Sakaguchi Personally Debugging And Test Playing The Last Story

By Ishaan . December 7, 2010 . 12:27pm

The Last Story director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has understandably been under considerable pressure of late. The game is close to release, and as the fated day creeps closer and closer, he and his development team are making one last major effort as they administer their final tweaks to the game.


Sakaguchi’s been tweeting to his fans to help blow off steam. “‘Arsenic’ in English is ‘ひそ’ (hiso) in Japanese. I just feel like letting you know,” he told followers on Twitter in an almost morbid-sounding tweet this past week.


Relax, it isn’t what you’re thinking. That LEGO creation up there is what our dutifully dedicated director calls “Arsenic Alien.”


On a more serious note, Sakaguchi then went on to give followers some insight as to just what it was that he was doing — making tweaks to The Last Story’s online multiplayer component.


“Break from disk version test-playing. Later the balance of items obtained on online is needed to be checked on offline,” Sakaguchi tweeted. “Sometimes it happened that the feeling of actual battle is different from the simulated numbers.”


A day later, he sent feedback to the development team. Mistwalker and their mysterious co-developer have been working weekends, but they were off this past Sunday. “Dev team was off on Sun, only shooting images. Work on debugging again this week. They need to open piles of emails today from me,” Sakaguchi revealed.


We can only assume Sakaguchi’s debugging e-mails must have been quite demanding, as they gave the dev. team a run for their money. “Dev team is having tough time. I remember the days I used to write scripts by myself, working till late w/o much progress,” he tweeted later.


Yesterday involved debugging as well. “Worked on mainly debugging, typical of the latter half of game creation. Mixture of creative and software adjustments,” Sakaguchi said to followers. “Making improvement even with some risks. Then create more problems. You won’t see this in other industries.”


What he’s referring to here is the fact that, even after debugging, more bugs are created if you make changes to the game, which requires it to be bug-tested all over again.


Yesterday’s last tweet on development made mention of progress. “Finished 80% of #thelaststory downloading. Parameter is pretty much fixed…final verification. But I might spot something else. ^ ^” Sakaguchi tweeted.


For those who may not know, Sakaguchi presently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. He plans to head to Tokyo on the 15th of December and spend the remainder of the year there, although, it’s unclear as to whether this is work-related or not, as he makes mention of rewarding himself after development is completed.


And that’s that. Let’s hope the final product is worth the time, effort and sleepless nights that are going into development. Stay tuned for more news as Mistwalker and Nintendo release it.

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  • What a horrible way to be spending time in Hawaii, I would so be on the beach everyday or just sipping a pina colada or something everyday on the shoreline, not sending emails and tweeting!

    • I remember someone — I think it was Warren Ellis — once said that you can either go out or you can be a writer. I think the same pretty much applies to any entertainment industry…


      • I am the living embodiment of a TRUE GAMER! If I were in Hawaii while sipping the Pina Colada, I would probably still have my PSP…while I lie on the Beach with an umbrella to shield the sun while I enjoy the games and the awesome feel of the breeze from the pacific ocean.

        • Exkaiser

          But you hate everything made before the PSX.

          A true gamer respects a true breadth of games, unrestricted by genre, system, or era.

          • I think you are using an incorrect definition of what is a true gamer…I will elucidate the idea by quoting a statement I recently made to address the question…”By definition I am a true gamer…Im open to all games, I only play the latest, newest, most powerful, innovative, and most definitive games that are currently popular.”

          • So basically you play anything Metacritic gives a green score to.

          • Exkaiser

            I think you have created a twisted definition that even contradicts itself.

          • Replace “all” to “current.”

          • >implying naruto games are powerful, innovative, definitive, and popular

          • FireCouch

            He. Is. A. Troll.

          • Popularity doesn’t even factor into the equation for a true gamer.

          • Exkaiser

            Of course he’s a troll, that’s why people keep responding.

            It’s all a big internet drama.

    • Testsubject909

      It’s this sort of passion for gaming that makes us gamers gain higher respect to the developers in question.

      The (arguably) father of Final Fantasy gains all the more respect out of me (and in contrast Squeenix loses some).

  • AaqibRawat

    He is so dedicated to this game.
    i am looking forward to this !

  • Kaoro

    Hope it turns out to be a great game. If it’s anything like LO but without such an excruciating battle system, I’ll be a fan.

    If the Wii wasn’t region-locked I would import this even though I probably would understand ~5% of the dialogue/text in the game :). And Xenoblade…

    The UI looks fairly English-friendly at least!

  • Let’s just hope we actually get it.

    I’m still waiting for Xenoblade!!

    • ECM


      Yes, and Xenoblade is actually pretty awesome* and it’s really irksome that it seems to have disappeared into TBA hell.

      *At least based on the first four-odd hours.

