Those of you with an interest in the Final Fantasy series, mobile gaming, and/or the male form might remember when we took an early look at Mevius Final Fantasy a few months ago. The most ambitious original mobile title yet from publisher Square Enix, the Mevius development crew is made up of Final Fantasy veterans, and the visuals that have been released are far beyond what you’d ordinarily expect from a smartphone title.
But while Square Enix apparently isn’t skimping on the production budget, it was willing to give the game’s male hero a skimpy outfit, as the first promotional images showed the main character dressed in a costume that showed off plenty of his tanned and toned back and buttocks. If that was right up your alley, though, we hope you already got a good eyeful, because Square Enix has since rethought the design and changed it to one that exposes less skin.
Square Enix recently released a video update on the game’s developmental progress, hosted by Mevius Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase and entertainment personality Asuna. During the one-hour presentation, for which project leader Naoki Hamaguchi and managing producer Hiroki Okayama were also present, the team touched on a wide variety of topics, including the game’s battle engine and characters.
Among the information revealed is the main character’s name, Wal (or Uoru, as it’s rendered in Japanese). Kitase explains that Wal is simply the default name, though, and can be changed to whatever the player wants.
Like many previous installments in the franchise, Mevius will employ a job system, which allows Wal to take on the role of different fantasy archetypes with varying strengths and weaknesses depending on the situation he finds himself in. Similar to what Square Enix did in Lightning Returns-Final Fantasy XIII, each time Wal switches to a new job, his costume also changes.
In standard RPG fashion, Wal learns these roles gradually over the course of his adventure. His very first class is the Onion Knight, a nod to the same job being the one players started with in Final Fantasy III. Seeing as how it’s the most basic, bare-bones job in the game, the developers felt its costume shouldn’t be too loaded up with sturdy armor or trinkets. As a result, when Wal (who was then unnamed) was first shown off back in December, his Onion Knight clothing looked like this.
During the presentation, however, Kitase explains that they’ve since decided to slap a little more fabric over Wal’s hairless canvas of lean muscle mass. “After we released the screenshots in December, we looked at the various reactions we were getting online, and in the end, showing this much skin…”
“It’s kind of sexy…” offers Asuna, the sole female presenter, before adding “A little too sexy.”
Kitase says many people shared Asuna’s sentiment about the revealing peek the developers had given the public back in December. “For this game, we’re moving forward during development and letting it evolve while taking into consideration users’ opinions, so I asked the character designer to make a change.”
Here’s the result:
But while Kitase and Asuna both seem to prefer the new, more covered-up design, Hamaguchi and Okayama offer dissenting opinions, saying “But I want that naked outfit,” and “He looks like a model…You can see the body line of his lower back and hips.”
Just like there’s very little “final” about Final Fantasy, what with the franchise’s dozens of sequels and spin-offs, Kitase reiterates that the new Onion Knight costume isn’t set in stone. For now, the extra-revealing version is a thing of the past, but he explains, “If enough people say they like those hiplines, then we might bring the original costume back.”
Kitase also explains that while the redesigned costume shows off much less flesh around the pelvis, Wal’s muscular back does remain exposed, giving the player an eyeful of his expansive tattoo, which Kitase refers to as being a symbol of the character and is therefore visible in many of his outfits, the producer says.
As a matter of fact, even when Hamaguchi is explaining the combat system while Wal is wearing the heavier armor of the game’s Knight class, there’s no plate covering Wal’s back.
Also shown in the video are the game’s female lead, Sarah Lotte Corneria and the always lovable Mog, who serves as the player’s guide.
▼ While Wal is now wearing more clothing, Mog remains almost completely naked.
▼ One of many Final Fantasy characters to bear the name (or it’s alternate spelling, Serah), Mevius’ Sarah’s last name brings to mind the royal city of the very first game in the franchise.
If you’re interested in checking out the lengthy video presentation, you can see it below. Be advised that the first roughly seven minutes are nothing more than a still logo and complete silence, however.
Mevius Final Fantasy is scheduled for release this spring for iPhone and Android smartphones.