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Final Fantasy Turns 20

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the big-swords-girly-men dept.

Role Playing (Games) 88

1up has a massive quartet of features up this week, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series. Starting with 'Origins', the site looks at the beginning of the series, an event that was supposed to spell 'the end' for Square. The company lived on, of course, and in 'Everyone's Fantasies' series author Nadia Oxford looks at the rise of the Final Fantasy dynasty going from 8-bit obscurity to the 'mega-fame' of FFVII. Her final piece in the set 'Fertile Fantasy', examines how Square/Enix is now franchising the heck out of the name. To wrap up with 'Future Fantasy', Jeremy Parish looks at the staggering fifteen games with the FF brand due out in the next year. "Even if all of Fabula Nova Crystalis slips to 2009, that's still one title per month -- and we haven't even seen what's on the roster in the way of announcements for the new year. Clearly, Final Fantasy is going strong, but Square Enix's franchising efforts may be doing as much harm as good; of those 15 titles, only one is a new 'true' Final Fantasy game. True, the series has always supported its share of spin-offs -- even blatant name-whoring back in the Game Boy days. Still, we can't help but worry that the Final Fantasy name is being spread a bit too thin; if Square Enix really hopes to keep the series alive for another 20 years or more, they'll need to reconsider what the name Final Fantasy really means."

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Four white mages... (3, Funny)

lonesome_coder (1166023) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618075)

...'nuff said.

Four BlackBelts (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618177)

I think its one of the quickest wins, especially since you don't need to bother with equipment other than selling for potions.

Re:Four BlackBelts (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619211)

Amen to that. Those guys were great, after a slow start until about level 8 or 9.

Nearly as awesome was three black belts and fighter, which allowed you to actually use the really good equipment you got later on, and made the first eight levels a bit more bearable.

Re:Four BlackBelts (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627097)

If you enjoy painfully long sessions of grinding just to get enough money to support them with spells and equipment, four Red Mages make an easy team for beating most bosses... for about 3/4 of the game... The rest is challenging because they don't have access to the highest level of black or white magic.

Re:Four BlackBelts (1)

closetpsycho (1175221) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642665)

On the PS1 remake, I played through with just one black belt. By the end, he was so overpowered it was just embarrassing. I even managed to kill Chaos in one hit. Well, one attack... it was actually around 20-something hits.

Re:Four BlackBelts (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663693)

Yeah, that's the easiest way. If you can beat that game with four white mages though, you're a determined little fucker.

I liked three black belts and one Yuna summoner, with the princess outfit collection that you can change to make her match the environment in a most PRETTY way!!!!

Re:Four white mages... (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618405)

White Mage must've clocked you pretty good with the hammer if you're seeing double doubly.

Re:Four white mages... (1)

Blackknight (25168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620035)

I like having a fighter, two black belts and a red mage. You can't use the higher level spells but your fighters will kill just about anything before they can do much damage any way.

Oh yeah? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621707)

How about one white mage? [gamefaqs.com]

(I've never tried this. 4 black mages was hardcore enough for me.)

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622745)

Infinite charges of invincibility on an item? It's not a bug, it's a feature!

Re:Four white mages... (3, Informative)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21626323)

FF1 is a great game. Anyone who likes older console games and hasn't played through it should. It's kinda hard though, harder than later members of the series at least.

Here's a breakdown:

- Run away. The dungeons are hard. (especially the marsh cave - the first real dungeon, the ice cave, the fiend of wind's dungeon(s) and the final castle) There are a small handful of really efficient places to level up. When you aren't actively leveling up, you should run from just about everything. Once you have protection from death effects and reusable healing items, you can be more lax with this, but in general run away. This, by the way, is what the much-maligned Thief is useful for; he's got the best chance of getting away. But in practice, the fighter, red mage, and black belt get away about as often.

- Starting right after you get your first orb lit up, keep 99 heal potions at all time. The game lacks effective healing (except for 3 vital items you find in the late game) so you'll want to have access to the at most 2970 points of healing the potions offer. However, white magic isn't all that great. It's pretty viable to not have any healing except potions.

- Here's where to level up: until level 8 or so, walk around outside towns. After level 8, make sure you have Fire 2 and ideally Harm 2, and go to the tip of a little peninsula east of the second town. There's hard but not too hard monsters that will give you 600-1000 XP per encounter; just be sure to nuke the frost wolves a.s.a.p. Later, there's recurring undead on a square in the waterfall, and once you have ProRings, the Eye at the end of the Ice cave can be fought again and again. Much much later, the vampires on the penultimate floor of the final level are the fastest way to reach levels 30-50.

