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The following is a list of all the Featured Images on the Final Fantasy Wiki. A featured image is displayed on the front page of the Wiki from Sunday to Sunday. Images are chosen if they are artistically valuable or depict an interesting aspect of the series. To suggest a Featured Image, click here.
December 1st - December 7th
Screenshots of food at camp and the Sky System from Final Fantasy XV, demonstrating the graphical power of Luminous Engine 2.0. Luminous Engine 1.0 was first unveiled in 2011 with the tech demo Agni's Philosophy; this engine was later used for Final Fantasy XIV and its expansions, though not to the same power; Agni's Philosophy requires 1.8 GB of data per scene, which would not be feasible in a game as large as XIV. However, XV revolutionizes the graphical capacity of the series: a typical character model in Final Fantasy XIII used 20,000 polygons, but XV uses 20,000 for just the hair alone (which is designed by a professional hair stylist on a mannequin and then translated into in-game models).
Two examples of the graphical realism of Luminous Engine are shown here. First, on the left, we have mashed potatoes and cake that Ignis Scientia prepared at camp. In XV, the strongest monsters come out at night, so it useful to set up camp and rest overnight rather than attempt to continue to fight. In camp, Ignis prepares food that will grant the party status buffs, determined by which ingredients are in the party inventory. At the time of writing, it is unknown what ingredients and status elements are tied to mashed potatoes.
On the right, four screenshots demonstrate the power of the Sky System, software used to indicate the coming of night. In particular, photographs of Earth's sky were used to generate the lighting effects in game; unlike earlier games, where day-night cycles occur at set time intervals, cycles in XV occur continuously.
It is morbidly amusing to note that Naoki Yoshida noted that one of the main reasons for XIV 1.0's failure is the emphasis on graphical fidelity rather than gameplay and story, but we withhold judgement on the success or failure of XV until everyone has actually completed the game. And unlike XIV 1.0, XV has already sold five million copies.
November 24th - November 30th
Screenshot of the banquet at the Imperial Palace from Final Fantasy VI. Late in the Third Gestahlian Campaign, the imperial capital, Vector, is sacked by espers, forcing Imperial surrender and negotiations with the Returners. Here the party dines with Emperor Gestahl and his men; Gestahl asks the party various questions, including who they should toast and what should be done to punish Kefka Palazzo. If the party answers correctly, reprimanding the Emperor but not being too harsh, the Gestahlian army will withdraw from its various occupied territories, and the party can even get rare equipment. Unfortunately, Gestahl's "surrender" is merely feigned to manipulate the party, and the Empire ultimately resumes its war, leading to the end of the world, as Gestahl laments that the ruin of his empire will mean nobody will ever worship him.
As the negotiations with the Emperor are part of the buildup to the end of the world, it makes for one of the darkest story arcs in the series. But it might be a bit harder to take seriously with the iOS's faceless soldiers and over-detailed lobsters.
November 9th - November 16th
Screenshot of Squall's assassination attempt on Edea Kramer from Final Fantasy VIII. Edea is to be made the Ambassador of Galbadia, but because she is the vessel of the Sorceress Ultimecia, she is a threat to the country, so Galbadia Garden arranges for her to be assassinated by the mercenaries of SeeD. However, Irvine Kinneas recognizes her as the main characters' "Matron", who cared for them in an orphanage at Centra, and sabotages the assassination attempt. As a result, Edea is able to murder president Vinzer Deling, mortally wound Squall with her Limit Break, magically subdue the crowds of people watching the violence, and assume the position of Galbadian dictator.
Final Fantasy VIII was the second game to have presidents, ambassadors, and other "modern" political titles, after Final Fantasy VII. Prior games had kings, emperors, and even elders, but this changed as part of a shift in genre towards science fiction during the PlayStation-era games. Later games, including Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy XII, return to medieval fantasy, but the sci-fi influence on Final Fantasy continues today with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV, though both games have anachronistic government systems.
November 2nd - November 9th
Screenshot of the Legend from Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. Before Crisis is a prequel to the other games in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, an action RPG playable in an episodic format on Japanese mobile phones, and follows the Turks as they fight against the enemies of Shinra Electric Power Company, namely AVALANCHE. Unlike the other games in the Compilation, Before Crisis was never released outside Japan.
The Legendary Turk is a former anti-Shinra activist known only as the "Death God of the Battlefield", whose faction was betrayed and annihilated at a Mako Reactor by a weapons dealer. After this, the Death God joined the Turks, but when he encountered the dealer on a mission in a military facility in Wutai, he bombed the building with the dealer still inside to exact revenge for the betrayal. The Legend is placed on house arrest for two years as punishment, but continues to work with the Turks on his release. True to his appearance, the Legend is lax in his duties—and, predictably enough, lives in the beach town of Costa del Sol.
