Art reference

FF7 Remake Mod Turns Barret Into Yoshitaka Amano Concept Art

A side-by-side comparison of the Barret mod and Yoshitaka Amano's concept art.

Picture: Square Enix / Amiibolad / Kotaku

A new Final Fantasy VII Remake mod gives party member Barret Wallace a renewed aesthetic which approximates pre-development concept art created by renowned illustrator Yoshitaka Amano.

Although Amano’s paintings are known for imbuing the iconic role-playing series with a touch of ethereal elegance, his remarkable works of art are rarely reflected in the Final Fantasy games themselves. That’s not to say the franchise doesn’t have some great imagery, but it bears little resemblance to Amano’s unique artwork.

“I feel like what I add to the franchise is that my approach is different from a game developer’s approach,” Amano said. Polygon during a 2017 retrospective on the original Final Fantasy VII. “And I think that gives more latitude to the art – it’s not limited to something that would fit into a game.”

Another photo of mod Barret alongside Cloud and Tifa.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Amiibolad

That’s probably why I’m so impressed with this Final Fantasy VII Remake mod. Not only is it inspired by Amano’s largely unrealized concept art, but it also focuses on Barret, who sports the kind of larger frame that doesn’t play much into the artist’s portfolio due to his focus. on more waif character designs.

In fact, while looking back at Amano’s early life Final Fantasy VII concepts, I only found one that featured Cloud’s armed ally, which understandably made mod development a tricky exercise.

“[T]there isn’t a lot of art to use as a reference, so I kept all the visible parts: ponytail, fur, earrings, and facial piercings,” the Amiibolad mod creator wrote in his description Nexus Mods. “The rest is my interpretation of Amano’s freeform shapes and patterns, and of course: PEARLS!”

Amiibolad, which Kotaku previously highlighted for their work on a ambitious breath of the wild projectincluded a handful of variations with the Barret mod that gives players different color palettes for the new outfit.

With this release, Amiibolad’s mod work now includes Amano-inspired outfits for each playable to party member in Final Fantasy VII Remake, all of which were released within the last month. Busy!