- Though it lacks flavor, the party of 2 fighters and 2 red mages is so good as to be something of an easy mode. Black and white magic are both kind of underpowered, and having a team that can all take punches makes up for not getting Harm, Heal, and Nuke. Make sure you don't skip Fast, Invs2, Exit, all the Cures, all the Fires (for undead, the other attack spells aren't nearly as important). Life and the aElement defense spells are pretty good. Everything else is either useless or good only in a specific fight (e.g. sleep against the pirates) or is available too late (aRub). Really black magic sucks in the game. It's useful against a handful of obnoxious encounters with massed enemies, but not so much against any of the bosses. Red mages much better than black mages.

- If you do want a black and white mage instead, I'd still put a second fighter in as #2. The first two positions absorb the lion's share of attacks, and having both get to wear full armor is amazingly useful. The upgraded thief gets almost as good of armor as the knight and he can cast Fast, so a thief is a pretty viable option. Black belts only get better than fighters at the very highest levels, and they have the most boring upgrade. Red mages aren't really strong enough to stand in position #2; it'll be hard to keep a second-in-command red wizard alive in the final dungeon.

- Use the floater in the desert southeast of the volcano. If there's a clue to do this that's placed in the game, I've missed it. I think everything else can be figured out by talking to people.

- Use attack magic to kill enemies that have ugly mass attacks or instant death effects. Hit bosses with swords.

- Don't throw away magic items just to keep lousy helmets and shields on non-knight/ninja characters. You want a fire item, a harm item, a lit item, 2 or (much better) 3 heal items, and the white shirt.

- Speaking of items, the swords and armor that are extra strong against certain elements or types of enemies don't actually have any effect. There's a patch out there for the ROM that will enable this feature. It's worth seeking out, as Square *did* intend the Dragon sword to be good against Dragons etc. But if you don't use it, don't hold on to any weapons or armor for specific encounters.

- Once you beat the game, there's a rare challenge enemy on the walk up to the fourth fiend.

Ok, that's enough. I love that game.

Re:Four white mages... (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628149)

They made the FF1 version in FF:Dawn of Souls for GBA easier. I believe there was an NPC somewhere that says something about using floater, but it has been so long since I played the original I am not sure if that was added in the GBA release. I finished the game with out a ton of grinding with a party of 2 Fighters, one Red Mage and one Black Mage, but I only completed one of the bonus dungeons. The updated graphics are nice too. I

Re:Four white mages... (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628935)

It's been a long time since I played this title. I tried the first final fantasy as a veteran of the SNES games. I was not expecting it to be as difficult as it was. I remember finally getting to the end, and it came down to the final round. 3 of my characters were dead. My white mage was the last man standing, and he didn't have enough HP left to last another round. I had that sword equipped on him that was suppose to be really good for white mages, and I fired off my last attack..... and I won! :)

After reading your tips I suddenly feel the desire to fire up that old game once more in mednafen (my old NES is gone *sniff*). :)

*Final* fantasy? (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618121)

Gee, after 20 years of sequels, it doesn't seem so FINAL, lol mirite? *please mod redundant, please mod redundant*

Fantasy of Finality (1)

0p7imu5_P2im3 (973979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618523)

Contrary to the mods' opinions, this is actually a good point.

The title "Final Fantasy" is another example of Engrish. The Japanese meaning of the title is "Fantasy of Finality," as in, each game is a story about the end of the world being thwarted by a small band of misfits.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618621)

Yeah, but why do Japanese game companies name their games after the Japanified version of some English? Not just "Fainaru Fantaji;", but also "Suta Oshan" (Star Ocean) and "Buru Doragon" (Blue Dragon).

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620031)

Probably for the same reason English speakers get tattoos of Chinese characters. It's cool. (Or, so the market dictates.)

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620743)

I always thought it was so they could get a curse word tattooed and nobody would know.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21624239)

Yeah, but why do Japanese game companies name their games after the Japanified version of some English?
For the same reason as Daikatana. Only more so.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (4, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618693)

What nonsense. Hironobu Sakaguchi chose that name because Square was nearly bankrupt in 87, so he expected their next game to be the last.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21619057)

Complete fantasy.

He chose the name because it was to be HIS last game, not the company's.

