Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions - interview

Our final Square Enix interview of the entire SE Party 2007 was with team membersworking on the to-be-released remake of Final Fantasy Tactics, now subtitled The War of the Lions, which was released last week in Japan. This game, which originally came to the PSone in 1998, is beloved by fans but is something of a lost classic in the US market. Thanks to this interview, we've learned that the US version will have voice during the cutscenes, where the Japanese version does not. Executive Producer Akitoshi Kawazu, Co-producer Shingo Kosuge and Translator Tom Slattery were happy to answer our questions. For more hot info on the game, read on:

GamesRadar: On its original release in 1998, this was the first game that had featured Ivalice, but since that time there have been a number of games, and you've since announced the Ivalice Alliance series. Have you had to make any adjustments to the game in the remake because of this?

Akitoshi Kawazu: No, there's nothing that particularly changed because of the Ivalice Alliance.

GR: When this game was originally released, soon after Final Fantasy VII, Cloud was a hidden character. It's been 10 years and there have been a number of popular FF characters since then. Have any other secret characters been added?

Shingo Kosuge: We've added two new characters, both of whom are from other Ivalice Alliance games: Balthier from Final Fantasy XII and Russo, who is the main character in Final Fantasy Tactics A2.

GR: You may not be aware, but the original version that came out 10 years ago - the translation for America was godawful, to put it mildly. What is the team doing when working with the localization team to ensure that it's corrected for this release?

Tom Slattery: As the localization team I'll answer this question. We are completely retranslating it from the ground up. The original translation is gone. So this time, it will be a completely new translation and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

GR: I got a good feeling.

TS: I got a good feeling, myself.

GR: The new version of Final Fantasy XII announced last week is called FFXII International: Zodiac Job System. That name is very reminiscent of FFT. Is there any overlap between the new version of FFT and the new version of FFXII? Or was FFT an influence in how it was developed?

AK: One thing is, the director working on the International version of FFXII is the battle director from Final Fantasy Tactics, so he was very fond of that battle system and wanted to implement that. But overall, the whole idea of the Zodiac thing is just something that's tied in very heavily in the world of Ivalice, so those games both take place in Ivalice and it's just something that takes place in multiple games.

GR: The original release was the first time that there was a Final Fantasy spin-off game; now, of course, it's kind of a growth industry for Square Enix. How have things changed since the original release and has that affected your plans for the re-release of this game?

AK: One of the basic ideas behind it is, especially lately, the worlds -- every Final Fantasy is set in a different world, and the worlds are getting deeper and more complex. It's kind of a waste to create this whole complex world that fans love and then just throw it all away, let it be just that one game. We're trying to reuse the worlds that fans like.