Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Moogles Are My New Sleep Paralysis Demon

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Moogles Are My New Sleep Paralysis Demon

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth gets it right in a lot of ways, but oh dear god, what have they done to Moogles? My sweet, sweet babies have been taken and turned into something that is akin to my sleep paralysis demon. 

If you’ve not yet had the displeasure of seeing Moogles from the Final Fantasy VII remake project, firstly I envy you. Secondly, feast your eyes on this horrific feat of 3D animation. While the initial Moogle design seen across the Final Fantasy franchise (as well as Kingdom Hearts and Mana games) was inspired by koalas, something about a semi-realistic Moogle that actually looks a bit like a koala who’s had bone lengthening surgery is so unnerving. It’s giving drop bear in all the worst ways.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Moogle
Image: Square Enix

Perhaps it’s the unwieldy long body and skinny limbs, the soulless eyes or the overall uncanny valley effect that makes Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Moogles so horrific. Maybe it’s the weird exercise bands they wear on their foreheads like they’re about to take part in an 80s aerobics home video. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I do know that dark magics were involved in the creation of this beast.

Whatever it is, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Moogles take a pretty drastic step away from the general look of the franchise’s iconic creatures. There’s been many iterations of the design, from creepy doll-like versions in Final Fantasy X and XV to the extremely round and cuddly FFXVI version from last year. All of these previous designs seem to take from the original koala-like inspiration, but sit more squarely in what I’d describe as cat-bat hybrid territory.

Rebirth’s design still has the hallmark features of a Moogle, sure. It’s got the little bat wings, rounded pink nose, and massive head pom-pom. But its elongated design takes away from the overall cuteness of one Final Fantasy’s most iconic creatures and makes it something I’d feel more likely to see in an SCP file than wandering the lands as a save point or merchant. It made playing Mooglet Roundup or dealing with the eldritch horrors I can barely comprehend to redeem Moogle Medals feel like a jumpscare.

All of this is to say, despite enjoying just about every aspect of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, I’ve got major hangups about Moogles. Maybe my years of collecting any Moogle paraphernalia I can get my grubby mitts on has made me a Mog-elitist. I’ll proudly wear that title, though. Look how they massacred my boy. I’ll be waking up in cold sweats in the fear that one of these creatures of unholy origin will be standing in my room in the dark for weeks to come. I can only pray that the trajectory of future iterations doesn’t go down the same track, if only for the sake of my sanity.

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