October 19th - October 25th
Model of Sephiroth from World of Final Fantasy. World of Final Fantasy, which will be released on October 25th, has a "Day 1 Edition", which includes an exclusive Sephiroth summon. When summoned, he appears surrounded by flames, reminiscent of the Nibelheim Incident, then rises up into the air, covered in formulas ranging in complexity to the area of a circle, to equations that appear to be from celestial mechanics and relativity, similar to Super Nova. Sephiroth then unleashes Meteor upon the player's enemies.
The Final Fantasy Wiki held a podcast about World of Final Fantasy recently, and reached the conclusion that though World is clearly meant for a younger audience, the game may draw affection from fans of the older games of the series, who may not appreciate how seriously recent games have taken themselves, and who may appreciate the content drawn from classic games like Final Fantasy VII. Though to be sure, while Sephiroth may have been terrifying to young fans playing the game for the first time in the late 1990s, nobody is going to have nightmares about this incarnation of Sephiroth.
October 11th - October 18th
Screenshot of Alisaie, Ga Bu, and the Warrior of Light mourning beneath the stars from the latest patch of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Soul Surrender. After the end of the Dragonsong War, the beast tribes are pressured by the Warriors of Darkness into summoning their primals, often with gruesome rituals to ensure their victories over mankind and the Warriors of Light. In the case of the Kobolds of U'Ghamaro Mines, their chief orders the ritual sacrifices of his enemies, including the parents of the young goblin Ga Bu, to create implements for the summoning of Titan, but due to the intervention of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the summoning fails until Ga Bu accidentally unleashes his despair into the aether from which Titan is reborn. After Titan is slain by the Warriors of Light, a shellshocked Ga Bu is taken in by the Scions, refusing to speak to anyone.
Here Ga Bu mourns his parents as Alisaie contemplates her role in the defense of the realm in the wake of the sacrifice of her grandfather, Louisoix, at the Battle of Carteneau, for the sake of Eorzea — a land where he was not raised, and that he was not indebted to. After the Warrior of Light recounts his own travels and losses, Alisaie resolves to fight alongside the Scions, though Ga Bu still struggles to recover from his parents' murder. This scene is notable for its use of detailed dialogue options, uncharacteristic for the usual "silent protagonist" character of the Warrior of Light. It also serves as a major event in Alisaie's character arc: how can she reconcile her desire to walk away from the war to defeat the Ascians and preserve Eorzea, which she at times holds in contempt, with the fact that her beloved grandfather gave her life for it?
October 4th - October 11th
Models of Lightning's Garbs from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Garbs are costumes which affect Lightning's appearance, but like Dresspheres, they also affect her abilities and statistics. However, the concept of Garbs did not grow out of Final Fantasy X-2, similar in design the game may be to Lightning Returns, but rather Final Fantasy XIII-2, which featured DLC costumes that had solely cosmetic purposes. Many fans felt that the costumes should have more than an aesthetic effect; combine this with a developer desire to call back to classic Final Fantasy costumes, and the extra system resources created by having only one playable character, and the concept of Garbs was born.
From left to right, the Garbs depicted here (a small subset of those unlockable or purchasable in game) include: SOLDIER 1st Class (based on Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, of course), Midnight Mauve, Dark Muse, Equilibrium (said to be "for the savior who stands on the border between man and God"), Spira's Summoner (based on Yuna from Final Fantasy X), Mi'qote Dress (a near-perfect recreation of the default wear of the Mi'qote of Final Fantasy XIV), and Heartstealer (said to be imbued with the "soul of the thief"; perhaps based on the Thief from Final Fantasy Tactics and her Steal Heart ability?) Sadly, this image lacks the most amusing of Lightning's outlandish wear, including one costume that is entirely made of moogles, and another that seems to be an incomplete sexy mermaid costume for Halloween.
September 21th - September 27th
Model of Gilgamesh's counterfeit Revolver from Final Fantasy XII. Gilgamesh is a traveling swordsman and recurring character in most Final Fantasy games since Final Fantasy V. In V, he wielded the Excalipoor, a sword that always dealt one damage, believing that it was the legendary blade Excalibur, and in every game since then, Gilgamesh has traveled the realms, searching for legendary weapons, only for them to always turn out to be counterfeit. (Humorously, in Final Fantasy IX, he turns down the Excalibur II, arguably the most difficult weapon to obtain in the entire series, for the Excalipur, a variation of the Excalipoor).
In Gilgamesh's boss fight in XII, he wields a number of "legendary" weapons across the series, including Squall Leonhart's Revolver, a gunblade engraved with Griever, a lion crest that, according to Squall, symbolizes strength and courage. Unfortunately for Gilgamesh, his Revolver is instead engraved with a Chocobo. Aside from being amusing, Gilgamesh's collection of weapons, which in XII includes the Buster Sword of Final Fantasy VII, the Orichalcum of Final Fantasy IX, and Ivalician weapons like the Zantetsuken, Tournesol, and Wyrmhero Blade, helps tie together the continuity of the Final Fantasy series, which takes place in many different universes of multiple genres, but still has a shared history of recurring characters ... and mediocre swords.
