Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Heaven's no place for animation (spoilers below)

Things are slowly drawing to a close in Dragon Quest IX.

Having been to the Realm of the Almighty (this game's heaven) only to find it empty and in ruins it became obvious quite quickly that something was up. The trip wasn't a total wash, however, since it lead to the revelation that Yggdrasil, the world tree that the Celestrians tend to, had been the Almighty's only daughter, Celestria, all along. 

Oh, and that the source of the destruction of heaven is to be found in the revived Gittish Empire. Of course. 

But what I found most interesting amidst all of the plot development and cutscenes were those scenes' style. Like almost all of the other cutscenes in the game they're all rendered with in-game sprites. It seems that even a visit to heaven isn't enough to merit another hand drawn animated scene. Though there's a brief five second animation of Celestria's transformation into Yggdrasil. 

That scene leads me to believe that there's more. Maybe they were cut from the final version of the game for legal reasons. Maybe they're only unlocked after some sort of "New Game+" is started. But a five second animation isn't something that just gets made and tossed into a cutscene. 

Setting Celestria's transformation in such a style definitely makes it stand out. But it also begs the same question that the animated scene of the dragon fight does: Why aren't all of the game's cutscenes animated?

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