The Games That Have Influenced Boss Saga

video games that influenced Boss Saga - Final Fantasy IV VI Phantasy Star IV Live A Live

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!

video games that influenced Boss Saga - Final Fantasy IV and VI
Final Fantasy II (aka Final Fantasy IV) on SNES, released in 1991. Image source: Fantasy-Anime

Final Fantasy IV & Final Fantasy VI

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.

video games that influenced Boss Saga - Live A Live, Takashi Tokita, Square Enix
Live A Live on Super Famicom, released in 1994 by Square, fan translated. Original image from VGMuseum, enlarged by me.

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.

Chrono Trigger on SNES, released in 1995. Image credit: Fantasy-Anime

Chrono Trigger

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 on Sega Genesis, released in 1995 in North America. Image credit: Fantasy-Anime

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 on Sega CD, released in 1993 in North America. Image credit: Lunar-Net

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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: