Every Final Fantasy game may be different, but they’re also the same. Different, but same same. There’re certain ideas and traditions that each game in the chronological series needs to incorporate, from various guest characters through to certain iconic monsters before fans are happy. And monsters is where it’s at. It just wouldn’t be a Final Fantasy without seeing a few Cactuars or Iron Giants roaming the lands, just waiting for you to jump in and poke them with your oversized sword.
But for Final Fantasy XV, those monsters have received a massive redesign.
Using the infamous Catoblepas as an example, Art director Tomohiro Hasegawa explained how the approach for this instalment was to create a world that had its own ecosystem that was somewhat grounded in reality, per the request of game director Hajime Tabata. “What Tabata san said was that our goal was National Geographic – think of a Behemoth that we could have a documentary program about,” Hasegawa explained to Game Informer.
That involved taking a few field trips to the zoo, studying nature and and translating those creature effects to the Catoblepas. The Final Fantasy V incarnation was used as a starting point for the redesign of this monster, which evolved to use its designs in practical ways according to its environment. Such tweaks included making the long neck hunched over so that the creature could grasp stuff underwater, making the tusks suitable for foraging and ending up with “a living organism in real life.”
According to artist Chihiro Hashi, examining the movement and shape of the Catoblepas resulted in something that makes sense, instead of it being a nightmare fuel murder machine for you to grind some XP off of:
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.
Meanwhile, I’m just hoping that there’s at least one reference to “welcome to Jurassic Park” inside of the game. Preferably with a kazoo. Final Fantasy XV is out September 30 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. And maybe PC, eventually. Probably.
Last Updated: April 21, 2016