Trent B – Intro Arts Project

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Amano History: Final Fantasy from the 1980’s


Yoshitaka Amano is, by far, most recognizable from his artwork for the Final Fantasy series of Role-Playing games developed by Squaresoft (Now Square Enix). With these games came a great challenge to Amano. Not only did he make artwork for these games, but since none of these games were quite like any other in the series, he had to accommodate for a lot of different themes and settings as the franchise grew. As of today, he has contributed artwork to 22 games from the franchise, with at least four of them still in development.

The franchise started in 1987, when Square was on the brink of bankruptcy. As a last wish before abandoning the RPG world of game development, they made a game to see the genre off, called “Final Fantasy”. Ironically, it started a revolution in the gaming world and led to being one of the most popular franchises in existence.

In the early days of this series, Amano had a lot of work to do. RPGs are long games and require artwork for nearly every major character experienced throughout the game. The artwork from the first game is shown below, depicting the “Warrior of Light”, whom serves as the main character of the game.

One year later, he worked on the follow-up game, dubbed Final Fantasy II. While the series medieval fantasy setting was kept, the character design changed considerably. Rather than designing the game around a Knight-like character that was more of a “gift from the gods to save the world”, the game’s main characters were low-poverty young people who led a rebellion. Below is promotional artwork done for the game by Amano, which depicts the four main heroes in the front with the main villain behind.

Judging by these two artworks, we can see two things that Amano is doing. Note how he made good use of bright colors to help the heroes stand out. In the first art, the Light Warrior is given bright red armor, as if to make sure he stands out to all he passes. In the second artwork, the same thing is done. Three of the heroes have very bright colors, with the villain in a deep, almost back purple color. This could show that Amano wanted bright and positive colors for the heroes with a dark, gloomy color to represent who the bad guy was.

You can also see the wavy sketches that Amano is known for in these artworks. The lady in the background of image one has very curvy and wavy hair, as does the Light Warrior coming out of his helmet. His cape is also shown with a wavy design. The second artwork has this wavy style as well. The villain’s hair flows outward at his shoulders, as does that of the female protagonist, though hers is not as apparent.

Below, I will throw in a few more artworks for the first two games, as done by Amano. These will be links, though. They are too big to fit into this article window.

Final Fantasy I – Chaos (The main villain)

http://www.ffcompendium.com/art/1-chaos_throne-a.jpg
Final Fantasy II – Hiryuu
http://www.ffcompendium.com/art/2-hiryuu-a.jpg

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January 25, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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