For the main event, a Final Fantasy XIV (FF14) projection mapping video called ‘Ocean City Yokohama “Dragon King Bahamut Attack”’ was screened at the Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel in the Minato Mirai District during a two-day period on 10 and 11 June 2017. In preparation for the event, there was a rehearsal attended by the media on 8 June. The screening was attended by the director and producer of FF14, Naoki Yoshida, and Miyu Koike, a hardcore player of FF14 and idol active in TV series and concerts. They both talked about FF14’s appeal.
Yokohama is located about 30 km away from Tokyo and is the most populated city in Japan after the capital, with 3,730,000 inhabitants. It has developed as an international port city. As there are residential areas for foreigners, American and European style streets remain. It also boasts the largest Chinatown in Asia, drawing tourists to visit.
The Minato Mirai District is a new gulf area that began development in 1980 and has a high concentration of commercial and entertainment facilities as well as hotels. The Yokohama Intercontinental Hotel, where the video was screened, is one of the symbols of the district and is built in a half-moon shape which draws your eyes to it.
Final Fantasy is one of the most famous Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). The first work was released in Japan in 1987 and in 1990 in North America. The franchise is now on its 15th game on the main line, not counting the numerous spin-off titles. The franchise has also spawined CG movies created as well as a Japanese TV series featuring a family who all played Final Fantasy.
The collaboration took place in Yokohama because the company which created Final Fantasy, Square Enix (formerly Square), begun in Yokohama. The base of the video comes from the MMORPG FF14, which began its service in 2010, and depicts the battle between soldiers and the summoned beast Bahamut in ‘Yokohama’, an ocean-side city which flourished in trade from the old days.
The projection target of the projection mapping was the biggest in Japan. Producer Yoshida said, ‘Because of the large scale of the event, we worried quite a lot about the location but the hotel in Minato Mirai District worked with us to make it a reality.’
With regards to the game he said, ‘The data being used in the game was handed over to the video production team and there was also some motion capture done for this screening. Just projecting the video on the wall would not have been interesting so we made use of the hotel’s design. We created the project with ideas from both sides. We made it so that even those who do not know Final Fantasy can understand how amazing the video is.’ Koike, a hardcore FF14 fan who boasts of having played for 22 hours continuously, was very happy about the collaboration, ‘As a player, I am very proud.’
The test screening began after the interviews with the two guests. The wall of the building opened like a door and the characters appeared in 3D. A light effect was projected in the shape of the hotel’s outline and the world of FF14 was skillfully mixed with the hotel’s design. It was very impressive to see the 3D effect; it was as if the characters floated in front the hotel’s wall.
‘Ocean City Yokohama “Dragon King Bahamut, Attack”’ took place between 10 and 11 June with five screenings per day. Each show lasted 10 minutes.
For those who missed the screening, MANGA.TOKYO will soon post an exclusive video of the event!