Mistwalker's The Last Story Unveiling Begins With New Blog

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#1 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Famitsu scans. Scroll down for the previous art updates from the official blog. They're worthwhile as well.

This is the game's official website, it's now got a new blog section, with the first post having new concept art and basic information.
Note that the music is also different in the main page and different in the column section. Both tracks are equally awesome though!

duckroll from GAF translated:

It's just the director and producer talking about Ruri Island, which is the setting for the game. The director talks about how the continent is surrounded by mountain ranges and the only accessible point being that island port. As such it is heavily fortified and a major point of defense. It sounds like the ruler of the island carries certain ambitions and seeks magic as a resource to rise in power.

Somehow even though the entire empire is suffering poverty and decay, the town of Ruri remains prosperous. It's implied that the source of the town's wealth is related to magic, and there's a strange power in it which begins to attract monsters towards it, and the fate of the island is soon to be changed forever.


The world of The Last Story is supposed to be one where metal resources are scarce, and Sakaguchi is trying to limit the amount of sci-fi influence on the world setting, and he wants players to be able to enjoy a smooth experience of exploring around Ruri Island, a place bathed in the abundance of radiant sunlight. 

Update #2:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

In today's column, the game's director wrote that in creating Ruli City, he wanted to convey the feeling of actually being there. He also mentioned game-like elements for the city -- the changing reactions of passersby, things flying in the wind, and even "desperate escapes."

Wrote the director, "Prior to creating the city, we visited small towns in France and Italy. It was for research. Of course, it's a fantasy virtual world, so there's no need to make it match reality. However, by incorporating architectural designs that were made to support life over a long history, we will be able to build a convincing world."

Ruli City serves as the base of your adventures, said the director.

The game's producer, presumably Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi, made note of some of the differences in design between Ruli City and the cities you find in other RPGs. In most RPGs, he explained, designers add dead ends to road ways and create wide roads, all in an effort to keep the player from getting lost. "However, the city of The Last Story is expansive, and if you walk a good amount, you'll probably get lost. There are few dead ends, and a large number of narrow roadways."

"There's a reason for this type of setting. Please, walk around Ruli City aimlessly to experience that reason."

Update #3:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

The title of the latest post at The Last Story blog is "Knights and Mercenaries." Sure enough, we're getting some first hints at game's character settings.

In the world of The Last Story, there's a harsh separation between two classes of soldiers: "knights" and "mercenaries." This is a separation that's difficult to cross. Knights are at the high ranks of society. They have nothing to worry about except mastering their skills. Mercenaries, on the other hand, are treated like "disposable units." They must wander like vagabonds in search of work.

The main characters in The Last Story are mercenaries. In the words of the game's director, they "have dreams of becoming knights, but fight on the boundaries of death as mercenaries." The mercenaries know the sadness of losing loved ones, having their villages burned down, and having all their possessions stolen. They want power because power is all important in order to protect those whom you love.

Writes the director, "'Extreme Power' is poured onto those who harbor 'sadness and loneliness' ... however, they must not make mistakes in how it is used.

The game's producer, presumably Mistwalker CEO Hironobu Sakaguchi, notes that in addition to having a low social standing, mercenaries are detested because they always fight. Knights, on the other hand, are a symbol of authority. They pledge their allegience to the lords of the land and lead a stable life. People have respect for them as friends of justice.

It shouldn't be surprising that the mercenaries, who don't know their own tomorrow, should long to be like the knights, writes the producer to close off the blog post.

Update #4:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

An entry titled "Water" hints at sea travel, a strong sound component, and vehicles. The game's as yet unnamed director writes, "Within the world of computer graphics, the feeling of water is remarkably beautiful."

He mentions some uses of water in The Last Story's world -- a waterfall in a cave, a large river in the center of town, and "the seas upon which the main characters head out."

In addition to water, this week's blog post is about sound, which the director feels is important in giving life to the world. "I believe we're progressing well with sound effect production," he writes. "We placed importance on it from the start, and while it is out of the ordinary from a scheduling standpoint, we started sound development simultaneous with the start of production."

