SaGa Series Interview

SaGa is a long-standing and unique series, tracing its roots all the way back to the Game Boy with Final Fantasy Legend. Most recently, SaGa Frontier Remastered was released in April 2021, bringing the PlayStation classic to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, iOS, and Android with improved graphics and new content. RPGamer was able to interview SaGa creator Akitoshi Kawazu, producer Masanori Ichikawa, and developer Hiroyuki Miura (Saga Frontier Remastered and Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend).

Johnathan Stringer (RPGamer): A lot of work has gone into restoring and releasing classic SaGa titles. Do you have any plans for a new entry in the series any time soon?

Akitoshi Kawazu: I’m not sure when the timing will be, but I’m working every day to release a new entry in the series.

Masanori Ichikawa: I’m afraid I can’t say anything for now, but I hope you look forward to it.

JS: The SaGa series has always been experimental; how would you like to see the series evolve in terms of plot, exploration, and/or combat?

AK: I hope to further pursue gameplay that, through all RPG elements, makes players think, i.e., through making strategic decisions, and gives them a full sense of enjoyment.



JS: Which of the lead characters in the SaGa series are your favorites?

AK: One characteristics of the SaGa series is that you’ll find some traditional lead characters, like Albert from Romancing SaGa, but on the other hand, you’ll also find unique lead characters, like T260G from SaGa Frontier. As each character has their own role in their respective titles, I love them all.

MI: I’m including characters that aren’t necessarily lead characters, but I love Mask and Robots from Final Fantasy Legend II.

Hiroyuki Miura: If we’re limiting to lead characters, my favorite would be Albert. In the SaGa series, we rarely see traditional/orthodox lead characters depicted (though that’s part of the appeal), which is why he’s left an impression on me.

If we’re not limiting things to lead characters, I also love Mr. S from Final Fantasy Legend II, Therese from Romancing SaGa 2, and Zozma from SaGa Frontier.

JS: What were the challenges in remastering SaGa Frontier for modern consoles?

AK: The biggest concern was that remastering a prerendered game would look outdated and wouldn’t be embraced by players, so I’m surprised that it was received better than we had anticipated.

HM: The challenges we faced were the large amount of work that went into refining everything due to the large volume of graphical data, as well as having to reassess certain depictions/wordings, based on changes in current social norms.



JS: How challenging was it to add in the missing content from the original SaGa Frontier release?

AK: The goal of remastering SaGa Frontier was to add Fuse’s scenario as well as other elements, so it felt like a given to do so. As for the development work on the frontlines, I believe it was a lot of hard work as they needed to reproduce these additional elements through a limited number of past assets.

HM: This is especially for the Fuse scenario, but as we needed to create something new based on the concept of the original, there were challenges in adding a new storyline. It was also a challenge to make sure everything was aligned with the original’s setting and timeline.

JS: What exactly are the plans to remaster/remake/improve/fix Unlimited Saga, and will it finally get the big G in its title?

AK: All past entries in the SaGa series, including Unlimited Saga, are important, and our goal is to make them all playable on modern gaming platforms. As for how the game’s title will turn out when we remaster/remake/improve/fix the game is still undecided.

We want to think Akitoshi Kawazu, Masanori Ichikawa, and Hiroyuki Miura for answering our questions about this storied franchise. The SaGa series has traditionally had a large following in Japan, but less so in the west, and we look forward to more of these classics RPGs being remastered and released to the western audience.

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