Features / Weekly Musings

Moogle Voting For Final Fantasy XV Sends The Wrong Message

Moogle Voting For Final Fantasy XV Sends The Wrong Message

Written by Darryl — 05 Nov 2015

I'm not opposed to Moogles being in Final Fantasy XV. Far from it. I enjoyed Moglin's presence in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and thinking about Artemicion in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles always makes me smile. This article is not to debate the merits of Moogles being in the game. It's instead to talk about why Square Enix's actions today continue a worrying trend that's leading to genuine concern about the state of Final Fantasy XV.

To give some background, these past six months have been quite turbulent. The removal of Stella Nox Fleuret and the subsequent removal of scenes that had been detailed in previous collateral for Final Fantasy Versus XIII was greeted with a degree of negativity. It was understandable though, as the new team didn't feel these elements fit with the story they wanted to tell and had to make changes to accommodate. Lunafreya Nox Fleuret has now, following her more detailed outing at Tokyo Game Show 2015, gone some way to erasing the memory of Stella and showing what she can offer.

Then the conversations around airships happened.

To preface, earlier in the year Tabata had spoken about some fans wanting water combat. When he said it's something they wanted explore and that it could be added as DLC, nothing was thought of it. However, when a similar response was given to the inclusion of airships, question marks were raised. This came to a head at Gamescom 2015, when the combination of Final Fantasy Ring, Final Fantasy World and Finaland posed some rather tough questions to Tabata about how he was conducting himself, and that he was projecting a lot of uncertainty around their creative vision. After all, why would they keep saying these things if they had a clear objective for what they wanted to achieve? Surely the addition of airships is quite fundamental - it's not just something you might be able to squeeze into the main game, or adds as free DLC if you can't.

In response, Tabata assured us the team had a clear vision, but was a bit taken aback that these concerns existed.

When Tabata later announced that Moogles would not be in the game, he detailed in very clear terms why the decision had been made. It was a bold move, especially as Tetsuya Nomura had previously stated back in 2011 that Moogles would be in the game, but he explained that they had been removed because Moogles would no longer fit with the atmosphere created by their new vision for the game.

So why, all of a sudden, do we have Square Enix posting a poll asking fans whether they want to see Moogles in the game less than two months after they had announced they would be cut? It's rather bizarre to say the least and just screams indecision.

If they now choose to include Moogles, and with the overwhelmingly positive poll response they kind of have to (despite attempting to caveat it), their inclusion must now impact the game in some kind of meaningful way. They cannot appear as some throwaway cameo, otherwise what was the point of this whole escapade?

Based on this, who's to say that the inclusion of Moogle's will even work? It's easy for us to say we should have faith in their decision to do a public u-turn, but after going on record as stating that the creative team wanted them cut as they did not feel their presence meshed with the world of Final Fantasy XV, that same creative team now they have to make them work and make them work very well due to what will be an increased spotlight on this area.

That's not going to be an easy task, because depending on the game, Moogles are rather different. Some fans prefer the Final Fantasy IX Moogles, but the ones that appear in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 only bear some similarities. There are also questions like, do they have one Moogle or multiple? Do they now become named characters? Do they speak, and if so, how?

These are questions that were of no concern before, but now they have made them their concern. It's a distraction, one that Final Fantasy XV does not need right now and it does little to allay the fears of those fans who were already starting to get worried following all the announced content cuts and maybe additions. Not only that, it adds burden on the other side; new scenes would need to be created and if they do speak, dialogue has to now be written to detail those interactions, voice resource needs to be booked, etc.

Another question is, what do they have to change about the rest of the game to integrate them in? It's perhaps a weird comparison, but Stella and other story segments were cut because of changes they wanted to make that were not planned in the initial instance. How do we know that the inclusion of Moogles won't have a similar effect, albeit on a smaller scale?

Does this also open the floodgates for more fan pandering? What happens when franchise-favourite summons aren't included in the game? Are Square Enix now going to consider adding in Tonberrys and Cactaurs, despite previously saying they weren't going to? Will Gilgamesh now make an appearance? It's set a dangerous precedent and it's one that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

One thing's for certain, I will now be far more aware of the role Moogles will play in Final Fantasy XV. That's not to say I feel they will do a bad job, it's more that given everything that has happened with Final Fantasy Versus XIII and now Final Fantasy XV I want to be assured that the ship is steady. Decisions like this make me think that the ship is far from calm waters.

Darryl was playing Final Fantasy before he was even born - quite a feat! Often very opinionated on the Final Fantasy franchise, you will often find him musing about small details. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.