Final Fantasy VIII remains an incredible game, and a high point of the Square Enix-developed RPG franchise for many. Unfortunately, it’s also a game from 1999, which means it hasn’t aged particularly well in the visual department.
While Final Fantasy VIII’s impressively detailed environments are still a sight to behold, the limited power of the original PlayStation meant that some things, such as character’s faces, didn’t always look quite as they should.
One of these instances established itself as a popular meme around five years ago. Odds are you’ve seen it. The first time our hero Squall meets heroine Rinoa early in the game, she tells him he’s “the best looking guy here.”
A wonderful and kind compliment, I’m sure we can all agree. But it’s also one drenched in irony, given that Squall looks less like a dashing hero and more like someone appearing on the news under condition of anonymity to recall some horrendous crime.
See for yourself below. We know Squall is a good looking dude thanks to the box art and other cutscenes, but this moment makes him look like a pixelated nightmare. Imagine spotting that from across the room at a ball? I’d never sleep again.
Brilliantly, the wonderful people behind the official Final Fantasy Twitter account have paid tribute to this classic meme in a self-aware way that fixes the mistakes of the past, and draws attention to just how much better the upcoming Final Fantasy VIII Remastered looks.
Square Enix announced the remaster at E3 a few months back, saying at the time:
Coming in 2019, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered marks the 20th Anniversary of its original release with a new visual refresh and brings the game’s beloved story to modern platforms: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. With overhauled visuals, see your favorite characters come to life like never before!
Using footage from the remaster, the iconic ball scene has been recreated, and it’s fair to say the part about seeing characters come to life like never before certainly holds up. As it turns out, Squall really was the best looking guy in the room all along – how about that? Check it out for yourself below.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered doesn’t have a solid release date beyond “2019” yet, but it’s clear that Square Enix is doing some pretty impressive work with this project. It might just be the best looking Final Fantasy port here.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.