The dungeons people encounter in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin might call FFVII and FFXII locations to mind. Square Enix’s Director Daisuke Inoue revealed that past games’ places influenced the ones appearing in the spin-off. In particular, he cited how Stranger of Paradise’s Sunken Shrine and the Cavern of Earth involve ideas from past games.
First, Inoue hinted that a dungeon from FFVII ended up being used to inspire the look of the Sunken Shrine location. (This could be a reference to The Gelnika or Junon Underwater Reactor.) Here’s what he had to say about it.
Take the Sunken Shrine, for example. This location is underwater, and the motif used was a dungeon from the original Final Fantasy VII that’s in the sea.
When we were looking at all the elements we needed to design it, we thought about turning to document from back in the day, or even looking at how Final Fantasy VII Remake had interpreted the original game in its level design.
However, given that Final Fantasy VII Remake is a dedicated remake, as opposed to one environment, it’s only natural that it’s been made with an incredible amount of detail. The dev team apologized and said that it wouldn’t be possible to make it in the same style (laughs).
Instead of focusing on depicting areas with the same degree of faithfulness that Final Fantasy VII Remake did, we decided to make sure that the level design in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin was fun in its own right and created our own interpretation of the dungeon as best we could.
I believe we’ve made an interesting dungeon, with lots of differences in height, and where the level design makes you think: “…is this that place?”
As for the FFXII dungeon reference, Inoue seemed to reference its Tomb of Raithwall and Demon Wall when talking about the Cavern of Earth location.
In the original Final Fantasy, the Fiend of Earth lies in wait in the very depths of the Cavern of Earth. To match that feeling in our game, I thought that the dungeon should use a motif that featured the undead and have an atmosphere that feels really “earthy.”
This idea of a location crawling with the undead led to the concept of it being a place where the dead sleep, so we decided to take inspiration from tomb area in Final Fantasy XII.
The original area in Final Fantasy XII features quite an impressive boss – even by the Final Fantasy standards! – who stands in the way of the player, and we wanted to channel this concept into our dungeon. However, it would incur a lot in the way of costs if we were to make it a boss, so we ended up implementing the idea into the dungeon as a mechanic.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin will come to the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC via Epic Games Store on March 18, 2022. People who pre-order a digital copy will get early access on March 15, 2022.