September 13th - September 20th
PlayStation 4 cover artwork from World of Final Fantasy. World of Final Fantasy, a turn-based role-playing game set to be released next month in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of Final Fantasy, is set in two worlds: a "normal" world in which protagonists Reynn and Lann live, and the titular world of Final Fantasy, Grymoire. Beings in Grymoire have shrunken, "chibi" bodies depicted here; classic heroes like Cloud, Terra, and Lightning battle villains such as Exdeath and monsters, like the Bomb. In a non-chibi art style similar to Kingdom Hearts, Reynn and Lann stand at the forefront of the picture, ready to explore the fantastical, uncharted territories of Nomura's and Amano's imaginations.
The concept of World of Final Fantasy was conceived by Shinji Hashimoto and Hiroki Chiba as a way to make Final Fantasy appeal to a younger audience, after learning that not many children play Final Fantasy. The sharp contrast with the realism of Final Fantasy XV and the Lightning Saga was deliberate: according to Hashimoto and Chiba, younger gamers are more used to cutesy fantasy graphics. Despite the cast's comic appearance, World of Final Fantasy claims to have a emotionally intense story designed to draw players into the greater Final Fantasy multiverse.
August 31th - September 6th
Promotional artwork of some of the cast from Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia. Opera Omnia is a turn-based sequel to the 2008 fighting game Dissidia Final Fantasy, set to be released later this year and featuring an expanded cast, which befits the title, which translates to "complete works". This artwork depicts the Warrior of Light from I, Terra from VI, Cloud and Yuffie from VII, Vivi from IX, Yuna from X, Vaan from XII, Hope from XIII, Y'shtola from XIV, and Rem from Type-0. Of these, Yuffie, Vivi, Hope, and Rem are new to the Dissidia series.
Dissidia has always had conflict and chaos as a central theme — its title translates to "discord", after all — and the moody background and the anger of the characters reflects this; contrast comes from the humorous chibi art style and Yuffie's grin.
August 23th - August 30th
Screenshot of Noctis and his friends playing Justice Monsters Five from the Stand By Me trailer from Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV. Justice Monsters Five is a pinball game that will be playable in-game in Final Fantasy XV, but will also be playable standalone on the iOS, Android and Windows 10. Over 90,000 players have registered to play Justice Monsters Five, and it will be released later in 2016.
The trailer features a recording Stand By Me, one of the game's main themes, sung by Florence + The Machine. The song, a cover of the classic Ben E. King song from the 1960s, is about Noctis's love for his friends, which he is unable to express in prose, and features the Prelude in its instrumentation. Along with two other songs, Too Much Is Never Enough and I Will Be, Stand By Me was released on Florence's album Songs from Final Fantasy XV on August 12.
August 15th - August 22th
Concept artwork of Estinien Wyrmblood, the Azure Dragoon of the Holy See of Ishgard by Kazuya Takahashi, from Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Estinien first appears as a character and the final boss of the Dragoon quests in A Realm Reborn, where he steals the Eye of Nidhogg to draw the Wyrmking's wrath away from the Holy See, only to be consumed by its rage and forced to fight the player. Throughout Before the Fall, Part 2 and Heavensward, he works with the player to defeat Nidhogg. He fights alongside the party in the Aery, only to become one with Nidhogg; fused with the Wyrmking, he is the final boss of Revenge of the Horde, fought atop the Final Steps of Faith.
Estinien is often moody and gruff, motivated by revenge for the deaths of his family at the hands of Nidhogg and filled with contempt for Ysayle, who opened the Holy See to attack, but who travels with him in Heavensward. Though he eventually opens up to the other main characters of Heavensward, in particular befriending Alphinaud, he remains outwardly disdainful for his peers. This is reflected in the shadowy, gray artwork of him here
August 8th - August 15th
Screenshot of Wol and his field fairy, Echo from Mobius Final Fantasy. Mobius is based on classic Final Fantasy games (after all, its name and logo are meant to invoke the concept of "infinity" and looping back to one's origins), and sure enough, Wol is named for the Warriors of Light of old. The developers originally took this to an extreme in designing his Onion Knight garb — it was originally intended to be far more revealing, because the old Onion Knight was so often described as a "bare bones" job. Though the developers eventually clothed their Onion Knight, they couldn't let his well-toned body go to waste; and so, after defeating the enemies in Chapter 4, Wol decides to take a break in a hot spring with Echo. Echo, who according to Mog is mischievous and dangerous, uses her "Spiritual Gifts" to buff Wol in battle. Here, she tells him to relax and cool off.
