Final Fantasy X’s Original Idea And Other Reflections From Yoshinori Kitase

By Spencer . November 8, 2013 . 5:30pm


Listen to Yoshinori Kitase’s story this may be our last chance… before Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster comes out this winter. Siliconera spoke to the Final Fantasy producer about the development of the original games and adapting the titles for PlayStation 3 and Vita.


Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster feels like it had a long development cycle. What was the toughest part about updating the game for PS3 and Vita?


Yoshinori Kitase, Producer: The graphics, especially the VFX, were created utilizing the functionality specific to the PS2 hardware to the fullest; so even though the specs were PS3 quality, porting was difficult. We actually did partner with an outside developer to help produce this title, but the original development staff was involved with the approvals as well as revising part of the data when it came to the up-resing into HD.


3 4


How did the story evolve during development? What was the original draft like and what changes were made to create the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 we know today?


The early ideas started with a concept entitled “Seventeen,” and the theme of that story was that “a person would reach the end of life at 17 years of age.” That theme of “inevitable death” was carried over to become Yuna’s fate in Final Fantasy X.


The concept of Final Fantasy X-2 hasn’t changed since the beginning. It didn’t have the heaviness of the previous installment, but more of a cool and pop feel like “Charlie’s Angels.”




How did you come up with the idea for blitzball? Even though this was a mini-game, blitzball was fairly deep if you took the time to scout for players.


I wanted to incorporate a fictional sport sort of like the pod race in Star Wars Episode I. In addition to that, at the time, in 2000, the nation was getting excited about the World Cup championship game between Japan and South Korea, and so soccer became a basis of this game.


Before trophies were popular, Final Fantasy X had challenges that made players go out of their way like dodging lightning 200 times to get the Lulu’s Celestial Weapons. How did you come up with these extra goals for players and could you tell us about some of the trophies in Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster?


In Final Fantasy X, we depicted the journey north from the village of Besaid to Zanarkand with no side-tracking, instead of a world in which the player can freely explore. And so, in order to broaden the range of what the players can enjoy as a game, we incorporated many mini-games. There were close to 10 people handling this, and I had left it up to their imagination to come up with ideas. In terms of Trophies, please look forward to additional information coming in the future.


besaidisland_03 zanarkand_01


Kazushige Nojima made a new audio drama for Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster. Why did you set the story two years after events in Final Fantasy X-2 and why did you pick the radio drama format, which is popular in Japan but not well known in the West?


This drama wasn’t meant to clearly depict a particular event, but more to hint at their lives after the events of the game.


We didn’t want a particular image to be set in stone by presenting clear visuals, and that’s why we chose to have only audio, so that there would be room for the fans to imagine what’s going on. You will be able to get a glimpse of what happened to Yuna and her friends after the events of Final Fantasy X-2 in the audio drama.

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  • Aurizen

    Awesome! Love it, How come you guys didn’t ask about the US release date?

    • Tiduas

      Even if you ask about stuff like that they never give a straight answer anyway. “We’ll announce it when we know” or some other typical answer like that =(

  • DrakeClawfang

    ooooh, Blitzball was inspired by the podrace sequence. Now it makes sense.

  • 3PointDecoupage

    Huh, I forgot how aweful getting their ultimate weapons was.

    • Detrimont

      i only had major trouble with the lightning bolts… i remember getting to around 180 an then getting stuck, then i was lucky to get past 20

    • personablaze

      True story

      I was finishing up the lighting blot quest (I got up to 193) when all of the power in my house went out….

      I was crying/laughing while looking at the blank screen xD

      • fenix7

        I couldn’t even dodge 1 bolt… :(

        • Samsara09

          Don’t worry.It’s just a matter of practice!

      • Samsara09

        Well,looks like your house didn’t “dodge” the lightning.

    • AnimusVox

      I think the more ‘difficult’ one was the Jupiter sigil that you had to win through blitzball. Which I loved blitzball but that thing didn’t show up very often.

      • Morricane

        I had no problems winning at blitzball, but dodging that lightning…I sucked too much at it :(

        • AnimusVox

          Lol me either but it just didn’t seem like it popped up as a price often enough.
          As for the lightning I was pretty decent at it, first several times I’d always panic or get anxious and eff up haha

    • FF10 truly has the worst minigames of any FF installment. Like, nice try guys, you get an E for Effort, but holy shit do they suck.

      • Utku Savaş

        I literally felt nausea when I played Blitzball Tournament in order to achieve Wakka’s celestial weapon. But Chocobo Racing, or catching the blue butterflies was fun I think. Dodging 200 thunders… well, it’s bane of my existance.

