The Spirits Within
Theatrical release poster
|Story by||Hironobu Sakaguchi|
|Based on|| Final Fantasy |
by Hironobu Sakaguchi
|Music by||Elliot Goldenthal|
|Edited by||Chris S. Capp|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$85.1 million|
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a 2001 American computer-animated science fiction film directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy series of role-playing video games. It was the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film and was the most expensive video game-inspired film until the release of Prince of Persia in 2010.It features the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Peri Gilpin and Steve Buscemi.
Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to the moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes, the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes film as well.
Science fiction film is a genre that uses speculative, fictional science-based depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception and time travel, along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar travel or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition. In many cases, tropes derived from written science fiction may be used by filmmakers ignorant of or at best indifferent to the standards of scientific plausibility and plot logic to which written science fiction is traditionally held.
Hironobu Sakaguchi is a Japanese video game designer, director, producer, writer, and film director. He is best known as creator of the Final Fantasy series, which he conceived the original concept for the first title Final Fantasy and also directed several later entries in the franchise, and has had a long career in gaming with over 100 million units of video games sold worldwide. He left Square Enix and founded a studio called Mistwalker in 2004.
The Spirits Within follows scientists Aki Ross and Doctor Sid in their efforts to free a post-apocalyptic Earth from a mysterious and deadly alien race known as the Phantoms, which has driven the remnants of humanity into "barrier cities". Aki and Sid must fight against General Hein, who wishes to use more violent means to end the conflict.
Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy, or horror in which the Earth's technological civilization is collapsing or has collapsed. The apocalypse event may be climatic, such as runaway climate change; natural, such as an impact event; man-made, such as nuclear holocaust or resource depletion; medical, such as a pandemic, whether natural or man-made; eschatological, such as the Last Judgement, Second Coming, or Ragnarök; or imaginative, such as a zombie apocalypse, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics, or alien invasion. The story may involve attempts to prevent an apocalypse event, deal with the impact and consequences of the event itself, or it may be post-apocalyptic, set after the event. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, the way to maintain the human race alive and together as one, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten. Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in a non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain.
Square Pictures rendered the film using some of the most advanced processing capabilities available for film animation at the time. A render farm consisting of 960 workstations was tasked with rendering each of the film's 141,964 frames. It took a staff of 200 about four years to complete The Spirits Within. Square intended to make the character of Aki Ross into the world's first photorealistic computer-animated actress, with plans for appearances in multiple films in different roles.
A render farm is a high-performance computer system, e.g. a computer cluster, built to render computer-generated imagery (CGI), typically for film and television visual effects.
In filmmaking, video production, animation, and related fields, a frame is one of the many still images which compose the complete moving picture. The term is derived from the fact that, from the beginning of modern filmmaking toward the end of the 20th century, and in many places still up to the present, the single images have been recorded on a strip of photographic film that quickly increased in length, historically; each image on such a strip looks rather like a framed picture when examined individually.
The Spirits Within debuted to mixed critical reception, but was widely praised for the realism of the computer-animated characters. Due to rising costs, the film greatly exceeded its original budget towards the end of production, reaching a final cost of $137 million, of which it recovered only $85 million at the box office.The film has been called a box office bomb and is blamed for the demise of Square Pictures.
In 2065, Earth is infested by alien life forms known as Phantoms. By physical contact Phantoms consume the Gaia spirit of living beings, killing them instantly, though a minor contact may only result in an infection. The surviving humans live in "barrier cities", areas protected by an energy shield that prevents Phantoms from entering, and are engaged in an ongoing struggle to free the planet. After being infected by a Phantom during one of her experiments, Aki Ross (Ming-Na) and her mentor, Doctor Sid (Donald Sutherland), uncover a means of defeating the Phantoms by gathering eight spirit signatures that, when joined, can negate the Phantoms. Aki is searching for the sixth spirit in the ruins of New York City when she is cornered by Phantoms but is rescued by Gray Edwards (Alec Baldwin) and his squad "Deep Eyes", consisting of Ryan Whittaker (Ving Rhames), Neil Fleming (Steve Buscemi) and Jane Proudfoot (Peri Gilpin). It is revealed that Gray was once romantically involved with Aki.