August 1st - August 7th
Screenshot from a trailer of Penelo dancing from Final Fantasy XII. Penelo is frequently described as a dancer; her Quickening in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is known as Dance of Rapture and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift describes her as "fast gaining renown as a skillful dancer"; however, the only time she actually dances in the original XII, outside of concept art, is in her Quickening animations. It is possible that this scene was intended to be in the game, and may have been meant to take place for the Golmore Jungle. A scene based on this dance does appear in Revenant Wings.
July 25th - July 31th
Concept artwork of a Propagator from Final Fantasy VIII. Eight Propagators spawn in four different colors, two for each color, throughout the Ragnarok: purple, green, gold, and red, though to the knowledge of the Final Fantasy Wiki, only concept artwork of the red Propagator exists. These space monsters must be killed in pairs to keep them from respawning. According to Scan, they are extremely violent creatures that attack anything that moves. There are also notes on the ship left behind by its previous crew that speak of a "Propagator infection", which suggests that the Propagators somehow boarded the ship and slaughtered the crew seventeen years ago, likely as they were attempting to return home after imprisoning Sorceress Adel in outer space. Perhaps, because they are an "infection", they are morphed humans; perhaps they were somehow byproducts of the Lunar Cry in Trabia. Propagators reappear in Final Fantasy Record Keeper, where they must be fought two at a time, just like in VIII.
July 18th - July 24th
Concept artwork of the Water Guardian (left) and Kraken (right) from Final Fantasy IX. Each classical element has a guardians of Terra associated with it, guarding the Elemental Mirrors in their respective shrines. The four mirrors unlock the Shimmering Island, a portal to Terra, a twin world to Gaia. Terra is the site of Pandemonium, the castle of Garland and where Kuja enters Trance and assumes the form of Trance Kuja.
The player controls Zidane and Quina as they defeat the Earth Guardian and collect the Earth Mirror, while the other Guardians are defeated by other party members outside of the player's control. Unlike the Fire Guardian and Wind Guardian, Garnet and Eiko's victory over the Water Guardian is not shown in a cutscene.
When the party is traveling through Memoria, the game's final dungeon, the four Guardians reappear and morph into their true forms, just as they were in Final Fantasy; the Water Guardian is fought in the form of the Kraken. Thus, the Water Guardian art is something of a curiosity: it never appears in the game, but its artwork still exists, even though the Kraken has its own model and artwork.
June 27th - July 3rd
Promotional artwork of Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca and Basch fon Ronsenburg from Final Fantasy XII, by Hideo Minaba, one of two Art Directors for the game. Basch, a hardened, professional soldier who has been imprisoned for years, serves a personal guard to the Princess Ashe, herself a serious, politically motivated character — so this picture of them splashing about in a lake in swimsuits, featured in the Final Fantasy XII Ultimania Omega, feels quite out of place; it would make more sense if it featured Vaan and Penelo, though even then it's suspect, since there aren't many bodies of water near Dalmasca, a barren desert. But I suppose we cannot protest too much.
June 20th - June 26th
Concept art of Mog suffering in the heat from Final Fantasy XIII-2. Director Motomu Toriyama has said that adding a baby moogle character is fan service that would help fans accept the "rather serious main story." Mog forms an intimate bond with Serah Farron, and has a number of personality quirks, including a love for sweet foods. In the game's concept art, his antenna flops in different directions to show his mood. Here, it droops in the sun as he tries to cool off with a fan and ice cream bars.
Happy first week of summer, Final Fantasy Wiki. Except for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere.
June 14th - June 19th
Trailer screenshot of Titan in combat from Final Fantasy XV. Titan is an Astral living in the town of Lestallum. According to Hajime Tabata, Titan is integral to the story, which is why his boss fight is not shown in Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae. He will be able to be summoned, using his signature attack, Gaia's Wrath.
This screenshot is from E3 2016, where game developers played through his trial to demonstrate the graphics and gameplay of Final Fantasy XV to the masses. However, the objectives of the fight will be different in-game than they were at E3, where the player simply had to destroy Titan's arm to defeat him.
June 6th - June 12th
Screenshot of Vaan drawing attention to himself in Bhujerba from Final Fantasy XII. At the start of the game, Basch fon Ronsenburg, a knight of the kingdom of Dalmasca, is framed for the assassination of King Raminas B'nargin Dalmasca and "executed" by the Empire of Archadia. In reality, however, the murder was committed by Gabranth, Judge Magister of the Empire, and Basch is being held hostage to ensure the loyalty of Bhujerba, a supposedly neutral state led by Marquis Halim Ondore IV. To prove his "neutrality", Ondore plays along with the Empire's demands, claiming that Basch is dead. Later, Basch escapes with Vaan's party, and plans to seek aid from Ondore to rescue Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca from the clutches of the Empire.
However, Ondore refuses to meet with them, setting up the infamous minigame shown here. Vaan begins running around the city, exclaiming to anyone who will listen:
I'm Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg of Dalmasca! I'm Captain Basch! Basch lives! Don't listen to Ondore's lies!
