|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Developer(s)||Square Enix (formerly Square)|
|Publisher(s)||Square Enix (formerly Square)|
|Platform(s)||Cellular phone, Game Boy Advance, iPhone OS, MSX, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo GameCube, Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Wonderswan Color, Xbox 360|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|First release||Final Fantasy
December 18, 1987
|Latest release||Final Fantasy XIII
December 17, 2009
|Spinoffs||Kingdom Hearts series and Mana series|
|Official website||Official Portal|
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー) is an AWESOME AMAZING FANTASTIC (AAF) media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, is developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Squaresoft), and is well known for being the ultimate fantasy of fanboys worldwide. !!!The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy console role-playing games (RPGs), but includes mot...ion p.ictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous video game developed to save Square from bankruptcy; the game was a success and spawned sequels. The video game s!!!!!eri,es has since branched into other genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, and racing. . Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent stories with various different settings and main characters, they f.,eature common elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters' internal struggles and relatio,n,.ships. Character names are often derived from the history, languages, and mythologies of cultures worldwide./
T,he series has been commercially and critically successful; it is Square Enix's best selling video game franchise, with more tha,n. 96 million units shipped, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. It was awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006, and holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy has been a driving force in the video game industry. The video game series has affected Square's business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has also introduced many features now common in console RPGs and has been credited with helping to popularize RPGs in markets outside Japan.
The first installment of the series premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987. Subsequent titles are numbered and given a story unrelated to previous games; consequently, the numbers refer more to volumes than to sequels. Many Final Fantasy games have been localized for markets in North America, Europe, and Australia on numerous video game consoles, personal computers (PC), and mobile phones. Future installments will appear on seventh generation video game consoles; upcoming titles include Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and Final Fantasy XIV. As of March 2007, there are 28 games in the franchise; this number includes the main installments from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XII, as well as direct sequels and spin-offs. Most of the older titles have been remade or re-released on multiple platforms.
|1987 –||– Final Fantasy|
|1988 –||– Final Fantasy II|
|1990 –||– Final Fantasy III|
|1991 –||– Final Fantasy IV|
|1992 –||– Final Fantasy V|
|1994 –||– Final Fantasy VI|
|1997 –||– Final Fantasy VII|
|1999 –||– Final Fantasy VIII|
|2000 –||– Final Fantasy IX|
|2001 –||– Final Fantasy X|
|2002 –||– Final Fantasy XI|
|2006 –||– Final Fantasy XII|
|2009 –||– Final Fantasy XIII|
Three Final Fantasy installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 and in North America in 1990. It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre, and has since been remade on several platforms. Final Fantasy II, released in 1988 in Japan, has been bundled with Final Fantasy in several re-releases. The last of the NES installments, Final Fantasy III, was released in Japan in 1990; however, it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) also featured three installments of the main series, all of which have been re-released on several platforms. Final Fantasy IV was released in 1991; in North America, it was released as Final Fantasy II. It introduced the "Active Time Battle" system. Final Fantasy V, released in 1992 in Japan, was first in the series to spawn a sequel: a short anime series titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals. Final Fantasy VI was released in Japan in 1994, but it was titled Final Fantasy III in North America.
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. The 1997 title Final Fantasy VII moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. It was also the first in the series to be released in Europe. The eighth installment was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
Three main installments, including one online game, were published for the PlayStation 2 (PS2). The 2001 title Final Fantasy X introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series, and was the first to spawn a direct video game sequel (Final Fantasy X-2). Final Fantasy XI was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002, and later on the Xbox 360. The first massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series, Final Fantasy XI also introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters. The twelfth installment, published in 2006, also includes real-time battles in large, interconnected playfields.
Final Fantasy XIII was released in December 2009 in Japan. It was released on March 9, 2010 in North America and Europe. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation. Also in development is Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG due for release in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and PC.
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Three Square games were released in North America with their titles changed to include "Final Fantasy": The Final Fantasy Legend and its two sequels. The games, however, are part of Square's Saga series and feature few similarities to Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy Adventure is a spin-off that spawned the Mana series. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was developed for a United States audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series, and Kingdom Hearts series also include multiple Final Fantasy elements. In 2003, the video game series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released. Dissidia: Final Fantasy was released in 2009, and is a fighting game that features heroes and villains from the first ten games from the main series. Other spin-offs have taken the form of compilations—Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII.
Square Enix has expanded the Final Fantasy series into various media. Multiple anime and computer-generated imagery (CGI) films have been produced that are based either on individual Final Fantasy games or on the series as a whole. The first was an original video animation (OVA) titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, a sequel to Final Fantasy V. The story was set on the same world as the game though 200 years in the future. It was released as four 30-minute episodes first in Japan in 1994 and later released in the United States by Urban Vision in 1998. In 2001, Square Pictures released its first feature film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The film is set on a future-Earth invaded by alien life forms. The Spirits Within was the first animated feature to seriously attempt to portray photorealistic CGI humans, but was considered a box office bomb. 2001 also saw the release of Final Fantasy: Unlimited, a 25 episode anime series based on the common elements of the Final Fantasy series. It was broadcast in Japan by TV Tokyo and released in North America by ADV Films. In 2005, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Last Order: Final Fantasy VII were released as part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Several video games have either been adapted into or have had spin-offs in the form of manga and novels. The first was the novelization of Final Fantasy II in 1989, and was followed by a manga adaptation of Final Fantasy III in 1992. The past decade has seen an increase in the number of non-video game adaptations and spin-offs. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been adapted into a novel, the spin-off game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has been adapted into a manga, and Final Fantasy XI has had a novel and manga set in its continuity. Two novellas based on the Final Fantasy VII universe have also been released. The Final Fantasy: Unlimited story was partially continued in novels and a manga after the anime series ended. Two titles, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy: Unlimited, have been adapted into radio dramas.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent, many themes and elements of gameplay recur throughout the series. Most titles feature recycled names often inspired from various cultures' history and languages including Japanese, Hebrew, and Latin. Examples include weapon names like Excalibur and Masamune—derived from Arthurian legend and the Japanese swordsmith Masamune respectively—as well as the spell names Holy, Meteor, and Ultima. Beginning with Final Fantasy IV, the main series adopted its current logo style that features the same typeface and an emblem designed by manga artist Yoshitaka Amano. The emblem relates to a title's respective plot and typically portrays a character or object in the story. Subsequent remakes of the first three games have replaced the previous logos with ones similar to the rest of the series.
