Final Fantasy Tactics Wasn't Supposed To Have Casting Times

You know how in Final Fantasy Tactics—the wonderful strategy-RPG released for the PlayStation in 1998—your wizards and summoners all had to deal with charging times? And how if you wanted to cast a spell, you'd have to wait X number of turns before it went through?

Here's a bombshell for you: creator Yasumi Matsuno says they didn't want those casting times to exist at all. In the latest update for his newest Kickstarter project, Unsung Story (itself a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics), Matsuno addresses a bunch of fan questions including this:

Q: "FFTA and FFTA2 moved away from Charge/cast times, which I felt heavily took away from the depth of those games. Will Charge/Cast times be a core component of this game? One of my favorite mechanics in FFT was casting time."

A: Sorry, there won't be casting times in this game. In fact, the reason why FFT included a casting time system at all was to allow the game time to load graphic effects. This was a necessary consideration due to PlayStation loading times and memory concerns. Speaking as a developer back in those days, I can tell you that we weren't happy with it.

Wow! Here we all thought spell casting times in FFT were a form of balance—a way to ensure that wizards and summoners weren't overpowered next to their sword-swinging brethren—but the developers didn't even want them there in the first place? Crazy stuff.

On one hand, this is almost hard to believe, especially when the Archer job's entire ability set is built around charging times. Can you imagine if Final Fantasy Tactics didn't have charges at all? It'd be a totally different game.

On the other hand, if Matsuno and crew really cared about balance in the iconic strategy game, they wouldn't have created Orlandu. So hey. Craziness.