• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Tidus must be the dumbest person on Spira. I’m sure this statement will be uttered by me at least a few more times during my time with FFX, but him not getting that the summoner who defeats Sin dies in the process is a Peggy Hill-level lack of awareness.

Also, it appears that certain people in Spira who die can cling to the mortal world if their will is powerful enough. Auron being the one who mentions this probably has no significance, right?
 
Tidus must be the dumbest person on Spira. I’m sure this statement will be uttered by me at least a few more times during my time with FFX, but him not getting that the summoner who defeats Sin dies in the process is a Peggy Hill-level lack of awareness.
He got isekai'd to a completely alien world where he understands absolutely nothing of what's going on. Guy is a pro athlete who suddenly has to fight terrifying monsters all day who want to murder and eat him. I give him a pass on not figuring that one out when he's got a lot on his plate, and when all of his companions are actively avoiding talking about that aspect of their journey.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Also, it appears that certain people in Spira who die can cling to the mortal world if their will is powerful enough. Auron being the one who mentions this probably has no significance, right?
Right. I'm sure he's just making conversation.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Tidus is kinda a dumbly but he's rich in pure emotional intelligence.
 
re: kimahri. I think there's some definite suggestion to move him down auron's path, if only because he handles piercing weapons. Then it's fairly easy to get him down some path where he's got enough of a set between tidus/rikku and auron that he's just big and fast damage bomb. (I don't remember the grid that well, but that sounds something like how i worked him in, then adding magic from tele or magic spheres) I think the only "problem" with the way it's integrated is that if you have the intuition to have some character hit some part of the sphere grid before overlapping a bunch, kimi ends up as a pretty mediocre jack of all trades. Really though, it's just a great way to have a gameplay representation of the blue mage skill set, of which the series standard representation is locked behind limit breaks.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
I found this video to be an interesting rumination on the sprites for the new FF remasters, but I'm curious what people on here that know more about color and shading, especially on spritework, think about it.

 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I think my only real note is that modern (i.e., in the last twenty years or so) tends to be much brighter than classic spritework, as they're designed to be displayed on monitors with much more granular brightness and lighting settings. CRTs are very, very bright, and you need darker and more contrasty color palettes in order for them to differentiate properly. With modern LCD panels, you don't need to do that (especially with those extremely granular display settings), which lets you shift to brighter palettes which tend to look more readable on default LCD monitor settings.

The new stuff seems to have about the same amount of colors present in the palettes as the old ones; the sprites themselves have just been slightly redesigned and shifted to a brighter color set. Like, I'm staring at that Locke thumbnail as I write this and the new sprite is the same level of detail as the old one. But I'm also not as married to my nostalgia as a lot of classic FF fans are, so I'm maybe not the best to ask?
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Same detail, much less contrast. The Locke comparison isn't so bad aside from that: his collar is better in the new one, for instance. The old ones used color more effectively, though.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
The lack of contrast is the biggest issue with the new sprites, IMO. I've played around with them a bit and even just adding strong white highlights improves them a lot. It also doesn't help that most of the shading only adjusts the value without adjusting the hue; when shading with color, it tends to be visually stronger to shift the shadows toward a cooler hue and the highlights to a warmer hue (though this isn't strictly universal).

The directional quality of the lighting is also a bit of an issue, as mentioned on the video. I think the Dark Knight Cecil sprite is a good example: look at the highlight on the front of his visor in the old sprit, then compare it to the shading in the new sprite. Looking closely, I don't believe it was actually pillow-shaded, but it certainly looks like it's been pillow-shaded.

As for why the sprites look like they do now... here's an excerpt from the FFDOT artbook were Kazuko Shibuya pretty much lays it out:

Q: "You mentioned earlier that the graphics look different depending on whether a CRT or LCD screen is used."

Shibuya: "Yes, that's why I can never go back to working like I did back in the days of the CRT. Those games were designed to be displayed on CRT screens, so even if I tried to recreate that style with LCD, I wouldn't be able to. These days, we only have LCD, don't we? On a CRT screen, things get a little squashed vertically, which we had to take into consideration when creating the sprites. We just don't have the same equipment nowadays, so it's not even possible to work the same way we did back then. I'm glad to hear that a lot of people like the style of pixel art from that era, though."

Q: "How do you decide which colors to use and where?"

Shibuya: "These days, the type of display we work on is the same as the screens the players themselves use, so there's no need to account for the blurring that occurs on CRT screens, and we can choose color schemes according to what looks best. Before the introduction of LCD screens, we would work while checking the image on a CRT display. Our work computers were connected to tube televisions, so with a simple input we could see how it would look on a TV, and we were able to select colors according to how they would actually appear, rather than how they looked on our PCs. That's why looking back at the older sprites, I'm often surprised by the color schemes."

With this in mind... while the color choice for the new sprites seems iffy in some places, if you compare the new Terra sprite to her SNES portrait (which wouldn't have experienced as much color bleed since it's a larger graphic), the new sprites are definitely closer to Shibuya's "intended" hair color.

