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Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters By Erren Van Duine on August 29, 2016 at 7:52 PM

As Final Fantasy XV nears its release, more and more artwork and other materials are coming out from official sources. The recent Dengeki PlayStation event over the weekend played host to a number of these new artworks, including previously unseen character sheets for Niflheim’s own Aranea Highwind, Ardyn Izunia and Verstael.

Noticing this, character designer Roberto Ferrari – who worked on these characters and is currently assisting with Final Fantasy VII Remake – had a few choice words to say over on his personal Facebook account. The artist expressed his feelings on the Final Fantasy XV project, and how some of his work was ultimately sacrificed due to story changes.

“At last someone decided to publish my drawings,” said Ferrari in a translated post. “Every time you find a drawing with the red フェラーリ (Ferrari) signature, keep in mind those characters are my creations. Aranea was created at the end of June 2010 whereas Ardyn was born in December of the same year (even though I brushed it up the following month). Six years -no kidding- six years to see the light! And what about all those characters (unfortunately there’s even better ones) whom have been sacrificed due to plot changes, what is their fate gonna be?

“They were initially included in the script, present in several scenes, but they have now been omitted even after finishing both character designs and scenography. All of it was for naught and, furthermore, it’s frustrating to think none of it can even be published (not by me, at least). I’m sadly speechless.”

Ferrari’s work on Final Fantasy XV also includes designs for Gentiana and Cidney. He also provided artwork for Final Fantasy Type-0 and the updated AVALANCHE crew (Wedge, Biggs, Jessie) in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Via: NeoGAF.

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  • Sad. I feel for him as an artist. Maybe in the coming post game DLC quests they can still be added as hidden bosses or even NPCs or villains.

  • alexis

    Is “Arden” and “Versatile” a typo??? Or is that really their names. Arden I don’t really mind cause it’s just one letter), but… Versatile???

  • SuicideSancti

    Maybe him complaining about it will lead into some sense to the people in charge to someday release this character artworks. Along with versus XIII info.

  • Morgan

    It sucks but sometimes that happens in the creative process. Hopefully they’ll be a special Versus art book or even a documentary that showcases the cut content. However it would need to be done long after XV’s release so that it wouldn’t distract from the game.

  • Crystal Power

    Oh, didn’t expect his post be like this. He sounds as if he just found out about this and the cuts and is now upset and venting…

  • Awato

    As an artist, all I can say is, sucks to suck. I’ve had many characters that I poured my heart and soul into get scrapped by VN writers I used to work with, or designs just never see the light of day. If he can’t act professional about something that is expected in the professional art world, then maybe he shouldn’t be in it. Extremely harsh words, but as one artist to another… What did you honestly expect? I’m sure even Nomura has gone through such things.

  • Some Random Guy

    Aranea’s face is cute AF :'(

  • Justice V

    Yeah can’t tell if he’s whining or just trying to express how it sucks when you have some cool concepts that no one is ever allowed to see. Though if he was smart and the designs were something really cool he could always just rework them into new characters for following games/projects.

  • Justice V

    Those are pretty nice designs (Ardyn’s is whatever, I mean looks pretty similar to the movie version at least). But would like to see all or a lot of his other designs in the art books or Ultimanium that comes out later.

  • Mina-P

    He designed mai waifu gentiana so ish all good <3 I really hope they use him more his style really works well with Nomura's. They should hire him full time and dump naora ick.

  • I think the higher up likely want to wash their hands of all this and just make money. I doubt they’ll admit they were wrong or what was really going on. As a boss that’s all they care about. It’s not an art form or stylized entertainment. It’s profit and nothing else to them.

  • SuicideSancti

    We gotta have hope

  • Codes McGodes

    Could just be their Japanese name/spelling. Similar to Frioniel (Firion), Cefca (Kefka), Balflear (Balthier), and Mash (Sabin).

