Ahead of the game’s release this week, we got a chance to once again to interview Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Director Daisuke Inoue along with Producer Fumihiko Yasuda.
In our previous talk with the two, they were able to share some interesting info regarding the game’s combat and difficulty. In our latest chat with them, the two were able to share which Final Fantasy games inspired Stranger of Paradise.
Of course, the obvious answer is Final Fantasy 1 as Stranger of Paradise is a sort of reinterpretation of that game’s events. But the OG Final Fantasy game isn’t the only title in the series to serve as inspiration.
“The Final Fantasy title comes to mind in terms of inspiration outside of the Final Fantasy 1, would have to be Final Fantasy 5 where the job system really came into full effect,” said Daisuke. “We wanted to have the job system of course in this game from the beginning, and Final Fantasy 5 introduced the quintessential job class or job system in the Final Fantasy series. That’s definitely one that comes to mind as being and being inspiration.”
Final Fantasy 5 being a major inspiration for Stranger of Paradise shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, especially if you’ve played the new free demo. This is because Stranger of Paradise features a job system that is a key pillar in the game’s combat.
Aside from FF5, Daisuke revealed that the Crystal Chronicles games also inspired the new Final Fantasy tile.
“In addition, we have also worked on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles as well,” said Daisuke. “We’re kind of going a little bit outside of the main Final Fantasy series, but there’s definitely influence from the Crystal Chronicles titles as well in Stranger of Paradise.”
While not part of the mainline Final Fantasy series, it makes sense that the Crystal Chronicles games inspired Stranger of Paradise. After all, the Crystal Chronicles series is composed primarily of action-focused titles. At the time of the first Crystal Chronicles, the main Final Fantasy series still used turn-based combat systems.
While Final Fantasy 5 and Crystal Chronicles are the main inspirations, Daisuke also noted that Stranger of Paradise also took small cues from a wide range of Final Fantasy games.
“Of course, there are many different members of the dev team that are playing different Final Fantasy titles. So, there’s probably a number of different titles that they had played and received inspiration from, and they’ve all culminated into this title,” added Daisuke. “There are probably many other different titles that have made their way into this game in terms of elements.”
While the team did not mention these explicitly, it’s fair to say that Stranger of Paradise is inspired by games such as Nioh and Dark Souls. This is because the game features a “bonfire” style mechanic, as well as a complex combat system, among others.
Another thing that the game carries over from the Nioh and Souls games is the challenging combat. If you’ve tried the demo, you should know that Stranger of Paradise isn’t a game that you can just button mash your way through on the Normal difficulty mode, especially as you’ll need to take advantage of the game’s multitude of mechanics to survive enemy encounters.
While it has a level of challenge, Stranger of Paradise is designed to be much more accessible to players new to these kinds of action games. This accessibility is made possible through various difficulty options, having NPC allies during combat, and the ability to play the game in multiplayer.
Regarding their philosophy in making this challenging and complex game more accessible, Yasuda said:
“What we’re making sure to do on the development side from both Koei Tecmo and Square Enix is that we know Final Fantasy is originally an RPG title, and there are a lot of Final Fantasy fans that maybe are not going to be as used to this kind of action game with its speedy and deep combat. So, there’s many elements that are being added into the game, and many points that we’re working on to make sure that this will be accessible to a large variety of players.
Specifically, there’ll be different difficulty levels that you can choose in the game to make it fit better with your skill level. And this won’t just be kind of a single player, single player as in one character taking on the world, you will have other characters in your party similar to other Final Fantasy titles. You can also either fight with those computer-controlled characters or have friends come and play the multiplayer mode with you to kind of help you get through some of the difficult challenges as well. So, you have many different options such as working with your friends or working with the characters in-game to be able to take on even some of the”
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin will release for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox one, and PC on March 18, 2022.
Not sure if you should get the game? A free demo for Stranger of Paradise is available now PlayStation and Xbox. Progress made in the demo can be carried over if you buy the main game for the same platform.