Mass Effect Was Inspired by Final Fantasy (The Movie)

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Mass Effect Was Inspired by Final Fantasy (The Movie)

The look and feel of BioWare's Mass Effect universe may have drawn heavily from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series - but not the ones you're probably thinking of.

Squaresoft's 2001 CGI film tremendous financial flop [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173840/] that was too videogame-y for mainstream audiences, and not enough like Final Fantasy for Final Fantasy fans. I mean, Square even had the gall to name a character "Sid" instead of "Cid" - of all the nerve!

The movie's failure might have cost Square a metric ton of money and delayed the eventual merger with Enix - who was understandably unsure whether it wanted to merge with a company that had just lost a metric ton of money - but its legacy lives on today in a surprising successor. Speaking with Xbox World 360 magazine, Mass Effect 3 art director Derek Watts said that he and his team looked at the Final Fantasy film for inspiration.

"Yeah, you know we actually reference a lot from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. We used a lot of their GUIs and the way they did their ship - that was kind of like in some of the early designs for the Normandy," he said.

"Our attack helicopters are loosely based off that movie. There's some great stuff, especially their glowing GUI screens; we used those a lot. I keep a folder of that stuff and I still actually tell the guys 'just go back and look at that. Change it like that!'"

It's slightly amusing to think that one of the most infamous videogame box office busts of all time could inspire one of the most successful game series in recent memory, but the world is strange like that. At least Mass Effect isn't taking cues from Van Damme's Street Fighter.

(CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/309198/news/bioware-mass-effect-inspired-a-lot-by-final-fantasy-film/])

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Dec 14, 2009
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Is that where all the blue lense flare comes from too?

It ain't Mass Effect without the lense flare.

I thought the movie was pretty good. The biggest flaw was calling it Final Fantasy. That set up all kinds of unfathomable hype.

Probably why it flopped so badly.
 

unacomn

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Mar 3, 2008
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I call BS. Mass Effect's story is about 60% a ripoff of Anachronox. That's the aspect I enjoyed most of it


Later Edit: After reading the whole story, not just the title, I realized it referred to the visuals.
 

WaysideMaze

The Butcher On Your Back
Apr 25, 2010
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I've never seen this film, may have to just to check for the influences. See what matches up.
 

Keava

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Mar 1, 2010
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You know. Actually the FF movie was one of few things about FF franchise i enjoyed. Sure, as a movie it was pretty weak, but back when it was made it was a good CGI piece of work, and when i first watched it i had no idea it was Final Fatnasy. I don't even recall the story of it, just the fact that it looked neat and actually pushed me towards learning 3d graphics design.
 

ascorbius

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Nov 18, 2009
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It was a flop yeah, but it was ahead of its time.. the only thing that let it down really were the lack of emotion in the characters - for all the cutting edge CGI it had, it was expressionless. It's only been recently that character's expressions have been adequately captured (Pirates, Avatar)

Personally, I really liked the movie. It makes me happy to know that it was the inspiration for one of my all time favourite game franchises.
 

drakythe

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Feb 10, 2011
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I swear I'm one of maybe 10 people on the planet who actually enjoy(ed) that film. I actually still own it. Yes it is cliched, no there is no FF magic. But darn it, its fun and I like it.
 

Dr. wonderful

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Dec 31, 2009
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drakythe said:
I swear I'm one of maybe 10 people on the planet who actually enjoy(ed) that film. I actually still own it. Yes it is cliched, no there is no FF magic. But darn it, its fun and I like it.

There isn't nothing with that is there?
 

cainx10a

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May 17, 2008
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drakythe said:
I swear I'm one of maybe 10 people on the planet who actually enjoy(ed) that film. I actually still own it. Yes it is cliched, no there is no FF magic. But darn it, its fun and I like it.
Make that 11. I felt a little sad inside when the comic relief pilot dude died. :(
 

MetallicaRulez0

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Aug 27, 2008
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I'm not a fan of Final Fantasy at all, but I actually really enjoyed that CGI movie.

Perhaps this helps explain why Mass Effect is my favorite game series.
 

Jumwa

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Jun 21, 2010
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Keava said:
You know. Actually the FF movie was one of few things about FF franchise i enjoyed.
Same. It was like a decent Final Fantasy title that stopped pretending it was a video game and got rid of the few arbitrary button presses it still clings to.
 

RatRace123

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Dec 1, 2009
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John Funk said:
At least Mass Effect isn't taking cues from Van Damme's Street Fighter.
I don't know, something like that would probably awesome in its own (incredibly cheesy) right.
 

Forgetitnow344

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Jan 8, 2010
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I loved that movie, and I felt like it was pretty Final Fantasy. Also, I was like 10 and the only Final Fantasies I'd played were 7 and 8. Final Fantasy to me was sci-fi and aliens and steampunk. I'd understood well enough that no title in the FF universe was similar to the other in any way but memetic, so when the movie came out and it delivered on a grand story with impressive visual effects and the rag-tag group of archetypes with a Godlike protagonist, yeah, I felt like I was watching the movie that had been promised to me.

And I still do. I fuckin' love that movie. I also love Mass Effect. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
 

ThisIsSnake

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Mar 3, 2011
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It was an interesting if odd film, it looked like Square just wanted to show off how good they were at CGI (which as it happens is very good).
 

Verlander

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Apr 22, 2010
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Keava said:
You know. Actually the FF movie was one of few things about FF franchise i enjoyed. Sure, as a movie it was pretty weak, but back when it was made it was a good CGI piece of work, and when i first watched it i had no idea it was Final Fatnasy. I don't even recall the story of it, just the fact that it looked neat and actually pushed me towards learning 3d graphics design.
Yeah, exactly. Hell, I enjoyed it, it's better than the vast majority of Hollywood films anyway
 

drakythe

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Feb 10, 2011
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Dr. wonderful said:
drakythe said:

There isn't nothing with that is there?
Wait, what?

cainx10a said:
Make that 11. I felt a little sad inside when the comic relief pilot dude died. :(
Oh man, that part always gets me. You see it coming a mile away but you really hope the movie will be even more cliched and have a happy ending..
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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As long as they don't start borrowing male heads on female bodies from FF13, whatever.

...Although someone will probably bring up how they think Miranda's face reminds them of Michael Jackson now, but whatever.
 

vivster

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Oct 16, 2010
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the movie was good and the cgi was exceptionally for that time(like always with final fantasy)
that's what they are really good at - to make the best cgi sequences in all video game history

that's why i hope when they stop making games after FF15 that they start with movies