‘Our goal was National Geographic.’
I know I keep returning to this one little factoid a lot, but it is important you understand- Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for ten years. When it was first announced in 2006, I had just entered high school- by the time it comes out, I will have be over two years graduated from college. Final Fantasy 15 was announced at a time when YouTube was just starting to be a thing, when the iPhone did not exist, and when George W Bush was the President.
It’s been a long ten years, and the game has naturally undergone a lot of changes and evolution in those ten years. But that evolution is perhaps not half as dramatic as some of the changes that long time, fan favorite monsters have undergone in Final Fantasy 15– monsters like Malboro and Behemoth have been substantially redone so that they all make sense in the context of the world that Final Fantasy 15 is portraying.
Speaking to Game Informer, Square Enix’s art team discussed their approach to redesigning monsters for Final Fantasy 15. One of their goals was that the monsters should look like they belong in the world being depicted.
“What Tabata san said was that our goal was National Geographic – think of a Behemoth that we could have a documentary program about,” said art director Tomohiro Hasegawa. Essentially, this meant that the team started approaching these monsters in an all new light. They were not just fantastical creations any more- they were approached as living, viable beings. What kind of a diet would a Behemoth need to be able to sustain itself? What would its skeletal structure be like? From going to zoos to understand wildlife, to actually creating anatomically accurate skeletal structures for all of the monsters in game, the team went the extra mile to ensure that the monsters all looked real- and not just like monsters.
It seems to have paid off, too- Final Fantasy 15 presents is with what might be the most shockingly coherent view of a world in a Final Fantasy game yet. All of this hard work looks like it will finally pay off once Final Fantasy 15 launches on the Xbox One and PS4 worldwide on September 30.