Final Fantasy Type-0’s Story Comes From Its Director’s Love For History

By Spencer . September 2, 2014 . 1:00pm

type_0_01

At PAX Prime, Siliconera caught up with Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata to ask him a few questions about the remastered game. We covered topics such as the platforms the game is coming to, whether or not the game is still part of the “Fabula Nova Crystallis” series, and how history influenced Type-0.

 

So, this is a bit of generic question to start, but, why did you choose to bring this to PS4 and Xbox One instead of PS3 and Xbox 360?

 

Hajime Tabata, director: First and foremost, I really wanted to play and see this game move on the high-end consoles. We’d consider the PS3 and Xbox 360. If the consoles would allow us to bring the game to them [in the same quality], it may be a possibility, but for now, we’re targeting bringing this to PS4 and Xbox One and focusing wholly on that.

 

If anything, it just looks and runs better on those consoles. Moreover, I’m currently working on Final Fantasy XV for the PS4 and Xbox One, so I’m more familiar with what it takes to create a game for those platforms.

 

But, on a personal note, and to be frank, I don’t have much experience with PS3 and Xbox 360. But perhaps that may be the most important element as to why it’s going directly to PS4 and Xbox One. Since I’m human, of course it’s natural for me to want to create on platforms I’m familiar with.

 

Now that you mention Final Fantasy XV, we know that Type-0 and XV used to be a part of the Fabula Nova Cystallis mythology. So I’m curious as to how these games have changed since they left that mold and entered the market as titles without the XIII label?

 

So, first and foremost, when we announced the titles for the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, we were given the freedom to create anything whose foundation was in that mythology. We went on creating with each person’s take, and that’s how the project got started.

 

Initially, when we started, they were creating it based off of what we thought was best and what kind of story we really wanted it to be. I myself had sort of ignored the mythology myself until about halfway through the story, at which point I knew I wanted to have a story steeped in warfare between countries and tell the story of a person stuck in the world itself. But then I was told “Uh, hey, there’s not a whole lot of Fabula Nova Crystallis in this…”

 

So, we started adding elements of that to the story. I requested the help of the writers to create a world that involved more of that mythology. Until then, though, it was my aim to create a sort of historical documentary-esque game.

 

It does feel quite like a historical documentary. Why is it that you wanted to make a game in this style?

 

I personally love history and I really wanted to create something that involved real history, but to include some modern evaluations into the storyline and express it in that light. I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do with Type-0, but it was kind of like a child-run in essence. I wanted this to be a test to see if it would be received well by players.

 

Ultimately, I do want to create something based on real history—a Final Fantasy game based on real history, for example. For example; you’d have the American Civil war as a back drop, and then behind the scenes all of these Final Fantasy-type characters are utilizing their special abilities to fight. I really love that kind of setting. That’s the kind of game, I really, really want to make!

 

Can you tell us a little bit about how this interest in history developed?

 

When? Since I was a child! My father was a history teacher, so we always had history books lying around at home. I’d read them in my spare time, and it was like always having a new story to read. As a personal preference, there’s no type of drama that will exceed non-fiction. That’s something that I’d really like to see–a game that’s not pure fiction, but has some elements of both.

 

You mentioned the American Civil War earlier, are there any other events you’d really like to delve into and explore in the form of a game?

 

I said it before, but, I really loved learning about the American Civil War, and I’d love to see that make its way into a game.

 

Warning: This next question contains a bit of a spoiler, so we’ve marked it accordingly. You can highlight it to read.

 

Why did you make the story about ending and endless cycle?

 

As for your second question, regarding the looping world… that wasn’t really my decision. I don’t personally like that sort of concept, but well… the idea was implemented by the writers when they were trying to work in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, and they were really trying to mesh the existing story with the mythology.

 

The reason why I thought it wound up working with Type-0, though, is because the game draws on a lot of Asian essences. For example; the title screen is in Kanji. This concept of an endless cycle, of a loop, I thought it fit in with the world I created beforehand.

 

Why did you choose to focus on students in Type-0, and not adults like Kurasawa? Aren’t trained adults more fit to save the world?

