Masato Kato (加藤 正人 Katō Masato, born March 28, 1963) is a Japanese video game artist, scenario writer and director. In the early days of his career, he was credited under the pseudonyms of "Runmaru" and "Runmal". He then joined Square, and was most famous for penning the script of Chrono Trigger (based on a story draft by Yuji Horii), as well as Radical Dreamers, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy XI and parts of Final Fantasy VII.
Kato first worked for Tecmo on Captain Tsubasa and the Ninja Gaiden series. On his first three games, he moved from graphics, to graphics and scenario writing, to also directing the action elements. He went on to work for Gainax.
Masato stated that Chrono Cross development encountered difficulty in expanding the game world due to hardware limitations, and that they crammed as much data as they could onto the game disk. Conversely, developing the multiple game endings was seen as easier, on par with Chrono Trigger as a bonus for players who finished the game.
Kato left Square after designing the plot of Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart to become a freelance scenario writer. In addition to games for different companies, he has continued to work on Square Enix projects such as the World of Mana series, an enhanced port of Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS, and three more expansion chapters for Final Fantasy XI.
He is currently working on a spiritual successor to the Chrono series for iOS and Android, titled "Another Eden," set to be released in early Spring 2017. Similar to the SNES hit Chrono Trigger, Another Eden will also involve time travel, where players will get to explore three time periods out of ancient, contemporary, and the future. Additionally, the game features an opening theme created by none other than Yasunori Mitsuda, who also worked on Chrono Trigger‘s music.
In 2005, Masato Kato also collaborated with Yasunori Mitsuda, longtime friend and music composer, to write a short story titled Five Seasons of kiЯitɘ, which Mitsuda accompanied with music on his album kiЯitɘ. The story and soundtrack have also been presented in opera form. Prior to this, Mitsuda composed the soundtrack for several of Kato's games, including Chrono Cross and Xenogears.
Masato Kato has been credited for the following games:
- Captain Tsubasa (1988): animation sprites
- Ninja Gaiden (1988): pictures
- Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (1990): movie director, scenario, pictures
- Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (1991): director of action sequences
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1992): assistant director, planner, script writer, graphics
- Princess Maker 2 (1993): planner, script writer, graphics
- Chrono Trigger (1995): story planner, script writer
- Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki (1996): director, scenario and script writer
- Final Fantasy VII (1997): event planner, script writer
- Xenogears (1998): event planner, script writer, lyricist
- Chrono Trigger (PlayStation enhanced port) (1999): supervisor
- Chrono Cross (1999): director, scenario and script writer, event planner, FMV storyboard
- Final Fantasy XI (2002): plot conception and events, lyricist
- Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart (2003): plot conception and events
- Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (2003): scenario writer, screenplay
- Deep Labyrinth (2006): scenario writer
- Dawn of Mana (2006): scenario writer
- Children of Mana (2006): scenario writer
- Heroes of Mana (2007): scenario writer
- Sands of Destruction (2008): scenario writer
- Chrono Trigger (Nintendo DS) (2008): supervisor
- A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode to Life Bestowing (2009): plot conception
- A Moogle Kupo d'Etat: Evil in Small Doses (2009): plot conception
- A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born (2009): plot conception
- Shiren the Wanderer (2008): scenario writer
- Shiren the Wanderer 4 (2010): scenario writer
- Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate (2010)
- Ninja Gaiden 3 (2012): story
- The Legend of Legacy (2015): writer
- Another Eden (2017): scenario director, script writer, concept artist
- Parish, Jeremy (October 28, 2009). "The Chrono Trigger - Ninja Gaiden Connection". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on March 7, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Interview with Masato Kato". GamePro. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
- "Chrono Trigger And Xenogears Writer's Smartphone RPG Another Eden To Be At TGS 2016". September 9, 2016.
- Procyon Studio staff. "Five Seasons of kiЯitɘ" (in Japanese). Our Millennial Fair. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2007.
- Procyon Studio staff (November 1999). "This month's friend… Masato Kato". Procyon Studio. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- 不思議の海のナディア (in Japanese). Game Staff List. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "The Adventure Continues With Three All-New Final Fantasy XI Expansion Chapters!". Square Enix. November 22, 2008. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- Smith, David (November 22, 2008). "Baten Kaitos Preview". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2004.
- McCarroll, John (August 16, 2006). "Deep Labyrinth". RPGFan. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- Boulette, Bryan (November 22, 2008). "Children of Mana's Development Team Announced". RPGamer. Retrieved February 16, 2007.
- Boulette, Bryan (September 13, 2006). "Square Enix Unveils Final Fantasy XII Sequel, Three More Games". RPGamer. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- Winkler, Chris (April 23, 2008). "Sega Announces Original DS RPG". RPGFan. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- Spencer (October 7, 2008). "A Clearer Look At Chrono Trigger DS' Additions". Siliconera. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
- Ashcraft, Brian. "Final Fantasy VII Writer Sees End of The Nintendo Era". Kotaku. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- Kemps, Heidi (September 21, 2011). "Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi Talks Ninja Gaiden 3". G4TV. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
- "Another Eden Official Website".
- "Tokyo Game Show 2016: Another Eden draft illustrations by Masato Kato". September 17, 2016.