The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series (hereinafter referred to as FFCC) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first game’s release on August 8. The producer of the first title and creator of the series Akitoshi Kawazu made a comment on the occasion, in which he expressed his personal frustration at there being no new additions to the series and offered an apology to fans.
FFCC was first released for the Nintendo GameCube on August 8, 2003. It was an action RPG game that maintained the essence of the Final Fantasy series but included multiplayer support. The story takes place in a world plagued by a poisonous Miasma, which is ruining the lives of the inhabitants, and follows the adventure of a caravan sent off on a journey to collect Myrrh, which is the means to stop the Miasma from spreading.
In August 2020, a remastered version of this title was released for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. In addition to being adapted to present-day consoles, the game supports online multiplayer play for up to four players, which had been a popular request. In addition, cross-platform play is supported, allowing for multiplayer play unbound by differences in hardware. Additional elements include new character variations for each race, new equipment and items, as well as “high difficulty dungeons and bosses” that can be played after clearing the main story. The production was also enhanced with re-recorded character voiceovers.
The original version of the game celebrated its 20th anniversary recently, on August 8, and a special article was posted on the official homepage of the Final Fantasy series on the occasion. The article includes a commemorative illustration by Toshiyuki Itahana, who was the art director of the original game, as well as a comment from Akitoshi Kawazu, who was the producer. In his comment, Kawazu expresses regret for not being able to develop a new game for the series as of yet and apologizes to the fans.
Kawazu started his comment with an apology, saying, “I am sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to the hopes of fans who have been waiting for a new FFCC.” He also expresses his frustration at not being able to get around to doing many of the things he wishes to do. Not being able to provide new roles and adventures to the FFCC characters is another thing Kawazu expresses regret for, but he ends his comment by asking fans to “trust that one day a new page will be added to his travel diary.” It’s quite unusual for a producer to express regret and apologize to fans on an occasion such as an anniversary, rather than offer words of celebration.
At the time of the first title’s release, there had been no Final Fantasy games released for Nintendo’s consoles since Final Fantasy VI, released in April 1994. This means that FFCC was the first title to be released for a Nintendo console in more than nine years. The fact that both Square Enix and Nintendo were named as publishers of the game made it stand out all the more.
From that point, the FFCC series was expanded into a total of six titles, excluding the previously mentioned remastered version of the first title. Kawazu has been involved in all of them as executive producer or in similar capacities, so it would come as no surprise if he felt a special attachment to the series. On the other hand, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, released in November 2009, is currently the last addition to the series, meaning that there have been no new FFCC titles for about 14 years.
Against this backdrop, the remastered version of FFCC, released in August 2020, initially faced issues such as slow pacing during multiplayer play and bugs that interrupted the game. These points were improved through updates that followed, but the game’s release had a rocky start. Since then, there have been no major new developments in the FFCC series.
Kawazu, on the other hand, has been diligently involved with the SaGa series, as evidenced by the rise of Romancing Saga: Re-Universe and the recent remastering of SaGa titles. Perhaps this is what contributed to Kawazu’s comments on the 20th anniversary of the FFCC series revealing his extraordinary frustration at the current lack of new developments in the series.
FFCC has been a series that has taken a different approach than the numbered Final Fantasy titles, starting with the first game, which was the first to incorporate multiplayer support and action elements into the Final Fantasy series. Another difference is that the FFCC series has been developed mainly for Nintendo’s consoles.
The newest addition to the numbered series, Final Fantasy XVI, was just released on June 22 as a PS5-exclusive title. Having that in mind, it is possible that Nintendo may consider developing a new FFCC series title for their console. However, judging from Kawazu’s comments, it will probably be some time before that happens.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-08-09 18:04 JST)