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Koichi Ishii

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Koichi Ishii
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Basic Information
Born July 9th, 1964
Residence Japan
Company Square Enix
Position Director, Producer
1987 - 2007
Video Games Mana
Final Fantasy
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Koichi Ishii (石井浩一) is a director and producer who was a Square-Enix employee for twenty years. He is most renowned within the company as the father of the Mana series, and currently works as the president of Grezzo.

Career at Squaresoft

Ishii was brought on as a battle graphics artist for the original Final Fantasy, but would also serve as a general planner for the project. He would resume this role for the sequel, and return to graphical design for the third title. Ishii would receive his first experience with scenario writing in 1989 when he worked with Akitoshi Kawazu on one of Square's smaller projects--a gameboy rpg that would become the first entry in the long-running SaGa series.

With the success of the portable project under his belt, Ishii would pitch his idea of a streamlined rpg that fully blended the exploration and battle screens into a seamless whole to the management of Squaresoft. Initially proposed as the next mainline Final Fantasy title, the pitch was rejected on the grounds of being too divergent from the series standards. Instead, the project would enter production as the company's second gameboy title and be released as The Final Fantasy Adventure. Though a gaiden or sidestory, the foundations of Mana would be firmly established.