The third and final interview in the Final Fantasy Portal Site’s series of Final Fantasy IX interviews is now available. In this installment, director Hiroyuki Ito tackles the tough question of what 'returning to roots' meant for this installment.
“I often get hounded by questions like, ‘What’s the concept for this game!?’ and I honestly want to respond to those with, ‘Who said there has to be a concept?’ But alas, in the adult world there are some things you can’t avoid. So yes, the hard-to-define phrase “returning to roots” was in place beforehand. What I mean by hard to define is, exactly what “roots” we’d be “returning” to wasn’t really clear.
“Obviously the roots of this series are Final Fantasy I. So, then, do we make another game like Final Fantasy I? Or do we try and recall the feelings from when Final Fantasy I was originally under development, essentially going back to our roots as game creators? Or do we appeal to the nostalgia crowd, making a title that feels like the games we love from the past? It’s not any specific one of those things, and on top of that every developer has their own feelings about their work.
“However, it does feel like over time, without anyone’s specific intention, those words ended up permeating the mindset we had during game creation, the concepts in the game, and the character of the product itself.
“Also, the highly deductive matters of what it really means to be human, what role circumstances play, consideration for others, kindness, hatred – I think that all of those concepts were reflected in the game.
“In other words, I think that perhaps getting back to the true nature of things is what ‘returning to roots’ could mean in this case. That just might be the overarching theme of Final Fantasy IX.”
This is just one of the questions answered in this final interview installment. You can check out the full feature here.