The central conflict in many Final Fantasy games focuses on a group of characters battling an evil, and sometimes ancient, antagonist that dominates the game's world. Stories frequently involve a sovereign state in rebellion, with the protagonists taking part in the rebellion. The heroes are often destined to defeat the evil, and occasionally gather as a direct result of the antagonist's malicious actions. Another staple of the series is the existence of two villains; the main villain is not always who it appears to be, as the primary antagonist may actually be subservient to another character or entity. The main antagonist introduced at the beginning of the game is not always the final enemy, and the characters must continue their quest beyond what appears to be the final fight.
Stories in the series frequently emphasize the internal struggles, passions, and tragedies of the characters, and the main plot often recedes into the background as the focus shifts to their personal lives. Games also explore relationships between characters, ranging from love to rivalry. Other recurring situations that drive the plot include amnesia, a hero corrupted by an evil force, mistaken identity, and altruistic suicide. Magical orbs and crystals are recurring in-game items that are frequently connected to the themes of the games' plots. Crystals often play a central role in the creation of the world, and a majority of the Final Fantasy games link crystals and orbs to the planet's life force. As such, control over these crystals drives the main conflict. The classical elements are a recurring theme in the series related to the heroes, villains, and items. Other common plot and setting themes include the Gaia hypothesis, an apocalypse, and conflicts between advanced technology and nature.
In recent years, the series has featured several males with androgynous or effeminate characteristics. Character names are another recurring theme. Since the release of Final Fantasy II, including subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, a character named Cid has appeared in different capacities: a non-playable ally, party member, and villain. Though Cid's appearance and personality differ between titles, the character is normally related to the in-game airships. Biggs and Wedge, inspired by two Star Wars characters by the same name, appear in titles as minor characters, sometimes as comic relief. Recurring creatures include Chocobos and Moogles. Chocobos are large, often flightless birds that appear in several installments as a means of long-distance travel for characters. Moogles, on the other hand, are white, stout creatures resembling teddy bears with wings and a single antenna. They serve different capacities in games including mail delivery, weaponsmiths, party members, and saving the game. Chocobo and Moogle appearances are often accompanied by specific themes that have been arranged differently for separate titles.
In Final Fantasy games, players command a party of characters as they progress through the game's story by exploring the game world and defeating opponents. Enemies are typically encountered randomly through exploring, a trend which changed in Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII. The player issues combat orders—like "Fight", "Magic", and "Item"—to individual characters via a menu-driven interface while engaging in battles. Throughout the series, the games have used different battle systems. Prior to Final Fantasy XI, battles were turn-based with the protagonists and antagonists on different sides of the battlefield. Final Fantasy IV introduced the "Active Time Battle System" that augmented the turn-based nature with a perpetual time-keeping system. Designed by Hiroyuki Itō, it injected urgency and excitement into combat by requiring the player to act before an enemy attacks, and was used until Final Fantasy X, which implemented the Conditional Turn-Based system. The new system returned to the previous turn-based system, but added nuances to offer players more challenge. Final Fantasy XI adopted a real-time battle system where characters continuously act depending on the issued command. Final Fantasy XII continued this gameplay with the "Active Dimension Battle" system.
Like most RPGs, the Final Fantasy installments use an experience level system for character advancement, in which experience points are accumulated by killing enemies. Character classes, specific jobs that enable unique abilities for characters, are another recurring theme. Introduced in the first game, character classes have been used differently in each title. Some restrict a character to a single job to integrate it into the story, while other games feature dynamic job systems that allow the player to choose from multiple classes and switch throughout the game. Though used heavily in many games, such systems have become less prevalent in favor of characters that are more versatile; characters still match an archetype, but are able to learn skills outside their class.
Magic is another common RPG element in the series. It is generally divided into classes, which are organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "green magic" which focuses on 'buffing' allies or 'debuffing' the enemy. Other magic includes summoning legendary creatures to aid in battle, and has persisted since Final Fantasy III. These creatures, often referred to as "Summons", have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures. Different means of transportation have appeared through the series. The most common is the airship for long range travel, accompanied by chocobos for travelling short distances, but others include sea and land vessels. Following Final Fantasy VII, more modern and futuristic vehicle designs have been included.
In the mid 1980s, Square entered the Japanese video game industry with simple RPGs, racing games, and platformers for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System. Though a couple games were successful in North America, most were not popular and the company faced bankruptcy. In 1987, Square designer Hironobu Sakaguchi headed development of a game to prevent the company's financial ruin. Sakaguchi chose to create a new fantasy role-playing game for the cartridge-based NES, and drew inspiration from popular fantasy games: Enix's Dragon Quest, Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda, and Origin Systems's Ultima series. As Sakaguchi planned to retire after completing the project, he named it Final Fantasy. Despite his explanation, publications have also attributed the name to the company's hopes that the project would solve its financial troubles.
