Romancing SaGa 3 HD remaster director Akitori Kawazu and producer Masanori Ichikawa recently sat down for an interview to talk about why the decision was made to create the remaster and more. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights below:
4Gamer: Please tell us how the decision to remaster Romancing SaGa 3 came to be.
Masanori Ichikawa, producer: “We were able to release a remaster of Romancing SaGa 2 in between 2016 and 2017 to various platforms, but actually, even before that, I was already in talks with Kawazu-san about an HD remaster of Romancing SaGa 3.
There was also a proposal to remaster the first Romancing SaGa, but we had already released Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song, so wanting to bring Romancing SaGa 3 to an easily playable environment was the biggest reason for this remaster.”
4Gamer: Up to this point, there were only ports for the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console after all. Despite being popular, there wasn’t really a chance to play ports or a remaster.
Ichikawa: “Right. People who played games like SaGa: Scarlet Grace didn’t have the means to play the older games even if they wanted to.
On the development side, there was also a need to create a version which could be brought to future generations of hardware. Because there’s the problem that we don’t know how long the resources created for the Super Famicom version will be preservable.”
4Gamer: Did you intentionally make it into a hard game?
Akitori Kawazu, director: “If I were to play a game with an easy or hard option, I’m the type of person who would basically only go for Hard every time. It might be too high of a difficulty for me to beat, but on the other hand, if the difficulty bar is too low, it risks becoming a chore.
If I had to choose between ‘players giving up because it’s too hard’ or ‘players getting tired of a game because it’s too easy’, I’d choose the first option. The game is intentionally balanced towards having players give up from the difficulty, mainly because I don’t want people to say they gave up because they were bored.” (laughs)
4Gamer: Playing older RPGs felt like you had to adapt or give up.
Ichikawa: “Even so, Romancing SaGa 3 is probably one of the games in the series that’s the easiest to play. (laughs) Compared to 1 and 2, the gameplay systems are more balanced like other RPGs of the era, and this time, you can choose to carry over your save data to a New Game+ even when you haven’t beaten the game yet, you have multiple save slots, and in general the dressings of the game been improved for quality of life purposes, so I think it’ll be easier to proceed than in the Super Famicom version. We’ve made it so that you can choose to turn the new elements on or off with a button, so for those who want just the complete original experience, please proceed with the new features turned ‘Off’.”
Kawazu: “This time, there’s autosave, so it’s really easy to play.”
4Gamer: How often does it autosave?
Kawazu: “When you enter and exit towns, and at the end of battles. However, if you continue on just autosave, if you do something wrong, you might end up getting stuck, so it’s safer to save manually once so often. That said, there’s only one autosave slot, so if you go with a different protagonist in parallel in a different playthrough it’ll be overwritten.”
4Gamer: One of the new elements is a new ‘Phantom Maze’. Just what is it?
Ichikawa: “After a certain story event, a new dungeon will appear where there wasn’t previously. In the dungeon, you can see story fragments relating to a certain character, and obtain items you may have missed.
Enemies in the dungeon are set to be strong, and enemies that appear in the end credits of the SFC version will appear as boss characters. If you play this dungeon, the items you get will make the rest of the game much easier.”
4Gamer: Do you have any concepts in mind for the future of the SaGa series?
Kawazu: “Currently, we’re in the midst of a shift in hardware generations, so I prioritized being able to play past games, but I wish to create new games in the future as well.”
Ichikawa: “Apart from hoping Kawazu-san will be able to keep creating new RPG experiences like SaGa: Scarlet Grace, it would be great to be able to make past titles be playable, and other value-added content like collaborations and concerts.
Furthermore, please look forward to the SaGa series 30th anniversary, which begins at the end of this year.”
Romancing SaGa 3 is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation Vita, iOS, and Android in English for the first time.