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Final Fantasy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Final Fantasy Wiki

This article is about the original game. For series information, see Final Fantasy (Series). For other uses, see Final Fantasy (Disambiguation).
Final Fantasy
ファイナルファンタジー
Fainaru Fantajī
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Release date
NES:
Japan December 18, 1987
United States/Canada July 12, 1990

MSX:

Japan 1989

WonderSwan Color:

Japan December 9, 2000

PlayStation:

Japan October 31, 2002
United States April 8, 2003

Mobile Phone:

Japan March 1, 2004

PlayStation Portable:

Japan April 19, 2007
United States/Canada June 26, 2007

Wii Virtual Console:

Japan May 26th 2009
United States/Canada October 5, 2009

PlayStation Network: (PlayStation version)

Japan June 24, 2009

iPhone/iPod Touch

Japan/United States/Europe/Australia TBA
Genre Role-playing game
Game modes Single player
Ratings ESRB: TeenTeen
ELSPA: 11+
PEGI: 3+3+
OFLC: G8+
PlayStation Portable version:
ESRB: Everyone 10+Everyone 10+
CERO: All Ages All Ages
PEGI: 7+7+
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX2, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, NTT DoCoMo FOMA 901i, PlayStation Portable, Wii Virtual Console, PlayStation Network, Iphone, Ipod

Final Fantasy, also known as Final Fantasy I in collections and common languages, is a role-playing game developed and published by Square Co., Ltd. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in 1987, and it is the inaugural game in Square's flagship Final Fantasy series.

Final Fantasy has subsequently been remade for several different video game consoles and handheld systems, including the MSX2 computers (converted and released by Microcabin) and the Bandai WonderSwan Color. It has also seen versions produced for two Japanese mobile phone service providers: the NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series (as Final Fantasy I) and the CDMA 1X WIN-compatible W21x series of mobile phones from au/KDDI (as Final Fantasy EZ). The game has frequently been packaged with the next game in the series, Final Fantasy II. Compilations of the two games have been released for the Family Computer, the PlayStation, and the Game Boy Advance. Final Fantasy was Nobuo Uematsu's sixteenth work of video game music composition.

Contents

Gameplay

Please note, the following refers to the original Famicom/NES version. For changes in subsequent remakes, see the sections on Development.

Final Fantasy begins by asking the player to select the character types and names of each Light Warrior (player character). As is typical of computer role-playing games of the era, the player characters are more or less passive participants in the story, and therefore the player's choice of character type affects only the Light Warriors' abilities in battle. The character types are:

  • Warrior (Fighter) — A specialist in heavy weapons and armor who can withstand tremendous amounts of punishment. Can become the Knight later in the game, who is able to use the most powerful weapons and some White Magic spells.
  • Monk (Black Belt) — A martial arts expert who is best left fighting empty-handed, but may also wield nunchaku, and the most basic of staves. Does tremendous amounts of damage in combat, but can't wear heavy armor. Can become the Master later in the game. In the original Famicom version, a high level barehanded Master who, when not encumbered by armor, can do more damage in a single attack than any other character type; a party of four Masters can defeat the final boss monster in less than two full rounds.
  • Thief — A considerably weaker Fighter with fewer weapons and armor skills but greater agility and luck (ability to escape from combat). This class can still do high damage thanks to its high hit count. Later in the game, the Thief can be upgraded to the Ninja class. Ninja can use almost every weapon and most armor, and can use many Black Magic spells.
  • White Mage — A specialist in White Magic. Not a good fighter, but can use hammers for physical attacks. Can be upgraded into a White Wizard, which allows the character to use the most powerful White Magic spells in the game.
  • Black Mage — A specialist in Black Magic and a very weak fighter. Becomes the Black Wizard later on. Black Wizard is the only character who can cast Flare (NUKE in the original North American localization), one of the two damaging spells that retain full effectiveness against Chaos (the White Wizard can cast Holy, the other spell, but it is less powerful than Flare).
  • Red Mage — A jack-of-all-trades character, able to use most but not all of both White and Black Magic, and possessing fighting abilities similar to but not quite as good as the Fighter. Becomes the Red Wizard later in the game.
A battle with a MADPONY, later translated as Crazy Horse.

