In a Development Diary released yesterday, the team behind Final Fantasy X and X-2 share some of the most memorable aspects of working on the beloved games and the challenges that came with it. The game received high praise upon its release in 2001, with players quickly growing attached to its story and character, as well as the fantastic battle system and large variety of in-game activities. However, the game is more than just Blitzball, a story of love and friendship, and, well, this. It was the studio’s first foray into incorporating voice acting and creating a fully 3D world where the art direction was less urban and industrial, and more inspired by Eastern cultures.
The settings of the Final Fantasy games, prior to X and X-2, were based heavily on European style buildings, ranging from medieval castles to industrial-era settlements filled with smog and gritty townsfolk. With X, Yusuke Naora, the game’s Art Director, wanted to make a switch to explore Asian culture. This impacted everything from depicting the way the inhabitants of the world viewed death, an ideal that became a major theme in the game, to deciding upon the visual styling of the airship, which took its inspiration from the signature purple and gold color-scheme of the LA Lakers. It’s also interesting to consider that this was the first time that the Final Fantasy series included a completely 3D world, breaking away from polygonal characters moving around in a photo-esque 2D world, as seen in VII, VIII, and IX.
In making the switch to a 3D world, Takashi Katano, Final Fantasy X‘s Event Main Programmer, highlighted the satisfaction the team felt with being able to create battles that appeared to transition in seamlessly from the prior scene. Although, doing this was a very challenging aspect of the game’s development. Katano explains: “Creating smooth and unified gameplay, where the worlds of battlefields just unfolded out in front of you seamlessly was very challenging, but it’s a great memory for me.” The team utilized the talents of Toshiro Tsuchida, who previously worked on Square Enix’s game Front Mission, to create a deeper battle system that would allow for more strategy. Tsuchida’s knowledge of simulation style games gave Final Fantasy X and X-2‘s battle systems the edge they needed to stand above other similar turn-based games released around that time.
That’s just scratching the surface. There are plenty of other great insights in the video above.
What are some of your fondest memories for Final Fantasy X and X-2? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!