Bravely Default, Square Enix’s new role-playing franchise, is a big deal for the RPG community. It’s the first brand new RPG franchise that Square Enix have successfully debuted in a long time, and the fact that it draws inspiration from the older Final Fantasy games certainly isn’t a bad thing either. Most importantly, it’s been selling very well in Japan, which means it’s here to stay.
Siliconera recently caught up with Bravely series producer Tomoya Asano to ask him about the future of the franchise and its goals. At present, Asano is currently at work on a brand new Bravely game, titled Bravely Second, which will expand the world of Luxendarc. A teaser trailer for Second is present within Bravely Default, and it makes the game look a little more action-oriented, with a more dynamic camera.
When we asked Asano if this meant that Bravely Second would be more of an action game, he replied that it wouldn’t.
“No, Bravely Second will still follow the turn-based battle system,” Asano said to Siliconera. “When we looked at the original system in Bravely Default: Flying Fairy for Bravely Second, the improvements made to the basic system were implemented in Bravely Default: For the Sequel.”
“Thanks to this, player reaction has been very positive post-launch, so many of these systems should follow through to Bravely Second as well.”
[Note: “Bravely Default: For the Sequel” is the game known simply as “Bravely Default” in the west, and contains the improvements Asano is referring to.]
Asano also let us know that Bravely isn’t a series that is focused on exploration. Rather, it’s meant to be more of a story-driven experience. This is why Bravely Default doesn’t make enemies visible on the map—referred to as “symbol encounters” in Japan—and instead, opts to use an adjustable random encounter rate, in order to let players streamline their experience. This system will remain in Bravely Second.
“Originally, showing exploration more naturally is not something we put importance on because [the game] consists of deformed characters walking on a deformed map,” Asano shared. “However, having symbol encounters is convenient in that it allows players to engage in battles at their own pace. The adjustable encounter rate accomplishes this.”
That said, Bravely Second will expand the world of Luxendarc in a different way.
“Bravely Second expands Luxendarc, but it might be slightly different than an ‘RPG with an expansive world you can explore’,” Asano stated. “Rather, it will basically be like Bravely Default in that it will be driven by the story. Thought processes change depending on the goal of the game, and with Bravely, the thought process is that characters are there for the gameplay and the world is there for the characters.”
[Note: It bears mentioning that Asano has stated in the past that Bravely Second will have larger fields and more things to do than Bravely Default.]
An interesting point worth mentioning is that Asano says both Bravely Default and Bravely Second target adult audiences. Asano pointed to the adult audiences of both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as the target audience for the Bravely games. In the past, Asano and character designer Akihiko Yoshida have said that Bravely Second’s heroine, Magnolia, is turning out a little more adult in nature than Bravely Default’s characters.
On the subject of Magnolia, Asano said to us, “With regards to Magnolia, we wanted to focus on new characters rather than the current four. It should be interesting, so I hope you are looking forward to it!”
Bravely Second hasn’t been officially announced for a release in the west yet, and Nintendo of America tell us there are “no plans at the moment” regarding a U.S. release. That said, Asano has stated in the past that he would like to bring the game to western players, provided Bravely Default does well enough.
Headline update: We’ve adjusted the headline of this post slightly, as the previous one appeared to be confusing some people.