Gameplay is similar to that of many other console role-playing games. The player wanders around a world map, randomly encountering monsters which must be either dispatched in battle or fled from. Winning battles earns the player Gil, which can be used to buy weapons, armor, curative items, and magic spells, and Experience, which accumulates until players achieve certain milestones ("experience levels") at which characters gain greater capacity for strength, damage resistance (known as Hit Points, or HP), and spell casting. The player can enter Towns on the world map to be safe from random attacks, restore HP and spell charges, acquire information by talking to villagers, and shop. Battle is turn-based, i.e. players select the desired actions for their PCs (Fight, Cast Spell, Run, etc.), and when finished the PCs execute their actions while monsters retaliate depending on their Agility.

Story

Final Fantasy takes place in an unnamed fantasy world with three large continents. The elemental powers of this world are determined by the state of four glowing crystals ("orbs" in the original North American localization), each governing one of the four classical elements: earth, fire, water, and wind.

In the two centuries prior to the start of the game, violent storms sunk a massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the water crystal went dark. Two centuries before then, a group of people known as the Lufenian, who used the power of the wind crystal to craft giant aerial stations ("Flying Fortresses") and airships, watched their country decline as the wind crystal went dark. Eventually, the earth and fire crystals also went dark, 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 Warriors of Light will come to save the world in a time of darkness.

The game begins with the appearance of the four youthful Warriors of Light, the protagonists of the story. The Warriors of Light each carry a darkened Crystal, one of each element. They arrive at Cornelia, a powerful kingdom that has just witnessed the kidnapping of its princess, Sarah, by a rogue knight named Garland who wants to acquire the kingdom. The Warriors of Light travel to the ruined Chaos Shrine in the corner of Cornelia, defeat Garland, and return Princess Sarah home. The grateful King of Cornelia builds a bridge that enables the Warriors of Light passage east of the country.

Traveling east, the Warriors of Light learn that a dark elf wizard named Astos has been terrorizing the area surrounding the inland sea of the southern continent, Elfheim, stealing a crystal that the witch Matoya needs for sight, putting the prince of the elves into a coma, and stealing the crown of a minor western king. As they travel, they liberate the town of Pravoka from a band of pirates and acquire the pirates' ship for their own use. The Warriors of Light now have the ability to travel across the water, but remain trapped within the Aldean Sea, in the center of a large continent. A large rock blocks the only exit from this sea. There is a group of dwarves in Mount Duergar trying to remove the rock, but they find themselves unable to proceed without Nitro Powder. The Nitro Powder is contained in a locked room in Castle Cornelia, the only key to which is held by the sleeping elven prince. They retrieve the stolen crown, only to find that the minor king was actually Astos. After defeating Astos, the Warriors of Light recover Matoya's crystal and return it to the witch, who makes them an herb that will awaken the elven prince. The prince gives them the Mystic Key, with which they travel to Castle Cornelia and retrieve the Nitro Powder, which they then take to the dwarves to help them finish their canal. With the rock now cleared, the Warriors of Light proceed into the greater world.

Sailing to Melmond, the Warriors of Light seek out and destroy the Fiend of Earth, the Lich, who is responsible for the earth's rotting. The Warriors of Light then enter the volcano Mount Gulg and defeat the Fiend of Fire, Marilith ("Kary"), who was awakened two hunded years prematurely by the Lich's defeat. The Warriors then acquire an Airship and visit the Cardia Islands to meet with the dragon king Bahamut who gives them the task of surviving the Citadel of Trials and getting proof of their deeds. When they return he gives them greater Job Classes, improvements of their original ones. The Warriors then defeat the Fiend of Water, the Kraken, in an underwater palace near Onrac, and Tiamat, the Fiend of Wind, in the Flying Fortress. The four Fiends defeated, and the crystals restored, the Warriors find that their quest is not yet over: The Fiends created an archdemon, Chaos, using the body of Garland, and sent him 2,000 years into the past. Following Chaos into the past, the Warriors discover that it was Chaos who had sent the four Fiends into the future, creating a time loop paradox.