The game indeed reversed Square's lagging fortunes, and it became the company's flagship franchise. Following the success, Square immediately developed a second installment. Because Sakaguchi assumed Final Fantasy would be a stand-alone title, its story was not designed to be expanded by a sequel. The developers instead chose to carry over only thematic similarities to its predecessor, and some of the gameplay elements, such as the character advancement system, were overhauled. This approach has continued throughout the series; each major Final Fantasy game features a new setting, a new cast of characters, and an upgraded battle system.
For the original Final Fantasy, Sakaguchi required a larger production team than Square's previous titles. He began crafting the game's story while experimenting with gameplay ideas. Once the gameplay system and game world size was established, Sakaguchi integrated his story ideas into the available resources. A different approach has been taken for subsequent titles; the story is completed first and the game built around it. Designers have never been restricted by consistency, though most feel each title should have a minimum number of common elements. The development teams strive to create completely new worlds for each title, and avoid making new games too similar to previous ones. Game locations are conceptualized early in development and design details like building parts are fleshed out as a base for entire structures.
The first five games were directed by Sakaguchi, who also provided the original concepts. He served as a producer for subsequent games until he left Square in 2001. Yoshinori Kitase took over directing the games until Final Fantasy VIII, and has been followed by a new director for each new title. Hiroyuki Itō designed several gameplay systems, including Final Fantasy V's Job System, Final Fantasy VIII's Junction System and the Active Time Battle concept, which was used from Final Fantasy IV until Final Fantasy IX. Itō also co-directed Final Fantasy VI with Kitase. Kenji Terada was the scenario writer for the first four games; Kitase took over as scenario writer for Final Fantasy V through Final Fantasy VII. Kazushige Nojima became the series' primary scenario writer from Final Fantasy VII until his resignation in October 2003; he has since formed his own company, Stellavista. Nojima partially or completely wrote the stories for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy X-2. He also worked as the scenario writer for the spin off series, Kingdom Hearts.
Artistic design, including character and monster creations, was handled by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano from Final Fantasy through Final Fantasy VI. Amano also handled title logo designs for all of the main series and the image illustrations from Final Fantasy VII onward. Tetsuya Nomura was chosen to replace Amano because Nomura's designs were more adaptable to 3D graphics. He worked with the series from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X; for Final Fantasy IX, however, character designs were handled by Shukou Murase, Toshiyuki Itahana, and Shin Nagasawa. Nomura is also the character designer of the Kingdom Hearts series, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and the upcoming Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII. Other designers include Nobuyoshi Mihara and Akihiko Yoshida. Mihara was the character designer for Final Fantasy XI, and Yoshida served as character designer for Final Fantasy Tactics, the Square-produced Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII.
The first titles on the NES feature small sprite representations of the leading party members on the main world screen because of graphical limitations. Battle screens use more detailed, full versions of characters in a side-view perspective. This practice was used until Final Fantasy VI, which uses detailed versions for both screens. The NES sprites are 26 pixels high and use a color palette of 4 colors. 6 frames of animation are used to depict different character statuses like "healthy" and "fatigued". The SNES installments use updated graphics and effects, as well as higher quality audio than in previous games, but are otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. The SNES sprites are 2 pixels shorter, but have larger palettes and feature more animation frames: 11 colors and 40 frames respectively. The upgrade allowed designers to have characters be more detailed in appearance and express more emotions. The first title includes non-player characters (NPCs) the player could interact with, but are mostly static in-game objects. Beginning with the second title, Square used predetermined pathways for NPCs to create more dynamic scenes that include comedy and drama.
In 1995, Square showed an interactive SGI technical demonstration of Final Fantasy for the then next generation of consoles. The demonstration used Silicon Graphics's prototype Nintendo 64 workstations to create 3D graphics. Fans believed the demo was of a new Final Fantasy title for the Nintendo 64 console; however, 1997 saw the release of Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation. The switch was due to a dispute with Nintendo over its use of faster and more expensive cartridges, as opposed to the slower, cheaper, and much higher capacity compact discs used on rival systems. Final Fantasy VII introduced 3D graphics with fully pre-rendered backgrounds. It was because of this switch to 3D that a CD-ROM format was chosen over a cartridge format. The switch also led to increased production costs and a greater subdivision of the creative staff for Final Fantasy VII and subsequent 3D titles in the series.
Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, the series adopted a more photo-realistic look. Like Final Fantasy VII, full motion video (FMV) sequences would have video playing in the background, with the polygonal characters composited on top. Final Fantasy IX returned briefly to the more stylized design of earlier games in the series. It still maintained, and in many cases slightly upgraded, most of the graphical techniques used in the previous two games in the series. Final Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2, and used the more powerful hardware to render graphics in real-time instead of using pre-rendered material to obtain a more dynamic look; the game features full 3D environments, rather than have 3D character models move about pre-rendered backgrounds. It is also the first Final Fantasy game to introduce voice acting, occurring throughout the majority of the game, even with many minor characters. This aspect added a whole new dimension of depth to the character's reactions, emotions, and development.
Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG. Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving 6 months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan. This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting. It also retains the freely rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII was shown at E3 2006 and will make use of Crystal Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.