He continues, "In the 'world,' there exists 'sound' that has been running in parallel for a long time. The influence of this will pull the gameplay and cinematics in good directions, I believe."

In closing, the director writes, "'Water' and 'Sound' -- while in the supporting role, they're also primary players."

The producer, also unnamed, makes note of the how ancient Rome built aqueducts, which made water supply essential for a city. While The Last Story's main city of Ruli does not have aqueducts, it does have canals which have an effect on the lives of the people. Notes the producer, "The canals lead to the sea, and the sea teaches people that in order to head out on adventure, they need ships."

Based off the comments from the producer and director, It looks like vehicles, at the very least ships, will feature in The Last Story. Finishes the producer, "The world in an island will expand with the use of ships. Vehicles in a fantasy world are an important tool for getting you excited." 

Update #5:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

Hoshimi no Tou, literally "Star Viewing Tower," is an actual location in the world of The Last Story. Write's the game's producer, on The Last Story's primary setting of Ruli Island, Hoshimi no Tou is a tower from which the stars appear more beautiful. People look up at the stars from this tower, point to their guardian star, and speak.

The game's director describes one particular meeting at the tower. Two characters meet and speak about their dreams. "In this place that's sacred to the Arganan Family, their hearts touch for just a moment."

"The girl" whistles a song whose words she's forgotten, writes the director, a melody about people torn apart that has been handed down in her family.

Both characters lost their parents in their youth, but were able to survive even when surrounded by wars and power struggles. They both have difficult memories, but with time these memories turn into kindness.

"Everyone has a place that is special to them," writes the producer to close off the blog post. "For 'her,' this Hoshi no Tou appears to be an extremely important place."

Update #6:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

The director (still unidentified) confirms that the characters depicted in the illustration are the main character and heroine.

"There is a wall between the two," he writes. Based off the director's comments, it seems that there's something keeping the two apart and unable to live their dreams together.

The director also writes that in The Last Story, there will be a number of other stories besides the story of these two characters. He mentions:

  • The fear of speaking your true feelings
  • The mystery of the father who went missing on boat
  • The difficulty a leader has in making decisions
  • The close accomplice who's turned to evil
  • The foolish archaeologist's prison break

Concludes the director, "It's very important to merge battles and gameplay with story. Neither can stand on its own. Once both are connected together, the characters will rise up as "human" within the container of a game."

The game's producer (also unidentified) states, "The characters who appear in The Last Story all walk their own paths and have their own stories." He likens this to the real world, where no one has lived their lives following the same path as you.

The main part of The Last Story's story will focus on the main character, says the producer. However, he believes players will also have a chance to be touched by the stories other characters as well. "Once you've been touched by that, it's likely that you'll be able to feel their [the characters outside of the main character] true feelings, which you did not see before."

Update #7:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:

The post is titled "Chaos and Order." These are themes Mistwalker CEO Hironobu Sakaguchi addressed months before The Last Story's official announcement at the Mistwalker blog.

Writes the director, "Making order from chaos. Or, pulling the enemies who were in order into chaos. Using one of the main character's skills called 'Gathering,' we wanted to make a system that would let you control that type of situation."

During battle, the current focus of the enemy is marked with a line, called a "Pointer." "This is probably the most special feature when you see this game," writes the director. The pointer's color can be used for strategy, as it will indicate enemy type, such as soldier, mage, or archer who attempts to disrupt your own mage's magic chants.

The gathering skill is used to steal the focus of an enemy. Execute the gathering skill, and you make the enemy turn his focus on to you.

One example of this system's use is in a situation where enemies are focusing their sights on your mage. You can use gathering to turn their sights on to you, assisting your mage in chanting his magic.

"Controlling chaos and order on the battle field ties in to victory," finishes the director.

The producer notes that when playing sports or doing anything where you face off against an enemy, the first thing you do is create a strategy. In order to have all members move in accordance with a prescribed strategy, participants need to cooperate, sending signals to each other and getting into formations.

"Combat in games is the same," writes the producer. "Ordered movements of your allies is the key to victory. But what if there were an opponent who could bring confusion to that order?"