      • PrinceHeir

        arghh im actually playing Xenosaga Episode I right now im really addicted to it.

        hopefully nintendo actually localizes Xenoblade and The Last Story here. i want some dual audio too, if Metroid Other M(japanese version) has dual audio and subs, i don’t see why this game can’t.

        • Aoshi00

          The Jpn ver. of Metroid Other M had dual audio!?? I should’ve gotten that instead of the US ver since I have a Jpn Wii, I wouldn’t mind paying $70 for a more complete ver :(..

          • PrinceHeir

            yeah i was actually surprised as well, shouldn’t be the other way around. oh here’s the link. i really liked Samus voice in Japanese sooo awesome :D


          • Aoshi00

            Wow, thanks so much for the link! I was just about to ask you where did you see that the Jpn ver. indeed has dual track.. I liked the Jpn dub too, but I assumed the Jpn ver would be Jpn only (dub and tex) especially since it’s from Nintendo, so I got the US ver for $30… I want to trade it in to Amazon now but it’s only worth $11 :(, not sure if it would fetch for much more on ebay… what a mistake I made… anyone want to buy my copy for $20? It’s like new..

          • If I had to guess, Nintendo probably did this in order to provide an incentive to importers, be it for collecting reasons, double dipping (not necessarily for collecting purposes), or for US Jpn Wii owners that prefer the dual audio japanese release and that’s not taking into account the issue of reverse importation since Metroid: Other M practically had a worldwide release (NA on Aug 31, Jpn on Sept. 2, Eu Sept. 3).

            This incentive probably came about due to how the dollar to yen exchange rates currently are. For example, according to oanda, when Metroid: Other M was released in the US on Aug 31, it had a price of $50 but it’s import price was $80. In Japan, Metroid: Other M had a price of 6,800 yen ($80) but Japanese NA Wii owners would only need to pay 4200 yen in order to import the NA Metroid: Other M (hence the issue of reverse importation).

            For a better understanding of just how much the currency exchange rates have impacted Nintendo (unfortunately), would be the place to visit.

          • PrinceHeir

            aww that’s too bad. the price for the JP version is just ridiculous yet people can buy these prices like it was nothing *looks at figurines and blu ray anime products.

            guess japan’s economy is really in the slumps right now. i remembered the salary of manga artist is being compared to a Mcdonalds employee here in the US.

            such a shame.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    That is some crazy dedication the dear man puts into this game. With that much love and attention for details he pours into it, I find it even harder to wait for this gem to spin in my Wii.

    • Guest

      I wish the same could be said about the developers of the Fallout series with their fantastic attention to perfection in their bug testing (which is a bare empty room filled with cobwebs and sagebrushes and cricket noises) -_-

      • Its an after apocalyptic world, of course bugs are to be expected. Radioactivity screws everything up!

        • What? A clever response from Tsuna? What’s the world coming to?!?!?

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          You’re doing it RIGHT.

    • Cant belive my wii will be able to play something like this… god, i will be getting ready to get “Error reading Disc”…. I think its too much for it

  • Eddie

    I hope all their hard work pays off. I’m looking forward to this!

  • dashutdown

    I don’t know whats more hilarious, the fact that yousuke fullubuster uzumaki is still trolling under a different screen name, or that the same people are still biting.

    • Im just sitting here sipping my pina colada while posting whatever comes to mind. I think were all just having a good time communicating with one another, lol.

      I know one thing, Im rolling in laughter at just how good life is, you know?

      • TROLL LIFE

      • dashutdown

        Yeah life is pretty rad, and lest we forget this is the season of cheer and merriment. A season in which those with pure hearts and trusting frie….GET THE EFF OUTTA HEEYAH!!!!

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Here’s some rap music for ya. X)

        They see me trollin’~
        They hatin’
        they tryin’ to catch me writin’ dirty.
        Tryin’ to catch me writin’ dirty.
        Tryin’ to catch me writin’ dirty…

    • Exkaiser

      Sometimes you just need to get the stress out of your life through the internet, you know?

  • I like how he does tweet dumps. Just the other day I was constantly getting tweets from him dated from the 3rd all the way through the 5th (meaning he placed the date on them himself). It’s interesting to follow him though.

  • Props to the Father Hironobu.

  • Aoshi00

    Very professional. I remember watching the MGS4 making of videos and Kojima was always testing and debugging the game himself too and being pretty hard on his crew, putting everything on the line (even Uematsu said Sakaguchi is pretty tough to please this time). I can’t wait for this just like Lost Odyssey last time :)

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      He’s only done tweets/blogs for the Last Story right? I don’t recall him doing this on a prior game.

      I wonder if his ‘stache transforms when he goes into serious mode.

