Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin certainly had an odd introduction. The game’s premiere trailer shows the main character repeatedly declaring to “kill chaos” and performing his best Kratos impressions while violently destroying his enemies. The game gave off an action hack-n-slash vibe, and it certainly threw fans for a loop when it was revealed to be a Final Fantasy title. Towards the end of the trailer, a boss character is shown to be Garland, the famous first boss of the original Final Fantasy. The party also reveal themselves to be the Warriors of Light. So with this bizarre trailer and everything surrounding it, a lot of folks are really puzzled. Just what is this game?
Is Stranger of Paradise a Remake?
Tetsuya Nomura, speaking in an interview with Famitsu, said that “The game uses FINAL FANTASY I as a motif, so the setting is also based on FINAL FANTASY I.” It is safe to say that Stranger of Paradise isn’t so much a remake as it would be a reimagining of the series’ origin. The game Nomura describes in his interview is much darker. It is more action-oriented, and “is the story of an angry man.”
This is evident in both the heavy use of blood and the dark color themes. Just as well, the game seems to trade off the usual flashy, graceful swordplay for something more visceral and impactful. The way the main character, Jack, rips and tears through enemies seems more reminiscent of DOOM than anything having to do with Final Fantasy. There’s another departure, too: Stranger of Paradise is developed by Team Ninja, the developers behind the Nioh games.
So, for those of you really wondering if this is a remake, I can safely say it is not. It’s most certainly not a direct remake, but Nomura makes it clear the elements of the original are there. This was reflected in the limited, playable demos released in June and October of 2021. I did play the October demo, and both the gameplay and story are certainly deeper than the trailer suggests. As for just how close this hits to the original? We’ll have to find out when Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins releases on March 18, 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X/S and PC.