The Warriors of Light, upon defeating Chaos, return to their own time, but having broken the time loop, the rest of the world are consigned to be completely unaware that the entire ordeal had taken place, though the Warriors themselves don't recall their adventure either.

Development

Original Japanese Famicom logo.

Final Fantasy was developed after Square Co.'s initial games were not entirely successful. Planning to retire from the game industry, Square Co.'s president and producer/director Hironobu Sakaguchi declared that his final game would be a fantasy RPG, hence the title. Far from being his final game, however, Final Fantasy proved to be a major success in Japan, presenting them with the second most popular RPG franchise in the country (after Enix's Dragon Quest). Following the successful North American localization of Dragon Quest (as Dragon Warrior), Nintendo of America translated Final Fantasy into English and published it in North America in 1990. The North American version of Final Fantasy was met with modest success, due partly to Nintendo's aggressive marketing tactics. No version of the game was marketed in Europe or Australia until 2003's Final Fantasy Origins.

Final Fantasy, along with the original Dragon Quest, proved to be one of the most influential early console role-playing games, and played a major role in legitimizing and popularizing the genre. Graphically and musically, it was a more polished effort than many of its contemporaries. Many modern critics point out that the game is poorly paced by contemporary standards, and involves much more time wandering in search of random battle encounters to raise their experience and money levels than it does exploring and solving puzzles. However, this was a common trait for role-playing games of this era, and one that, in some respects, would remain in place until the mid-1990s.

Final Fantasy has been remade several times for several different platforms. While all of these remakes retain the same basic story and battle mechanics, various tweaks have been made in a variety of different areas, including graphics, sound, and specific gameplay elements. What follows is a brief description of certain characteristics unique to each remake.

Family Computer version to MSX2 version

A battle in the MSX2 release.

The MSX2 computer standard was roughly analogous, in terms of technical capabilities, to the Famicom/NES, and so, as a result, the MSX2 version of Final Fantasy is probably the closest to the original Famicom version. However, while the Famicom was designed to operate exclusively as a gaming console, the MSX2 was intended to be used more generally as a personal computer. In practice, this meant that the game was subtly altered to take advantage of certain features offered by the MSX2 and not by the Famicom, and vice versa.

  • Format. Released on floppy diskette, the MSX2 version of the game had access to almost three times as much storage space as the Famicom version (720 KB vs. 256 KB), but suffered from a variety of problems not present in Nintendo's cartridge media, including noticeable loading time.
  • Altered graphics. Relatively minor upgrades. In general, the MSX2 version sports an ostensibly improved color palette which adds a degree of vibrancy to character and background graphics. However, some have commented that the choice of colors sometimes seems "off", and argue the Famicom version's graphics were of higher quality, despite the technical superiority of the MSX2 in this field.
  • Subtly altered random battles. The world map seems to have been moved slightly, meaning that the placement of monster "areas" on the world map is slightly different, and that monsters appear in different places than in the Famicom version.
  • Different saved game system. Game data could not be saved onto the original program diskette, so it was necessary to provide a blank floppy diskette to save one's progress. For some reason, it was possible to store only one saved game on any given disk at one time, although it was possible to have multiple diskettes for multiple saved games.
  • Upgraded sound and music. The MSX2 featured more sound channels than the Famicom, and as such many music tracks and sound effects were altered or improved for the port. Also, some dungeon music has been swapped.
  • Miscellaneous engine tweaks. In the Famicom version, the strength of a Black Belt would increase with his experience levels, meaning that very soon the player would reach a point where a Black Belt could do more damage without any weapons than he could with weapons. In the MSX2 version, this is not the case: Black Belt strength does not increase nearly as quickly, and as such he cannot operate effectively as a barehanded fighter. Also, a few (though not all) items available at stores have had their costs changed.