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as the Gaia theory or the Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.
Donald McNichol Sutherland is a Canadian actor whose film career spans more than five decades.
Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor, writer, producer, and comedian. A member of the Baldwin family, he is the eldest of the four Baldwin brothers, all actors. Baldwin first gained recognition appearing on seasons 6 and 7 of the CBS television drama Knots Landing, in the role of Joshua Rush. He has played both leading and supporting roles in films such as the horror comedy fantasy film Beetlejuice (1988), as Jack Ryan in the action thriller The Hunt for Red October (1990), the romantic comedy The Marrying Man (1991), the drama Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), the superhero film The Shadow (1994) and two films directed by Martin Scorsese: the Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator (2004), and the neo-noir crime drama The Departed (2006). His performance in the 2003 romantic drama The Cooler garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Upon returning to her barrier city, Aki joins Sid and appears before the leadership council along with General Hein (James Woods), who is determined to use the powerful Zeus space cannon to destroy the Phantoms. Aki is concerned the cannon will damage Earth's Gaia (a spirit representing its ecosystem) and delays the use of it by revealing that she has been infected and the collected spirit signatures are keeping her infection stable, convincing the council that there may be another way to defeat the Phantoms. However, this revelation leads Hein to incorrectly conclude that she is being controlled by the Phantoms. Aki and the Deep Eyes squad succeed in finding the seventh spirit as Aki's infection begins to worsen and she slips into unconsciousness. Her dream reveals to her that the Phantoms are the spirits of dead aliens brought to Earth on a fragment of their destroyed planet. Sid uses the seventh spirit to bring Aki's infection back under control, reviving her.
James Howard Woods is an American actor, voice actor, and producer.
To scare the council into giving him clearance to fire the Zeus cannon, Hein lowers part of the barrier shield protecting the city. Though Hein intended that only a few Phantoms enter, his plan goes awry and legions of Phantoms invade the entire city. Aki, Sid and the Deep Eyes attempt to reach Aki's spaceship, their means of escape, but Ryan, Neil and Jane are killed by Phantoms. Hein escapes and boards the Zeus space-station where he finally receives authorisation to fire the cannon.
Sid finds the eighth spirit at the crater site of the alien asteroid's impact on Earth. He lowers a shielded vehicle, with Aki and Gray aboard, into the crater to locate the final spirit. Just before they can reach it, Hein fires the Zeus cannon into the crater, not only destroying the eighth spirit but also revealing the Phantom Gaia. Aki has a vision of the Phantom home planet, where she is able to receive the eighth spirit from the alien particles in herself. When Aki awakens, she and Gray combine it with the other seven. Hein continues to fire the Zeus cannon despite overheating warnings and unintentionally destroys the cannon and himself. Gray sacrifices himself as a medium needed to physically transmit the completed spirit into the alien Gaia. The Earth's Gaia is returned to normal as the Phantoms ascend into space, finally at peace. Aki is pulled from the crater holding Gray's body, and is seen looking into the newly liberated world.
Aki Ross's voice actor, Ming-Na Wen, was selected for a perceived fit between her personality and Aki's.Ming-Na, who found the role via her publicist, said she felt like she had given birth with her voice to the character. She gradually accustomed herself to the difficulty of working without the presence and spontaneity of real actors, and commented that the voice-acting work did not take much time, as she would just go into the studio "once or twice a month for about four months" with no need for make-up and costuming sessions. The workload was so light it did not interfere with her acting commitments in the television series ER .
