Sapporo Snow Festival Unveiled an Epic Final Fantasy XIV Sculpture in 2018

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Tue February 20, 2018 | 13:25 PM

We've written about Sapporo Snow Festival's dedication to simply awesome, large-scale snow sculptures featuring pop culture icons before, with Star Wars , the PPAP guy, and Dragonball Z all making appearances in previous years. 2018 was no different. This year, the Japanese festival's scores of talented artists unveiled an epic homage to Final Fantasy XIV, entitled "The Silver Decisive Battle," after one of the most emblematic songs in the wildly popular video game's history. The multiple-stories-high sculpture looks great by day, but by night takes on a whole new dimension with projection mapping and blasting music from the game. Watch the video above to see the dazzling show.

The star of the sculpture is the dragon Nidhogg, which was created in intricate detail. The projection mapping shows Nidhogg waking up and being brutally defeated in battle. This video documenting the nighttime show will be catnip for any video game enthusiast.

The origins of the Sapporo Snow Festival date back to 1950, when a half-dozen local high school students got together and built a half-dozen snow statues in Odori Park. This sort of activity is historically commonplace in the winter on the island of Hokkaido because of its typically heavy snowfalls. A few years later, in 1955, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, viewing participation as a training exercise, came from a nearby base and built sculptures. Their participation continues to this day. However, in 1972, Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympics—its location as Japan’s northernmost island blesses its landscape with lots of snow and skiing opportunities. The Olympic games introduced Sapporo’s Snow Festival to the rest of the world. The festival now averages about 2 million visitors per year, most of them Japanese; a tiny 3 percent visits from the rest of the world, including Asia. Over 400 spectacular ice and snow sculptures are the draw for visitors to the 12-block stretch of Odori Park every year.