1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hello! Join Us here on Mognet Central & be part of one of the best FF & RPG communities around! You can even sign up with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Steam Account, Kupo!

Final Fantasy and Hironobu Sakaguchi

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by Nikolasvanitas, Oct 6, 2013.

Registered Members don't see ads. Sign up! It's Free!

  1. Nikolasvanitas

    Nikolasvanitas PSICOM Soldier

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    72
    A Tribute to Hironobu Sakaguchi

    [​IMG]
    This is a story that most of the members in this forum probably already know but i think it would be nice for people who are new to the series

    Squaresoft was the name of the company that started it all, and in 1987 they were in serious financial trouble. After a series of unsuccessful games they were in a bad spot.Having the resources for one last ditch effort, the company assigned Hironobu Sakaguchi (director of planning and development) with the great task of creating a game to save Square from bankruptcy. On deciding what sort of game to make, Sakaguchi stated, “I don’t think I have what it takes to make a good action game. I think I’m better at telling a story.”

    Combining elements of genre favorites such as Dragon Quest,Zelda and Ultima, Sakaguchi created an RPG world with an expansive game map and many story elements to uncover. Convinced that the title would ultimately be Square’s swan song, he ironically named it, “Final Fantasy.”

    From this one game, Square and Final Fantasy blossomed. Final Fantasy became wildly successful and popular, and the company itself went on to create other RPG classics such as Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger .I grew up with the company, seeing the new games as they came out, and I fell in love with them. Truly, Square could do no wrong.

    Square decided, sometime after Sakaguchi directed the failed motion picture Final Fantasy :The Spirits Within, that this risk-taking creative juggernaut was too dangerous for the large and powerful company Square had become. The film greatly exceeded its original budget towards the end of production, reaching a final cost of $137 million. Unfortunately, it only made back $85 million at the box office. The film was a box office bomb.

    They weren’t going to fire him, but he couldn’t really do much with any project after that. Even in Final Fantasy X he was simply executive producer. They gave him a figurehead position in Hawaii (most likely to save face and not totally demolish Sakaguchi), and one day he became so fed up with the situation that he quit to form his own company and took half of the development team of Final Fantasy XII with him.

    Sakaguchi had been put in a purely symbolic position and had no real power to influence games anymore. Instead of just living a cushy life out in Hawaii, Sakaguchi quit Square, took half of the development team with him, and started his own company known as Mistwalker

    Since leaving Square Enix, Sakaguchi has released a few games with Mistwalker including Blue Dragon,Lost Odyssey and The Last Story

    So whats your opinion about Hironobu Sakaguchi?Do you think that Square should have kept Sakaguchi or not?
     
    Orenji likes this.
  2. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    923
    Trophy Points:
    512
    It sadly wasn't a matter of keeping him as much that as after The Spirits Within his position was 100% untenable. I think something was lost with Sakaguchi, but I think that was more because I don't think the true changeover of power had really happened at the point he was forced out. FF needed a proper hand-over, like how Miyamoto handed Zelda off to Anouma, but it never really happened. Sakaguchi was gone, and that was that. I think some of the identity crisis the series has had is down to that, really, and the closest they have to a Sakaguchi figure now is Kitase, who I get the impression would like to make something other than an RPG sooner than later.

    I think Sakaguchi's recent efforts have been imbued with a wonderful energy, but the only truly great one is Lost Odyssey. In my mind that is in a sense still the "true" FF13, and any true FF fan owes it to themselves to play it.

    Incidentally, there's a bit about the Sakaguchi situation and stuff in the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Celebration Magazine Kagari and I acted as editors on. If you'd like to know more about him, his work, his ethics and the circumstances behind him leaving, I'd highly recommend you reading it. You can find it here: http://www.uffsite.net/avalon/

    Pages 6/7, 9 and 100/101 are all pretty major to this.
     
    Orenji, Casval and Nikolasvanitas like this.
  3. Mark

    Mark Balamb Garden Freshman

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    30
    The Final Fantasy story is a great one, isn't it?

    I have great respect for the man, and he looks so mature in that photo. He's an old man now though, but I think he still has a bit to go yet. It seems to me that the downfall of the series started when he left, so yes, I think he should of stayed. It completely broke Square's rythm, and tons of other members left with him. He's created some of my favourite games, but Mistwalker haven't really created anything intresting lately. The Last Story was good. Just good.
     
    Nikolasvanitas likes this.
  4. Nikolasvanitas

    Nikolasvanitas PSICOM Soldier

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    72
    Thanks ,I have already downloaded the magazine when you released it last year ,I have to say you guys have done an amazing job collecting all these information from every period of Square Enix's history
    I have recommended it to many of my friends, even people who arent fans of the series and they all enjoyed this nostalgia trip
     
  5. hui43210

    hui43210 Yevonite

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    62
    I did not know about that mag, it looks GREAT, look forward to reading it.
     
