A hairy situation

Want Stranger of Paradise to run better on PC? Go bald.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin's performance isn't great on PC, but modders have discovered a novel solution: making everyone bald.

Between mixed reviews, its meme-worthy cutscenes, and the fact that it's not actually a JRPG, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has had a confusing launch. But while most people can't seem to find consensus on the quality of the game, one thing we definitely can agree on is that it has pretty serious performance problems on PC.

Some modders have been messing with the game to figure out what exactly is causing brutal frame-drops, and the results are quite surprising. According to Twitter user AkiraJkr (aka MorrisonGamer), it seems that Stranger of Paradise's hair and fur textures are extremely unoptimized, dropping the game's frame rate to single digits in some cases. And that's on minimum specs. (Ouch.)

If you're a PC gamer, the good news is that you have a way to improve things — but it's going to take a little bit of hacking on your part. As they explain in this Reddit thread, making everyone bald seems to smooth out the game's frame rate significantly. Their shader toggles also remove other graphically-demanding aspects of the game's presentation, such as the Soul Burst particles, and a fur coat that halves your framerate.

Several hackers have described Stranger of Paradise as poorly-optimized to a baffling extent. For example, modder DeathChaos calls some of the common enemy models "the worst optimized thing I've ever seen" due to their large memory overhead. Apparently these performance issues are even worse on console, so let's hope that Team Ninja can push a bald patch for your PS5 sometime soon. Joking aside, these issues need to be addressed, especially since Stranger of Paradise is an action game that relies on a steady framerate in order to feel fluid and responsive.