Part 25: Extra Episode: View My Models
Music: Someday the Dream Will End
A common practice in video games since developers started getting their shit together with 3D modeling has been to use separate models for in-game cutscenes and actual gameplay. Unnecessary corners like articulate facial animations, high quality textures, bumpmapped eyebrows, and what have you can be toned down to make room for other necessary bells and whistles of gameplay. In some games, the disparity between high quality cutscene models and the controllable player character is almost unnoticeable and the transition between the two doesn't miss a beat.
Final Fantasy X is not one of those games... As such, let's take a look at some of the little details of our player characters and the differences between the low quality field/battle models alongside their high quality cutscene counterparts.
Note: Top picture is high quality, bottom low.
We'll begin with Tidus. Poor guy's hair gets MANGLED when he loses a few hundred polygons.
Tidus' shorts look stupid in either realm of detail. Low quality Tidus also seems to get a different brand of sneaker and shoe lace in the transition.
Also getting a brand change, Tidus' weird little solitary arm gauntlet...thing... has its glove rather far off model. The mesh elbow thingie also seems to connect further down in low quality mode.
Nice fannypack, bro. Also, what purpose is there in having a zipper on the back of overalls? Goddammit, Nomura.
Yuna probably has one of the more consistent facial structures between both models. Except she also possesses the most dead-eyed stare of anyone in low quality mode to offset that.
It's pretty easy to overlook, but Yuna is sporting some big ol' heavy rain combat boots underneath her dress. Also, only her low quality model has a slit on the side. The high quality one is solid all the way down.
High quality Yuna is wearing rings on both her hands. Low quality version...?
You cannot put a ring on a bearclaw!
Low quality Yuna's bow design turns into just a half-assed blob at the ends. You know, I think this might be one of the few Tetsuya Nomura designs to not possess a single belt or zipper. Not even in places it would make sense, like her boots. Bizarre.
You'd think they would at least give Auron all five fingers when his hand is sticking out all the time like that. Especially when high quality Auron literally never moves that hand.
Low quality Auron's scar seems to have healed up a bit better than its high poly cousin. Then again, Auron's giant muffler collar seems to hide the fact he has a completely different face fairly well.
High quality Auron seems to get a much fancier lace for his booze jug. Man has his priorities straight.
It's worth mentioning that low quality Auron actually has three arms. The extra left limb folds into his body when not in use. Creepy.
Poor Kimahri gets to keep a remarkably similar face between models at the cost of having a resized horn, shifted ears, a shorter haircut, and his bling fused with his chest.
The big blue guy is the only character that gets to keep all five digits on his hand separate in both models. Though the upped quality incarnation has some major sausage fingers going on. High quality Kimahri also seems to get an extra set of belts around his upper thigh. I don't want to know what that is supporting...
Warning: Cat butt.
D'aww. Look at his little tiny kitten toe. Also, someone saw it fit to double the size of the big blue guy's loincloth down below. Guess they wanted him to be a bit more modestly dressed for battles.
Okay seriously. These two faces aren't even close to similar looking. And the two have an entirely different fish for a necklace.
Wakka's hair looks terrible in any quality.
Jamaican Bender's armguard seems to have rode up on his elbow in high quality mode. And now looking at it from this angle, Wakka seems to have much less well groomed sideburns in low quality mode. I don't think they got anything on his face right.
Low quality Wakka also seems to have gotten a K-Mart brand knock-off of his pants in the transition between quality settings. I think Wakka wins the award for most off base out of all the models.
Lulu, on the other hand, looks the most similar face wise between all the human models. Other than her mole almost entirely fading away. Beyond that, her jewelry has fused with her flesh and her breasts are separated primarily between a darkened texture.
A close-up look of the belt-dress. Stupid as all hell no matter how many polygons are pumped into it...
The bottom of that dress must have a half pound of grime at this point.
It's hard to see usually in-game, but Lulu is also sporting dreadlocks to solidify her place in the silly hair club.
I think you hardly ever seen Lulu's hands with her big baggy dress and lack of particularly motion. Apparently she's sporting gaudy purple nail polish and wearing a ring as well.
The low quality version knows you barely ever see Lulu's hands and doesn't even try to give a damn if you do.
You've got to wonder how tight that corset has to be to hold up that dress at all times...
Rikku only has a low quality model. She gets an outfit change with accompanying premium quality design later on. But that doesn't mean we cannot take a look at it.
I've got to imagine that belt thong around her waist cannot be in any way remotely comfortable.
In retrospective, Rikku probably should have kept that safety helmet dealie on for the duration of the game given what a coked up space cadet she transforms into in Final Fantasy X-2... Some sort of severe head injury had to take place between games.
Welp. That's it for our first detailed look at adventures in half-assed character modeling! Will there be more...? Hell if I know!