FuRyu are known for developing games that don’t really get a whole lot of attention, but their most recent title has bucked the trend by making a strong first impression on RPG fans. Titled The Legend of Legacy, it is a Nintendo 3DS RPG with no single set story path, with the goal being to make players figure out how to progress by themselves.
Developed by Masataka Matsuura and SaGa series designer Kyoji Koizumi, The Legend of Legacy is largely viewed as a spiritual successor to Square Enix’s SaGa (Final Fantasy Legend) franchise. Matsuura served as one of several planners on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky, while Koizumi has worked on Square Enix’s Romancing SaGa 2 and 3, Unlimited SaGa and SaGa Frontier, handling battle and system design for those games. His influence on The Legend of Legacy is immediately obvious to anyone that is fond of the SaGa franchise.
Recently, Inside Games caught up with Matsuura and Koizumi to talk about the 3DS game and his aspirations for it. The interview begins with a conversation about how development got started.
“Actually, The Legend of Legacy was a title that arose from my personal feelings,” Matsuura says. “I entered FuRyu because I wanted to make to make an original RPG, but after being told by the company ‘we want a hallmark title,’ I said ‘if it were up to me, I’d make this,’ which turned out to be The Legend of Legacy.”
“Exstetra and Lost Dimension were titles aimed at middle and high school students, but The Legend of Legacy is a title that focuses on those that enjoyed the experience of playing RPGs in the ‘90s.”
He continues, “There are plenty of anime-esque or realistic RPGs, and series with sequels, but we don’t see too many brand new titles. Another thing is that we don’t see many pure fantasy RPGs—those orthodox fantasy-type RPGs—and it has been bothering me personally. Especially as someone who enjoyed the genre up until now.”
Matsuura then shares a little on why The Legend of Legacy isn’t being made for smartphones.
“I believe we’ve had several opportunities to make it for smartphones, but when it comes to making an RPG for smartphones, you have to think of monetization as the focus, so it changes the circumstances,” he says. “In any case, I wanted to make something ‘fantasy-like’ and an ‘RPG’ as a ‘console game’.”
According to Matsuura, he began talking to various developers after working on plans for the game; however, as part of the major premise for the game, its establishment relied on getting help from SaGa series designer Kyoji Koizumi. Matsuura believes it is relatively simple to make a nice-looking fantasy game [with a ‘90s-style look], but what made the fantasy RPGs from the ‘90s stand out was how they were interesting both on the inside and outside. For this reason, he really wanted to recruit Koizumi, who has a great deal of experience in this field.
According to Matsuura The Legend of Legacy isn’t being made to just look like a ‘90s game, but rather, an RPG that contains the entertainment the ’90s provided. He then shares one final goal he has for the game.
“I believe we’re in an era where, lately, one can’t really say ‘it’s made by these developers, so it must be fun’. However, I think it’s still safe to say ‘it’s made by this person, so it must be fun’. So I wanted to prove, with this title, that if we get those people to make this game, it will be a good one.”
[Photograph courtesy Inside Games.]
The Legend of Legacy is slated for release in Japan on January 22, 2015 for Nintendo 3DS.