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News / 2003 / May / 08

Update: Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles gameplay info and more revealed at Squenix teleconference

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At the GamerFeed teleconference held with Nintendo and Square Enix, Akitoshi Kawazu revealed details of the upcoming Gamecube title, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, including gameplay, music, and multiplayer info.

Nintendo: We are proud to have Akitoshi Kawazu, producer of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which will be unveiled at E3 exclusively for Nintendo GameCube. Without further ado, Mr. Kawazu, who will say a few words about Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles before accepting any questions.

Kawazu: I am Akitoshi Kawazu, producer of FFCC. FFCC I think people will find it quite different than other FF games in the series. It is a game where multiple players can contribute and play the game. It will have a very action based interface, and I hope it will provide a different flavor to the game.

Obviously, developing for the GameCube platform, it is a different challenge for me, but I am hoping it is well accepted by users and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it does well.

The game also features a style of play that we haven't seen in games either in the Japan or the USA. It allows for connectivity with the GBA that will allow new ways to play the game.

Kawazu: Sadly, I will not be able to attend E3, but FFCC will be on the show floor and playable, and I would be very happy if everyone would try it out. I would like to open it up to Q&A at this moment.

Q: FFCC supports up to four player simultaneous play. Can you explain how the system works, and how the GBA connectivity works?

A: With the GBA, you actually use that in place of the Cube controller. The GBA essentially acts as a controller for the game. Also because each player would have a GBA, the screen for each player would have personal information and we would use that option to expand standard gameplay.

Q: I was wondering about the story in FFCC. Will the story be the same for multiple players as for single players? How will it be similar to other FF games?

A: Regardless of whether you play alone or with others, it will be the same quest and the same story. As for the actual gameplay style, it will be more mission based and it should provide a different flavor from past FF games.

Q: I was wondering who is composing the music for FFCC, and will it support Dolby Surround Sound?

A: The composed will be Mr. Tanyoka, who did the music for FFXI, and we are not going to have Dolby Pro Logic II compatibility.

Q: Can you explain the battle system and the magic system and such?

A: The basic battle will be where you face your opponent and swing your weapon to attack. You can also charge your weapon for more powerful attacks, and magical attacks. You can also attack consecutively along with other players to cause more damage.

Q: Your games like Unlimited Saga are very experimental. Will FFCC appeal to a certain type of gamer?

A: FFCC has a much better level of action elements. It will be easier to pick up and much more natural for people to get into the gameplay.

Q: What is the GBA controller there for? Why not use the Cube controller? What separates it from a regular FF title?

A: Because this game has a higher level of action, players will not be watching the GBA screen and playing. Each character will have a different set of information on their screen though, like maps or enemy information. A certain player may have certain information they can share or keep to themselves.

Q: Are there cinemas in the game, and if so are they FMV or real-time?

A: The cinematics are all done in real-time.

Q: When you play with four players, do you play split screen or on one screen? And when you play alone, are there computer controlled teammates, or do you play alone?

A: All of the action takes place on a single screen. For the single player quest, you will be playing alone, and there will be adjustments based on that fact.

Q: FFCC marks the return of FF to Nintendo. How has the relationship with Nintendo been, and what will your next project be?

A: I was a little caught off guard by your question! :: laughs :: Nintendo's relationship with us has been very positive. As for our future plans, we haven't put forth any concrete plans, but I would like to work with Nintendo more in the future.

Q: If I'm playing with a poker face and not showing my GBA information, does that change the story as the game progresses?

A: There would be no direct effect if players chose not to share info. Cooperating will be the biggest assistance to progressing throughout the game.

Q: How does character growth work in the game and are there different classes?

A: At the outset of the game, players have the choice of one of four different groups. Each group would have different abilities with different strengths and weapons. As for growth, as you go through the game, you will obtain different items that will allow you to do different things.

Q: What kinds of environments will we see?

A: There will be different stages covering different areas: deserts, plains, towns, things like that. It will have things everyone is looking for.

Q: This seems like a big departure for the FF series. Will the multiplayer aspect shun FF gamers? Do you think you will attract the FF gamer, the action gamer, any particular set?

A: You can play the game as a single or multiplyer game, and players will enjoy any mode. More features will be shown in the multiplayer mode, so I think you will be able to enjoy the game more fully if you play with others. There are more action elements, and the setting is certainly more fantasy like, so I think it will be the type of action game that will appeal to the FF fan.

Q: Could you explain the magic system and whether there are any summon monsters and how they are implemented in this game?

A: The magic system is based on jewels you collect, and these will give you different spells you can use against enemies. Sadly, there will be no summon monsters, but you can combine your magic with other players on the same game.

Q: Would you compare these to the dual and triple attacks of Secret of Mana?

A: If I had to compare, I would say it's somewhat similar. But there's a little more to it, because you can get several different effects based on timing. A moment ago I referred to the magic stones as crystals... if you could refer to them as stones, that would be more accurate.

Q: Because this is chiefly multiplayer game, I expect fewer similarities to FFX and FFX-2. This seems to appeal less to FF fans, so how do you respond to this issue?

A: I suppose it is true to the extent that this game won't have as many dramatics as a FFX. I still think the action aspect will appeal to many people, and the interface will interest FF fans and some people slightly turned off by the heavy menus of FF games.

Q: What is your team's impression on working on the GameCube opposed to the PS2? And did Mr. Miyamoto or Mr. Sakaguchi contribute to making this game?

A: As for developing on the GC, as with all the systems, each system have their pros and cons. I don't think there's one easier to develop for over the other. GC has very powerful things to bring to the table. Mr. Miyamoto has been looking at the game and giving advice. Mr. Sakaguchi hasn't seen it yet, but I hope to show him the game as a nice surprise. Also, going back a few Qs to the magic, you collect magicite which has been used in previous FF games. That's a bit of a correction there.

Q: Will we be seeing cameos from FF characters?

A: :: laughs :: That's a very good question. The best answer is to play through the game and see what you can find.

Q: Do you have plans to bundle the game with the GBA/GCN link cable, and do you think sales will be affected by requiring the GBA?

A: For the multiple player modes, it is true you need the GBA. However, for the single player, you can use the GC controller. As for packing in the GBA/GCN link cable, we are still considering that. As for sales, we are still developing the game, so we will see about that.

Q: So the GBA is needed for multiplayer?

A: That is correct.

Q: We are wondering, how long is the game?

A: It will take about 30 hours of gameplay if you run through it straight, but it will take longer if you try and collect everything.

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