Final Fantasy 15 / XV by Square Enix is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the game was originally unveiled for Ps3 at E3 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus 13 / XIII, because it was at the time part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of unrelated RPGs that, however, shared the same underlying mythology. Yes, Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for almost 10 years! What’s changed in the game in this time frame ? What’s different between the old PS3 beta and the PS4 / Xbox One current builds? Continue below to see how the game evolved during the last years with the official trailers and leaked images that show its long development cycle.
Squaresoft Mode 7 Demo is a “tech demo” made by Sunsoft for testing the system hardware of the Super Nintendo…
Squaresoft Mode 7 starts with Squaresoft logo and appears a exclusive “panda” on the screen:
The name of this character has been discovered with the ROM IMAGE, Panda Squaresoft Mode 7 Demo (PD) showed up on an SuperNintendo Emulator. You can read more about this cartridge at SNES Central!
Back in the mid 90s, Square set up a studio in Redmond, Washington, and produced the game Secret of Evermore. Keith and another person named Craig Bergman got to tour Squaresoft’s office as part of a high school job shadowing activity. While there, Squaresoft scanned and put two drawings made by Keith happened to have into a Mode 7 demo (the other had a caricature of Craig).
In July 2010, this cartridge has appeared on Ebay, the curious about it, this demo have an similar controls to the airship parts of FFIV. This tech demo has been dumped years ago, and posted at the Internet
About the controls, you can flip the camera, zoom in, and stop the animation with start button… That’s all
Also, the scanned “panda” character made by Keith:
Final Fantasy XIII is an RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 / 2010. First appearing at E3 2006, FF13 runs on the Crystal Tools engine, a seventh generation multiplatform game engine built by Square Enix for its games.
Final Fantasy 13 was originally in development for the PlayStation 2 but it was later moved to the PlayStation 3, as we can read in an article at IGN:
Toriyama, director of FFXIII, commented a bit on the differences between the PS2 and PS3 versions of the game. FFXIII was originally in development for the PS2, but underwent a platform change following May 2005.
There is apparently very little shared between the two versions. The graphical elements that were prepared for the PS2 couldn’t be used, explained Toriyama. “The areas that we kept are the Fabula Nova Crystallis world, the pieces of the mythology related to FFXIII, and the character details. On the other hand, the battle and gameplay systems were restarted from scratch when production moved to the PS3.”
The development staff also underwent some changes. “During development for the PS2, the staff was centered on the Final Fantasy X-2 team. However, in an effort to work with the new PS3 hardware, many new staff members are now taking part.”
As reported by Siliconera and Kotaku, according to art director Isamu Kamikokuryou, many additional areas that were functioning in an unreleased build, from Team Nora’s secret base, to Lightning’s home and even a zoo, were cut from the game owing to concerns about the game’s length and volume. Kamikokuryou additionally remarked that the volume of content cut was, in itself, enough to make another game. [Info from Wikipedia]
Zero7 noticed some beta differences in the early screens released (preserved in the gallery below):
- Mock up HUD, completely changed in the final
- Fang at one hour in? You cannot meet her so soon in the final
- Snow had a slightly different coat
- The black-haired girl has a different outfit
If you can notice more differences in the early screens and videos, please let us know!
Thanks to Robert Seddon, Zero7 and Anonymous for the contributions!
Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!
Final Fantasy 13 was released in 2009 for Playstation 3, but the first prototypes for the game were created on Ps2 even before FFXII release. In this page we can see some pics from the old-gen version that were recently published in two official japanese artbooks / guides.
Unfortunately, it seems that Square did only some early testing of the battle system before switching the development to the Ps3. Even the characters (Yuna and Rikku from FFX) are placeholders, but, interestingly, in the last screenshots they appear to be cell-shaded.
Thanks to Proto1 for the contribution!
Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG developed and published by Square in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. The idea for Kingdom Hearts came about when producer Shinji Hashimoto met with a Disney executive in an elevator; Square and Disney had previously worked in the same building in Japan. The game began development in February 2000 and originally the beta focused more on the gameplay with a simple story to appeal to Disney’s target age range.
After executive producer Hironobu Sakaguchi told director Tetsuya Nomura the game would be a failure if it did not aim for the same level as the Final Fantasy series, Nomura began to develop the story further. Some content that did not make it into Kingdom Hearts was later added into Kingdom Hearts II.
The “Pride Land” from The Lion King, for instance, was infeasible because an additional program was required to process movement on four legs—a necessity since Sora would become a lion in that world. Due to time constraints, the developers left out an optional boss battle, similar to the Sephiroth battle, against Tifa Lockhart. She was later included in Kingdom Hearts II as a more developed character. [Info from Wikipedia]
In a beta trailer from 2001 you can see many differences between the beta build and the final build. Such as Sora roaming around Disney Castle. In the final build, you do not go to Disney Castle, but there is an image of it on the world map, but it is never selectable.
More differences, as spotted by YT users:
- The logo’s different
- Goofy’s cloth is different
- Sora’s beta hair color
- removed scene with Riku on the Clock Tower
In an interview with Nomura, we can read that:
“Actually,” he continues, “the first weapon I showed Disney was a chainsaw. It was this chainsaw-like weapon that I had a rough sketch of when I first showed my concepts to Disney. Everyone got this scrunched-up look on their face and nobody said a word in the entire room. Dead silence. And I thought ‘No, I guess this wouldn’t work, huh?'”
Shadowdorothy also noticed:
- In the beta Riku didn’t have his black gloves he does in the final release
- Kairi’s skirt is longer in the official release.
- The opening monologue by Sora went through a major change, as in the commercial it appears that Sora is having a conversation with someone.
- The magic system was changed dramatically, as the magic system sub-menu originally opened on top of the action menu.
- The door was also removed, and by “the door” I mean that strange door on Destiny Island that you can’t see until Sora has a flash back that involves Riku and him being kids.
- It also appears that Sora, not Kairi, was the one that needed saving, as per some dailouge seen at the end of the com.
Some more info on the beta can be found on X-Cult!
Thanks a lot to Brad and Shadowdorothy for the contributions!