Bringing Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered into the modern era

The developers of Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered discuss why the SaGa series is so unique and what was involved in reviving a true classic RPG
By Duncan Heaney

Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- (released as Romancing SaGa in 2005 in the US) is beloved for a reason. It’s a uniquely innovative RPG, with a free-form structure, exciting combat and an absolutely sublime soundtrack. Now it’s back and better than ever before in Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered.

This new version enhances this already classic adventure with HD visuals, new features and even brand new content. It’s the definitive version of the game.

But what went into bringing it into the modern era, and what makes the SaGa series so memorable? We spoke to the game’s Producer Hiroyuki Miura and Director Naofumi Ueno to get their perspectives.

Hello Miura-san and Ueno-san. The SaGa series is perhaps less well-known in the West than some other RPG series. How would you describe it to people unfamiliar with these amazing games?

Naofumi Ueno (Director): Titles in the SaGa series offer an amazing freedom of play, with various combinations of characters, weapons, and skills possible. In addition, they let you build your own story through the Free-form Scenario system.

All that makes for a highly immersive role-playing game! I want people to play Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered freely - as though they’re on an unplanned adventure!

So, why bring back Romancing Saga -Minstrel Song-?

Hiroyuki Miura (Producer): We’re currently in the process of making past titles in the SaGa series available on modern platforms, and the release of “Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered” is one of those projects.

When we were discussing which title to remaster after SaGa Frontier Remastered, we decided to start development on this one - partly due to the development schedule, but largely due to high demand from players!

Of course, it’s not just a simple port. You’ve made improvements to the game, such as high speed mode, mini-maps and New Game +. Why was all this necessary?

Ueno-san: The original game is 17 years old now! We have added many features like these to improve quality of life for players - and make the game more convenient to play. It makes for a more modern gaming experience.

There's new content too, right? New playable characters, enhanced bosses and even some new scenarios. Why have you added all these?

Ueno-san: As I said, the game is 17 years old, and it’s been played and loved continuously over these years. We thought that there are probably a large number of players who have completed every element of the game.

As a result, so we realised we needed to add elements for further replayability.

What was the most challenging thing about developing Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered?

Ueno-san: There are many fans who love this game, so we had to balance all these new elements very carefully to ensure wouldn’t detract from the charm of the original.

Fortunately, I had experienced Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- as a regular player back in the day. I already knew how great the original game was and had confidence in it - and by believing in that greatness and not making too many changes, I think we struck a good balance.

One of the coolest things about the game is being able to recruit so many fascinating characters! Who’s your favorite character in the game and why?

Ueno-san: It has to be Captain Silver!

In the original Romancing SaGa on Super Famicom - before it was originally remade as Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song-, she was a legendary figure and did not actually appear in the game. When she appeared, her appearance was far beyond how I imagined her! It left a strong impression on me.

What element of Minstrel Song are you most proud of?

Ueno-san: I’m most proud of the fact that there are still many fans who continue to show their love for Minstrel Song after 17 years - 30 if you count the original Romancing SaGa 1!

Will there be more SaGa games in the future?

Miura-san: We will continue to look into releasing titles from the SaGa series, so please look forward to them!

Many thanks to Mr.Ueno and Mr.Miura for their time - and their amazing work on Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered!

The game is out now for PS5, PS4, Switch, iOS and Android:

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