Update #8:
Translation of the text in the blog, here:
"We wanted to make a new type of RPG battle," writes the game's director about how the staff approached the game's battle system. "We wanted a system that merged real time battles with command selection, something that had an action feel but would also make you think. After much trial and error, we came to the current form."

Joining the "Gathering" and "Pointing" terminology from the last blog post, the director here mentions "Magic Circle." This is apparently something that remains on the battle field after your magic strikes. While not saying exactly what the "Magic Circle" is, the director describes it as an "important element." There are a variety of types of circles, including "recovery" and "flame" types.

Regarding the "thought" part of the battle system, the director says that time will freeze while you're inputting commands. You'll also be able to give orders to your AI-controlled party members.

The director finishes: "Combat in The Last Story is powered by a system that blends action with command selection.

The game's producer gives some background on battle system creation in general. "Before making characters and stages, you have to create the battle structure." With this thinking in mind, The Last Story's development consisted of a lengthy period showing red and blue scribblings as the characters in combat.

According to the producer, the staff required a great amount of test time to properly show the battle system's concept of "Order and Chaos."

So far so good. You can read older, usually more vague information about the game revealed via Sakaguchi's own blog in this older thread. The gist of it all is that Sakaguchi has had this game in his mind since the completion of FFVII. It will emphasise the fantasy aspect more than sci-fi, and it will attempt to ignite the feelings old school RPG titles evoked without incorporating dated design but instead attempting to evolve the genre further. Or something. Vague is right.
#2 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Art style looks good, though I'll wait for the character designs to pass judgement. I much prefer cyber/steampunk,  but you can't have everything. 
 
The short story summary sounds EXTREMELY generic, though. : / 
 
A ruler that seeks power by magic. Blergh. 
 

#3 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -

This can't come quick enough.  Love the artwork.  Games all have generic stories, it is about how it flows and what the characters are like - I'm not concerned.

#4 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -

Chrono Trigger!!!!
 
Also, the music is fantastic.

#5 Posted by Steve_C (1750 posts) -

I saw the image as soon as I loaded the page thinking it was a screenshot, and was like "Wind Waker JRPG? Hell yeah!".
 
You wouldn't believe the disappointment. Still, it looks pretty, but concept art always does.

#6 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

The fact that it's a wii game is already disappointing. Also I gave away my Wii. Too bad.

#7 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

The ruler's name has been revealed as " Count Arganon"! Ain't that exciting news! 

#8 Posted by Soap (3579 posts) -

Final Fantasy on my Wii?! 
 

 
#9 Posted by JacDG (2120 posts) -

Aaaaw why is it for the Wii, I don't own one :(

#10 Posted by McPaper (254 posts) -

Anybody find the games title slightly weird seeing as its the same dude who made 'Final' 'Fantasy'.

#11 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@McPaper said:
" Anybody find the games title slightly weird seeing as its the same dude who made 'Final' 'Fantasy'. "
I find it more than a little desperate, honestly.
#12 Edited by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Wow, what great artwork. 
 
Let's hope they're not just publishing beautiful artwork because the actual game is thoroughly unimpressive. It is supposedly very far into production.
 
Edit: Not that I'm complaining! It is very refreshing and commendable that they are actually unveiling and advertising their new game by content, story and mood, instead of "look at our shiny new graphics and physics and theres breasts too!!!"

#13 Posted by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

It sounds cool. I like the new artwork on the official site.

#14 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

The character and costume design looks very down-to-earth and functional instead of over-the-top and flashy. I really hope this is reflected in the main characters.

#15 Edited by Willy105 (4690 posts) -

He keeps showing off random stuff that we don't even know if they are actually part of the gameplay or just for story. 
 
@ryanwho said:

" @McPaper said:
" Anybody find the games title slightly weird seeing as its the same dude who made 'Final' 'Fantasy'. "
I find it more than a little desperate, honestly. "

Desperate? He's pretty much declaring war against those that took his series away from him.
#16 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Ok I guess. At least it's not completely over-the-top.

#17 Posted by Nasar7 (2627 posts) -

The story sounds very reminiscent of FF I-IV, for better or worse.

