Toll Booths Are Not Fantasy, Final Fantasy

Illustration for article titled Toll Booths Are Not Fantasy, Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy games are just that, fantasy. You know, guys with amazing hair swinging big swords around in mystical locations. Part of the setting for Final Fantasy Versus XIII is a little less fantasy, though. A little more ordinary.


This is not a bad thing! In fact, what makes the Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer so interesting is the way it mix-matches the ho-hum real world with the anything but. The game has a more contemporary look than previous titles, which continue to move more and more into the realm of sci-fi. Then again, a more contemporary setting is what the game's developers seem to be aiming for. But besides buildings and landmarks, how much does Final Fantasy Versus XIII take directly from the here-and-now?


In the trailer's opening scene, the game's main character, Noctis, rides in the back of a large sedan as it hurdles along the highway. The car stops at a tollgate, and visible are signs that say ETC専用 or "ETC Only".

ETC isn't some gibberish the game's developers thought up — it's a very real toll gate system used in Japan. This isn't being inspired by elements or locations of the present day, this is present day Japan shoehorned into Final Fantasy. So Japanese players, who either use ETC or own ETC tolltags, will immediately recognize the mark, helping to further ground this game in reality. Fantasy? Well, partly.

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Final Fantasy has been skewing from the "Fantasy" element ever since FF6. You people need to catch up.