Yasumi Matsuno may not be a household name to most, but if you've played an JRPG in the past 15 years, you've no doubt encountered his work. Perhaps most notably Matsuno is responsible for Square's masterful strategy RPG Final Fantasy Tactics, which infused the director's penchant for dense Shakespearean political drama into a medieval realm of chocobos and (after a fashion) airships.
You could equally claim it's a take on Macbeth as easily as you might Game of Thrones, only released back in the early years of the PS One, back when Westeros was still relatively young and only in print form.
By many accounts Tactics is among the most sophisticated strategy RPGs ever made; Now Matsuno wants to do it again, essentially, by developing something of a spiritual successor, Unsung Story, with the mobile company Playdek, through securing $600,000 in funding with Kickstarter.
A brief description of the project shows you just how on-point Matsuno still is in terms of vision:
"The Unsung Story timeline covers many chapters of the sprawling war-torn history of the fantasy world of Rasfalia. The central plot follows the struggles of heroes who fought in the Seventy-Seven Years War between great kingdoms and empires.
The story for each hero will constitute an episode, with each episode being comprised of many stages of game play. Each episode will depict a part of the Seventy Seven Years’ War from the vantage point of various protagonists. Some episodes will span a single year, while others may take place over a decade or more!
Filled with intrigue, warfare, betrayal, alliances and espionage, Unsung Story is a detailed and immersive game world that players will bring to life through their actions and decisions. It will tie you not only to the names that history remembers after the conflict has ended, but also with the characters behind these immortalized individuals."
In other words, not only does that sound like classic Matsuno, who explored similar ideas in both Final Fantasy XII and the criminally-overlooked Vagrant Story, it sounds like one of the coolest games ever. The kicker is that with enough funds – $1,300,000 to be exact – longtime collaborator and FFT composer Hitoshi Sakimoto will come aboard to create Unsung Story's soundtrack (among other stretch staff members – it would be extra incredible if Matsuno and Sakimoto could convince artist Akihiko Yoshida to join with enough funds).
As of this writing, the Kickstarter has cracked $341,000 of its $600,000 goal, with a little over three and a half weeks left. If you're at all a fan of strategy RPGs, you'll want to contribute, which you can do via the link below.
Currently Unsung Story is planned for PC, Mac, Windows tablets and Linux, with more console versions to be determined depending on the success of the Kickstarter and what the fans want.
Here's hoping for PS4 release.