    • Samsara09

      whoever imagined these challenges has no social life…well,at least we didn’t need to grind ingredients to get these weapons.Man,Can’t believed I got twice or thrice the lightning doge shit.Man,it gets to a point you are just like a machine…cool.

  • Dark Zerato

    Should we expect FF XII HD next ?

    • Ethan_Twain

      No. Because nobody loves FF XII :(

      That’s an honest answer though – unjust though it may be, I’m not convinced that FF XII has the lasting fanbase and enthusiasm to warrant an HD remaster (especially not one as well produced as FF X/X-2 HD looks to be). Also, I don’t think FF XII Revenent Wings sold terribly well (also unjust, it was surprisingly good). Really, I’m having trouble trying to make a pitch for why FF XII is a good idea at all.

      I mean, other than that it’s the best FF game ever and I love it… but that’s not gonna sway many corporate boards :)

      • Dark Zerato

        Maybe SE will bring it to PS4. They tend to remake old games for new consoles.

      • Tiduas

        FF XII was a good game indeed, but FF XII Revenent Wings is one of the better games I’ve ever played in my whole life. That game had gameplay that hooked me the instant I grabbed it, I absolutely love it! If anything I want a sequel to that game or a game that uses the same system.

        • Ethan_Twain

          Well… I’m not quite to the point of calling it one of the better games I’ve ever played, but it definitely qualifies as surprisingly good. There’s a TON of content in the game, the RPG progressions through unlocking new summons and the gear customization are really fun, the FF XII soundtrack is still awesome a second time around, and it’s an RTS system actually intelligently designed for the DS hardware. The game has an awful lot going for it!

          Unfortunately, it’s one of those games that takes more than 5 hours to unlock all it’s systems and really become itself so the first act of the game is a huge bummer. Also, I’m not a fan of the story – especially after the political drama that was FF XII going back to a more standard JRPG ancient mystery civilization/ancient evil returns was a let down. Also, they focused in on the Vaan/Penelo relationship which wasn’t good in FF XII and still isn’t good here. It’s so weird – one of the best RPG couples is in FF XII, but it’s Balthier/Fran and nobody at Square seemed to realize it. Balthier/Fran always understood one another, made sense on a personality level, and they didn’t do the whole “pretend we don’t like each other until the end of the game” thing. Vaan/Penelo… are basically a romantic pair from “Tales Of”. :(

          BUT: That’s a lot more pros than cons. I really do like the game and I think it’s underrated to say the least.

          • Damn it… I never finished Revenant Wings, and talking about Balthier/Fran’s relationship just makes me want to play XII again even more!

          • Ethan_Twain

            Do it! Revenent Wings is fun and plays well, but it’s no FF XII. I also stalled out at the very end of Revenent Wings and it was only this past summer that I finally buckled down to clear those last few missions – since the best parts of the game are the growth systems and the huge amount of content, stalling out before the end doesn’t mean that you’re missing too terribly much. The resolution to the story is exactly what you think it is.

            The one really great thing about the ending? The concept art during the credits. It wasn’t until I saw those that it finally clicked for me what the game was going for. It always seemed weird, FF XII art except a little bit chibi now… those don’t fit at all! But the credits showed me that they totally DO work together, and retroactively entirely changed my view on the look of the game.

        • Samsara09

          ahh,revenant wings…gonna play it again.Need to beat Zodiark.

      • LightZero

        No they already said if FFX/X-2 HD sale well they would do a FFXII HD.

        • Hound

          That’s actually somewhat disappointing. While FFXII was certainly fine at a time when games like Rogue Galaxy & .hack were very well received, as an MMO-like it doesn’t have a strict enough contrast to common current-day gaming models (few of which are well-received beyond the PS2 era, Bethesda works excluded.)

          I’d like to see them to remake some of the Front Mission games for international release (specifically 5), but the sales & the lack of international release for many of them probably wouldn’t let that happen.

      • Nanaki

        Nobody is invalid, considering I loved it immensely! I along with many others would love an HD remaster of the International Zodiac Job System. There’s really no evidence of it being so negatively acclaimed that they wouldn’t consider the same decision to update it to more recent consoles.

      • Arrngrim

        I still preferred FFXII over FFXIII for gameplay, yeesh was FFXIII’s gameplay horrendously awful. :-/

      • I love Final Fantasy XII :/

      • Utku Savaş

        No sir, FFXII has more vivid and in depth fanbase than FFXIII’s “OMG LOOK AT THAT S***” fanbase. FFXII was a beautiful mix of Middle Earthian and Star Warsian fantasy story that broads way more than our puny main cast. The scale was so big that it doesn’t matter who fell in love with whom or who died or lived. It was the biggest yet most underrated FF game in the main series. And that is why, FFXII was a brilliant game.