 

There’s a famous Japanese historical drama that took inspiration from a war where not just adults were fighting, but children, too. Young soldiers that were thrown into the horrors of war, a tragic destiny. Watching the young soldiers really live through those kinds of times, I thought, there was some kind of beauty or inspiration to it.

 

I wanted to capture the young cadets’ feelings as they were tossed into a war. It’s a normal understanding that adults need to go to war, but there’s a different type of perspective that arises when you see these young people fighting through their confusion and making their own choices in intense moments. The fact that they’re not superheroes is very unique, even for Japan.


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  • NyaBoy

    Focus on PS4 and XONE and forget PS360.

    Dont downgrade graphics like Ubisoft.

    • CycloneFox

      Maybe that’s for the best.

      But still, wouldn’t it simply possible, to transfer the localisation data (meaning texts and audio) to the original PSP game (just leaving the additional stuff, the HD version might have) and release it for PSP/Vita?

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Yes, downgrade graphics on an enhanced PSP port …

    • subsamuel01

      I don’t see developers leaving the last gen consoles behind until late 2016 or later. They don’t want to leave all that money behind.

  • MaximDualBlade

    My issue with this game is the following:
    Will they add something new apart from nicer graphics? they pass from psp to ps4/X1 and they won’t even be releasing it soon, so I want more content than the original. And I mean on disc free content. Not 4 dollars costumes that add nothing to the gameplay or the true ending as paid dlc.

    If FromSoft can release Bloodborne on February which is a new game from scratch, I am sure Square Enix can release a psp game with new content apart from pretty graphics.

    • MK

      No new content, but there will be a new difficulty mode that is easier than the original game.

      • MaximDualBlade

        That is very dissapointing

        • Tincho Kudos

          Depends. The game is not hard per se, but it needs a LOT of boring grinding in order to advance the story. Maybe they should make leveling easier, or make the exploration fun, more side quest and so on.
          But yeah, I agree with you. I was hoping for more content

          • MaximDualBlade

            And they have the unique ability of delaying a port for like 2 years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they delay Type-0 more than we can believe(until it happens of course :D)

          • Owa

            Dude, unless you’ve played the original JP PSP version and all it’s content already, I don’t see any reason to be disappointed. Be glad it’s getting a western release and if that’s not enough, play something else.

          • MaximDualBlade

            That’s conformism man. Why should I be glad they are porting a psp game to this generation of consoles without adding anything new?

            You know this is just an excuse to have some final fantasy on the market because FFVersus will take way more time than they tell us. “Oh yea you don’t get FFVersus, but here you go a psp game we didn’t localize because of piracy, even when people were begging for it”

          • Owa

            I’m not defending SE on this, but it seems to me that fans are never pleased no matter what X company does. In the end it’s your choice if you see the glass half-empty or half-full.

          • MaximDualBlade

            I see it both half empty and half full in this case. I just have that concern.

            If they took years to release the game, I want more than just hd graphics. That is all. I don’t know if I will buy the game and new relevant content will sell me this kind of stuff. I try not to be the amazed consumer “Oh new ff! Must buy!”

          • Owa

            It’s true that I am also wary whenever SE makes an announcement, but I temper my expectations to a moderate level so that I dont get my hopes dashed.

            As you probably know already, games (even ports) take a lonng time to develop because of internal politics, shifting resources, or the CEO’s whims to change priorities. Like any business, the bigger the company, the bigger the problems. I can only imagine that there were a lot of things that were out of Tabata’s control that delayed this game for this long. But if it was a choice between dont release this vs release a port without extras, ofc I’d choose the latter.

            Again, not defending SE, as they certainly do a lot of stupid stuff, but when I think about it this way, it’s not as annoying.

          • MaximDualBlade

            You simply have lost all hopes for the company and like that you feel great when they announce something worthwhile.

            I wasn’t expecting Type-0 to ever be released, so playing it in non-Japanese will be awesome, but I still feel tricked when they announced it for this generation of consoles without anything new. Simple as that

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

            The game doesn’t need any grinding for the actual main story, really. I beaten the game without any grinding and using all characters equally…

    • http://www.flavors.me/ericgornicki Eric Gornicki

      They already stated that the game won’t include any new content apart from 4 difficulty modes. The game will be released sometime till august 2015.

