Friday, July 9, 2010

Entry #2: Versus the Grain

So many people are curious as to what exactly Final Fantasy Versus XIII is like in relation to the actual Final Fantasy XIII. Well, a while back I was asked to design the characters for Final Fantasy XIII. I remember how Motomu Toriyama, the game's director, told me to do the designs.

His breath reeked of pretzels and Heineken, and he smiled at me with crooked yellow teeth as he told me, "Make Cloud hot."

So I made Lightning. And then the madness continued. He asked me to make characters that slowly became more and more insane and ridiculous, culminating in Vanille.

At that point I had had it. I couldn't work on a game that every fiber of my being was opposed to, forced to create abominations like Vanille. So I went to Yoichi Wada, the Square Enix President, and asked him if I could create my own version of Final Fantasy XIII.

"What if, like, it was Final Fantasy XIII, but like the opposite?" I suggested.

He stared at me for a second, and then said, "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Get back to work."

Luckily I had embezzled millions of dollars in company money, for various weekend zipper-binges and such, and so I went ahead and started my own project.

And thus, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was born.

Of course, going against Wada's orders meant we couldn't just sit in the middle of the company and develop a game. We'd be caught. So I had everyone set up in a janitor's closet where pre-production began. I brought in Yoko Shimomura, who would be the composer for this game, and asked her to compose something dark and edgy to be the main theme.

"Like, an opera thing," I said, "in fucking Latin. How hardcore would that be?"

She looked kind of confused but diligently began work on the main theme. As it turns out, the janitor who's closet we were using was rinsing off his mop quietly in the corner when he heard me discussing the main theme.

"Hey, do you mind if I suggest an idea?" he asked. "What if the main theme was an 80s love ballad?"

I considered this for a second, and eventually said, "Nah, it's not dark and edgy enough. But your ideas might be good for another game, I guess. What's your name?"

"Nobuo Uematsu," he said, stroking his mustache. "We used to work togeth--"

"Yeah, that's great," I said. "I don't mean to be rude, but we're kind of, like, developing a multi-million dollar game here and all, and this closet is packed enough as it is."

I fished in my pocket and handed him a key. "Here, for now you can use my office as your janitor headquarters...thingy... Just don't mess with the Cloud action figures. I spent a lot of time setting them up so that the light from my desk lamp his them perfectly."

He looked at the key for a second, a look of anger crossing his face, and said, "Wait, this is the key to my old off--"

"Yoko! How's that theme coming?" I asked, and she gave me the finger.

So development continued for the next few months. While the Final Fantasy XIII team continued to make their stupid on-rails Korean soap opera, I crafted a work of true EMOTION, that would BREAK into the Japanese leather-fetishist scene and take everyone from behind, positioning itself firmly between their buttocks and ramming away with the force of a game that definitely knows what the hell it's doing, and isn't just trying to be dark and edgy to appeal to the teen fanbase.

Eventually, we had enough footage to make a two minute trailer. At the Tokyo Game Show, when Square Enix wasn't looking, we snuck into their booth and ran our trailer on every screen they had.

Fan reaction was amazing, especially from the Japanese leather-fetishist scene. As a result, Wada and I had a talk.

"Game's, like, popular," I said. "People want to see this, like, now. Looks like you have no choice but to greenlight it."

I stood there, smug as hell. He looked at me, and said, "Where did you get the money to start this development?"

So right now I'm sitting in a jail cell updating this blog, waiting for that janitor to come bail me out so I can continue development on this masterpiece. I see him coming and wave, trying to get his attention.

"Matisyahu! Over here!"

He furrows his eyebrows and says, "It's 'Uematsu'. Come on, we worked together for like ten ye--"

"Come on, I need to get out! My brain's, like, exploding with gameplay ideas."

He sighed and motioned to a guard, who unlocked my cell.

So now development continues. I hope to make this journal more than just a place for me to lock away my most private musings in a place accessible by the entirety of the world. I will also provide exclusive gameplay information on the characters, story, battle system (which is mostly explained in the last post), and most important of all, the dark theme of the true Final Fantasy XIII, but Versus that.

Nomura out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Entry #1: Intro and Musings

NOMURA Note: This is the first part of the script, penned personally by me. This probably won't be the version that appears in the final game, so I decided to publish it here so the public could at least view it once in its original form.

***

A dark city -- everyone wears leather clothes and the government is corrupt -- rain falls -- thunder and lightning split the sky

Noctis walks out of a building carrying a paper bag filled with bread and juice -- opera music blares and builds to a crescendo -- everything is fucking epic -- Noctis starts walking down the street -- he stops at the corner when he sees a dog.


Noctis: Hey, dog, I've been seeing you here every time I get groceries. Do you have a home?

