Did You Know Blitzball Was Inspired By the Pod Races In Star Wars?

Want to know the inspirations behind the deepest and arguably the most popular minigame in Final Fantasy history?

Most Final Fantasy productions have a mini-game. It’s playable throughout the adventure and while optional, typically grants big rewards if you’re patient.

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There’s the Triple Triad card game in Final Fantasy VIII, for example, and the ever-popular Blitzball in Final Fantasy X. Sort of an underwater soccer match complete with goalies and grappling, it was by far and away the deepest and most complex mini-game.

But how did Square Enix come up with the idea? Well, games(TM) asked series producer Yoshinori Kitase, and here’s his reply:

“I wanted to include a fictional sport in our fantasy world like [Lucas Films] did with the pod races in Star Wars Episode 1. At the time of development we were in the middle of the fervour about the 2002 Japan/ Korea world cup, so I based the mechanics of the game itself around football!”

Don’t forget that “football” everywhere else in the world is our soccer. Therefore, this all makes sense, but we had no idea the pod races from Episode 1 influenced the developers.

Blitzball needs to come back

I know they’ll make a new mini-game for Final Fantasy XV (at least, I assume they will), but I loved Blitzball. I spent so much time creating the unbeatable Blitzball team in FFX and it was so much fun. If you intend to play it for the first time in the upcoming FFX HD Remaster, here’s a hint: Get Nimrook for your goalie.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.