Then it did so well, that Squaresoft and now Square-Enix have been skullfucking it ever since.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622177)

What nonsense. Hironobu Sakaguchi chose that name because Square was nearly bankrupt in 87, so he expected their next game to be the last.

I like many others read this and think, Square actually made games other/before FF? Damn, I've played FF 1,3 7,8,9,10,& 12 and an GBA of FF2. I know now that they make 4-5 different RPG, the whole Secret of Mana games, Dragon Quest, and those Saga games. I just never heard of Square making anything other than FF way back then.

Dude, Rad Racer? (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622599)

3D World Runner, King's Knight, and Rad Racer were some notable games they made before the FF series.
All three were pretty sophisticated for the time period (mid to late 80s) and (IMHO) lots of fun.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625267)

Actually, Dragon Quest was made by Enix (which merged with Square in 2003).

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663767)

How is secret of mana not a final fantasy series? Hint, what's the name of the first game in the series?

But more to the point, look up "the death trap", which was basically an illustrated text game. I loved that game. That's where Square actually started.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (4, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618847)

The title "Final Fantasy" is another example of Engrish. The Japanese meaning of the title is "Fantasy of Finality,"


OK, you've intrigued me. How can the title have a Japanese meaning when *it's not in Japanese!* (Yes, the game has the same English title in Japan. No, it's never had a Japanese title).

Chris Mattern

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21619213)

I think that's what he meant by "Engrish". It's more or less English, but the meaning got messed up because it was created by a non-native English speaker.

No idea if he's right, but I could see it.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620261)

If it's true, I'm guessing it's a result of using final as a noun. It probably stems from translation of English and Japanese. Often noun-noun combinations in English turn into phrases where the first noun possesses the second in Japanese. A poor dictionary that equates whatever Japanese word was used into 'final' is probably the culprit.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

perdue (1153995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619717)

The title "Final Fantasy" is another example of Engrish. The Japanese meaning of the title is "Fantasy of Finality," ...

Actually, I think this post is another example of Nihonglish: English speakers with just enough elementary Japanese to get it wrong.

. o O ( Oh, in Japanese it would be fainaru no fantashi, huh? So the meaning would be "Fantasy of Finality!" I'm so smart... )

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620119)

-1, Wrong

Read how the Japanese title is written out here. [wikipedia.org] It's been written that way since day one. In katakana, using loaned English words. It never meant anything but "Final Fantasy".

Re:Fantasy of Finality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21620279)

Do you actually know what the word "Engrish" means? I have no idea whether or not this "fantasy of finality" story is true or not, but there are plenty of examples of supposedly English phrases used in Japanese that have a different meaning (or no meaning) in actual English.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (2, Informative)

Conception (212279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621575)

It's nothing of the sort. Even in TFA, it says,

"Square Enix's rescue from oblivion does seem like the stuff of legends, so it's no surprise that fantasy is what the company does best. The Final Fantasy series acquired its ironic name 20 years ago when SquareSoft employee Sakaguchi put together an RPG that was supposed to be the teetering game company's swan song, but turned out to be its savior instead. Sakaguchi probably never imagined that he'd see an age where fans, reviewers and the world in general joke repeatedly about a 12-title series that isn't anywhere close to being final. Today, the series continues to innovate, draw fans, and divide them."

And I've heard that story repeated elsewhere many times. Sorry, bub.

Re:Fantasy of Finality (1)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633445)

Rubbish. Hironogu Sakaguchi and Nasir Gebelli came up with the name because Square was almost bankrupt and so the game would be the company's final game unless it was a hit.

!Final (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618135)

What's sad is that 20 years later, FF1 is still the best. With the possible exception of FF Tactics.

Re:!Final (2, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618157)

That would be really sad, if it were remotely true. :)

Re:!Final (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618803)

I agree! All the other games are full of fluff, with no substance. People enjoy the other games for the "story line". But the stories are pretty terrible, and generally not compelling. This company is notorious for making me watch terrible cut scenes and not allowing me to just play. I also agree that tactics was pretty fun. But the original game was the best IMO.

Re:!Final (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619183)

What are you on? The original is almost devoid of story/plot, the battle engine sucks, and the graphics aren't that good. It really shows its age.

The battles go really slow unless you adjust some setting. Characters will hit air if they were commanded to attack the same enemy as one that another character killed before their turn.

And have you seen the dialogue window in action? Talk about sluggish and annoying.

Re:!Final (2, Interesting)

gknoy (899301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619657)

The original is almost devoid of story/plot, the battle engine sucks, and the graphics aren't that good. It really shows its age.