    • Nice Boat Quatro

      Probably. However, I hope the game will be developed faster.

    • never

    • MrRobbyM

      Pretty sure someone at SE said they want to do it because it’s the only FF not available on another console or something like that and that it basically relies on FFX/X-2 HD sales…iirc

      • Samsara09

        it is a good game,all right,it has some weak points,but it has many good points.The international version,I believe,corrected many things I hated about this game…so,yeah,if they release it,I will buy it.

      • Utku Savaş

        Until the release of HD remakes, FFX and FFX-2 too is the FFs are only avalaible on PS2 and FFIX of course (we’re not counting PSN releases right?).

    • AnimusVox

      That’ll be a hell of a day for me. Loved XII <3

    • Nitraion

      I don’t really into XII because of MC, story model and gameplay wise…. sadly…

      • I still want cause Balthier and Vieras.

      • A lot of people tend to hate Vaan. I actually like his character because his role, personality and importance to the story was very unorthodox.

        He was the player’s looking glass. Still one of my top FF MCs to be honest.

        • Testsubject909

          Vaan is the same as Tidus.

          They’re both outsiders to a greater story and really only serve as the “Every man who gets roped in a story far greater then they”.

          Except Tidus is slightly more annoying and he’s a pampered superstar.

      • Loli Summoner

        I liked vaan lol but I agree with you on the story,IMO the story was boring to me sadly…but the gameplay was phenomenal,it was so addictive also, I really enjoyed the characters too.

        • Nitraion

          I guess i am more into action guy..
          i wouldn’t mind if this game plays like well for example kingdom hearts? I’m not into MMO
          maybe lack of personal skill kinda drive me to…
          for example in MMO knight have diffrent skill than mage…
          but in here there is no class whatsoever…

          • Loli Summoner

            Thats cool everybody has a different taste in game genres :)

    • Zikrayrus “Zikk” Dis Pear


    • I would just die… of excitement.

    • Neophoton

      This should definitely happen.

    • Shiro

      XII was trash, boring characters, boring story.
      They should have kept Ivalice to Tactics.

      but that’s just my opinion

  • Aoshi00

    nice interview.. I’ve always liked Blitzball since it mirrors our real world, we have lots of wars and natural disasters throughout history, just like Sin in Spira, but World Cup or the Olympics are still held for entertainment, competition, and sportsmanship.. yeah, I guess it was a big deal at the time the World Cup was held in Asia the first time by Japan & Korea together..

    also people compared X to 13 saying they’re equally linear, but the major difference is X had so many towns, NPCs one interacts w/, mini-events, and mini-games throughout the long journey it never felt as monotonous as 13 (hunting monsters in a big field near the end)..

    I don’t think drama CD is such a strange media for additional materials, it might not be that popular in the US compared to Jpn (I got the Deathsmiles, Ace Attorney Investigations 2, and Phoenix Wright 5 drama CDs too :), but when I think about it, some Western games have audio tapes or segments we could discover to further tell the story, like Bioshock or Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag (hacking into computer of Abstergo Entertainment).. it feels even more immersive by just listening to the voices.. also before TV, people listened to stories acted out and broadcast on radio.. it’s quite effective I think..

    Can’t wait.. alrdy imported, guess I would play it in Jpn first and then Eng again.. did the same thing for PS2 *.*;;

    • Testsubject909

      Another way to compare X and 13 and point out the difference is by pointing out an important response here.

      They understood that X was linear. So they opted to create more things to explore within that linearity.

      By nature, quite honestly, the great majority of games are linear by design and simply forms those pockets of space to explore that gives that feeling that we call unlinear gameplay.

      13 is devoid of it. It could’ve been a movie and you wouldn’t notice the difference.

  • P4ine


    • Samsara09

      Well,perhaps they could make a Braska,Auron and Jecht prequel?It would be badass.It would be cool to see mini Tidus and see firsthand how poorly Jecht treated him and how much of that was just Tidus’s hate of him.Seeing a mini yuna with her father and a mini Rikku with bald Cid would be awesome too.Oh,Teen Kimahri would be cool.He was brash,right?Well,and Wakka,Lulu and Chappu would be interesting.

      • Nice Boat Quatro

        I think it would be dull since we already 50% of what happens due to all cameras and flashbacks

        “It would be cool to see mini Tidus and see firsthand how poorly Jecht treated him and how much of that was just Tidus’s hate of him”
        For a second I imagined “Yeah, parental abuse!”

        • Samsara09

          Is that so?Well,Crisis core would like a word with you.

