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A Day in the Life With a Final Fantasy Creator 29

1up has a feature up looking at a day in the life of Yoshitaka Amano. This talented artist has been behind much of the visual appeal of the Final Fantasy series over the years. He's also worked on several anime series, such as Speed Racer, some Macross titles, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. In addition to background information, the article has a piece talking directly with the artist himself. From the article: " Final Fantasy wasn't the first video game-related job I did. So I went to America for a week, which was the first time I went to America, and I don't remember what company it was, but this company asked me to do an illustration similar to Dragon's Lair, the arcade game, and that was the first game-related job I had."
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A Day in the Life With a Final Fantasy Creator

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  • These sites Slashdot links to become smarter every day. Now they take them offline, before the first post.
  • A day in the life with a final fantasy creator? Is it about his wife?
  • Its with the guys who translate his whispy watercolour looking art into more draw-a-2nd-time-able chars....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It needs to be noted that Yoshitaka Amano is responsible for the good Final Fantasy games (that is, the original through VI), and not the abominations the series has turned into. People's favorite Final Fantasy characters were mostly his creation. (I can't say "most famous" because Sephiroth and Cloud probably take that trophy, and no real fan liked them. But he wasn't responsible for them.)

    He has continued to work with Square-Enix on the more recent Final Fantasy games, but he was not the lead artist.
    • This is a very good example, why it is a shame that anonymous posts are not showed by default. You just produced the only usable comment in this bunch, and nobody will read it. Nice. Good work, though.
    • Which is why the only games I am looking forward to that will be released this year are all final fantasy ports(well, the one is a remake). Hopefully they will not be as buggy as FF IV advance(on a tangent note, it's interesting to note that it seems much of the programming work was outsourced to China. If you read the credits there are almost as many Chinese names as Japanese...)
    • You have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

      I would have to say that of my complaints regarding the FF series, the complete lack of art direction seems to rank in the top 5. In my mind, I can only chalk it up to an attempt to please the changing market and retain its hold as the staple RPG.

      Rounding out my top complaints.

      5. Story: There is little to no story to bring the characters together, it is the off chance that some story element brings them together. Most often, this section is cut out a
      • reason -1: Idiotic, unrealistic depictions of women. I absolutely refuse to play any more final fantasy after that bullshit in 8 where you are planning an assassination and the women aren't in position to MURDER someone because they forgot to say thank you to someone else and had to go back and do that.
      • Those aren't the same FF games that this guy was responsible for.

        He was FF through FF VI. If you can stand sprite-based graphics, you really should consider checking them out. They're pretty good about the gripes you listed (just avoid Sabin in FF VI, as he violates gripe #0)
        • Yeah, but compare Sabin's Blitz with the combos from FF7 and 8. The button presses for Blitz were all straight out of Street Fighter 2 (QCF, HCB, 3QCF, LeftRightLeft, Spinning Piledriver) and everyone with an SNES knew SF2 by then. By comparison, getting Tifa to do Final Heaven or Zack to do much of anything (especially Zack) is a pain in the ass. It's like Square wanted to emulate Super Mario RPG's action aspects but bigger and more complicated, ultimately, less fun.

          Amano had work in all of the FFs -
    • You know, there's this little matter called "taste" that comes into play. I've been an RPG nut since FF1 and DQ1, and FF7/FFT are my favorites with FF6 being one of my least favorites. It sure is nice of you to judge me as not a REAL fan by my personal preferences, though!

      • I'm totally with you. I DO really like the old games too, i've played through all the ones except the real FFIII which i'll be getting on the DS Lite as soon as it comes out. At the same time, the news ones aren't horrible. I hate the argument that if its new and uses a different visual style than the first 8, that it "JUST SUCKS and if you like it you NOT UB3RL337." Its such a ridiculous bullshit argument. People are entitled to their own tastes. Yes, after VII, FF broke into the "mainstream" with it
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:12PM (#15771180)
    That Final Fantasy is never ever final. Not a problem in terms of job security. But how does one stay creatively fresh if the project never ends?
    • There's always a good story to tell somewhere. If FF were a sequel series, with the same characters in the same world, time and time again, people would just get bored by the 5 iteration. The pool with ideias for stories and characters will never dry.
      • Of course it would be even better if the stories didn't seem to be randomly pieced together from a series of clichees and didn't always end up with the world being demolished by some super powerful evil dude whom you have to defeat. But I guess having situations that come from diplomacy or strategy in a game isn't palatable to the Japanese mainstream gamer so they have to use supernatural enemies instead.
    • That Final Fantasy is never ever final. Not a problem in terms of job security. But how does one stay creatively fresh if the project never ends?

      You know I don't really mind that they keep on putting out titles under the name. As far as I can tell, the only final fantasy games that had anything directly to do with each other were FFX and FFX2. I've played FF1,2,3, FFX,FFX2, FF7, FF8, & FF9. You know what? I've been becoming more and more unhappy with the series. The main male leads seem to all be eithe
  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) * on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:26PM (#15771292) Journal
    My boss is pissed. The cut scenes we've been working on for the last few months are almost done and he's screaming: it's not enough! I need more cut scenes! More cut scenes! I was hoping to get around to the gameplay controls, or adding save points, but I guess we'll be working on more cut scenes. I don't blame him though, Final Fantasy is about the experience and gamers are demanding a deeper, more satisfying game experience and that means more unskippable cut scenes, and by golly, that's what they're going to get. Cut scenes, full speed ahead!
  • He's also worked on several anime series, such as Speed Racer, some Macross titles, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Interestingly, Yoshitaka Amano worked on none of these. As the first paragraph of's article correctly says, his former studio (Tatsunoko Production) worked on those titles, not Amano. Speed Racer (Mach Go Go) was before his time at that studio, and Evangelion was after his time there. Macross did launch a mini-spate of "realistic" transforming robot series, and one of these series inspired by Macross was Genesis Climber Mospeada. Amano did design the Mospeada characters, but not the Macross ones.

  • The man is awesome and was one of the first VG-related person I really came to admire to a great extent. His work on the early FF's was great and I loved those characters so much more than the newer "girly" characters. to me and my group of gamer friends he was a member of the "Holy Trinity of Square:" Hironobuo Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, and Yoshitaka Amano.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.