The graphics sucked, the characters are nameless and have almost zero character development. The plot DOES exist, but it's all based on uncovering what happened (in a very linear manner), and solving the problems of the world.

FF1 is far from perfect, and yet .. I've enjoyed playing it more than almost any other (except 6, mostly). The simplicity of its sandbox meant that it was easier to absorb. (I still know at a near-instinctive level how to get through almost the entire game, despite having not played it in 8 years) Moreover, it allowed you to try very different party setups, and play a "meta-game".

Black Belt Challenge: Start with 4 characters, and let everyone die in the VERY FIRST fight except the single Black Belt. Play the rest of the game with only this character, and do not rez the others. This is very VERY hard. (I've never done it.)

Variants of strange parties:
- all white mages (how the hell do you do damage??)
- no casters (how the hell do you heal!?)
- ALL mages (red, red, white, black was VERY VERY fun, and was pretty much easy-mode for the ENTIRE game, with the sole exception of the end dungeon ... which was backbreaking punishment, and which I never decided to finish. Damnably fun before that, though!)

I enjoyed the plot and character development of Final Fantasy 6 much MUCh more. I still get chills even thinking about the Celes opera scene, it was so well done. However, the massive scope of that game made it really hard to get ALL of it. Heck, I never managed to get far in the second phase of the game. So, overall, even though there are MANY weaknesses of FF1, it will always hold a warm place in my heart.

The only games (that I can think of) I've re-played as much as FF1 were:
- Fallout (1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2,... 2?),
- KOTOR 1 (light, dark, light with dark powers (FUN!)),
- Deus Ex,
and I think Starfleet Command (3, though they are so similar I consider it effectively the same ;)).

Re:!Final (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619837)

Final Fantasy V allows for the same meta-game setups, since it allows you to choose the classes of your characters. But it's deeper than the first Final Fantasy's.

I enjoyed its story and plot too, even though most people didn't.

Re:!Final (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620863)

(I still know at a near-instinctive level how to get through almost the entire game,
That sounds like nostalgia, and familiarity, much more than good game design to me. Not that FF1 was bad by any means, of course.

Moreover, it allowed you to try very different party setups, and play a "meta-game".
EVERY Final Fantasy lets you do this (well, all the ones I've played). Just go to gamefaqs and look at the "challenge faqs" if you don't believe me.

FF1 was a good game for its time, and is worth playing for historical reasons alone (if you're a series fan), but the new FFs have everything FF1 has, and more. None of what you like about FF1 went away.

Re:!Final (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627471)

>>EVERY Final Fantasy lets you do this (well, all the ones I've played). Just go to gamefaqs and look at the "challenge faqs" if you don't believe me.

Look at FF12. All the characters are identical. Ok, some base stats are a little different, but all of the characters can buy the same licenses, use the same gear, etc. There's really no reason for there to even be 6 people in the party (except as "extra lives") since only 3 can be on screen at once.

I much prefer the FF1 system. I've tried and beaten the game with 5 different builds, with the 3 white mages and one red mage being the hardest, I think.

Re:!Final (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627555)

Er, by that logic:

Look at FF1. All the characters are identical. All of the characters can choose the same class at the beginning of the game, use the same gear based on that choice, etc.

Most Final Fantasies (IX was a notable exception) have characters who can be the same or different depending on how you build them. If you choose to do so, you can strictly pick licenses and equipment for your characters in FF12. Most people prefer greater flexibility, so the system lets that do. I really don't see how this is a bad thing. After all, just because an option is there, doesn't force you to take it, nor does it detract from your gameplay experience by being there.

And the reason for there to be 6 people in the party has nothing to do with combat. It's because they're 6 different characters. They could've written in 3 characters, 6, or 100, and the effect on combat would've been the same. It's not like the combat abilities of your characters differ much in any Final Fantasy. The reason that you have no extra characters in FF1 is because they're complete blank slates.

Re:!Final (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21638855)

I still know at a near-instinctive level how to get through almost the entire game...
That sounds like nostalgia, and familiarity, much more than good game design to me. Not that FF1 was bad by any means, of course.


It is indeed nostalgia. =) I didn't mean to imply that it was due to good game design. That said, it WAS well done, each dungeon was unique -- more than I can say for portions of some games (Halo...).

Also ... for the poster that mentioned how to beat the game with white mages ... wow. I couldn't survive the zombie dragons on the way, let alone a boss in the temple of chaos. :(

Re:!Final (1)

fbriere (1038162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621959)

- all white mages (how the hell do you do damage??)

