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Final Fantasy Masterminds Reminisce About Their Favorite Moments

The Final Fantasy series has been running for nearly 30 years, spanning 14 mainline entries and a slew of spinoffs. Come September 30, it will celebrate its long-awaited 15th entry, which we’ve been looking at all month alongside our May cover story. There’s no denying Final Fantasy’s legacy, and everybody has their favorite characters, summons, and moments that defined the series for them. While we were at Square Enix’s offices in Tokyo, we talked to many influential people who have worked on the franchise, from Takashi Tokita, who’s been with the series since its beginnings, to Yoshinori Kitase who’s had a hand in some of the most popular entries, like VI, VII, and X. With such a great opportunity, we asked various Final Fantasy developers to share their favorite aspects. Here are their responses.

Yoshinori Kitase
Current Project: Final Fantasy VII Remake producer
Known For: Director on Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, X

Favorite villain: “Considering that I am working on the re-make right now, if I had to bring someone up it’d be Sephiroth. When we were creating him originally, we wanted it to be kind of like a mystery novel. This entity that appears mysteriously, so it would create the impression of this big evil force. That was received well and he has been thought of that representative villain of the franchise. I really like that aspect of him, and also because we’re working on him and revisiting VII for the remake again, it makes me like him even more.”

Takashi Tokita
Current Project: Holy Dungeon (mobile title) writer
Known For: Lead designer on Final Fantasy IV, director on Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve

Favorite characters: “IV is one of the most memorable projects that I’ve been involved in; my favorite would be the children Palom and Porom. In a world where the adults are always contemplating a bunch of things, the children still always remain positive and serve as a light in a dark story. They bring an energy to the situation. In terms of production, I was saved by those characters, so those would be my favorite characters. But they were only in the game for an instant and then they turned into stone. In the sequel we were able to give them more light, make them a little more grown up and put more focus on them.”

Favorite villain: “I like Golbez from IV, but also in terms of Sephiroth, there’s this whole story and drama as to why exactly he turned out the way he is, so I really understand why he’s so popular among fans.”

Favorite opening: “It was actually Final Fantasy I. It was very impactful when you cross the bridge and the adventure begins. You start off playing the game as is, then you cross the bridge and the adventure starts in this whole expansive universe. The opening just starts suddenly. It’s not the best graphics obviously, but the emotion and sentiment I got for getting into this deeper, expansive world, I really liked that. In terms of when Cecil and Kain (in IV) depart part ways in essence in the opening sequence it was partially in an homage to FF I.”

Hajime Tabata
Current Project: Final Fantasy XV director
Known For: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, Type-0

Favorite opening: “Final Fantasy VI, because as you start up the game you’re thrown into this world, which is completely different from what you expected, so it’s truly an unexpected entry type into the game. That part is where it stands out for me.”

Favorite character: “I have no idea why because I don't necessarily like him or not like him, but the one that came to mind was Vincent, but it's not Vincent. Rather than Vincent, I would like to bring up Zack, which is one that I created [for Crisis Core]. I don’t really know much otherwise.” 

Hiroki Chiba

Current Project: World of Final Fantasy director
Known For: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X event planner, Final Fantasy Type-0 lead writer

Favorite moment: “I like quite a lot of moments. It’s so hard to choose, but what comes to mind is the scene from Final Fantasy VIII where Squall and Rinoa are in the space environment and they have this romantic moment with Fey Wong’s 'Eyes On Me' music in the background. It was a little embarrassing creating it because I was adjusting it frame by frame so that everything would match and be in sync with the track, so I listened to that Fey Wong song numerous times just so I could everything right. From a production standpoint as well, that scene comes to mind.”

Favorite villain: “If I say Sephiroth, I’m sure everyone else is saying that. The villains that stand in the way of the main character in their own unique fashion are always the ones that stay in the memories of the players. It’s hard to [pick] one particular villain, but in terms of impressionable villains, they always seem to be those villains that take away from what players are already emotionally attached to, so VI’s Kefka, VII’s Sephiroth, all of them share those characteristics.”

Naoki Yoshida
Current Project: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn director
Known For: Dragon Quest X

Favorite summon: "The Bahamut summons from VII and XIV. The design we used in Final Fantasy XIV where Bahamut came down and with his fire destroyed the old Final Fantasy XIV and created the new A Realm Reborn… We pretty much got that from the Final Fantasy VII summon, where he comes down in his meteor and megaflares. We took that and brought it directly into XIV."

