Interview with Mana Series Creator Koichi Ishii Reveals Game Design Passions Leading to Creation of this Beloved Franchise

Square Enix blog recently interviewed the Mana series creator, Koichi Ishii, discussing his origins with the franchise as well as what exactly inspired him to take that pivotal leap into designing the first Mana title in the first place.

Firstly, Ishii talked about how after being involved with developing the first three Final Fantasy titles, he inwardly decided that he needed to work on an entirely new project. Due to this creative passion, he actually declined the opportunity to work on the upcoming Final Fantasy IV, which initially released under the title Final Fantasy II in the west.

The project that Ishii helmed was Final Fantasy Adventure, now known as Adventure of Mana. He yearned to create an action-oriented and beginner-friendly experience, which was a considerable challenge for one to undertake. An interesting tidbit Ishii provided is that back during the development of Final Fantasy Adventure, he was positive that RPGs and action titles “would fuse together with action games as hardware evolved,” which one can argue is happening now with games like Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Ishii also possesses a deeply accomplished sense of emotional fulfillment for the first Mana game in particular, as overcoming the limitations of the hardware on the original Gameboy to tell an evocatively moving experience with thematic intentions was quite an arduous task.

Lastly, the father of Mana shared a phenomenal quote detailing his view on the world of Mana as a whole:

“Humans are born alone and die alone. Meeting someone for the first time is also the precursor of an inevitable future parting. But when that time comes, if you recognize the ways that you have helped each other to improve, you will come to value the person’s thoughts and views. They will forever remain in your heart as someone precious to you.”

You can check out the entirety of this interview with Koichi Ishii on Square Enix’s official website.

In case you missed it, check out our review for Legend of Mana Remaster.


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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.