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.