Favorite villain: “Sephiroth. I want him to remain as he is. You look at someone like Cloud and back when he was released, he was a very catchy and unique character, so he had a lot of fans. Because of that, he’s been used in a lot different products since Final Fantasy VII, and his history didn’t end at VII; it’s continued on and he’s evolved. However, with Sephiroth, I don’t think he should change at all. You should keep him where he is, let me him be big and let him be just that. I love Sephiroth’s humanity. He wants to destroy the world like any villain, but he has his reasons for doing it and his reasons are very similar to the trauma regular people have and because of that humanity it made him a very unique type of villain. I also like that he looks very cool and he’s holding a Japanese Katana as well.”

Takeshi Nozue
Current Project: Kingsglaive director
Known For: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children co-director, Final Fantasy XIII CG movie co-director

Favorite character: “It may be a little unfair because we’re working on it right now, but King Regis or Luna because I don’t think that characters have been depicted in this depth until now and it really depicts the human struggles and their determination.”

Akio Ofuji
Current Project: Brotherhood anime producer
Known For: Final Fantasy IX, Parasite Eve, Kingdom Hearts II publicist

Favorite character: “My favorite is Cloud from FF VII because of that moment where his identity essentially breaks. I was shocked that this type of thing would be depicted in a game in that given moment in time. It was also really interesting to see Cloud himself recover, rebuild, and regain his strength. But then thereafter through Advent Children, you still see his struggle with his inner self being depicted. So just overall, Cloud and the interesting character that he is, has always been impressionable to me.”

Takaharu Aono
Current Project: Final Fantasy XV lead technical animator
Known For: Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts II battle animator

Favorite summon: "Odin and the reason is really simple: He’s a knight on a horse. How cool is that? I’m not sure if you know of the XI Odin, but there was a game bug, so there was that instant-kill kind of attack, but you could avoid it by healing, so it was fun to dodge it."


To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, check out our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

Behind The Scenes Of Final Fantasy VII’s Gold Saucer

Final Fantasy VII has many memorable and iconic moments, ranging from the silly to the serious. Though the Gold Saucer may not be as epic as the final confrontation between Cloud and Sephiroth, its mixture of goofy distractions and minigames holds a special place in fans’ hearts.

We talked among ourselves about the appeal of the Gold Saucer in the second episode of our Final Fantasy VII Game Club. However, during our visit to Square Enix for Final Fantasy XV, we were able to talk about it with the developers themselves, providing some additional insight and context to this strange and entertaining area.

Hiroki Chiba (now the director of World of Final Fantasy) was officially an event planner on Final Fantasy VII, but those duties included overseeing the entire Gold Saucer. “I actually ran free with Gold Saucer,” Chiba says. “They let me create it in the way I wanted to. Of course, I didn’t create everything myself. It’s not just my idea.”

In a game with heart-wrenching deaths and the threat of planetary annihilation, the Gold Saucer might seem like a light-hearted anomaly. That’s not an accident.

“In terms of how the idea developed, we were thinking of it from the adventure standpoint – what you see when you enter this desert area,” Chiba says. “And then, for some reason, we came up with amusement parks. Obviously, there are fun and weird events that happen in that area, but then moving forward, you start to go into the deeper and heavier story elements. So, we created it to give players a bit of a break. And if it was to be a break, we wanted players to enjoy it to the fullest, so we implemented different kinds of features that would fulfill that goal.”

Those different features come in all forms in the Gold Saucer: chocobo races, snowboarding, a battle arena, and more. “We tried to implement everything – all the ideas that popped up,” Chiba says. “Some people developed a minigame and brought it forth, and then we implemented it, and packaged it within the Gold Saucer. I don’t recall any of them being removed or rejected. I myself really wanted to do the chocobo game, so that’s what I pushed for.”

One of those minigames, Mog House, came from Square Enix’s Takashi Tokita (who has been working on the series since the original installment). He didn’t have an official role on Final Fantasy VII, but got roped into the project by chance. “I was actually working on Parasite Eve in Honolulu at the time, but I was coming back to Japan to renew my visa,” Tokita says. “I was just supposed to stay here for a week, but I got caught by the FF VII team and ended up helping for three months.”