With HARM, FADE, and a lot of patience while your characters repeatedly swing their tiny rubber mallet. Fortunately, it gets somewhat easier in the second half of the game, once you find items that allow you to cast a little bit of black magic.

I myself beat FF1 with four white mages/wizards, at level 50, with the added restriction that I did not let a single character die. (I may have allowed myself to suffer death if I could flee afterwards — the goal was to keep everyone at the same XP.) Fighting Astos was a b*tch, as it was a race to MUTE him before he could kill one of mine. I must have hit Reset a dozen times before I could beat him.

(Nowadays, I try not to think about what would have happened had I spent all this time doing something useful with my life. -sigh-)

Re:!Final (1)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619295)

Ah! So "best" means "most challenging", or "least accessible to new players". Me, I was a bigger fan of IV. And FFTA, for which I will hide my head in shame.

Re:!Final (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21619521)

I'm a huge Cecil fan and FFTA is great, but the true jewel in their crown is FFXI. Dammit, now I gotta go sign up again.

Re:!Final (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622503)

"What's sad is that 20 years later, FF1 is still the best. With the possible exception of FF Tactics."

FF2 and FF3 (US) were just as good if not better then FF1. FF1 was a total grindfest with no story, it was amazing for the time (NES days), but let's not pretend it was the best. FF3 (US) is the best in the series with FF2 (US) and perhaps FF7 near tied.

People are just graphics hoes these days.

Re:!Final (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21625515)

You are so disgustingly right, my friend.

A long-running series... (-1, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618147)

...and after Final Fantasy VI, mostly worthless

Re:A long-running series... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618595)

Should we get off your lawn now?

In all seriousness, I disagree. The FF series is still damn good, and in fact, I consider the post-VI entries to be far stronger than the pre-VI entries.

Re:A long-running series... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619203)

They're only stronger in that they have gorgeous graphics and spoon-feed the story to you.

Re:A long-running series... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620833)

Again, I disagree. The stories got much, much better starting with VI, and even better with VII. VI, although it was an improvement, didn't have a great story by any means, it had great characters. It's only the more modern Final Fantasies that have stories I actually think are worth something. Not all of them (IX was pretty bad imo), but most of them do.

Re:A long-running series... (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620111)

There's no "best", in my opinion, there's just "different". With the advent of pre-rendered backgrounds, the scenario design paradigm had to be completely shifted, making the post-VI FFs quite different in scope and approach to their predecessors. Also, cutscenes got longer and 3D models gained more complicated animations, making it easier to present the player with a cinematic experience. However, FF VI proved that you don't need 3D models to have a breathtaking cinematic scene (I'm thinking Celes' attempted suicide scene, which ranks in my personal list of the most beautiful moments Final Fantasy has given me, right there with Aeris' death and FFIX's ending scene). Old school FFs, on the other hand, have a more "hardcore" appeal (more difficulty, less linearity in terms of gaming progression--you weren't pointed exactly where to go every single time, as opposed to the newer generation). FFIV's storyline was awesome and _remains_ awesome, FFVI's character depth and game length were impressive, FFVII was the 3D revolution and was also Aeris' death, FFVIII was a beautiful love story, FFIX was a tender look to the past and remains my favorite of all time... However, I've enjoyed them all (with the exception of FFII with its godawful, buggy leveling system... plus I've never played FFIII).

Upcoming Final Fantasy DS Games (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618153)

I'm looking forward to seeing our favorite spoony bard in 3D for Final Fantasy IV. I'll buy Tactics Advance 2 only if the plotline doesn't pander to the 12 year old crowd. Us 20-somethings play the DS too - just look at the success of Hotel Dusk.

Re:Upcoming Final Fantasy DS Games (1)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619093)

As much as I love to lead the charge who mistake a 'Mature' rating for mature content [slashdot.org] , I have to admit that you are absolutely right about FFTA. The storyline of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance really was a horrible disappointment compared to the intricate plot and deep characters of the original Final Fantasy Tactics.

For an example of a storyline that can be about kids without being only for kids, look at Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. I won't open the can of worms that is the gameplay, but the plot itself was interesting. Rather than being a typical 'small group of unlikely heroes must save the world from total obliteration at the hands of a madman' scenario, it was more of a humble 'coming of age' kind of story. The young adult protagonists go out into the world, seeking to provide for their community, carrying the hopes and fears of their fellow villagers with them. Along the way, they (in addition to slicing up monsters and blowing things up) learn about other communities, and what makes them similar and dissimilar, and develop new respect and understanding for the generations that came before them. The storyline did end up meandering after a while, but it showed a lot of promise. I hope that FFCC2 can take a similar story and give it a more satisfying conclusion, without just falling back on the same old 'oh noes! it's teh end of teh world!!1' cliches.

