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I missed the actual date, but it still has been 10 years since I released Paradise Blue!
Paradise Blue was an interesting project to work on, and possibly the biggest one I've had so far! I've thankful for all the nice reviews and comments and people who enjoyed the game.
This was a passion project made from back when I was still in university, and really enjoyed working on an old school style project. I was torn between making Azulea and this, and Paradise Blue ended up going from a small side project to the main project.
The game was initially based around FF1s Class selection system for 4 characters. Quickly, FF5s class based system was added. A fair amount of the project was making the battle system and class system work together, and a number of classes got added or removed depending on how I felt about it. Dragoon was a class I would have wanted, but I felt I didn't have enough to go with skill wise on that and the Jump command was such a pain to code that i removed it. If you go back a few blog posts in Paradise Blue, you'll see me talk about the things that I didn't get to add, and 2 "Final Classes" (Angel Knight and Phoenix Knight) were those 2. Having a party of only those 2 at the end felt less interesting to me than having them pick their own 4 classes, it's why I wasn't a fan of FF3's Ninja/Sage classes either.
Graphically, it started out directly from FF1 but I strayed from that when I saw MSX Final Fantasys graphics and started shading the classes a bit. Soon I stopped caring about color restraints and then decided to just go all out and revamp them in my style. As far as enemy designs, you can see from the start of the game to the end of the game how different the designs are. At first, it was just my own designs but I got TFT to help design a bunch of monsters and they ended up being a whole lot more creative and interesting so I based my later enemy sprites off of those.
Team member wise, I asked people if they wanted to be NPCs, and had some do different effects if you hire them. I also had Dajhail and Kaede make a few songs for me as well which I liked a lot! The song playing when you get the Ancangers with Amelia / Neil is Dajs song, and the main battle theme is Kaedes. I wanted to really have the Island sort of influence appear throughout the game.
There is the definitely inspiration/influence from Final Fantasy 1 and 5, but I also was a big Might and Magic VI fan and took ideas from it such as the hiring NPCs for an effect, killing enemies that don't respawn (they do in MM6, but only by certain triggers or after a long enough passing of time), sidequests and all. It was sort of like a mix of various games I liked, and I wish my writing back then was interesting enough to hold up.
I've had various ideas of different Paradise Blue remakes I've wanted to do. I still have it on my to do list, but I've been busy with other projects that it's actually lower priority. My friend Jihaus (who worked on Ruin Frontier 0) did class sketches for me so I made sprites for... most of them? I need to check again but here's a few!
My thoughts were: Either I could make Paradise Blue and change up stuff in the 2k3 version and then make an updated version or a sequel in VX Ace or MV. Paradise Blue is not a small game and I wouldn't want to keep it 100% the same so it would take a while to make. I figured I could focus on Cast Ashore first, then Fragments of Mind and then Paradise Blue, but it is definitely something I still want to make! I'm sorry I haven't been able to release a new Paradise Blue, but game making is still important to me and I do want to create new games and learn more!