It won’t shock anyone to hear that we love video games and especially RPGs. It also won’t shock anyone to hear that some of those games are clear influences on Boss Saga. So today, I’m going to talk about a few of the games that have most inspired gameplay and narrative events across the development so far!
And in case you missed it, you can check out an older post that details the random things and games that originally inspired the idea for Boss Saga.
Final Fantasy IV & Final Fantasy VI
The influence of SNES Final Fantasy on Boss Saga is instantly obvious at a glance. Our game has the potential for five-character hero parties like in Final Fantasy IV, and in many cases, we have adopted an art style reminiscent to that of Final Fantasy VI for character NPCs. Even the current battle menus (which are definitely subject to change later) draw influence from the classic SNES Final Fantasy style.
Story-wise, Boss Saga will contain a few nods to characters and tropes of the Final Fantasy franchise (and most of the other games that appear on this list). However, I don’t intend to get heavy-handed about it. You can smile if you notice a character who has the same name as a classic hero or a slightly similar appearance, but that will be the full extent of it. There won’t be a dark knight named Cecil who winks at the camera when his best friend betrays him.
I’m not a fan of “meta humor” in stories like ours, especially when it’s used as a crutch to excuse sloppy, boring storytelling. I want to tell stories that provide a loving nod to my favorite RPGs but then go off in their own direction to try something different. For instance, our game does have a Crimson Knight, but he’s inspired a bit more by Gafgarion, the Dark Knight from Final Fantasy Tactics. And even then, I think you will find he is motivated by much different things than Gagfarion or Cecil.
Live A Live
As I detailed in our earliest post, Live A Live on Super Famicom is one of the original things that inspired the idea for Boss Saga in the first place. That post was published before the shocking announcement that Square Enix is making an HD-2D remake of Live A Live for Nintendo Switch. So, suddenly everyone is going to be much more familiar with one of Boss Saga‘s most major influences.
Live A Live is about eight characters from different timelines going on separate adventures that have wildly different tones and visuals. And at the end of the game, you can optionally choose to play as the bosses to destroy all of the heroes (and get a really depressing alternate ending). Both of these things are obvious and extreme influences on the episodic nature of Boss Saga, where you play as the bosses in myriad different settings.
Any game that has anything to do with JRPGs has to borrow something from Chrono Trigger, or else why even bother making the game? In our case, our game offers team attacks for both bosses and heroes. It’s clearly inspired by the dual techs and triple techs from Chrono Trigger, but you can also argue it’s a nod to the team attacks from Phantasy Star IV. Speaking of which…
Phantasy Star IV
Phantasy Star IV is such an awesome triumph of an RPG to this day, from its soundtrack to its memorable characters. Our game will have a few sci-fi episodes, and at least a couple of them will draw from the visual flavor of Phantasy Star IV and also Phantasy Star II. Phantasy Star is such an imaginative and exciting setting that it just makes good sense to want to incorporate some of its style.
Lunar: The Silver Star, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, EarthBound…
Okay, you get the idea here. The bottom line is a lot of RPGs are going to influence Boss Saga in little ways, whether visually or by borrowing small story elements to remix into something new. The odds are good that at least some tiny part of your favorite 16-bit RPG will show up somewhere in our game.
However, the important distinction is that we’re making these little references out of love and a desire to interpret familiar tropes in new ways. We’re not doing this out of desperation or a desire to pander to nostalgia! We want to create a piece of art that stands on its own and can be enjoyed by players even if they’ve never played any of these other RPGs before. And we can’t wait for you to play it… as soon as we’re done making it!
Plenty more things have inspired Boss Saga where this came from, but we’ll talk about those things in future posts! In the meantime, we would be extremely grateful if you follow the development of Boss Saga here, on Twitter, and/or on Facebook! 🙂