Mog House was one of the many miscellaneous things Tokita worked on during his time on the project. In it, players feed a moogle in order to help him fly, which eventually leads to his having a family and a happy life. Think of it as a very simple Final Fantasy Tamagotchi pet – and it only came about because an artist made the background with no idea how it would be implemented in the final product. “At the time, the graphic designer had already created the visuals in advance, but they didn’t really think about what we would do with it,” Tokita says. “So, I thought it might be interesting to create this growth/nurture kind of game, where you feed the moogle and it would breed baby moogles.”

The development atmosphere that gave rise to the Gold Saucer was unique, because the area wasn’t carefully plotted in advance. Though Chiba is responsible for a majority of the area, various members of the team across multiple disciplines contributed ideas, making it easy to experiment. “At that time, it wasn’t like we had a rigid, set plan that we just followed,” Tokita says. “Mog House was a great accident, in essence, and one that wouldn’t have come about without that collaboration.”

That freedom and cooperation resulted in the Gold Saucer being one of the most memorable aspects of Final Fantasy VII. Sure, not all of the minigames and activities are fantastic, but the mere fact that they exist is part of what makes Final Fantasy VII so special; the team was able to play around, take chances, and be spontaneous. “Today, we have a more clear and proper pipeline in place,” Tokita says. “In terms of percentage chance of something like that happening, it’s lower than before. That said, it’s likely to happen in the initial concept stages, or at the end when we’re doing everything we can to make a product better. There are still people who think that way and want to do that; there are always interesting things that come about from not setting things in stone. That’s the fun of game development.” – The Feed

King’s Quest Chapter 3: Once Upon A Climb Review – The Fantasy Sweet

King Graham is in a funk. Now that he’s made good on his goal of ruling Daventry and proving he’s a capable leader, what else is left? Judging from the not-so-subtle hints from his guards, the answer is clear: a partner. A quick look at his throne room’s magic mirror confirms it, and he sets out to find the love of his life. As he (and the player) is about to find out, however, there are several complicated steps between meeting a maiden and living happily ever after.

Whether you’re known as Graham the brave, wise, or compassionate, your travels take you to a far-off tower to meet the love of your life. Unfortunately, the mirror only told part of the story. When Graham finally scales the structure, he discovers a pair of princesses. Vee is pragmatic and clever, while Neese is exuberant and compassionate. The tower is an equally complicated character of sorts, and without spoiling too much, Graham finds himself as trapped as the princesses he was hoping to rescue. Fortunately, there’s lemonade to be made from the otherwise sour situation, and the three seize the opportunity to get to know each other better.

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King’s Quest’s first chapter featured a sprawling kingdom, and the second followed it up with a sizeable subterranean network of goblin caves. The action in the Once Upon A Climb doesn’t take place on as large a stage, but the charming characters get a lot of use from a smallish hub section and a variety of single-screen locations. Given the mileage I’ve had to put on Graham’s boots over the first two chapters, I was frankly relieved to get a break from the back-and-forth traveling that seems necessary in adventure games.

Much of the action (and associated puzzles) revolve around the characters playing off each other. One highlight is an extended section around a board game called Moral Quarrel, where each of the three provides answers to a variety of ethical dilemmas, and they have to anticipate how other players will answer. You get to explore outside the tower via several one-on-one outings, where Graham and Vee or Neese have to (surprise!) solve puzzles. I got a weird feeling like I was on an episode of The Bachelor at times, especially when moments popped up where I could tell that my actions were being scrutinized. When a fierce-looking beast approaches, growling, should I feed it an arrow or take Vee’s advice to hold fire? Would Neese be more impressed by working through an obstacle using my puzzle-solving skills or brute strength? 

Actor Wallace Shawn reprises his role as Manny, but even if that weren’t the case, a Princess Bride vibe runs throughout Once Upon A Climb. The series continues to be charming and funny, and this chapter’s comparatively smaller scope results in more focused puzzles. I groaned at a solution after thinking about things too hard a couple of times, but overall it’s tricky but fair.

Moving forward, I’m curious to see how my choice of a partner is reflected in the game – especially since we know from the classic games that Graham’s eventual wife is named Valanice. Are Vee and Neese’s names simply clever wordplay to accommodate player choice, or is something else going to happen in the future? My playthrough of chapter two included a pair of deaths, but they were glossed over in the latest entry. To say that it was jarring to talk to these characters again as though nothing had happened would be an understatement. The Odd Gentlemen could have intended for the character departures to be a fake out, but it felt more like a copout. Even though I wasn’t happy that they died, it feels cheap to find out that, well, they didn’t. Dead people walking aside, the effects from chapter to chapter seem to be subtle overall. Characters refer to my compassion and occasional missteps, and that’s fine by me.

