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Hollywood has continued to try to turn video games into successful movies, and while not every attempt has been a complete and total disaster, none have been the smash hit that the studios have been looking for. It seems that, rather than give up on the medium of video games entirely, the next strategy is to change the medium of display. Skip to the end: Final Fantasy is coming to television.
Today it was revealed that the production company behind The Expanse is currently in talks with Sony and game developer Square Enix to bring the popular Final Fantasy game series to TV. What makes Final Fantasy unique among games is that, while the series has 15 main entries and numerous spinoffs, few of the various games have actually been direct sequels. Instead, each game takes place in a different world with entirely different characters with only a handful of pieces carrying through from one game to the next.
According to EW, the new series will apparently draw largely from Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix's successful Final Fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online game. That would seem to give us an idea of what sorts of things we might see in the game, but whatever the new series ends up being about, there are a few classic Final Fantasy elements it absolutely needs.
A Diverse Cast of Characters
If there's one thing that all Final Fantasy games have in common, it's a collection of diverse characters, Final Fantasy XV's boy band notwithstanding. While you usually take on the role of one main hero, who is usually broody as fuck, the main protagonist is always surrounded by a collection, of frequently, quite odd sidekicks. While most are human, many are not, and some aren't even human shaped.
Any Final Fantasy series should be an ensemble story that follows multiple characters. They can all be on a single quest together, but they should be unique and fully developed characters in their own right. With a TV series, there will be enough time to fully develop all of them, which already makes this concept of a Final Fantasy series an improvement on the movie that we got many years ago.
Over The Top Villains
The heroes of your average Final Fantasy game are a wide variety of frequently strange and silly characters, but they rarely hold a candle to the bad guys. These characters are usually pure evil, bent on global domination for no reason beyond the fact that they want power, but that doesn't stop them from having style. The bad guys are almost always the most interestingly drawn characters in the Final Fantasy games, and they have personalities to match.
One of the problems that the Final Fantasy movie faced was that it didn't have a villain. This was mostly a problem because none of the other characters in the movie were interesting at all, but it also simply cut out one of the highlights of the games. The villain or villains of the Final Fantasy series should be fun to watch, even if we hate what they're doing.
While every Final Fantasy game is different, there are usually a few bits and pieces that make their way from one game to the next. One creature that has become a staple of the franchise is the chocobo. The chocobo is a flightless bird that's a bit bigger than an ostrich. They're usually bright yellow, but can be found in other colors as well, and more importantly, they can be ridden, and they're fast..
Chocobos are usually quite important in the games because they're often the fastest way to get across the massive map from wherever you are to the place you're trying to get to. Here's hoping the new series makes frequent use of the birds. It would be great if at least one became an actual character on the show. Let's get to know the chocobos a bit better. They've been good to us, and they deserve it.
Awesome Summoning Spells
Another regular feature of Final Fantasy games is magic. Not every character in the world can use it, but many can, and magic itself is often a core element of the stories the games tell. The villain is looking to gain new magical abilities and must be stopped, or a hero is on a quest to obtain new magic to achieve an important goal.
The most fun aspect of Final Fantasy magic is the summon spell. Usually, one member of your party has the ability to call forth massive magical creatures like Bahamut or Leviathan to attack your enemies and do massive damage. These spells are usually quite elaborate and the cut scenes that goes along with them can go on for what seems like days. Around about the 10th time you cast the spell it gets old, but the first time, it's totally awesome. Let's go ahead an earmark most of the digital effects budget for this right now.
Chocobos are the best way to get around on land, but oftentimes, Final Fantasy games eventually give you the ability to travel the map in even better style via an airship. These airships take on a variety of forms across the different games, so whatever the new show comes up with can ultimately be anything.
The airship is usually awarded after a lot of work in the game, so this shouldn't be something that shows up in Episode 1. Maybe down the road, though, at the end of the first season, assuming there are plans to do more than one, as a visual milestone toward whatever the larger goal turns out to be.
Final Fantasy is probably a great place to make a TV series based on a game because there actually aren't many constraints as far as what the show itself needs to be. Of course, there are still a few things one would hope will appear in the series, whatever it ends up being, and so hopefully, as this new project develops these ideas won't be forgotten. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more about Final Fantasy's TV show as well as all the great shows coming this summer.