Square accumulated four SGI Origin 2000 series servers, four Onyx2 systems, and 167 Octane workstations for the film's production. MHz workstations. Character movements were filmed using motion capture technology. Animator Matthew Hackett stated that while motion capture was effective for many of the scenes, in others animators still had to add movements manually. Hand and facial movements were all done manually. Some of General Hein's facial features and poses were based on Hackett. As animators did not want to use any actual photographs in the film, all backgrounds were done using matte paintings. 1,327 scenes in total needed to be filmed to animate the digital characters. The film consists of 141,964 frames, with each frame taking an average of 90 minutes to render. By the end of production Square had a total of 15 terabytes of artwork for the film. It is estimated that over the film's four-year production, approximately 200 people put in a combined 120 years of work on it.The basic film was rendered at a custom render farm created by Square in Hawaii. It housed 960 Pentium III-933
From early on, it had been decided that The Spirits Within would be filmed entirely in English.The original script, written by Sakaguchi, was titled Gaia. The screenplay was written by Al Reinert and Jeff Vintar. The film was co-directed by Motonori Sakakibara, with Jun Aida and Chris Lee both serving as producers. Lee compared The Spirits Within, the first full-length photorealistic animated film, to Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , the first full-length cel animated film. In order to keep the film in line with Hironobu Sakaguchi's vision as director, several script rewrites took place, most in the initial stages of production. Sakaguchi stated he was pleased with the film's final cut, saying he would not have changed anything if given the chance. The film had high cost overruns towards the end of filming. New funds had to be sourced to cover the increasing production costs while maintaining staff salaries. The film's final cost of $137 million, which included about $30 million spent on marketing by the film's distributor Columbia Pictures, escalated from an original budget rumored to be around $70 million. $45 million alone was spent on the construction of Square's studio in Hawaii. It was Columbia Pictures' first animated feature film since Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation in 1986.
Director Sakaguchi named the main character after his mother, Aki, who died in an accident several years prior to the production of the film. Her death led Sakaguchi to reflect on what happened to the spirit after death, and these thoughts resurfaced while he was planning the film, eventually taking the form of the Gaia hypothesis.He later explained that the theme he wanted to convey was "more of a complex idea of life and death and spirit", believing that the best way to portray this would be to set the film on Earth. By comparison, Final Fantasy video games are set in fictional worlds. Dan Mayers from Sight & Sound stated the film followed the same theme typically found in Final Fantasy video games: "A party of heroes averts impending global holocaust by drawing on their individual skills, gaining knowledge through challenges and emerging victorious with new-found love and respect for themselves and their companions." Writing in the book Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams, Livia Monnet stated the film remediated "the notion of life in the neovitalistic, evolutionary biology of Lynn Margulis and in contemporary theories on artificial life", going on to state that the film's exploration of the Gaia hypothesis raised interesting questions regarding the life and death process of both cinema and digital media, as well as contemporary life sciences, cybernetics, philosophy and science fiction. The concept of artificial life and resurrection was also discussed, and compared to similar themes in the 1914 book Locus Solus ; the Phantoms in The Spirits Within were considered to be brought to life by various forces: by the alien planet's red Gaia and then by human spiritual energy.
Each character's base body model was built from more than 100,000 polygons,plus more than 300,000 for clothing alone. Aki's character model bears 60,000 hairs, each of which were separately and fully animated and rendered. In creating the characters, designers had to transition between using PowerAnimator, Autodesk Maya and RenderMan.
Aki's appearance was conceived by the lead animator of the project, Roy Sato, who created several conceptual designs for Sakaguchi to consider, and then used the selected design as a guide for her character model.Sato perceived Aki's original look as a "supermodel", and subsequently removed her make-up and shortened her hair in order to give her a more intelligent look that would "convince people that she's a scientist." In an interview, Sato described actively trying to make her appear as realistic as possible, making her similar to himself in as many ways as he could in the animation, including elements of his personality through facial expressions. He concluded that Aki ended up being similar to him in almost every way, with the exception that "she's a lot cuter". The model for Aki was designed to closely follow human appearance, with Sakaguchi commenting in an interview "I think it's OK to look at Aki and be convinced that she's a human."
While Square ruled out any chance of a sequel to The Spirits Within before it was even completed, Sakaguchi intended to position Aki as being the "main star" for Square Pictures, using her in later games and films by Square, and including the flexibility of being able to modify aspects such as her age for such appearances.Ming-Na stated that she would be willing if asked to continue voicing Aki. Aki only made one appearance outside of the film; in 2002 she appeared in a demonstration video that Square Pictures made to present to The Wachowskis before developing Final Flight of the Osiris for The Animatrix . The short film, appearing in the DVD's bonus content and featuring her with a slightly modified design, shows her acrobatically dueling a robot from the Matrix setting. Shortly afterward, Square Pictures was closed and absorbed into Square Co. and the company ceased use of the character.
