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E3 2011: A Word With Final Fantasy XIII-2 Director Motomu Toriyama

June 23, 2011 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook E3 2011: A Word With Final Fantasy XIII-2 Director Motomu Toriyamaon Twitter

We were fortunate enough at E3 this year to sit down with Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama to ask him some questions about the game’s music. While we had a similar opportunity at GDC 2010 to discuss the original Final Fantasy XIII, it was still interesting to witness Toriyama’s surprise that people actually care about the music and sound design in the game projects he oversees.

We get some interesting tidbits, including the fact that other composers will be contributing to Final Fantasy XIII-2’s soundtrack, the general approach they’re taking with the game’s score, and just how elusive Masashi Hamauzu has been since his departure from Square Enix.

Hit the jump for our brief interview with Motomu Toriyama.

OSV: Hello, we were hoping you could confirm that composer Masashi Hamauzu will be continuing on with Final Fantasy XIII-2 to create a new original score for the game.

Toriyama: Yes, he has been involved with Final Fantasy XIII-2 as the main composer, but other artists from within Square Enix are also lending their support.

OSV: I noticed that during the demonstration on the floor, there was some hip hop-style rapping in the background during the battle with Atlas Paradox. Do you feel that Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a different musical direction, and did you offer any guidance as to the overall sound for this title?

Toriyama: You may remember in Final Fantasy XIII, Hamauzu-san created the original soundtrack with an orchestral sound. In XIII-2, we definitely want to continue with his big scale concept by using this fantasy music, but we want to add some new flavors with hip hop and other styles as well. With the power of consoles today, we can produce all kinds of new media, so we want to experiment with that.

OSV: Final Fantasy titles have generally had their own vocal theme song. Final Fantasy XIII had a Japanese vocal theme composed by Hamauzu-san as well as a separate track for the English release, which was Leona Lewis’s “My Hands.” Are there currently plans to include a vocal theme in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and are you looking for a separate song outside of Japan for the English version of the game?

Toriyama: I unfortunately cannot disclose too much information about theme songs, but we are looking into all sorts of different arenas to find what kind of new collaboration we can come up with. I can say that we’ve contacted some artists outside of Japan as well.

OSV: Has the fact that Hamauzu-san has left Square Enix has left the company to found his own company impacted the development of the game’s soundtrack at all? Has it been particularly challenging?

Toriyama: Because we used to work with him internally for so many years, even though he’s now at a different organization, we didn’t experience any difficulties. But because he’s been chiefly been working on lots of concerts lately, it’s sometimes been hard to get ahold of him. He’s been quite elusive!

OSV: In terms of sound design, I know Yajima-san is responsible for sound effects. Since this is a direct sequel, I imagine a lot of sounds are being reused from the first game. What’s been doing to allow Final Fantasy XIII-2 to sound fresh while remaining true to the original sound of Final Fantasy XIII?

Toriyama: Some of the monsters from Final Fantasy XIII will reappear in Final Fantasy XIII-2, so of course those sounds will be reused. But sounds for the cutscenes will be of course brand new. We’re currently struggling to find an appropriately cute sound for moogles, which appear in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

OSV: Thank you!

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