Kirby and Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed he received permission from Square Enix for his choice of thumbnail art of his latest YouTube video, which depicts Final Fantasy characters Cloud and Sephiroth, on Twitter. However, the video itself makes no use of either of them – or any Square Enix characters.
The video, “Making Lead-ins Instant and Impactful [Animation]”, is a succinct 2:27 video exploring the function of animation lead-in. Otherwise known as anticipation or windup, lead-in is an valuable tool in lending heft and weight to character movement, and obscuring network lag in online games.
Sakurai’s videos frequently use example animation from Super Smash Bros Ultimate to illustrate the core points of his YouTube videos. However, despite explicitly mentioning Square Enix’s endorsement of this video’s thumbnail, which depicts Cloud and Sephiroth mid-combat, Sakurai does not use any Final Fantasy or Square Enix characters. Instead, Sakurai chose to use characters including Fox McCloud, Link, and even Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s Pyra.
『クライシスコア FFVII リユニオン』発売おめでとう!
— 桜井 政博 / Masahiro Sakurai (@Sora_Sakurai) December 14, 2022
He did, however, note the unusual choice of using Cloud and Sephiroth, and congratulated Square Enix on the release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion. Sakurai is no stranger to using his YouTube series, Masahiro Sakurai on Making Games, to tease his audience, including a direct reference to an unconfirmed console port of Kid Icarus: Uprising in November.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is available now for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. One of Masahiro Sakurai’s last videos looked at the SSBU Kazuya Kazama animations.