One of the most surprising and heartwarming moments of the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event in San Francisco was the appearance of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the original Final Fantasy and of quite a few of its sequels. During the post-show, he had his own insight to share about the upcoming game, film, anime series and about the title’s Director, Hajime Tabata.
“It really blew me away that there’s so many things. We have got the animated series, we’ve got the film, and first of all I was overwhelmed by the volume of content that has been produced, but then I looked to them all and I said “wow, they have such high quality as well, there’s nothing wrong with them, they’re flawless,” and I was just really amazed.”
“Tabata-san here, he’s really an amazing guy. You know, to make something of this quality and of this level, you need a lot of patience, and a lot of guts in a certain way. To get to this quality you need skill, you need passion, but you also need that determination, and I really felt that Tabata-san had that in spades.”
Sakaguchi-san also praised Tabata-san’s ability to improvise on stage:
“Then I saw him today with that thing he did at the end, pushing the air button, I saw a whole side of him today and I thought… I actually felt that there was a real button there, and when he did that I was just “wow.” So yeah, he’s a pretty special guy.”
Tabata-san responded with a parting message thanking Sakaguchi-san, alongside with Yoshitaka Amano and Nobuo Uematsu for their support:
“I just talked with Sakaguchi-san here and Amano-san, and I interacted with them in the past, telling them what we’re trying to do with Final Fantasy XV, and what we’re trying to achieve here. Seeing them today, inviting them to this event, seeing their reaction and what they’ve said about it, it really makes me feel great about what we’ve achieved with Final Fantasy XV. I think it was all worth it.”
“Hearing their messages today, and what they have said, and being here with the founding fathers of Final Fantasy… Hearing what they said about the game, and that they gave their thumbs up, and the confidence they have in it, it really fills us with motivation. We’re gonna push right to the end, and get this game out and to you guys. It’s really been a great experience, and it has really filled me with confidence, so thank you.”
Personally, I was almost shocked (in a good way) to see Hironobu Sakaguchi walk on that stage. Tabata-san did tell us during our interview at Gamescom about his contacts with the father of the franchise, but witnessing his return to an official Square Enix event after a rift that lasted for way too long, almost looked like the first step to heal old wounds, and the beginning of a new era for the franchise.
Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.