Family Computer version to Nintendo Entertainment System version

Original NES Logo

The 1990 North American localization of Final Fantasy was essentially identical to the original Japanese game. But technical limitations, and the censorship policies of Nintendo of America, resulted in a few minor changes to certain elements.

  • Truncated magic names. The original game program provided only four character spaces for magic spell names, meaning that a lot of original Japanese spell names had to be abbreviated to fit into the space requirements for the English version. These changes include "Flare" being reduced to "NUKE", "Thunder" being reduced to "LIT" and "Warp" being reduced to "ZAP!"
  • Censorship issues. Nintendo of America policy prohibited games from featuring any overt Judeo-Christian imagery or reference to death. As such, some graphics were modified, so that, for instance, churches no longer featured crosses.

Family Computer version to WonderSwan Color version

Original WonderSwan Color logo.

Many more changes were introduced for the WonderSwan Color remake of the game.

  • Upgraded graphics. The 8-bit graphics of the original Famicom game were completely redrawn for the WSC version, bringing the game roughly on-par with 16-bit era graphics. The color palette was much larger and battle scenes now featured full background images.
  • Parity with later games. Character sprites (especially the upgraded classes) were redesigned to look more like characters from the Super Famicom Final Fantasy games. In the Famicom version, shops and inns had no interior map: once a character entered the building, they were greeted with a menu-based purchase screen. In the WSC version this was changed to more closely resemble other games in the series, where each building had an interior, along with a shop counter where the transaction screen could be accessed. Similarly, the battle screen was redesigned, with all textual information moved down to a blue window stretched across the bottom of the screen in an arrangement similar to that utilized in Final Fantasy II through Final Fantasy VII.
  • Added cutscenes. Short cutscenes, using the internal game engine, were added to expand the story of the game somewhat. One such cutscene involved the construction of the bridge by the army of Corneria.
  • Expanded text. The original Famicom version of the game did not have the ability to display more than one window of text during a conversation, which meant that all conversations with non-player characters were strictly limited in length. The WSC version removes this restriction
  • Optional engine tweaks. In the original version of the game, any attempt to attack a monster that had been killed by a previous character's attack would result in an "ineffective" attack. The WSC version introduced an option wherein the attack would be redirected to another monster rather than fail. Similarly, a "dash" option had been introduced: holding down a specific button while walking around in a town or dungeon map would cause the character to move around at twice their normal pace. Both of these options can be turned on and off via the game's configuration screen.
  • Deletable spells. As in the original version, every magic using character has successive "spell levels". Each character has only three available slots per spell level, but is given the option of choosing from four spells. Once that choice had been made in the original version, there was no way to "unlearn" spells to free up a space for the unchosen fourth spell. In the WSC version, this has been changed so that it is possible to delete spells once purchased.
  • More save game slots. The original Famicom cartridge could only store one set of game data at a time, and every time a new save was made, the previous one was overwritten. The WSC version provides up to eight distinct slots for saved game data. There is also a "quick save" feature introduced which allows the player to save his or her progress at any time (except during battles). This will exit the game, however, and as soon as the game is resumed, any quick save data is lost.
  • Changed item system. In the original version, only items specifically assigned to a character could be used during battle. In the WSC, this has been changed so that there is a party-wide "pool" of items which can be accessed at any time by all characters. Certain status healing items and spells (such as "Life" and "Soft") can now be used during battle. The status ailment "silence" no longer prevents items from being used.
  • Added music. In addition to remixing the soundtrack, composer Nobuo Uematsu has composed several new tracks, including a new "boss battle" theme.
  • Bosses have more HP. Because many of the above changes make the game simpler than before, the hit points of certain monsters, and almost all boss monsters, have been substantially increased (doubled, in some cases) in order to better balance the gameplay.

