We already knew that Final Fantasy 16 would differ from previous Final Fantasy games in a number of ways, but we now know that it would also draw inspiration from some pretty strange sources, such as controversial sequels to beloved ’80s comedy.
Hiroshi Takai, the director of Final Fantasy 16, Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, the localization director, Kazutoyo Maehiro, the creative director, and producer Naoki Yoshida all took the time to speak with IGN in-depth about the game.
The conversation as a whole is fascinating (reporter Kat Bailey seldom has a bad interview), but some of the most amazing details that came out of the debate include some of the game’s outside inspirations.
For instance, when asked whether Game of Thrones or The Witcher had any influence on the 2023 game’s medieval setting and slightly more politicized tale, the FF 16 team responded in the negative. Michael-Christopher Koji Fox has the following to say about it:
Due to the two series’ popularity, I believe it’s difficult to create a medieval fantasy game nowadays without at least a few references to Game of Thrones and The Witcher. There is a lot of Game of Thrones aficionados on the production team, so while though we are eventually aiming for something that we believe can stand alone on its own merits, you may see some similarities in narrative themes and character design.
However, these parallels typically don’t go much further than a few superficial characteristics, whether they be of appearance or personality.
All well, it seems sensible enough. Fox goes on to discuss a much more odd outside source of inspiration for the RPG’s design, though.
Fox explains that if you look closely enough, you can see fragments from a variety of mediums. “A lot of ideas are developed in the early phases of development by drawing influence from other works… Characters can be compared to it.
To get everyone on the same path, use generalizations like “Indiana Jones cocky, but with the looks of Vigo from Ghostbusters 2.” People may point at the finished results and exclaim, “Look, Vigo!” but when you look closer, you’ll see that it was really only the hairline of that original vision.
There are “no Indiana Vigos INXS probably,” the interview continues, which is really too bad.
For those who are unaware, Vigo the Carpathian, the main antagonist in the 1989 film Ghostbusters 2, is the Vigo that the interview is referring to. The intimidating Vigo, superbly performed by actor Wilhelm von Homburg, is sometimes regarded as the high point of a film that is otherwise subpar. Ghostbusters 2 is undoubtedly a misunderstood classic, but that debate can wait for another day.
Vigo, also known as Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer, Vigo the Despised, and Vigo the Unholy, is undoubtedly a remarkable figure who has managed to stand out even after all these years. That being said, it is not very unusual that he was employed as a design inspiration.
The Vigo character design is striking and distinctive in a way that is similar to “Fabio meets Vlad the Impaler.” If someone has seen Ghostbusters 2, all you have to do is mention Vigo, and they will know exactly who you are talking about. It makes sense that he would be referred to by a character stereotype.
Even still, it’s amusing to imagine a member of the Final Fantasy 16 design team completing a character design for gaming’s most illustrious and influential RPG game by stating, “You know…like Vigo!”
I’m eager to find out which character in Final Fantasy 16 was influenced by the Scourge of Carpathia and the Sorrow of Moldavia, though, for whatever reason. Just let’s hope that none of the side quests encourage us to locate him a child so that he can live once more.