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Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is an upcoming action RPG title in the Final Fantasy series developed by Team Ninja, set to release in 2022. Revealed on 13 June 2021 at the Square Enix Presents digital presentation for that year's E3, Stranger of Paradise follows Jack, Ash and Jed in their quest to defeat Chaos as Warriors of Light.[1]

A limited time demo, titled Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin Trial Version, was released the same day as the reveal, exclusively on PlayStation 5.[1] However, the demo was "corrupt and unplayable" at the time of release, with Square Enix promising they would resolve the issue.[2] Two days later the issue was resolved with a patch and the demo time was extended to compensate for it.

A second limited time demo, appropriately titled Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin Trial Version 2, was released on October that same year for both PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S. This was released alongside more previews of the game accompanying a new TGS trailer and a release date.[3] [4]

Gameplay

Stranger of Paradise features an action heavy battle system, that is said to "link to the story".[1] The player controls Jack, who can change Jobs and equip 8 different kinds of weapons and features a party that consists of 3 characters at a time. Party members' equipment can be changed and customised.[5][6] Additionally, players can take on levels in multiplayer, with up to 3 people, each controlling a party member.

Job system

Jack and his companions can change jobs, with the player controlled one being able to switch between two jobs on the fly. Jobs can be upgraded using job points across a job tree.

  • Swordfighter
  • Swordsman
  • Pugilist
  • Mage
  • Lancer
  • Warrior
  • Knight
  • Thief
  • Monk
  • White Mage
  • Black Mage
  • Red Mage
  • Dragoon

Synopsis

Set in a "dark fantasy world", Jack and his companions claim to be Warriors of Light, though they harbor doubts about their place in the prophecy.[1]

Setting

The world is based on concepts from the first Final Fantasy game, but does not take place in that world.[5][6] Additionally, various locations in the world are based on settings from other Final Fantasy games.[7]

  • Chaos Shrine, a shrine that appeared suddenly, sent from some unknown future to the present. Based on the Chaos Shrine from Final Fantasy.
  • Refrin Wetlands, a land in which there exists something that can cause "distortions" in the world and propagate darkness. Based on the Sunleth Waterscape from Final Fantasy XIII.

Characters

  • Jack Garland, the player character, whose goal is to kill Chaos; he carries a darkened crystal orb that resonates with others who have them.
  • Ash, one of Jack's companions; who also carries a crystal orb.
  • Jed, one of Jack's companions; who also carries a crystal orb.
  • Neon, a warrior who's party fell in their quest to defeat Chaos, who took the form of Garland turned Chaos to give the world a chance to strike them down. She carries a crystal orb and joins Jack in his quest.
  • Garland, a knight that journeyed to the Chaos Shrine prior to the party with the same goal that now claims to have become Chaos.
  • The King of Cornelia, who entrusts Jack's party with defeating Chaos.
  • Princess Sarah, a princess who plays the Lute.

Development

Tetsuya Nomura came up with the concept for Stranger of Paradise, an action game where one conquers dungeons, around the time after the release of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and united that concept with a series of Final Fantasy games he was ideating that were focused around "the story of an angry man", being Garland from the first Final Fantasy. Nomura considered it a challenge to find a middle ground for the title, between "mature" and "stylish".[1][7]

Around the time Stranger of Paradise was ideated, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was in development, in collaboration with Team Ninja. Due to their pedigree in action games, the team at Square Enix looked to collaborate with them again for this title.[7]

During development the team was unsure if they should allow players to direct party members and influence their growth, but would make that decision based on feedback from the demo.[5][6] There was a thought among the development team of having only Jack in combat, but it was decided against as they felt the concept of a party was integral to the Final Fantasy series.[5][6] The game itself can be played in online cooperative multiplayer, with other players being able to take control of companions. This was done in an effort to balance the game out for people that do not regularly play action games, allowing them to team up to decrease the difficulty of the game.[7]

The team took efforts to attempt to fit the game as an "authentic Final Fantasy" title, ensuring the vocabulary and systems fit with what was previously established, while also finding that the differences are part of what make each title feel like one. Game director Daisuke Inoue was told by various developers that worked in older Final Fantasy titles that the willingness to take new ideas characterised the Final Fantasy series. When thinking of the different locales for the game to explore, the team took inspiration from other Final Fantasy titles and added areas from multiple games, though adjusted from their original setting to fit with the tone of the game.[7]

Following the feedback from the first Trail Version, the team focused on improving certain aspects of the game, including graphical improvements, better lighting, combat and difficulty adjustments, AI improvement and framerate consistency.[4]

