THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE: The opening and ending movies

Get the full story behind the incredible opening and closing movies in the game. How many details did you spot?
By Masanobu Suzui

Hello, this is THEATRHYTHM series director Masanobu Suzui. I oversaw development of FINAL BAR LINE from its inception and was the main point of contact for all work involved.

  • Favourite FF games: The FINAL FANTASY XIII series (for the synchronicity between the overwhelmingly stylish visuals and music)
  • Favourite FF music: The Red Wings from FINAL FANTASY IV (I love the way that this powerful and majestic music tells you about the setting from the very start of the adventure)

In today’s article I would like to talk a bit about some of the cool things you can see in the opening and ending movies used in the game.

Let’s start with the opening sequence - the first ever opening movie in the THEATRHYTHM series! The core concept was “A sequence using lots of scene shifts alongside up-tempo music in the style of a music video”.

I worked together with the director, Mr. Okayasu and the assigned designer, Mr. Asai, to fit in all the little details we could. We tried to pack in all the different types of assets used in THEATRHYTHM and constructed the video so it looks different to what players see in the game itself - for example, we used close-ups of the characters and monsters. The memorable transitions between the different sections were all Mr. Asai’s idea, so watch out for those!

The most important thing that we wanted to do with this movie was to motivate players who were about to play the game. However, we also hope that this video will pique the interest of people who see it playing in shops or who randomly encounter it online and encourage them to try playing THEATRHYTHM!

Next, let’s take a look at the ending movie.

A fair while has passed since the game’s release, but people who don’t like spoilers should probably close this blog right now!

The ending movie for FINAL BAR LINE follows in the THEATRHYTHM series tradition of letting the player enjoy lots of short sketches played out by the super-deformed monsters and characters from the game.

There is quite a lot in there that you probably won’t notice on the first viewing, so I would recommend watching it over several times from the museum menu. This time round we have also added a function to turn the credits off, so you can fully enjoy the little characters crazy antics without the names getting in the way!

All the characters in the game appear at least once in the ending and most of the monsters do too, so why not see if you can find them all?

Finally, I would like to hand over to Shota Asai, the designer in charge of creating the two movies, and get him to point out some of the best bits.

Hi there, my name is Shota Asai and I was in charge of making the opening and ending movies for THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE. As well as these movies, I also worked on the background models for the FMS stages and the series quests.

  • Favourite FF games: FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY IX (Of all the games in the series, I particularly like the settings for these two)

  • Favourite FF music: “The Final Battle” from FINAL FANTASY IV (The fierce melody throughout and the progression after the key change is just so cool)

Mr. Suzui has already covered the overall direction of the two videos, so I’ll pick out some of the finer details that I think are cool.

Opening movie

In the opening part where the Warrior of Light is walking along playing his trumpet, all the other characters in the performing group hold musical instruments too. Look closely to see which character is holding which instrument.

In the sections from the middle and at the end of the video where the “album jackets” for the different music tracks are shown, we took care to make sure that all the popular and well known tracks were featured. We also were careful to present a good colour balance and cover the characters and monsters from all the different FINAL FANTASY titles evenly. However, there were still many lovely jacket designs that we could not fit into these two sequences, so I invite you to look closely and see if your favourite is in there.

I put in a scene in homage to the opening of FINAL FANTASY I in the section just before the chorus. It is quite simple, but I think it is a nice scene that captures the essence of FINAL FANTASY.

To go back to the transitions that Suzui mentioned above, these mainly use the colours yellow, blue, red and purple, which are the colours used to represent the four rhythm game difficulty levels: Basic, Expert, Ultimate and Supreme. By incorporating these UI art elements, we aimed to make the video feel more consistent and embody the style of THEATRHYTHM.

Ending movie

For the FINAL BAR LINE ending movie, we continued the tradition of the previous endings in the series, while also striving to make it a fun and light-hearted video that would give players a laugh.

The opening movie is designed to communicate the idea of an impending “clash” between light and darkness and to motivate and excite the viewer for that upcoming battle. In direct contrast, the ending movie presents the image of “harmony” having been achieved between light and darkness, with friends and foes getting up to their high-spirited antics together or just bickering in a friendly manner!

I felt that just having one little sketch after another play out would make the video a bit tiresome, so I tried to be innovative with the pacing and mix in various references to the original games, such as using Phoenix’s “Flames of Rebirth” and Shinryu’s “Tidal Wave” to brighten up the transitions between scenes and music tracks.

We have densely packed so many characters and scenes into the ending that you probably won’t see everything on the first viewing and might wonder where a particular character appeared, so have fun watching over again and again!

I hope you enjoyed reading through this blog series and invite you to check out anything that piqued your interest in the game!

Extra! It’s me, Suzui again!

The opening and ending movies were constructed around the amazing music created by Mr. Keiji Kawamori from the Square Enix sound team, who has been a great help to us throughout the development of the whole THEATRHYTHM series.

We had many discussions and debates with him about what kinds of visuals would best align with each different tune and sound, tweaking and adjusting along the way to get everything working together. The finished movies were greatly inspired by the music that Mr. Kawamori made for us!

Our blog has run for quite some time now, but alas this is the final entry in the series. I hope that they have informed and educated those who wanted to know more about the development team’s intentions for the game and would be delighted if they have given those who were on the fence about THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE a push to give the game a try!

The blog may be finished, but you can still play the game itself for a long time yet! I hope to see you all again in the multi battle mode and swap ProfiCards!

THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE is out now for Nintendo Switch and PS4:

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