Square Enix is breaking another Final Fantasy tradition in Final Fantasy XVI. The upcoming RPG for PlayStation 5 will feature a lot of signature elements that FF fans love, but it's also doing something new. In July 2021, producer Naoki Yoshida said that English recording is being done first before the Japanese, and it's British English at that. Traditionally, Japanese recording for a Final Fantasy game is done first, so this is the first time the developers are doing this for the series.
Speaking to Washagana TV, Yoshida explained why he doesn't want to be in the booth when recording is being done.
"I've been working on Final Fantasy XVI for eight years now, but I've never been to a voice recording session," Yoshida explained. "I have my own policies about this. If I go, since I also write some dialogue I would want to step in and say my opinions, making the whole session seem like there are two sound directors. And I think the voice actors may have a hard time if the producer/director comes in and says different things from what they were told by the sound director. So I don't go to voice recording sessions."
Yoshida went on to detail, explaining why they're recording the English version first.
"I'm also not going to Final Fantasy VI recording sessions. Since I'm not the one writing the story. During story meetings, I do say my opinions like, ‘I think this line should be changed, considering the protagonist Clive's emotions…' Although the team has been doing a great job of taking my opinions into consideration. This time, English recording is going first. And we have been focusing on British English. Also, we have to record facial movements. We can't possibly hand-animate every cut of a scene. So this time we are doing full facial motion captures and then adding voices to that. Those works are not entirely cutscenes though. So this is one of the reasons why the English version is ahead of others. We are going to start the Japanese version soon."
Recording Final Fantasy XVI in British English makes sense since the game features a Medieval setting.
So far, Square Enix hasn't confirmed a release date for Final Fantasy XVI, but the developer provided some details about its lore. The official FFXVI website revealed that the game's world, Valisthea features giant glittering mountains called Mothercrystals.
"For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions."
You can watch the official Final Fantasy XVI trailer below:
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