The father of Final Fantasy teamed back up with Square Enix after 21 years to break his latest RPG out of Apple Arcade jail

 Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshi-P.
Credit: Hironobu Sakaguchi

Jailbreak! During Tuesday's Nintendo Direct presentation, a trailer for Japanese RPG Fantasian: Neo Dimension revealed that the 2021 Apple Arcade exclusive is finally coming to PC. Its creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, best known for helming the Final Fantasy series from 1987 until his departure from Squaresoft in 2003, had some surprise help in freeing Fantasian from its mobile exclusivity: Final Fantasy 14 producer Yoshi-P.

If you follow Sakaguchi on Twitter, you'll immediately realize this is a match made in heaven. Sakaguchi loves Final Fantasy 14, playing the MMO to the near exclusion of all other games. He "basically lived in Final Fantasy 14" back in 2022, playing it 12 hours a day, but has never collaborated on it, saying then he wouldn't be able to enjoy playing it as much. While Sakaguchi seems to be on good terms with his former Square Enix colleagues these days, he hasn't worked on anything with the studio in more than 20 years. Until Fantasian.

"I'm working on this together with Yoshi-P. While talking about FF14 lol," Sakaguchi tweeted (via translation) on Tuesday, announcing that the new port to PC and consoles was being published by Square Enix. Either time really does heal all wounds, or Sakaguchi just couldn't pass up the chance to talk raid strategies while at work. The Final Fantasy 14 producer's team, which is also hard at work on a PC port of Final Fantasy 16, must be overseeing the new version of Fantasian.

"I developed Fantasian thinking that it could become my final work before retiring, so it has a special place in my heart," Sakaguchi shared in another message posted on Twitter. "Having the opportunity to rebuild it at Square Enix this way and making it widely known is truly a blessing. This title is an amalgamation of the souls of the diorama craftsmen, Uematsu compositions, and of course, the game developers. If you'd like, please do give it a try!"

The craftsmen Sakaguchi's referencing there are the members of his studio, Mistwalker, who built dozens and dozens of intricate dioramas that were then digitally scanned and turned into models to serve as the RPG's backdrops. While the 3D graphics and Fantasian's turn-based battles are otherwise fairly conventional, the dioramas are drop-dead gorgeous and unlike anything else out there (except maybe Harold Halibut). Hopefully they hold up well on larger displays—my guess is they will, since the iPhone 13 Pro Max, released the same year as Fantasian, already had a very dense 2778x1284 pixel screen.

A rundown of the new additions, courtesy of Square Enix:

  • English and Japanese voiceovers

  • 4K visuals

  • Normal difficulty mode - "Fantasian was a very difficult game upon release, with many bosses pounding players before they worked out the optimal strategies to defeat them. FANTASIAN Neo Dimension adds a new ‘Normal’ difficulty, to make the game a little more approachable. Of course, if you crave the challenge of the original game, that’s still there too!"

There's no Steam page for Fantasian yet, but it appeared on SteamDB some months ago, and is listed on the official site, so we know it's coming. It's out in late 2024.