Final Fantasy XV is showcased prominently in Famitsu this week, featuring a 19-page spread alongside interviews with director Hajime Tabata, visual director Takeshi Nozue and marketing manager Akio Ofuji. While the full magazine is due out tomorrow, pieces of the interview have made their way online through official channels. Most of the conversation centers on the CG companion film, Kingsglaive.
If you missed the announcement, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is a full feature CGI movie set concurrently to events in the game. Square Enix plans to show the film ahead of the game launch to give fans and newcomers a taste of what to expect, while offering a greater backstory to characters such as King Regis and Luna.
While separate from the game proper, Tabata says Kingsglaive isn’t limited by the performance of a game console so they’re putting their all into making it the highest quality it can be. Originally, they had cast actors for both Kingsglaive and FFXV but due to scheduling and costs Square Enix were unable to use the movie cast for the game.
Some of the characters in Kingsglaive are even modeled after real actors. Specifically, Regis’ design was changed because of the film and that change carried over to the game in order for his appearance to be less jarring and to continue the immersion from movie to game. When asked how Square Enix arrived at their casting choices for Kingsglaive, Nozue says that they chose actors based on their performance skills and how they could bring out the different characters.
In an effort to bolster the Final Fantasy XV universe, several other pieces of media have been created including the anime Brotherhood, Platinum Demo and FFXV itself. Ofuji says that because these things are being released ahead of the game and not afterward as spin-offs – like with the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII – these works within the universe are unified and offer a glimpse at moments such as Noctis’ childhood. For example, Brotherhood contains scenes of daily life and themes of friendship that are otherwise not able to be implemented in the game.
On the subject of the game’s music, it was revealed composer Yoko Shimomura is in charge of about 80-90% of the total soundtrack. The rest are variations of her works or some other themes that are handled by other people. Shimomura is also contributing Kingsglaive‘s theme song and overseeing the music for parts that are strongly tied between movie and game. The score for Kingsglaive itself is said to be “Shimomura meets Hollywood,” according to Nozue. What that means is she composes the pieces and then a Hollywood arranger modifies them. Then there are other pieces created by John Graham.
Some of the themes FFXV‘s music aims to encompass include “friendship” and “filial bonds.” Music will also serve to highlight character personalities – for example, “Stand by Me” is Noctis’s way of expressing the feelings of gratitude in his heart that he can’t say straight out.
Moving on to Final Fantasy XV‘s release, Tabata notes that only 30,000 Ultimate Collector’s Editions were produced because only 30,000 Noctis Play Arts Kai figures could be made. The figures have to be shipped to various regions, and apparently it takes 3 months for them to arrive in Europe. His head hurt when he heard that all 30,000 were sold out.
As we reported previously, Square Enix is looking into what they can do about this situation. Tabata apologizes for only being able to produce 30,000 units, and he knows that it hurts for people who’ve waited 10 years only to miss out.
Square Enix will be preparing other opportunities for users around the world to sample the full version of FFXV – though there are no plans for another downloadable demo. These opportunities will start this Summer and include the game making one last stop at Tokyo Game Show just 15 days before release.
Final Fantasy XV is due out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30th worldwide. For more updates on the game check out our on-going coverage here.