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-   -   the History of: Final Fantasy (http://www.metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?t=24911)

adamclark52 04-05-2014 07:11 AM

the History of: Final Fantasy

Like I said in my top twenty-five video game thread, Final Fantasy has been my favorite game series for well over twenty years. But each game is different enough that I couldn't induct the series as a whole. There are really good games with aspects I hate, and really bad games with aspects I love. Some I've played two dozen times on different platforms. Some I played once and was done with them. But I always play them. I always base whatever system I buy on one thing: which one is releasing Final Fantasy games.

I first discovered Final Fantasy in 1991 when my friend Fred rented Final Fantasy II (which was the North American title for Final Fantasy IV) for Super Nintendo. I'd played video games before but in those days of 8-bit games the main focus was action. I 'd never seen a game with characters that spoke with more than a sentence. Or a world that wasn't just [I]"go from left to right"[/I]. I was in awe of Final Fantasy II. Fred rented it every Friday for a month straight and I just sat and watched the story unfold. Even after we were done he moved on but I couldn't stop thinking about that game. So I got a paper route and saved every penny for six months just so I could buy a Super Nintendo and that game. It's been downhill since then. I've played a thousand video games since then, but over twenty years later the series still remains my favorite and only a few games have ever topped Final Fantasy II.

I've decided to focus on the main series of games, and then follow them up with any spin-offs. The reason is I've played most of the main series and very little beyond that. So if I'd gone in chronological order like I'd originally intended there'd have been a lot of entries towards the end of this thread that would consist of [I]"I haven’t played this game, but I've heard it ______"[/I] (usually followed up with “sucks”). I’m also not going to include the [I]Prelude[/I] song as my favorite song in any game because it’s almost always the best song. And there's a shit-ton of other good songs on every other soundtrack. So I’ll link to the various versions of the [I]Prelude[/I] and then link to a different “best” song too. Click on the box art to link to the [I]Prelude[/I] for each game.

I guess I'll dedicate this thread to John the Drummer, since he's the one who said he'd be interested in participating. I remember one other person here being a fan of the series but I'm sure there's a few more.

And yeah, this is another videogame thread. Big fucking deal.

[U]Humble Beginnings (8-Bit era)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566156&postcount=2"]Final Fantasy[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566229&postcount=3"]Final Fantasy II[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566300&postcount=10"]Final Fantasy Legend[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566303&postcount=12"]Final Fantasy III[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566446&postcount=13"]Final Fantasy Legend II[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566657&postcount=14"]Final Fantasy Adventure[/URL]

[U]the Glory Days (16-Bit era)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566661&postcount=15"]Final Fantasy IV[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566761&postcount=16"]Final Fantasy Legend III[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566764&postcount=18"]Final Fantasy Mystic Quest[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=566814&postcount=19"]Final Fantasy V[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567047&postcount=22"]Final Fantasy VI[/URL]

[U]The Golden Days (PSone era)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567048&postcount=23"]Final Fantasy VII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567237&postcount=33"]Final Fantasy Tactics[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567267&postcount=38"]Final Fantasy VIII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567368&postcount=41"]Final Fantasy IX[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567458&postcount=49"]Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within[/URL]

[U]This is your story. It all begins here (PS2 era)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567570&postcount=53"]Final Fantasy X[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567808&postcount=56"]Final Fantasy XI[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567952&postcount=59"]Final Fantasy Tactics Advance[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=567954&postcount=60"]Final Fantasy X-2[/URL]

[U]A Prosperous Down Period (every system and it's brother)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568065&postcount=63"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568066&postcount=64"]Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568178&postcount=66"]Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568179&postcount=67"]Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568223&postcount=71"]Final Fantasy XII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568269&postcount=78"]Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568320&postcount=82"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568321&postcount=83"]Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII [/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568354&postcount=85"]Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568355&postcount=86"]Final Fantasy IV: the After Years[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568383&postcount=88"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568394&postcount=91"]Dissidia Final Fantasy[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568495&postcount=93"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568496&postcount=94"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568654&postcount=96"]Final Fantasy: the 4 Heroes of Light[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568656&postcount=97"]Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: the Crystal Bearers[/URL]

[U]The Returnering (HD era)[/U]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568701&postcount=106"]Final Fantasy XIII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568980&postcount=110"]Final Fantasy XIV: Online[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=568984&postcount=111"]Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569151&postcount=114"]Final Fantasy Type-O[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569153&postcount=116"]Final Fantasy XIII-2[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569289&postcount=123"]Final Fantasy: All the Bravest[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569290&postcount=124"]Final Fantasy Tactics S[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569291&postcount=125"]Final Fantasy XIV: a Realm Reborn[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=569294&postcount=126"]Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII[/URL]
[URL="http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=622311&postcount=234"]Final Fantasy Record Keeper[/URL]

[U]You guys...still there?[/U]
Final Fantasy XV

adamclark52 04-05-2014 07:21 AM


[B]Final Fantasy[/B]
Japanese Release Date: December 18th, 1987
North American Release Date: July 12th, 1990
Original Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Re-released on: Sony Playstation, Game Boy Advance, Mobile Phone, Playstation Portable

So it all started here. This was a pretty basic game that certainly had its flaws. It seemed like nine times out of ten your attack spells missed, so what was the point of even using magic? And that was if your Black Mage even lived long enough to cast it. Then there was the Magic Point system of the game. Later games had a set amount of Magic Points for every spell. Lower level spells cost less MP; higher level spells (obviously) cost more. But in this game each level of spells had eight casts, that was it. That was just another needle-in-the-haystack to the games incredible difficulty. All I have to type is the words “Marsh Cave” any anyone who ever played this game will cringe. And if you even made it out of the Marsh Cave the game didn’t let up after that. Weak ass characters, constant enemy encounters, only being able to hold sixteen items, grinding for hours to get one level. Sometimes I wonder how people were even able to play this game. I’ll admit that on NES I had to play with a Game Genie. The later re-release on Playstation had an “EASY” option that (unfortunately) was the polar opposite of the original NES releases difficulty level. It was too damn easy. Like, not even breaking a sweat at the final boss easy. Too bad they didn’t release a version with, I don’t know, [B]NORMAL DIFFICULTY[/B]!

