Kazushige Nojima, scenarist of Final Fantasy VIII, is hoping that the success of the remastered Final Fantasy VIII and the impending success of the Final Fantasy VII reboot serves as a launching point to further explore VIII’s story. Nojima had originally wanted a larger portion of Final Fantasy VIII’s story to feature Laguna Loire, but the fan-favorite character’s story was relegated to flashbacks until he was reintroduced as an NPC later in the game. Should Nojima have his way, Loire’s story would be told in its entirety as planned in the early stages of the Squaresoft classic.
Nojima mentioned that during development, they finished a game map for Loire’s world and that his story was set to take up half the game with a time jump to the future featuring Squall taking up the other half. Nojima mentioned that the character would have been fleshed out further, but acknowledged that the sparse, often humorous moments of his campaign in Final Fantasy VIII made him memorable.
In the interview, Nojima harbors lingering disappointment saying that “I always felt bad about that and couldn’t apologize enough to the staff.” Though Nojima would expand on additional topics regarding his long history with the JRPG franchise, the concept of Loire getting a spin-off game is interesting.
The goofy, charming Loire and his compatriots served as compelling protagonists, with their small portions of the game being universally liked by fans of the game. Though it isn’t outright stated in the game, it is heavily implied that Laguna is Squall’s father, and adding a father/son dynamic could have boosted the game’s paltry final act.
Loire’s status as a fan-favorite character despite his minimal appearance hasn’t wavered over the years and with a new generation of fans experiencing Final Fantasy VIII for the first time, Nojima’s hopes aren’t all that outlandish. A story of a haphazard soldier finding and losing love in the middle of a world-changing war falls in line to the themes of VIII and would work from a story standpoint as a prequel. If nothing else, fans of the series will have a reason to hum “Man with the Machine Gun” to their heart's content.