One fan kept a Final Fantasy game for three years before it was shut down

February 29 was the last day of service for Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omniaa mobile game based on Square Enix’s Final fantasy fighting game series. Since its launch in the US in 2018, the game has collected more than 170 characters from over 30 years of experience. Final fantasy history, spanning four acts consisting of multiple chapters and side stories representing hundreds of hours of a game that can no longer be played. although Opera Omnia has officially disappeared, one person has taken it upon themselves to make sure the game hasn’t disappeared completely.

“On June 6, 2021, I started working on my goal of recording and rendering everything Dissidia Final Fantasy opera Omnia video and upload[ing] them to YouTube,” wrote Hatok, a video editor and self-proclaimed video game enthusiast. “And now, seven hours after the end of the shift, I have reached the end of this enormous project.”

Hatok was replayed throughout the game Opera Omnia, capturing everything the game had to offer. More than just capturing raw footage, Hatok ensured that the cutscenes he saved featured characters with their canon weapons and that battle scenes were not populated with random characters – an effort that added a significant amount of time to the project as it required that each cutscene had to be looked at twice. .

“With the battle scenes I also wanted to make sure they fit the story and weren’t just cluttered [a] random group of characters,” Hatok said in an interview with The edge. “So I looked through it once, noted all the characters speaking, and then referred directly to the scene before or after to determine which characters should be in the fight and where they should be positioned.”

The result was two terabytes of data worth more than 100 hours, collected over three years.

Hatok explains that he arrived late to the Final fantasy series and all that Opera Omnia was the only mobile game that really stuck with him. “[The game] had a lot of mechanical depth and fun design, and it was pretty easy to build the characters you wanted,” he says.

That gameplay, combined with the ambitious story, elevated the game above the typical mobile gacha game. Opera Omnia crossed Final fantasy history, creating stories that offered more insight into characters and their motivations, such as Lightning Final Fantasy XIII.

Lightning returns is heavily focused on doing side quests, and they explore what drives her to help people,” says Hatok.

He also talked about how the game connected characters from the series, such as the ultimate Final fantasy crossover fan fiction, bringing together Quina, the frog-eating chef FF9and Noctis, the frog-catching protagonist FF15. The game “made incredible use of the characters,” making interactions impossible in canon, such as hearing more of Vaan’s late brother in FF12 and Yuna’s late father FF10. It is that depth that drove Hatok to this project.

“I started shooting the scenes knowing that one day the game would be shut down, and I didn’t know how [Square Enix] would settle the match afterwards.”

‘Saving’ mobile games that go offline by uploading cutscenes to YouTube isn’t new, and fans have tackled similar projects for games like Dragalia lost. Square Enix even did it Opera Omnia. But according to Hatok, Square Enix’s uploads are incomplete. “[Square Enix] I did something I was afraid they would do,” says Hatok. “They didn’t save any of the cutscenes that occur in the battle.”

He emphasized the importance of cutscenes in combat, calling them “connective tissue.” Without these, he explains, the story’s individual cutscenes can lose their coherence and valuable context is lost. In Square Enix’s official upload, cutscenes directly reference events that took place in the absent battle scenes, leaving a gap in the storytelling as characters jump in and out of the story without explanation.

In one example, one of Sephiroth’s side stories shows him teaming up with Ultimecia, the villain Final Fantasy VIII. But without the fight scene bridging one scene to the next, she just appears.

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“It’s mistakes like this that made me want to try to preserve things myself,” he says, explaining that he also included special voice lines only available in the game’s co-op mode and character biographies to create a to create as complete a picture of the situation as possible. game possible.

In the broader conversation around video game preservation, mobile titles tend to lag behind, despite being one of the most vulnerable types of games. Unlike most console and PC games, which often remain available to purchase and play after the end of their life cycle, when a mobile game decides to stop supporting a mobile game, it is often removed from the store removed, preventing new players from discovering the game while current players wait. the day the game disappears from their devices completely.

These closures impact games of all sizes, even from the largest publishers in the industry. Flappy Bird became an overnight mobile gaming sensation, bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue at the height of its popularity before its creator, Dong Nguyen, removed it from mobile stores. In 2018, Epic Games released the Infinity blade games; in 2022 Nintendo closed down Dragalia lost. More recently, EA said it is releasing a number of its licensed mobile games, including Kim Karashian: Hollywood which had existed for ten years.

Since studios cannot or do not want to preserve their own works, the responsibility falls on fans to keep these projects alive in some form. Hatok had never done a conservation project like this before, but says he is excited about the prospect Opera Omina the very act of disappearing spurred him into action.

“The fact that the game would one day be unplayable made me sad, because then it would be [no] Chances are people will try it and see something cool happen to their favorite characters.

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