In addition to telling its own capsule story about how Graham got his groove on, Once Upon A Climb also continues to propel the narrative about Manny and his brother, which has been a continuing thread – along with old Graham’s failing health. Judging from Graham’s condition, it seems ever-so-likely that this tale will have a bittersweet ending. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the journey. – The Feed

The Art That Shaped Final Fantasy: Thoughts From Famed Artist Yoshitaka Amano

Many great artists have helped define Final Fantasy over the years, but Yoshitaka Amano’s work is the most recognizable, and has become closely associated with the series as a whole. Amano draws the iconic logo illustrations for every title, and is also responsible for the unique visual style that distinguishes many memorable monsters and characters. 

During our visit to Tokyo for our Final Fantasy XV coverage, we had the opportunity to visit Amano’s office and chat with the legendary artist (also known for his work on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics) about his process, specific illustrations, and the significance of Final Fantasy in his personal artistic expression. Below are the thoughts Amano shared on this broad range of topics.

On beginning a new Final Fantasy illustration:
It’s in development when these requests come up, so there’s not much documentation to go by. But with the information we do have to work with, I take that and interpret that on my own and try to incorporate that and create an illustration out of it. Of course, main characters are very important. So even if we progress through development, not much of the important aspects would drift or change significantly.

On the Final Fantasy VI illustration:
I’m not quite sure if I’m the one who decided to move forward with Terra, or if it was a request to move forward with her. But what was memorable at the time was that she was one of the first female main characters in the series, and that kind of stood out on its own. Also at this time, it was just the silhouette that was being drawn; now you get actual faces and lines. Previously, it was more simplistic, and it gradually become more illustration-like over the years.

On creating art, not logos:
Because the title logo is monochrome to a certain degree, I don’t really illustrate because of the title logo. Moreso, I illustrate so that it will be a standalone piece of art. It won’t be fun unless we’re creating that art piece. So, regardless of the request, that is the one thing prominently in my mind when drawing these illustrations.

On the Final Fantasy VII and XI illustrations:
The most challenging logo illustration was Final Fantasy XI because there were so many characters. And it was on a huge piece of paper, so it was very tedious. But I also have to bring up Final Fantasy VII. It was based on Meteor, and when I looked at it, I wasn’t sure it would become the illustration – if it would become a piece of art. I drew a lot of different variations and concepts around that; there’s not a lot of instances where you’re drawing a lot of stone-like objects over and over again! I wasn’t quite sure if it was good or bad, so I said, “Here, you guys choose” in the end.

On working from text:
Rather than receiving visuals, it is more about receiving text-based information, like age and the role they play. I’m not a character designer, but an illustrator, so there are more instances where I’ve worked off of text I’ve gotten from the team.

This is going back to an example from something I created in the past, but there was a sci-fi novel written from the perspective of a robot, looking at humans and observing them. Written in that text was details about the humans. If you puncture them, they bleed. They have two eyes. Those kinds of details. And what was interesting was how they were depicted as weak living specimens, and that’s what you can draw from the text…Anything that’s written in text builds and expands your imagination. Whereas, when you have a visual asset to review or look at, that’s the end of it.

On the Final Fantasy XII illustration:
Between my office and the Square Enix office, there was quite a bit of distance at the time. Maybe about an hour or so. I drew up another piece while the Square representative was on the way to pick up the pieces – and the one I drew within that hour was the one that ended up being selected!

When we receive requests, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best to do it formally or properly. It’s because we had that baseline of what was created properly that we were able to break it a little bit. At that time, we were creating in Japanese-style ink, and it was kind of like watercolor, so you have those brush marks. That’s the touch and style of that particular piece. It had this kind of forward-thinking brush effect, and that’s something that can only come about when it’s not calculated. That may have been what was necessary for XII at that time, and came across as something that was refreshing. So, there are moments when it’s not necessarily about following the request; sometimes things come about spontaneously.

On consistency within the Final Fantasy series:
Simply put, the Final Fantasy brand name and its history are what tie everything together. It’s kind of like a fashion brand; whoever the designer is, Louis Vuitton and Gucci are still Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Anyone who joins in on a Final Fantasy project joins in on that name, and it’s their duty to help it develop and grow. So they’re a part of continuing that history and helping it evolve. It’s the responsibility of the individuals that have the opportunity to be a part of it. So, Final Fantasy itself is kind of like a living entity.

