The companions in Baldur's Gate were influenced by Final Fantasy 7
Undeniably, one of the greatest assets of Baldur's Gate 3 lies in its ensemble of characters. Astarion and Karlach have effortlessly won the hearts of...
Undeniably, one of the greatest assets of Baldur's Gate 3 lies in its ensemble of characters. Astarion and Karlach have effortlessly won the hearts of players, who often indulge in fantasies of their pairing, while the rest of the cast is equally endearing. However, reaching this pinnacle took some time for the series, as the writers of Baldur's Gate 2 sought inspiration from titles like Final Fantasy 7 to craft a cast of characters that would leave a lasting impression.
During an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun (credit to GamesRadar), James Ohlen, a former experienced writer at BioWare, divulges that the creative team behind Baldur's Gate 2 drew significant inspiration from Cloud and his companions. Ohlen elaborates that during a momentary pause for a smoke, Dermot Clarke, a producer at Interplay, pointed out that the characters in Baldur's Gate lacked the depth and complexity found in Final Fantasy 7.
Following this revelation, Ohlsen took it upon himself to personally experience Final Fantasy 7, and he arrived at the realization that the characters in the original Baldur's Gate paled in comparison, being akin to mere "cardboard cutouts." Consequently, the BioWare team intensified their endeavors to forge unforgettable characters and enrich the existing ones with more intricate backgrounds for Baldur's Gate 2. Remarkably, this effort resulted in the return of a few beloved characters, such as Jaheira and Minsc, who have made their appearance once again in Baldur's Gate 3.
"I'm highly competitive," Ohlen admits. "So, I decided to play Final Fantasy VII and to my astonishment, I realized that our characters were nowhere near as captivating as theirs. It was disheartening to see how lackluster ours appeared in comparison."
It comes as no surprise that Final Fantasy 7 had an impact on the Baldur's Gate series. The magnitude of the game was such that it is highly probable that it influenced numerous RPGs over the years since its initial launch. However, it is intriguing to ponder how the Baldur's Gate series would have shaped up without the influence of Final Fantasy 7. Even in Baldur's Gate 3, one can observe elements reminiscent of Final Fantasy 7, particularly in characters like Jaheira, whose gritty demeanor and commitment to safeguarding the natural world bear resemblance to Barrett.
The cast of Baldur's Gate 3 is exceptionally well-crafted, to the extent that some players find themselves longing to engage in romantic relationships with every character. This desire seems to extend even to characters like Enver Gortash, who surprisingly emerges as one of the more popular choices among NPCs that players wish they could pursue romantically. Admittedly, there is a logical basis for this, considering his shared history with the player's Dark Urge character. However, it's worth noting that Enver Gortash is also portrayed as an unpleasant and disagreeable individual. Nevertheless, considering that this fanbase has even pursued romantic encounters with a Mind Flayer more fervently than with Karlach, perhaps I am fighting a futile battle.