While the near lifelike appearance of the characters in the film was well received, some commentators felt the character renderings fell into the trap that many robotics scientists refer to as the "uncanny valley". This concept describes when a robot or animated character becomes very realistic, but subtly different enough from reality to feel "creepy". John Mangan from The Age cited the film as an example of this phenomenon.
|Final Fantasy – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Withinby|
|Released||July 3, 2001|
|Recorded||Watford Coloseum, Watford |
AIR Lyndhurst Hall, London
|Elliot Goldenthal chronology|
The soundtrack to the film was released on July 3, 2001 by Sony Music.Elliot Goldenthal composed the entire score, as well as the film's theme song, "The Dream Within", which had lyrics written by Richard Rudolf and vocals performed by Lara Fabian. Director Hironobu Sakaguchi opted for the acclaimed Goldenthal instead of Nobuo Uematsu, the composer of the Final Fantasy games' soundtracks, a decision met with mixed opinions as the former was completely unknown to many of the games' fans. The last song on the album and the second and final song to play during the film's credits (after "The Dream Within") is "Spirit Dreams Inside" by Japanese rock band L'Arc-en-Ciel.
The film's score was performed by the London Symphony Orchestrawith Belgian composer Dirk Brossé conducting. It was recorded in the United Kingdom at the Watford Coloseum and the London AIR Lyndhurst Hall and was mixed at the Manhattan Center Studios in the United States. In the liner notes to the album, Goldenthal describes the soundtrack as combining "orchestration techniques associated with the late 20th-century Polish avant-garde, as well as my own experiments from Alien 3 , and 19th-century Straussian brass and string instrumentation." In the film's 'Making of' featurette, Goldenthal states he used "ghostly choral" music when the Phantoms are emerging, in an attempt to give a celestial feeling, and focused on low brass clusters and taiko drum rhythms for violent scenes. When Aki talks about a dying girl, Goldenthal used a piano in order to give a domestic home-like feeling to a completely foreign environment, also choosing to use a flute each time Aki focusses on Gaia, as he believed it to be the most "human kind of instrument".
The album was met with positive reviews. Neil Shurley from AllMusic, who gave the album 4 out of 5, stated the album would probably have been nominated for an Oscar if the film itself had been more popular,as did the reviewer from Soundtrack Express, who gave the soundtrack 5 out of 5. Christopher Coleman from Tracksounds gave the soundtrack 10 out of 10, stating the feel of the album was "expansive and majestic" and that the score elevated the viewing experience of the film. A review from Filmtracks gave the album 4 out of 5, calling it "an easy album to recommend", adding "parts of it will blow you out of your seat." Dan Goldwasser from Soundtrack.net also gave the soundtrack 4 out of 5, calling it a "must have".
The album peaked at No. 19 on Billboard's Top Soundtracks list and No. 193 on the Billboard 200 on July 28, 2001.The track "The Dream Within" was nominated for "Best Original Song Written for a Film" at the 2002 World Soundtrack Awards, but lost to "If I Didn't Have You" which was composed for Monsters, Inc. .
Before the film's release, there was already skepticism of its potential to be financially successful. Chris Taylor from Time magazine noted that video game adaptations had a poor track record at the box office and that it was Sakaguchi's first feature film. 's list of the ten biggest box office failures, which was released on the same day, did not include the film.The film debuted on July 2, 2001 at the Mann Bruins Theater in Los Angeles, California, and was released in the United States on July 11, making $32 million in North America and going on to gross $85 million in worldwide box office receipts. The film achieved average to poor results at the box office in most of Southeast Asia; however, it performed well in Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. In 2006 Boston.com regarded it as the 4th biggest box office bomb, estimating the film's losses at the end of its cinema run at over $94 million. In March 2012 CNBC considered it to be the 9th biggest box office bomb, though Time
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 45% based on 146 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The movie raises the bar for computer animated movies, but the story is dull and emotionally removed."Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 49 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert was a strong advocate of the film; he gave it 3½ stars out of four, praising it as a "technical milestone" while conceding that its "nuts and bolts" story lacked "the intelligence and daring of, say, Steven Spielberg's A.I. " He noted that while he did not once feel convinced Aki Ross was an actual human being, she was "lifelike", stating her creators "dare us to admire their craft. If Aki is not as real as a human actress, she's about as human as a Playmate who has been retouched to glossy perfection."He also expressed a desire for the film to succeed in hopes of seeing more films made in its image, though he was skeptical of its ability to be accepted. Peter Bradshaw gave a more negative review, stating that while the animation was brilliant, the "solemnly realist human faces look shriekingly phoney precisely because they're almost there but not quite", concluding "The story is adequate, if familiar, but after half an hour relapses into cliche."
