This painting has been long overdue. I’ve been meaning to make a new painting of Sephiroth for a bunch of years with my “updated skills”. This illustration is basically a repaint of this one I did back in 2008 (yes, almost TWELVE years ago):
I have all kinds of lame excuses as to why, at least in my opinion, this doesn’t look like 12 years of improvement but I’m not going to make an exhaustive list. Long story short, I didn’t want to spend some 50 hours on the new painting of Sephy, like I probably did back in 2008. Actually I don’t even know how long I actually spent on the one from 2008 (probably not 50 hours), except that I probably spent at least a week on it and at least a few hours a day. The new one I wanted to get it done in less than a week, mostly because there are other things I’m way more interested in working on at the moment.
I just really wanted to push this painting out. I want to do another Sephiroth painting soon but take it much slower and be okay with it taking a longer period of time with smaller work sessions or whatever while I dedicate more time on more important things. But also I did this for the Character Design Challenge for this month. I’ve been wanting to leave that group for a while because it depresses me a bit. I keep wanting to participate in each month’s challenge but end up not doing so for whatever made-up excuse I come up with in my head. But when I saw this month’s challenge, I absolutely could not refuse. I had to at least paint Sephiroth again. So my other excuse… there’s a deadline, but then again I also don’t want to work on this up until the last minute of when I can submit it to the challenge.
In case you didn’t know, Final Fantasy VII is probably my most favorite video game ever. Of all the things I made fan art for, I made the most for FFVII. Fan comics (hundreds of pages I made as a kid. I didn’t scan/upload them all.) and illustrations, and from middle to high school, I played FFVII music on the piano.
The other night, I loaded up the old FFVII on Steam again. I remember re-playing it about 3 years ago. I didn’t realize how close to just, completely complete I played through it. I forgot I got like, all the master materia, and two of my characters were at level 99 and another one was at like level 97. All that was left to do in the game was to beat Ruby Weapon, and I didn’t think I could do it. I beat it in like 15 minutes after dying once. I even got all lucky 7’s for the first time ever in my life. I always vaguely knew about it but didn’t know exactly how it worked so I got a bit confused while it was happening.
After I beat Ruby Weapon, I felt a horrible sense of emptiness because there was basically nothing left to do in the game. I already had a gold chocobo. So I kept the desert rose. Like seriously. By the time you wanna try killing Ruby Weapon, you probably bred the hell out of your chocobos. This play-through was the most exhaustive I’d ever played and I feel almost as if I could recite the Final Fantasy VII game from beginning to end including the side quests. I mean, no I’m not one of those hardcore fanatics who does play-throughs with no materia or no attacking or whatever. But I can say I’ve never made more fan art for anything else than I have for Final Fantasy VII.
The new remake of the game came out.
Two main things I want to say:
1. I don’t have a PS4 (but honestly now that I think about it, buying one wouldn’t be that much of a problem for me these days)
2. Even if I did have a PS4, I get extremely nasty motion sickness if the camera is too first-person and/or moves around way too fast.
I’ve tried watching some gameplay. My motion sickness comes in within like 10 seconds. It’s really bad.
I’m really, really sad and kind of depressed about this.
Yes, yes — in the grand scheme of things, given that we’re in a horrible pandemic, I don’t actually have anything to complain about in terms of what’s going on with me personally, day to day. I’m absolutely not suffering at all compared to people who are really suffering in the world. But just within the bubble of the world of Final Fantasy VII, I’m intensely sad.
Since I became an adult, I’ve come to hate anime. So when I watch cutscenes from the new remake, oh boy. Cringe fest for me.
Look, I don’t really really have anything against anime or anime fans. I just grew up with it, was heavily influenced by it and also a bunch of manga in my development as an artist. I learned so much from them. Honestly, the sight of anime and manga still makes me really excited and makes me want to draw more. But once I start watching the stuff and the characters open their mouths, I’m reminded of why I stopped watching anime. Yes, there are a few shows or movies that I would still like, almost whole-heartedly, but the vast majority of them just make me want to go away and do something else with my life. People will make recommendations to me. A lot of the times I give them a try. Most of the time it just doesn’t do it for me.
But what else did I expect? I played through Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII. (And watched Advent Children.) Well, FFX wasn’t nearly as egregious as FFXIII but still, the dialogue is just like — I can’t help but think, “You people just sat around in a conference room, did a read-through with voice-actors and nodded your heads and patted each other on the back and… this is what you went with?!”
I haven’t played FFXIII in years but one thing I do remember always thinking: “SHUT THE !@*& UP VANILLE, YOU.ARE.SO.ANNOYING!!!!”
Script-writing aside though, all the Final Fantasy games I’ve played have been really good. Okay, I tried to play Final Fantasy X-2 and I just couldn’t. It looked soooooo interesting with all the different classes for the characters, but come ON. The game was like, pure and obvious fan service, like “Can’t get enough of FFX? Here’s some more but with ONLY BOOBS!” I couldn’t stand the dialogue at all. Playing the game was like trying to live the rest of my life with my head underwater.
All that passionate disapproval aside, the Final Fantasy games I’ve played, especially FFVII, is always going to have a very special place in my heart, even if I’d have to tolerate anime-standard writing that just isn’t to my taste.
One day, perhaps when it comes out for PC, I’ll probably play it. If it doesn’t come out for PC, I’ll just get a PS4. Whatever. I’ll probably try some anti-vertigo drugs that don’t put me to sleep or something. I’ll probably blow chunks into a bucket next to me while I power through. I’d do it for FFVII. I may not be a hardcore-no-materia-playthrough fan, but I think I’d be a throw-up-for-500-hours-of-motion-sickness-playthrough fan.
*Sigh* there are a lot of re-draw illustrations of FFVII fan art I want to do. For now though, here’s the new Sephiroth with my “updated” art skills.