The Big Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker Interview – Yoshi-P and Natsuko Ishikawa reflect and look ahead

It’s been more than two months since Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker Expansion Released such a great success That’s Square Enix had to pause game sales to ease congestion. Now that things have calmed down and players have had a chance to dry off their tears after completing the epic story section of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, we got a chance to chat with the developers of Final Fantasy 14 and reflect on some situations- Endwalker moments.

We spoke with producer and director Naoki Yoshida – aka Yoshi-P – and lead story designer Natsuko Ishikawa, about some of our favorite moments and what makes them so possible. strong impact, as well as those testing developed during the lockdown and the stress of a large zoom. Be warned because there are some big spoilers front.

What moment from Endwalker are you personally most proud of?

Naoki Yoshida: It’s pretty hard to pick a particular scene, but if I had to, I’d say the scene where the Warrior of Light breaks up with Venat, now Hydaelyn. Even more than the theatrical performances of the characters, I was very particular about Hydaelyn’s prototyping and the environmental setting. I went to great lengths to make sure Mr. Amano’s artwork was perfectly recreated, and at the same time tried to make it so that the players identify with the life Venat led. I hope we can convey her thoughts to the players.

Natsuko Ishikawa: It was difficult to choose, but the first scene that came to mind was when we brought the flowers in front of the Meteion in Ultima Thule. And then, the last scene where we talk to her. I think it’s precisely because we went through a process of building on what we established in FFXIV that the things that happen and the conversations in these scenes are so valuable. At the ends of the universe, Meteion said to the explorer: “Thank you for guiding me here. To find these words at the end of the journey, I am filled with joy. “I share her feelings.


There are a few very intimate, personal moments throughout Endwalker such as talking to Hermes and showing him he’s not alone in his despair, and Urianger finally confronting Moenbryda’s parents – what wrote those moments and why is it important to have these smaller moments in a story of such epic scale?

Yoshida: The scene where Urianger meets Moenbryda’s parents again is the scene that I asked Ishikawa to address as we worked on the plot. When the party arrives at Old Sharlayan, I ask her to somehow complete the only loose thread left in Urianger’s story so far. The story of FFXIV is not only the story of the players, the Warriors of Light, but also the story of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, who support them on their journey. When I took over the reins of the original FFXIV, Urianger was almost like the first new character we created, so I guess you could say I also have a deep affection for him (laughs). . The main character of FFXIV is you as the player, so basically the player character doesn’t talk in-game. Instead, the Scions speak their mind and that places the Warrior of Light at the center of it all. That’s why it’s so important to craft their story carefully to portray the Warriors of Light.

Ishikawa: At the end of an era, no matter how great a certain history may be, it is the lives of each individual that create those historical threads. People living in the same era will be able to see parts of a story that might be cut back or cut out entirely as the history of that place or time is compiled in later generations. Take Hermes for example. He will probably go down in history as “the man who made a big mistake,” but there was a moment where he struggled over what he should do and smiled as he shared his pain with you. Another example is when Urianger from Scions of the Seventh Dawn burst into tears as he received a hug from his best friend’s mother. I believe that encountering such events and being in contact with every piece of life that has made that history is what it means to “live in that world”.


There was one moment at Thavnair that nearly broke my heart – the moment with Matsya and the baby that almost went horribly wrong and lasted long enough for self-doubt. What helped balance that moment and make it so miserable?

Ishikawa: I often have nightmares when I sleep. They can be thought-provoking and surprisingly inspirational. For example… let’s see… yes, there is an evil spirit in a building and it is hunting people. I’m hiding in a windowless room. I’m desperately hoping “Don’t find me!” but the thought “sooner or later I’ll be found here” kept haunting me. Dreaming is basically going into your mind, so once you realize that possibility (something bad is going on) you’re done Even if I scream “Don’t come!” , evil spirits will find me and I will get a bad ending. … So those are the experiences from my daily nightmares that I tried to use in the dialogue and direction of that scene. Although my ending is usually not good, I always think about Matsya being rescued by Vritra and Estinien!

Emet-selch is a prominent character and tragic villain in Shadowbringers – how does it feel to be able to touch on his formative years and personality in Elpis? What do you think about him that resonates with players so much?

Ishikawa: Not only when writing the story but also when giving direction to the dub and theatrical performances, I paid particular attention to making sure that the Emet-Selch we meet in Elpis is who he was. is before living a long life of world rendering. He still tries very hard to fulfill his role. But, his persistence is sincere and you will see his kindness; something that eventually leads to his own downfall. I think it’s the multifaceted side of his personality that makes him feel truly human and is one reason why he’s so loved by his fans.


The moment you climb to the final summit in Ultima Thule and the lyrics ring out is a poignant moment of sadness and hope – how did it all come together? The scene was written with the lyrics in mind?

Ishikawa: First and foremost, I think about delivering the same experience as when we first approached Amaurot in Shadowbringers with a different approach. After considering how the story would go and including the purpose mentioned above, I decided to use a structure like the one that was implemented in the end; The song begins to take on a clearer form as the player’s path is built, and eventually the song takes off (with lyrics). However, what I thought of at the time was a choir, something that would be sung by a choir. In response, our composer Soken suggested that we incorporate Jason Charles Miller’s vocals as the main part of the song. I immediately thought “what a great idea!” and with that, I started writing draft lyrics. In short, we produce music and stories with the aim of creating synergy between those two mediums!

How did you feel when you had to make the decision to pause the sale of the Starter Edition immediately after its release? Are you likely to pause them again if congestion increases again?

Yoshida: The massive amount of congestion was what led to the decision, so more than anything I feel extremely sorry for our current FFXIV players. Honestly, it was difficult for us because we never thought that 11 years of hard work to expand our user base would put us at such a disadvantage. However, since FFXIV is open to all the players who have supported and played the game so far, I’ll probably take the pause call again if we see any signs of an extra bottleneck. Again. After all, my priority remains the same: all our players come first!

Endwalker is huge and covers a lot of stories, not to mention it was made out of a challenging pandemic – is there anything to cut out? And if so, what was cut?

Yoshida: Indeed, the pandemic has had a major impact and compared with previous expansions, this time the work of development and enhancement is more difficult. However, there was nothing special that we needed to cut out from our original plans, with the Data Center Travel System being the only thing we had to postpone due to server congestion. In fact, the whole team worked really hard to get through the volume we originally planned to do, and Endwalker turned out to be a larger expansion than originally planned. Having said that, this time we took special measures to wrap up the first big story. I don’t think we can succeed if players expect this for every expansion! (sarcasm)


Unlike in previous expansions where the story continued with patches, Endwalker has a conclusion – future patches will continue in the same pattern as previous expansions or types. content and quantity, etc. (and pandemic!) Will change to reflect this?

Yoshida: The pace and progression of the story is basically the same, so players do not need to worry about this. However, the content of major patch updates has expanded with each successive expansion, and as such, I intend to include some workflow changes related to the content and cycle of the project. they. We’re also working on new systems and unannounced new content, which we plan to reveal to players in the near future as part of our mid to long term plans. Your patience will be appreciated! The Big Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker Interview – Yoshi-P and Natsuko Ishikawa reflect and look ahead

Fry Electronics Team

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