Yoshinori Kitase

Yoshinori Kitase (北瀬 佳範 Kitase Yoshinori, born 23 September 1966) is a Japanese game director and producer working for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, and the producer of the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series. Kitase is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 1 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.[1][2][3]

Yoshinori Kitase
Square-enix dissidia yoshinori-kitase
At the E3 in Los Angeles, California in 2009
Born23 September 1966 (age 52)
NationalityJapanese
Alma materNihon University
OccupationVideo game producer
EmployerSquare Enix

Biography

In July 1978, at the age of 11, Kitase watched the movie Star Wars for the first time and was deeply impressed with it. He later examined the making-of video to it and became interested in the creative process of the film industry. Kitase decided to attend the Nihon University College of Art and studied screenwriting and filmmaking. Although he enjoyed filming, he showed a much greater passion for post-production editing as he felt it allowed him to give the footage a completely new meaning and to appeal to the viewers' feelings. In his first year after the graduation, Kitase worked at a small animation studio that produced animated television programs and commercials. When he played Final Fantasy for the first time, he considered a switch to the game industry as he felt that it had potential when it came to animation and storytelling. Despite having no software development knowledge, he applied at the game development company Square and was hired in 1990. In the ten years to follow, he gathered experience as an "event scripter", directing the characters' movements and facial expressions on the game screen as well as setting the timings and music transitions. He has compared this work to directing film actors.[4] Kitase continued directing cutscenes in spite of filling other roles in later projects; for example, he directed part of the event scenes in Final Fantasy VIII and was event planner for the Nibelheim section of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.[5][6]

Isamu Kamikokuryo and Yoshinori Kitase
Yoshinori Kitase (right) and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo (left) at HMV's Final Fantasy XIII launch event in London in March, 2010.

When many players responded to the sci-fi world of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII by requesting a "simple fantasy world", Kitase tried to expand the definition of the word "fantasy" beyond that of a medieval European setting. This led to Southeast Asia being the backdrop for Final Fantasy X.[7] Kitase referred to Final Fantasy VII and its protagonist Cloud Strife as his favorite game and character, respectively.[8] In an interview, he said that he loves first-person shooters.[9] Kitase supervised the Final Fantasy VII: Technical Demo for PS3. Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi feels that he "handed the torch to" Kitase as far as heading the series is concerned.[10]

Works

Release Title System Credit(s)
1991 Final Fantasy Adventure Game Boy Game design, scenario
1992 Romancing SaGa Super Nintendo Entertainment System Field map design
1992 Final Fantasy V Super Nintendo Entertainment System Field planner, event planner, scenario writer[11]
1994 Final Fantasy VI Super Nintendo Entertainment System Director, event planner, scenario writer[11]
1995 Chrono Trigger Super Nintendo Entertainment System Director, scenario writer[12]
1997 Final Fantasy VII PlayStation Director, scenario writer
1998 Ehrgeiz PlayStation FF VII staff
1999 Final Fantasy VIII PlayStation Director, story, system designer, event scene direction[13][5]
2001 Final Fantasy X PlayStation 2 Producer, chief director, scenario writer[14][15][16]
2002 Kingdom Hearts PlayStation 2 Co-producer
2003 Unlimited Saga PlayStation 2 Special thanks
2003 Final Fantasy X-2 PlayStation 2 Producer
2004 Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII Mobile phone Executive producer
2004 Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Game Boy Advance Producer
2005 Romancing SaGa PlayStation 2 Special thanks
2005 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Film Producer
2005 Last Order: Final Fantasy VII Anime Executive producer
2005 Kingdom Hearts II PlayStation 2 Co-producer
2006 Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII PlayStation 2 Producer
2006 Final Fantasy V Advance Game Boy Advance Supervisor
2006 Final Fantasy VI Advance Game Boy Advance Supervisor
2006 Dawn of Mana PlayStation 2 Special thanks
2007 Heroes of Mana Nintendo DS Special thanks
2007 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII PlayStation Portable Executive producer, event planner[6]
2008 Sigma Harmonics Nintendo DS Producer
2008 Dissidia: Final Fantasy PlayStation Portable Producer
2009 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Film Producer
2009 Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light Nintendo DS Special thanks
2009 Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Producer, Crystal Tools development staff (for PS3 & 360)
2010 Final Fantasy XIV Windows Crystal tools
2010 The 3rd Birthday PlayStation Portable Producer
2011 Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy PlayStation Portable Special thanks
2011 Final Fantasy Type-0 PlayStation Portable Producer
2011 Final Fantasy XIII-2 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Producer
2012 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Nintendo 3DS Special thanks
2013 Final Fantasy: All The Bravest iOS, Android Special thanks
2013 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Producer
2013 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows Producer (PS3, PS Vita), special thanks (PS4, Windows)
2014 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Nintendo 3DS Special thanks
2014 Final Fantasy VII G-Bike iOS, Android Executive producer[2]
2015 Mobius Final Fantasy iOS, Android, Windows Producer
2015 Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius iOS, Android Special thanks
2015 Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015 video game) Arcade Special thanks[17]
2016 Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Film Special thanks
2016 Final Fantasy XV PlayStation 4, Xbox One Special thanks, original producer[A]
2017 Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (Patch 3.56) Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Mac OS X Special thanks
2017 Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Windows, PlayStation 4, Mac OS X Special thanks
2017 Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita Special thanks
2017 Final Fantasy Dimensions II iOS, Android Special thanks
2018 Dissidia Final Fantasy NT PlayStation 4 Special thanks
TBA Final Fantasy VII Remake PlayStation 4 Producer

