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Sakaguchi drops ASH details

FF creator talks DS RPG.

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series, has revealed some new details of what we can expect from his first RPG for the Nintendo DS - Archaic Sealed Heat, or ASH for short.

In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Sakaguchi said that the game's heroine is a queen named Aisha who is left all alone after her castle home burns to the ground. Or so she thinks - it's not long before those who died in the fire are back, only in spooky ash-based form. Sakaguchi also hinted that there are other characters who have travelled back in time from the future.

The "Team Tactics" combat system combines elements from turn-based RPGs with strategy titles - you use the stylus to instruct your units, and the touch screen will show you what your opponents are up to. Your troops are displayed on the top screen. There's a bit of magic involved, and you'll have special healing powers and protective shields.

It's all set in a 3D fantasy environment that'll be familiar to RPG fans, but with an industrial revolution flavour - Aisha is armed with an old fashioned rifle, for example.

"In a good way, the art is not like a typical DS [game]," Sakaguchi said.

The game is currently in development at his Mistwalker studio and art director Mideo Minaba, who worked on FFs XII and XI, is designing the characters. The music is being composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, who worked on Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story and FFXII.

Sakaguchi has only just finished plotting out the storyline and he reckons there's still nearly another year of development to go - so don't expect ASH to appear on the shelves until next Christmas at the earliest.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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