Final Fantasy VII Writer And Baten Kaitos Artist Team For RPG Borderwalker

By Spencer . May 6, 2012 . 10:01pm

Kazushige Nojima (scenario writer on Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII), Hideo Minaba (art director from Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy IX), Nakaba Higurashi (character designer on Baten Kaitos), and Nobuo Uematsu (Mistwalker composer) are working together on a new RPG.


Five hundred years ago a magician split the world of Borderwalker into two. Day Land has perpetual day and Night Land is always nighttime. A border separates the two lands, but when a person is born during a lunar and solar eclipse they can live into both worlds. As the Borderwalker, your mission is to revert the world to its original state. Players will meet two sets of townsfolk in Borderwalker including the hero’s parents Thalys and Tyler.


Borderwalker has a unique battle system that splits the touch screen into a 3×3 grid. Players can use different skills by touching the grid in different spots. You can learn secret techniques by playing through the game’s sub scenarios. Crunge Productions also created dungeons to explore and a colosseum with powerful monsters to fight.


Borderwalker is available on iTunes now for 900 yen ($11).

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  • Testsubject909

    Sticking to medieval fantasy would probably work best for Kazushige Nojima… But even then I’m worried about a few things, mainly how convoluted certain plot elements might end up becoming. The simpler the story he tries to go for, the better it’ll be for him because as far as it goes, personally saying, well told and delivered narrative complexities are not his forte. Not to say he can’t make a plot or story that has are complex.

    Just… not ones that are all that good.

    edit: Actually, I’m already troubled here…

    A lunar AND solar eclipse? Does the planet they live on have a pair of suns and moons? It better, because otherwise, that ain’t happening. It’s just not physically possible. And how’s the world in perpetual night doing? Plants are probably going to all hell, so that cuts down a lot of possible foodstuff, they’ll probably need to depend on fishing to survive but that’s a highly unbalanced diet right there, so the people who’d survive there aughta definitely be quite different in terms of just how their bodies work, so recombining the two worlds has the possibility of dooming an entire race or generation of people as they’d be too far removed from being able to adapt themselves, plus living in eternal night and being suddenly exposed to light would be nightmarish, especially after 500 years of multiple generations knowing darkness to be their home.

    And what about light? You’re actively bringing night time into that world, the crime rate will probably shoot upward what with night time as their cover, what about their sleeping and resting cycle? How about the animals? Wait, how do the animals live there to begin with? Do they just exhaust themselves until they sleep? How, what, why, when, where, I’m already confused!

  • brian yep

    I wonder if this is one of those iOS games Hironobu mentioned Mistwalker would be working with.

  • leadintea

    The Baten Kaitos artist was what drew me into this article. That guy has a really funky (but awesome) art style.

    • Aoshi00

      The char design/artist here is actually Minaba Hideo though, the art director of FF9 & char design of Archaic Sealed Heat. I love his art.. and Uematsu’s music.. don’t have an iPod though :(.. the touch screen control could be ported to Vita/3DS right.. If I have an iPhone, I would get this game just for the art and music alone.. hope the soundtrack would be sold separately..

      BTW, iOS games are region locked right? I tried getting some Jpn android apps on my phone before but it wouldn’t let me…

  • Testsubject909

    Actually, having thought on the premise again. Sorry decided to make a different post otherwise my one post would’ve become perhaps a bit too long for most people to read. I would’ve loved a game where the Borderwalker would have been described as being a hero in legends and lores, but only for the first generation of people who were forced into these two different worlds in the hopes that they would return to their original world, but with 500 years passing, the people having to adapt, the current generation would find this supposed return to origin as nightmarish as the first generation being put into this split world.

    You’d wind up with something that was hinted at in FF3, the Warriors of Darkness who fought to prevent the end of their world that would’ve been invaded by the force of light, light which would ruin their history of 500 years and their generation who must have long adapted to the new ecosystem and environment and who would find a return to their “original” state an “end of the world” as they know it, and so to stop this catastrophe from happening, they would try to stop the Borderwalker from reuniting the two world, said Borderwalker, fabled legendary “hero” of the first generation who were forced into two worlds would become the villain of the current generation, 500 years after the first generation.

    I’d quite love a story that goes that way.

  • hmm. . . not really feeling anything from this

    I wonder if making quick iOS games is the new Japanese cell phone thing for SE now. . .

    • 4shiki

      I think this is not made by Square Enix…

      • that is actually is surprising

  • JustaGenericUser

    Hmm, nothing impresses with me the trailer. And besides, I’ve seen a similar premise from Hexyz Force. Gotta work harder to get me interested this time.

