Gathering is one of the innovative systems Mistwalker created for The Last Story. Elza, the main character, gains this ability at the beginning of the game. It allows him to emit a blue light from his hands and draw enemies to him. Players use this to distract enemies while magic users prepare spells.
Hironobu Sakaguchi said in an Iwata Asks interview players aren’t required to use this system to defeat monsters. Players can choose their style to play, either to use guard to protect their party or just attack. Takuya Matsumoto from AQ Interactive was the kind of player who just wanted to fight.
At one time The Last Story let players watch battle replays. The game would automatically recorded a few seconds of a fight at a time. Players could rewind and watch magic spells effects and see who hit who in the chaotic battlefield. Sakaguchi scrapped this system because he felt it disrupted the tempo of combat.
While replays are not in the final game, this inspired a change for the command system. When players pick a command the game pauses and you can see the fight from a bird’s eye camera angle.
Another interesting addition is you can climb walls in The Last Story. This system was added later in development, which meant Sakaguchi had to redesign dungeons to suit the game.