On the Final Fantasy IV 3DS illustration:
This was created new for the port. It wasn’t a concept that pre-existed from the original. This illustration is one that I drew, but the designers at Square Enix put the image and logo together, every time I look I look at this, it looks so cool. The designer did a really good job merging it together. This was originally ink art, but it now has some red in it – those kinds of touches were done by the designer. The coloring is very cool. I personally like these dark, boss-like characters and tend to lean toward these types of illustrations. It’s a shape and form that I really like.

On his first reaction to the tweaked Final Fantasy XV illustration:
The impression I had was “Oh, it’s finally being realized after all this time.”

Amano (center right) meets with Square Enix about an illustration for the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event, including FF XV director Hajime Tabata (far right)

On Final Fantasy’s impact on his career:
First, it’s what made me famous! [laughs] I’ve done a lot of different types of work, but even in my personal works, it all comes back to me as an artist. When I think about what’s important to me as an artist, the pieces that I’ve worked on for Final Fantasy come back to me.

There’s an interesting book that puts together the modern art history of Japan, and one of my personal art pieces was placed in this book. You can see several familiar Final Fantasy characters and illustrations spread across the piece – they’re existing as Final Fantasy characters within the art as a piece of expression.

In that sense, Final Fantasy is very important to my career, not just in name, but also in terms of the visual pieces and art expression. When you look at Andy Warhol using Marilyn Monroe, for example, or other famous people as a piece of art – for me, these characters emerge as my own expression in my personal art form.


To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, check out our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

Ask Us Your Final Fantasy XV Questions

We've been talking about Final Fantasy XV a lot recently here at Game Informer, but now it's time for you to have some direct input. In this week's podcast, we're going to answer your biggest questions to the best of our ability based on our experience at the studio and time playing the game. However, before we can do that, you need to ask us some questions!

What do you want to know about? Story? Combat? Characters? Controls? Technical performance? You can either leave your questions in the comments below, or email them to [email protected], and we'll select some to answer when we record the podcast later this week. 

To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, check out our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

An Inside Look At Modernizing The Art Of Final Fantasy

With our trip to Square Enix in Tokyo for our extensive cover story on Final Fantasy XV, we were lucky enough to speak with several long-time developers that have worked on the beloved series. Yusuke Naora has been an artist on the team since Final Fantasy VI, going on to contribute background art for things like Midgar and the Northern Crater in Final Fantasy VII. Naora is one of three art directors on Final Fantasy XV, and one of his early tasks on the project was to update the look of the characters from their incarnation in Final Fantasy Versus XIII. We spoke with Naora about what it was like to be amongst the team developing classics like Final Fantasy VI and the three guiding themes for updating the characters in Final Fantasy XV.

Watch the video below to learn more about Yusuke Naora's work on the art of Final Fantasy.

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To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, stay tuned to our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

Meet Final Fantasy XV’s Legendary Composer

You might not know the name Yoko Shimomura, but you should. Shimomura is one of the most prolific and influential composers in the game industry, whose resume includes classics like Street Fighter II, Super Mario RPG, Kingdom Hearts, Xenoblade Chronicles, and much more. She started working on this project back when it was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and now she's found herself tackling the music for the next numbered Final Fantasy. While visiting Square Enix for our extensive cover story on Final Fantasy XV, we sat down with Shimomura to discuss the secrets behind her writing process, what she's learned from Nobuo Uematsu, and what she has in mind for the musical tone of Final Fantasy XV.

Watch the interview below to see new gameplay and learn all about the talent behind Final Fantasy XV's music.

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To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, stay tuned to our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

How Final Fantasy XV Is Redesigning Your Favorite Monsters

The Final Fantasy series has had its share of iconic monsters. From the adorable Cactuar and Moogle to the vicious Malboro and Behemoth, these classic creatures have made multiple appearances, often redesigned to fit into each entry’s universe. Stumbling upon one in a new game is part of the fun, since not only do these famous fiends spark a feeling of nostalgia, but seeing them take new designs and forms is exciting in its own right. The Final Fantasy XV team put a lot of thought into creating monsters to fit its universe, and this extends to some of its most popular beasts. While at Square Enix’s Tokyo offices, we chatted with the art team about recreating monsters for Final Fantasy XV’s more open world, while they walked us through redesigning the Catoblepas.

