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New Dissidia Final Fantasy Details Emerge From Automaton Translation of Dengeki Online Interview

New Dissidia Final Fantasy Details Emerge From Automaton Translation of Dengeki Online Interview
New Dissidia Final Fantasy Details Emerge From Automaton Translation of Dengeki Online Interview
The Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade game by Square Enix has taken off since its announcement, with arcade and traditional (console) Final Fantasy fans equally excited to get their hands on the game. This has led to an avalanche of news and updates, plus shows and conferences, inundating news feeds everywhere. Staying true to this, Automaton recently translated a Dengeki Online interview with Takeo Kujiraoka (game producer) and Ichiro Hazama of Square Enix, as well as Koei Tecmo’s Yosuke Hayashi (game director).

There's a lot of information, so I have posted Automaton's bullet-point run down, adding in a few more for good measure. Here's what we know:

  • The game shares the same title (Dissidia Final Fantasy) as the original, as the developers feel that "We wanted to show our earnestness in doing an arcade version, so we felt that not adding anything [numbers/subtitles] to the title and simply rebooting was the best choice." There’s no word yet with regards to whether this means that the story events of Dissidia are themselves going to be rebooted—in any case, the arcade version of Dissidia won’t have a story mode, although there will be allusions to a potential story mode/events that shaped the world in the characters' lines.

  • Tetsuya Nomura is one of the people on the Square Enix side overseeing the graphics of Dissidia Final Fantasy.

  • Both Hazama and Hayashi expressed that Nomura is very particular and harsh in his oversight.

  • Hayashi expressed that, as you’d expect from a Team Ninja game, they’re placing emphasis on creating a game that runs at 60fps and features cute girls.

  • Hayashi’s team felt that 60fps was necessary and stuck to their 60fps goal despite members outside of the team expressing doubt over whether or not it was necessary. Hayashi explained that it makes the game glide along in a simple, stress-free way—something he considers integral to getting people into arcades day after day.

  • Hazama talked about how he contacted Sony (SCEJA) about getting PS4-based arcade hardware. What he got was literally an arcade machine with a PS4 inside it, albeit one that had been customised for arcade use.

  • The customisation itself was not explained in great detail, but we know that Dissidia Final Fantasy will be using a controller akin to a divided DualShock 4 in lieu of traditional arcade buttons and stick.

  • This is intentional, serving the purpose of helping traditional Final Fantasy players—who may be more familiar with controllers than arcade sticks—to get into the game.

  • When asked about a PlayStation 4 port, Hazama expressed that the arcade game would come first, and even after it was done the team would be preoccupied with creating additional content for it. In his own words: "At the very least, we wouldn’t release the PlayStation 4 version within a year of officially releasing the arcade version; we couldn’t [being so busy with development of additional arcade content]."

  • In response to concerns that the hurdle for getting into a 3-vs.-3 game may be too high, Kujiraoka noted that it’s not the case that "each character has to conform to a particular role or you simply can’t fight [effectively]". Everyone can be an "attacker" if they wish.

  • But he did express that there was some strategy in placing distance between players so that the battles effectively play out in a 2-vs.-1 or 3-vs.-1 fashion.

  • Characters have EX Skills that confer passive benefits across the party (ATK up on your party, DEF down on enemy party, for example).

  • There are HP recovery EX Skills, such as Lightning's Scene Drive.

  • EX Bursts are gone. They’ve been replaced by Summons.

  • In addition to Ifrit, Odin and Ramuh have also made the cut. Odin has his trusty Zantetsuken, but Kujiraoka tells players not to worry as it won’t inflict a Break in a single hit.

  • The method for acquiring Summons is still under consideration, and as such has not been finalised.

  • Which Summon you use is voted on by each party member before the battle starts.

  • There will be 14 characters upon launch of the arcade game, with plans for a potential (total of) 50 or more.

  • Final Fantasy XIV’s Y’Shtola was picked because she’s recognisable, can fight, and has some individuality in her skills. Minfilia and Gaius were also considered, but the team went for Y’Shtola because she hasn't appeared in many games compared to the others and is well known.

  • On the inclusion of Final Fantasy Tactics' Ramza, Kujiraoka noted that the concept behind him is "Warcry Commander" with a focus on support magic. Players will choose between using Shout to strengthen Ramza himself or to strengthen the party.

  • Hayashi noted that at first it might be hard to get your bearings as there’s a lot of information on-screen. He recommends using the mini-map until you are able to predict attacks from the side or from behind. You can also watch the target lines as they turn red when an enemy initiates an attack against you.

