Publisher Square Enix and developer Team Ninja have shared the Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin opening cutscene, a nostalgic take on the original’s classic opening.
While the Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin opening cutscene recreates the classic opening of the original Final Fantasy where the four warriors of light cross over the northern bridge of Cornelia, more details were shared regarding antagonist Garland.
The PlayStation Blog has (SPOILER WARNING) revealed more details on the recreation of the opening moments from the original Final Fantasy, primary antagonist Garland was revealed (SPOILER WARNING) to be protagonist Jack, who is destined to become the corrupted dark knight.
Here’s the opening cutscene:
Well, the cat’s out of the bag by now – protagonist Jack is destined to become the sinister figure known as Garland.
In the original Final Fantasy, Garland was the main antagonist – a powerful dark knight who threatened to plunge the land of Cornelia into chaos. He’s a beloved (and iconic!) villain, but outside of some brief dialogue we’re never told all that much about him.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin will directly address that and reveal how this once brave hero was brought so low. But why focus on the villain?
Crossing the Northern Bridge
Early in the original Final Fantasy, the Warriors of Light cross the northern bridge of Cornelia. It’s a cutscene that fans remember dearly – it marks the first steps towards adventure… and in many ways signals the beginning of the series as a whole.
Stranger of Paradise recreates this iconic opening – as Jack and his companions cross the bridge and their epic journey begins.
Comment from Daisuke Inoue, Director, Square Enix
This scene is very important, as it signaled the start of the adventure in Final Fantasy I. We definitely wanted to incorporate it into Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin as well.
Hearing the Final Fantasy theme gets me excited and makes me feel like something great is about to begin – I felt exactly the same way when I heard the theme being played during the Olympics earlier this year! I wanted to instil that same feeling in those playing Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin as well.
Comment from Hiroya Usuda, Director, Koei Tecmo Games
The original northern bridge scene left a lasting impression, so for this recreation, we synced closely with Square Enix on the creation process – from storyboards to sharing references from work-in-progress stages, as well as the lighting and final visuals.
The modelling of the northern bridge was quite the challenge since it was not fully depicted in the original. The overall scene composition for the final cut also took quite a bit of effort.
Since no one had created a model of the bridge before, the Square Enix team provided us with a rough idea of what the castle and Cornelia should look like in this title. We translated that into a model design sketch and then proceeded with the bridge design too.
In order to make the composition closer to the original 2D version, we actually positioned some models in a way that wouldn’t be realistic in 3D. However, given the camera would actually move in the final version, we did take a few creative liberties and moved things around so things wouldn’t seem off, even with those 3D movements.
I hope we’ve successfully made this seem like a modern-day version of Final Fantasy I!
Comment from Nobuhiro Goto, Art Director, Square Enix
The world of Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is built as science-fiction. We worked under the premise that what’s happening may seem impossible at first glance, but under special circumstances it could happen, even in the real world.
The northern bridge and Cornelia Castle are very much the heart of the original, so we aimed to bring out an evolved and hybrid feel, combining their fantasy-like silhouettes with the addition of some modern details.
Pravoka and Pirates
After crossing the northern bridge, the Warriors of Light reach the town of Pravoka. In the original Final Fantasy, this town has a bit of a pirate problem – and these are more “crunch your bones and take your booty” pirates than your “yo-ho-ho” types. They’re led by Captain Bikke, and it’s up to the heroes to teach him the errors of his ways.
Left: Bikke as he appears in Final Fantasy I, and Right: as he appears in Strange of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin.
Both Pravoka and Bikke make a return in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin, though you may see a few changes from the original…
The battle with Bikke and his gang of pirates, as it appears in Final Fantasy I.
Comment from Daisuke Inoue, Director, Square Enix
Whenever I play Final Fantasy I, I can’t help but feel the urge to head to Pravoka as soon as I cross the northern bridge.
When it comes to the beginning of the story for Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin, I consciously tried to follow the flow of the original game and decided to incorporate the key theme of pirates for this area. For example, when thinking about how the characters would move from Cornelia to the next major location, we decided we should use a pirate ship, just like the original.
We weren’t necessarily trying to faithfully recreate Final Fantasy I completely though. For example, in Final Fantasy I, the protagonists take on Bikke and his pirates in the city, but for some odd reason, it seems the pirates in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin have their hideout in a cave…
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is set to launch on March 18th, 2022 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.