The titles in the series feature a variety of music, but frequently reuse themes. Most of the games open with a piece called "Prelude", which has evolved from a simple, 2-voice arpeggio in the early games to a complex, melodic arrangement in recent installments. Victories in combat are often accompanied by a victory fanfare, a theme that has become one of the most recognized pieces of music in the series. The basic theme that accompanies Chocobo appearances has been rearranged in a different musical style for each installment. A piece called "Prologue" (and sometimes "Final Fantasy"), originally featured in the first game, is often played during the ending credits. Although leitmotifs are common in the more character-driven installments, theme music is typically reserved for main characters and recurring plot elements.
Nobuo Uematsu was the chief music composer of the Final Fantasy series until his resignation from Square Enix in November 2004. Other composers include Masashi Hamauzu and Hitoshi Sakimoto. Uematsu was allowed to create much of the music with little direction from the production staff. Sakaguchi, however, would request pieces to fit specific game scenes including battles and exploring different areas of the game world. Once a game's major scenarios were completed, Uematsu would begin writing the music based on the story, characters, and accompanying artwork. He started with a game's main theme, and developed other pieces to match its style. In creating character themes, Uematsu read the game's scenario to determine the characters' personality. He would also ask the scenario writer for more details to scenes he was unsure about. Technical limitations were prevalent in earlier titles; Sakaguchi would sometimes instruct Uematsu to only use specific notes. It wasn't until Final Fantasy IV on the SNES that Uematsu was able to add more subtlety to the music.
Overall, the Final Fantasy series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, though each installment has seen different levels of success. The series has seen a steady increase in total sales; it sold 45 million units worldwide by August 2003, 63 million by December 2005, and 85 million by July 2008. In March 2010, Square Enix announced that the series has shipped over 96 million units. Its high sales numbers have ranked it as one of the best-selling video game franchises in the industry; in January 2007, the series was listed as number three, and later in July as number four. Several games within the series have become best-selling titles. At the end of 2007, the seventh, eighth, and ninth best-selling RPGs were Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy X respectively. Final Fantasy VII has sold more than 9.5 million copies worldwide, earning it the position of the best-selling Final Fantasy title. Within two days of Final Fantasy VIII's North American release on September 9, 1999, it became the top-selling video game in the United States, a position it held for more than three weeks. Final Fantasy X sold over 1.4 million Japanese units in pre-orders alone, which set a record for the fastest-selling console RPG. Final Fantasy XII sold more than 1.7 million copies in its first week in Japan. By November 6, 2006—one week after its release—Final Fantasy XII had shipped approximately 1.5 million copies in North America.
The series has been praised for the quality of its visuals and soundtracks. It was awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006, making it the first franchise to win a star on the event (other winners were individual games, not franchises). WalkOfGame.com commented that the series has sought perfection as well as been a risk taker in innovation. In a 2008 public poll held by The Game Group plc, Final Fantasy was voted the best game series, with five titles appearing in their "Greatest Games of All Time" list. IGN has commented the menu system used by the series is a major detractor for many and is a "significant reason why they haven't touched the series." The site has also heavily criticized the use of random encounters in the series' battle systems. IGN further stated the various attempts to bring the series into film and animation have either been unsuccessful, unremarkable, or did not live up to the standards of the games. In July 2007, UK-based Edge magazine criticized the series for a number of related titles that include the phrase "Final Fantasy" in their titles, which are considered to be not of the same quality as previous titles. It also commented that with the departure of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the series might be in danger of growing stale.
Many Final Fantasy games have been included in various lists of top games. Several games have been listed on multiple IGN "Top Games" lists. Eleven games were listed on Famitsu's 2006 "Top 100 Favorite Games of All Time", four of which were in the top ten, with Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII being first and second, respectively. The series holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008, which include the "Most Games in an RPG Series" (13 main titles, 7 enhanced titles, and 32 spin-off titles), the "Longest Development Period" (the production of Final Fantasy XII took five years), and the "Fastest-Selling Console RPG in a Single Day" (Final Fantasy X). The 2009 edition listed two titles from the series among the top 50 consoles games: Final Fantasy XII at number 8 and Final Fantasy VII at number 20.
Several individual Final Fantasy titles have garnered extra attention; some for their positive reception and others for their negative reception. Despite the success of Final Fantasy VII, it is sometimes criticized as being overrated. In 2003, GameSpy listed it as the 7th most overrated game of all time, a comment echoed by IGN. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII shipped 392,000 units in its first week of release, but received review scores that were much lower than that of other Final Fantasy games. A delayed, negative review after the Japanese release of Dirge of Cerberus from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu hinted at a controversy between the magazine and Square Enix. The MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, reached over 200,000 active daily players in March 2006 and had reached over half a million subscribers by July 2007. Though Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was praised for its visuals, the plot was criticized and was considered a box office bomb. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube received overall positive review scores, but reviews stated that the use of Game Boy Advances as controllers was a big detractor.
The Final Fantasy series and several specific games within it have been credited for introducing and popularizing many concepts that are today widely used in console RPGs. The original title is often cited as one of the most influential early console RPGs, and played a major role in legitimizing and popularizing the genre. Prior to the series, RPGs featured one-on-one battles against monsters from a first person perspective. Final Fantasy introduced a side view perspective with groups of monsters against a group of characters that has been frequently imitated. Final Fantasy II was the first sequel in the industry to omit characters and locations from the previous title. Final Fantasy VII is credited with allowing console role-playing games to find a place in markets outside Japan.
