Final Fantasy IV might be the most ported Final Fantasy game. Cecil is on everything from Super Famicom to your iPhone. We asked the Square Enix mobile team about the challenges when you bring a DS game to iOS.
"This may not be a ‘challenge’ per se in terms of technology, but the element that we put the most thought in is the UI. The original games were made with the intention of utilizing a controller pad with directional arrows and various buttons, so we had to go through much trial and error to optimize the controls on mobile devices."
"For example, in a game that originally required the player to hit the ‘Y’ button to open a map, would have to be redesigned on a mobile device to have a ‘map’ button somewhere on the screen. In that case, we will have to consider many different factors – such as ‘will it get in the way of gameplay?,’ ‘How often would such a button be used?,’ ‘Is it easy to press?,’ ‘Will it be prone to getting hit by mistake?,’ etc – as we think about its best placement, size, design and so forth. There have been cases in which we had to go back and redo certain elements after we created them, especially once we found problems with ease of control or usability."
From sprites to 3D graphics and back to (high resolution) sprites, Final Fantasy IV has been presented in a couple of different styles and with various gameplay systems. Final Fantasy IV Advance lets players add Palom, Porom, and other "injured" characters to their party at the end of the game. Final Fantasy IV for the DS and now iOS has an augment system where you can inherit abilities from party members that leave your group. Finally, Cecil can show Leviathan how well he sings. We asked what Square Enix would like to do if they remade Final Fantasy IV again.
"The DS had first incorporated 3D graphics, but the characters were in a simplified form. If there is a demand for it, I would love to do a full remake of the game with realistic 3D characters."
Even though The World Ends With You: Solo Remix and Final Fantasy IV are not available for Android, Square Enix says they are committed to releasing their games on Android too. "We have received support from many, many fans on both platforms. As a result, we are looking forward to continuing to provide high quality games to both platforms."