Not sure if many people realise the connection. I didn’t at first, just I started playing the older games. In many of the older Final Fantasy games, there’s a spell called ‘Osmose’:
Osmose (アスピル, Asupiru?, lit. Aspir), sometimes translated as Psych, Asper, Aspir, or Syphon, is a recurring spell from the series. It is normally associated with Black Magic. The spell absorbs MP from opponents. Many bosses and magic-using enemies will cast Osmose (or something similar) on a player character if they are getting low on MP. It works in reverse or not at all against undead. It has an upgrade in the form of Osmoga.
Interesting, right? You use this spell to replenish your MP, by sucking it away from the enemies’ MP. Squall and his friends do this through ‘Drawing‘:
Draw (ドロー, Dorō?) is a command ability in Final Fantasy VIII available when a Guardian Force is junctioned to a character. Every Guardian Force has Draw as a default ability, though it can be removed via Amnesia Greens, and later re-added using the Draw Scroll bought from pet shops.
When a character draws magic from enemies, aquamarine spheres eject out of the enemy into the drawing party member. In the game’s PlayStation demo, the draw animation is longer, with the spells gathering up in the air for a moment before entering the character. The draw system was created by Takatsugu Nakazawa.
In order to replenish your magic, you draw. Think of the amount of magic you have as being similar to MP. If you have 1 magic, you have 1 MP. Best thing, you can cast each magic with only 1 MP.
This might be a restriction. If you had 999 MP in other games, you had a lot more chances to low-level magic. Not that you would need to use all of your MP, especially for low-level magic. But consider you can draw the magic from enemies and cast it right back, keeping your core magic intact. You couldn’t do that in other Final Fantasy games. That’s pretty inventive.
So why don’t some people like Drawing? This is pretty innovative, but no one appreciates it for being too different and complicated. Maybe they never needed osmose in the past Final Fantasy games, who uses it?
What do you think?
FUN FACT: Takatsugu Nakazawa would later evolve this system into the Phantoma system used in Final Fantasy Type-0.