Notes

  • A Kitase was a producer on Final Fantasy XV until the end of 2013.

References

  1. ^ "Board of Directors". Square Enix. 2016.
  2. ^ a b "【インタビュー(完全版)】『ファイナルファンタジーVII Gバイク』 いま明かされる開発秘話". Famitsu. 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  3. ^ "What Does Square Enix's Final Fantasy Committee Do?". Siliconera. March 25, 2014.
  4. ^ 「ハリウッド映画に負けていますか?」 スクウェア・エニックスプロデューサー北瀬 佳範 (in Japanese). Kodansha. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b Studio BentStuff. Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 464.
  6. ^ a b Martin, Joe (26 April 2008). "Crisis Core: Interviewing Yoshinori Kitase". Interview. bit-tech. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Beyond FINAL FANTASY – Interviews". FINAL FANTASY X Bonus DVD. Square Enix Co., Ltd. Retrieved 4 April 2011. Yoshinori Kitase: For Final Fantasy VII and VIII, the setting was sci-fi and many players responded by saying that they preferred a simple fantasy world. They seemed to have a fixed notion of what fantasy means to them, and to them, it consisted of a medieval European world. I wanted to change that idea. I wanted to expand the definition of what the players thought the word "fantasy" implied.
  8. ^ "Yoshinori Kitase on FFXIII, FFVII and Dissidia". VideoGamer.com. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  9. ^ Cheng, Justin (19 May 2005). "E3 2005: Yoshinori Kitase Interview". IGN. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Hironobu Sakaguchi and Hajime Tabata Discuss Their Passion for the Series and Behind-the-Scenes Episodes from the Final Fantasy XV Reveal Event". Famitsu. May 13, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (2010-02-24). "Final Fantasy: Kitase's Inside Story". 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-09-11.
  12. ^ "Procyon Studio: Interview with Masato Kato". Cocoebiz.com. November 1999. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
  13. ^ "Interview with Nomura, Kitase and Naora". Shūkan Famitsu. ASCII Corporation. 5 June 1998. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Interview: Final Fantasy X". Core Magazine. 6 March 2001. Archived from the original on 13 April 2001.
  15. ^ "Interview with Final Fantasy X Developers". The Madman's Cafe. 19 January 2001. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  16. ^ Studio BentStuff. Final Fantasy X Ultimania Omega (in Japanese). Square Enix. pp. 192, 476.
  17. ^ "Staff Credit".

External links

Aerith Gainsborough

Aerith Gainsborough (Japanese: エアリス・ゲインズブール, Hepburn: Earisu Geinzubūru), transliterated as Aeris Gainsborough in the English releases of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics—is a player character in Square's (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura with influence from Yoshinori Kitase, Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yoshitaka Amano.

