Square Enix has released a new Final Fantasy XV developer diary interviewing the creators of the new moogles that appear in the game.
In the video, the staff goes into detail about how and why Moogles were added to Final Fantasy XV. Moogles are “lucky items” that can be used as decoys to draw enemy attention.
Final Fantasy XV is due out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29.
Get the video and transcript below.
Yasuyuki Matsunami, Overworld Director
“I’m Yasuyuku Matsunami, director of the overworld in Final Fantasy XV. As the one tasked with adding moogles to the game, I thought I’d let you know how it came to pass. Since we weren’t going to have moogles originally, I freaked out a bit when they dropped the news one me. But I realized that moogles are a fan-favorite, so I focused on finding a way to work them into the game and ended up making a whole new moogle. Now, usually we’d start off with a digital model, but I really wanted it to really feel like a stuffed animal, and you can’t just get that raggedy expression when you start with modeling. I decided we’d make a stuffed animal and scan it in since recreating that hand-made feel was our main goal. We also had to think of a good way for players to use the moogle. You throw the moogle out at enemies and they go after it—they really beat the heck out of it—but there’s something sweet about this little guy taking a licking to keep the bad guys at bay. I think you’ll all fall in love with the moogle when you see how hard it’s working for you.”
Yuki Matsuzawa, Concept Artist
“I’m Yuki Matsuzawa, concept artist for Final Fantasy XV. I was responsible for the moogle’s design. Our moogle had a mission like no moogle before: to serve as a decoy. That meant it was going to take some serious punishment. If we made it all cutesy like other moogles, it would be too hard for players to watch get pummeled. So we designed the moogle to look a little off-putting, like you don’t know what it’s thinking. The long arms and lets also set Final Fantasy XV‘s moogle apart. As decoys, the moogles will be chewed on, ripped away, and flung around, and this design makes those movements look really dynamic.”
Yuka Kaji, Environment Artist
“I’m Yuka Kaji, an environment artist on Final Fantasy XV. I’m the one who made the stuffed moogle. First I went out and bought cloth samples for us to choose from based on the design, then I drew up a pattern and sewed it together. It’s not easy to sew one this big. The nose is made of pleather, so sewing this part by hand gave me a lot of trouble, but I think it came out pretty good. The wings are stitched in with wire to make sure they stay in place.”
Sei Ikeda, Technical Artist
“I’m Sei Ikeda, a technical artist on Final Fantasy XV. I set up the ragdoll physics for the moogle. The moogle in Final Fantasy XV doesn’t move with set animations, it’s moved by the physics engine. Getting it to move like an actual ragdoll was actually little tricky. Before they gave me the mock-up and the model data, I was practicing on a cactuar. Maybe someday I’ll get to show you. A lot of work went into it, so please enjoy the salvage destruction of your moogle.”
Hajime Tabata, Director
“Hello, everyone. I’m Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV. We heard your voices calling for moogles. And although we weren’t going to have them in Final Fantasy XV, we have added them by popular demand. Is popular demand a good way to decide what goes in the game? At the time, it sparked a debate here. Personally, I think it’s a great way. Having a moogle wasn’t necessarily critical to Final Fantasy XV‘s game design, but if our development team addressed only the bare essentials, would we and our fans be truly happy with the game? I don’t believe we would. So we set this aside as something we wanted to do for the fans and looked for the best way to make it work for developer and fan alike. I like to think we pulled it off. You know, I didn’t know much about moogles, so I looked up a couple of things. As it turns out, they first appeared in the original Japanese Final Fantasy III, and apparently they used to say “meow.” As Final Fantasy XV is my first mainline numbered entry, I have to respect the seniority of the moogles. It is the will of the people, and a homage to those who came before me. Anyway, the moogle is in, so I hope that works for you. I think you’ve heard enough about it from us. All that’s left for you to do is to meet your moogle in-game. Now it’s your turn.”