The series' success affected Square's business on several levels. The financial success of the first game saved Square from bankruptcy, while the commercial failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within resulted in hesitation and delays from Enix during merger discussions. Square's decision to produce games exclusively for the Sony PlayStation—a move followed by Enix's decision with the Dragon Quest series—severed their relationship with Nintendo. Final Fantasy games were absent from Nintendo consoles, specifically the Nintendo 64, for seven years. Critics attribute the switch of strong third-party titles, like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, from the Nintendo 64 to the PlayStation as one of the reasons behind the systems' decline and success, respectively. The release of the Nintendo GameCube, which used optical disc media, in 2001 caught the attention of Square. To produce games for the system, Square created the shell company The Game Designers Studio and released Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which spawned its own metaseries within the main franchise. Final Fantasy XI's lack of an online method of subscription cancellation prompted the creation of legislation in Illinois that requires internet gaming services to provide such a method to the state's residents.
The series' popularity has resulted in its appearance and reference in numerous facets of popular culture like anime, TV series, and webcomics. Music from the series has permeated into different areas of culture. Final Fantasy IV's "Theme of Love" was integrated into the curriculum of Japanese school children and has been performed live by orchestras and metal bands. In 2003, Uematsu became involved with the The Black Mages, a rock group independent of Square that has released albums of arranged Final Fantasy tunes. Bronze medalists Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova performed their synchronized swimming routine at the 2004 Summer Olympics to music from Final Fantasy VIII. Many of the titles' official soundtracks have been released for sale as well. Numerous companion books, which normally provide in-depth game information, have been published. In Japan, they are published by Square and are called Ultimania books. In North America, they take the form of standard strategy guides.
The time loop was severed at last... The endless struggle that raged over two thousand years had ended, and peace prevailed once more.
The light of the four Crystals restored the forces of wind, water, earth and fire.
It was a mere trick of fate that had given rise to the chain of Garland's wrath.
But magnified by the four forces meant to guide our world, that trick of fate also gave birth to the Fiends.
Monsters ran rampant and the world sank into darkness...
But all that is now past.
With the four forces flowing as they were meant, the Warriors prepare to cross time and return to the world they knew- a world where Princess Sarah, Queen Jayne and even Garland himself await.
When was it that time fell into its spiralling loop?
When was that fatefal day?
None can say.
It seemed the cycle into which time had fallen would last forever.
But the bravery of the four young travellers prevailed. They grasped the forces that filled the world with darkness, and used them to restore it to the light.
No one will ever recall the struggles the four endured, for the breaking of the chain means that it never existed.
But in the tales of fantasy that people tell one another, the memory of their deed will live on...
Tales of dwarves and elves, of dragons and shining civilizations that reached for the very heavens even as they fell.
Now the return to us.
With the memory of their struggle buried deep in their hearts, they will quietly watch over the world.
Remember always that the forces of the world must be used as they were intended- that the power of light must never be used for dark, and that the true Crystals reside in your heart.
For you are the warrior who crossed time.
You are the bringer of light...
Bartz: Yours, you old coot!
Galuf: ... Oh, my head! I can't seem to remember anything!
Bartz: And his amnesia oh-so-conveniently returns.
Bartz: With cheese biscuits and mashed potatoes!
Galuf: This is not anger...nor is it
Exdeath: Then what is it...?
Locke : "I'm not a thief, I'm a treasure hunter...."
Kefka : "Life...Dreams...Hope...Where'd they come from? And where are they headed...? These things...I'm going to destroy!!"
Sabin : "That's Shadow! He'd gut his mama's throat for a nickel!"
Kefka : "This is sickening! You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet! Prepare yourselves!"
Locke : "Hey! Call me a TREASURE HUNTER, or I'll rip your lungs out!"
Edgar : "If something were to happen to me, all the world's women would grieve!"
Reno: Hey partner (looks over at Rude) This thing uh.. it got any bite to it? (talking about the bomb)
Rude: ShinRa technology at its finest.
Reno: Oh! So you made this.
Rude: If nothing else its... flashy
Reno: Ohh, good.
Rude: You love it. I know.
Reno: Looks like today we're clocking out early.
Cloud: [Talking to Zack] I said I'd live out both our lives... easy to make that promise.
Cloud: But... I let you die.
Zack: Hang in there. Hey, you okay? Well, what are you going to do once we get to Midgar? We're friends... Right? Cloud! Run!!
Cloud: See. I knew I'd be no help. Vincent,
what do you know about this?
Vincent: I come here often. I've seen what Kadaj's group is doing. [Grabs Cloud's arm] The stigma... its a symptom of alien matter infesting the body. The body tries to eliminate it and over compensates. Inside our bodies is a current. Much like the Lifestream. That current fights off any malvent-intruders.
Cloud: What do you mean by 'intruder'?
Cloud: Are sins... ever forgiven?
Vincent: I wouldn't know. I never tried.
Cloud: Never.. tryed... Well I'm gonna to try.
Rufus Shinra: The Lifestream courses through our Planet back and forth across the borders of life and death. If that cycle is the very truth of life then history, too, will inevitably repeat itself. So go on - bring your Jenovas and your Sephiroths. It won't matter. We'll do as life dictates and stop you every single time.
Rufus Shinra: A good son would have known.
Kadaj: Look at what brother was hiding from us. [Picks up a Materia] Powers forged in the Lifestream. Heheh. With this Materia... Those powers will be ours.
Aerith: You came. Even though your about to break. [Touch's Cloud's arm] Hm? That's a good sign. So, why did you come?
Cloud: I think... I wanna be forgiven. Mmm, more than anything.
Aerith: By who?
[Zack's phone rings]
Prologue: "When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end The goddess descends from the sky Wings of light and dark spread afar She guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting."
Act I: "Infinite in mystery is the gift of the goddess We seek it thus, and take to the sky Ripples form on the water's surface The wandering soul knows no rest."