WonderSwan Color version to Final Fantasy Origins

The PlayStation remake of Final Fantasy was released alongside its sequel, Final Fantasy II, in a collection titled Final Fantasy Origins (or Final Fantasy I+II Premium Collection in Japan). Both of these games were based on the WonderSwan Color remake, and most of the changes instituted in that version of the game remain in this version. However, there are a few differences:

  • Higher resolution graphics. Although the graphics are basically the same as in the WSC version, the higher screen resolution of the PlayStation means that most of them have been improved to some degree, with quite a bit more detail.
  • Remixed soundtrack. Nobuo Uematsu remixed the soundtrack to Final Fantasy IX quality to utilize the audio capabilities of the Sony PlayStation and also composed a few new tracks like the ones used in the opening movies.
  • Rewritten script. In the Japanese language version, the script has been changed to include kanji. The English language translation, too, has been completely rewritten, and is, in most cases, much closer to the Japanese than the original English NES version was. Character and magic name lengths have been increased from four to six characters, as well.
  • Even more saved game slots. Saved game data takes up one block on the PlayStation memory card, which means that up to fifteen games can be saved onto each memory card. The "quick save" feature of the WSC version has been excised, but in its place a "memo save" feature has been introduced where game data can be temporarily saved to the PlayStation's RAM. This data remains until the system is turned off, or its power supply is otherwise interrupted.
  • Added full-motion video cutscenes and omake. The game is now bookended with two full-motion, prerendered video cutscenes. An "omake" (or bonus) section has also been made available. It includes a bestiary, an art gallery, and an item collection that are unlocked as the player progresses through the game.
  • New "Easy Mode". A new "easy mode" has been introduced wherein shop prices are cheaper, experience levels are gained more quickly, and stats are increased more rapidly. This mode is optional and is chosen at the start of the game.

Final Fantasy Origins to Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

Another fairly extensive list of changes accompanies the Game Boy Advance release of Final Fantasy as part of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. Among them are:

  • Reduced difficulty level. The difficulty level of the GBA version most closely resembles the "easy mode" of the PlayStation/Final Fantasy Origins version. Unlike that version, however, there is no option to switch back to the original difficulty level. Similarly, the redirection of "ineffective" hits, which had been optional since it was introduced in the WSC version, is now mandatory.
  • Lower resolution graphics, compared to the PlayStation version. Graphics are more or less identical to the WSC version, although the GBA has a slightly higher screen resolution than the WSC, and certain sequences (such as flying around on the airship) look better on the GBA than on the WSC.
  • New magic system. The "spell level"-based magic system was dropped from this version in favor of the magic point-based system used in more recent Final Fantasy games. Although spells are still classified at certain levels for some purposes (characters can still only be equipped with three of the four available spells of any given level, for instance), every spell is now assigned a point value. When cast, that value is subtracted from a total number of magic points (or MP) that applies to all spells known by a character.
    The Phantom Train from FFI&II:Dawn of Souls (Spanish Version)
  • New item system. Many new items have been introduced, including the reviver item Phoenix Down. Healing items are now much easier to procure, and less expensive, as well. Your party starts the game with 500 gil instead of 400 gil as in previous versions.
  • Omake bestiary. The omake artwork gallery and item collection present in the PlayStation version have been omitted, but the bestiary gallery remains and operates more or less exactly as it did previously.
  • Miscellaneous game engine tweaks. Certain classes have been modified: the Thief and Monk have become more powerful, whereas the Red Mage has become less so. Stat growth has been altered, and Intelligence now affects the strength of weapon-based magic spells.
  • Altered save system. The game can now be saved at any time, anywhere (again, except during battles). There are three available save game slots.
  • Monsters have even more HP. Because the changes introduced in this version make the game even less challenging, many monsters and boss monsters have had their hit points increased once again.
  • "Auto-naming". During character creation, the player can choose to have the game randomly assign a name to each character. These names are all taken from other Final Fantasy games and include Desh (Final Fantasy III), Giott (Final Fantasy IV), Kelga (Final Fantasy V), and Daryl (Final Fantasy VI), among others.
  • Soul of Chaos. Four new optional dungeons have been introduced, one corresponding to each Fiend, and becoming available after that Fiend is defeated. These dungeons are especially challenging and feature items and monsters not found anywhere else in the game. At the end of each dungeon there are a variety of boss monsters from subsequent games in the Final Fantasy series, including Ahriman (Final Fantasy III), Rubicante (Final Fantasy IV), Gilgamesh (Final Fantasy V), Ultros (Final Fantasy VI) and much more.

Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Edition

A battle in the Anniversary Edition

In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the release of the first Final Fantasy game, Square has announced another remake, this time for the PlayStation Portable. The soundtrack is borrowed from Final Fantasy Origins. The script is nearly identical to the GBA version aside from the Labyrinth of Time. The known changes and features are:

Main menu of the Anniversary edition
  • Higher resolution. The graphics have been updated once again and more detailed. Aerial effects have been added to the towns and dungeons.
  • Soul of Chaos Dungeons. The new dungeons from the Dawn of Souls version remain in this version. The music tracks from boss battles were also changed to the tracks of the games the new bosses originated from, which consists of five new tracks.
  • The Labyrinth of Time. The new dungeon for this version. Its difficulty is much greater than any other in the game and its new superboss surpasses even Omega, Shinryu, and Chaos in difficulty.
  • Amano art gallery. The art gallery featured on Final Fantasy Origins has returned on this version.
  • CGI Scenes. The CGI scenes from the PlayStation version have returned.

Mobile Version

Mobile Logo

Square-Enix has announced an upcoming version of the original and second Final Fantasies. Both games have graphics similar to the Anniversary Edition and their special Dungeons. The gameplay of the original Final Fantasy remains the same of the PSP port while Final Fantasy II Mobile add new elements to the gameplay. Not much is known yet of both games. The mobile version(s) have been confirmed on the iPhone and the iPod Touch but the release date is yet to be announced.

Production credits

Original Famicom version

PlayStation remake

  • Executive Producer — Yoichi Wada
  • Producer — Yusuke Hirata
  • Production Manager — Kiyomi Tanikawa
  • Directors — Hideshi Kyonen, Katsuyoshi Kawahara and Kazuhiko Yoshioka
  • Movie Director — Koji Wakasono
  • Movie Designers — Mitsuhira Yamado, Satoshi Sumida, Masata Motoki, Yutaka Maekawa, Wataru Ikeda, Shin Azuma and Rumiko Sawada
  • Movie Programmer — Naoto Uenaka
  • Original Music — Nobuo Uematsu
  • Graphics — Yoshisuke Nakahara, Mieko Hoshino, Tomohiko Tanabe, Hideki Omori and Eiji Yamashita
  • Testing — Reiko Kondo
  • Localization Manager — Akira Kashiwagi
  • Localization Directors — Tomoko Sekii and Kazuyoshi Tashiro
  • Localization Programmer — Yoshinori Uenishi
  • Localization Specialist — Amanda J. Katsurada
  • Localization Assistant — Satoko Kondo

Packaging artwork

Trivia

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
  • In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, the Four Fiends are guardians for the crystals of the True Moon.
  • Supposedly, the world of Final Fantasy did at one point have summons, as shown in Dissidia Final Fantasy, but Garland slaughtered them.
  • Some of the enemies present in the game were taken from the first edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game, including the Mindflayer and the Ochu.
  • The original Famicom release and MSX versions had some different graphics. Two of the most obvious changes are done to two types of monsters - the Medusa enemies were originally topless, while the Eye enemies were originally Beholders from Dungeons & Dragons. Later versions changed this.
  • Some of the recurring things in the Final Fantasy series didn't appear until later on. The original Final Fantasy did not feature a character named Cid until Cid of the Lufaine was first mentioned in the Dawn of Souls remake. This is also the only game not to feature Chocobos, and is one of only three main series games not to feature Moogles.

See also

External links

  • Final Fantasy I・II Advance Official Site (Japanese)
  • Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Official Site (Japanese)
  • Final Fantasy for Mobile Official Site (Japanese)
  • Final Fantasy Origins Official Site (North American)
  • Final Fantasy I・II Dawn of Souls Official Site (North American)
  • Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Official Site (North American)

This article uses material from the "Final Fantasy" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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