Friday, June 5, 2015

Stella is Officially Gone - Final Fantasy XV

If you've followed Final Fantasy XV since the days it was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, then today we bring some news which you may or may not want to hear. Earlier this week director Hajime Tabata finally spoke out about the changes that was made to Versus XIII in order to turn it into XV, and one topic he brought up has finally confirmed some of your worst fears -- Stella, the leading female from Versus XIII, has in fact been cut.

Stella, although we never learned much about her, was to be one of the leads in Versus XIII, and she was stated to be the Final Fantasy female character that would stand out from all the others. A lot of work went into her creation, she was promoted in just about every trailer, and her meeting with Noctis was a moment many fans have been waiting to see for themselves. She was to be a strong lead character, and one of the reasons many fans were so interested in the game. Despite being from a game yet to be released, she quickly became a fan favorite, and now some fan's dreams have been crushed.

Originally concerns were raised during E3 of 2014 when Stella was lacking from the Final Fantasy XV announcement trailer, and instead we saw a short clip of a girl who looked somewhat similar. She looked younger and seemed to have shorter hair, but her placement in the trailer had fans wondering if she was in fact the new version of Stella (whom had been redesigned slightly once before). Well, this wasn't the case. Soon after we learned that the new girl was in fact new, and that her name was "Luna," she was not Stella. So, what happened to Stella? That's what fans wondered, and many began to question if she has been completely cut out, while others wondered if they just weren't showing her anymore for some story related reason (or another). These fans never gave up hope, and continued to wait for the day more news of Stella was shared, but when that finally came it wasn't what they wanted to hear.

According to Hajime Tabata during the event, they reviewed Final Fantasy Versus XIII as they shifted it towards the new project, and they cut out and revised whatever they found that didn't fit. According to Tabata, due to so much story information being released before hand, they were limited on what they could change; however, at the same time there were aspects of the current story that they just couldn't keep. Stella was one such key aspect which just didn't fit into their new game. Their goal was to create a stand alone game that told a complete story, and the original version of Final Fantasy XV wasn't that -- so they changed what they could, kept whatever still worked, and replaced Stella with the new character Luna.

Of course we'll most likely never know just why Stella didn't fit into the story (after all we didn't know too much about her), but it's still sad to hear that a character so many fans have looked forward to seeing has been cut. On top of that the whole "meeting" scene that was released all of those years ago will most likely not appear in the final game in any form as well. Originally Noctis would meet Stella, they'd have a short conversation about the goddess Etro, and then an attack on the city would occur. As for in Final Fantasy XV, all of this actually happens when Noctis is away from the town, and he hears of it over a radio. Could this have been one of the reasons Stella didn't fit? Maybe, but most likely it's something much deeper -- a plot point that was never shared with the world, and will never see the light of day again. Whatever the case is, Stella is gone, and Luna is taking on the new role as the lead female. (Story wise at least, as Final Fantasy XV has a party consisting of all males.)