Act II: "There is no hate, only joy For you are beloved by the goddess Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds.
Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul Pride is lost Wings stripped away, the end is nigh."
Act III: "My friend, do you fly away now? To a world that abhors you and I? All that awaits you is a somber morrow No matter where the winds may blow.
My friend, your desire Is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess.
Even if the morrow is barren of promises Nothing shall forestall my return."
Act IV: "My friend, the fates are cruel There are no dreams, no honor remains The arrow has left the bow of the goddess.
My soul, corrupted by vengeance Hath endured torment, to find the end of the journey In my own salvation And your eternal slumber. Legend shall speak Of sacrifice at world's end The wind sails over the water's surface Quietly, but surely."
Act V: "Even if the morrow is barren of promises Nothing shall forestall my return. To become the dew that quenches the land To spare the seas, the skies I offer thee this silent sacrifice."
It hurts to not be known. It also hurts to be known as a monster.
Squall: I dreamt I was a moron...
Seifer: Great, I have one chicken-wuss and one
kid who just entered puberty in my team!
Laguna: I feel a draft on my butt...
Squall: I'm more complex than you think.
Small boy from Kilika: I wanna be a blitzball when I grow up.
Auron: This is it. This... is your story. It all begins here.
Auron: Outside the dream world, life can be harsh, even cruel, but it is life.
Auron: Every story must have an ending.
Auron: Don't look to others for knowledge, this is your story.
Auron: Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!
Auron: The red carpet has teeth.
Kimahri: Only those who try will become.
Lulu: No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew.
Rikku: Memories are nice, but that's all they are.
Seymour: Pitiful mortals...your hope ends here. ...And your meaningless existence with it!
Seymour: Life is but a passing dream, but the death that follows is eternal.
Seymour: But there is no salvation for the damned! Rest in peace in eternal darkness.
Seymour: I have saved him. He was a man who craved power. And great power he had, but he feared losing it. Trembling at unseen enemies, he spent his days scheming petty schemes... chased by his fears, never knowing rest. You see... now he has no worries; he has been granted sleep eternal. Death is a sweet slumber. All the pain of life is gently swept away... Ah, yes. Don't you see...if all life were to end in Spira, all suffering would end. Don't you see? Do you not agree?
Tidus: Listen to my story... This may be our last chance.
Tidus: People die, and Yuna dances. When will she stop dancing? When will it stop? Yuna won't stop dancing, not until Sin is gone.
Tidus: This is my story and it will go the way I want it to or I'll end it here!
Yuna: The people and the friends that we have lost, or the dreams that have faded... Never forget them.
Yuna: It would be so easy...to let my fate just carry me away...following this same path my whole life through. But I know...I can't. What I do, I do...with no regrets.
Yuna: I will live with my sorrow, I will live my own life! I will defeat sorrow, in his place. I will stand my ground and be strong. I don't know when it will be, but someday... I will conquer it. And I will do it without... false hope.
Yuna: Everyone...everyone has lost something precious. Everyone here has lost homes, dreams, and friends. Everybody... Now, Sin is finally dead. Now, Spira is ours again. Working together... Now we can make new homes for ourselves, and new dreams. Although I know the journey will be hard, we have lots of time. Together, we will rebuild Spira. The road is ahead of us, so let's start out today. Just, one more thing... The people and the friends that we have lost, or the dreams that have faded... Never forget them.
Yojimbo: You are a fading dream, but one that has been touched by reality. Run, dream. Run on into the daylight. And walk into reality.
Yunalesca: It is better to die in hope than live in despair.
Tidus: [voice faltering] I hate you.
Jecht: [chuckles] I know, I know...
Tidus: Guys. This is the last time we fight
Tidus: After we defeat Yu Yevon... I'll disappear.
Lulu: What are you talking about?
Tidus: I'm saying goodbye!
Rikku: Not now!
Tidus: I know it's selfish... but this is my story!
Tidus: Where are we?
Fayth: Silly. Don't you recognize your own home?
Tidus: Wait, this is a dream?
Tidus: Are you crazy? This is no time for dreaming!
Fayth: It's not that you are dreaming. You are a dream.
Fayth: Long ago, there was a great machina war between Bevelle and Zanarkand. The summoners of Zanarkand knew they didn't stand a chance against Bevelle's machina. They wanted to preserve Zanarkand, if only in a memory. They summoned the buildings, the people...
Tidus: Me... too?
Tidus: I don't care if I'm a dream. I like my life now.
Fayth: We've been dreaming for so long, we're tired. Will you and your father... will you let us rest?
[Tidus begins disappearing, Yuna shakes her head 'no']
Tidus: Yuna, I have to go.
[Yuna shakes her head 'no']
Tidus: I'm sorry I couldn't show you Zanarkand.
Rikku: We're gonna see you again?!
[Yuna runs after Tidus, but goes right through him and falls to ground]
Yuna: [stands up] I love you.
[Tidus turns and hugs Yuna, walks through her and runs and jumps into air and disappears, joining Jecht and Auron, already gone. He gives his father a quick low five before the fade to black.]
[Random battle dialogue-only heard by having Yuna, Lulu and
Wakka in your immediate fighting team]
Yuna: A lotta fiends here, ya?
Lulu: [Plainly] Don't talk like that.
[The party prepares to face a giant monster trying to destroy the airship they're riding in.]
Auron: Open the hatch. We fight.
Rin: Evrae is truly mighty. Be well prepared.
[The merchant proceeds to sell the party supplies.]
Wakka: We gotta pay?
Wakka: If we lose, you die too, buddy!
Rin: I have faith in your victory.
Wakka: Gee, thanks.