Re:Upcoming Final Fantasy DS Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21632385)

I'll give you that the storyline in the original Tactics was intricate, but "deep" is kind of pushing it. It seemed a lot like a serial fiction plot to me.

Re:Upcoming Final Fantasy DS Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21620239)

FFTA2 takes place in the "real" Ivalice, rather than the dreamworld that FFTA took place in. It's also considerably more serious than FFTA, though I wouldn't rate it as highly as FFT.

Square-Enix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618181)

It's "Square-Enix". Just "Square-Enix".

Not Zonk's "Square/Enix" (it would be "Squaresoft/Enix" if you really want to make that point) and not the submitter's "Square Enix".

"Square-Enix". Not hard.

And beyond that, who cares? The last good Final Fantasy was back when Nintendo and Squaresoft were still on speaking terms. Since then, it's been about cutscenes and pretty graphics until recently when they added "milking money off fanbois" to the mix by rereleasing the good Final Fantasy games five times for multiple platforms. (PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, GBA, DS, and PSP - at least.)

Re:Square-Enix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618489)

It's *not even* about good graphics, IMHO... the most recent trailer on Xbox live has me wondering if Everquest is still out.

Worst combat system *ever*, too many cutscenes, and characters that only a 10 year old can relate to. Pulease.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619435)

Rereleasing games on newer platforms with updates is a great trend that more publishers should pick up on. Why the $^%$# doesn't somebody release an updated X-Com? Or fix up Planescape Torment so a new generation of console owners can experience it?

These are known good games. That's a valuable thing. The only thing they have to do is clean up the graphics and interface, and they have a hit.

On a related note: I'm playing Fire Emblem on the Wii. Best Wii game out so far, in my opinion; it caught me by surprise, because I've never played a fire emblem game before. I went back and dug up some Fire Emblem roms for the SNES emulator, and it is amazing how untouched the gameplay really is. The core of a game is timeless.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21626817)

Why the $^%$# doesn't somebody release an updated X-Com?

I've seen several games that attempted to be the new XCom but AFAIK they all failed.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21636677)

Remakes cost a ton of money and time to develop. Ports, on the other hand, are cheeper, and as Nntendo has shown us, people will buy a port of the same game to a dozen different platforms if it's offered. Just look at how many times they ported the mario games.

The sad part is, there are games i'd kill to see remade. I remember once shouting in joy when Square said they were going to do a ps2 remake of Parasite Eve, but sadly, it never happened. I'd still kill to see it, as PE had a select few flaws that kept it from being a true legend.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21643671)

Do they perma-kill your characters like they did in the gamecube game? I sold the game after I made a mistake and had one wiped out.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

Tulisin (1197733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21643803)

It wouldn't really be a Fire Emblem game if there wasn't permadeath.

Re:Square-Enix (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620197)

Actually, it is "Square Enix" (or more accurately "SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.") according to their own website [square-enix.com] .

Re:Square-Enix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21626039)

It's "Square-Enix". Just "Square-Enix".

Not Zonk's "Square/Enix" (it would be "Squaresoft/Enix" if you really want to make that point) and not the submitter's "Square Enix".

"Square-Enix". Not hard.

Dude, you're totally wrong. How on earth could you pass up the opportunity to refer to the merged company as "Squeenix"?

(I like to think of them as an unholy crossbreed of "Squeegee" and "Unix" that makes RPGs. =)

AC out.

Amazing Series (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618219)

I completely missed most of the history of the FF games until recently. I pretty much thought they were just the same games made over and over again with better graphics each gen. But now that I've started playing a range of the games going all the way back to the first two I can see why the series is so wildly successful, IMO. Even though there are many recurring aspects Square keeps reinventing the series in major ways each new generation. I was shocked to see the large range different gameplay mechanics that have been employed over the years.

It is going to take a long, long to catch up to the rest of the FF fans who've been playing the series for so long. Can't wait for FFXIII to see what Square can do with a 50 gig BluRay disc, standard harddrive, and a machine as powerful as the PS3.

