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Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Fuuketsu No Grimoir
Interviewees: Akitoshi Kawazu (Executive Producer), Yuichi Murasawa (Director)
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Fuuketsu no Grimoir is yet another installment in The Ivalice Alliance, which is an umbrella term covering all the games that relate in some way to Ivalice, the main world in Final Fantasy XII. Although Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was on the GBA, this sequel is going to be published on the Nintendo DS. The premise of the game is very similar, as a main character gets sucked into the magical world of an ancient book. Unlike Marche in the first game, however, this character seems to enjoy his new world and doesn’t spend all his time trying to escape. Shedding more light on this game were director Yuichi Murasawa and executive producer Akitoshi Kawazu.
Tips & Tricks: What kind of new features are you going to use in the DS version? Can you describe how the WiFi, stylus or microphone will be used during gameplay?
A: First of all, the biggest feature of using the Nintendo DS is that this time we decided not to use the touch panel, but tried to make full use of the dual screens. The players can only pay attention to one screen during battle, so on the other screen you can get information like commands, etc.
Electronic Gaming Monthly: How has the job class system changed? Are there new jobs in this game?
A: In this version you can expect to see jobs from the old game and some new jobs were added.
Hardcore Gamer: Will the game tie-in at all to the new Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System by virtue of sharing Ivalice as a world center?
A: We have been building titles relating to Ivalice, like Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, which is already released in Japan, as well as Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Perhaps we will ship more titles related to Ivalice in the future.
T&T: In the first Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the world is made up of the character’s strong desires for living in that particular universe, and then it resolved back into the real world. I was wondering, are there characters who will create the new world the same way in this game?
A: The main different feature is that in the previous title, as you know, Ivalice was made from strong desires. This time, Ivalice is a real world, but like the previous title, the main character is suddenly lost in Ivalice the moment he reads an old book.
EGM: I really enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but the Judges and the rules system made the battles very unpredictable. Are you bringing that back in this game?
A: This time, like the previous system, we do have Judges and a law system, but the feature is very different. In the previous title, the Judges controlled the world with their laws and limited your party’s actions. This time, the law has a more distant role. Now, the new role of the Judges is to give your party benefits. For example, instead of limiting movement, they’ll protect your party.
T&T: When Final Fantasy Tactics Advance came out, it didn’t have the CTB system from Final Fantasy Tactics on the PS one. Did you get any feedback from fans that wanted you to put it back into this sequel?
A: In Final Fantasy Tactics A2 we completely removed the CTB system, just like in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. From the player’s point of view, the CTB system adds an element of strategy so it’s fun to use. However, our main reasons for removing the CTB system is so the light users can come into the game. We want to provide an easier ground for the players to start FFTA.
EGM: Could you tell us a little bit about the main characters?
A: The main character is a boy called Luther*. He suddenly gets lost in the game world of the magic book. Usually, under these special circumstances, a normal boy would want to get back to the real world, but in his case, he’s just trying to enjoy himself and the situation. Another main character is a girl called Adell. Another is Cid. Just wait until you play.
*Names of characters are approximations.
HG: What kind of themes do you intend to explore in the plotline of the game?
A: We’ve removed the epic and dark atmosphere from the storyline and added a variety of quests. We’ve made the game so the players will have a positive outlook while playing the game. However, while the story progresses, there are obviously quests that suggest the character’s background.
T&T: One of my co-workers was telling me that in the Japanese subtitle to the game, Fuuketsu no Grimoir, if you pronounce the first word with a short “u”, like “Fuketsu”, it means dirty or filthy.
A: Fuuketsu doesn’t mean filthy or dirty.
T&T: Even if you pronounce it differently?
A: Ah! F’ketsu! F’ketsu means dirty and filthy, but Fuuketsu is a different word.
T&T: It wasn’t an inside joke, then?
A: [Laughter] No, it was a pure coincidence.
EGM: Are there any plans for multiplayer?
A: We’re currently not thinking of a multiplayer mode, however we are thinking of adding a feature that uses the local connection.
EGM: Like trading?
A: If you take a look at the game that’s out there and play it, take a very close look at the title. That’s all we're going to say for now.
T&T: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was a GBA game and this sequel is a Nintendo DS game. There are a lot of Nintendo DS games out there where if you insert a particular GBA cartridge while playing a DS game, you’ll unlock something in the DS game. Are there plans to include something like that for Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (DS) using Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)?
A: It’s possible, but we cannot say anything right now, sorry.
EGM: My question is for Kawazu-san. What is his overall plan for The Ivalice Alliance?
Akitoshi Kawazu: Two of the titles, Revenant Wings, the sequel to Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics (PSP) are in the market and selling well, so Japan fans really enjoy them. We want to create more for our fans.
HG: In the Ivalice Alliance project, in what ways are you thinking of expanding the universe you’ve created?
A: We cannot speak about the future. Whatever we can announce at this point is already announced.