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Spieletester Interviews Hajime Tabata for Final Fantasy XV at Gamescom

August 18th, 2015 by Joey

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During Gamescom 2015, German website Spieletester interviewed Final Fantasy XV’s Director Hajime Tabata about the game, with such discussion points such as King Regis’ redesign, magic, mini-games and more.

Thanks to Lolgc on Twitter, the interview has now been translated into English, and a summary of which can be read below.

The first question asked by Spieletester was about the redesign of King Regis. Tabata reaffirmed what he said in the Active Time Report that the change was due to “one good reason”. Unfortunately the reason for the change is a huge spoiler for the rest of the game however Tabata confirmed that it will be revealed soon. Tabata then goes on to say that while the old Regis design worked in Final Fantasy XV, there is a special meaning behind the redesign.

The second question asked was on the topic of mini-games such as the Golden Saucer from Final Fantasy VII or Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII. Tabata re-confirmed that mini-games will be in the final release of Final Fantasy XV. While fishing was confirmed last year, Tabata talked about riding chocobos as being very important as the size of the world map is very large. Tabata also mentioned that there will be different things to do with the Chocobos that will count as mini-games. He ended the topic by saying there will be other mini-games but can’t talk about it just yet.

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Spieletester then questioned Tabata about the atmosphere of Final Fantasy XV, noting that recent trailers gave off a happy and unburdened feel which contradicts previous trailers that showed war affecting people’s lives and making them experience fear and terror. Tabata said that Episode Duscae was just focusing on achieving the feel of a young group of men on a road trip. He then goes on to say that the atmosphere in Duscae isn’t comparable with the real atmosphere in Final Fantasy XV, pointing to the DAWN trailer as an example of the game’s darker tone and story. However while there are dark parts of the story, Tabata confirms they will be followed by parts that are more happy in tone, in order to give relief. Tabata feels this mixture will give the game a human experience and that a good balance is achieved between the serious and light atmospheres.

The dog in the DAWN trailer has sparked discussion, and Spieletester asked Tabata if the dog will be a part of Noctis’ retinue. Tabata says that the dog is not a pet but rather a messenger for one of the characters during a mission. Tabata then mentions that in the trailer, the dog is sniffing the ground because it is looking for someone.

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Tabata then goes on to talk about Regis’ car, and the bond that Noctis feels with his father through the car. Noting that in Japanese culture kids are very proud of their father’s car, Tabata explains that it’s important for Final Fantasy XV to explore the relationship between Noctis and Regis through the car.

Spieletester then asked about the technical side of Final Fantasy XV, specifically about whether the games resolution and frame-rate (1080p/30fps) represents the final goal for Final Fantasy XV. Tabata says that the current build of the game is able to smoothly reach 30fps, and reassures that framerate is more important to the team than resolution. Noting that 30fps can only be reached at the moment when the game isn’t running at 1080p, Tabata says that it’s important that the game is optimised to work on different platforms and a balance must be reached between frame rate and resolution, otherwise features that use a lot of power would need to be cut. For the Final Fantasy XV team, priorities needed to be set and gameplay is much more important than full HD resolution.

Spieletester then asked Tabata about if Stella would still be present in Final Fantasy XV. Reconfirming that Stella has been cut from the game and Luna has replaced her, Tabata states that while Stella was important to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a new female character had to be made for the reworked story.

Tabata notes that the scene where Stella appeared to be summoning something has been removed. Tabata said that he feels that if something doesn’t suit the game perfectly, it shouldn’t be added in. He realises that there are many fans who liked the scenes from the Versus XIII trailers and are trying to implement as many ideas as possible, but feels he doesn’t want to add unsuitable parts into the game just for fan demand.

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Magic is a staple part of Final Fantasy, however it was unavailable in the Episode Duscae demo. Tabata says that currently the processing of the system is good but the visual aspect is yet to be completed, saying that it’s currently around 60% done. Magic in Final Fantasy XV will be done differently to previous games. In Final Fantasy XV, magic will be used to modify the elements in the world. This is activated through magic rings that are equipped on the characters.

Tabata then states that there are two types of magic in the game. The first type is the environmental magic which can be used by anyone. The second type is magic that can only be used by the citizens of Lucis. Tabata says that magic spells are only added if they suit the game, rather than just having a lot of magic for no reason.

Regarding an early Versus XIII development idea that you’ll be able to play as other characters aside from Noctis, Tabata states that Noctis will be the only character playable. However he notes that there are times where you can attack with your party-members, such as the link attacks from Episode Duscae.

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Tabata teased the final release date of Final Fantasy XV again, saying that he could tell but decides to only say that it will be released prior to 2017.