In Final Fantasy VII, she is a young woman who joins the eco-terrorist organization AVALANCHE. As the story progresses, AVALANCHE begin to pursue the game's antagonist Sephiroth, and the player learns that she is the last surviving Cetra, or "Ancient", one of the planet's oldest races. She has also appeared in the later-released Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts series.

Her voice actor is Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese. In English releases, her voice actors are singer and actress Mandy Moore in Kingdom Hearts, actress Mena Suvari in Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and actress Andrea Bowen in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. The character and the events surrounding her death in Final Fantasy VII have met with an overall positive reception from critics and fans.

Barret Wallace

Barret Wallace (バレット・ウォーレス, Baretto Wōresu) is a player character in Square Enix's role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created by character designer Tetsuya Nomura, he has since appeared in the CGI film sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as well as other games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Barret is voiced by Masahiro Kobayashi in Japanese and Beau Billingslea in English localizations.

Barret is first introduced in Final Fantasy VII as an eco-terrorist, leading the group AVALANCHE to bomb Mako reactors in the fictional city of Midgar, so as to avenge the losses dealt him by the megacorporation Shinra, the Planet's de facto world government, who operate under the pretense of saving the Planet. As the story progresses, Barret re-examines his efforts and focuses on pursuing the villain Sephiroth in an effort to protect the Planet and the future of his adopted daughter, Marlene. Elements of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII would later expand upon his character, detailing the character's history before and after the events of the original game.

The first dark-skinned playable character in the Final Fantasy series, Barret's appearance and sometimes profane speech has been heavily compared to that of actor Mr. T, earning much praise, but also criticism and accusations of racism by some.

Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife (Japanese: クラウド・ストライフ, Hepburn: Kuraudo Sutoraifu) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's (now Square Enix's) 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary claiming to be formerly of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation responsible for draining the life from the planet. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud reappears as the protagonist in the 2005 computer-animated sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in which he fights a new threat to the world while dealing with a sickness that infected his body. He acts in a supporting role in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, and is featured in several other games outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Additionally, he has been featured in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, and the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix.

Cloud was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a character artist for the Final Fantasy series, whose role expanded during the title's development to include supervision over Cloud's personality. Yoshinori Kitase, director of VII, and Kazushige Nojima, one of the game's event planners, developed the story and wanted to create a mysterious character who acted atypically for a hero. After VII, Nomura assumed greater responsibility over Cloud's development, and his design was revised to better conform with the series' shift to a more realistic style.

Cloud has garnered a primarily positive reception from critics. Described as "iconic", Cloud has been cited favorably as an example of complex character writing in video games and as one of its first unreliable narrators. He has ranked highly in various character lists compiled by video game publications, and remains popular among fans, continuing to place highly in popularity polls conducted by Famitsu, Guinness, and other organizations. His characterization and design have also served as trope for other characters, most notably Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. He has also become the basis for a variety of merchandise, such as action figures and jewelry.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a metaseries produced by Square Enix. A subseries stemming from the main Final Fantasy series, it is a collection of video games, animated features and short stories based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Officially announced in 2003 with the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the series' core products are three video games and one movie release. Alongside these are tie-in products and spin-offs including books, mobile games and an original video animation. Advent Children and the mobile title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII are a sequel and prequel to VII, respectively focusing on Cloud Strife, the original game's main protagonist, and covert operatives known as the Turks. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair, an important major character in VII, while Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which acts as a sequel to Advent Children, follows Vincent Valentine, one of the original's optional characters.

The series was conceived by Yoshinori Kitase, the original game's director, and Tetsuya Nomura, the main character designer. Nomura would become the main designer for each entry in the Compilation. Other returning staff include writer Kazushige Nojima, art director Yusuke Naora, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The video games belong to different genres, with none of them being traditional role-playing games due to production pressures related to the genre. While the first title revealed was Advent Children, it ran into delays during post-production, so the first Compilation title to be released was the mobile game Before Crisis.

Of the core titles, Before Crisis is the only one still unreleased in the west due to issues with overseas platform compatibility and staff changes. Reception of titles in the Compilation has been mixed, with Advent Children being praised for its visuals and criticized for its confusing nature. Before Crisis and Crisis Core have received praise, while Dirge of Cerberus garnered a mixed response. The presentation of the Compilation as a whole has met with a mixed response, and later staff linked it to the decline of the Final Fantasy series' prestige in the West. The Compilation inspired the creation of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a similar subseries of linked video games.

