Ivalice, the land of dreams

Matsuno’s story starts with  Final Fantasy and also with Hironobu Sakaguchi, father of Squaresoft’s saga. It was 1993 when Niigata’s game design began to work in Quest, a team at the time run by Enix. Its first creation was Ogre Battle , a role-playing game developed for SNES, which a few years later gave birth to sequel Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, far more famous than his predecessor and recently back in the hands thanks to the remake made on PSP by Square-Enix. Matsuno came from a strong passion for the Second World War, for introspections based on politics and sociopolitical affairs, aspects that could not fail and declare itself in Final Fantasy.

His titles attracted the attention of Square, the other giant of the Japanese market next to Enix, and shortly after the release of Tactics Ogre , Matsuno went on to join the team of Hironobu Sakaguchi and Hiroyuki Ito, who in the meantime had started developing of Final Fantasy Tactics.

The feeling between Ito and Matsuno was immediate, because the title on which Squaresoft was working was very close to Ogre’s game designers, having married the same kind. The two Japanese authors then decided to join forces to create an expanded universe within which to set their story, made up of intrigues and knights, with fantascient influences influencing western mythology.

That world took the name of Ivalice, a kingdom attached to the continents of Valendia, Ordalia and Kerwon, all overlooked by Mystes. a natural energy that triggered magic and gave birth to the Magilite. On that stage, the story of Final Fantasy Tactics came to the fore, which, once finished, allowed Matsuno to devote himself to other projects, set in the same universe, but at different times.

His new project was a third-person adventure, accompanied by mature and adult themes, always slave of political intolerances that endangered the existence of humanity: it was time to create Vagrant Story , now one of the Japanese titles with the highest consideration by fans and critics. The Wagon The Vagrant Story Time Stance in that same universe of Final Fantasy Tactics

Ivalice, the land of dreams

he did, however, come up with doubts, which immediately led to a statement by Matsuno that placated any speculation about using the same universe for both titles.

Despite the same names and some fundamental references to the title stories developed together with Hiroyuki Ito, the creator of Ogre Battle did not originally have any intention of setting Vagrant Story in Ivalice.

In the game, however, the name of the universe in which the player is found but of the continent is never pronounced: it was Valendia, the same one that we will find years later in Final Fantasy XII, with much of Kiltia’s own cults and religion.

Matsuno all defined as easter eggs and not a clear intention to create a single chronological line, but Squaresoft saw it all in a different light. Despite these indecision from the point of view of the nomenclature, Ito and Matsuno were again called to work tandem, just one year after the publication of Vagrant Story .

It was 2001 and the two started to develop Final Fantasy XII: Matsuno took care of the plot and the concept, which, like all his games, should focus on a war between various empires craving to gain territorial supremacy.

Unfortunately, things did not go as expected and the official version, still referred to today, is that Niigata’s game designer became ill and was forced to abandon Square-Enix. Confirmation also came in 2010 when a statement of Matsuno silenced all the speculations that identified as the cause of his abandonment of the continuing pressures of Square-Enix for a title that was postponed until the release of 2007. Prior to Final Fantasy XV , on the other hand, Final Fantasy XIIwas the title with the longest development ever in Shinjuku.