Koichi Ishii (石井 浩一 Ishii Kōichi?, born July 9, 1964), sometimes credited as Kouichi Ishii, is a video game designer perhaps best known for creating the Mana series (known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan). He joined Square (now Square Enix) in 1987, where he has directed or produced every game released in the Mana series (as of 2006). He has also contributed to several games in Square Enix's SaGa and Final Fantasy series, and created the well-known chocobo and moogle characters.
Square Co./Square Enix
Koichi Ishii directed Final Fantasy I, II, and III, as well as SaGa Frontier. He was invited to work on the original Final Fantasy in 1986, and helped develop the crystal theme that became a recurring motif of the series. Ishii became the head of Square Enix's Product Development Division-8.
He wanted to create a game called "Seiken Densetsu" in 1987, but Square rejected the idea before he even finished planning it. He was able to develop it in the early 1990s as a Final Fantasy Gaiden. He was involved in the development of the Sword of Mana and all other World of Mana games.
On Heroes of Mana, development of an Real-time strategy game became so difficulty they had to start development all over at one point. Another challenge of game development was due to the Japanese gaming audiences lack of familiarity with an RTS style of gaming. The world of Seiken Densetsu 3 was chosen due to its plot involving warring states, which was thought to be well suited for an RTS game.
He left Square Enix after the release of the World of Mana series.
Style and reception
IGN called Ishii one of the top 100 best game creators ever. Ishii is noted for his use of an active real time battle system, a pioneering move at the time. Some critics felt that the constant switching between a battle screen and the world map made the games feel faster paced and "deeper". He was also praised for his use of cutting edge technologies such as Mode 7 graphics to create a 3D feel.
|1987||Final Fantasy||planning, battle graphics|
|1988||Final Fantasy II||game design|
|1989||The Final Fantasy Legend||scenario|
|1990||Final Fantasy III||object design|
|1991||Final Fantasy Adventure||director, character design|
|1993||Secret of Mana||director, game design, monster design|
|1995||Seiken Densetsu 3||director, game design|
|1999||Legend of Mana||director|
|Chocobo Stallion||graphics supervisor|
|2002||Final Fantasy XI||director|
|2003||Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart||director|
|Sword of Mana||producer, game design, monster design|
|2006||Children of Mana||producer|
|Dawn of Mana||director, producer|
|Mario Hoops 3-on-3||graphics, supervisor|
|2007||Heroes of Mana||producer|
|2010||Line Attack Heroes||game design|
|2011||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D||producer|
- "株式会社グレッゾ 社長メッセージ". Grezzo.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Square Co., Ltd. (31 October 2002). "Final Fantasy Origins". PlayStation. Square Co., Ltd.
- "IGN - 97. Koichi Ishii". IGN.com. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Kevin Gifford (December 21, 2011). "Hironobu Sakaguchi on Final Fantasy I's Roller-Coaster Development". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Winkler, Chris (September 20, 2003). "RPGFan News - Square Enix Talks Current Status". RPGFan.com. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Adam Riley (November 11, 2007). "Square Enix Talks Heroes of Mana". Cubed3. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Bozon (April 6, 2007). "IGN Interviews Koichi Ishii". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- McLaughlin, Rus (June 2, 2009). "E3 2009: Hands-On Line Attack Heroes". IGN.com. Retrieved 2009-08-27.