Note: Click on images for full size versions

Right Out Of National Geographic

One of director Hajime Tabata’s big goals for Final Fantasy XV was to create a living, breathing world that felt natural to explore. Creatures need to inhabit the world, move realistically, and be fun to encounter for battle. Since Final Fantasy XV’s world is much more grounded in reality (it gets more fantastical as you go on), the art team was tasked with creating authentic wildlife, which includes iconic monsters, to match it.  

As a frame of reference, Tabata set a high-bar for their creations. “What Tabata san said was that our goal was National Geographic – think of a Behemoth that we could have a documentary program about,” says art director Tomohiro Hasegawa. From here, the team thought about how these creatures would explore their natural habitat, from finding food to protecting itself. The team went to zoos and watched documentaries to study various wildlife for inspiration, emulating their actions and physical traits for some of Final Fantasy’s most famed enemies. 

Giving The Fantastical Catoblepas A More Realistic Bent 

(Final design pictured above)

As an example for how the team has transformed the series’ beloved monsters, we saw the different phases to their approach of recreating the long-necked mammal, Catoblepas. The Catoblepas has been featured throughout the series’ history, and the enemy has been a wide variety of colors throughout Final Fantasy’s run, from blue to purple. In Final Fantasy XV, the beast has more realistic coloring to blend in with its surroundings. 

To help get a balanced mix between a classic form and modern form, the artists used Catoblepas’ Final Fantasy V design as a starting point and reference. While some of its features, such as the long neck and one eye, are still present in the new design, the team knew it had to make adjustments to reach its goal, which was to model it as, “a living organism in real life.” 

These are early sketches, showcasing two different ways we’ve seen the Catoblepas (on all fours and standing on two feet). The team thought about the world of Final Fantasy XV and saw the benefit of having a long neck to allow it grasp things underwater. They also focused on the tusks as a way for it to rustle plants. The left design became the prototype slated for XV.

The team even went as far as to map out its bone and muscle structure, thoroughly examining its movement and shape. The inspirations for the bone structure came from giraffes, elephants, and rhinoceroses. “In order to support its long neck while searching for food, it uses its tenacious front leg muscles, long backbone, and low center of gravity to balance its neck like a suspension bridge while walking,” says artist Chihiro Hashi. It even has several large ears that it can flap to control its body temperature.

After the team settled on the final design, they had one last idea – to change the coloring depending on each region. In desert regions, it will have a sandy color, while cold regions will use bluer hues. 

What do you think of Catoblepas’ new design? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, stay tuned to our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed

The Next Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report Isn’t For Westerners

Square Enix is prepping another Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report. But before you circle the date on your calendars, you might want to brush up on your Japanese.

The Active Time Report on April 21 is focused on the Japanese market. You’re welcome to watch, of course, but Square Enix won’t be providing subtitles.

“The plan is to talk to our Japanese fans about things happening in Japan which aren't really relevant to our western fans,” the company shared via Twitter. Don’t worry, though. Future Active Time Report broadcasts will be subtitled as usual.

Square Enix says it will also share anything relevant to players outside of Japan via social media. For more on Final Fantasy XV, check out our current coverage from the May 2016 issue.

[Source: Square Enix on Twitter (1), (2)]


Our Take
Provided that anything minor that is relevant to western gamers is shared in another way, this makes a lot of sense. Despite living in a world of simultaneous global communication, there are still market-specific things that happen (even if we’re not used to them being communicated through a channel that is typically a worldwide vehicle). – The Feed

The Secrets Behind Final Fantasy XV’s Animation

With our month-long roll-out of coverage on Final Fantasy XV to coincide with our extensive May cover story, we've shown a lot of new gameplay from the game's opening chapter and beyond. One thing that stands out from those gameplay videos is the impressive animation work created by Final Fantasy XV's lead animator Taisuke Ooe and his team. While visiting the studio, we spoke with Ooe about the team's approach to animating such a large game, the role of mocap, and how the animation process has changed for this entry. Also, we want to note that the gameplay footage and video behind Ooe during the interview is from an early build of the game and does not represent the finished game's quality.

Watch the video below to see new gameplay from Final Fantasy XV and learn the secrets behind animating the game.

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To learn more about Final Fantasy XV, stay tuned to our month of exclusive content by clicking on the banner below. – The Feed