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Sakaguchi: Mist Becomes Dragon, Uematsu Along For Ride
12.01.2004

ANDREW LONG
SENIOR EDITOR



Mistwalker

Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu recently spoke to Weekly Famitsu in a joint interview, and the two spoke of their immediate futures now that neither is employed by the company they helped to build, Square Enix. Of most interest to RPGamers will be the revelation from Sakaguchi that his MistWalker studios is developing a total of three games currently, including an RPG, which will feature music by none other than his interview counterpart, Uematsu. Apparently, according to the interview, Sakaguchi had still been working as Executive Producer on the Final Fantasy series after forming MistWalker, and was still in touch with Yoshinori Kitase and Yasumi Matsuno, both key figures in the development of several recent titles in the Final Fantasy series.

Beyond general details, little is known about the games at this point. Sakaguchi did mention that the RPG will feature an atypical hero, and the experience system will be based around emotions, though how that will work is again unclear. It is also not known what platform the new MistWalker RPG will appear on; Sakaguchi did mention, however, that he is currently in talks with both Microsoft and Nintendo.

Development appears to be moving briskly; the first draft of the game's scenario will be finished soon, and the system and gameplay style have been finalized, although the actual specifics of how the player will interact with the game is yet to be determined. Of interest to gamers tired of conventional RPG stories will be the news that popular Japanese writer Kiyoshi Shigematsu will be involved in the project, contributing short episodes dealing with emotion and family relationships, sure to bring tears to the eyes of even the most stoic RPGamer.

As might well be imagined with someone of Sakaguchi's stature in the industry, he is already thinking big with this title; plans are in the works to extend it into a series spanning a total of 10 installments, which could conceivably take several decades to complete. Gamers, meanwhile, will get their first taste of the action sometime next year, when Sakaguchi plans to present the game for the first time.

Meanwhile, Uematsu, stating he wanted a new challenge, revealed that he only came onboard this month. He is aiming to create an "honest reflection" of Sakaguchi's scenario, and, according to the director, Uematsu will have free rein to compose the melodies he is famous for. The most pressing matter is the main theme's melody, but when pressed for details Uematsu would only say that he is aiming for a different style from his Final Fantasy work. Additionally, he revealed that he has christened his new studio Smile Please.

It will likely be several months before something more substantive is revealed about this game; at this point, the only concrete piece of information is this single screenshot released alongside the interview. RPGamer will continue to follow this story as it develops.


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