Legendary Final Fantasy
game designer Hironobu Sakaguchi has dug up some old notes
from the making of Final Fantasy IX
, and they're an interesting read for anyone who's a fan of the adventures of Zidane, Vivi and Steiner. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, especially if you love the old game (lots of fight sequences were planned differently than they went in the final code). If nothing else, it's fascinating to see the game designer's mind working to plan on paper what eventually became a classic PlayStation RPG.
Sakanguchi is both cinematic with his descriptions ("like steady cam," he says at one point to describe the game's opening shot) and very interested in characters (describing Vivi as "introversive [sic], quiet, obedient, indecisive, pure in heart and kind"). He glosses over spell and game specifics, leaving things like gearing up only described as "able to collect weapons and protective gears here."
That all makes sense, of course -- he and the team wouldn't need to figure out the numbers until later. But the little script is a fascinating look at the very early stages of a classic Final Fantasy
title, and just how centered on character and storytelling Square was back in those days. Sakaguchi's notes are a must-read for fans of the JRPG genre.