When Masashi Takahashi, a producer at Sq. Enix, began engaged on Bravely Default, he had a really particular viewers in thoughts. Takahashi had grown up enjoying traditional turn-based roleplaying video games — he distinctly remembers watching his older brother play Closing Fantasy III whereas he was nonetheless in kindergarten — and felt that many trendy RPGs had turn out to be too advanced, leaving older gamers behind.

“They seem kind of impenetrable,” he says of recent video games. “I thought if I could make a game that was able to make [older players] recall things they liked about games when they were younger, and create a game for that type of audience, that was one thing that spurred me forward.”

The first Bravely Default launched on the Nintendo 3DS in 2014, and it was an expertise clearly impressed by earlier Closing Fantasy video games, starring a ragtag group of heroes touring by way of a fantasy world powered by 4 magic crystals. Its defining function was additionally the rationale it had such an odd identify: in battle, gamers may select to be “brave” or “default,” with a purpose to go all-in on an assault or stack probabilities for a extra opportune time. It was adopted by Bravely Second: Finish Layer in 2016, additionally on the 3DS, and subsequent week the sequence makes its debut on the Nintendo Change with Bravely Default II.

The sequel takes place in a brand new fantasy realm and stars a brand new solid of heroes, however the components is essentially the identical. The unusual naming conference, Takahashi says, is impressed by different iconic Japanese RPG sequence. When a brand new, numbered Closing Fantasy or Dragon Quest comes out, followers know it will likely be a brand-new journey. Takahashi wished the identical type of clear slate for the subsequent Bravely Default.

One distinction eagle-eyed followers would possibly discover, nonetheless, is that whereas the primary two video games within the franchise had been developed by Sq. Enix and a companion studio referred to as Silicon Studio, Bravely Default II is being helmed by a comparatively new firm referred to as Clay Tech Works. Nonetheless, there isn’t a lot disconnect between the video games, as Clay Tech was based by a number of the key workers from Silicon. “Although the public may be hearing of Clay Tech Works for the first time with this game, they are people we’ve worked with for a long time,” says Takahashi.

Coincidentally, Shota Fukebaru, director at Clay Tech, additionally obtained his begin in RPGs with Closing Fantasy III at a younger age. And each Fukebaru and Takahashi say that Closing Fantasy V and its job system — which gave gamers the power to customise their fighters by assigning particular roles, and have become a key function within the Bravely sequence — had been extraordinarily influential on their careers. “I remember playing that game and thinking, ‘Wow, this is something I want to do someday,’” Fukebaru says. “That’s where that dream originated for me.”

Improvement on the sequel confronted some challenges. Like most studios world wide, the workforce of round 50 at Clay Tech needed to adapt to working from house, discovering methods to successfully talk with one another over Zoom conferences. There was additionally the method of taking a sequence initially designed for a dual-screened machine and adapting the interface to work on the Change’s single show. Naturally, although, the change in {hardware} was largely helpful; Takahashi says the workforce was capable of make extra detailed characters and a soundtrack that wasn’t restricted by the 3DS’s tiny audio system.

Takahashi additionally says that the workforce has been capable of be taught key classes from every launch and apply that to subsequent titles. The unique Bravely Default was criticized for having poorly outlined characters, as an illustration, one thing the builders tried to treatment within the first sequel. And when Bravely Second gamers complained that the story was a bit of too YA, a follow-up called Octopath Traveler centered solely on grownup characters and themes. Lastly, whereas Octopath had an formidable story that includes eight completely different characters — therefore the unusual title — this meant that there wasn’t a clearly outlined protagonist, one thing the workforce is aiming to repair in Bravely Default II.

The brand new sport can be launching at a time when traditional JRPGs are experiencing one thing of a renaissance. Outdoors of the Bravely sequence, Square Enix studio Tokyo RPG Factory has been steadfastly focused on the genre, whereas indie creators have explored new concepts by way of video games like Undertale. When the creators of the traditional sequence Suikoden crowdfunded a non secular successor final yr, it was a resounding success. For Takahashi, who has been interested by the style since he was a five-year-old, it’s been rewarding to see a lot renewed urge for food.

“This is something I’m really happy about,” he says. “Of course I really enjoy making these games — but I enjoy playing them as well.”



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