  6. Kagari

    Kagari 神羅カンパニー社長 Staff Member Administrator Site Staff

    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Yeah honestly... his departure was a huge blow to the series and Lost Odyssey's success pretty much proves that. That game is probably one of the best JRPGs this generation while FF this generation definitely took a nose dive.
     
  7. Dollow

    Dollow Yevonite

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    45
    With Hironobu Sakaguchi at Square, he did start something special with Final Fantasy, I think the main thing he gave to Square was that when he made Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, it showed that he can be very naive about about what was Final Fantasy at the time, even if he made the series, and it reminded Square how vulnerable they can be, which as a company still has not left them to this day.

    Sakaguchi's endeavors after leaving Square have honestly been a bit of a mix bag, and I don't think he has been able to bottle lightning twice with the success he had at Squaresoft.

    Overall I think he was one of the most important of parts of Final Fantasy, but do think he over reached with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and I think the things Square Enix would do in the future after he left, would have happen anyway.
     
  8. Omegaflare

    Omegaflare Yevonite

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    64
    Sakaguchis story is almost a tragedy really. The man who created Final Fantasy and formed Square and really laid out all of the groundwork for what the series became in the 90s. There is no doubt. Any true Final Fantasy fan owes this man a LOT of respect and gratitude for what he gave us.

    On the other hand, the man nearly ruined Square and the Final Fantasy series forever. This is something people like to skip over in their nostalgia. His work on Spirits Within nearly bankrupted Square. Many people complain that everything was better during the Squaresoft days and that the Square Enix merger was a bad thing - but it was a thing that was made necessary in the first place by Sakaguchis mistakes. if not for the merger, FF X would have probably been the last game of the series and we might not even be here right now.

    I have enormous respect and gratitude for Sakaguchi (and whenever his name pops up in a FF game it still gives me the chills) but I also am very aware of the fact that he buried Squaresoft. Not all on his own of course, others were involved as well but he held the responsibility. It was his ship to steer and he let it sink. Then the pieces had to be salvaged and rebuilt with some material from another ship.

    And as much as this man has accomplished, not everything he or Squaresoft did was gold. FF III and V (both directed or written by Sakaguchi) are the worst games in the series to me, who were straight up failures in my book. Actually FF V was even the last FF directed by Sakaguchi. He didnt even direct any of the Playstation FFs.
     
    Orenji likes this.
  9. Zero

    Zero Red Wings Commander UFFSite Veteran

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Is that a recent pic? Didn't he shave the infamous 'stache? He definitely did a few years ago. Perhaps he's grown it back since.
     
    Nikolasvanitas likes this.
  10. hui43210

    hui43210 Yevonite

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    62
    BTW, Op has his facts wrong, Square didn't name FF cuz they thought it would be their last game. It was Hironobu's last stab at making games before he would give up and go back to school. I was pretty sure that was the case and Mag posted here confirms it.
     
    Casval likes this.
  11. Squirrel Emperor

    Squirrel Emperor Nuts Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    660
    Trophy Points:
    304
    They definitely need his guidance. That's for sure. What we're seeing now are these upcoming directors thinking that they can do whatever they want with the IP. There's a good reason why some people have gone as far to say that Final Fantasy XIII wasn't deserving of the Final Fantasy name. The same will happen with Final Fantasy XV too as it's an action-RPG.

    Nothing wrong with doing new things but that identity is very important as it's a big reason why many of us have been big fans and playing these games for such a long time.

    Nintendo's handling of Zelda was smart. They did the same thing with Koizumi and Mario too. The best thing about Zelda and Mario today? That identity remains intact. Zelda still feels like Zelda and Mario still feels like Mario. I think this is a big reason why Miyamoto would rather have Star Fox be made internally at Nintendo instead of outsourcing it.

    At Square Enix, he was surrounded by talent and had big budgets to work with. After playing The Last Story, I asked myself what the game would have been like if it was surrounded by those two things. It's a great game and I like it but one has to wonder.

    I would love to see Mistwalker x Monolith Soft work on a project together. It's nice to dream I guess.
     
    Casval likes this.
  12. soup or mann

    soup or mann Red Wings Commander UFFSite Veteran

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Pretty sure Sakaguchi-san shaved his mustache back in 2010 but has since grew it back, though I heard rumors he never shaved it and that he photo-shopped it originally, heh.
     
  13. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    923
    Trophy Points:
    512
    Yeah, absolutely. Nintendo worked in a very smart way. FF I feel has lacked that strong guiding hand; Kitase has done some work, but even now he wasn't really on 12 and seems to have limited involvement on 15, so again it's back to square one (no pun intended) there. I don't think Nomura has the wider vision to fit that role either; he's an amazing artist and has a mind for story, but lacks the level of systems thought.

    RE Starfox - that's a weird one anyway, as such a large amount of the original's development was a sort of weird East/West collaboration. You can see that, too - Adventures, Assault and Command represent the three core values from three different places - aesthetics, technology and gameplay - that made Starfox great. Unless they find a way to marry all three together in one game again, that series is a tough sell.
     
Registered Members don't see ads. Sign up! It's Free!

Share This Page