Romancing SaGa

SaGa Frontier [Beta- Playstation]

SaGa Frontier is a PlayStation RPG by Square, released in Japan on July 11, 1997 and in North America on March 25, 1998.

Originally, the title of this game was “Romancing SaGa 4” during early development. In that stage of development, two more heroes’ quests were also being planned, in addition to the existing seven lead characters. One of them was Fuse, the IRPO agent who may be enlisted as a playable character in the actual release. In his quest, Fuse was supposed to be able to take part in other characters’ scenarios, and the ultimate goal of his quest might be determined by what the player did in the course of gameplay. The “ninth” protagonist was to be the daughter of a channellers family who is engaging in a controversy as to who of them shall inherit the property of their former patriarch. This scenario seems to be dropped during the early development because of being too comedic.

Due to time constraints, some plot points of Asellus’ story were removed too. During those events, Asellus was supposed to visit Dr. Nusakan’s clinic, Bio Research Lab, Lambda Base, and Furdo’s Workshop so that she would find her true identity so that she would decide to live as a human being or as a mystic. These quests were also intended to affect her scenario’s ending. [Info from Wikipedia]

Eriol made us to notice that “Asellus […] supposed to throw herself at Kurenai, and it explains why she has a naked sprite (just go to the debug mode). And also, does Rei-hime suppose to sell sacred lot in first place? I never able to draw anything from her, she always said SOLD OUT.”

Thanks to Robert Seddon we found out that there’s some untranslated text in the North American version of SaGa Frontier (though of course it might turn out just to be duplicate stuff from other maps). You can check the “misterious” japanese text in the gallery below. At Robert’s Blog we can even read that the “Fuse’s sprite, seen in the bottom left of the prototype title screen shown in The Essence of SaGa Frontier, but cut from the final one, with his entire quest, actually still exists and is even loaded into VRAM.” You can read more about it in here.

Also Zedprice has translated an interesting interview with Akitoshi Kawazu, director of the game:

What is the reason that Rouge can learn Mind Magic, but Blue can’t?

My bad. Blue and Rouge should have both been able to earn the gift of Mind Magic before their final confrontation. If the game is released in an English version, we will certainly fix that. “Saga Frontier International”? That probably won’t happen.

Where exactly does the final showdown between Blue and Rouge take place?

Actually, that was never decided. At first we were thinking that when you go to a swamp or a dungeon, you would meet Rouge there, talk a bit, then fight. Being pursued just in like in Asellus’ story, right? Having that ultimate battle in any location turned out to be impossible, so we settled on the current location.

Right after the beginning of the scenario, a message saying, “Hurry, seek out magical talents before Rouge” appears. Is there actually a time limit on Blue’s magic quest?

There was when we first started out. […] But, in the spirit of SaGa games allowing players to develop their characters the way they like, we decided restricting players like that would be a waste.

As we wrote already in another news, informations on the removed SaGa Frontier scenes can be found in a Japanese book called ‘The Essence of SaGa Frontier‘.  “‘Red’s quest was supposed to have a unique spin to it– he was supposed to have a  love parameter that would determine how close Red and Yuria are.” Some scans of this book, with concept arts and screens from the removed stuff, can be found at IRPO website and in this  Livejournal gallery.

Also, you can find much more screens and info about the unused stuff hidden in the game’s code at The Cutting Room Floor! For a deep-dive into the game’s development and changes, check FFVDGames!