Final Fantasy 7 Took Metal Slug Artist "To The Point Of Death" 1
Image: @akio_1963

Final Fantasy VII is making headlines again thanks to the arrival of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and former Irem artist Akio has been reminiscing about his time with the game when it originally launched back in 1997.

Speaking on social media, the artist – now in his sixties – explains that Square's PlayStation JRPG epic nearly put him in an early grave (translation via Google):

I don't play many home video games, but FINAL FANTASY VII is a game I got so addicted to that I almost died.

It's tough because before Metal Slug's house arrest began, FF7 became popular at a time when I was forced to work late-night overtime until 2am.

Even while I'm at work, the fanfare of FF7's victory keeps playing in my head, and I'm starting to experience withdrawal symptoms, which makes it hard for me to work.

The days when I punched my time card, left work after 2 a.m., rode my bike home, immersed myself in FF7 until I saw the whites of my eyes, took a short nap, and then went to work were physical challenges to the point of death from overwork.

Akio's answer to this rather worrying situation? He enlisted his offspring, of course:

So I summoned a strong ally. My daughters came home from school and helped me raise my level. Thanks to my daughters, I managed to defeat Sephiroth.

Akio has worked on the likes of R-Type, In the Hunt and Metal Slug. After working at Irem and Nazca, he joined SNK in 2001 and is created as the lead character designer for Metal Slug Anthology and as a character designer for Metal Slug 7 / Metal Slug XX. He left SNK in 2010 to go freelance and has more recently contributed artwork to Capcom's Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.

Akio is currently working on Black Finger Jet with a bunch of other former Irem staffers.