In previous demos for Stranger of Paradise, an optional room to the right of the Chaos fight would contain a Griffin that you could fight. However, fans playing the retail release of Stranger and Paradise might find something different there- the Tonberry.
“I say we wanted to make fans happy… but we also wanted to make them scared. After all, the original concept for Tonberries is that they instill fear in players as they slowly walk up to them, and then stab them with a knife”, Inoue says.
Final Fantasy fans are intimately familiar with the Tonberry- who in a series known for its massive swords, brandishes nothing more than a kitchen knife and a lantern as it slowly trods towards you, before it instantly kills you with the power of knife crimes.
“To recreate that sense of dread, we explored lots of different options”, Inoue says. “For example, we experimented with letting Tonberry suddenly warp up close to the player, and even creating areas where the player couldn’t run away – blocking the exit with fire or something similar”.
That’s far from the only Tonberry in the game- Tonberries are in almost every level of Stranger of Paradise, acting as optional mini bosses for players not afraid of fish men brandishing kitchenware.
Still, it’s cool that they decided to surprise familiar players so early on with one of the most fear-eliciting fights in the series history.