Page 65

DEVELOPER PROFILE

Yasumi Matsuno

N

Tactical Genius

Credited: FF Tactics (1997). FF Tactics Advance, FFXII (2006) Now: Director of ‘Crimson Shroud’, Freelance

Y

asumi Matsuno is widely known as the mastermind of the Final Fantasy Tactics sub-series, joining Square from Quest after being head-hunted by FF creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, who was a great fan of his work on the complex, isometric Ogre Battle series of strategy RPGs. After joining Square Matsuno was put in charge of development of a strategy RPG that was similar in style to Ogre Battle. Given access to Hiroyuki Ito and Hideo Minaba by Sakaguchi - two of his most valuable staffers - the trio would go on to develop that game into Final Fantasy Tactics, a blend of FF and Ogre Battle. FFT laid out Matsuno’s manifesto, featuring a plot of complex political intrigue in the land of Ivalice and a heavily tactical battle system. Sakimoto even packed in references to rock band Queen, a theme in his work. Next was Vagrant Story, another title with story depth and presentation most unlike traditional FF. It’d later be placed in the FF canon by being retroactively set in Ivalice, though Matsuno says it isn’t part of his vision of Ivalice. He then supervised development of PlayOnline, the system that would later power FFXI. In 2001 Sakaguchi paired together Matsuno and Hiroyuki Ito once again to direct FFXII. Set again in Ivalice, it carried many themes from FFT without being a direct sequel. Matsuno would sadly never see his vision come to fruition; he bowed out of FFXII’s development with the game unfinished, citing health problems. Details of the events that led to his departure are still unclear. The final game credits him as a Supervisor and for the Story and Concept. Sakaguchi declined to play FFXII past the introduction due to Matsuno’s departure. Matsuno briefly worked with Square Enix on the PSP remake of Tactics Ogre, but then moved on entirely. His next move may give a clue as to why he decided to leave Square Enix - after joining Level-5 Games, he said he wanted to make smaller games that he would have complete control over in content and development. At Level-5 he worked on Crimson Shroud, a fantasy RPG that is part of ‘Guild 01,’ a 3DS compilation of four small-scale games from four different developers. Since its Japanese release Matsuno has parted ways with Level-5 as well, though has teased that he is already at work on his next top secret project. An enemy in FFXII, Yazmat (Yiazmat in the US), is named for him with an abbreviated version of his name. Matsuno is alluded to in dialogue for the Yazmat quest as a wise leader and mentor, while Yazmat’s in-game profile reads “Farewell to a Legend.” [@YasumiMatsuno] 65

Profile for SeeD Fan Sites

Final Fantasy: Celebrating 25 Years  

A free fan-made digital magazine intended as a celebration of 25 years of the Final Fantasy series. Featuring contributions from a large num...

Final Fantasy: Celebrating 25 Years  

A free fan-made digital magazine intended as a celebration of 25 years of the Final Fantasy series. Featuring contributions from a large num...

Profile for ff-avalon
Advertisement