He bet his career on a game and hit the jackpot, then bet it on a film and lost it all. What happened to Final Fantasy's father?
"So, what are you doing in London today?" The hairdresser speaks in broken English, pausing every few words with the sheer effort of foreign sentence construction. "I am a video game journalist," I reply, hopefully. "Ahhh!" he laughs, a mixture of amusement and the relief of simply understanding the response."I just interviewed Hironobu Sakaguchi," I offer. A pause. "Do you know the Final Fantasy games? He made those."
I need a haircut, sort of, but really I came to this unassuming hairdressers near Oxford Street for this specific conversation. Never meet your heroes, they say: they can only disappoint. There's bruising truth in the cliché. When I was a teenager I would take the train to central London and walk through Soho to peer in the windows of Squaresoft's London office in the hope of catching a glimpse of a developer.
Of course, Golden Square was home only to weary marketing men, the company's creative teams housed thousands of miles away on two floors of the Phizer building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There was never any chance of bumping into a Final Fantasy artist or Secret of Mana coder. Deep down maybe I suspected as much. If nothing else, video games make masters of suspension of disbelief of us all. [READ MORE]