Wings because we already had enough work for this development session. By itself, Final Fantasy XII already offers quests and side stories of great depth, and there are not really need to know the other fragments of the world of Ivalice to appreciate history. For us, it is sufficient to itself."

Hopefully it's considered after The Zodiac Age releases.

Kato then spoke about making the game fresh and new, and ruled out any DLC for The Zodiac Age, comparing the International Zodiac Job System version's added content and changes like DLC would have.

He then spoke about some of the game's themes and the diverse reception from players to the game upon it's original release.

Next Katano spoke the game's graphic overhaul.

"We have concentrated our work on the textures of the characters, to make them work well in high resolution, especially for materials that exist in the real world in order to make them more realistic. It is the addition of all these small touches that contributes to amplify the emotional power of the characters. The closer the textures are to reality, the more convincing they are, and that is what makes the characters more authentic. It was a really difficult job, because FFXII had a very stylized and artistic visual approach. By making the leap to a modern high definition game, there were plenty of things that did not work very well."

Kato then spoke about the involvement of Hiroyuki Ito, one of the game's original directors and designers.

"Mr. Itô participated very closely in rebalancing the international Zodiac Job System version of the game. He used his experience and his know-how as a combat designer to improve it. So when we translated it all into The Zodiac Age , we consulted it on every point to see what changes and improvements we could make. He was also very involved in this new version."

Next Kato discussed the reasoning behind them including the ability of adding the second Job.

"The idea of ​​adding a second job was actually a wish of most of the team members. When we began to think about the best way to offer this remaster, the original FFXII development team got together and we all played together to the original game and the International Zodiac Job System . Many thought it would be great to be able to choose a second job. Once the decision was made, we thought about different ways to do it, and then we went to Mr. Itô to find out what he thought would be the best way to integrate it, how to make it both easy and fun to use. So it was a group decision, but it helped us achieve the result."

Following comments from last year of the possibility of more games set in Ivalice, Kato spoke about it more.

"After the release of The Zodiac Age in July, we want to step back and get feedback from players, to find out what they liked and what they would like to see for the future of Ivalice . From there, we will reflect on what we will do afterwards with this universe. If people are enthusiastic, there is a good chance that something will happen. But for that, demand will have to be strong! If you could help us create a real craze, letting you know that you want other games taking place in Ivalice, it would be great."

He also however conceded they had not thought of the fact it is the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy Tactics.

Kato then discussed composer, Hitoshi Sakimoto's work on the new version of the soundtrack.

"When we started discussing the issue of the soundtrack with him, my first proposal was to offer the possibility of choosing between the original music and the disc of the original soundtrack that came out 'time. But he thought it was not enough, and as the graphics and sound were going to be improved, it was the ideal opportunity to re-record the entire music of the game with a real orchestra. Since the soundtrack of the time was only the synthesizer, it really could improve the impact of the music, so I accepted the idea of ​​using an orchestra. But Mr. Sakimoto did not quite realize the number of pieces of the game, nearly a hundred, so when he began to understand all the work that involved, He was a little intimidated. (Laughs) But we did it all the same."

Finally, they were also asked about the possibility of a PC version of the game.

"The fact is that the original game had been totally optimized for the PlayStation 2. This time we decided to do the same thing and optimize the game to make the best use of the PlayStation 4. At the moment, we are satisfied that this is an exclusive PS4. Everyone should buy one to play!"

I personally expect that a PC version will be released on Steam a year later like Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.

Big thanks to Final Fantasy World, Finaland and Final Fantasy Dream for releasing their interview and asking great questions. You can check it out in full here