#18 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Plot doesn't really matter, its all in the execution. Lost Odyssey has a great plot but a poor execution. Final Fantasy XIII has an outstanding plot and a mediocre execution. Final Fantasy VI has a god-awful plot but an excellent execution.

#19 Posted by raphaa00 (133 posts) -

This news pics looks gorgeous.
 
The game will probably be cel-shaded, as it succedded in most cases on the Wii.
 
I have a feeling that the gameplay will not be traditional JRPG.

#20 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I guess he's just going to keep trying to make Final Fantasy games.

#21 Edited by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Art looks fine. Kudos for keeping the design and premise at a low level of ridiculousness and convolution. Will change when Mistwalker hires evil twin brothers of Nomura and Nojima.
 
Can never tell much about story quality this early in. Not expecting my socks to be blown off, though. Japanese RPGs rarely do social commentary well, but maybe this will be an exception?
 
Cautiously optimistic. Need more Wii games.

#22 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Really that bottom airship doesn't strike you as needlessly complex?

#23 Posted by lucas_kelly (769 posts) -

I wish this wasn't on the Wii.

#24 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

"Real hardcore gamer" logic. 
"There are no good games for the Wii, and also, I wish this good game for the Wii wasn't for the Wii."

#25 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Unnamed Director and Producer? You'd think one of them was Sakaguchi?

#26 Posted by Jeust (10560 posts) -

The knight costume looks sooooo FFXII!

Online
#27 Posted by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

More awesome art, but lets see some of the game.

#28 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
Here's an interesting story:
Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi was involved in a fun little Twat (that's a Twitter-based spat) with Final Fantasy Gaiden director Takashi Tokida earlier today.

During the course of the conversation, Sakaguchi said something along the lines of "How about stopping with the Final Fantasy rehashes?"

This was probably said in jest, so it's not worth making a big deal over. (Although Sakaguchi did press a bit further in a subsequent Tweet, saying that it's important to not break the balance between business and creativity.)

Sakaguchi's next comment, however, is notable for those looking forward to his latest creation, The Last Story. After Sakaguchi and Tokida parted, someone Tweeted to Sakaguchi, "From the title, Last Story gives the feeling of being a big FF rehash."

Sakaguchi's reply to this appears to have been deleted, but Hachimaki posted a screen grab: "I think you'll feel this once you've tried it. LS is not a rehash."

In other Last Story news that has been scraped from the walls of Twitter, Sakaguchi commented briefly on the game's musical component yesterday. Someone asked for the name of the composer of the song that players in the "Star Viewing Tower" blog post at the official site. Responded Sakaguchi, "I'm sorry, I can't reveal the composer yet." He added, however, "We had one person do all the songs."

If you're searching for additional Last Story bits and pieces, I'd suggest a visit to the Mistwalker blog. Sakaguchi mentions The Last Story briefly in a post from yesterday titled Nose Cap: "The weather doesn't clear up, but my heart is clearing up. This is because I shut myself up with the development team every day and am able to feel The Last Story being born. It's finally off from the creator's hands and has begun to move on its own -- like always. It's like a living creature. It breaths on its own, it speaks on its own. It's fascinating, even though its spirit is digital data."

New Mistwalker blog post translated by andriasang (though it will probably get to Mistwalker's English side soon enough):

In a post titled "Tokyo" today, Sakaguchi wrote, "Recently, I often end up waking up at 5:00. Is it jet lag? Or am I on edge because LS is approaching completion?"

Sakaguchi usually makes his posts from his home in Hawaii. It looks like he's in Tokyo at the moment, which would explain the comment about jet lag.

Following a couple of images of Tokyo's skyline, he wrote, "Last Story's development is at long last in the final stages. The feeling of tension is pleasant." 

Hurrah, I can't wait to actually see it. Of course final stages means it could be months more and may not even make it this year in Japan. I hope it will. 
#29 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Now that could be a pretty stunning scene in-game.
 
Ah. Also, war orphan childhood friends talking about their dreams. Now this could go either way...