Re:Amazing Series (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620161)

The series numbering is a bit odd:

*Final Fantasy I
*Final Fantasy II
*Final Fantasy III
*Final Fantasy II
*Final Fantasy V
*Final Fantasy III
*Final Fantasy VII
*Final Fantasy LiveJournal
*Final Fantasy IX
*Final Fantasy X
*Final Fantasy XII
*Final Fantasy XIII

Re:Amazing Series (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620465)

No, they're just like that to reflect the US publishers' idiocy. The SNES "Final Fantasy II" and "Final Fantasy III" are and will always be "Final Fantasy IV" and "Final Fantasy VI". They were just numbered like that because they couldn't publish the original II, III and V.

HOWTO: Final Fantasy Fan (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618365)

Feeling left out from the Final Fantasy lovefest? Regretting you never played any of the games? No problem just follow these easy steps to get you up to speed in any FF thread:

1) Pick a FF game between 1-12 - This is your BEST FF EVAR!!! title. Make a note of it.
2) Pick a DIFFERENT FF game between 1-12 - This is your WORST FF EVAR!!!. Make a note of it.
3) Pick one or more random reasons why your random choice from 1) is the ONLY TRUE CHOICE. Best battle system, greatest story, best characters are good picks.
4) Pick one or more random reasons why your random choice from 2) is the COMPLETE GARBAGE. Worst battle system, worst story, worst characters are good picks.

You are now ready to jump into any FF thread on any message board on the net.

Have fun!

PS. Don't hold back! Never be afraid you are 'going too far' or are being a bit 'over the top' with your FF comments. Feel free to savage mercilessly anyone who dares to not hold your exact same, randomly, picked FF favorites choices...

Re:HOWTO: Final Fantasy Fan (2, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619041)

Stupid anonymous troll.

FF5 was obviously the best Final Fantasy evar. And you only need one look at FFXI to see that there is an absolute worst to the series. FF5's pause menu completely changed and redefined an entire era of video games, while FFXI's boot screen was a disgrace that should have every copy burned and the ashes buried with all the remaining copies of "ET".

Damn I'm old... (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618389)

I remember playing the first FF, but really didn't get into it until FF 3 I think. That and the Dragon Warrior series got a lot of playtime on my Nintendo. I remember how bummed I was when Dragon Warrior 3 I think it was messed up and lost my saved game. Made me so mad, I quit playing those types of games until the Playstation came out with memory cards.

Re:Damn I'm old... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620667)

You making the memory card comment reminds me of trouble I had with specific games - Square games - and 3rd party memory cards for the PS1. I had FF7 (or FFVII for purists) and Parasite Eve. Every now and again the saves would be corrupt and unreadable; back then I'd only use up one slot in the save menu. Imagine my frustration in playing for 4-5 hours, saving and coming home from work the next day to find my save bashed.

Oh well, it did make for finding all of the extra items in PE more fun! However, using the genuine "sony" card I never had one problem.... Of course, the third party card had absolutely no problem with any other game.....

Re:Damn I'm old... (1)

jaaron (551839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621083)

Yeah, I completely missed the middle of the series. Played the first ones and then some of the recent ones since X. But I always loved Dragon Warrior. That was the best.

20? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618477)

now it can move out of it's parents basement

Great Memories (3, Interesting)

neostorm (462848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618865)

I've been a gamer for almost 3 decades now, but in 1987 I played Final Fantasy 1, and that game I hold responsible for inspiring me to aim my career towards the game industry (something I've since built my career out of successfuly).

I hold that first NES FF game responsible for the direction my whole life took, so there's some serious gravity to this series for a person like myself. The series has undergone many changes, but I don't know if there will ever be a point in my life where I can't appreciate it on some, purely nostalgic level for that reason. :)

Still the best (1)

zegota (1105649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618927)

While not quite the original console jRPG, it's still, in my opinion, the absolute best, and continues to try to change and improve, in some fashion, with every subsequent entry. While many argue whether these attempts are successful, I think it is evident that, although the series is being milked, there is at least a fundamental attempt to make each game new and fresh.

Yeah, there's nothing hugely revolutionary in this post. Just thought I'd offer it before the "OMFG JRPGS SUCK PLAY MASS EFFECT" starts.

Final Fantasy series (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618973)

I've enjoyed the Final Fantasy series quite a bit over the series. I'm no fanboy of the games but a few of them have interesting characters and a semi-decent plot. Others have pretty fun gameplay, unfortunately these don't meet very often in the series, but a lot of them are worth playing. I even enjoyed FFX-2 simply for the hyper fast battle system and the classes available (yes, you can turn off the magic dress changing sequences). I think my favorite of the bunch is FFX, a solid story and some very fun gameplay that's been ripped off a bunch since. I think my least favorite may well be FFXI, as that left me with a very bad taste in my mouth that I can still gag up every once in a while.