But there is a lot to love about this game and it set the groundwork for the whole series to come. Your basic magic’s were set-up on this game and they’re still there some twenty-five years later. Items, classes and the basics of dungeons crawling were all laid out here and improved on over the years. And the famous [I]Prelude[/I] music made its debut in this game, and has been used in every game I know of save Final Fantasy XIII. It’s a very early NES title that was made on a shoestring budget by a company that was close to going bust. What more could you expect? This game wins just on sheer nostalgia.

It’s probably been re-released more than any other entry in the series and on more platforms. The original NES version has the charm factor but I still recommend the Playstation re-release because it isn’t as buggy. And it had some cosmetic improvements like showing treasure chests as open after you'd opened them (rather than always appearing closed and having the text "empty" appear whenever you went for a chest you'd already opened).

Favorite Moment: when your characters upgrade classes
Best Song: [I][URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW56QbT0lrM"]Temple of Fiends[/URL][/I]
Coolest Character: Garland, who doesn’t love Garland?
Lamest Character: the Red Mage
Average Completion Time: 10 - 15 hours
Gameplay demo: [URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx0c7jXbA_E"]the final battle with Chaos[/URL]
Rating: 4 out of 5

Final Boss: Chaos

adamclark52 04-05-2014 07:59 PM


[B]Final Fantasy II[/B]
Japanese Release Date: December 17th, 1988
North American Release Date: April 8th, 2003
Original Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Rereleased on: Sony Playstation, Game Boy Advance, Mobile Phone, Playstation Portable

This game really did improve on the original in many ways. The story was structured in a way that was a lot easier to follow than the first game. And characters seemed to have a purpose. The problem with this game is what everyone will tell you. The leveling system is a total mess. If you want higher defense or hit points; get hit. If you want strength stats; use physical attacks. You want strong cure magic; cast cure. It sounds easy but it’s frustrating and totally random. I’ve spent hours trying to grind stats to end up getting nothing, and then gotten a ton of stats in a matter of minutes at random. It takes any enjoyment out of the game. The game went unreleased in North America for sixteen years and I’ve only played the Playstation version, which I’m sure cleaned things up quite a bit. I can only imagine how much this game sucks on a buggy, crashing NES. This is the only Final Fantasy I ever started and never finished. Try this one if you want but it’s as bad as any reviews you read say it is.

Favorite Moment: those rare times you actually gain hit points
Best Song: the [I][URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xktPLOC6e6Y"]Main Theme/Overworld[/URL][/I]
Gameplay Demo: [URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY76nm0FaPY"]just walking around some castle[/URL]
Rating: 1 out of 5 (but it would be a 3 or 3.5 if it wasn’t for the terrible leveling design)

Final Boss: the Emperor

JRA 04-05-2014 08:04 PM

FF1 is non-Game Genie completable. ;) [COLOR="Silver"]As long as you have a players guide.[/COLOR]

adamclark52 04-05-2014 08:07 PM

[QUOTE=JRA;566230]FF1 is non-Game Genie completable. ;) [COLOR="Silver"]As long as you have a players guide.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

The Game Genie code for that game was ridiculous. Three characters started out super-strong and gained levels and stats quickly. The forth (and sometimes another) started with 0 HP. So even a miss killed them. And they gained stats really slowly. But when you're eleven and had zero patience you had to do it.

Dextrimental 04-06-2014 05:38 AM

I've completed both, Final Fantasy 2 is the bigger grind, but even back then you could see at least they were trying to make each game it's own thing. It only gets better from there though, thankfully.

John The Drummer 04-06-2014 09:52 AM

Never played these two games, but really looking forward to this thread! I remember HEARING how difficult the first FF games were, which led me to stray away from them :D

Dextrimental 04-06-2014 10:11 AM

[QUOTE=John The Drummer;566267]Never played these two games, but really looking forward to this thread! I remember HEARING how difficult the first FF games were, which led me to stray away from them :D[/QUOTE]

I'd recommend them if you ever feel a bit burned out on modern video games - that's what I did. They're pretty radically different from modern games, and even just one session of them is good even just to give you a sense of reference for the series as a whole!

adamclark52 04-06-2014 10:53 AM

[QUOTE=John The Drummer;566267]Never played these two games, but really looking forward to this thread! I remember HEARING how difficult the first FF games were, which led me to stray away from them :D[/QUOTE]

If you have a PlayStation 1 get a collection called Final Fantasy Origins. It has the first and second games, but with better graphics, the ability to hold more than sixteen items and a few other improvements. they have two difficulty levels for the first game and I can't remember but they may have had two for the second game too. But on normal difficulty you get the same experience as the original NES version. And on easy it's still a great game, just too easy. FFII I can warn you about but I was warned for years and I still played it. I guess patience is the key to that game.

adamclark52 04-06-2014 01:54 PM


[B]Final Fantasy Legend[/B]
Japanese Release Date: December 15th, 1989
North American Release Date: September 30th, 1990
Original Platform: Nintendo Game Boy

The first of the Game Boy Final Fantasy games. I’ve never played this game so I really can’t comment on it.

Gameplay demo: [URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ekVPP19whY"]starting the quest[/URL]

Final Boss: the Creator

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