Aki's appearance was received positively by critics,with praise for the finer details of the character model such as the rendering of her hair. Entertainment Weekly named Aki an "it girl", stating that "Calling this action heroine a cartoon would be like calling a Rembrandt a doodle." She was voted one of the sexiest women of 2001 by Maxim and its readers, ranking at No. 87 out of 100, becoming the first fictional woman to ever make the list, additionally appearing on the issue's cover in a purple bikini. The same image appeared in the "Babes: The Girls of Sci Fi" special issue of SFX . Ruth La Ferla from The New York Times described her as having the "sinewy efficiency" of Alien franchise character Ellen Ripley and visual appeal of Julia Roberts' portrayal of Erin Brockovich. The book Digital Shock: Confronting the New Reality by Herve Fischer described her as a virtual actress having a "beauty that is 'really' impressive", comparing her to video game character Lara Croft. In contrast, Livia Monnet criticized her character as an example of the constantly kidnapped female in Japanese cinema, further "diluted" by her existence solely as a computer-generated character representing "an ideal, cinematic female character that has no real referent." Writing in the book Action and Adventure Cinema, Marc O'Day described her as among the "least overtly eroticised" female characters in science fiction, though stated that Aki was "transformed in a variety of poses into an erotic fantasy machine" in a photo shoot that was included on the DVD's special features.
The merger between Square and Enix, which had been under consideration since at least 2000 according to Yasuhiro Fukushima, Enix chairman at the time, was delayed because of the failure of the film and Enix' hesitation at merging with a company that had just lost a substantial amount of money.Square Pictures announced in late January 2002 that they were closing down, largely due to the commercial failure of The Spirits Within. The film's CGI effects have been compared favourably with later CGI films such as James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar . In 2011, BioWare art director Derek Watts cited The Spirits Within as a major influence on the successful Mass Effect series of action role-playing games. In the first episode of the Square Enix published 2015 video game Life Is Strange , when the lead interacts with a TV, she mentions the idea of watching the film, and says "I don't care what anybody says, that's one of the best sci-fi films ever made." Although the film was loosely based on a video game series, there were never any plans for a game adaptation of the film itself. Sakaguchi indicated the reason for this was the lack of powerful gaming hardware at the time, feeling the graphics in any game adaptation would be far too much of a step down from the graphics in the film itself. A novelization was written by Dean Wesley Smith and published by Pocket Books in June 2001. The Making of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a companion book, was published by BradyGames in August 2001. Edited by Steven L. Kent, the 240 page color book contains a foreword by director Sakaguchi and extensive information on all aspects of the film's creation, including concept art, storyboards, sets and props, layout, motion capture and animation, as well as a draft of the full script.
The film won the "Jury Prize" at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival.It was nominated for "Best Sound Editing – Animated Feature Film, Domestic and Foreign" at the 49th Golden Reel Awards as well as "Best Animated Feature" at the 5th Online Film Critics Society awards. The film's trailer was nominated for the "Golden Fleece" award at the 3rd Golden Trailer Awards.
|2002||Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing – Animated Feature Film||Sound editing team||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Golden Fleece||Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within trailer|
(Giaronomo Productions, Inc.)