    • Testsubject909

      Well, there’s a slight difference with Hexyz Force. You didn’t completely alter the ecosystem of two worlds (at least from what I know of Hexyz Force, you didn’t), this plot is basically the destruction of two entirely different ecosystems that most likely learned to adapt to a new environment and continued to do so to survive for 500 years and just now chooses to try and return to it’s previous and completely different environment and ecosystem, most likely causing a second apocalypse in so doing.

      And this guy is supposed to be the hero?

  • This looks terrible. It’s a shame these people waste their talent on a device that has an awful control scheme, which really hurts the actual game itself in every way

    • Testsubject909

      A touchscreen is not an inherently awful in terms of control, if anything, if well thought out and well done, it’s quite excellent and obviously can do things that buttons, d-pads and analogs cannot and at times what mouses can’t either. But that’s more often the exception rather then the rule.

      Because most devs can’t seem to wrap their minds around creating more interesting or more natural controls for touch controls.

  • And here I thought “Baten Kaitos artist” meant Yasuyuki Honne. :(

    • Honne works for Nintendo. He wouldn’t be caught dead making iOS games.

      • Yeah, but I didn’t know this was an iOS game until I read the article.

  • kool_cid414

    Saw beginning and was like “Oh cool I think I might get thi-” saw little screen not accompanied by another screen and was like “DAMMMIIIT!” I hate smartphones…  (mostly because I neither have use nor finance to justify such a purpose)

    • Testsubject909

      I’ve no problem with it being on a smartphone of some sort. Really it’s just a handheld computer with a touchscreen that happens to be a phone, so it’s normal there’d be games on it.

      My problem with this game, and I really don’t know how it ticked me off so quickly just by this one article. Is the story… I think it gives me a similar vibe to DmC’s story.

      “Alright, how do we make the protagonist, and thus our story, cool? Hmm… Being a fated legendary hero that was predestined is pretty cool and epic and totally legendary fantasy like, and saving the world is cool too… Maybe we’ll do something like he’s heralded by an eclipse! No wait! Even better, two simultaneous and entirely physically different eclipses! That’s twice the epic legendary foretold heroness! And the villain will be an evil wizard because that’s always epic and magic is bad and evil and powerful and powerful is corruptive and dangerous! Oh but he won’t just save one world, he’ll save two worlds and that’s also twice the epic coolatitude! And it’ll be like restoring balance so it’ll be deep because he’s saving a world of light and a world of dark by returning them both together! And we’ll be edgy by not having a completely round number like 100 or 1000, that’s so cliche. We’ll have half of that, 500! That’s a nice round number and also not atypically round like 100 or 1000. I am so original (or alternatively) I am so retro, this is such a great throwback to older fantasy games. Hmm? What’s that? How can there be an eclipse if one world is perpetually in daylight and the other is perpetually in night time, making such a phenomenon completely impossible unless of course they’re just mainly and mostly in day or night time and from time to time get some sunlight via an eclipse or some darkness in the form of an eclipse? Oh… Well… Double eclipses! Totally epic!”

      Now just a minute. Juuust a minute. Not saying I’m assuming that’s the attitude the guy’s having. I’m just saying… The immediate premise just seems lazy, and stupid… and lazy.

      My expectations are already shot so low just by it, and knowing the author and his previous work, I’ve little trust that it’ll be properly explained, I’m quite afraid it’ll end up convoluted in some form or another as well or just unclear with a lot of plotholes or something of the sort. I’m hoping I’m wrong, I always hope I’m wrong with these, because a story that ends up being epic despite whatever cliched ideas it has.

  • That’s looks like an interesting battle system for a iOS game, even though I have no idea what’s happening.

    And the story seems okay, I guess. There’s probably a lot more too it.

    • Testsubject909

      There better be. Aughta be a good reason to fuse the two worlds back together or at least have the dark world be completely barren or something and that the Dark World is causing trouble to the Light World with dark creatures emerging into it and the restoring of the balance would wipe them away, in which case it’s really just genocide of a violent senseless force of evil, but that’s always okay since there’s no protective agency trying to keep these creatures from extinction and it’s generally what heroes do to protect humanity and the likes.

      But if the Dark World is populated. I’m going to be asking a lot of questions, of which I’m sure… I’m not going to be satisfied with.

      I mean, if you’re going to cause catastrophic changes to your fantasy world, own up to it and think of how it does change things.