Though Vaan is clearly not Basch, the plan works, and the party is taken in to meet with Ondore, who allows the party access to the Imperial ship Dreadnought Leviathan, where Ashe is being held hostage.
Square Enix recently announced a Final Fantasy XII HD remaster for the PlayStation 4 in English and Japanese, featuring the International Zodiac Job System. We'll finally be able to run around in painted-on abs screaming that we're Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg of Dalmasca in HD.
May 31st - June 5th
Cosplay of Serah Farron's "Exposure and Defense" DLC costume from Final Fantasy XIII-2. The younger sister of protagonist Lightning and hardly more than a damsel-in-distress in the original Final Fantasy XIII, Serah's design for XIII was cute and girly. However, the developers felt that since Serah is the main character of XIII-2, her costume needed to reflect her readiness for combat. To "preserve her femininity", she wields a bow that can also transform into a sword. After her default design was created, singer Yuko Oshima was asked to design a DLC costume. "Exposure and Defiance" attempts to answer the question: how can Final Fantasy girls fight with such revealing clothing? The answer is that Serah wields pointed shoes and a shield, so despite her garb, she is still equipped for combat. Fans chose "Exposure and Defiance" over a second, "Little Red Riding Hood" costume, designed to symbolize Serah's growth into adulthood. The Wiki has concept art of "Little Red Riding Hood", but it was never implemented into the game.
Here Oshima cosplays as her design at the game's launch event, holding copies of XIII-2 where Serah would normally hold a shield. Though this might be more combat-ready than, say, some of Lightning's designs from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, one has to wonder how Oshima would defend against an attack aimed at her left leg.
May 22nd - May 30th
Screenshot of Tidus laughing from Final Fantasy X. Tidus is distressed, and Yuna tells him to practice smiling when he feels sad. Tidus forces himself to laugh, much to the bemusement of Yuna and her Guardians. Though the laughter is first awkward, unrealistic, and even painful to listen to, eventually Yuna joins in and it becomes real, though Wakka observes, "We were worried you guys might have just gone crazy."
This scene is often ridiculed by detractors of the game as an example of bad voice acting, while fans of the game argue that the awkward but endearing incident allowed Tidus and Yuna to resolve tension and improve their relationship. Whatever the case, this scene can be viewed in the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, recently released on Steam.
May 17th - May 22nd
Yoshitaka Amano concept art of Emperor Mateus from Final Fantasy II. Mateus, the Emperor of Palamecia, unleashes an army of hellspawn with which he conquers the world. The Wild Rose Rebellion is formed to overthrow him, and deploys the party to assassinate him inside his Cyclone. After his death, he murders the ruler of Hell, or Pandaemonium (said to be Satan in the novelization Muma no Meikyū, which also reveals that a long line of Palamecian emperors have been corrupted by demons) and assumes his place. Though the party enters Pandaemonium and slays the Emperor, his "Light" half lives on in Heaven. In Soul of Rebirth, party members who sacrificed their lives during the events of the main game and are now in Heaven face and kill the Light Emperor.
Most of Amano's artwork of the Emperor is in black and white, though there is a version of this particular piece in blue, and many of his sprites are in purple; in Dissidia Final Fantasy, the Emperor wears a purple cape and golden armor. Such color choices are quite symbolic: the darkness of this and similar pieces of art is associated with evil, while "Tyrian purple" — a dye produced from sea snails only affordable by the most elite Romans — has come to symbolize royalty. Children of Byzantine emperors were afforded the title "Porphyrogennetos", literally, "born in the purple."
May 8th - May 15th
Screenshot of Sephiroth in Shinra Manor from Final Fantasy VII. After an expedition to a Mako Reactor on Mt. Nibel, Sephiroth sees the name on the chamber inside the reactor is "Jenova," the name he was told is his mother. Concerned by the implications, he returns to Nibelheim and finds a secret lab in the abandoned mansion once inhabited by Shinra researchers.
For days, Sephiroth reads journals left behind about the Jenova Project. Misinterpreting the readings to mean that he was artificially produced from Jenova's cells, Sephiroth comes to believe he is Jenova's son, and as the journals falsely identified her as a Cetra, that makes him the last Cetra, heir to the Planet. Sephiroth leaves the mansion to reclaim Jenova's remnants from the reactor, coldly telling Zack "Out of my way. I'm going to see my mother."
The Final Fantasy Wiki wishes all visitors a happy Mother's Day, and gives well wishes to all mothers. Even the ones that happen to be parasitic space aliens bent on global destruction.
April 24th - May 8th
Promotional Yoshitaka Amano artwork entitled Big Bang from Final Fantasy XV. This artwork was unveiled outside the Shrine Auditorium where Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV took place. Players can obtain Big Bang as a PlayStation 4 theme through digital pre-orders of the game on PSN. Square Enix does not have an official interpretation of the artwork and the game has not yet been released, so much of the artwork's content is ambiguous, but there are a handful of points that stand out.
