Driven to create an efficient system for Hironobu Sakaguchi's seminal NES RPG, Ito turned to professional sports for his inspiration.
1UP: So did you create the battle system, or work on balancing it...?
HI: I actually created the battle system, yes.
1UP: What was your inspiration for that?
HI: Basically, there's no one inspiration that I got that battle system from. It was just a logical process, where I thought, "How can I create an efficient battle system for a role-playing game?" That's the answer that I came to. At the root of it all, though, there's a basic kind of system that comes from professional sports...
1UP: Any particular sport that you had in mind?
HI: Yeah, the NFL. Football is probably the closest thing.
Whatever next? Super Mario was influenced by Tiddlywinks? Zelda was inspired by Volleyball? Where does it all end?