Final Fantasy’s ATB battle system is inspired by racing cars


Final Fantasy IV Today turns 30, and to celebrate, Square Enix sat down with game designer Takashi Tokita to talk about memories from the development process. He explains that this is the first Final Fantasy game he’s been involved with in the first place, so he can share some neat details about how the game’s design evolved. He chats about character design, plot romance, and the unlikely inspiration for the first ATB battle system that somehow came from watching F1 races.

Final Fantasy IV is the first installment in the series to utilize the Active Time Battle system, which adds a real-time element to Final Fantasy’s turn-based battles. Instead of opting for turn-based action, each character has an ATB meter that fills itself at its own rate, controlling when they’re ready to attack.

Tokita explains: “The initial run was just everyone taking turns based on who was the fastest. “You can’t know all that’s going on, so there’s no time to think about weaknesses or anything like that and you just end up spamming buttons… [laughs] We have come to the conclusion that will never work. ”

Tokita says that battle designer Hiroyuki Ito was a fan of watching F1 races, which is what prompted another version of the system.

“Obviously he came up with the ATB system when he watched the cars behind him on the lap, realizing that if someone was fast, they could attack twice in one turn, while slower characters would. attack only once per turn I think the process for where the ATB system works is through rules that are devised for each character, such as Edge can attack twice at once but attack power low pay.”

Probably an odd place to get inspiration for an RPG battle system. It reminds me of the timeless creative advice to have interests outside of your field. You just never know if racing, knitting or gardening will spark some completely unrelated ideas.

Tokita also talked about the game director Hironobu Sakaguch “wanting to have a plot that includes [a romantic relationship] Right from the start. “As for the favorite characters, Tokita is a fan of Kain.” Honestly, Cecil’s dark knight fight scenes aren’t great, but comparing Kain the Dragoon is great, given his Jumping ability and all. ”

As for the upcoming Pixel Remasters, Tokita explained that development on all the remakes is happening simultaneously. He’s in charge of FFIV’s pixel editing suite. “We’ve mostly tried our best to stay true to the original pixel art and beyond that, I feel like the balance really comes down to finding that little line of detail we needed in there,” he says. to speak.

For some extra nostalgia and more questions you can start full interview. | Final Fantasy’s ATB battle system is inspired by racing cars


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