The kingdom at the top left appears to be Lucis, with the same skyline. To its right is a car that is most likely the Regalia. Below the Regalia are two figures, possibly Aranea and Glauca, carrying a blonde figure that may be Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. Right-of-center are Shiva, Leviathan, and sundry unidentified monsters.
April 18th - April 24th
Yoshitaka Amano artwork of the Lunar Whale from Final Fantasy IV. The Lunar Whale is an airship built by Kluya to facilitate travel between Earth and the Red Moon, and when Golbez activates the Tower of Babil, the Elder of Mysidia and others prayed for the fulfillment of a prophecy, which caused the Lunar Whale to arise from the waters outside Mysidia. From this point on, the party can use the Lunar Whale to fly around Earth or to the Red Moon, allowing them access to the endgame dungeon, the Lunar Subterrane.
A number of details, such as the guns and yellow windows along the sides of the ship, have no function in-game and in fact can only be seen in recent versions. In particular, the cannons only appear in the website model of the airship, and the windows can be seen in the iOS version, though it is not particularly clear that that is what they are meant to be. The whale-like anatomy of the ship, such as its white underbelly, are not clearly visible in in-game models of any versions or remakes ... at least, at the time of writing.
March 27th - April 3rd
Screenshot of Mog from a 1994 Final Fantasy VI commercial. The commercial, called "Do you have what it takes?" features Mog casting Bolt spells at monsters that are trying out for parts in the game, including Behemoth, the Ghost, and Chupon. He dismisses the monsters and shouts, "Next!" The announcer then says, "Final Fantasy III. Do you have what it takes?"
Mog features prominently in Square's marketing of the SNES North American release (known as Final Fantasy III because the only other Final Fantasy games localized for North America were the original and Final Fantasy IV). He appears on the game's front cover and in many advertisements, despite having a minor role as an optional, unlockable character.
The commercial can be viewed in its full length here.
March 20th - March 27th
Screenshot of Kefka's Tower on Final Fantasy VI's overworld from the iOS release of the game. In the original Final Fantasy VI, Kefka's Tower was a simple sprite, but for the iOS remaster of the games' graphics, apparently something different was required. Already the iOS graphics were fairly controversial, with the higher quality spites merely rescaling the original sprites, creating more of a brighter, cartoony effect that the original Final Fantasy VI did not have (but may have been the original intent). Some players prefer the old graphics, some players prefer the new graphics, but the design choices the remake made became downright bizarre when it came to Kefka's Tower.
In this screenshot we see three entirely different kind of graphics at once, all at different resolutions. The Falcon is just a traditional 2D sprite. The World Map is an iOS recreation of the SNES' Mode 7 with a blurring effect to simulate depth of field. But the centerpiece is a frankly bizarre decision to turn Kefka's Tower into a polygon, the only one in the entire game. It is an especially jarring image that in no way fits with the graphics around it, and is not even a terrible well-made polygon either. It is a jumble of brown and tan and gray, as if the original sprite has been turned into a texture for a vaguely cactus-shaped object.
Kefka's Tower on iOS is a little view as to what Final Fantasy VI might have looked like if its Nintendo 64 Technical Demo had been made into a full game. We can see the technology of 1997... in 2014.
March 13th - March 20th
It’s not a question of can or can’t. Some things in life you just do.
Screenshot of Lightning modeling Louis Vuitton summer wear and handbags from an LV advertisement. The strong-willed protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII and the Lightning Saga was included in a number of 2016 video and magazine ads, performing her signature in-game maneuvers while dressed in SS16 Series 4 clothing. Here she wears a summer dress with an LV handbag. Other advertisements feature her in a crop top, a pink jacket, and other garments. Square Enix and Louis Vuitton say that the collaboration stems from the two companies' values of tradition interwoven with revolutionary changes to create quality products, and that Lightning personifies the "global, heroic woman" of the social era.
Square Enix has collaborated with other fashion companies in the past, with Final Fantasy XV character models being designed by the creative director of Roen in 2008 and Final Fantasy XIII-2 characters modeling Prada men's wear in 2012. Though the most die-hard fashion aficionados or Final Fantasy geeks may be bemused, at the very least, by these crossovers, one should keep in mind that Lightning is more human than a mannequin, and Lightning is being treated better than Tidus was in Final Fantasy X-2.5 ~Eien no Daishō~.
March 6th - March 13th
Screenshot of Garnet Til Alexandros XVII from a Final Fantasy IX FMV cutscene. Garnet is the rebellious princess of the Kingdom of Alexandria. Beginning to suspect that something is wrong with her mother, Queen Brahne and her ambitions for conquest, Garnet concocts a scheme to escape her castle to reach her "uncle" Cid for help. In her escape attempt, Garnet disguises herself in a white and pink robe, the traditional costume of a White Mage, foretelling her eventual role as a party member. However, her stealth was too effective, fooling even the men Cid had sent to assist her in her flight.
