CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
FF and modern realism

Posted: 4th October 2017 20:51

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I was just thinking...

I remember getting interested in FF15 because it aimed to be a cross between fantasy and modern realism.

I just realized, though...isn't FF7 arguably the first FF game to do this?

What other FF games have a cross of this sort, and to what extent? What about non-FF games, or heck, non-Squenix games, even?

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Posted: 5th October 2017 10:22

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ff6 was the first to be more modern than the others arguably.I mean it takes place in like the really early 1800s or mid to late 1700s.

As for realism:Wasn't ff8 more realistic?

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Posted: 5th October 2017 20:57

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I dunno if they achieved that balance, however, Glenn.

Modern Realism was the art style that resulted as a reaction to the experimental styles popular before World War I freaked everybody the heck out. The reaction took many forms, among them magic realism, traditionalisme, and others.

Basically, it's what realistic subjects painted with the ideas of abstraction in mind look like.

If anything, the most modern realist FF is FF8, I'd say. There is a dedication to a certain verisimilitude, juxtaposed with abstract designs (The Garden, the Gunblade, basically all the monsters that aren't human, the Shumi tribe, etc etc). The way the PSX processor can bend polygons out of shape in this game really reminds me of some of the example paintings of modern realism that I'm seeing after a cursory google search.

Before it can be an abstract take on realism, it has to be grounded in realism, and that means proper proportions, slightly distorted. FF1-7 and 9 do not give any respect to proportionality at all. FF8 at least makes an attempt. Not really familiar enough w the later FFs though I understand the proportionality of things has been kept in as a feature...chibi drawings are kind of 80s-90s at this point, after all, especially if the reaction to FF5 Steam and 6 Steam's sprites are anything to go by.

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Posted: 5th October 2017 22:21

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Quote (Magitek_slayer)
ff6 was the first to be more modern than the others arguably.I mean it takes place in like the really early 1800s or mid to late 1700s.

True, but I was thinking more specifically about modern like late 20th century.

Quote (Spooniest)
Modern Realism was the art style that resulted as a reaction to the experimental styles popular before World War I freaked everybody the heck out. The reaction took many forms, among them magic realism, traditionalisme, and others.

Basically, it's what realistic subjects painted with the ideas of abstraction in mind look like.

If anything, the most modern realist FF is FF8, I'd say. There is a dedication to a certain verisimilitude, juxtaposed with abstract designs (The Garden, the Gunblade, basically all the monsters that aren't human, the Shumi tribe, etc etc). The way the PSX processor can bend polygons out of shape in this game really reminds me of some of the example paintings of modern realism that I'm seeing after a cursory google search.

I wasn't sure whether to use the word "realism" because that itself is a term that has a special meaning in the arts, beyond just "resembling modern-day real life", which is the meaning I was trying to get at.

Quote (Spooniest)
Before it can be an abstract take on realism, it has to be grounded in realism, and that means proper proportions, slightly distorted. FF1-7 and 9 do not give any respect to proportionality at all. FF8 at least makes an attempt. Not really familiar enough w the later FFs though I understand the proportionality of things has been kept in as a feature...chibi drawings are kind of 80s-90s at this point, after all, especially if the reaction to FF5 Steam and 6 Steam's sprites are anything to go by.

I'd argue that mere visual realism isn't quite the appropriate test.

The early FF games were non-realistic not because they had SD sprites and regular arrays of trees to represent forest or such. At least, not in the sense I'm trying to get at. I'm talking about the setting and its features -- they're non-realistic because they feature wizards and magic and dragons and demons and so on.

FF6, as Magitek_slayer pointed out, started to put technology and proliferation of machinery much more squarely into the setting. And then in FF7 we have...(what's basically) nuclear reactors, terrorism, guns, explosives, a mad scientist, aliens, a corrupt megacorporation, environmentalism as a narrative theme, prostitutes, a casino...there's a much more modern-day feel to it, like dark urban fantasy or something. Sure, one could have elements of these in more traditional fantasy settings, but typically not all of these together. And those elements would more likely be flavored differently -- for example, a corrupt megacorporation might instead be a corrupt merchants' guild that controls a major city or a corrupt mayor/governor who's in bed with noble houses that are up to no good or something.

FF8 seems to be also in this same line -- I even remember someone pointing out that the "fake president" enemy in FF8 resembled George W. Bush.

FF9 seems more "neoclassical" in the sense of returning more to the series's traditional fantasy settings.

After that I don't know much. It seems that they continued with a combination of a uniquely FF-style fantasy setting type/aesthetic, something distinct from "traditional" high fantasy based on its heavier (and more deeply-wrought) involvement of technology (albeit magical or otherwise wondrous technology) and learning, as well as emphasis on the setting (and revelations about it) as a plot device rather than merely a backdrop to deliver a stereotypical standard fantasy story (e.g. knight rescues princess).

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 5th October 2017 22:26

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Posted: 6th October 2017 05:22

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"Modern Realism" is a painting style, Glenn.

That's what I thought you were talking about. We are on 2 totally different wavelengths here.

This post has been edited by Spooniest on 6th October 2017 05:24

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Posted: 6th October 2017 09:47

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Omega Weapon
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Quote (Spooniest @ 6th October 2017 00:22)
"Modern Realism" is a painting style, Glenn.

That's what I thought you were talking about. We are on 2 totally different wavelengths here.

Okay, yeah, I didn't know this. Sorry about it...

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Posted: 6th October 2017 13:13

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Frankly it's kind of interesting to consider in what ways FF has always had a sense of Modern Realism when talking about the aesthetic of the painting style. It does possess a strong undercurrent of it, but by utility in more cases than by choice, I'd imagine...

Does this make it...gasp...Post Modern Realist?

That would be a different branch off from Modern Realism that FF largely seems to have been part of, rather than the pioneer of. Think about the 1980s. How ridiculously overblown and overgeneralized all entertainment and media was at that time. In many ways, it's just part of the movement of pop art (think Andy Warhol) that began in the 1960's, taken to its logical extreme.

Final Fantasy was a product of the time in which it was made, and continues to remain so, even as it nears its 16th main series installment on the horizon. You know and I know that they are going to make more of these games, so here's the sticky wicket:

Where do they go from here?

See, they're pushing for more of what I call not realism but 'verismilitude,' creating the illusion of reality which compares more and more closely to the thing itself (reality). This bubble is bound to burst eventually, because at some point, computers will be able to create a 1:1 illusion of reality, and what happens when the graphics simply can't get more realistic than they are?

There is, of course, swinging the pendulum back in the other direction entirely, but there are options no one has ever really considered, I think.

What would it look like to animate Yoshitaka Amano's painting style, for instance? They've only ever tried once, the god-awful FFV and FFVI Anthology videos. Guuuugh.

They could try doing it with more...I dunno, money.

This post has been edited by Spooniest on 6th October 2017 13:13

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Posted: 6th October 2017 15:13

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What about even later games? Sure FFXIII has the whole chocobo in sazh hair but all the characters are human and there are no animal creatures to join party.FFXII if i remember has 1 character with bunny ears so thats out, and FFX has a furry animal for a character.

Closes would be ff8 maybe FFXV?

FFXV has cell phones cars and all human team.Plus you can fish and cook.

This post has been edited by Magitek_slayer on 6th October 2017 15:14

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