  • You can’t guard forever, as your guard degrades with successive attacks. Block too much and you’ll experience a Guard Crush, where you’ll be dizzied.

  • Hitting opponents against walls won’t damage them, but how they respond to being hit against a wall changes depending on how fast they are blasted into one: you can cause a wall splat with high-speed blasts or a glancing bound with low-speed ones. How you choose to follow-up attack a walled opponent will depend on which kind of wall strike you get.

  • [Some? All?] close-range attacks can now be dash-cancelled akin to the way Kain could dash-cancel in previous Dissidia games. These dash-cancelled attacks are perfect for following up with another attack. For example, Lightning can dash-cancel her Blaster* Magic Attack.
  • [Translator’s note: It’s not clear if the Blaster here means a gun blaster, or if it's a reference to the Blaster Optima/Paradigm which is known as "Ravager" in English versions of FFXIII. I’ll leave Dissidia fans to work that one out for themselves.]

  • Players will affiliate themselves either with Cosmos or Chaos and their points will contribute towards a point total towards which every other player (nationwide) is also working. There’s no word yet on whether this affiliation will affect character choices (for example, Chaos affiliates will only get to play bad guys, etc.).

  • Japanese arcades will have specialist staff employed to tutor people on how to play the game.

  • The voices for the game are all being recorded from scratch. Both Terra and Cloud are going have positive personalities this time around (goodbye, Emo Cloud).

  • In the Final Fantasy X stage, characters will move ever so slightly slower when standing in the sea.

  • There will be stage-specific animations, such as Meteor falling in the Final Fantasy VII stage*.
  • [Translator’s note: It’s unclear from the wording if he means that Meteor is just "falling" or is actually "crashing".]

  • Stages change appearance when Summons appear or when the party’s life has fallen to 1*.
  • [Translator's note: It is assumed that Kujiraoka means "1HP", he clearly doesn’t mean down to "one character", but this isn't specifically clarified.]

  • All composers working on the music for Dissidia arcade version are all Square Enix staff who have worked on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts projects, as well as other popular games and franchises from Square Enix. Staff include Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito and Keiji Kawamori.

  • The new Final Fantasy theme song for the arcade version is a huge departure from the console series according to Kujiraoka, "I was told the song had been uploaded so I gave it a listen and was like 'Woah?! What is this?!' It’s like an amusement park melody." [Laughs] "Ishimoto had been saying that if you were going to do a musical [re-]arrangement, then you might as well make some big changes. And what we got was certainly a big departure."

  • The songs in the location test are arrangements of the following:
  • "Opening Theme" (FF1)
  • "Eternal Wind" (FF3)
  • "Dancing Mad" (FFVI)
  • "Eden Under Siege" (FFXIII)
  • "Torn from the Heavens" (FFXIV)

  • The music for the game will include exisitng tracks from previous games, as well as new tracks and original tracks. Songs will not change according to how battle plays out and will be selected randomly.

  • Plans for a smartphone app in future that would allow players to create custom playlists for when they are playing are in discussion. "We’re planning on letting players create their own custom track lists via smartphone app in the future. That way you could have a list of your favourite songs and have songs from within that list play at random," said Kujiraoka.

  • Noctis from Final Fantasy XV is a very likely character addition which will be added to the game post-release. "We're thinking about it, of course. He would likely use something like his 'Phantom Swords'," explains Takeo Kujira.

  • Single player missions will be available, as well as Battle of the Gods mode. These modes will be linked by the players, so wins and losses in single player missions will be attributed to that players camp (Cosmos or Chaos) and can help the other players in their camp. This also gives the player community common ground, however frequently they play or their skill level.

  • Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade a ten year project? "Our codename for this project is "Dicade" [Dissidia + Arcade], which also carries the nuance that we want this to be a "ten-year project" ["decade"]. Of course it’s [also] called "Dicade" because it’s Dissidia Final Fantasy [for the] Arcade, but I think the double meaning fits well. In any case, we’re entering the arcade space in all earnestness; we want to develop Dissidia into something massive [in terms of content] and are working closely with our partners such as Hayashi to that end," explains Kujiraoka.

  • You can also check out the effort the team has put into graphics (something they all seem very excited about, and are extremely happy with the positive response to the graphics work in the arcade version) by watching this comparative video showing the arcade version graphics beside Playstation 4 graphics:

The interview translation has been broken up into three parts. You can read the full uncut interview translation Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on Automaton.


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