In the image featured this week we see Garnet through the POV of the main character, Zidane Tribal. Garnet stands upon the battlements of the castle, smirking enigmatically before leaping across on a rope. This is the first time Zidane has ever seen Garnet, and her striking action of Errol Flynn-esque adventure seems to be the beginning of his infatuation with her. Garnet shows herself to be a proactive character, not merely a little bird in a cage that must be rescued.
February 28st - March 6th
Promotional artwork of Vayne Carudas Solidor and Larsa Ferrinas Solidor, royalty of Archades in Final Fantasy XII. The Solidor brothers are the surviving sons of the Emperor of Archades, Gramis Gana Solidor, who comes to regret his brutal conquests of Nabradia and Dalmasca in his old age. After Gramis dies under mysterious circumstances, Vayne dissolves the Imperial Senate and becomes a ruthless autocrat ruling over Archadia, Dalmasca, and the ruins of Nabradia. He is eventually overthrown and killed by the party and the younger and more liberally-minded Larsa, who becomes Emperor at the end of the game.
This artwork is somewhat more realistic and formal than the other artwork of Final Fantasy XII, which includes noseless Ivalice Alliance-style art of the party and a drawing of Ashe and Basch enjoying a beach day; this reflects the terseness of Imperial politics, which is far removed from the humorous misadventures of Vaan and Penelo at the start of the game.
February 21st - February 28th
Artwork of Geist the Bloody, a boss from Bravely Second: End Layer. Geist is the Asterisk-holder of the Exorcist class. As one may have surmised from his nickname, Geist is a maniac sadist obsessed with torture and death. He accompanies his blood-stained skin and clothing with an expression of pure madness. Exorcists in Bravely Second are meant to be support classes, with most of their abilities based around undoing the damage from the last turn. Geist perversely uses these powers to undo the torture he inflicts upon his victims, meaning he can hurt them again and again as long as he pleases. He is one of the more deranged and monstrous figures the party must face in order to save the world in Bravely Second.
This piece looks very little like other Bravely Second concept art, and not just in content. The artist leaves in swirling brush strokes, framing the figures in inky blackness. The impressionist style creates a throbbing motion to the painting.
The excelling framing and overall darkness of the painting makes for an unforgettable nightmarish scene. Geist is accompanied in the background by his Guardian, a living ghostly suit of armor. Geist created this twisted creature by accident, and it's existence is a constant reminder of the one mistake he can never undo. Its arms reach out in a violent motion. The Guardian's unearthly bright blues silhouette Geist's wild black hair. Geist's hair creates more shadow from which to focus the viewers' eye onto his grimace and piercing eyes. The eyes seem to break out of the picture, to tear their into viewers' mind. It is difficult to look at them for very long without feeling some discomfort.
Altogether this artwork is one of the most terrifying pieces ever made for the Final Fantasy series.
February 14th - February 21st
New Year's Day postcard of Yoshi-P riding Kirin from Final Fantasy XIV. Every New Year in Eorzea, the people celebrate with the in-game event Heavensturn. As 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, a delegation from the Far East came to the continent to "impart upon Eorzea the good fortune of the monkey." Out of game, Director Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida wished players New Years' Greetings, and left them this postcard with a mysterious prophecy translated by the Archon Louisoix before he gave his life for the realm at the Battle of Carteneau, perhaps foreshadowing Main Scenario Quests soon to come...
And so, in these waning hours, my thoughts turn to a passage from the Gerun Oracles:
In the beginning, before myth and legend, before Light and Dark, there was but the sea
In the beginning, before man and hist'ry, Light and Dark were divided, the sea sundered in fourteen
To the seas She cast Her children, for fear of the Moon.
For hate of the Star, to the seas He cast His doom.
May we ever walk in the light of the Crystal.
Yoshi-P rides Kirin, the mount players unlock after earning all 2.x Primal mounts. He is accompanied by two primate pals, also in honor of the Year of the Monkey: on his head, the Paissa Brat, and floating through the clouds beside him, an opo-opo dressed in the circlet of and wielding the staff of Sun Wukong, better known in Japan as Son Goku, a monkey in the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West who earns supernatural powers through Taoist means. Yoshi-P's flintlock and Machinist are an allusion to his Machinist cosplay from an event promoting Heavensward, the expansion in which Machinist was released.
February 7th - February 14th
Screenshot of Aranea Highwind from the most recent trailer for Final Fantasy XV. Aranea Highwind was first revealed back in 2011 in an early trailer for the game when it was still called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Not much was known about the character other at that time. All that could be guessed was that she was a female Dragoon, and appeared to be villainous. Since then Versus XIII has changed its name, switched directors, and rewrote much of its story, including removing the character of Stella for the much tanner Lunafreya. However, Aranea apparantely has survived the transfer from Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV. In the Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report on January 30th, 2016, Aranea was re-revealed, along with her name and some details about the character.