[Before the fight with Yunalesca]
Auron: Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!
Kimahri: Yuna needs Kimahri. Kimahri protect Yuna.
Rikku: Well I'm fighting!
Wakka: I can't believe we're gonna fight Lady Yunalesca. Gimme a break!
Lulu: You could always run.
Wakka: Ha! I could never forgive myself. No way! Not if I ran away now! Even in... death, ya?
Lulu: My thoughts exactly.
Tidus: Yuna! This is our story. Now let's see this thing through together.
Yuna: I thought this would be easier some
how... with all my friends together beside me. I've been trying so
(Rikku, Paine and Nooj turn to look at Yuna)
[As Balthier picks Vaan up and leaps off palace and jumps on to Balthiers hover craft of which Fran is driving. Balthier holds Vaan’s arm trying to get the godess's magicite from Vaan's hand.]
[As the group prepares to leave from the Eruyt village]
thing 50 years ago?
[As the others move on.]
(Lightning activates her anti-G device to jump over the bridge but Sazh latches unto her to her dismay.)
(Scene changes to Lightning and Sazh)
[Sees airship land, Snow tosses Gadot a gun, only to find him aiming it at him]
[Vanille picks up a Blind Rod]
[A monster wakes and sees the two, attacking them as fight it]
[Jegran attempts to cut Keiss down, but Layle knocks him down.]
[Vagali then knocks Keiss out of the way.]
want. I hope you are not so cruel as to call me melodramatic.
[He tries to crystallize her, but no effect. Knocking her down, he uncovers her mark as a Crystal Bearer.]
|Publisher(s)||Square, Square Enix|
|System(s)||NES, MSX, WonderSwan Color, Virtual Console|
|Followed by||Final Fantasy II|
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー ?) is the first game in Square's now long line of Final Fantasy games. It was originally released for the Famicom in December of 1987. Nearly three years would pass before the game was finally translated into English and released on the NES. It was created as the last ditch effort of Squaresoft in the hopes of making money. If it had flopped, they would have been forced to declare bankruptcy and leave the gaming market, but it managed to be a hit both in Japan and the US. The original Famicom version managed to sell 520,000 copies, better than any previous effort by Squaresoft.
Years later the game would be re-released with improved graphics and audio for the WonderSwan Color. Squaresoft bundled the game with Final Fantasy II when they re-released the game Final Fantasy I-II for the Famicom, Final Fantasy Origins for the PlayStation, Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the Game Boy Advance. The most recent update, Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition was for the PSP. Final Fantasy Origins on the PS1 has a long list of improvements over the original. Besides the obvious graphical improvements, they re-translated the game and fixed a lot of the bugs and various other odds and ends that were overlooked the first time around. Dawn of Souls and the Anniversary Edition made major changes to the gameplay and added new dungeons.
Famicom cover art.
MSX cover art.
WonderSwan Color cover art.
|Portal: RPGs||Final Fantasy at
Final Fantasy Wiki
December 18, 1987 (JP)
July 12, 1990 (NA)
December 9, 2000 (JP)
October 31, 2002 (JP)
April 19, 2007 (JP)
July 27, 2007 (NA)
February 8, 2008 (EU)
|Genre||Console role-playing game|
Nintendo Entertainment System
As Part of:
Final Fantasy I & II
Final Fantasy Origins
Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
|Media||2 Megabit Cartridge
32 Megabit Cartridge
Universal Media Disc
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
Final Fantasy is the first game in the long line of Final Fantasy games. At first the game was not expected to be the huge hit it really was. The game was Square's first big success and establish them as a company that could do well in the gaming market.
Originally released on the Famicom in Japan, the game would later be ported to the MSX2 home computer, translated to English on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and remade several times on such consoles as the PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation Portable, Mobile phones, and soon, the Virtual Console. The game has also been compiled with its sequel, Final Fantasy II, as Final Fantasy I & II for the Famicom, Final Fantasy Origins for the PlayStation, and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the Game Boy Advance.
Four hundred years prior to the start of the game, a people known as the Lefeinish (Lufenian), who used the Power of Wind to craft a giant space station (called the Floating Castle (Sky Castle) in the game) and airships, watched their country decline as the Wind Orb went dark. Two hundred years later, violent storms sunk a massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the Water Orb went dark. The Earth Orb and the Fire Orb followed, plaguing the earth with raging wildfires, and devastating the agricultural town of Melmond as the plains and vegetation decayed. Some time later, a sage called Lukahn tells of a prophecy that four Light Warriors will come to save the world in a time of darkness.
The game begins with the appearance of the four youthful Light Warriors, the heroes of the story, who each carry one of the darkened Orbs (Crystals). They arrive at Coneria (Cornelia), a powerful kingdom which has just witnessed the kidnapping of its princess, Sara, by a knight named Garland. The Light Warriors travel to the ruined Temple of Fiends in the northwest corner of Coneria, defeat Garland, and return Princess Sara home. The grateful King of Coneria builds a bridge that enables the Light Warriors' passage east to the town of Pravoka. At Pravoka, the Light Warriors liberate the town from Bikke and his band of pirates, and acquire the pirates' ship for their own use. Though having the ability to travel across the water, the Light Warriors remain trapped within the Aldi Sea, in the center of the southern continent. On the south side of the sea is the kingdom of the elves, where the prince has been put into a cursed sleep by Astos. To the west is a ruined castle, where a king tells you that Astos stole his crown and hid it in the Marsh Cave to the south, though when the Light Warriors retrieve his crown, he reveals himself to be Astos. He has also stolen the witch Matoya's (Matouya) Crystal. With her Crystal back, Matoya provides an herb to awaken the Elf Prince. The Elf Prince gives the Light Warriors a key capable of unlocking any door. The key unlocks a storage room in Coneria Castle which holds TNT (Nitro Powder). Nerrick, one of the Dwarves of the Cave of Dwarf/Dwarf Village (Mount Deurgar), destroys a small isthmus using the TNT, connecting the sea to the outside world.