      • Aoshi00

        Maybe he strokes his ‘stache in thinking mode :) If I remember correctly, I think he did blog a bit when the Mistwalker site first went online, but the updates were pretty sporadic and don’t have too much to do w/ the games, only talking about the weather, surfing and watching the sunset, and other more vague things. Anyway, I’m just so relieved VAs are used instead of actors like Lost Odyssey or Ghibli films in the last 10yrs or so, that itself scores a lot of points alrdy, I can’t stand amateur voice acting (like a certain Vaan from FFXII that got booted off of Dissidia 2, serves him right), they muck up the story and atmosphere. The Eng dub for LO was so much better.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          That’s it! He’s so genius, even his ‘stache has brains. So when he strokes them, the sparkling juice of creatively flows into his finger tips, through his veins, inspiring his entire being. Then his work does itself while he sits there and glows hot pink because they are so awed by his presence.

          I guess there’s a good and bad about not understanding Japanese… I always thought Ghibli dubs were different from other anime, but I couldn’t know what it was. I assumed they were speaking in a “naturalistic fashion”. Guess not. XD

          But I’ll take your word for it, so IF this game makes it here, IF I get a Wii, IF I’m not dead by then, I hope it will have dual language tracks.

          PS. Finally got Nier. Haven’t had time to play it but popped the disc in to check out the intro and I can see it’s off to a cuss’n good start already!

          • Aoshi00

            You should work for Atlus on those sexual innuendos dialogue lol.Awesome, I think I converted a lot of people to Nier fans here, even those who hated and couldn’t accept his machoness :) That game is just pure brilliance in every possible way. I hope you would like it as much as I love Kaine’s swearing (boo the Jpn Replicant censored ver), I totally didn’t see it coming when I popped in the disc, the game was one hell of a ride from beginning to end :)Yep, just bad acting and Ghibli selling out, they use big name actors for the draw (I don’t know if it’s Miyazaki’s idea or who else), that’s the excuse when people use amateur actors, they want “natural”, instead the quality is like a fan dub.. maybe not as bad, but still much worse compared to using VAs. They might be good actors, but they aren’t necessarily good at voice acting, singing, etc. The Jpn LO dub too, it was pretty distracting but I got used to it, I listened to the Jpn dub first because I was so anxious I imported it 2 months before the US release, and later the US ver had 5 languages *.* I made a mistake. And now I made the mistake of not getting the Jpn ver. of Metroid Other M.. I had no idea Nintendo Jpn would be so generous to include dual track when they didn’t do it for the US ver…I much prefer Samus’s Jpn voice, Eng I just couldn’t get into the story, she sounds very weak..thanks to PrinceHeir above,…not to mention cooler cover too,

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Haha I should. I need a better job…

            Surprising the more I weigh in the factors, the better the Nier Gestalt seems than Nier Replicant. I find it hard to sympathize with someone who cares for his sister so deeply (I find my sister barely tolerable), so a father’s love for his daughter seems much more believable to me. Having a JRPG protagonist who looks like an old meathead is amusingly refreshing, even if he’s otherwise the same as the young guy. Finally, as you said, the swearing is not censored; censored games is one of my pet peeves.

            It’s unfortunate that Ghibli’s choice of actors don’t work out, as American animated films have proved that some well known actors are capable of doing some great voice work. In other news, I wish every game included 5 language tracks. The Last Story should be one of those. :)

            The Japanese covers for some games would make great museum pieces. I understand why they change the obviously anime ones, but stuff like that Samus cover… why? It’s Andy Warhol for crying out loud! The composition and colors are visually striking, and would probably catch attention on a store shelf. The American cover looks like every other western sci fi game.

          • Aoshi00

            Exacto, that’s what I’ve been telling everybody, they were jumping at the “evil westernizing” and whatnot, I say the end result was for the better, father’s dedication was much more touching and powerful than a bro (plus it’s been done in Cavia’s last game Drakengard, but that game was more messed up and hinted at incest.. gotta love Cavia). They even make fun of the US Nier’s machoness time and again as in jokes, making him more lovable, plus this is another case of Eng. voice acting better than the Jpn ver (especially Kaine and Grimoire Weiss), can’t compare Nier since they’re two different ones. Also, censoring is one thing, like the decapitation of RE4/5, or the Jpn ver of Heavy Rain, the nudity was censored, it didn’t affect the story and gameplay that much (other than the fact you missed out on the action as Ethan in the sex scene, which was important to the story btwn their relationship because the game was all about immersion), but censoring Kaine’s cursing was just lame and took a lot out of her personality, they had to do it since a Cero Z rating is like a AO over here or something..I did it, I found the Jpn Metroid Other M on sale at AmiAmi for a pretty reasonable price at ~4000yen/$50 (unsellable copies lol), I’m double dipping.. now I’m wondering if I should keep the US ver or just trade it in to Amazon for $11 (I got it for $30, but I would lose $19.. ), asked them to combine w/ Ni no Kuni, what the heck.. otherwise the regret would keep eating at me..

  • ShinGundam

    What is with that bra-belt thing :

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