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Lost Odyssey Interview

Lost Odyssey Interview

Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi,
Game Designer of Lost Odyssey
by Nathan Meunier

January 31, 2008 - Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's contribution to the world of RPGs is no small feat, as is evident by the impressive list of incredible games he's been involved in over the past 20 years. Mistwalker, Sakaguchi's development studio founded in 2004, is now poised to continue the charge in 2008 and beyond with a slate of RPG titles currently in the works for the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 platforms. Last year Blue Dragon whet Xbox 360 owners' appetite for role-playing adventure, but the soon-to-be released Lost Odyssey promises to up the ante by drawing players in to a profoundly immersive, dark, and emotional journey not to soon be forgotten. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to catch a moment of Sakaguchi's time to discuss his upcoming epic RPG. Here's what he had to say.

HS: Hironobu Sakaguchi - Lost Odyssey Game Designer, Mistwalker
CCC: Cheat Code Central

CCC: From what we've heard so far, Lost Odyssey boasts a lengthy and epic storyline. What can you tell us about the journey players will embark on when the game ships next month?

HS: In this game, you will look for lost memories playing as an immortal man who lived for 1,000 years and will pursue a magnificent mystery and sadness hidden behind these memories. Memories in 1,000 years, stories written by a novelist Shigematsu Kiyoshi, will appear from time to time while playing. You will find each story could move you to tears, driving you to think deeply about life. Through the main in-game story, I directed very particularly to focus on the detailed expressions of the characters. As a result, I believe we succeed in explaining delicate nuances and showcasing a wide range of emotions. The game is comprised of a deep story filled with a variety of characters. Besides the serious stories, there is a comical character, Jansen, that will bring out some laughs. That kind of combination puts vivid life into the game.

CCC: Since the story spans the life of a virtually immortal main character, how does that impact the different locations and times players will experience throughout the course of the game?

HS: I depicted the bases existing in life, such as life and death of a human being, kindness and strictness, decisiveness and indecisiveness, prejudice and truth, through human relationships between the protagonist and people he had been interacting with in the 1,000 years. Those elements add significant weight to the game and will help players empathize with Kaim, the man who lived 1,000 years.

Lost Odyssey Interview

CCC: How does immortality and mortality factor into battle? What affect does it have on the interactions and relationships between main characters?

HS: Even when the main character is killed through battles, he will be raised after a specific time. He will never die.

Lost Odyssey Interview

CCC: Lost Odyssey appears to incorporate a striking mixture of medieval fantasy and industrial themes. What was the inspiration behind this juxtaposition, and what are some examples of how it plays out in the story and gameplay?

HS: The concept is a world filled with conflicts and struggles for power, as the result of artificial strong power suddenly carried to the world after a peaceful time passage where they were allowed to develop the society slowly and firmly. I wanted to depict a moment when people reveal their ugliness in desiring power.

I think that world is close to our world today where people are frightened by the idea of a nuclear bomb or new viruses. In that sense, player will feel the world in the game is very familiar and realistic although it appears quite different.

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