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Final Fantasy VIII: Part One

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Final Fantasy VIII

 

Final Fantasy VIII was released for the PlayStation in 1999; February 11th in Japan, September 9th for North America, and October 27th for Europe.The game arrived on PC for Windows in 2000. It has also been available in the PlayStation Network since 2009. The game was developed and published by Square.

Final Fantasy VIII’s development began in 1997, while Square was working on the English localization of Final Fantasy VII. The beloved and treasured Hironobu “The Gutch” Sakaguchi served as the games executive producer, while primarily working on his own demise; which takes the form of 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. This lent the position of director for the game to Yoshinori Kitase. The battle system for Final Fantasy VIII was designed by Kitase and none other than Hiroyuki Ito.

For the visual design, Kitase knew he wanted a combination of fantasy and realism. He aimed to create a cast of characters who appeared to be ordinary people. Tetsuya Nomura and art director Yusuke Naora worked tirelessly to achieve this feel by creating realistically proportioned characters. Naora also attempted to enhance realism by bright lighting effects while creating appropriate shadows. They also used motion capture technology to give the games characters more lifelike movements in the FMV sequences.

The designers felt compelled to invert the atmosphere of the previous games, which were themed as light emerging from darkness. This decision was easy for the team, since they almost all worked on Final Fantasy VII, and felt a new direction was a good idea. The world designs were improved from the last title, due to the experience the team had working within their graphical boundaries. Another part of the “realism” theme that Kitase so desired, was noted with the realistically inspired architecture for the areas. This is noted with the Ancient Egyptian and Greek architecture. We also see a nod to Paris, while throwing a super high tech city in the mix to give it a different, futuristic feeling as well.

In an attempt to maintain a foreign atmosphere, the characters designs were predominantly European in appearance. The first Final Fantasy VIII character to be developed was Squall. Nomura gave squall a fur jacket as a challenge to the games FMV designers. Thankfully, they accepted the challenge, and the jacket looks super realistic. Even if it seems slightly out of place… Nomura also found a place for some previously designed characters, such as Edea, Fujin, and Raijin. Nomura designed Edea based on the style of Yoshitaka Amano.

Final Fantasy VIII also featured the series’ first lyrics based song. This took the form of Eyes on Me, by Faye Wong.

 

The game received positive reviews, and was also commercially successful. In just two days after the North American release, Final Fantasy VIII became the top selling video game in the US, and would remain in that spot for over two weeks. As of March 31, 2003 the game had shipped 8.15 million copies worldwide. This was the fastest selling Final Fantasy title at the time.

Remix:

BENZYH – Find Your Way (Final Fantasy VIII) (Nobuo Uematsu) REMIX


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