Release

The game is set to launch on 18 March 2022, in both physical and digital formats, excluding PC where it will launch exclusively digitally through the Epic Games Store. Additionally a Digital Deluxe Edition of the game is set to launch the same day and include access to a digital artbook, digital mini soundtrack and access to the Season Pass, including upcoming DLC Trials of the Dragon King, Wanderer of the Rift and Different Future. Pre-ordering either digital edition will receive early access to the game as well as the Braveheart weapon and the Lustrous Shield. All purchases are similarly eligible to obtaining the early purchase bonus weapon Rebellion.[3]

Reception

Upon the release of its reveal trailer, Stranger of Paradise received mockery for its dialogue, particularly the repetition of the word Chaos,[8] with publications citing its tone as "super-edgy"[9] and "so bad it's good".[10]

Seemingly as response to the mockery, the second trailer distanced itself from using the word "Chaos" in the English version,[11] with producer Jin Fujiwara mentioning in an interview that the team was not particularly pleased with the initial reception, citing the initial mystery as part of the reason the word was repeated so much.[12] Despite this, the game received further mockery for a scene in the second demo, with publications comparing Jack's attitude to "a stubborn child who doesn’t want to listen to their mom"[13] and "the demeanor of a moody teenage boy",[14] though others hoped the game was "in on the joke"[15] and "self-aware"[16] Despite the tone, the game's demo was generally praised for it's combat options and scope.[17][15]

Production credits

Concept Tetsuya Nomura
Creative Producer Tetsuya Nomura
Story and Scenario Kazushige Nojima
Character Design Tetsuya Nomura
Producer (Square Enix) Jin Fujiwara
Director (Square Enix) Daisuke Inoue
Producer (Koei Tecmo Games) Fumihiko Yasuda
Director (Koei Tecmo Games) Hiroya Usuda
Director (Koei Tecmo Games) Nobumichi Kumabe
Composers Naoshi Mizuta, Hidenori Iwasaki, Ryo Yamazaki

Voice cast

Character Japanese English
Jack Garland Kenjiro Tsuda Mocean Melvin
Ash Atsushi Miyauchi Mark Neely
Jed Yusuke Suda Alejandro Saab

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Square Enix (13 June 2021). STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN ANNOUNCED FOR 2022 RELEASE ON PLAYSTATION®5, PLAYSTATION®4, XBOX SERIES X|S, XBOX ONE AND PC. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  2. Screenrant (13 June 2021). Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin Demo Is Corrupt And Unplayable. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Square Enix (1 October 2021). STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN TO LAUNCH ON MARCH 18, 2022. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Square Enix (2 October 2021). SQUARE ENIX AND KOEI TECMO GAMES PARTICIPATE IN STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN PANEL AT TOKYO GAME SHOW. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Professor Tsutsumi (17 June 2021). 『FFオリジン』開発スタッフインタビュー! 『FFI』に絡んだ世界観やジャックたちの秘密、バトルなどについて直撃【E3 2021】. Takahiro Sugihara. Famitsu. Archived from the original on 17 June 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Square Enix Team (18 June 2021). STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN – the Famitsu interview. Square Enix Blog. Archived from the original on 20 June 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Duncan Heaney (13 October 2021). “Please forgive us for killing the cactuar!” - FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN interview. Square Enix Blog. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  8. Zack Zwiezen (13 June 2021). Chaos? Chaos??? ...Chaos!!!!!!. Kotaku. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  9. Mike Minotti (13 June 2021). Final Fantasy Origin: Stranger of Paradise is super-edgy and hard. VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  10. Steven Messner (13 June 2021). This newly revealed Final Fantasy game is so bad it's good. PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  11. Ian Walker (4 October 2021). New Final Fantasy Origin Trailer 100% Chaos-Free After Last One Got Memed. Kotaku. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  12. Meg Pelliccio (1 October 2021). Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Interview: Daisuke Inoue, Jin Fujiwara, And Fumihiko Yasuda. TheGamer. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  13. Ana Diaz (1 October 2021). Final Fantasy Origin’s Jack feels like he’s trolling us. Polygon. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  14. 1 October 2021. Stranger Of Paradise Confirms That Butt Rock Is Part Of Final Fantasy's Canon. GameSpot. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Alex Donaldson (1 October 2021). Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin brings a little FF13 to its world - hands-on. VG247. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  16. Ash Parrish (4 October 2021). Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin has a new demo, and it’s awesome. The Verge. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
  17. Phil Hornshaw (1 October 2021). Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Lets You Take The Right Job For The Job. GameSpot. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021.
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