On the official Playstation blog, the developers of Final Fantasy 16 chatted about the design philosophy of the JRPG that will be released in 2023 – and then also about the characters that they liked to design the most. While producers Naoki Yoshida and creative director Kazutoyo Maehiro, among others, highlight the protagonist Clive Rosfield, and localization director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox in [Zensiert]-Losing information to finally find himself with the bard, director Hiroshi Takai drops a name we don’t know yet: Byron.
“He hasn’t been revealed yet, but I like Byron, who appears at a certain point in the story,” says Takai. “He has an incredibly likeable manner: very cheerful and big-hearted. So I assume that a lot of players will like him, just like me! Unfortunately, I can’t say too much about it because it would be a spoiler, but the scene in which he appears for the first time touches me enormously. The tears came to my eyes completely unexpectedly during the first scene checks.”
Final Fantasy 16’s prompt?
Given that Square Enix developers always fulfill certain tropes with their characters, we wouldn’t be surprised if Byron were the FFXVI equivalent of FFXV’s big-hearted and light-hearted Prompto. A kind of comic relief, but with a more serious and sometimes tragic background story, there’s always something in Final Fantasy; one or the other might think of Balthier from FFXII, Zack Fair from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- or maybe Rydia from FFIV. Such characters often develop into audience favorites because their light-hearted manner represents the necessary counterbalance to the usually rather dark and tragic story of the main character.
And what about the silent bard?
We mentioned above that Koji Fox also took a liking to the bard, and we wouldn’t want to deprive you of his development as described by Fox: “There are so many unique characters in XVI that it’s hard for me to decide (and which ones). I’m not allowed to talk about most of them at this point.) So let’s just say that for me comes fourth after [zensiert], [zensiert] and [zensiert] the bard comes singing of Clive’s deeds. Originally, this NPC was only supposed to recite poetry – depending on where in the main story Clive was. But we thought it would be funny if he sang it like a real whimsical bard. So we called in a talented voice talent, also trained in bardic art (bardic art?), and had him record two versions: one spoken word and one in a languid, ancient style.
Also read these interesting stories
Final Fantasy 16: The Question of Diversity and Yoshida’s Answer
Game Producer Naoki Yoshida was asked a question about Final Fantasy 16’s character diversity – his answer stirs tempers.
There you are eyes: Final Fantasy has sold 173 million units
Which Square Enix JRPG series is the greatest? Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Kingdom Hearts? There is a clear winner ^^
We assumed that we would take the first anyway. But when Mr. Soken (FFXVI composer) heard the verses sung, he and his team decided to create lute music for everyone – although that meant more work for them because we recorded the songs a cappella and with completely different tempos and pitches. The result was so good that all the other voiced languages (including Japanese) followed suit: they rewrote their lyrics to fit the melodies and brought on talented singers who were up to the role. And all this for some NPC that some players might not even speak to for the entire game!” Well, now we’re excited about this bard! Sometime in 2023, Final Fantasy 16 will celebrate the release – let’s see if we will then also celebrate the bard, or Byron.