There is so much reality in Final Fantasy 14 – Column
Final Fantasy 14 offers with Eorzea and aetheris a fantastic and well thought-out world that has been with us for many years now. However, many of the elements we find here are inspired by real events or role models. Similar to the numerous crossovers, these allusions represent a kind of declaration of love to the templates and pay their respects to them more or less obviously.
But just the references that are aimed at the real world were in Final Fantasy 14 (buy now €21.99 ) incorporated with great reluctance. That’s important, too, because it’s too easy to spoil a work by overdoing it with such allusions. Here you can find out why that is and what Naoki Yoshida thinks about it. Of course, we also want to give a few examples of where you can find some reality about Eorzea.
Source: Square Enix
Choose allusions wisely
Producer and director Naoki Yoshida himself describes how important it is to choose such allusions carefully. At gamescom 2015, I asked Yoshi-P in an interview (at the time for the now-defunct MMOZone site) how playful features from other Final Fantasy games -Parts find their way to Eorzea and how to choose them. He then replied:
When we create a new game feature, it mostly comes down to whether or not the old Final Fantasy elements make the experience more fun. However, if we have an element from one of the old titles and feel that it might be a bit boring or monotonous, then we decide against it.
Take the card game for example: we received a lot of feedback, requests and hints from the players and we wanted to have our own card game in FF 14 for a long time. So we planned long in advance how we could install it and how it would be fun for the players before we started implementing it.
So it’s not like we’re blindly taking every element from older titles and putting them into FF 14, it’s always thinking about what would really add value to FF 14.
The last point in particular makes it clear how much thought the developers put into these decision-making processes. That’s a good thing, too, because sometimes it’s better not to adopt an element if it doesn’t add value. This applies to playful content as well as to narrative content. Atmospheric elements or fan service should also be selected with this care.
Because only when a world has its own history and face do such allusions even make sense. It doesn’t matter which medium you choose – only when your own story has found its place in the minds of the viewer can it be enriched by ideas from outside. Conversely, references to other works lose their value as long as one has not sufficiently established one’s own world.
It can also easily go wrong
A good example of how you can destroy an idea if you overdo it with the references is the film Ready Player One. This is so full of references to films, games and other franchises that the virtual world “OASIS”, around which the action actually revolves, has practically no identity of its own. So the viewer has a lot to point to and say “I know that!”, but there is just as little of an exciting story as there is a reason to root for the action or to worry about the world.
Be careful with real references
It’s a bit trickier, but all the more important when it comes to real-world references. Here, the selection should be made with special sensitivity so as not to disturb the immersion and the playing feel. Still, the occasional scratching at the fourth wall can be entertaining, especially if done the right way. It is probably important that these allusions do not affect the overall picture and are not out of the ordinary if you do not know the corresponding template.