Whats up everybody, my identify is Kazuhiko Aoki, and I used to be the occasion designer for Remaining Fantasy IX. I used to be chargeable for bringing the characters of the sport to life, in addition to the totally different situations gamers would expertise.
In honour of Remaining Fantasy IX’s launch on PlayStation Now, I believed I’d share a few of my private recollections of the sport’s growth.
I used to be assigned to the Remaining Fantasy IX workforce from the very starting. I’d beforehand labored on Remaining Fantasy III, IV and VII, so I used to be no stranger to engaged on the collection, however one factor particularly was going to be totally different this time: the sport was going to be made in Hawaii.
That was an enormous transfer for me – I puzzled what the event setting could be like over there, for instance.
Nevertheless, I didn’t begin engaged on Remaining Fantasy IX instantly. Proper earlier than growth was resulting from start, Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director of the sport (and unique creator of the Remaining Fantasy collection!), requested me: “How about you make Chocobo’s Dungeon 2?”
Because of this, I ended up taking the event workers for that recreation to Hawaii with me and we made Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 there as properly. Possibly a few of you performed it on the unique PlayStation!
As soon as that recreation was full, I joined the Remaining Fantasy IX workforce and we began engaged on the sport collectively.
Wanting again whereas transferring forwards
From the very starting, Mr. Sakaguchi stated that he needed Remaining Fantasy IX to be a return to our roots. Remaining Fantasy VII and VIII had been set in science-fiction-inspired worlds, and we needed to return to the fantasy fashion established within the earlier Remaining Fantasy video games.
This did trigger us a number of points, nonetheless. For instance, we’d constructed up loads of expertise depicting taller characters with the 2 earlier video games, however with a purpose to greatest assist the fantasy environment of Remaining Fantasy IX, we wanted extra stylised designs.
That meant we couldn’t depend on the methods we’d discovered – we needed to primarily begin once more from scratch!
Characters who management their very own future
It was vital to get the designs proper as a result of the characters actually are the guts of Remaining Fantasy IX. Individuals who’ve performed the sport are very connected to the likes of Zidane, Vivi, Dagger, and Steiner.
That’s one thing gratifying to listen to as a result of I labored my hardest when creating all of them. One of many themes of Remaining Fantasy IX is that there’s no such factor as immortality on this planet. How you reside your life isn’t decided by future – it’s decided the moment you make your individual determination about the way you’re going to stay.
We needed to painting characters who at all times lived in response to the lifestyle they’d determined for themselves, even of their last moments. By making every of them have their very own distinctive charms, we thought individuals could be immersed on this planet of the sport.
In fact, I’ll have been fascinated with all this firstly of the venture, however as soon as growth began all I can bear in mind is worrying about loads of various things – like needing to make a sure half clearer or including in further episodes.
Nevertheless, I do consider we have been profitable in our unique purpose – I feel individuals have been in a position to relate with the characters and the way they lived their lives.
Deadlines and knowledge limits
Maybe the most important issues we bumped into when making Remaining Fantasy IX have been resulting from knowledge limits. Engaged on the unique PlayStation, we have been restricted by how a lot data we may match on a CD-ROM, and even with 4 disks we have been proper on the restrict of that storage.
In direction of the top of the event, we have been calculating the info on every of the disks each single day. If we ended up exceeding the storage quantity, we’d agonise over how one can change the best way the story was break up over the disks.
It meant we needed to make some cuts. For instance, at one level within the story, the celebration splits as much as tackle 4 shrines. Initially we deliberate to make the participant use every group of characters to combat, however because of the knowledge limits we ended up solely together with the Zidane and Quina battle.
Including to the issue was the truth that we had three months lower than initially deliberate to make the grasp of the sport. The ultimate sharpening was extremely powerful!
A satisfying scene
Regardless of all our difficulties, I’m pleased with the completed recreation. I’m generally requested what my favorite scene is, and – odd as it might sound – it’s the credit.
My definition of a enjoyable recreation is when the nearer you get to the ending, the extra you are feeling such as you don’t need it to finish but – you continue to wish to preserve taking part in on this world! Then, as soon as the ending begins, you’re all excited by the finale of the story, and as soon as the ending credit roll, you’re simply dazed, overflowing with a way of feat.
After I performed via Remaining Fantasy IX to check it, I skilled that feeling myself once I reached the ending – I felt like I’d achieved what I wanted to do.
Recollections of life
I’ve many fond recollections of my time engaged on Remaining Fantasy IX, notably that I used to be in a position to work beneath the brilliant Hawaiian solar.
After I began residing there, I noticed individuals gazing out over the ocean and sky with laid-back expressions and it felt like time itself was transferring at a extra relaxed tempo. I’d been speeding round so busily earlier than – it was a very good alternative for me to cease take into consideration what sort of life would make me pleased.
Past that, I’m happy that the sport has had such a profound influence on the lives of its followers. Proper after the sport was launched, I acquired a letter from a participant who was going via a particularly tough time of their life, however taking part in Remaining Fantasy IX helped them via it. Understanding that each one our onerous work helped somebody overcome such a problem… that was the primary time I felt like I used to be glad to be making video games.
Even in the present day, the followers proceed to encourage me. For instance, I nonetheless watch Let’s Play movies on YouTube now and again. Individuals’s reactions after they play nonetheless train me issues I take advantage of in my present growth work (my account identify is Kazuhiko Aoi by the best way… however I by no means say something).
Our work on the event of Remaining Fantasy IX completed a very long time in the past, however I consider its continued reputation is all because of the followers. In reality, I consider them because the ‘creators’ now.
Anybody who solutions Remaining Fantasy IX when requested to suggest a recreation, anybody who feels pleased after they hear individuals saying they loved sure components of the sport… these followers, like us, proceed to construct the sport.
If you happen to’re taking part in Remaining Fantasy IX for the primary time on PlayStation Now, and discover it enjoyable, then I’d be delighted if you happen to’d be a part of us and proceed to create Remaining Fantasy IX into the long run.