The dog stares at him -- the opera music builds and builds -- the dog stares at Noctis -- he doesn't move

Noctis: Do you want some bread?

Noctis fishes in his paper bag -- the music is unbearably loud and epic now -- everything is about to explode

Cut to a shot of Stella running down the street -- she is being chased by hooded figures


Hooded Figure 1: What is a life of darkness? How can one even call it life when there is no light?

Hooded Figure 2: How dost thou cope with a cruel world? And how dost thou get thine ass so tight? Goddamn, come here so I can scoop thine supple cheeks up.

Stella screams and cuts through an alley -- the corrupt government police officers don't help her -- she sees a boy with a giant key but pushes him aside believing him to be another rapist -- she sees the end of the alley

Cut to Noctis who has a piece of bread in his hand and is about to feed it to the dog -- the opera music has hit a peak and is sustaining one note for epic maximum tension and drama


Noctis: Here you go, doggie.

The dog eats the bed as a chaotic crash of instruments comes down from the sustained note -- gunshots are heard and the music breaks into the game's theme song -- "I Luv It" by Young Jeezy

Stella explodes out of the alley and trips -- she sprawls out across the street -- she has ended up at the street corner where Noctis is feeding the dog -- he sees her


Noctis: Stella? What are you doing here?

The Hooded Figures also explode out of the alley -- they make their way towards Stella -- Noctis jumps into action and the game's tutorial battle begins




TUTORIAL BATTLE - ACTION ENERGY FREE-TIME FOUR-DIMENSIONAL BATTLE FLOW SYSTEM


(AEFTFDBFS)


Tutorial Message: Welcome to your first battle in Final Fantasy Versus XIII! You will be having many battles, so it is best to familiarize yourself with the system. First, a list of the controls for battle:


BATTLE CONTROLS

1. Left Analog Stick - Move Left Leg
2. Right Analog Stick - Move Right Leg
3. X Button - Jump
4. O Button - Angst
5. Square Button - Insult
6. Triangle Button - Read Enemy's Diary
7. L1 Button - Update Twitter on iMac
8. L2 Button - Angst
9. R1 Button - Quote Shakespeare
10. R2 Button - Relate Shakespeare to themes of Light, Darkness, Fate, Friendship, and Death
11. D-Pad Left/Right/Up/Down - Move eyeballs
12. L3 Button - Tap dance with left leg
13. R3 Button - Tap dance with right leg
14. Start Button - Anti-Pause/Speed up game
15. Select Button - Get to the Chopper


Tutorial Message: Because it is a radical reinvention of the series, Final Fantasy Versus XIII does not feature typical RPG staples like HP, magic, leveling, items, or armed combat. Instead, Final Fantasy Versus XIII features the new EMOTION BREAK system.


Tutorial Message (cont'd): Let's demonstrate how you will be using the EMOTION BREAK system to defeat enemies in combat.


Step 1: When the battle begins, use the L3 and R3 buttons in conjunction with timed analog stick movements to perform a tap dance routine.

Step 2: The enemy should become distracted by your dancing and try to mimic it. While it does this, press the TRIANGLE button to steal and read the enemy's diary. You can only steal the diary of an enemy who has either been distracted by dancing or made vulnerable by angsting. Thus, another strategy is to press the CIRCLE button to angst.

Step 3: Read the diary. This will power up your "Insult" ability. Once it is done, press the SQUARE button to use your newfound knowledge of the enemy's insecurities and crushes on certain pre-pubescent male singers to BREAK his EMOTION, which is signified by a heart icon. When the heart splits completely in two, you win the battle.

Tutorial Message: This the basic strategy, but bear in mind that enemies will do everything possible to protect their diaries. In certain cases they might not be distracted by your dancing, in which case you will have to do radical things such as Quote Shakespeare and discuss Light and Dark.

Tutorial Message (cont'd): From here on out, the battle is up to you! Good luck on figuring out the system, because we sure as hell don't know what to do with it.
Noctis defeats the enemies -- they explode into a million pieces and he stands badass over them -- Stella is on the ground and he helps her up

Noctis: Hey, you alright?

Stella: Yeah, thanks, Noctis.

Noctis: Who were those men chasing you?

Stella: Oh, them? I don't know. They said they were messengers, here to taint the kingdom of light with darkness.

Noctis gasps and staggers backwards -- he falls to his knees and hands in shock -- the music is very tense and has latin choir singing in it -- lightning flashes in the sky -- thunder cracks -- Noctis struggles to speak

Noctis: Wi...with darkness...? Our kingdom is done for...

The dog finishes eating his bread and walks off -- he wags his tail and the happy mood coming from him is meant to be a juxtaposition of the extreme seriousness and darkness of Noctis' story

***