Before Noctis went flying across the sky to battle Leviathan in Final Fantasy XV, before Midgar felt like an entire world unto itself in Final Fantasy VII, there was Celes and the opera scene in Final Fantasy VI. At the time, the opera scene, which of course was all composed by legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, was one of the most powerful artistic moments ever captured in a console game. And to commemorate the fictional birthday of Celes Chere, legendary Square pixel artist Kazuko Shibuya yesterday shared some original art drawn for the character for the Final Fantasy VI opera scene.
— kazuko shibuya (@Skazuko) March 10, 2021
The art design in Final Fantasy VI involved a fascinating process. Although (yes, I’m using the word a third time) legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano was responsible for art design for all of the early entries in the series, he and Kazuko Shibuya were each designing the characters at the same time on Final Fantasy VI — and Shibuya actually designed the character pixel sprites first. We must never underestimate how incredibly significant Shibuya and her pixel art were to Final Fantasy.
Presuming you’ve played Final Fantasy VI before, was the opera scene with Celes your favorite part? It was never a favorite of mine, perhaps in part because the race against time with Ultros made me tense as a kid, but it’s certainly something I won’t forget. I definitely loved getting a peek at the original art for Celes in the opera scene.