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Assassin’s Creed Origins and Final Fantasy XV Art Collaboration

In honor of our recently announced collaboration at gamescom 2017, we wanted to create something really special to represent this partnership for fans of both Assassin’s Creed and Final Fantasy.

Final Fantasy artist Takashi Honjo and Assassin’s Creed illustrator Jeff Simpson took flight with the idea and created something truly special that represents both games beautifully.

We sat down with the artists to learn a little bit more about what went into creating this piece.

Can you describe the creation process? What was it like to work on this collaboration?

TH: We started off by sending each other rough drafts, trading ideas until we arrived at something we both felt good about. We ultimately decided on a composition where Noctis and Bayek are standing back to back, holding each other’s weapons. As the piece progressed, each of us freely added additional elements whenever inspiration struck.

Day and night are pretty much reversed for Tokyo and Montreal, so I’d work on the piece until nighttime in Tokyo and by the time I transferred the file it’s morning in Montreal, then Jeff would take the baton and work on the piece until his end of day. It was both an interesting and inspirational experience to work in this kind of relay style where the piece would continue to progress on a 24-hour cycle halfway across the world.

JS: Honjo was nice enough to take a call from us at 10 pm, which is way past my bedtime, and we agreed to do some sketches. Collaborating with other artists can be pretty complicated and messy, so we decided to keep it pretty simple and each do one side and combine them in the end.

I was a little worried I would have to draw Noctis since I have very limited experience with drawing beautiful boys with excessive hair gel… Thankfully it was not brought up, so I ended up with burly-old Bayek (don’t even need to paint much of the face since he has a hood...)!

I pitched a couple of super dynamic jumping poses, but I think Honjo and I came to realize that that was way too hard, so we stuck with something a little more traditional and stoic. We then just kind of did our own thing while sending a few work-in-progress shots and slapped them together in the end, tweaking a few things. That worked out really well!

Final Fantasy and Assassin’s Creed both have worlds with vibrant aesthetics. Which elements from the other series were you most excited to incorporate into your artwork?

TH: I’ve always been a big fan of Assassin’s Creed. The title, the mature aesthetics, the lineage of the Assassins that is portrayed throughout the series, the look and personalities of the characters… I was amped the moment I heard that I would be collaborating with an artist from the Assassin’s Creed team.

In terms of symbolic elements, I felt that gold was a key color for Assassin’s Creed Origins, so during the rough draft phase, I placed a gold background on the left side and a dark blue background on the right side. I was really excited when I saw our work finally come together, with Jeff’s Bayek standing next to Noctis while holding a sword and shield from Final Fantasy XV.

During the final phases of the process, I remembered that this was for a community event, so I added some Cactuars, Moogles, and Chocobos. Cactuars are actually part of one of the mini-games in the Assassin’s Festival, so I hope you check it out!

JS: I was pretty jazzed that I would get to do one of those insane swords that Final Fantasy is known for!

Its design goes against almost everything Assassin’s Creed stands for design-wise, and I love it. That said, I needed a lot of help from Honjo and he provided me with some detailed models and schematics for the sword and shield so that I could get the image done on time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how Bayek and Noctis stood back to back in this epic mash-up. Keep an eye on @AssassinsCreed for more news about our collaboration with Final Fantasy XV!

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