Masashi Takahashi, the producer for Octopath Traveler, has stated that the game is being developed as a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy VI.
During an interview with Jeuxvideo.com at this year’s Japan Expo in France, Takahashi, and Octopath’s composer, Yasunori Nishiki, went in depth to discuss what influenced some of the major design aspects in the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive.
Both men grew up playing classic SNES JRPGs and wanted to achieve game-feel that met the standards they were raised on.
Takahashi spoke in detail on how Final Fantasy VI has specifically impacted major design and mechanic aspects in Octopath:
“We wanted to work on a new IP and it was important for us to have a high impact visual style that would appeal to the players. In terms of game mechanics, if we had conceived Bravely Default as an evolution of Final Fantasy V, we created Octopath Traveler as an evolution of the Final Fantasy VI system.”
When the project was just starting, Octopath’s developers made a demo exclusively with pixel art, but found that this old style was “more beautiful in their memories.” This revelation is what led to the recognizable pixel and 3D visual mix seen in the game’s demos and trailers today.
Nishiki also explained how similar influences helped him compose the game’s soundtrack:
“For music, I wondered if I should try to adapt to a global audience or if I had to keep my style. Then I thought, ‘What would one of my elders, Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy compositional fame), have done?’ And he, precisely, kept his style.”
According to the developer, Octopath has been aimed at those in their 30s and 40s in attempt to target an audience familiar with classical JRPGs.
Reactions to the demos so far have been extremely positive, with the first demo recieving 1.5 million downloads.