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Project Phoenix - Interview @

by Couchpotato, 2013-08-16 01:02:16 interviews Hiroaki Yura Lead Director and Producer of the Project Phoenix.

RPG Site: You had already met your goal within 9 hours. I'm sure this has been pretty overwhelming for you. I had a few questions I wanted to ask. From the video, you clearly are not that happy with the way the state of the JRPG has been lately, saying that they have lost the essence of what a JRPG is about. What is your opinion on the direction that the Final Fantasy series has been going?

Yura: Oh, right. [laughs] You do know I am good friends with Mr. Sakaguchi? (Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of Final Fantasy).

Final Fantasy is a great series. I have been a big fan of that series since I was very young. But it's just not the way that I wished it would have taken off. For me, my favorite Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy IX. This all comes down to what JRPG means to me. I have had a bit of a confidence problem two to three weeks back and I asked Sakaguchi-san if he was happy to see me. He's like, "What do you need to see me for?" and I said I wanted to study a bit with you. He said alright and he invited me to his place and we had a talk about what is JRPG.

He told me JRPG is about character. It was the exact same answer that the composer and the game designer Mr. Hiroki Kikuta who did Secret of Mana, and is also a good friend of mine, and who I also asked what JRPG was about. So character is good, but I realized they were the people that were there right at the beginning of Squaresoft and I have to really get the 2013 answer of what JRPG is about. More importantly, what my answer of what JRPGs are about. I really feel that JRPGs, although they say it is about character, to me it's about the story and how moving and how important and how profoundly it affects the players.

RPG Site: And also the dynamic between the characters and their relationship and how it affected the overall story. To me, the overall story wasn't that important; it was about what are these people inside this story. What are they doing, how they are speaking to each other, and how they are reacting to what is going on. Is that sort of approach something you also think is important from that time?

Yura: It's important, but these games have taken a different approach. Sakaguchi-san was telling me about that for Chrono Cross or Chrono Trigger, it's not like it's about how much they have been speaking and how much the main character speaks, which is not a hell of a lot. It's not like a Western RPG where they kind of talk but it was a unique thing. I realy like Western RPGs, but I don't really find the appeal with them as I do Japanese RPGs. I am not saying that combat shouldn't be important, but the biggest sell for a JRPG is story.

Now, this JRPG project, Project Phoenix, is not really about a JRPG for Japanese fans. This project is a JRPG for the world.

Information about

Project Phoenix

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Cancelled