Sakaguchi: Last Story Gameplay Took Precedence Over Plot
Posted by Zach Kaplan
Only his third game to do so after Final Fantasy I and VII
The Last Story is coming to Wii via Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy VII, but the titles share another unique similarity as well – Sakaguchi created the gameplay elements first, then the story, for all three.
There are... places in games such as the moment when you open a castle door for the first time, when you think, ‘I’d like some story here’. For The Last Story, especially because I wasn’t making it using my usual method but rather started by implementing the game systems, there were times when I’d have to begin by finding such places. ...I was thinking about where I could bury the story, as it were. That’s why I used a new method of writing the script, trying to write it in map units. During the process of making these into a game, I’d think ‘where can I bury this episode?’, and if the order I buried the different parts changed, there were times when I’d also change the flow of the story.
Sakaguchi says that part of his reasoning stems from the idea of a game where the author's perception of their own talent gets in the way of the experience.
I think players hate it when they play a game where the story isn’t developed where they want it to. Can’t you imagine them thinking ‘I’m being pushed around by some self-important story writer’?