I'm sure this series will still be around in twenty years, but they'll probably only be on something like FF17 by then considering the development cost and times on these games is consistently near the highs of the industry. Twelve mainline games in twenty years seems awfully quick looking back.

8 bit obscurity? (2, Interesting)

bluephone (200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619663)

Ok, when FF debuted, 8 bit was IT. The NES was only a couple years old, and a massive hit. Final Fantasy was Square's bet-the-house gamble, and it was a smash hit. It was THE seminal RPG for computing platforms. It solidified game systems and computers as the next great frontier for role playing games, relegating tabletop games to a mere niche in comparison. It singlehandedly saved Square, and yet again made the NES the must-have system. It was one of the top selling games on the top selling system, and changed the game (no pun intended) almost overnight for competitors. How the hell is that obscure?

Better title: grinding turns 20. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21620081)

Yay for gameplay consisting of fighting the same creatures over and over for experience points?!

Pass it on (2)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620837)

After 20 years, there's a whole generation who may not have even heard of the earlier some of the Final Fantasy games. With the holiday's approaching (or here, or never coming, depending on who's above you), now'd be the perfect time to pass it on to the next generation. Hop over to eBay and yoink a copy of FFVII and Tactics, and a used Playstation, and put it under someone's holiday-specific-gift-covering-item. =)

And after all this time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21621047)

...it's still shit.

Why do people 'play' this crap? Buy a movie instead, that would be nearly the same. Cut scenes should be cut out of games.

Re:And after all this time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21628137)

And you should be cut out of society. Good thing neither of our opinions matter, for this case.

Re:And after all this time... (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664329)

So have you ever watched a movie you liked? If not you're not normal. If so, then you appreciate the type of artform that Square's cutscene heavy games convey. Some RPGs are utterly egotistical, where everything is about gratifying the player. But many japanese games are just telling a story, and you get to act out parts of the story. It's just a matter of taste, but obviously the final fantasy series has contributed a lot to the world. I think it's very weird to be completely put of by the idea of FF games. FF12 didn't even have a main player for you to pretend to be, and that was odd, but kinda cool. I think it's better than the world of warcraft style game, where you pursue bettering your character as though that's worth something. Games should end, stories should revolve around ideas and characters that are unlike the player. At least, that's my preference.

I hate movies, generally, but I also hate the total opposite. FF games aren't super great or anything, but I appreciate the hybrid.

1Up is not the be all and end all (1)

PKFC (580410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627917)

So there are other web sites out there doing good FF history stuff. Look at GameTrailer's Final Fantasy Retrospective [gametrailers.com] . It's not 20th anniversary, but whatever. It describes in video and narrative pretty well every FF game there is. Disclaimer: I actually like FFXI and I prefer the Tales series and more importantly, the DQ series

No Sleep (1)

oloron (1092167) | more than 6 years ago | (#21638031)

i never slept until i finished the entire game two days after christmas the year it came out, went on a marathon with my strategy guide, which i kindly received from Nintendo Power, a couple of months prior to that, my best memories of any video game to date are that one :)

just hasn't been the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721096)

Since made an MMO and slapped the final fantasy label on it. That how they get away with such shoddy customer service.

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=29;mid=1196749616251566928;num=16;page=1 [allakhazam.com]

Accounts are being stolen. Square-Enix won't assist with any retrieval, because "well what if you sold the account?" Terms of service say you can't sell the account. SE's ownership verification requires the billing info and password which the thief just changed, even though yes the phone rep can see that those were JUST changed and yes the card number I gave was the one paying for the last 5 years.

Takes a credit card company's fraud investigation to move them. They basically choose between saying the account isn't mine and giving back all those months/years of fees or giving me back my now totally stripped account, all because I'd never heard of "noscrip" for a browser I don't use.

No
account
recover
options
at
all

A rusted informational site gets hacked and a hidden iframe element with malicious code injected, and they won't even roll the character back which they CAN physically do they have before.

I find it amusing how the news of this exploit targeting WoW and FFXI users is over a week old now but /. won't give it a mention because the links all contain references to FFXI the black sheep of MMORPG's and/or alla the black sheep of rating systems. Good priorities...
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