That said, I don't think the new sprites are terrible. I do think they could be a lot better, but the fact that Kazuko Shibuya is behind them makes my feelings a lot more complicated. I don't really think she gets the recognition she deserves (at least in the west) despite being responsible for a major part of the series' identity. She's every bit as integral to the series as Amano and yet she's practically unheard of.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Lack of awareness about her involvement leads to a lot of "what clueless amateur did these new versions" grandstanding about the newer spritework, too. It's the same person who did the original work, having shifted her style to align with those contemporary practices and related technology. It doesn't mean Shibuya's immune from criticism simply because of her pedigree, but the bad-faith accusations that often come with that type of commentary are really rude and painful to witness so consistently.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I'm really curious to what "adjusted game balance" refers to. I wonder if it's only for FF1 and it's dialing back some of the Dawn of Souls stuff or if they tweaked all the games. That would be a pretty radical change!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Some of those extras sound pretty nice. If this comes to a useful platform for me at a reasonable price point I'll be tempted for sure.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I'm really curious to what "adjusted game balance" refers to. I wonder if it's only for FF1 and it's dialing back some of the Dawn of Souls stuff or if they tweaked all the games. That would be a pretty radical change!
It sounds like it applies to all the games. They're basing these remasters on the original versions, which to me means not incorporating any of the additional content from previous remakes/rereleases, so I don't expect any bonus dungeon stuff in any of the games. Beyond that, "adjusting game balance" could mean a whole heck of a lot for FF1-6, lol.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Rebalance patch notes
FF1: Vancian magic is confusing; mages now use MP instead.
FF2: Famicom balance was mostly fine. Aura has now been fixed.
FF3: Enemies max at 3 to a group.
FF4: Number of items and commands in original release were confusing, so these have been reduced.
FF5: Due to overwhelming feedback about Fork Tower, all endgame dungeons are now mandatory.
FF6: To streamline magic selection, it now uses the same interface as Cyan's Bushido.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I imagine it's harder to screw up Japanese font choice since they're almost universally monospaced.

I'm really curious to what "adjusted game balance" refers to. I wonder if it's only for FF1 and it's dialing back some of the Dawn of Souls stuff or if they tweaked all the games. That would be a pretty radical change!

I think the new version is going to be closer to the Origins release than Dawn of Souls, which was a massive overhaul. "Adjusted game balance" is probably mostly minor bugfixes and quality of life improvements and maybe some difficulty adjustment.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Is it me or does the Japanese font actually look decent?
They're using the same font in all languages' releases (that we've seen). It's just that it's a font that's designed to look good in Japanese. When the Japanese version uses Latin characters, it uses the double-width versions, which don't have the kerning issue because they're nearly monospace, instead of the standard ones used in the versions for languages that are actually written in Latin script.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
They're using the same font in all languages' releases (that we've seen). It's just that it's a font that's designed to look good in Japanese. When the Japanese version uses Latin characters, it uses the double-width versions, which don't have the kerning issue because they're nearly monospace, instead of the standard ones used in the versions for languages that are actually written in Latin script.

I don't think this is true. The font in the English screenshots is definitely a Helvetica variant. Possibly Helvetica Condensed or an older Helvetica Narrow version. Or maybe just Helvetica scaled horizontally. The roman characters in the Japanese font are not Helvetica.
 
Last edited:

Purple

(She/Her)
Regarding all the talk of how Khimari is doomed to suck, all I have to say is things would have worked out a whole lot better if there was an actual Sphere GRID and not what's really a Sphere Board From Candyland.

Tidus must be the dumbest person on Spira.
Yup.

He got isekai'd to a completely alien world where he understands absolutely nothing of what's going on.
Technically he's more of like, a refugee from the Dream of the Windfish with the slight complication that he's also the son of some dude who I think is a real dude who just like hooked up with some phantasmal dream phantom. Come to think of it, it's kinda like if you're GMing an RPG, and you decide to do a big timeskip, and the one player goes "you know what? My character is actually the sort who if we're sitting around that long is totally going to hook up with someone and try the family bit for a while" and then the GM is stuck in this super awkward situation where there's this now adult son of the guy around and like, the GM didn't plan for that and really doesn't want to be running some kind of GMPC so they just give him a super annoying personality and inability to pay attention to the plot in a subconscious if not passive aggressive effort to hint to everyone that they should really ditch him and they can focus on moving things forward properly, but, you know how stubborn players get.

Tidus is kinda a dumbly but he's rich in pure emotional intelligence.

I wouldn't even say that. Emotional intelligence would be exactly what you need to work out that oh, we're basically dragging this girl off to throw into a volcano. Instead he's just kinda "hey I don't get it, why is everyone acting all sad constantly?"