Crystal Tools

Crystal Tools is a game engine created and used internally by the Japanese company Square Enix. It combines standard libraries for elements such as graphics, sound and artificial intelligence while providing game developers with various authoring tools. The target systems of Crystal Tools are the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and the Wii. This was decided with the intention of making cross-platform production more feasible. The idea for the engine sprang from Square Enix's desire to have a unified game development environment in order to effectively share the technology and know-how of the company's individual teams.

Crystal Tools entered development in August 2005 under the code name White Engine. It was intended for the then PlayStation 3-exclusive role-playing game Final Fantasy XIII. The decision to expand Crystal Tools' compatibility to other game projects and systems marked the official project start for a company-wide engine. Development was carried out by the Research and Development Division headed by Taku Murata, which was specifically established for this purpose. As Square Enix's biggest project to date, the creation of Crystal Tools caused substantial problems in the simultaneous production of several flagship titles; various critics cited the engine as the primary cause of significant delays in the release of Final Fantasy XIII.

Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III from its marketing for initial North American release in 1994, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Japanese company Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy VI, being the sixth game in the series proper, was the first to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Yoshitaka Amano, long-time collaborator to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the character designer and contributed widely to visual concept design, while series-regular, composer Nobuo Uematsu, wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story follows an expanding cast that includes fourteen permanent playable characters. The drama includes and extends past depicting a rebellion against an evil military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms-race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depiction of violent, apocalyptic confrontations with Divinities, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the continuous renewal of hope and life itself.

Final Fantasy VI was released to critical acclaim and is seen as a landmark title for the role-playing genre; for instance, it was ranked as the 2nd best RPG of all time by IGN in 2017. Its SNES and PlayStation versions have sold over 3.48 million copies worldwide to date as a stand-alone game, as well as over 750,000 copies as part of the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection and the North American Final Fantasy Anthology. Final Fantasy VI has won numerous awards and is considered by many to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

It was ported by Tose with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation in 1999 and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance in 2006, and it was released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2011. Nintendo re-released Final Fantasy VI in the United States in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition. The game was known as Final Fantasy III when it was first released in North America, as the original Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and Final Fantasy V had not been released outside Japan at the time (leaving IV as the second title released outside Japan and VI as the third). However, most later localizations use the original title.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

Development began in 1994, originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. After delays and technical difficulties from experimenting on several platforms, Square moved production to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. Veteran Final Fantasy staff returned, including series creator and producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, director Yoshinori Kitase, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The title became the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, which featured 3D character models superimposed over 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay systems remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII introduced more widespread science fiction elements and a more realistic presentation. The game had a staff of over 100, with a combined development and marketing budget of around US$80 million.

Assisted by a large promotional campaign, Final Fantasy VII received widespread commercial and critical success and remains widely regarded as a landmark title and one of the greatest games of all time. The title won numerous Game of the Year awards and was acknowledged for boosting the sales of the PlayStation and popularizing Japanese role-playing games worldwide. Critics praised its graphics, gameplay, music, and story, although some criticism was directed towards its English localization. Its success has led to enhanced ports on various platforms, a multimedia subseries called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and an upcoming high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake is an upcoming action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. It is a remake of the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII, retelling the original story following mercenary Cloud Strife as he and eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE battle against the corrupt Shinra megacorporation, and the rogue former Shinra soldier Sephiroth. Gameplay is planned to be a fusion of real-time action similar to Dissidia Final Fantasy, and strategic elements, and the game will be released as a multipart series.

Rumors and demands for a remake of VII existed for many years, but multiple reasons were given for why the project was not being developed. Four key original staff members returned to help with Remake: original character designer Tetsuya Nomura returned as both director and main character designer, original director Yoshinori Kitase acted as producer, Kazushige Nojima returned to write the script, and composer Nobuo Uematsu is also involved. The decision to release Remake in multiple parts was taken so the team did not have to cut any of the original content. They also decided to add new content and adjust the original character designs to balance between realism and stylization.

