Tetsuya Nomura Came Up With FFVI Shadow Flashbacks, Statue of the Gods Fight
Image via Square Enix

Tetsuya Nomura Came Up With FFVI Shadow Flashbacks, Statue of the Gods Fight

In Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VI 30th anniversary interview, Tetsuya Nomura went over his contributions to the Shadow flashbacks and FFVI Statue of the Gods boss fight. He also contributed to the background of Setzer and designed Kefka’s boss fight, as he was a character and monster designer for the Super Nintendo JRPG.

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First, Nomura discussed his contributions to the FFVI Statue of the Gods boss fight and Kefka final fight. These included concept art images of the two alongside the final sprites from the game. In the case of the concept art, he explained the Kefka one was less complicated because he said, “I drew it right at the end of the project, and I used up all my energy on the Statue of the Gods.” He also noted that the Statue of the Gods boss was designed in the way it is out of a desire to make it bigger than Exdeath in FFV. He also said that boss fight’s split execution was done to match its design. He noted, “Honestly, there wasn’t really anything planned for it—I had them adjust the battle to match the enemy’s design.”

Here’s the statement Tetsuya Nomura made discussing the FFVI Statue of the Gods boss fight and sprite design:

I made a point of drawing my designs first before moving on to creating the sprites, but not many people did it that way at the time. I drew the boss in a sketchbook screen by screen.

Usually, I would have my sketch to hand and then create sprites based on that, but for the Statue of the Gods I actually scanned the sketch and made the sprite using the scan. Back then, there were limits to how many colors you could use, so I scanned it in monochrome. It looked a bit rough, but I was able to improve it by editing it and adjusting the colors manually. I honestly thought that was going to be a big breakthrough in how I created sprites, but then FFVII came along, everything turned into polygons, and I never got to use this method again. 

And here are the concept art examples Square Enix and Nomura shared. While the art for Statue of the Gods is one image here, the interview text noted it is three separate drawings in real life.

Later in the interview, Tetsuya Nomura discussed the FFVI Shadow flashbacks that can trigger in the game if someone chooses to stay at inns while he is around. He explained how he came up with the idea.

…The whole inn scene with Shadow was my idea. Then it was Kitase (Yoshinori Kitase, director on FFVI) who decided you’d lose him for good if you didn’t wait for him when the Floating Continent is destroyed. Kitase has a bit of a dark side to him. (laughs)

Final Fantasy VI debuted on the Super Nintendo, and most recently the Pixel Remaster version of it appeared for the PS4, Switch, PC, and mobile devices. 

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.