Reflections After Final Fantasy: IV The After Years

By Spencer . July 24, 2009 . 4:29pm


Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, a direct sequel to Final Fantasy IV starring Cecil’s son Ceodore, finally made it to North America last month via WiiWare. How did the project get started? Takashi Tokita, the Producer, tells us and shares which character he think matured the most.


How did the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years project start?


Takashi Tokita, Producer: The mobile team approached us while we were developing Final Fantasy IV for DS, asking if we would like to collaborate with them on a Final Fantasy project for Japanese mobile phones. We thought it would be really fun for fans if they could play Final Fantasy IV for DS, and then get right into the sequel; that’s how this project got started.


What were the goals you had in mind when creating Final Fantasy IV: The After Years?


Our main goals were: “Create an authentic RPG experience for the mobile platform!” “Develop a sequel that stays true to the essence of the original, through similar graphics and sound!” “Provide a brand-new Final Fantasy in nostalgic 2D form!” and last but not least, “Deliver intriguing stories featuring each of the characters!”


How come you used sprites from Final Fantasy IV instead of making all new graphics or using the 3D models from the DS remake?


As briefly mentioned above, since this was a mobile release, we wanted players to be able to enjoy as many episodes as possible. Making the game in 2D, we were able to minimize the specs while still maintaining the nostalgic feel of the original.




Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is told in a series of non-linear episodes, which is quite uncommon for RPGs.  How did this decision affect the story?


It was definitely a challenge to put a non-linear story together. We spent a lot of time figuring out where to fit each episode or how much to reveal per tale. But in the end, we were able to feature each individual character, creating a unique game experience for each and every episode, so the effort was well worth it. 


Which character from Final Fantasy IV do you think matured the most in The After Years?


That’s a tough question, since all the characters have matured in their own way. Characters that especially stand out might be Edward, who has grown to become king, and is now prioritizing his comrades and the balance of the world over all else, and also Palom, who has matured a lot age-wise.  Once you play the game, you’ll also run into another “certain someone” who has really developed since the original. 


What newly created character is your favorite?


As a “parent,” all my children are precious so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. In the sense that they are different, and make the game all the more enjoyable, I think that Calca, Brina and the Eblan Four are all very interesting!




Why was WiiWare chosen as the platform for the console version?


It matched the download-by-episode style of the game. We also included a multiplay system so that the game could be enjoyed by two generations of gamers, just like Cecil and Ceodore, by parents who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy IV and their children.


Is there room to expand Final Fantasy IV further like the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII project?


I’m not sure we’d want to over-do it, but it’s all up to the fans. For starters, it would be great if players enjoy all the episodes of this game!!

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  • Don’t SE feel any shame in trying to nickel and dime their fans to death?

    • It’s Square-Enix – they feel no pain.

      They also believe their userbase the same…that’s why you’ve got Chrono Trigger fan projects getting sh*t-canned after someone works on them for five years, gets 98% done, and gets a Cease and Desist close to release.

      Kinda reminds me of Square-Enix from Decline of Video Gaming, honestly.

      • Ereek

        That’s a bad example; Square Enix was perfectly within their legal rights to shut down the fan project. A better example would be the FFVII Compilation, which is simply milking the death out of a well-known game.

        • Yea…in their legal rights…to a fan project promoting a game of a series in a not-for-profit means.


          Fans got toasted. Square-Enix toasted the fans. That’s the basis of it. Bottom line is: ‘Sure they could’ve sold it’ but I think it’s safe to assume that most of the homebrew and ROM-hack scene isn’t out for a profit on this and essentially don’t want to cause trouble more than to promote something they believe to be already great. A lot of other companies are far more laid back about this type of thing and most if not all know of the major fan projects that exist. SE tends to step on a lot of people’s feet more often than not in these circumstances.

  • Very cool game, very cool interview!!!

  • Enact

    Why should they? They are a buissness and people keep buying stuff so…

    • That people doesn’t count me. After the PSX era, they cut down on the variety and new franchises and their new stuff doesn’t appeal to me at all. What I really want sequels to are Einhander, Brave Fencer Musashi, and Final Fantasy Tactics. Well, as long as they don’t start charging the player per level.

  • Euthanasian

    “I’m not sure we’d want to over-do it, but it’s all up to the fans.”

    LOL that is HILARIOUS coming from Square-Enix.

    Over-doing it is what they do best.

    • Josh

      It’s funny because when the Compilation of FFVII was brought up, his first response was about over-doing things.

  • Wow, everyone in here sounds like a 78 year old busy-body from Golden Girls. Why are you all jumping down the FFIV producer’s throat for things you hate the entirety of S-E for? I’d say a lot of effort went into the remake (yes, not a port) of FFIV on the DS. Also, as far as that nifty fan project for Chrono Trigger, it did look great but I’d be damned if I’d want anyone taking *my* creation and doing whatever they wanted with it. I’m referring to characters/stories/et cetera. In my eyes that would be creating a bastard child and no matter how “cool” the salivating fans think it is, it was surely not what the creators intended. If they wanted a game so bad, why don’t they just create their own? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but must you crucify S-E for producing games that the masses are buying like hotcakes (mmm, breakfast)? You can’t nickel and dime a fan to death unless they give consent. Both are to blame. Sometimes it’s just better to let a good game/series die and maintain it’s level of integrity instead of having it shoved in your face constantly (Read: FFVII). Just my 2 pennies.

    Oh, UFO: I’m going to presume those 3 titles you mentioned mean wanting a direct sequel as two of them already have a sequel(s).

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