Play a couple hours of the terrific new JRPG Bravely Default and a number of its influences will become apparent. There's Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, and so on. But one influence may be less evident…. the early 90s high school TV drama Beverly Hills 90210.
And yet that show, along with Ryan Murphy's more recent, more polarising Glee, were both influences on the game's narrative structure. Speaking with Nintendo Handheld Gaming on Facebook, Bravely Default producer Tomoya Asano said that those two unlikely shows influenced the way his team put together Bravely Default's story.
We created the world view as a fantasy RPG with a story revolving around crystals, because that way RPG fans won't have any trouble jumping right into the world. The exaggerated characters are cute and players can enjoy them on their adventures. Basically this is comedic up to the point where you start really liking the characters, and then the drama develops. I used the methodology of American TV dramas like the older Beverly Hills 90210 (I'm a huge fan!), and Glee as references. In terms of games, a number of games developed outside of Japan had major influence on the storytelling. So if you think about it, I guess you could call Bravely Default a traditional Japanese RPG with American content thrown in.
Ha! Looks like when I called Edea's theme song "90s High School TV Show Credits" I was closer to the mark than I thought.
In fact, the character comparison here may be even easier than it was with the whole Persona 3 meets Buffy thing. Tiz is obviously the Brandon, Agnes is the Brenda… Edea is totally the Kelly Taylor and Ringabel is the Dylan McKay. Or maybe Ringabel is the Steve Sanders, and he only thinks he's the Dylan McKay.