          Just kidding.Jecht was a jerk with Tidus,no doubt,but well,Tidus really hated him,so he highlighted Jecht’s bad points.Think about it,even after 10 years jecht was missing,the people from “Zanarkand” still remembered him and even made a cup to honor him.If he were a real bastard,I don’t think it would have happened,even if he were a god of blitzball.Also,Tidus’s mother died out of sadness with Jecht’s disapperance.If he were a dick,she would say good riddance.

          • Nice Boat Quatro

            The only things we knew about Crisis Core in the original were two events. The rest were things FF7 never mentioned such as Genesis, the Angeal clones, the crisis in SOLDIER, how Zack’s life changed, etc.

            Zack was a really minor and unknown character in FF7. In FF10 we already know a lot of stuff about Auron and Jecht. The game already made it clear everything they did. There are even times in FF10 where Auron tells you what happened. It would feel unnecessary.

          • Testsubject909

            Okay, I’ll join this.

            One possible choice would be to make an extremely ancient prequel.

            We know of Zanarkand. So let’s make a game in that setting. The world was a very different world back then and that would include the incidents that we get multiple flashbacks of during FFX-2. We also don’t know fully well how their problems got resolved after they got offed in those flashbacks (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, well I didn’t really spoil anything other then people died at some point in time).

            That time has more grey areas and the entirety of the world map would need to be completely readjusted to reflect that time period instead which would create a whole new world to play in.

      • YouGusta

        FFX: Crisis Core

    • Utku Savaş

      NO PLEASE?

  • Monterossa

    it’s not a championship game between Japan and South Korea, it’s a final tournament that co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

  • arkane9

    Should have asked why they changed Tidus’ and Yuna’s faces so much.
    Hello too perfect to be real super model botox lifeless eyes uncanny valley!

  • Syltique

    Seems like they’re setting the stage for X-3. Kitase and Toriyama are both free now as well.

    • Arrngrim

      Let’s hope!

    • Testsubject909

      There wouldn’t be anything to do in X-3.

      We already visited the aftermath of Final Fantasy X. We’re done.

      The story is done.

      We know what happens to Yuna now.

      And hell, if you were masochistic and got the 100% ending. There’s nothing left to do.

      Asking for X-3 is asking for punishment.

      • DragKudo

        Well (Don’t flip out on me) It’s been confirmed that X is a prequel to seven so they could do some sort of set up of that. Give Shinra a bigger role.

    • AlaskanKactus

      I want this so bad but I’m afraid they would give it the XIII battle system.

    • Nice Boat Quatro

      A sequel could be set this time several years after X-2 in order to be more creative in the map department (X-2 just recycled all X’s areas and made us visit each about five times). Also, this time the story could focus on a new character or another one returning since Yuna’s story already went 180 degrees and I think giving her another profession besides summoner/popsinger/Madonna/ would be even more ridiculous than her role in X-2

  • Ric Vazquez

    I smell the dodge 200 ligtning bolts trophie in the making *sighs*

  • akiko_sakuraba

    Rikku and Gippal better be married in that epilogue, or I’m gonna scream…


    • I noticed a lot of references to it in-game… it’s so on-the-nose I wouldn’t expect them to deny it.

      • You’d be amazed at what corporate suits can deny with a straight face.

    • Testsubject909

      Why would you? It was part of the fun of the game.

    • Nice Boat Quatro

      No wonder I didn’t like the story. I already didn’t like the original tv series it was based on.

    • AuraGuyChris

      So wait, who’s the Charlie?


      • Nice Boat Quatro

        I don’t remember Charlie having the hots for his cousin.

  • Setsu Oh

    i LOVED the two original heroes. i felt that tidus and his girl were very meh design cw. with the originals squre really did a nice out of the box design.

  • WyattEpp

    I’ve always wanted a “Final Fantasy MInigame Collection” or something. A combination of Gold Saucer, Triple Triad, Tetra Master, Blitzball, and whatever else I’ve missed.

    • Testsubject909

      Everyone talks about the Gold Saucer moment.

      Nobody talks about the Tower Defense mini game in FF7.

      • AoNoise

        Dem SHINRAs be messin’ with mah Condor. Hell no.

      • Göran Isacson

        That’s actually true. I wonder if the Tower Defense was just less popular, or if because it was a goal-oriented thing, not something you could return to time and again just to goof around, it was less memorable.

      • WyattEpp

        Aw dude, I played the Junon reactor defence a whole bunch back in the day. I may even still have a save there. Good call.

  • Göran Isacson

    Ha ha oh man, ten people doing side missions. No wonder some of them were… less thought out than others. Also, that idea of “people die at 17” was sort of neat, but I wonder how tolerable a game where everyone is a teenager would be. Some of my fave FF chars have been the adult ones.

  • Kilim

    am I the only one who really digged blitzball

    I put more hours into blitzball than the actual game

    if they added more gameplay and shit I would love a stand-alone game

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