Final Fantasy XI Koichi Ishii & Yoshitaka Amano Interview Details Personal Game Development History

Square Enix recently conducted an interview with the former director of Final Fantasy XI, Koichi Ishii, and prominent artist Yoshitaka Amano to discuss the initial creative development process of the aforementioned title. As someone who knows literally nothing about Final Fantasy XI, this interview was insightful in several regards. The interview is divided into two published parts, with the second having been released on January 26, 2022.

One of the most evident and challenging facets of the game’s conceptualization was how an MMORPG would work on console. The general genre wasn’t exactly too popular in Japan at the time, and when factoring in a console as the chosen platform, some severe steps would need to be taken for this ambitious project to be even remotely successful.

Amano’s art style played an inherently impactful role, with him even designing the game’s first world map draft, catching Ishii by surprise. Amano illustrated the map on four large pieces of paper roughly equivalent to tatami mats, so saying he was serious about this task is an understatement.

Further speaking of Amano, illustrating the logo proved to be an unexpected challenge due to the difference in genre, making the artwork’s subject matter more questionable.

There are way too many specific points of discussion to reiterate in this article, so if you’re interested, view the first and second parts of this extensive, thought-provoking interview on a Final Fantasy title many overlook.


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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual. Fan of JRPGs, Action, Platformers, Rhythm, and Adventure titles.