Stranger of Paradise arrives with the proposal to be a “unique” Final Fantasy

From the first trailers of Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origin, we knew protagonist Jack would be anything but conventional. Although considered generic by many fans, the brooding warrior only wants to know one thing: defeat Chaos once and for all.

There are no smiles, no charisma and no time for small talk. Jack doesn’t care what other people think and does what he wants, like turning his back on a young girl and stomping away while playing a rock song (which is very reminiscent of Limp Bizkit, but it’s not is not the case) on the mobile phone — but not without first sending a “Bullshit”. It’s not at all the same level of seriousness or bad humor that we find in Noctis or Cloud, for Final Fantasy XV and VIIrespectively.

Jack is only one of the “differentiated” aspects of Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origin, an action-RPG that arrived March 15 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC. In an interview with Canaltech Over email, the game’s developers talk about the challenges of creating an unprecedented experience for the franchise and the features that set the game apart from others. Final Fantasy.

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Take care Chaos!

First, let’s resume the conversation about Jack. Without remembering his own past, the protagonist finds allies with the same goal: to assume the role of Keeper of Light to find and destroy Chaos. Mysteries about the character’s origin are clarified throughout the story, but the game is not intended to have a “good guy” as the protagonist.

Will Jack be able to smile after defeating Chaos? (Image: Advertising/Square Enix)

Producer Jin Fujiwara explains that one of the characteristics that make stranger from paradise “unique” in the series Final Fantasy is that Jack is not a hero – or rather, he is not a guardian of light, but a villain. How and why? You’ll have to play the game to figure it out, but if you know the story of the first Final Fantasyyou will know what we are talking about.

For Fujiwara, it “changes the perspective of what has always been expected of the franchise (an ‘adventure to save the world’) and, in a way, works as a new proposition on how to enjoy the series. Final Fantasy”.

A Final Fantasy soul?

Developed by Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo in partnership with Square Enix, stranger from paradise brings an unprecedented level of difficulty to the franchise by enhancing some common soulslike game mechanics. Patience and strategy are key to defeating bosses, while cubes scattered across maps act as hotbeds. dark souls.

Banking on this style of gameplay is new to the series which originated in 1987 and for many years remained a turn-based RPG. Fujiwara comments on the challenge of meeting Final Fantasy for another genre, especially when there are so many passionate fans: “The hardest part was determining whether people would accept a Final Fantasy in this new genre. As a brand with a long history, every fan has their own answer to what it’s all about. Final Fantasy”.

The producer continues: “In this context, we have developed certain aspects of the game so that people can feel the familiar essence of the series. With other aspects, we try to demonstrate that this is our unique version of Final Fantasy”.

The new Final Fantasy has tough boss fights, but you can turn on easy mode if you want more peace of mind. (Image: Advertising/Square Enix)

However, contrary to what it may seem, stranger from paradise is not as difficult or punitive as a dark souls – we’ll talk about that soon in our game review. One of the reasons for this is the existence of the controversial easy mode, which significantly decreases the damage received and increases the damage applied to enemies.

For the game team, the addition of this difficulty level is an opportunity for those looking for a story-driven experience. At the same time, playing on easy mode can be a chance for the player to learn the basic mechanics of the game more easily and then increase the difficulty level, if desired.

Daisuke Inoue, director of stranger from paradise, justifies this idea: “There are many players who are interested in the story and the world, but who cannot play because they are not good in action games. But even if action isn’t their forte, maybe they can still enjoy the game if they understand the system better. [de gameplay] or time it on a lower difficulty, making it easier for them to tackle higher difficulty levels and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Bring as many new elements to a game of Final Fantasythe development team drew on the vast experience of Team Ninja, which includes the participation of Fumihiko Yasuda, who served as the game’s producer. According to him, after working on titles such as nioh and ninja gaiden helped in the process of reinvention Final Fantasy like an action game in stranger from paradise. “For this game, I was able to use my knowledge of tuning boss fights to make sure [ao jogador] a sense of accomplishment,” says Yasuda.

He also mentions that the difficulty level settings and the ability to play alongside other characters were “new challenges that Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja hadn’t faced before, but were created for the purpose” to improve accessibility. .

Can we expect a Final Fantasy musou? The request is common among fans. (Image: Advertising/Square Enix)

And what does the future hold for Square Enix’s great franchise? Final Fantasy XVI will be the next game in the main series, but does not yet have a set release date. Will we see the fantasy world break into other genres? How about a Final Fantasy musou, the style that is Koei Tecmo’s specialty? Fujiwara doesn’t rule out the possibility, but doesn’t go into detail: “I won’t deny the possibility. there is still no Final Fantasy in the musou style, so if it can be produced as a franchise game, it’s possible it will happen.

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