In commemoration of Final Fantasy VIII’s 20th anniversary, Weekly Famitsu October 24 2019 issue (released on October 10) included a long feature on Square Enix’s JRPG. We already translated the interview with Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts scenarist Kazushige Nojima. He most notably mentioned if he made a new FFVIII game, it’d focus on Laguna.
The Famitsu feature also includes comments from Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura. We’ll be covering Nomura’s comments in another article coming soon.
Kitase was first asked by Famitsu how he feels about Final Fantasy VIII celebrating its 20th anniversary:
Yoshinori Kitase: I remember how we had more freedom when it comes to in-development changes back then. The FF series has a large development team now. This means after we’re done with the planning, it’s nearly impossible to make changes midway through (Famitsu note: Of course, it was already difficult back then as well). Until after FFVIII, we were in an era where we had more leeway.
Also, the FF series is about fantasy, so we always try to challenge ourseles to avoid monotony. We pushed this concept pretty far with FFVIII, like with the salary system instead of killing monsters for money, or the Draw System.
When asked for an anecdote regarding Final Fantasy VIII‘s development, Kitase answered:
Yoshinori Kitase: FFVIII was the first game where we ever used motion capture at Square. We had no idea what we were doing. We wanted to take data for Squall wielding his Gunblade, and we didn’t realize a light, blade-shaped object would suffice. We instead used a heavy object made of steel, which really felt like a weapon. In the worst case scenario, the motion capture actor could have injured themselves. Thinking about it now gives me cold sweats.
Yoshinori Kitase was also asked by Famitsu how did Eyes on Me end up being in Final Fantasy VIII. It was the first time a theme song was specifically made for a Final Fantasy game:
Yoshinori Kitase: Nomura proposed the idea. I was really surprised when I received his proposal, but after thinking about how we never did that before, I agreed.
Lastly, Famitsu asked Kitase what would he do if many fans asked for a “Final Fantasy VIII Remake”:
Yoshinori Kitase: Well, Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t even out yet (bitter smile). Personally speaking, if the young staff members at Square Enix say they want to do a Final Fantasy VIII Remake then I’d like it to happen. FFVII Remake was born because everyone currently at Square Enix wanted to remake FFVII with our current technology. So rather than me, I hope the young staff will do a remake.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is available on PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One. If you want to hear more about Square’s early days, I recommend reading the stories of Final Fantasy series artist Kazuko Shibuya.
Final Fantasy VII Remake launches on March 3, 2020, on PS4. If you liked this article, you should grab the game on Amazon to support us.
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