Aranea is an unusual figure in the villainous Niflheim army. She does not use advanced technology or wear typical Imperial uniforms, but rather fights as a traditional Dragoon, as fitting her last name, Highwind. It is currently unknown what her personality will be or how important she will be to the greater story, though Hajime Tabata has mentioned that Aranea is popular amongst the developer staff. In the latest trailer, Aranea attacks the hero, Noctis using a Jump attack from above.
As seen in this screenshot, Aranea wears an armored mask with bars and slots to protect her face. Spikes and decorations on her arms imitate the wings and shape of dragons. Her design leaves open her armor to emphasize her feminine form and hair. Because of her mask, it is difficult to guess what Aranea's emotion is in this scene, or what her ultimate intentions are when she attacks Noctis and his friends. Aranea Highwind is an enigmatic character whose mysteries add to build up to Final Fantasy XV's ultimate release
February 1st - February 7th
Card of the Fat Chocobo from Mobius Final Fantasy. The Fat Chocobo is a comically overweight Chocobo that has been a recurring character since Final Fantasy III and is usually either a Summon or item storage. (According to an NPC in Final Fantasy III, the bird stores items in its stomach.) In Mobius, the Fat Chocobo card can be summoned with two Normal Elements and casts Barrier, raising Defense for 8 turns. It also grants HP Up.
This Fat Chocobo is drawn somewhat differently than 3D models of Fat Chocobos, which typically show the Godsbird with a well-defined neck, lazily half-opened eyes, and straight talons. Because yellow Chocobo breeds cannot fly in most games, and Fat Chocobos appear less mobile than their leaner counterparts, one would expect Fat Chocobos to be flightless, but this one appears to be lifting off the ground.
January 25th - January 31st
Yoshitaka Amano artwork of Snow Villiers and Serah Farron from Final Fantasy XIII. This a depiction of a flashback romance scene between the two characters. While entranced by the beauty of the fireworks behind them, Snow proposes marriage to Serah. Serah agrees, but is nervous over her sister Lightning's reaction. The possibility of a new life together is juxtaposed with Serah's terrifying realization that she has become a l'cie and is fated to die. For this moment though, Serah and Snow have each other. They are as happy here as they ever will be in the trilogy, which separates them constantly with one strange metaphysical threat after another. The couple works constantly to overcome evil to return to the warmth they felt here.
Amano's artwork is a gorgeous painting capturing the colors of the fireworks. The brightness of the background is contrasted upon the the characters silhouetted in the center. They embrace in the darkness before the light. The artwork captures both the positive and the negative emotions of the scene.
January 18th - January 24th
Akira Oguro artwork of the Tower of Babil from Final Fantasy IV. The Tower of Babil is a gargantuan structure stretching from the Underworld to the surface, and can be used to summon the Giant of Babil from the Red Moon. Near the end of the game, the peoples of the Overworld and Underworld unite to destroy the Giant from within outside the Tower. As former party members are united, the Giant is destroyed, and peace is restored to the world, the party departs for the Moon to end the possibility of invasion at its source: the Lunar Subterrane.
January 10th - January 17th
Ryōma Itō artwork of the Esper Bahamut from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. As in most Final Fantasy games, the Revenant Wings version of Bahamut is the most powerful summoned creature. While Bahamut did not appear as an Esper in the original Final Fantasy XII, in Revenant Wings he is a deadly power serving the forces of evil in the main story capable of destroying entire floating islands. After being summoned by the Judge of Wings Bahamut shatters The Muruc Cahuac Skysea into three smaller islands. Bahamut later fights for Feolthanos during the Final Boss fight of the game.
Like all summons though, Bahamut merely serves the wishes of his master. The Esper can be obtained by the player in side mission 79 Wings of Midnight, after defeating a difficult gauntlet of strong Espers. At that point Bahamut will join Vaan's Ring of Pacts to be used by the player.
The design of Bahamut in Revenant Wings is unique in that this version is very humanoid, standing up-right similar to his appearance in Final Fantasy X. He wears armor and uses a spear as a weapon, making him appear vaguely Dragoon-like in appearance. Ryōma Itō's design is a striking and elegant form.
January 3rd - January 9th
Screenshot of Kirby using Cloud's Buster Sword and Blade Beam from Super Smash Bros. Along with the Midgar stage, Cloud appears as DLC which was released in December 2015. In combat, Cloud has access to some of his original Limit Breaks from Final Fantasy VII, such as Blade Beam and Climhazzard. Cloud's Final Smash is Omnislash, which causes him to dash to a target, hit them several times with the Buster Sword, and then deal damage in an area-of-effect explosion and knock all targets back.
When Kirby eats an opponent, he takes on part of their appearance as a "hat" and gains some of their abilities. Here he is wearing Cloud's spiky hair and shooting a Blade Beam out of the Buster Sword.