      • MaximDualBlade

        I find this underwhelming

    • DesmaX

      Not sure if this is already on the PSP version (At least I didn’t notice), but the characters should get battle damage in their models.

      I mean, if you get burned, there will be burn damage; if you get cut, you’ll bleed. Stuff like that

      • MaximDualBlade

        It is still very superficial stuff. I cannot have fun just watching when I am playing the game. If it was a series, it would be a worthwhile addition

    • subsamuel01

      They don’t even need to add new content though, this game was never released outside Japan so most people haven’t even played the game.

      • MaximDualBlade

        You know that isn’t my point. It is specially because it wasn’t released outside Japan and I know about that info that I want more content. I know we are getting a psp game with prettier graphics and I find that not enough.

    • Samsara09

      apparently,they won’t.

    • Guest

      Taba said in Gameinformer the game is not just an HD pretty graphics remake. It’s technological remade. It’s technology based, so there’s more to it like better physics. More content I doubt it since it is a direct port simply made OVER 9000 BETTER. Bloodborne no one knows how long it’s been developed unless the developers say

      • MaximDualBlade

        What does this mean? New gameplay? What will be new apart from different graphics?

  • Ganali Castillo

    Still dont understand the point of discussing the difference between Ps3 and Ps4. I mean shouldn’t a gaming console focus on having a big library of games instead of having a handful of “HD” games ?

  • raeldor

    Still holding out a slim hope we may see this on the Vita eventually.

    • JonathanisPrimus

      You will, through the power of Remote Play ™.

      I’m really happy Square Enix and Sony haven’t used that line yet.

      • ClaudiusWhite

        I’m perfectly fine using remote play for this title as I mostly play my Vita at home anyways.

      • raeldor

        I love the idea of the remote play feature and I’m glad it’s there, but I mostly play my games when I am out or travelling.

  • Göran Isacson

    While I haven’t played the game, I am kind of curious how the story is going to turn out if they didn’t even include the mythology everyone was supposedly working within until half-way into development. My pessimist senses are blaring wild that that is how we end up with stories that don’t know what they’re about…

    Also, Final Fantasy Gettysburg. Possible pros: Abraham Lincoln riding Bahamut, Stonewall Jackson summoning actual rock monsters. Possibly cons: we’re going to have to touch on slavery and the bloody history of North versus South, and getting a story like that right and respectful? Holy hell I hardly think an American company could get it right, let alone a Japanese one. Better let that idea go, Tabata.

  • Ferrick

    ahh, so that explains why the history within type-0 was quite big

  • Adrian Duran

    spoiler: Lincoln dies

  • Stephen Mc Devitt

    Sounds classical and refined. I’ll need an old fashioned outfit, shelves of books, a brown leather chair, some classical music and some brandy before playing Final Fantasy Type-0. Seriously, I love that old fashioned stuff.

    The game sounds like a perfect contrast to what the so-called “Lightning Saga” is.

    • Ni ~Algidus~

      You’ll love Suzaku academy then

  • Guillermo Oliva III

    Interesting, I like how he thinks and uses his references of history to make a world.

  • Limbless

    I was wondering why all that business in the spoiler tags felt so crammed in as an afterthought. Turns out it’s because it was.

  • ALL HAIL KING BIMPY

    what do you mean by superheros. Anyone can be a superhero. age sex race or costume doesnt matter. even sora is a superhero.

  • chroma816

    Really interesting interview, and I agree – history is wonderfully engrossing.

  • Alex B.

    “That’s something that I’d really like to see–a game that’s not pure fiction, but has some elements of both.”

    …Metal Gear anyone?

    • ALL HAIL KING BIMPY

      i think he means JRPG, specifically FF franchise. a game with a backdrop of real world issues but taking place in a fictional world. similar to Witcher. take away the fantasy and it seems very down to earth with tis conflicts.i doubt he would want to follow MGS or AC

  • Balavaan

    if you want to make a fantasy game that based on real history,please make a sequel of shadow hearts,Tabata-san

  • Dave Cain

    Finally a game that’s not cross gen… too bad it’s a port of a last gen portable game.

    • popo123

      It’s more of a remake than a straight up port. Ports are the same game with same assets, models, textures, etc. but scaled to fit the new format. For this, they’re remaking it to make it look current gen.