That said, I don't think the new sprites are terrible. I do think they could be a lot better, but the fact that Kazuko Shibuya is behind them makes my feelings a lot more complicated. I don't really think she gets the recognition she deserves (at least in the west) despite being responsible for a major part of the series' identity. She's every bit as integral to the series as Amano and yet she's practically unheard of.

I would argue she's significantly more important. Like, especially in America we never really saw any of Amano's promo art outside of like, strategy guides and status screen portraits, and like, I'll take Sprite Cecil over Status Cecil any day of the week.

That said, as someone who does a lot of sprite art when nobody's looking and comparing styles and such I honestly thing the original FF6 sprites in particular are like, the absolute unapproachable pinnacle of the form (and I know at least DeNA agrees with me because Record Keeper used them as a model for EVERYTHING), but like... hey, if you want to collect a new paycheck you gotta do new work, and it's just plain diplomatic to try and incorporate some tweaks and particularly palette changes from the ugly as sin mobile ports.

I'm particularly curious what they do with Setzer in these because previously we went from the dapperest dude to ever tie on a cravat

to Mobile's, uh... congrats on your transition, but do you need to like borrow a comb or something?
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I wouldn't even say that. Emotional intelligence would be exactly what you need to work out that oh, we're basically dragging this girl off to throw into a volcano. Instead he's just kinda "hey I don't get it, why is everyone acting all sad constantly?"

There's no volcanos in X, you're thinking of Mt. Gulug.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Tidus is a kid in an unfamiliar world dealing with the trauma of his parental abuser being an even more of a cultural hero and sainted paragon than he was back home as a mere sports idol, and he's navigating the conflict between that, his personal experiences and all subsequent revelations with a lot of verisimilitude and restraint for his given age and the circumstances he's forced into and the emotional compromises he has to make along the way because of it. He's one of the best-written protagonists in the series as far as I'm concerned, and I'm wary of criticisms to the contrary both for reasons of personal connection and the historical record of the character as a target of ridicule exactly for that emotional openness and vulnerability he represents and how that at the time and largely since was rejected and mocked for not aligning with acceptable standards of masculinity for the target audience's expectations. It makes for a really great story in the nominal text of the game and what's come out of it since, external to it.

hey, if you want to collect a new paycheck you gotta do new work, and it's just plain diplomatic to try and incorporate some tweaks and particularly palette changes from the ugly as sin mobile ports

The "ugly as sin" mobile versions of V and VI that are the most common point of malignance in how people talk about any newer version also had their character sprites created by Shibuya. She worked in far larger resolution for them which is the biggest difference from her work before or since, but the stylistic tendencies are consistent in how she likes to work now. The rhetoric that she's being forced or pressured to conform to some standard that's trying to ruin beloved material doesn't really apply, and the insinuation of "collecting a paycheck" seems needlessly cynical.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
You can count me on team “It’s Good That Tidus is a Big Dummy”.

The bigger problem is that everyone else keeps forgetting by that he’s a big dummy.

Also, it’s kind of hard for the audience (who is also new to this world) to relate to Tidus being thrown into a new world when the one he’s from is still a bonkers magitech fantasy world.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
Shibuya's mobile version sprites look to me like they were inspired by Nomura's SD art for FFVI:



The mobile graphics have some of the same problems that her newer sprites do but I don't really think they're nearly as awful as their reputation, either. My biggest issue is the way their arms hang in the neutral poses; they're far too long and it make everyone look like they have terrible posture. I've played around with adjusting them before and I think they would actually look pretty good if the arms didn't extend beyond mid-thigh and the palette hewed more closely to the SNES version. Here's an example:


(er... please excuse the compression. I'm away from my PC right now, so I don't have the raw file I worked with)


One thing worth noting about all of this is that Shibuya's been at the company for around 35 years and doing pixel graphics is not her primary role any more. When she works on these projects, it's in addition to her other responsibilities. For a bit of perspective, back when she was working on FFV, she spent pretty much the entirety of development doing the character graphics for the job system. Now imagine doing that while also working another job. It's definitely more than just collecting a paycheck.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
It can also just be as simple as an artist's style evolving over time and (access to tech), there's no reason to assume anything more complicated than that.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I didn't mean to insinuate that the graphics look like they do because she's too busy to give them attention; she's explained her approach to the contemporary sprites before (I posted some interview questions touching on this upthread). My post was more a reaction to the idea that her motivation was collecting a paycheck.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
I do think the sprites from the mobile ports look kind of flat, and a lack of much shading is a big part of that, as well as the sprites looking too smoothed out (that's probably just a preference from how, in my mind, sprites are "supposed" to look). They lack personality to me, and they do feel kind of rushed. That most likely reflects less on Shibuya herself and more on Squenix wanting to get the ports out the door ASAP, thus Shibuya only having so much time. Plus the suits may have had a certain look they wanted that they pushed on her, who knows?

I do think the remasters are an overall good thing, as this is the first time since 2008 that it seems as though Squenix is treating any of the first 6 games with any kind of respect for their legacy.
 
Top