Just what inspired the man who created the now iconic Final Fantasy battle system? One of the ideas came from NFL football.
Techncial chap Hiroyuki Ito has helped design the combat and job mechanics across various titles in the series, from its debut on the NES up until Final Fantasy XII.
Ito created the battle system and cites the tactical approach from professional sports as one of his influences - "A lot of it has to do with how in the NFL, the plays are pre-planned. Each side has a strategy. That's kind of the idea."
1UP: So did you create the battle system, or work on balancing it...?
HI: I actually created the battle system, yes.
1UP: What was your inspiration for that?
HI: Basically, there's no one inspiration that I got that battle system from. It was just a logical process, where I thought, "How can I create an efficient battle system for a role-playing game?" That's the answer that I came to. At the root of it all, though, there's a basic kind of system that comes from professional sports...
1UP: Any particular sport that you had in mind?
HI: Yeah, the NFL. Football is probably the closest thing.
1UP: I guess I can see that, with the parties lining up on either side and taking turns...
HI: Yeah. A lot of it has to do with how in the NFL, the plays are pre-planned. Each side has a strategy. That's kind of the idea.
As the series grew and evolved into Active-Time battles, Ino felt that shifting towards a more realtime approach would help involve more action, however too much would alienate users - so a balance, Active-Time, was formed.
He also discusses jobs, and the "desire to be useful", finding the role with "ties to real life... a meeting point between the fantasy world and the real world".