The men behind Final Fantasy XII

The Gambit system is integral to the function of the battles. Did you have input into that system as well? Either way, can you give some comments on how these systems work together?

One of the foundations of Final Fantasy XII is the end-user customizability. We've created characters that transcend normal RPG conventions in that each character is infinitely customizable. When the Gambits are setup properly, the [computer-controlled characters] will behave exactly the way you would if you were controlling [them]. We have hundreds of different triggers available and a wealth of commands available to mix and match. We wanted to make the game as customizable as possible and the Gambit system helps us complete this objective.

Do you think the RPG market is overcrowded with the traditional turn-based combat that Final Fantasy made so popular? Why do you think this design has lasted so long?

No matter the genre, the gaming market can never become too overcrowded with good games. Turn-based games have lasted this long because they're simple, intuitive and addicting at the same time. It lures in a wide variety of people by not demanding rapid button presses or quick reflexes. Anyone with a knowledge of the controller can easily jump into a turn-based RPG and pick it up.

In some ways the battle system is a huge departure from the original series' ATB system. Did you worry about the change? Can you talk about your inspiration for this change?

(Laughs) There was much resistance internally about the new battle system, but it was something that we felt was worth fighting for. We call it the Active Dimension Battle because this truly does signify a new dimension in RPG combat. At first we were worried about the internal resistance, but we feel that the final product has convinced a lot of doubters.