      Think back to FF6. SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T PLAY FF6 and seriously you didn’t play FF6? Give it a go…

      Now, in the world of ruin, if you go out to fight, the enemies you’ll find on the island you start out on are so weakened by the destroyed environment that they die… Seriously, just don’t even bother attacking, they starve to death in battle and you auto-win by doing nothing but wait since it’s said that on this island there is nothing to eat but fishes. And the fishes themselves are also of a mixed variety with a lot of sickly fishes in the sea and only a few healthy ones to take.

      And outside of the typical game shops having better items to sell at a higher price (basically ignoring that), an Esper you can purchase would cost you in the thousand(s? don’t recall the price exactly) prior to ruins, but afterwards, the same thief trying to sell you his precious stone that he had to barge into the empire’s facilities to steal, he now is desperately trying to sell at 50 gil. You get to see and feel some actual consequences. Just because it’s a fantasy magical world doesn’t mean people just magically survive in full magical health a magical catastrophe that magically transforms your entire magical world.

  • boundries_san

    Well hope that these games will be playable outside of Japan as my Iphone is collecting dust atm lol.

  • Testsubject909

    Third post, sorry.

    Just a quick question…

    How do you get two entirely different individual eclipses at the same time… In a place that is two separate world where one is constantly under sunlight without a single moment of darkness, while the other is in perpetual darkness without any sun, and as far as I can guess, any moon since that’d reflect sunlight, since that’d break the whole no light whatsoever detail that makes it a perpetual dark world…?

    edit: If you guys couldn’t tell. When something ticks me in the wrong way, I talk a lot… Mainly because I think a lot and ask a lot of questions.

    • SirRichard


      Plain and simple, it’s magic.

      • Testsubject909

        There are two magic to be had:

        One is magic, fireballs, dragons, wonders in the world, that sort of thing.

        The other is Deus Ex Machina, Plothole patching ignoring and Nonsensical fixups.

        I’m guessing it’s the latter. I’m serious though. Somehow, this short resume of the premise just ticked me way off and reminded me of a great large variety of games that exists within their own world but in the end made good sense within their own rules. Granstream Saga for example has four elemental worlds that are sustained by a core that maintains their island and the elements themselves afloat, gaining those cores grants you their power but dooms the islands and guess what. The repercussions are there. Their magical world works and makes sense within their own rules.

        But this? Simultaneous Lunar and Solar Eclipses with two worlds that surely threatens all life unless they adapt to them with zero chance of an eclipse as that would pretty much mean the magic that separates the two world has weakened and most likely is going to naturally cancel itself in which case the supposed heralding of a hero might just mean that it’s really only a matter of time before the spell goes past it’s expiration date and the worlds just naturally merge back together as the magic dissipates from the curse that broke the world in twain?

        Freaking hell. I don’t know how or why, but the premise alone felt like it was spitting on everyone’s intelligence. Freaking dual eclipses in separate worlds of eternal light and dark.

        edit: That said, I’ve played a lot of games that had nonsensical magic and enjoyed it. But even then, it looked to work in the game. Here, from the art direction, it looks as though they’re aiming for something serious here, dramatic, tense and grave and the like. But the premise just completely blows it out. I’m immediately feeling a disjoint between the artwork and the nonsensical premise.

        • SirRichard

          I’m going to be honest, mate; you’re overthinking this, and even saying that is underselling it. It looks to be a serious game, but you’re going too far with that notion of “being serious”.

          To be even more honest, I didn’t read a word of what you said after the third line. It’s a giant clump of thinking way, way too much about, at the end of the day, a simple $10 iOS JRPG. Methinks you need to calm down, maybe walk away from the computer.

          • Testsubject909

            Well put short, my problem is:

            Simultaneous Lunar and Solar eclipse in separate world of eternal light and dark that had to adapt in the past 500 years to survive in their new environment.

            And yeah, for an iOS game, it’s too much to think about.

            Really, I think it’s mostly the ghost of people going “FF7 is the best game ever!” and “FF8 has the best story ever!” haunting me here and making me point out further more just how stupid the premise is.

          • SirRichard

            Yeah, you really need to step away from the computer if people’s opinions about old Final Fantasies is driving you to post as you’re posting. Take a step back and look around; you’re responding to random posts with multi-paragraph essays on why an iOS JRPG sucks.

            Just three comment chains up, one person calls it “alright” and you leap in with three paragraphs on why s/he’s wrong (three paragraphs of nearly irrelevant stuff, too), to say nothing of every other post. Hell, even in response to me telling you you’re overthinking it you keep doing it. It’s just a small JRPG squeezed out to make a fast buck more than anything else, it shouldn’t bother you this much.

