Final Fantasy Origin: Why would a soulslike like Dark Souls in a FF key make sense?

Final Fantasy Origin: Why would a soulslike like Dark Souls in a FF key make sense?

Final Fantasy Origin

Ah, May! The juiciest month for videogame announcements, as it precedes the traditional E3 of June ... even if the latter begins to lose meaning as we discover almost everything in the preceding weeks, thanks to the extraordinary magic of the leak.

If this is good or bad only God knows, the fact is that this year E3 2021 will not be in attendance due to the health emergency, and so the digital contents have leaked not only prematurely , but also in massive doses. There is even talk of an entire conference that escaped the control of those directly involved, the most sensational leak in history, they defined it. Among the stolen information there would also be a new Square Enix production called Final Fantasy Origin and we find out here why a Final Fantasy soulslike would make sense.

Who, how, what and why?

NiOh 2: developed by Team Ninja, but the Final Fantasy Origin staff would be that of Dissidia NT. Let's briefly recap what we know: the new Square Enix game would be titled Final Fantasy Origin, it would be a temporal exclusive - but rather long - for PlayStation 5, and to develop it should be Team Ninja, to be precise the same staff who worked on Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. We know practically nothing about the gameplay and history, except that it should not be a traditional JRPG but an action and adventure game more similar to Dark Souls, extremely violent for the canons of Final Fantasy but more accessible than the very famous brand from From Software . The leaks speak of a difficulty closer to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order than to NiOh 2, bringing up another third-person action game developed by Team Ninja.

As for the narrative that inspires the game, it would seem that Final Fantasy Origin is set in the world of the very first Final Fantasy, but it is not clear if it is a remake in a Dark Souls key or a story that is takes place before, after or at the same time as the events narrated in 1987.

The character design would have been entrusted to Tetsuya Nomura, who has a completely different style from Yoshitaka Amano, the iconic artist who worked on the first Final Fantasy and not only. After that we don't know anything else and what you have just read, we remind you, must be taken with a grain of salt: they are leaks, the leaked news could be completely false or only partially. Or Square Enix may decide to fix the game and run for cover, changing its plans before the big announcement. However, something is definitely brewing, and we are here to speculate and think about this shocking information.

The gameplay of Dark Souls?

Dark Souls Remastered: imagine it in key Final Fantasy ... or vice versa. Let's start with the most pressing question: does a Final Fantasy in a Dark Souls key make sense? Answer is, in our view, why not? After all, it is not the first time that the Square Enix brand has abandoned the JRPG path to become something else. Final Fantasy Tactics and sequels, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, the aforementioned Dissidia and similar, Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus and so on. We could give other examples, but we believe we get the idea.

There is one factor that many forget or don't know, and that is the philosophy behind Final Fantasy, as a brand, since the dawn of time: somehow, every new Final Fantasy has to innovate itself. Whether it's a radical change in terms of gameplay, technical, artistic or narrative, it doesn't matter. Final Fantasy must not be made with a stencil: it is the unwritten rule that established Hironobu Sakaguchi, the imperative that explains the transformations that the parent series has gone through over the years and that fans have not always digested.

That said, Square Enix isn't even the first time it has tried the winding road of soulslike as we understand it today, and it started when soulslike didn't even exist. Does Vagrant Story tell you anything? The title directed by Yasumi Matsuno in 2000 could be considered a precursor of soulslike if we take into consideration different aspects: the lone protagonist, the atmospheres, the extreme complexity of the gameplay and the seemingly prohibitive difficulty curve that forces us to perfectly assimilate the mechanics of game to be overcome.

So a Final Fantasy à la Dark Souls can and would totally make sense, especially if we consider the popularity that the genre has achieved in recent years and the drifts interpreted by different developers, such as Team Ninja itself: NiOh 2 is nothing more than a hybrid between a soulslike and a loot-based Diablo-style action RPG. So, if we consider a potential Dark Souls, with a loot à la NiOh system and a more accessible difficulty to embrace a wider audience, we could say the new spin-off has served.

L ' unknown narrative

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the leaks speak of a difficulty inspired by the Respawn title. Having ascertained that a Final Fantasy would work in the form of soulslike because, quite simply, it has already been there and has been one of the best video games in the history of the genre, it is equally true that many fans are wondering about the atmosphere and the narrative of a title like this, which at first glance would seem to be completely incompatible with the storytelling we have been used to over the years by Square Enix. Even this reasoning, however, can be questioned, taking the very first Final Fantasy as a yardstick. At the time there weren't any interludes, dialogues and cinematic virtuosities that marked the narration: the dialogues were synthetic and straight to the point, the narration linear and essential, the characters practically devoid of characterization.

To be honest, the first Final Fantasy did not even have a cast: the player chose four classes from the six available, long before they became the iconic Jobs of the saga, and thus formed the team of the Warriors of Light, deciding their names without having predetermined personalities. Only later, many years later, Takayuki Odachi would design the Warrior of Light for the roster of Dissidia Final Fantasy, representing Final Fantasy in the 2008 PSP crossover brawler.

Since then, the Warrior of Light has been become a bit 'the mascot of the whole series, as it represents not only the game of 1987, but a recurring leitmotiv - that of the hero chosen by the Crystals to defeat evil - in almost every release. So we have a lone hero for this potential remake in soulslike sauce: it would be enough to rewrite the story, eliminating the other characters, and entrust the Warrior of Light with the task of the absolute protagonist, a bit like what happened with Hide in NiOh 2 or Ashley Riot in the aforementioned Vagrant Story.

As for the atmospheres, one could say that the colorful and eccentric worlds of Final Fantasy would not lend themselves to the gloomy and disturbing suggestions of a Dark Souls, but even here we can dispel any doubts presenting as proof the introductory video in computer graphics that Square Enix made for the Final Fantasy Origins compilation (it was called that!) of 2002 which brought the first Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II to PlayStation. In the video in question, the visions of the Mother Crystal in an underground cave and a prototype version of the Warrior of Light alternate alone facing a huge fire-breathing dragon on top of a mountain. If you are thinking of the Dark Souls II Ancient Dragon ... you are in good company. In a certain sense, in short, Square Enix had already paved the way without even knowing it for a spin-off that didn't have that much to take from the competition: most of it had already been made at home.

C ' it must be said that we do not know in the least what story it is, if it is a remake or something completely new: we can limit ourselves to discussing suggestions and atmospheres, it being understood that the tones of Final Fantasy have changed a lot over the years and that the colorful worlds of the first episodes gradually gave way to steampunk or post-apocalyptic scenarios, bloody tragedies and not-so-happy endings.

What then the story of Final Fantasy I, however simple, already in 1987 was in time travel and in alternative universes, therefore a modern transposition that better narrates these implications with the help of better written dialogues, as well as a modern technology that allows a real direction, it would also be appropriate. On balance, in short, the first Final Fantasy could be the ideal subject to make it a soulslike one, but the question at this point is only one: will it all be true? We'll find out soon, and maybe we'll play it even earlier than expected as the leaks suggest a demo coming out in the next few months.

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