In Episode Duscae, Noctis has a few weapons available at his disposal. Tabata says that there are more weapons in the full game, stating that one of the main activities is to collect every weapon. He then says that the demo featured two kinds of weapons, normal and magic, and that both of these will be in the final game but featured in a more diverse way.

While it’s hard to judge the world of Final Fantasy XV in fixed units, Tabata says that it is likely 10 times as big as the Duscae area.

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Closing the interview, Tabata says that it’s more important that the size of the world of Final Fantasy XV leaves a good impression on the player. While driving the car would make the player move quicker across the land, walking would allow the player to perceive the size of the world differently.

Original Interview by Spieletester.com (http://www.spieletester.com/specials/final-fantasy-xv-interview-mit-hajime-tabata/)

Translated by lolgc
(https://twitter.com/l0lgc)

  • Miqote

    “Tabata says that magic spells are only added if they suit the game, rather than just having a lot of magic for no reason.”. FFVII needs to learn this…

  • Felipe Medeiros

    This game keeps getting worse =(

  • tag

    Fans go to final fantasy 15 storline ideas put some idea’s in their if you have an idea.

  • Chrono Break

    I don’t know what you were talking about, these infos make the game even more interesting through time. The game is getting even more real Final Fantasy than ever and it’s clearly still in an early stage.

  • Felipe Medeiros

    What is a real Final Fantasy to you? The man just said he will take all magics he thinks wont fit his game and they are not even rdy. The game and the batle are being made without them in mind. Let alone, cars, only males, all the changes to versus XIII, Airship as DLC, i cant even compare this to Final, Fantasy. Plz explain.

  • Josh Asher

    “While it’s hard to judge the world of Final Fantasy XV in fixed units, Tabata says that it is likely 10 times as big as the Duscae area.”
    Does he mean the Duscae area in the demo or the entire Duscae area which is supposedly much larger than the demo version? Because if it’s the former or if it’s only a little bit bigger than what’s seen in the demo, then honestly imo the full world doesn’t sound very big…Duscae was sort of big but only what is the equivalent of ten of them composing the entire game world? Gee it can’t be that small…

  • Chrono Break

    No offense to your reading comprehension, buddy, but I think it’s really flawed. Not once did he mentioned anything about removing MAGIC. He clearly said that the processing system is already 60% done, but the visual aspects are still in early build. That was the reason why they removed the magic mechanics from the demo.

    “…magic spells are only added if they suit the game, rather than just having a lot of magic for no reason.”

    – In a nutshell, all the unnecessary spells from the past games won’t be implemented if those spells won’t make any sense in the FFXV universe. Spells like Double, Triple, etc. Hell, those magics didn’t even made an appearance again after VIII. The game didn’t even had Mini or Toad.

    “Let alone, cars, only males, all the changes to versus XIII, Airship as DLC, i cant even compare this to Final, Fantasy.”

    ^
    1. “Cars” – Cars? Seriously? Are you kidding me? How many FF games have you actually played, good sir? VII and VIII had cars, trains, rocketships, and motorbikes. Do you have a problem with tech-infused fantasy games? That’s a personal issue. Give it a rest. It’s not going your way.

    2. “Only Males” – Is there a problem? What’s the big deal?
    Listen, that’s the story they wanted to tell ever since the Versus days long before Tabata took the reins. It’s their vision. They are telling the story about BROTHERHOOD. You wan’t a girl in the game? There are girls in the game. You want a game with only girls? There are games with only girls. You have unlimited option. This is not the only one.

    3. “All the changes to Versus” – The Versus XIII project was basically a one big concept art. Don’t tell me you’ve got overly attached over something you didn’t have any idea in the first place. We don’t know what was going on with Versus XIII, we were clueless about the entire vision. Most importantly, changes during a project’s development cycle happens all the time. Drastic changes during production stages aren’t new to the process.

    4. “Airship as DLC” – Not confirmed yet. Just to clear things out, it’s not the entire airship mechanic that is going to be added if they decides to put it as a DLC, it’s the full-functioning scope of the airship mechanic. That means, airships are already in the game weather it’s part of the story or just an add-on feature.

    Lastly: You want me to tell you what’s my definition of “real Final Fantasy” for me?

    It’s all about the engaging STORY-TELLING, the memorable CHARACTERS we can easily relate to, and most importantly… the whole EXPERIENCE. Music, visuals, classic tropes, and gameplay. That’s the meaning of real Final Fantasy.

  • Chrono Break

    Clearly, the entire Duscae region. I read in an interview before that the demo only consisted of 50-60% of the entire Duscae region. He also said that the entire FFXV map was pushing for 10 to 20 times bigger than the Duscae region. So, if there’s hardly any change about all those, we can assume that the map is really huge. Especially for an FF game.

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  • Kona Zumi

    Everyone in the fandom needs to see this post.