      • Tienron

        its a port…..with HD graphics…. remake would mean starting from the ground up again…. ffx and ffx-2 were ports not remakes…

  • Gemlit

    I would like this game to be on PS3 if that’s okay with you, Mr. Tabata. But, the only reason why I want it is because I don’t have/can’t afford a PS4 yet.
    :(

  • ALL HAIL KING BIMPY

    I appreciate Taba doesn’t favor the timey wimey dimensional stuff because that makes the fiction more convoluted than it needs to be. Sadly it seems it was out of his control. XV should grant him more freedom with a grounded approach

  • TheAncientWolf

    As a fan of history, mythology, and Final Fantasy, this bit of info tickled my fancy in all the right ways.

  • Sion12

    “Final Fantasy XV for the PS4 and Xbox One, so I’m more familiar with what it takes to create a game for those platforms.”

    Not that i complain about it being ps4/xbox one exlcusive(infact i think its better not to limit the game with ps3/xbox360 hardware) But Final Fantasy XV
    was announced all the way back at the launch of ps3, so how did him work on a game for ps3 for like 6 year on ps3 and still dont know it better than a new console?

    • Guest

      He joined development when it switched over to 8th gen. he never developed on PS3 or for PS3 until XV, meaning he wasnt part of its development when the title was called VS13. he started on ps4 dev kit

  • Ash_Riot

    Yep. Really getting tired of that history. So many more parts of history that are way more interesting than that. Bleh.

  • Chip

    Thats because of our perspective as our own history. In Japan thats a tiny chapter because it had little to do with them, just as how there is TONS of Japanese war history, but all we really hear about in our basic American history is Japan’s involvement in WWII. I had to wait till college to take a specialized class to learn about all that. The bottomline though is the Civil War was one of if not the most (Not sure now thanks to the Middle East) violent and casualty heavy wars we’ve been in, especially considering how self-involved it was.

    With that said, I got bonked over the head with HUGE WWII vibes from this game, right from the first full trailer. I don’t think anyone missed those references. I immediately thought “Final Fantasy Nazis?”

  • Lastlight

    I personally love American History…….But……whatever

  • Guest

    No. It’s not boring if you take a political science class. Understand what Constitutionalism, Federalism, Republicanism, Separation of Power, Checks and Balances, and Civil Rights mean more than their superficial appearance. America is not America without them and America changes because of them. idk college makes America fun. Middle -highschool tends to teach boring American history

  • TheBlackRabbit

    EDIT. I LIED…..it’s so short….

  • NeptuniasBeard

    What? Boring!? Do you not recall when the South used sacrifices to summon Bahamut and the only chance the North had was to have Lincoln find the reincarnation of George Washington, the chosen one?

  • Morricane

    Compared to the rest of the world you have no history :D 200-something years is like nothing. (at least if we’re only talking about the US of A, there’s a bit that came before them)

  • thrak

    Yes, compared to history of us, europeans, your history sucks

  • http://twitter.com/crxuchilbara MegamMix

    yeah that sounds like a grand ol time…

  • andref

    Knowing your roots is never boring, know your history and one can appreciate where one’s country has been and concerned for where its going. Of course US history isn’t as lengthy or action packed as other countries such as a large history of warfare but it can be interesting

  • http://twitter.com/crxuchilbara MegamMix

    I hate to go all political, but as an American its my right to measure my nations current state and and standards while still being able to critique the actions made in the past.

    When you give a broad scope the American History, Other than the achievements of populous of a certain, we will say lineage, A lot of US history seems to revolve around cultural blunders and an incestual belief in America. Which is fine as an opinion but many Americans believe we are the richest nation in culture and history when they never peered outside the walls of there own country.

  • http://twitter.com/crxuchilbara MegamMix

    US history is laden with achievements of influential men not always for the right reasons, slavery, internment camps. A lot of civil laws were past as means to political leverage. And speaking of the history, you can relive that any day by visiting congress and seeing how far they have their heads up US history’s past.

    History doesn’t seem to matter to my senators these days either as every decision they are approached with for the 200th time takes them 10 – 20 years to implement.

    Not to mention us history in the south has seem to become lacking a certain era of history all together.

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