Βρεκεκεκὲξ κοὰξ κοάξ
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(I challenge someone to create a better clickbait title this week - I'll give out a prize!)
Think about Bartz Klauser (AKA Butz). He’s the adventure-loving primary protagonist of FFV, has a very close relationship with his chocobo, is an aspiring piano player, and he loves to goof about.
He is mostly remembered for looking something like this:
But in the cutscenes and rendered models for the PlayStation remastered version he looks like this:
To me, it makes him look a little bit like a zombie. He has white hair, cold, soulless eyes, grey/green skin and he looks like he desperately needs a feed on someone’s brains.
It’s a dramatic departure from the colourful, adventurous Bartz from the game.
I understand that the Amano artwork was the basis for this. Amano designs are often preferred over the sprite designs as a basis for more detailed rendered, full-scale models in most added cutscenes in classic rereleases. This is also the case for the other characters. Faris, in particular, looks different from the character sprite because the 3D model is based on Amano's design where she has a piratey coat. But she is still evidently Faris.
Yet even the Amano artwork for Bartz (which has white hair and pale skin) still manages to make him appear animated and vivacious. He's not entirely devoid of colour. His limbs aren’t in danger of dropping off and getting chewed on by the nearest Wind Drake.
Seeing him in the cutscenes really threw me off when I watched them for the first time since it took me a while to recognise who he was supposed to represent.
I am glad they went for the more colourful appearance for Bartz in Dissidia and World of Final Fantasy as he is quite a warm and down to earth character.
So which Bartz do you prefer?