          • Testsubject909

            It’s the big names behind it that’s bothering me, and as a product in itself, the premise still bothers me, it’s just the added knowledge of who’s writing it that’s amplifying just how it doesn’t work.

            But yeah, if you couldn’t tell, when I get riled up, I get a bit like this. There’s always a reason why, and it’s not exactly a bad reason why, it just really blows me over the top.

            And you know. I never said this JRPG sucks, or that iOS JRPGs suck. I’ve played a few JRPGs on my android and enjoyed it. My gripe is solely and only with the premise, the story. Nothing more.

            And big or small, it’s still a part of gaming. And though a small game, it still has big names behind it.

          • SirRichard

            “And big or small, it’s still a part of gaming. And though a small game, it still has big names behind it.”

            A $10 iOS game squeezed out for quick cash/for a laugh hardly has implications for gaming as a whole, mate, big names or no.

            I get that it’s bugging you, but you shouldn’t let yourself get carried away like this. It’s good to vent, I’m practically an exhaust in that sense, but there comes a point where no-one can breathe.

            Now go take a refreshing drink of something you like and maybe settle down, and just ignore it. Let’s face it, it’s probably not leaving Japan anyway.

          • Testsubject909

            Eh, I’m pretty much done venting.

            If anyone bothered to check my posts, they’ll probably see the order by which it was made since I only built from my original complain and provided new detail as they popped to mind, but as it is, I’m done.

            I explained what’s bothering me at the base, I already poked all the holes I can poke and stated my opinion as clearly as I can. Anything I’d write from now would be a complete repeat with no new material.

            That’s usually when my venting is done and my argument complete. At least until someone decides to say something extremely stupid, then I either despair and shut up or rage or, relatively frequently, just calmly discuss with the person to get their point of view… Know your opponent after all.

          • SirRichard

            I’m not going to doubt that there’s a logical flow to your posts here, and I can definitely say that you’re more reasonable than most about your arguments and opinions, but perhaps in future you should let it stew first for a bit before posting, eh? 

            And for all my talk of overthinking, it’s great that you’re thinking in the first place because lord knows more people need to do that before posting.

          • Testsubject909

            It’s fine to write from passion too, just gotta own up to what you wrote is all.

          • SirRichard

            Very true, I’ve done that more than a few times.

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    > FFVII scenario writer

    This worries me….

    • Why? It’s not like FF7 is the only thing he’s ever done.

  • Definitely checking it out, if possible. Dreamy development team behind this game, which is amazing. Can’t say the game looks as good as I expected it too, judging from this trailer, knowing the talented group of people working on it (I think they would be able to pull off something better still), but I’m definitely going to check it out :)

    •  Nojima, at least, is a capable writer, unlike Toriyama(who, at times, feels like he doesn’t even know what he wants).

      I would’ve preferred something more sprite-based, not 1st Person RPG(like Wizardry).

      •  Yeah, Toryiama is all over the place lately, I think it’s high time he takes a long vacation, and comes back more focused and willing to pull off better stuff that what he’s been doing over the past couple of years.

  • The storyline sounds ok, but everything else looks really generic :( Japan, we want more epic console RPGs, please! :(

    • Testsubject909

      I’d beg to differ, the story premise, the longer I think about it, is nothing short of stupid.

      In a world that has been split into two for 500 years into a world of perpetual neverending light and another of perpetual neverending dark, a hero is born of a lunar and solar simultaneous eclipse who is capable of crossing the barrier that separates these two worlds and live in both of these different worlds to recombine them into one.

      Think about it carefully. The premise itself is already giving me a plothole on top of making me question just how heroic the action of combining two worlds that hints the requirement of different subset of skills to exist in, because if only a person born of a dual eclipse can survive in either environment, what makes you think that everyone from one environment will be able to live through the other’s environment when they’re fused back together in a cycle of light and dark in one world? Isn’t that the opposite of saving the world?

      • Maybe that’s the M. Night Shyamalan twist. You were the villian THE WHOLE TIME…

  • Looks like  Phantasy star 1

  • This looks completely underwhelming considering the pedigree of those involved. no budget?

  • Harpuia

    Ok… writer, art director, character designer, composer… what about gameplay, who is a game designer? Maybe most important thing/name.

  • eilegz

    sigh and you wonder why japan its retired…

    Instead of making proper good games they rather do mini games….

    pretty dissapointing by the fact that the one behind this are big boys in japan industry 

  • And I got excited when I read Baten Kaitos in the article title.

