Fans have met a lot of memorable characters in the video game series’ 30 years, which also means a lot of bittersweet farewells.

2017 marks 30 years since the release of the very first Final Fantasy for the 8-bit Famicom/NES. Developer Square Enix has been celebrating the milestone with a number of high-profile collaborations and public events, including tie-ups with Cup Noodle, sending trains in Yokohama on their way with the series’ iconic “Victory Fanfare” music, and turning Tokyo Tower into the Crystal Tower that appears in multiple installments of the video game franchise.

But the party isn’t over yet. During this week’s Tokyo Game Show festivities, Square Enix announced that it will be holding a Final Fantasy art exhibition in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills.

Over the past three decades, the Final Fantasy franchise has grown to 15 numbered mainline installments, each introducing a new setting and gameplay elements. But more than anything else, it’s been the series’ cast of memorable characters, and the love and friendship between the heroic companions, that’s earned Final Fantasy a place in fans’ hearts.

The upcoming event, though (to be held at the same 52nd-floor venue that hosted the Sailor Moon exhibition), examines the other side of the coin of interpersonal bonds by making its theme separation and farewells.

▼ So yes, that teardrop-smeared effect is intentional, and not just a smudge on your screen glass.

Shinji Hashimoto, producer of Final Fantasy XV and head of the franchise’s 30th anniversary activities, says:

“Why is it that, in every Final Fantasy game, there are scenes that show separation? Because as we live life, bonds and friendships are born, but there will inevitably come a time when we have to say good-bye. Tales of separation, they are also tales of meeting and connecting with new people, tales of conflict, trials, and battle. They are an expression of life itself.”

Still, Hashimoto asserts that this temporal aspect of human relationships can make them beautiful as well as bittersweet, and hopes that such a cathartic yet inspiring duality shines through in the Final Fantasy series.

Oddly enough, the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Exhibition -Stories of Farewell- event won’t actually be starting during 2017. It’s scheduled to run from January 22 to February 28 of next year (ticket prices have yet to be set). But though it won’t technically be going on during the series’ 30th anniversary, the delayed start does mean that you’ll be able to see the exhibit in Tokyo, then hop on a train and go straight to Osaka to ride Universal Studios Japan’s scheduled-to-open-in-January Final Fantasy roller coaster, which should make for an awesome combination.

Related: Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Exhibition -Tales of Farewell- official website
Source, images: PR Times

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