Mass Effect Is Inspired By...Final Fantasy?

Yes, while there are some obvious influences on BioWare's Mass Effect series - like Syd Mead and Star Trek - there's one that may have slipped under most people's noses. And it's not hard to see why.

In an interview with Xbox World 360 magazine, Mass Effect 3 art director Derek Watts says that Final Fantasy has been a big inspiration for the series. Not the moppy-haired, giant sword kind of Final Fantasy, though. He means the computer-animated 2001 film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The one so many people have tried hard to forget.

And by God, now that he says it, it's so obvious.

"Yeah, you know we actually reference a lot from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. We used a lot of their GUIs and the way they did their ship - that was kind of like in some of the early designs for the Normandy", Watts said.

"Our attack helicopters are loosely based off that movie. There's some great stuff, especially their glowing GUI screens; we used those a lot. I keep a folder of that stuff and I still actually tell the guys 'just go back and look at that. Change it like that!'"

Another simlarity: the "goggle-eyed" design of the mercenary enemies from Mass Effect 2? Looks a lot like the soldier's armour in Spirits Within.

Say what you will about the quality of Spirits Within as a film, I always liked it because it looked gorgeous and had some great design. Now that I've read this, I won't be so afraid to say so at parties. And by parties, I'm lying. I mean on the internet.

BioWare: Mass Effect inspired 'a lot' by Final Fantasy film [CVG]


    But that movie was so bad! Noo!

    For so long, the 'evil' general in that film was the model for a main villain in my graphic novels.

    See example:

    I always loved the look of that film - when it first came out, it took me about 45 minutes to realise that it was CGI. Amazing. (Story was average though)

    I actually didn't mind the film, was a different story for sure. It just shouldn't of had the Final Fantasy title.

    And oh yeah... I've never thought of that. I think that's how the inevitable Mass Effect movie should be made, high quality CGI and use the same voice actors.

      That's how any video game movie should be made... by the developers/publishers, utilising the looks and sounds we're already used to.

      Blizzard need to do this ASAP and stop dicking around.

      I didn't mind it either - but clearly is was a Final Fantasy movie with as little elements of Final Fantasy as possible.

      No joke, the only solid reference to the franchise in that movie was Cid. Then again, I was mostly playing Final Fantasy 4 and 6 at the time so that is where my expectations came from.

    But... but i liked that movie...

    And the ending was so sad...

    I don't understand why people attacked that movie so much.

    It actually does have a Final Fantasy-style plot, even if it does miss some of the series hallmarks.

    Really enjoyed some of the bloopers on the dvd, though.

    Although I too can see it now, the only time I ever really thought a game used that 'Spirits Within' look for it's soldiers was Gears of War, especially the Carmine brothers.

    I guess I'm in the minority. That is to say, I really enjoyed the film. People seem to judge it purely on the characters, some of which are quite cliché, and forget what an achievement it was technically. I still think Aki stands up well against recent films like 'Avatar'.

    When I read the headline I thought it was some case of Sith apprentice becoming the master and how preposterous it was that ME was inspired by the games. But the movie? That makes a LOT of sense. Can't unsee.

    why does everyone hate that movie? It was Rad!
    I did find it funny where an American critic didnt like the movie because the aliens didnt talk XD

      It wasn't perfect but was nowhere near as bad as it was made out to be, mostly disappointed they didn't get as high concept as the games.
      it was pretty groundbreaking the level of realism in cgi and it held up until avatar came along a decade later that everyone lost their shit over

    Does this hold the title of best video game movie? Probably.

    I always thought it looked great, but then I remeber the digital Steve Buscemi *shudders*....

    I never actually watched it before, but it was one of the 'free rental downloads' for PSN's "We're Sorry"/Welcome Back promotion so I finally watched it a few weeks ago... I just kept thinking "Geez, it's not *that* bad... wonder why everyone acts like it's worse than the star wars prequels and Nazis..." and then I thought "Wow, this is very 'Mass Effect-y' in design... I like it."

    My subconscious was picking up what they were putting down ;-)

    I like that movie too. =D

    If you think about it though, both games also start with a protagonist faced with the end of the world/galaxy who must go out and recruit a bunch of misfits to save the day while everybody thinks they're daft or will fail.

    Screw the critics, I have loved that film since release, and I cannot recall ever watching a movie so many times, and watching all of the (many) different commentaries etc that came on the DVD.

    This film is what made me get into a 3D animation degree.

    I love that movie, saw it in the cinema, own it on DVD and Blu-Ray.

    How to get you will want to fast?

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