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 dumbest idea I've ever heard."

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.