Mass Effect inspired by Final Fantasy film

Mass Effect inspired by Final Fantasy film
Martin Gaston Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

What does Mass Effect’s sci-fi aesthetic remind you of? Aliens, Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica, perhaps? Now you can add Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within to that list.

Speaking to Xbox World 360 magazine, BioWare art director Derek Watts confirmed that the team often uses Square Enix’s 2001 CGI movie as a reference point for designing the Mass Effect universe.

“Yeah, you know we actually reference a lot from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. We used a lot of their GUIs and the way they did their ship – that was kind of like in some of the early designs for the Normandy,” revealed Watts.

Watts also attributes Mass Effect’s helicopter designs to the movie. “Our attack helicopters are loosely based off that movie. There’s some great stuff, especially their glowing GUI screens; we used those a lot. I keep a folder of that stuff and I still actually tell the guys ‘just go back and look at that. Change it like that!'”

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a 2001 CGI movie with a blockbuster budget, casting the vocal talents of Alec Baldwin and Steve Buscemi in a sci-fi setting where planet Earth was under attack from a seemingly superior alien threat. It was critically panned and a commercial failure.

At E3 2011, declared in its Mass Effect 3 preview that it could be the best action game of 2012.

Mass Effect 3 will be released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on March 9 2012.

I watched Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within when it came out and thought it was okay. I definitely prefer Mass Effect. I expect Jamin,’s first and foremost Final Fantasy expert/apologist will be stunned that he never spotted this connection before.