Kitase and Tabata have been on a roll lately, debunking fan theories.
Final Fantasy XV concludes in tragedy, as the protagonist, Noctis, sacrifices his life to prevent the antagonist, Ardyn, from completely destroying the world. The last thing we see is an image of Noctis and his bride-to-be, Luna, kissing in the afterlife. What we don’t see is what happened to Noctis’s friends: Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis. When Noctis goes after Ardyn, they stay behind, fighting off a wave of powerful monsters in what appears to be a sacrificial last stand.
Well, Tabata says they’re alive. And although he said we probably won’t see any future downloadable content that shows what happens to Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis after the credits roll, he did assure me that their ending is not going to be happy.
“That’s probably not true,” Kitase said, speaking through a translator. “I don’t think there’s any background setting like that. If that’s true, then because Daryl had that beautiful ending, if [she] ended up being Gogo, that would just destroy all that.”
No, Kitase said. Final Fantasy VI’s two optional characters, Gogo and Umaro, “actually did not carry any background story. They were just there for you to select if you want them to be in battle.”
“No, that is not true,” Kitase said, laughing. “I think he was actually stabbed around the shoulder area, so he was not dead. But that is a very interesting idea, so if we ever do make a remake of Final Fantasy VIII, I might go along with that story in mind.”
“No, that is not true,” Kitase said. “I don’t think I’ll incorporate that even if we do remake the game. But that being said, both Rinoa and Ultimecia are witches, so in that sense they are similar, but they’re not the same person.”
“Everyone’s thinking too deeply, reading between the lines too much,” laughed Kitase. “That makes it difficult because if you think about it that way, we might have to make it that way. That’s definitely not true.”
“We did hear that there were talks amongst fans that if you use a bug in the game you can revive Aeris and she will be with you until the end of the game,” Kitase said. “It might be good in a fantastical story that you can revive the characters, but with FFVII, we wanted to really take another look at that, look at human life, and [make people] realize they don’t come back.”
“I won’t completely come out and say that it is the same world,” said Kitase. “However, Shinra in FFX-2 was created by [Kazushige] Nojima, the scenario writer, and when he thought him up, he thought it might be good if people would imagine that after a few years after the story of Final Fantasy X-2, that person Shinra will grow up and start the Shinra company. So that is something that he did hint in there. That being said, I’m not gonna say that it’s the same.”
No, No, No, No, NO!
But why do they feel the need to do it…at all?
Where was the urgency in debunking the fan theories?
Is it because the stories they’ve presented to us has enough depth, merit, and discussion-worthy topics on their own?
That might be true, and I think they can be. But is that really a reason to micromanage thought around Final Fantasy fan theories?
Do the developers think fan theories might hurt the original story?
And without alternate theories or direction for topics to think about, what more can we talk about?
Seriously, if the story is what it is, then that settles it for most people right? If most people think “they said, I believe it, that settles it”, what more can people add?
Debunking fan theories might discourage others from making their own. And don’t fan theories generate discussion and new interest in the franchise, revitalizing the series as a whole? Wouldn’t it be against their own interests to no discuss games the way they prefer?
Don’t most people hang on to the canonicity of the story anyway? Kitase and Tabata don’t need to debunk fan theories unless they consider them to be threats to the original story? Jealous? Probably not? Might it damage their brand? I don’t see how?
But of course, maybe it’s something else?
Did they need something to talk about in order to give us hints for the new projects they’re considering?
Maybe they want us to talk about the genius behind what they’ve created? But how often do we talk about the games like that?
We have a lot of questions for why the developers find it necessary to “answer” questions.
These are not rhetorical questions. What do you all think?