The father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is working on a new smartphone game called Terra Battle. It's an RPG. It could have been a ballet dancing game.
Sakaguchi revealed some vague details about his new game, Terra Battle, in this week's Weekly Famitsu. He's got a lotta good talent working on it, with several Square Enix veterans, including composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game is looking to be a solid classic JRPG. But as with many things, how things start out and where they end up is often very different.
After developing the iOS surfing game, Party Wave, Sakaguchi and his development company, Mistwalker, took what lessons they had learned from developing for the smartphone market and moved on to their next project. As luck would have it, several Square Enix alums joined the company and Sakaguchi had the talent and manpower to try to make a full-bodied hard-core game. So is that what they did? "Actually, things got a little tangled. At first we were going to make a ballet game." Said Sakaguchi.
In his interview, Sakaguchi showed several proposal images of games that were dropped on the planning stage. The initial untitled game involved a ballet-dancing protagonist who would battle monsters that ravaged the stage through her dancing. Apparently the entire staff traveled to Paris and went to the opera for research. There were also ideas for a game where players would battle with summon creatures, and a game that had characters fighting against enemies in a picture book.
It was more outside influences that moved Sakaguchi to go for the RPG route with his next game. "When I was going over the other pitches and demos, I had a chance to go drinking with Mr. Yamamoto, the producer of Puzzle & Dragons. He gave me a lot of pointers on how a smartphone game needs to be." Sakaguchi recalled. "At first it was more light-hearted. We wanted something that would be an extension of a party game. But as things got going, through the stimulation of different meetings and marketing methods, our direction began to shift into, 'making an RPG for smartphones is fun, let's give it our all.'"
According to Sakaguchi, Terra Battle will be a free-to-play RPG which starts out in a fantasy world, but gets SF elements in the second half. Sakaguchi promised that players can clear the game without paying, but if they are willing to pay even a little bit, it would be most appreciated. The game is currently aiming for a September release in Japan, with Sakaguchi promising to reveal more details about the game's system in August. Maybe there will be ballet dancers.
Pictures: Weekly Famitsu