#30 Posted by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

 
 
  

#31 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -
@Cornman89 said:
" Now that could be a pretty stunning scene in-game. Ah. Also, war orphan childhood friends talking about their dreams. Now this could go either way... "
Pretty much this. The artwork itself is on the verge of kitsch - combined with JRPG writing and cinematography, I can't say I look forward to it. 
 
The second music track is... okay I guess. Still better than most of Final Fantasy XIII's, but that's not difficult.
 

#32 Edited by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

 Update #6: [image]

Meh. I guess I was an idiot for hoping that the modest and down-to-earth approach of the environment and NPC design would include the main characters as well. O well. Its still fairly decent for a JRPG.
 
 
Here's hoping that the tiger is a party member.
#33 Posted by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

Haha, every post of mine in this thread amounts to: I like the artwork. 
 
That sounds fresh, I look forward to seeing in action. It'll be a shame if these visual indicators disrupt the visual appeal of the game too much, because on the evidence of this art, the game will look great.

#34 Posted by Cwaff (1260 posts) -

The artwork here is rather beautiful...

#35 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Yeah. Visual indicators and HUD and bars and lines all over the battlefield: Always sucks.

#36 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

:(

#37 Posted by Lawrens (688 posts) -

Look badass, can't wait to see how the game looks.

#38 Posted by unclejohnny79 (685 posts) -

This looks really nice,   cant wait to try it.

#39 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Famitsu photos:

Andriasang has translated some details but most of it has been known from previous updates.

@ Sakaguchi said:

When I’m in Tokyo, I can meet up with my old friends. This is one of my many pleasures during my stay.My injury has mostly healed, so the get together is set as "injury recovery celebration" gathered with few friends and named by me on my own. Everyone seemd fine. We talked about stories which bring back memories and laughed so much with my old development friends who spent many ups and downs together.

The fascinating thing was my thoughts were anticipated by them. "I thought that’s what you would say" and they laughed it away. I reconfirmed myself that I am a very simple person (^_^;

But that was kind of a pleasant feeling.

Mr. Kameoka. We are the same age,
head of Brownie Brown.

Nariken. He was the main
programmer of FF.

Matsuno. He and I with another person from
a certain publishing company had a discussion.

#40 Posted by ArclightBorealis (1563 posts) -

After taking in all this info, I am actually looking forward to this. It's been a while since I was REALLY excited for an RPG, let alone a Japanese one.

#41 Posted by MotherBrain (40 posts) -
@Alaska_Gamer said:
"

After taking in all this info, I am actually looking forward to this. It's been a while since I was REALLY excited for an RPG, let alone a Japanese one.

"
It's showing a lot of promise, but I'm not getting too excited until I see some gameplay. The concept art and music have been great, though.
#42 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6155 posts) -

I'm not usually a fan of early artwork, but that's surprisingly good stuff for a JRPG.  Hopefully they'll go for the more "adult" characters of Lost Odyssey (minus Mack and Cooke, obviously).
Moderator
#43 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

OH YEAH, AND IT'S A WII GAME.
 
 
:(

#44 Posted by Lawrens (688 posts) -

damn, the photos look good.

#45 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Wow.
 
 
Just... wow.

#46 Posted by Lawrens (688 posts) -

Oh my, there're towns in this game. I hope they show more of the tiger soon.

Graphically this looks better than FF12, can't wait to see some direct feed shots.

#47 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Its amazing how close to the artwork the actual game seems to be.

#48 Posted by Tordah (2478 posts) -

Looks really good. Bummer it's not coming out for the 360 as well.

#49 Posted by Emilio (3380 posts) -

Hey, game screens! 
 
The game looks very pretty. :)

#50 Posted by raphaa00 (133 posts) -

Dudes, this game looks fucking gorgeous.
 
I could only decipher two guys that looks as good guys (the ones we control), and the girl on the duo pic, which leads me to think that it's not a squad based RPG, matching the earlier talks about this being a different kind of JRPG. Also, the camera is too close on the character in some pics, and actually over-the-shoulder in one.
 
Although the artwork being very reminiscest of some Final Fantasy titles, as we would expect, the gameplay appears to be something totally new.

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