“I Don’t Want To Copy” – Paying Homage To Childhood RPGs With Sea Of Stars

Nintendo Life: Sea of Stars is Finally Complete and Awaits Release

Thierry Boulanger, Creative Director of Sea of Stars, is ecstatic about the completion of the game. After years of obsessing and working tirelessly, the game is finally out of their hands. They are now left with a strange feeling of emptiness, missing the process of tweaking and polishing each detail. However, this void will be filled as players begin to explore the game and share their experiences. Boulanger and the team are eagerly awaiting the release.

The Development Journey

The development of Sea of Stars began just a few months after the release of The Messenger, around October 2018. The team initially worked on both the DLC for The Messenger and the groundwork for Sea of Stars to ensure a smooth transition. This approach allowed them to avoid potential layoffs and allocate resources effectively. However, the entire development process took nearly five years, a journey filled with challenges and growth.

The Inspiration Behind Sea of Stars

The idea for Sea of Stars is rooted in Boulanger’s childhood experiences playing Solstice Warriors. The game takes place in the same universe as their previous titles, with Sea of Stars serving as a prequel to The Messenger. Boulanger wanted to create a fantasy world that would provide a shorter, more diverse gaming experience. By setting the game in an archipelago, players can explore various biomes and discover unique islands.


Avoiding Copying Classics

Boulanger is conscious of not copying classic games like Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Illusion of Gaia. Instead, he believes in paying homage and borrowing elements while adding their own unique touch. For instance, he drew inspiration from Illusion of Gaia’s rooftop jump, which felt completely new and unexpected. Boulanger aimed to create similar fresh experiences within Sea of Stars, enhancing the gameplay mechanics.

The Fear of Comparison

Boulanger acknowledges the daunting task of being compared to Chrono Trigger but understands the importance of letting the game speak for itself. They never led with comparisons during marketing but aimed to create an experience that rivaled players’ memories of those classic games. Boulanger believes in the power of authenticity and allowing players to judge the game’s quality based on their own experiences.


A Game as Great as Our Memories

As Boulanger looks at the intricate character animations and sprites of Chrono Trigger, they are reminded of the challenge to recreate that level of detail. Unfortunately, they can’t make players feel like nine-year-olds again, but they strive to deliver a game that is as good as players’ memories. The goal is to capture the essence and spirit of those classics while providing a unique and enjoyable experience.


Sea of Stars is a testament to the passion and dedication of the team at Sabotage. After years of development, the game is ready to be explored and experienced by players around the world. With its homage to classic games and unique gameplay mechanics, Sea of Stars promises to be an exciting addition to the RPG genre.