  • alexis

    I’m aware of those, but it was put as “Ardyn” in Japanese promotional materials for Kingsglaive… I don’t remember about Verstael/”Versatile” because he appears less often though

  • 4FFAN

    Dang, someone’s mad…

  • Chevaughn Roberts

    But nomura is the creator of all these characters n remember kingdom hearts is HIS game n his designs dump is a harsh word

  • Mina-P

    who ever said anything about kingdom hearts?

  • AzazelSC

    What a diva…

  • Jesus Christ

    Wait so which characters are Nomura exclusive creations?

  • Chevaughn Roberts

    I’m saying nomura is responsible for most of the artwork including kingdom hearts, also kh is tied to final fantasy in some ways. He made all the ff7 characters which is still the most popular one

  • Octavio Valdez

    I for one would like to see his designs applied to a new Vagrant Story (one can only dream so much). But definitely it would be awesome as an action RPG with a really dark story

  • Strabos2333

    From that art alone, this man needs to replace Nomura completely.

  • Jesus Christ

    Ohhh careful, starting a fire!? Mmmkay now.

    You know what, go ahead I need you to take some of that attackers off my back. Thanks for the comment.

  • Mina-P
  • Mina-P

    yeah i know, i think maybe u misunderstood me I’m saying I love nomura but the b-tier guy that usually does stuff like the npcs in ff games or the clothes in ffx-2 or ffxiii-2 is yusuke naora. Noara, not nomura. He can draw but I hate his designs

  • Justice V

    Currently I think just the heights and hairstyles of the main 4 guys. Since Nomura never even designed them official costumes since he had the deal with Roen going pretty much from the get go. And all of their faces have slightly changed over the years.

  • Justice V

    Stil has nothing to do with what she said. She said his style worked well with Nomura. Nothing mentioned anything bad about Nomura, absolutely nothing referenced a 20 year old game or the kingdom hearts series.

  • Justice V

    Yeah his detailing is nice, so could work in a vagrant story type game well. Will probably continue doing most of the side characters next to nomura doing the main characters for a while. I mean that’s how Nomura got bumped up from being Amano’s side character designer too. I wonder how old he is though, his response to them cutting characters is pretty professionally immature.

  • Justice V

    Could have been that’s how they had their names 6 years ago amd changed the spelling/names during production.

  • daveguitar

    My thoughts exactly.

  • In his defense, a lot to find things are not only lost in translation buy simply misunderstood when it comes to texting. Sure he’s made but he’s not salty, he’s just sad that his there is art that he did that he can’t show because it’s not getting used. He’s not trying to create any type of bad img of square (they can do that on their own) but just expressing the loss/lack of us of past works that never got shown to the public. As character artist myself I too understand where he’s coming from but I think he handled it fine. He didn’t rant but instead just calmly vented.

    Nomura low key did the same when asked what did he think about being taken off FFXV. He didn’t rant about how he felt but said he couldn’t do that but the feelings he felt and stuff was gonna basically be vented into KH3 and it’s bad guys or something close to that. Idk it’s been a while. But you catch my drift.

  • You are not alone.

  • MasterLink

    Isn’t better to use the scraped designs for the mainline FF games in the future?

  • MasterLink

    Regarding Nomura channeling his burning anger into KH3, I don’t think it will be KH3 alone, but I also think FFVII Remake will get the same treatment. Based on what he said in interview, he will not hold back when he is directing those kind of games, especially after his departure from FFXV. I can imagine he was saying to Kitase and the higher-ups in SE:- “You want me to direct FFVIIR? I will do it my way”.

  • •december

    Very good artwork, would love to see a better scan!

  • Jesus Christ

    LOL go on youtube and search for “stella over the hedge” that cat is super funny.

  • Mina-P

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er_yEIE2I2o

    Can’t you hear me yella? You’re putting me through hella…. STELLA!!

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  • Jesus Christ

    Go post the over the head one! I like that one!

  • Justice V

    Yeah if he’s able to. If not would still be nice to see the concept art that was rejected.

