I love JRPGs. I think you all should know that by now. More specifically, I love JRPGs from the 1990s. In the 1980s they were kind of clunky and brutally difficult, and in the brief era between Final Fantasy X and Persona 3, the mid 2000s, they became a little cliche and too big for their britches. Nowadays, the genre has seen a resurgence on handhelds, but even by comparison, the best of the best still fall short what we saw in the 1990s.
From Final Fantasy IV to Chrono Trigger to SaGa Frontier to Suikoden II, it was an age when the genre absolutely dominated our mentality, and it had the lasting power to steer the video game industry as it wished rather than settle for the niche it satisfies today.
The Legend of Legacy is looking to capitalize on that sentimentality. In an interview with Inside Games, translated by Siliconera, Director Masataka Matsuura discusses how he jumped aboard the game and why he turns to the 90s for his inspiration.
“Actually, The Legend of Legacy was a title that arose from my personal feelings,” he says. “I entered FuRyu because I wanted to make to make an original RPG, but after being told by the company ‘we want a hallmark title,’ I said ‘if it were up to me, I’d make this,’ which turned out to be The Legend of Legacy.”
“Exstetra and Lost Dimension were titles aimed at middle and high school students, but The Legend of Legacy is a title that focuses on those that enjoyed the experience of playing RPGs in the ‘90s. There are plenty of anime-esque or realistic RPGs, and series with sequels, but we don’t see too many brand new titles. Another thing is that we don’t see many pure fantasy RPGs—those orthodox fantasy-type RPGs—and it has been bothering me personally. Especially as someone who enjoyed the genre up until now.”
A man after my own heart. Matsuura has a few RPG titles to his name like the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, but he is backed by veterans of some of the 90s best RPGs. Most notably, Kyoji Koizumi is aiding in direction, and he is responsible for working with Akitoshi Kawazu on SaGa Frontier for the PlayStation and the Japan-only Romancing SaGa trilogy on the Super Nintendo, both highly indicative of the spirit of 90’s JRPGs.
He states that The Legend of Legacy “isn’t being made to just look like a ‘90s game, but rather, an RPG that contains the entertainment the ’90s provided.”
“I believe we’re in an era where, lately, one can’t really say ‘it’s made by these developers, so it must be fun’. However, I think it’s still safe to say ‘it’s made by this person, so it must be fun’. So I wanted to prove, with this title, that if we get those people to make this game, it will be a good one.”
His company FuRyu hasn’t been around that long, barely even seven years, and they have yet to really find a game to help them break into the JRPG crowd in the States. Most of the games they make are based off of anime, but the one original title they were able to get localized through XSEED, Unchained Blades, went largely unnoticed and unappreciated.
Here’s hoping for better luck with The Legend of Legacy. It looks fantastic, and we’re still waiting for a company to pick it up and give it a solid localization.