|Japan Media Arts Festival||Jury Prize||Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Animated Feature||Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best DVD Special Edition Release||Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within DVD||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards||Best Original Song Written for a Film||"The Dream Within"|
(Elliot Goldenthal, Richard Rudolf, and Lara Fabian)
The DVD version of the film was released on 23 October 2001, with the Blu-ray edition released on 7 August 2007.Two weeks before it was released the DVD version was listed on Amazon.com as one of the most-anticipated releases, and it was expected to recoup some of the money lost on the film's disappointing box office performance. Both versions contained two full-length commentary tracks (one featuring Motonori Sakakibara, sequence supervisor Hiroyuki Hayashida, lead artist Tatsuro Maruyama, and creature supervisor Takoo Noguchi; the second featuring animation director Andy Jones, editor Chris S. Capp, and staging director Tani Kunitake) as well as an isolated score with commentary. They also contained a version of the film in its basic CGI and sketch form, with the option of pop-up comments on the film. An easter egg shows the cast of the film re-enacting the dance from Michael Jackson's Thriller . Fifteen featurettes, including seven on character biographies, three on vehicle comparisons and an interactive "Making Of" featurette, were also included. Other features included Aki's dream viewable as a whole sequence, the film's original opening sequence, and intentional outtakes. Peter Bracke from High-Def Digest stated the DVD was "so packed with extras it was almost overwhelming", stating that Sony went "all-out" on the extra features in a likely attempt to boost DVD sales and recover losses.
As of December 13, 2001, the film grossed $26.6 million in video rental revenue in the United States, equivalent to 83.4% of its box office gross in the country. The DVD was nominated for "Best DVD Special Edition Release" at the 28th Saturn Awards. Aaron Beierle from DVD Talk gave a positive review of the DVD, rating it 4½ out of 5 stars for audio quality, video quality and special features. Dustin Somner from Blu-ray.com gave the Blu-ray version 5 out of 5 stars for video quality and special features, and 4½ stars for audio quality. Peter Bracke gave the Blu-ray version 4 out of 5 stars overall.
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Square Co., Ltd. was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games, and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".
Final Fantasy II is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1988 for the Family Computer as the second installment of the Final Fantasy series. The game has received numerous enhanced remakes for the WonderSwan Color, the PlayStation, the Game Boy Advance, the PlayStation Portable, and multiple mobile and smartphone types. As neither this game nor Final Fantasy III were initially released outside Japan, Final Fantasy IV was originally released in North America as Final Fantasy II, so as not to confuse players. The most recent releases of the game are enhanced versions for the iOS and Android, which were released worldwide in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III from its marketing for initial North American release in 1994, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Japanese company Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy VI, being the sixth game in the series proper, was the first to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Yoshitaka Amano, long-time collaborator to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the character designer and contributed widely to visual concept design, while series-regular, composer Nobuo Uematsu, wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story follows an expanding cast that includes fourteen permanent playable characters. The drama includes and extends past depicting a rebellion against an evil military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms-race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depiction of violent, apocalyptic confrontations with Divinities, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the continuous renewal of hope and life itself.
Final Fantasy IX is a 2000 role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. It is the ninth game in the main Final Fantasy series and the last to debut on the original PlayStation. The plot centers on the consequences of a war between nations in a medieval fantasy world called Gaia. Players follow bandit Zidane Tribal, who kidnaps Alexandrian princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII as part of a gambit by the neighboring nation of Lindblum. He joins Garnet and a growing cast of characters on a quest to take down her mother, Queen Brahne of Alexandria, who started the war. The plot shifts when the player learns that Brahne is a pawn of a more menacing threat, Kuja, who shares a mysterious history with Zidane spanning two worlds.
Final Fantasy X is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square as the tenth entry in the Final Fantasy series. Originally released in 2001 for Sony's PlayStation 2, the game was re-released as Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in 2013, for PlayStation 4 in 2015, Microsoft Windows in 2016, and will be released for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in 2019. The game marks the Final Fantasy series transition from entirely pre-rendered backdrops to fully three-dimensional areas, and is also the first in the series to feature voice acting. Final Fantasy X replaces the Active Time Battle (ATB) system with the "Conditional Turn-Based Battle" (CTB) system, and uses a new leveling system called the "Sphere Grid".
