Whitney Reynolds of Eater interviewed the director of FinalFantasy XV to find out why the food in the game looks so mouth-wateringly delicious.
“Recipes were just one element of the camping scenes, but the catalyst for our obsession was the high quality of the food graphics that the camp team was able to create in the pre-production phase,” [Final Fantasy XV director Hajime] Tabata says. “In Japan, we have a term called ‘meshi-tero’ (an abbreviation of the Japanese-English combo phrase ‘Meshi (food) Terror’ and similar to the English term ‘food porn’), but that pretty much summed it up. We have to create truly delicious-looking food scenes similar to those that appear in movies and anime.”
One of the Prince’s guards, Ignis, also serves as the chef of your party, and he can learn 103 different recipes to cook up for his friends at the camp site. He can be inspired by everything from finding a new kind of mushroom in the woods to taking down a giant frog that has an interesting cut of meat to reading a bit of poem on a sign. Even more dishes can be consumed at restaurants in other countries and cities that the party visits on their voyage. Eat an expensive seafood risotto at a bistro and it will fill Ignis with the inspiration to create a homemade version, with fish you catch yourself and ingredients you forage. Every dish is painstakingly, realistically rendered, and you, the poor player, only get to look, not taste. After eating their favorite camp-side meals, Prince Noctis and his friends get a temporary boosts to their attack power — akin to equipping a stronger sword or using a status-enhancing magical spell.