Art director Yusuke Naora sheds light on the process of updating the RPG for PS4.
Hello everyone! Yusuke Naora here. You may know me as art director for many Square Enix titles, including the original release of
The Last Remnant in 2008. For The Last Remnant Remastered, which released yesterday, I was on the team to review the graphics upgrades and illustrate the new key visual.
Personally, I consider The Last Remnant one of its kind, even within the Square Enix RPG lineup. It is a title in which we took on many challenges, as there were many things the staff were unable to realize or include back then with the Final Fantasy series, due to limitations on specs and technology. The Last Remnant Remastered turned out to be so much more than we had envisioned back then. Various additional work was done, so it almost feels like a remake rather than a remaster. Even 10 years after its initial release, I don’t find it feeling inferior to other titles.
Looking back on the creation of the original, we really wanted to make sure we took the time to fully express the characters and the world. For the characters, in order to depict the ensemble cast as well as the battle system, rather than create features that are largely unique to each and every character, the focus was placed on how a given character appears within a given group or race.
Take Rush for example. He is the main character of The Last Remnant and one you will get to know closely. I am quite proud of how his design came out. He starts out as just an ordinary young man from the countryside who gains a better understanding of the world with the same perspective as the player, so we were constantly conscious about depicting him as a neutral figure. With his design, the motif was based on Japanese school uniforms, but we made it a design that would be considered normal in remote regions, and very different from global standards.
We were also quite particular when it came to his animations. For example, there were subtle additions to his equipment to go along with his growth throughout the game. I also asked to include a movement where he brushes his hair back with his fingers when he’s thinking, since he’d be encountering many new and different situations.
In creating the world of The Last Remnant, we also thought about how to portray the “Remnants,” mysterious powerful objects. Our overarching goal was to determine how to depict the largest feature, the Remnant, in a world that is high fantasy, but also while incorporating central Asian design aesthetics.
Specifically for the Remnants, I went about depicting it as something that the people inhabiting the area took for granted in their day to day lives, although they are unsure of who and for what purpose it was created in the past, similar to the Nazca Lines or Stonehenge.
So many details within the world of The Last Remnant work well together, not just from the design sense, but also the soundtrack. I am particularly fond of guitar tracks, so I did listen to the battle songs among others to ramp up my energy as I was working on the game. Please be sure to pay attention to the music as well.
For all those reading, whether you are a fan or a newcomer, I hope that you will give The Last Remnant Remastered a try for its timeless story, beloved characters and beautiful new graphics. Check out the new launch trailer and embark on an adventure I’m so glad to have been a part of creating!
– Yusuke Naora