Kazushige Nojima

Kazushige Nojima (野島 一成, Nojima Kazushige, born January 20, 1964 in Sapporo) is a Japanese video game writer and is the founder of Stellavista Ltd. He is best known for writing several installments of Square Enix's Final Fantasy video game series—namely Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the Kingdom Hearts series. Nojima also wrote the original lyrics of Liberi Fatali for Final Fantasy VIII and both Suteki da Ne and the Hymn of the Fayth for Final Fantasy X.

Mobius Final Fantasy

Mobius Final Fantasy (Japanese: メビウスファイナルファンタジー, Hepburn: Mebiusu Fainaru Fantajī) is an episodic role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows. It was released in Japan in June 2015, and released internationally in August 2016. The player controls Warrior of Light (Wol), a man who wakes with amnesia in the world of Palamecia, and must help conquer the dark forces attacking its people. The game features gameplay elements from previous Final Fantasy titles, including leveling, exploration via standard navigation and fast-travel systems, and turn-based combat tied to a job system. Common themes were also drawn from the original Final Fantasy title, such as "warriors of light" and their fight against chaos and darkness.

The game, which began development in early 2014, was developed around the concept of a mobile game on a similar level to a home console game and "a rich gaming experience, anytime, anywhere". This prompted skepticism from both in-house staff and external sources. While some assets were outsourced, most of the development was done internally by Square Enix's Business Division 1. Multiple staff from previous Final Fantasy titles were involved in development, including producer Yoshinori Kitase; director Motomu Toriyama, project leader Naoki Hamaguchi, character designer Toshiyuki Itahana and composer Mitsuto Suzuki.

The game registered over two million players within the first few weeks of release. Square Enix cited Mobius Final Fantasy as one of the most successful mobile titles they released in 2015, having over three million downloads in Japan before the end of the year. The English version also reached one million downloads within a week, with over three million in under a month. The graphics and gameplay were praised by reviewers, although some called the overall combat experience "simple". It was awarded as one of the Apple App Store's best games of 2015 in Japan. It was also awarded for being the most beautiful game on the Google Play Store in 19 countries for 2016. Mobius surpassed 10 million downloads in January 2017 with millions more since.

Motomu Toriyama

Motomu Toriyama (鳥山 求, Toriyama Motomu) is a Japanese game director and scenario writer who has been working for Square Enix since 1994. He initially worked on cutscenes in Bahamut Lagoon and Final Fantasy VII. Toriyama started directing with Final Fantasy X-2 and has continued doing so with large-scale projects such as Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Since 2003, he has been directing his own team of scenario writers at the company. He is currently directing Mobius Final Fantasy and is a member of Square Enix's Business Division 1, and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

PlayStation Underground

PlayStation Underground is a now-defunct American video game magazine, originally published by Sony Computer Entertainment America. The magazine focused on the PlayStation fanbase, including gaming on the original Sony PlayStation and the PlayStation 2, and was promoted as a "PlayStation fan club". Unlike its paper-based counterpart the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Underground came in the form of CD-ROMs which could be played on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles. Subscribers were also given access to a members-only website. The magazine released its first issue on March 26, 1997 and its final issue in 2001. The magazine released a total of seventeen issues during its active years. The magazine was eventually merged with Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine in 2001 when it was discontinued.

Squall Leonhart

Squall Leonhart (Japanese: スコール・レオンハート, Hepburn: Sukōru Reonhāto) is a fictional character and the primary protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, a role-playing video game by Square (now Square Enix). In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall is a 17-year-old student at Balamb Garden, a prestigious military academy for elite mercenaries (known as "SeeDs"). He stands 177 cm (5 ft 10 in) tall. As the story progresses, Squall befriends Quistis Trepe, Zell Dincht, Selphie Tilmitt, and Irvine Kinneas, and falls in love with Rinoa Heartilly. These relationships, combined with the game's plot, gradually change him from a loner to an open, caring person. Squall has appeared in several other games, including Chocobo Racing, Itadaki Street Special, and the Kingdom Hearts series, as Leon (レオン, Reon).

Squall was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, with input from game director Yoshinori Kitase. He was modeled after late actor River Phoenix. Squall's weapon, the gunblade, also made so that it would be difficult to master. In order to make players understand Squall's silent attitude, Kazushige Nojima made the character's thoughts open to them. Squall's first voiced appearance was in the first Kingdom Hearts game, voiced by Hideo Ishikawa in Japanese and by David Boreanaz in English; Doug Erholtz has since assumed the role for all other English-speaking appearances.