    Now I am sad.

  • Jacob Rodriguez

    A iOS game for $11? This game is going to fail so hard.

    • awaiken

      Yeah because there’s a ton of quality games on iOS for $1.00. iOS is the new wii, shovelware to the 100th power

      • Testsubject909

        But having occasionally looked up information on it, I know that there are quality games on it for 5$ that are definitely worth more then what’s previewed here.

        So I’m with him. 11$ for this with what already appears to be a pretty badly nonsensical premise that doesn’t really work unless the world in question is entirely different and alien in which case it just might be able to redeem itself from it’s nonsensical premise? I don’t see it as doing all that well…

        • awaiken

          yeah you know I don’t disagree with the $11 being inflated, seems like something like this should be $5 to keep it accessible given the nature of the game..

          But I’m opposed to the notion that mobile games should never cross a $10 threshhold. I’ve paid for so many shitty games that are $1 or $2, I’d pay $10 for a quality iOS game without hesitating. I think infinity blade 2 is about seven dollars, that seems to be about the right price

          • Jacob Rodriguez

            I’m not against iOS games going above $10, when they are worth it. I really should have worded my OP better.

            “This iOS game for $11? This game is going to fail so hard.”

            Thats what I honestly meant. This looks to be a $1.99-2.99 game. It seems that they are banking on this selling due to the pedigree of the makers.

          •  Exactly. Chaos Rings II is indeed kinda pricey, but damn the game is gooood. Perhaps still not 15eur good, but it’s a game I think kinda deserves the premium price tag, because one can tell a lot of effort and dedication went into making it, and Media Vision deserves our munny for a job well done.

      • Jacob Rodriguez

         I’ve seen more $1 iOS games that look better than what they just showed.

        • awaiken

          Not enough was shown there to make an assess whether it’s either good/bad

  • From the names they gave out, I hope it’s promising.

  • LustEnvy

    Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    • awaiken

      speak for yourself kid

      • LustEnvy

        Hahaha, I can guarantee I’m older than you. Please. Hold your tongue while the adults speak.

        In any case, the game looks absolutely generic for the level of talent creating it. An iOS game as well? Seriously, NOTHING to see here but let downs and disappointements.

        • awaiken

          Oh you’re guaranteeing it huh? that changes everything.

  • awaiken

    I’m in

    • Testsubject909

      If it comes out here, or you purchase it (not sure how importing Japanese iPhone games works), feel free to come back and provide an extended review or whatnot about it in a related article or in the open thread (message board up above).

      I for one am curious if they’ll be able to pull off the premise in a good way or not.

      • awaiken

        Yeah if they never localize it here then I’ll never play it. My comment above is based on the pedigree of the talent involved and nothing else. The video showed almost no gameplay. My faith in the quality is based on the talent here, but like anything else has the potential to disappoint, these people aren’t infallible.

        • Testsubject909

          My personal perception of the talent of the scenarist here is probably lower then others. I’ve stated in another comment that the ghost of blind fanboys raving about how FF7 and FF8 are some of the best ever just had me, and countless other, poke out the many holes, inconsistencies and contrived plotpoints to the point where I have little hope in something that’ll hold together.

          It also probably explains why I’m so offended by the premise. I’m going the opposite route. My expectations are shot dead on entry, and I’m just hoping I’m pleasantly proved wrong.

  • Eilanzer

    rpgmaker effects O_o

  • Guest

    Final Fantasy VII’s Scenario Writer, Final Fantasy IX’s Art Director, and Nobuo Uematsu in one game? And I think I saw a character that has my name. SOLD.

    But sadly I do not have an iPhone/Podtouch. Hopefully this carries over to Android.

  • Harpuia

     What I see here is talent, talent, talent, talent, talent, talent,… Where? For good game, you need good gameplay (I can’t see it in this trailer). With good writer… better. Art and music is just a bonus, but without them game still can be good. You can buy CD or artbook if you like them. First thing they should reveal is game designer / lead designer. I like Uematsu, Minaba and Nakaba Higurashi is ok, but that’s not enough for me to buy this game.

    • Testsubject909

      Good writer… Ugh, I’m not repeating myself. Just look down.

      • Harpuia

        I was talking about games at all, not just for this game. And I didn’t say Nojima is a good writer (actually I don’t know, I didn’t play many games he worked on. As you can see I didn’t mention him, just Uematsu, Minaba and Nakaba Higurashi).

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