Traditional painting and digital effects give fans the best of both worlds in the runup to Final Fantasy XVI’s release.

With the last two single-player installments in the franchise not exactly living up to their hype, the mood among fans for much of Final Fantasy XVI’s development could have been described as tempered optimism. But following the release last week of an extremely well-received playable demo, excitement has been kicked up several notches for the latest in developer Square-Enix’s global-flagship RPG, and to help kick it up one more some of Japan’s busiest subway stations are getting awesome, and gigantic, Final Fantasy XVI art displays.

Final Fantasy’s recurring summon monsters, now called Eikons, play a large role in XVI, with the giant elementally themed beasts serving as the most destructive part of the arsenals of their representative warring kingdoms. To symbolize the coming conflicts, Square-Enix has created six mural-sized images, each with a pair of Eikons about to clash, which will be displayed in Tokyo’s Den-en-toshi Line Shibuya Station Big Signage Premium area (pictured above), Osaka’s Umeda Station Umeda Arch Vision, and Fukuoka’s Tenjin Station Premium Screen Tenjin.

▼ Tenjin Station

▼ Umeda Station

In a fitting connection with Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida’s long-expressed desire to return Final Fantasy to its pure fantasy roots, the murals are not based on the CG/polygonal models used in the game for the Eikons. Instead, Square-Enix commissioned actual paintings, which were then reproduced for the station artwork displays.

Of the six battles shown, three of them feature Ifrit, the fire-based Eikon of protagonist Cilve’s home nation of Rosaria, and also the Final Fantasy summon monster usually depicted as the most aggressive and warlike of the bunch.

▼ Phoenix vs. Ifrit

▼ Bahamut vs. Odin

▼ Ifrit vs. Titan

▼ Ramuh vs. Typhon

▼ Ifrit vs. Garuda

▼ Shiva vs. Titan

The Shibuya displays are digital, cycling through video footage from the game and also showing a time lapse-style progression of the paintings being made. There’s more high-tech appeal at Cross Shinjuku Vision, the slick 3-D-effect video billboard in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, which is serving as the battlefield for an animated Eikon rumble.

▼ It looks even cooler at night.

Shibuya and Umeda’s art displays are already in progress and run until June 25, while Tenjin Station’s will be from June 21 to June 27, and the Eikons will be fighting in Shinjuku through July 2. Final Fantasy XVI itself comes out for the PlayStation 5 this Thursday.

Source, images: PR Times
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he thinks the Eikons are cool and all, but he’s just as excited about seeing Chocobos again.