Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, a direct sequel to Final Fantasy IV starring Cecil’s son Ceodore, finally made it to North America last month via WiiWare. How did the project get started? Takashi Tokita, the Producer, tells us and shares which character he think matured the most.
How did the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years project start?
Takashi Tokita, Producer: The mobile team approached us while we were developing Final Fantasy IV for DS, asking if we would like to collaborate with them on a Final Fantasy project for Japanese mobile phones. We thought it would be really fun for fans if they could play Final Fantasy IV for DS, and then get right into the sequel; that’s how this project got started.
What were the goals you had in mind when creating Final Fantasy IV: The After Years?
Our main goals were: “Create an authentic RPG experience for the mobile platform!” “Develop a sequel that stays true to the essence of the original, through similar graphics and sound!” “Provide a brand-new Final Fantasy in nostalgic 2D form!” and last but not least, “Deliver intriguing stories featuring each of the characters!”
How come you used sprites from Final Fantasy IV instead of making all new graphics or using the 3D models from the DS remake?
As briefly mentioned above, since this was a mobile release, we wanted players to be able to enjoy as many episodes as possible. Making the game in 2D, we were able to minimize the specs while still maintaining the nostalgic feel of the original.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is told in a series of non-linear episodes, which is quite uncommon for RPGs. How did this decision affect the story?
It was definitely a challenge to put a non-linear story together. We spent a lot of time figuring out where to fit each episode or how much to reveal per tale. But in the end, we were able to feature each individual character, creating a unique game experience for each and every episode, so the effort was well worth it.
Which character from Final Fantasy IV do you think matured the most in The After Years?
That’s a tough question, since all the characters have matured in their own way. Characters that especially stand out might be Edward, who has grown to become king, and is now prioritizing his comrades and the balance of the world over all else, and also Palom, who has matured a lot age-wise. Once you play the game, you’ll also run into another “certain someone” who has really developed since the original.
What newly created character is your favorite?
As a “parent,” all my children are precious so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. In the sense that they are different, and make the game all the more enjoyable, I think that Calca, Brina and the Eblan Four are all very interesting!
Why was WiiWare chosen as the platform for the console version?
It matched the download-by-episode style of the game. We also included a multiplay system so that the game could be enjoyed by two generations of gamers, just like Cecil and Ceodore, by parents who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy IV and their children.
Is there room to expand Final Fantasy IV further like the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII project?
I’m not sure we’d want to over-do it, but it’s all up to the fans. For starters, it would be great if players enjoy all the episodes of this game!!