News / Final Fantasy XII

Takashi Katano and Hiroaki Kato talk FFXII: TZA with Siliconera

Takashi Katano and Hiroaki Kato talk FFXII: TZA with Siliconera

Written by Brayden — 05 Apr 2017

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age's director Takashi Katano and producer Hiroaki Kato have been recently interviewed by Siliconera about the upcoming HD remaster. They talk about the new additions/improvements, remastering games, revisiting games and even PlayStation 4 Pro.

You can check out some of the best parts below.

Siliconera - "When last Siliconera spoke with you, you mentioned that Hiroyuki Ito was working on balancing the game. What sort of challenges did Ito-san make? Did he suggest anything that surprised you?"

Kato – "First off, FFXII: The Zodiac Age (Zodiac Age) is based upon a 2007 PS2 game that was only released in Japan, Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System (FFXII – IZJS). The major difference between the original version and 2016 is that, in the original FFXII, Ito-san was the director, so he let the younger staff work on the battle design. Ito-san, of course, oversaw it, but he left them to do it themselves.

When we created FFXII – IZJS a year later, he went in and reconstructed every single element of the battle design. When I replayed FFXII – IZJS when we initially started working on Zodiac Age, I noticed that all of the elements that really resemble what he does – his methods when he creates a battle design – are in there. It’s still very fun to play that game, even now.

When we started working on Zodiac Age, I went along with Katano to speak with Ito to talk about what Ito wanted to do, or wanted us to do, that was different, or how he wanted us to change the game. He said he wanted it to be much easier to explore – much easier to play. So, we introduced the High Speed Mode, the faster loading times, and now that it’s become far easier to play, I’ve noticed the greatness of Ito’s design as well.

Also, it helped me to explore around the world even more when I’m testing Zodiac Age – that I find things in the world that I didn’t notice before. It’s really made me think that he’s a really good friend and a really good game creator."

Siliconera - "What was it like to return to FFXII after all these years?"

Katano – "Before I started working on Zodiac Age, I actually worked on remastering Final Fantasy X. When we released the remaster for Final Fantasy X, that was also after ten years from the release of the original version. What I felt with that game was that it was still very fun to play – even years later, it’s still a very fun game that we have.

Now that I’m working on Zodiac Age, I still felt that same way – that it’s still fun to play. Also, not only that it’s still fun, but I could play it like it was a brand new game. As Kato mentioned making new findings, I’ve felt the same way, and I, of course, made the game ten years ago (laughs). But there’s so many things that I forgot because there’s so many things you can do in the original game that I just didn’t remember all of it.

There were these moments like “Oh yeah, I forgot that was in there!” or “I forgot we had that kind of gimmick in there!”. It’s just been a very fun experience."

Siliconera - "We saw that you added trophies to the game. What thoughts went into what in-game actions deserved to be rewarded? Events that were so special that they deserved a trophy?"

Kato – "In the original title, there was a hidden place called Pirate’s Hideout. That kind of had that same feeling, like a trophy feeling – that kind of reward for player’s who’ve really played through the game. That’s where it started off, and that’s the kind of idea that we had for the trophies."

Siliconera "Katano-san, you’ve worked on the remaster for FFX, and now FFXII. Are there any other Square Enix titles you’d like to remaster?"

Katano – "When it becomes a remaster, not a remake, there is a limit to how far back we can go. I do think that PS2 software was probably the limit. When it becomes a PS1 title, then we would probably have to do a remake instead of a remaster, just because the quality will not be satisfactory for the players if we do a remaster of a PS1 title. So, I fell like I’ve pretty much done everything I can do as a remaster.

But, if there is an opportunity, there are a lot of other titles as well, and I will do what I can do."

Siliconera - "What were the thoughts behind creating the High Speed Mode?"

Katano – "We actually had that mode in the game as a debug function. It was a very nice mechanic to have in there when we were Q&A-ing. When we released FFXII, we received a lot of feedback saying that the world was really vast, and it’s really hard to get from place to place. So, when we released FFXII – IZJS, we had incorporated that double speed mode as per Ito’s suggestion.

When Ito first suggested that to me, I asked ‘Is it even ok to have that in a game? Is that even accepted? (laughs). He said “Yeah, it’s fine.”

Kato – "Ito is the type of person who doesn’t want to make users or players work to play the game.

When we were developing the original FFXII, we already knew we were going to take off that function because it was a debug tool – we weren’t going to have it in the master build. When we released the game, he said “That’s such a great function. I love using that. Why can’t we have it in?” He kept on complaining, so when we had it in FFXII – IZJS, he was very happy."

Siliconera - "With two different PS4 models being available now, will it play the same on both systems?"

Katano – "Yes. Players who have the Pro will be able to experience the same improvements."

Check out the link below for more.

Source: Siliconera