Finally got around to watching Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a full-length CGI film released in late August in selected cinemas outside of Japan, and I have to say, it was better than what I had expected! I won’t say that it was amazing, because I wasn’t exactly drawn into the first scene of the movie, but it progressed well and turned out to be really interesting – good enough to make me more excited for the game and give me a better understanding of the back-story or plot.
It was very unexpected of Square to actually release another Final Fantasy movie, considering how disappointing Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was and how it created a financial loss for the company to the point that most fans thought that Square should never venture into making movies again.
For this very reason, I wasn’t sure of how to feel about Kingsglaive when news about it dropped on March 30th, but I think Square kind of learned from its past and took notes from the publicly well-received Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children movie, which shows the events that occur after the popular Final Fantasy VII game and answers a lot of the questions that fans had on whether the characters in it survived or not while putting their life on the line to save their planet.
With Kingsglaive, instead of having a movie with the name “Final Fantasy” in it and being unrelated to any of the Final Fantasy games, Square decided to make a movie directly linked to an anticipated Final Fantasy game, which is none other than Final Fantasy XV, to stir more hype as seen in the the official trailer below.
Sure, having a movie as a back-story for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game is also a way of milking money from fans, but maybe this might be a step for Square to improve and possibly delve into making more movies since they have the technology for it? A lot of video game companies seem to be releasing movie adaptations of their games these days. One major example of an upcoming movie adaptation on a video game is Assassin’s Creed. Not everyone may be comfortable with it, as video games are called video games for a reason and not movies, but I’m not entirely against it if it adds more depth to a game.
It was a good idea that I didn’t have high expectations for Kingsglaive to begin with so that I could actually enjoy it for what it was. This was based on my past experience of watching The Spirits Within, as I had high expectations for it that were, unfortunately, not met.
I watched The Spirits Within when I was on holidays in Australia in the early 2000’s. The only people that were present at the local cinema where the movie was screened at on a weekday was my dad, brother, a stranger sitting a couple of rows behind us, and I. Flash forward many years and when I am now living in Australia again, Square decided to only have the movie released for two weekends here at the cinemas and many people showed up to watch it. It was a clever idea that the movie was only screened for a limited time and that too on a weekend. It made me feel that Square really did pick up on its mistakes and learn from them, especially from a marketing perspective.
As for the movie itself… at first, I didn’t like how a lot of the characters had features that looked more Western in comparison to the characters in the game. I had already grown accustomed to the appearances of the characters in the game and I’m very particular about consistency in things like these, so that’s why I wasn’t really drawn into the movie at first sight, but some of the characters in it, such as the lead hero Nyx, later grew interesting.
King Regis looked almost the same as he does in the game so I wasn’t too bothered about him, but Lunafreya looks a lot older and noticeably different in the movie. Don’t get me wrong. The one in the movie looks nice, but maybe as a separate character altogether. On the other hand, Noctis, the game’s lead character, and his gang consisting of Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto, don’t appear throughout much of the movie. They’re outside of Insomnia, the main setting of the movie, and Noctis‘ whereabouts is where the game is meant to pick up the story from.
Apart from that, the graphics in Kingsglaive were AMAZING! The Final Fantasy series doesn’t fail to disappoint in this aspect. Insomnia, which is home to King Regis and his son Noctis, is really beautiful. I could see a lot of inspiration drawn from the city of Tokyo, especially the districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku (with display advertisements for UNIQLO and JAL that you can catch in the background if you watch closely =P). It’s sad to see that much of the city is destroyed when the peace treaty between Insomnia and Niflheim, an evil empire with ulterior and hidden motives, doesn’t follow through.
Seeing Insomnia destroyed also reminds me of the many beautiful cities in the Middle East, rich in history, that have been destroyed because of war. -_- If people actually knew how pretty Syria used to be, they would have created a huge outcry at its destruction, but because it’s not a Western country…it doesn’t seem to really get much coverage of how it truly used to be before greed took over the nations that set its eyes on it. It’s also worth noting how we have games that focus on war, and how we have to be a hero and save the world in it… but when it comes to reality, we’re so helpless. To think that war is still taking place in the 21st century… when will we learn?
Anyhow, my post was mainly going to be on the end credits theme of Kingsglaive with the following video, but it turned into a general post about the movie, which I don’t mind. With that said, the OST for the movie was awesome and I’m looking forward to what other amazing tracks we will be hearing in the game, IA. The tracks that we have heard so far sound great.
Final Fantasy, in general, known to be the video game series with some of the best video game music in history. Even so, it only seems to get much appreciation from gamers rather than non-gamers, as the latter aren’t as aware about the franchise. However, when I introduce some of my favorite role-playing games to my friends that don’t normally play video games, they tend to usually fall in love with the graphics and music in them, and Final Fantasy is definitely one of them!
I grew up with Final Fantasy, so it will always be considered special to me. It was the beautiful ballroom scene with Waltz for the Moon playing in the background in Final Fantasy VIII that made me so intrigued about the game, and the rest is history. It has been a very long wait for the next installment in the series, and even if it’s not as epic as it’s intended to be, I’d be happy to play it just for the nostalgic feel.
On an important note, the release of Final Fantasy XV has been delayed from September to November. I’m okay with that. I have waited for the game for 10 years already, so waiting for another 2 months isn’t a big deal. Especially if the delay is for the purpose of perfecting the game and delivering it in its highest quality. Though, I might have a feeling that one of the reasons for the delay is because the release date for the game was too close to the release date of Kingsglaive and the company wanted to let the movie sink in first. =P
P.S. I met a girl my age named Luna from Italy at a sushi place during lunch hour from work last week. We were strangers sitting next to one another, and once we started talking, we got into a whole entire conversation and became friends. She informed me to join an event with her on the weekend, but I had other plans. This is the first time in my life here that I was able to become friends with a stranger like that in the city, where people normally keep to themselves if they don’t know you. When she mentioned her name, I said, “It means…,” and at the same time we both stated, “Moon.” I replied, “My name means Moonlight…what a coincidence!” xD
Furthermore, I’ve been watching a lot of K-Dramas since last month and have even finished watching a couple of them without taking long breaks, which means that those dramas have been really good! You can probably guess which K-Dramas I’m watching right now…. one has the word “moonlight” in its title and another has the word “moon”. Hahahaha! Both dramas are really dreamy and fantasy-like, and some of the scenes are incredibly beautiful, especially the scenery of the characters looking out into the sunset. I was anticipating both dramas before they were even aired, so it’s nice to no longer wait!
Love in the Moonlight/Moonlight Drawn by Clouds surpassed my expectations, though, and I found some interesting facts about the Goryeo dynasty after my growing curiosity about it when watching Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. I was very curious, because normally in saeguks or Korean historical dramas, the focus is largely on the Joseon dynasty and it was actually during the dynasties before that, such as the Goryeo dynasty, where there used to be a lot of trade with nearby countries and people of different races or religion taking place, even with Muslims that eventually settled down in Korea! The country started to become more homogeneous and secluded during the Joseon dynasty, but before that, it was quite open to different groups of people beyond their borders. Quite interesting to know.