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Square's behind the scenes video of Final Fantasy XII

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The bonus disc of Final Fantasy XII collector's edition came replete with some candid interviews from the game's designers. Though Ivalice mastermind Yasumi Matsuno is nowhere to be found, other contributors to the epic RPG featured on-screen include scenario writer Daisuke Watanabe and translators Alexander O. Smith and Joseph Reeder, art directors Hideo Minaba and Isamu Kamikokuryou, along with CG director Eiji Fujii. Character designer Akihiko Yoshida also tells how he set out to design visuals that had never been seen before by blending medieval armor with mountain biking gear.
Scenario writer Daisuke Watanabe has worked on the story concepts for various Playstation 2 RPG titles. In his interview segment, he talks about endowing the characters of Final Fantasy XII with a degree of moral ambiguity that reflects the realities of the human condition. Localization specialist Alexander O. Smith received critical acclaim for his work on the translation of Vagrant Story. He describes the process as reinventing dialog to convey the spirit of the original through more inventive methods than a direct translation could entail. Translator Joseph Reeder talks about the finer points of adapting the Japanese original for the reception of English-language audiences.

Daisuke Watanabe, Alexander O. Smith, and Joseph Reeder

Art director Hideo Minaba has worked previously on the Final Fantasy Tactics titles. He talks about his close collaboration with original concept designer Yasumi Matsuno to get an overarching concept of the world of Ivalice. Art director Isamu Kamikokuryou is currently working on Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy XIII. He speaks to the challenge of creating cityscapes and airships that would allow the sky to serve as the game's backdrop.

Hideo Minaba and Isamu Kamikokuryo

CG director Eiji Fujii was responsible for the full-motion video sequences in the game, and will be reprising the role for Fabula Nova Crystallis. The director talks about how he tries not to interfere with his colleagues' creativity by giving them narrow guidelines in the construction of CG movies. He explains some of the details of making cut-scenes, including motion capture. Renowned character designer of previous Ivalice titles, Akihiko Yoshida, shares his love of diverse artists and illustrators, like Rembrandt, Millet, Whistler, Moebius, and Akira's Katsushiro Otomo. He tells how he set out to design visuals that existed nowhere in the world, and create images that had never been seen before. One example is Gabranth's exquisite armor, based on medieval garb and modern-day mountain biking gear.

Eiji Fujii and Akihiko Yoshida

Hiroyuki Itou talks about the new Active Dimensional Battle system. The co-director for the project explains his thoughts behind Final Fantasy XII's gambits, adding a strategic element similar, in his words, to planning plays in professional football. Design supervisor Hiroshi Minagawa talks about his years of collaboration with the game's music composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.

Hiroyuki Itou and Hiroshi Minagawa

Battle System Designer Kazutoyo Meihiro explains how his team's goal was to design encounters that reflected the overall character of the game. He explains how the new system allows players the freedom of approaching enemies while traversing the game world, and how the gambit aspect was implemented in such a way as to allow players to specialize each character however they choose. Game designer Hiroshi Tomomatsu talks about the experience of adapting to a seamless encounters system and explains that seeing a wide array of monsters directly within their environment required the design team to think carefully about how to implement a natural ecosystem for these creatures to inhabit.

Kazutoyo Meihiro and Hiroshi Tomomatsu

Game music composer Hitoshi Sakimoto relates how entering the project of Final Fantasy XII was a challenge, not simply because it was a big project, but certain expectations attended the presence of Nobuo Uematsu. The musician tells how during the development process he paced around his house, considering the sheer magnitude of the project, though in the end, it all came together. The composer tells that his personal favorite theme of the four-disc soundtrack is "The Cerobi Steppe."

Hitoshi Sakimoto

Thanks, Wabbajak!

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