Final Fantasy Chronicles is a compilation of Square's role-playing video games Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger, released for the North American Sony PlayStation on June 29, 2001. TOSE ported both titles from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System; each had been previously released as individual Japanese PlayStation ports in 1997 and 1999. Several bonus features were added to each game, such as art galleries, bestiaries, and cutscenes—including computer-generated full motion video used at the beginning of Final Fantasy IV and anime scenes used throughout Chrono Trigger.
Nobuo Uematsu is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring most of the titles in the Final Fantasy series by Square Enix. He is considered to be one of the most well known composers in the video game industry. Sometimes referred to as the "Beethoven of video games music", he has appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame.
The Chocobo is a fictional species from the Final Fantasy video game series made by Square and Square Enix. The creature is generally a flightless bird, though certain highly specialized breeds in some titles retain the ability to fly. It bears a resemblance to casuariiformes and ratites, capable of being ridden and otherwise used by player characters during gameplay. Chocobos first appeared in Final Fantasy II and have been featured in almost all subsequent Final Fantasy games, as well as making cameo appearances in numerous other games. A spin-off Chocobo series featuring chocobos has also been created.
Ming-Na Wen is a Macanese-born American actress known for playing the role of Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and for voicing Fa Mulan, one of the Disney Princesses, in the films Mulan and Mulan II, the video game Kingdom Hearts II and in the Disney animated series Sofia the First. She reprises her voice role as Mulan in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The music of the Final Fantasy series refers to the soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series of video games, as well as the surrounding medley of soundtrack, arranged, and compilation albums. The series' music ranges from very light background music to emotionally intense interweavings of character and situation leitmotifs.
Elliot Goldenthal is an American composer of film scores and contemporary classical music. He was a student of Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, and is best known for his distinctive style and ability to blend various musical styles and techniques in original and inventive ways. He is also a film-music composer, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2002 for his score to the motion picture Frida, directed by his long-time partner Julie Taymor.
Yoshinori Kitase is a Japanese game director and producer working for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, and the producer of the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series. Kitase is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 1 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy XII was composed primarily by Hitoshi Sakimoto. Additional music was provided by Masaharu Iwata and Hayato Matsuo, who also orchestrated the opening and ending themes. Former regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu's only work for this game was "Kiss Me Good-Bye", the theme song sung by Angela Aki. The Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs in 2006 by Aniplex. A sampling of tracks from the soundtrack was released as an album entitled Selections from Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack, and was released in 2006 by Tofu Records. Additionally, a promotional digital album titled The Best of Final Fantasy XII was released on the Japanese localization of iTunes for download only in 2006. "Kiss Me Good-Bye" was released by Epic Records as a single in 2006, and Symphonic Poem "Hope", the complete music from the game's end credits, was released by Hats Unlimited in 2006. An abridged version of the latter piece, which originally accompanied a promotional video for the game, was included in the official soundtrack album. An album of piano arrangements, titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy XII, was released by Square Enix in 2012.
"Spirit Dreams Inside -Another Dream-" is the twenty-second single by L'Arc-en-Ciel, released on September 5, 2001. It was their first single of the 21st century and their last single until Ready Steady Go in 2004. The song debuted at number 1 on the Oricon chart and sold over 201,000 copies in its initial week.
Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has helmed the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs). The eponymous first game in the series, published in 1987, was conceived by Sakaguchi as his last-ditch effort in the game industry; the title was a success and spawned sequels. While most entries in the series are separate from each other, they have recurring elements carrying over between entries: these include plot themes and motifs, gameplay mechanics such as the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, and signature character designs from the likes of Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura.
The music for the video game Final Fantasy XV, developed and published by Square Enix as the fifteenth mainline entry in the Final Fantasy series, was composed primarily by Yoko Shimomura. Having previously worked on the Kingdom Hearts series, among various other titles, Final Fantasy XV was her first project for the series. Shimomura was brought on board the project in 2006, when it was a spin-off title called Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and stayed in her role during the game's ten-year development cycle. Her music, based around themes of "friendship" and "filial bonds", incorporates multiple musical genres, such as orchestral, bossa nova, and American blues. Several tracks, including the main theme "Somnus", feature Latin lyrics written by the game's original director Tetsuya Nomura.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within|