  • Mehmed

    What most don’t seem to understand is, that those things weren’t lost in a creative process but they were lost in a cut down process to finish the game faster. It’s like making Spagetti Bolounegse without Bolonegse, just Spagetti, plain Spagetti with a bit of of Pepper and Salt.

  • Phantom Sword

    Not sure why this even matters since he only designs side characters and the ones he mentioned that were cut were characters we never ever seen before. At this point we’ve already seen all the major players in the story so I doubt it was anyone important.

  • Strabos2333

    Go away, Jesus. :< I don't believe in you anyway!

  • The artist should be grateful that he contributed to such a large project of which the majority of concept artists would kill to have the chance for.

  • Stonespear

    If I wasn’t told who the artist is, I’ve had thought he was a FF lead designer just from visuals alone. Fantastic art that fits right in. Shame that he did this though, it doesn’t make him look good at all in my eyes.

  • Mina-P
  • Vallen

    I highly doubt we’ve seen everyone. There are surely a few more villains to be revealed (like army generals and so on).. I think at least

  • Octavio Valdez

    People get too passionate about their work, which is good, but everything in moderation I would say. Most games and movies have this process of going through many drafts until they settle on a final design. I just hope SE learns to work on more reasonable time-frames now and doesn’t announce projects too soon when they are not sure if the tech they need is up to the task, FFXV in reality has taken about 4 years to complete since it was reworked into the luminous studio engine, but the whole process of going through VsXIII to the current iteration made the whole wait too long. Hopefully the new international composition of their development teams allows them to be on top of things quicker. Though I feel that everything they learned with FFXV will indeed be helpful for other projects. Though I would rather have them give FF a little break from the mainline to do some other RPGs or action RPGs from other franchises I mentioned Vagrant Story, but they could easily try their hand at other stuff too. Chrono series anybody?

  • stevenm281

    surely as in the 52min preview, we met one and I don’t remember if his name was revealed.

  • stevenm281

    I’m all for them re-exploiting older series.

    While Chrono Trigger never captivated me, it was still a decent RPG, Chrono Cross, on the other hand, is a 10/10, easily one of my all time favorite games.

  • 4FFAN

    Yeah well we don’t know how much of his work was cut from the game. He might be right to be mad

  • Justice V

    Yeah a new addition to the chrono series would be nice. Considering not many liked Chrono Cross. I wish they still had the rights to the Xeno series, because XenoGears was one of the best ps1 rpgs around. Haven’t really liked any of the other xeno games though.

    But yeah overall I’m sure they’ll be smarter about showing ‘idea pitch trailers’ as game announcements. Vs was smart in the sense that’s how Nomura gets his games made, random trailer that he tries to work into the story somehow later, but calling it an actual game on it’s own just shot them in the foot considering other than that trailer and his concepts nothing was actually done on the game at the time. I also believe like you that this past 3-4 years has taught the company a great deal and will benefit them in the long run on their next few games. Most likely they’ll just continue using Unreal for most of their games (like how it’s being used on KH 2.8/3 and FFVIIR), and whether they waste more effort on Luminous or another in house engine will really depend on the time vs cost effectiveness of doing it. Also wonder if they’ll try to continue with the open world with no loading screens aspect they worked really hard to get in XV. It was a pitch they made and I guess really wanted to make a reality, but if it just causes more problems than it’s worth, I’m ok with some load screens heh.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Actually Xenogears is still a SE property, Tatsuya Takahashi had to basically reboot his idea and create xenosaga as a spiritual successor since he doesn’t have the rights to Xenogears. I would have wanted to see how Takahashi’s vision for the whole 6 episodes of Xenogears would have been, a sequel would have been better as we kind of got a general idea of what the prequel could have roughly been with the xenosaga games.

  • AnimeFan89

    During the boss battle is said his name was Loqi.

  • Chevaughn Roberts

    Lol I thought naora was a typo sorry

  • Moe Nwala

    I wonder who designed Loqi?

  • Furudo Lover

    Ardyn is the main villain and final boss though, and Aranea temporarily joins the party. So this does matter.