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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’?

[via siliconera.com]

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User Comments (19)

MasterGraveheart

#1

MasterGraveheart said:

That's a good thing to hear, but from the creator of Final Fantasy, I hope the story isn't terribly cookie cutter. Still, if gameplay delivers, I am able to forgive a lackluster story.

PLEASE COME TO THE US!!!

speshalmon

#2

speshalmon said:

Those screenshots make me want it SOOO bad! I sincerely hope Operation Rainfall succeeds.

Omarzuqo

#3

Omarzuqo said:

I will play the last story even if it doesn't get localized in the US. And I don't mean I will import it, so NOA'd better localize it, because alot of gamers think like me.

ADaviii

#4

ADaviii said:

Now that is what I want to hear. Gameplay first, THEN everything else :) .

crazyj2312

#6

crazyj2312 said:

Nintendo of America: We want third party support so we can deliver cutting edge games to the consumer!
American: Cool! I really wanted to play those RPGs on the Wii!
Nintendo of America: Wii? Whats a Wii?

iPruch

#7

iPruch said:

If Final Fantasy VII became that good and had such an awesome story by using this method, I don't think we have to worry about The Last Story then. Since I don't expect it's plot reaches FFVII's level, I'm sure it won't dissapoint.

Legodavid18

#8

Legodavid18 said:

Gameplay first, Story Last (See what I did there? :P )
EDIT: Whoops, forgot to actually post something about the article! The game looks great, but I will get Xenoblade first, then I'll see about The Last Story.

Ernest_The_Crab

#11

Ernest_The_Crab said:

^I wasn't expecting a Zero Wing reference.

Doesn't this mean, in effect, he has to finsh building the gameplay elements first before the story is completed?

WolfRamHeart

#14

WolfRamHeart said:

I enjoyed Lost Odyssey and even Blue Dragon so chances are that I would enjoy this game as well. I really hope that it does come to the US one day.

PSICOffee

#16

PSICOffee said:

"I think players hate it when they play a game where the story isn’t developed where they want it to."

I can't help but think that might be a jab at someone like Shigesato Itoi who wrote the Mother series (particularly Mother 3 in this case). But I sort of disagree, because by Itoi's reasoning, the story is a mirror, where he offers half of it, and the player fills in the rest. Mother 3 was nearly perfect by this reasoning, but I can understand why some would hate the style.

Of course with some games, people like me are just frustrated because the story just genuinely sucks and isn't developed or polished very well. Reading this stuff makes me want to play this game even more, though. If his interview can be translated, and the game can be translated, and even shipped westward elsewhere, why not the US!?!?!?!

Most likely its because the game is a risk, and for similar reasons Mother 3 never came here (possibly too Japanesy also).

MekkaGodzilla

#18

MekkaGodzilla said:

So for instance in FF7, he designed the materia system and then built the story around it.
Makes perfect sense, I can’t really see it happening the other way around.

Gamesake

#19

Gamesake said:

Can’t you imagine them thinking ‘I’m being pushed around by some self-important story writer’? I can, because I've played Metroid: Other M.

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