After visiting the near-ruined town of Melmond, the Light Warriors go to the Earth Cave (Cavern of Earth) to defeat a vampire and retrieve the Ruby, which gains passage to Sage Sarda's (Sadda) cave. With Sarda's Rod, the Warriors venture deeper into the Earth Cave and destroy the Earth Fiend, Lich, who is responsible for the earth's decay. The Light Warriors then obtain a canoe and enter Gurgu Volcano (Mt. Gulg) and defeat the Fire Fiend, Kary (Marilith). They recover the Floater (Levistone) from the Ice Cave, which allows them to obtain an airship. After proving their courage by retrieving the Rat's Tail from the Castle of Ordeal (Citadel of Trials), the King of the Dragons, Bahamut, promotes each Light Warrior. Using an air-producing fairy artifact known as Oxyale, the Warriors go to the Sunken Shrine to defeat the Water Fiend, Kraken. They also recover a slab with fragments of the Lefeinish language. A linguist named Dr. Unne uses the slab to decode the Lefeinish language, which he teaches to the Light Warriors. Following this, the Light Warriors travel to a small and distant town — the last remaining outpost of the Lefeinish civilization. The Lefeinish give the Light Warriors access to the Floating Castle (Sky Castle) that Tiamat, the Wind Fiend, has taken over. With the four Fiends defeated and the Orbs restored, the Warriors find that their quest is not yet over: the true enemy waits two thousand years in the past. Traveling to the past, the Warriors discover that the four Fiends sent Garland (now the archdemon Chaos) back in time and he sent the Fiends to the future to do so, creating a time loop by which he could live forever. The Light Warriors defeat Chaos, thus ending the paradox. By ending the paradox, however, the Light Warriors have changed the future, to one in which their heroic deeds from their own time remain unknown outside of legend.
Final Fantasy (unlike many later titles in the series) does not have any pre-defined characters. Instead, at the beginning of the game, the player has the option to choose classes for each of the four characters in the party. The classes available to the party are as follows:
Note: Some of the class names have changed in later revisions of the game text. The "newer" names are in parentheses.
When the party brings a rat tail to Bahamut as proof of their courage, their character classes are upgraded, allowing more equipment and skill choices. The list is as follows:
PlayStation Japanese Boxart
WonderSwan Color Boxart
PlayStation Portable Boxart
PlayStation Portable Japanese Boxart
PlayStation Portable European Boxart
|Final Fantasy series|
|FF I | FF II | FF III | FF IV | FF V | FF VI | FF VII | FF VIII | FF IX | FF X | FF XI | FF XII | FF XIII | FF XIV|
|Final Fantasy Tactics | Final Fantasy Tactics Advance | Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift|
|Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles | Ring of Fates | My Life as a King | Echoes of Time | My Life as a Darklord | The Crystal Bearers|
|Collections, Compilations and Updates|
|Final Fantasy Compilations - Final Fantasy Updates|
|Sequels and Spin Offs|
|Final Fantasy X-2 | Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII | Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII | Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII | Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings | Dissidia: Final Fantasy | Final Fantasy IV: The After Years | Final Fantasy Versus XIII | Final Fantasy Agito XIII|
|Final Fantasy Mystic Quest ||
|Movies and Animation|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children | Final Fantasy: Legends of the Crystals
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within | Final Fantasy: Unlimited
||This Final Fantasy-related article is a stub. You can help by adding to it.
Stubs are articles that writers have begun work on, but are not yet complete enough to be considered finished articles.
There are two main types of Final Fantasy game: the main series, where the games are just numbered with Roman numbers, and several related games and spinoffs. Each game in the main series except Final Fantasy X and X-2 have very little to do with each other, with its own setting, story, and characters. But the games are connected through the gameplay, themes, and 'style'. Newer sequels and prequels are Final Fantasy X-2 and the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII games and films.
Since 1987, more than seventeen games have been released. The series started on Nintendo Entertainment System, but today most Final Fantasy games are made for the Sony PlayStation or PlayStation 2. Games have also been released for the Nintendo Game Boy and GameCube. Final Fantasy VII is generally regarded as one of the pinnacle achievements of gaming. A must-play for any gamer.
While it is not actually a Final Fantasy game, one game called Final Fantasy Adventure was released in America for the Nintendo Game Boy. The game was actually a prequel to the SNES game Secret of Mana, but was released in the United States with the name "Final Fantasy" to boost sales. In 2003 it was remade for the Game Boy Advance with the title Sword of Mana. In Japan, the Mana series is called Seiken Densetsu, which means "Legend of the Sword." There are three games in the series, but only the first two, Secret of Mana and Sword of Mana, have been released in the United States.
Most Final Fantasy games are based around leading a team of characters which each have special skills, and fighting lots of monsters to beat the game. Most Final Fantasy games also have interesting storylines.
For Nintendo Entertainment System:
For Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES):
For Sony Playstation:
For Sony Playstation 2:
For Playstation 3:
For Xbox 360:
For Nintendo Gameboy:
For Nintendo Gameboy Advance
For Nintendo GameCube:
For Nintendo Wii:
For Nintendo DS:
For Playstation Portable:
A list of Future Final Fantasy games.