The duo talk about untangling the confusing original story.
Final Fantasy 14 is quite the story. I don’t mean the narrative in the game (though it’s quite good in its own right), I mean in its development. The original release was somewhat of a disaster, one that many thought was a failure. However, after a major revamp, the game was saved and continues on at a steady and successful pace. Today, the game’s current Director and Writer reflect on the titanic task of fixing the game’s many issues, especially the story.
In an interview with Twinfinite, Director Naoki Yoshida and Main Scenario Writer Banri Oda talked a lot about FF14‘s past and future. When talking about the original release’s story, they talk about how confusing it all was to the point that those working on the game couldn’t figure out what was going on, and how it took a lot of time to untangle that. Interestingly, they don’t look at that 1.0 version of the game all that negatively, saying it was still valuable in the sense of being a foundation for what came next.
“Back then I gave Oda-san one piece of advice: in case the interpretation of certain elements of the story by the players wasn’t in line with what the original developers wanted, if we needed to strain things in order to make them understand accurately, we didn’t really need to put too much effort into that. Even if we pushed, there was no guarantee that the players would understand completely, anyway.
Rather than making things too complicated, we should simply stick to our direction to make things more accessible for players.
For instance, even among the development team there were moments in the story that happened ten years before, but some interpreted them as happening in the present. That’s why we needed to make sure that everyone was on the same page.”
Well, they certainly helped to pull off something of a miracle. Final Fantasy 14 is still ongoing, one of the few major MMORPGs still going as strong as ever. It’s a legendary story, possibly more mythical than any story a fantasy RPG can dream up.