Final Fantasy XV: why Stella was removed from Square Enix’s upcoming JRPG

Final Fantasy XV Game Director, Hajime Tabata, has touched base again on the various changes made to the upcoming JPRG from its original incarnation as Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Speaking during an interview with 4Gamer (via Nova Crystallis), Tabata-san admitted he still gets complaints from gamers regarding the changes, chiefly the removal of the character of Stella, who was originally due to take on the role of the heroine alongside Noctis. 

Our emotions are with her, and there’s really no good way to present a perfect explanation,” he commented. “Developers feel uncomfortable working on a well-known character if they have to completely change their role. This is why we decided to change the character completely.

Tabata-san had previously said last year on Active Time Report, “[They] wanted to keep her as a heroine in FFXV’s story, and pursued ways to tie her into FFXV’s design as well, but we found it increasingly difficult to make sense of Stella’s character and role within FFXV.

Final Fantasy XV is due out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30, 2016. The game will be supported by a range of multi-media content, including a web anime series and a full-blown CG flick. 

The hotly anticipated title features an open-world setting and plays on darker themes than its predecessors, as well as implementing a more action-oriented combat system that echoes both Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Type-0. 

Interestingly, it’s nearly 10 year since the game was announced at E3 2006 under the FF Versus XIII moniker, which was then due to be a PlayStation 3-exclusive title. However, Square Enix re-revealed the game at E3 2013 for current-generation formats, after scrapping Versus XIII around 2012 when the project was roughly 25 percent complete. 

New details on Final Fantasy XV have emerged over the past week or so, including confirmation of over 200 side quests and the presence of Chocobo training. Square Enix has also revealed that the game will be fully playable at E3 2016 in June.

Players can now test drive the game themselves by downloading the free Platinum Demo.