Squall had a varied reaction from critics, with some judging him poorly compared to other Final Fantasy heroes due to his coldness and angst, and others praising his character development. Nevertheless, the character has been popular, and his relationship with Rinoa resulted in praise.

Takashi Tokita

Takashi Tokita (時田 貴司, Tokita Takashi) (born 24 January 1965) is a Japanese video game developer working for Square Enix. He has worked there since 1985, and has worked as the lead designer for Final Fantasy IV as well as the director of Parasite Eve and Chrono Trigger.

Tetsuya Nomura

Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya, born October 8, 1970) is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix (formerly Square). He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has helmed the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The 3rd Birthday

The 3rd Birthday (Japanese: ザ・サード バースデイ, Hepburn: Za Sādo Bāsudei) is a third-person role-playing shooter co-developed by Square Enix and HexaDrive, and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. It was released in Japan in 2010 and in North America and Europe in 2011. The game is both the third entry in the Parasite Eve video game series, based on the titular Japanese novel, and a spin-off, having only a loose connection to events from past games. The game features a third-person shooter-based combat system with role-playing mechanics. A key mechanic is the Overdive ability, which allows the player to possess pre-positioned human allies and inflict damage upon enemies.

The game takes place in 2013, a year after creatures known as the Twisted have appeared from beneath Manhattan and decimated the city. To fight back against the Twisted, an investigatory team called the Counter Twisted Investigation (CTI) is formed. Among their number is series protagonist Aya Brea, who was found unconscious and suffering amnesia two years before the game's events. Using her Overdive ability, Aya travels into the past to alter the outcome of battles against the Twisted. At the same time, Aya attempts to find out the origin of the Twisted and regain her memories.

The 3rd Birthday was created as a conceptual rebirth for Aya's character, as well as a means of re-introducing her to the gaming community, with it being over a decade since the last game in the series. Among the staff were Hajime Tabata, Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama, Isamu Kamikokuryo, and Aya's original designer Tetsuya Nomura. Originally announced as an episodic title for mobile phones, the game was later changed into a PSP exclusive. Upon release, the game reached sixth place in Japanese sales charts, and was among the top five games in North American and UK sales charts during its opening months. Reviews have been mixed; critics praised the presentation and several parts of the gameplay, while opinions were mixed about the story, and many cited difficulties with camera control and some of the shooter mechanics. Several reviewers have also made negative comments on Aya's portrayal.

Yoshinori

Yoshinori is a masculine Japanese given name. Notable people with the name include:

Yoshinori Fujita (born 1976), Japanese voice actor

Yoshinori Kanada (1952–2009), Japanese animator

Yoshinori Kitase (born 1966), Japanese game producer

Yoshinori Kobayashi (born 1953), Japanese conservative author and manga artist

Yoshinori Kumada (熊田 喜則, born 1961), Japanese footballer and manager

Yoshinori Muto (born 1992), Japanese footballer

Yoshinori Oguchi (born 1955), Japanese politician

Yoshinori Ohno (born 1935), former Japanese Minister of Defense

Yoshinori Shimizu (born 1947), Japanese novelist

Yoshinori Shirakawa (1869–1932), general in the Imperial Japanese Army

Yoshinori Suematsu (born 1956), Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan

Yoshinori Sunahara (born 1969), Japanese DJ and club programmer

Yoshinori Watanabe (born 1941), kumicho of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza organization

Ashikaga Yoshinori (1394–1441), Ashikaga shogunate

Yoshinori Koguchi (born 1969), Japanese professional drifting driver

Maeda Yoshinori (1690–1745), Japanese daimyō

Yoshinori Natsume (born 1975), Japanese manga artist

Yoshinori Okada (born 1977), Japanese actor

Yoshinori Sato (born 1989), Japanese professional baseball player

Yoshinori Taguchi (born 1965), Japanese footballer

Yoshinori Tateyama (born 1975), Japanese baseball player

Yoshinori Kanemoto (born 2000), Japanese rapper and member of South Korean boy band Treasure 13 and Magnum

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