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Opinion Retro ~=Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary=~

Faust

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Sep 16, 2018
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The world is veiled in darkness. The wind stops, the sea is wild, and the earth begins to rot. The people wait, their only hope, a prophecy....
'When the world is in darkness Four Warriors will come....'
After a long journey, four young warriors arrive, each holding an ORB.

And so, their journey begins....
What awaits the Four, they do not know.
Each holding an ORB, that 2000 years ago shined with beauty from within. But now, only darkness.
Come!! Start your Journey! Return the light of peace to our world.​

Final Fantasy was developed by Square Co., Ltd. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. Many gamers know the story of Square's repeated failures prior to Final Fantasy, but for those unfamilar, here is a brief recap: Masafumi Miyamoto founded the company in 1986 when he came to the conclusion that game development would be more efficient with more staff. The first two games, Death Trap and Will: The Death Trap II recieved moderate success when they released for the NEC PC-8801, but after numerous unsuccessful releases in the console market such as the eroge Alpha (yes, Square Co., Ltd. did release a first party erotic title with music by Nobuo Uematsu no less!) and King's Knight, Square was in financial straits. Inspired by the success of Enix's Dragon Quest, Square finally gave Hironobu Sakaguchi the go-ahead to develop the role-playing game (RPG) he had wanted to make for years. His vision was inspired by two hit RPGs from the west, Ultima from Origin Systems and Wizardry from Sir-Tech, but he needed a team to develop this project.

The team would eventually consist of 16 individuals, 7 of whom were considered part of the "A-Team" by Square, and only 8 of which were credited in the original Famicom release. Hironobu Sakaguchi was the lead designer and Hiromichi Tanaka, Akitoshi Kawazu, and Koichi Ishii (the latter two were convinced by Sakaguchi personally) were the co-directors for the project. Kenji Terada helped co-write the title, using the story given to him by Sakaguchi as a base. He also suggested Yoshitaka Amano as the character designer. After some reservations, Sakaguchi was convinced. The beautiful artwork provided were transformed into sprites thanks to the work of Kazuko Shibuya and Takashi Tokita. However, no game is complete without a proper score to help spur the imagination and sell the idea of adventure. Sakaguchi asked Nobuo Uematsu, who was doing soundtracks for the company as a "side job" at the time. Uematsu accepted and a few minor instructions later, he was given nearly free reign to compose the tracks. Toshiaki Imai helped with the sound by developing the sound effects. Nasir Gebelli was given the job to program for the game, though Ken Narita and Kiyoshi Yoshii had worked as assistant programmers. Finally, Kaoru Moriyama was behind the English localization for the original NES release.

Final Fantasy was a hit upon release, with 600,000 copies sold in Japan across the various platforms upon launch. Knowing they had a hit on their hands, Square Co., Ltd. and Nintendo made a marketing push in the west with full page spreads in Nintendo Power, sweepstakes to win a limited Final Fantasy orb, full guides, and more. This success worked as over 700,000 copies were sold within the US alone. Since then, the game has been re-released, remade, and remastered more than 15 times since.

It was safe to say that Hironobu Sakaguchi still had a place in the gaming industry, despite his reservations prior to the launch of the game, but what was it about Final Fantasy that drew people to it? What set it apart from the other RPGs at the time? Numerous factors can be accreddited to the game's success, depending on who you ask. Some attribute it to the story and its pacing, starting you off with saving the princess within the first few hours (which would be the entire game for many titles at the time) and eventually opening up to a grand adventure across the planet to stop Chaos. Others would attribute it to the gameplay which was lovely crafted by folks such as Hiroyuki Ito and Akitoshi Kawazu. The music, the character designs, and more can be listed as reasons why the game was a success internationally.

Personally, I can't say that it was any one of these particular reasons or the numerous ones I didn't list, but instead it was all of these reasons working in tandem that set it apart from the competitors at the time. The freedom of choosing your own party, exploring a vast world with twists and turns not thought possible at the time for a console title, music that remains catchy and memorable decades later, and a combat system that married the western and eastern conventions of the genre almost perfectly for its time.
While Japan celebrated the anniversary of Final Fantasy as both a franchise and its initial release back in 2017, it wasn't until July 12th, 1990 where the west first laid eyes upon the start of something great. Since its release 30 years prior, the game has spawned countless spinoffs, sequels, movies, and inspired game designers, musicians, artists, and fan creations.

Square Enix, as they tend to do, celebrated the 30th Anniversary in style. Games, books, merchandise, and music were all created and sold to celebrate the event.
  • Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary was released on October 19th, 2017 for the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita in Japan. This was to celebrate both franchises 30th anniversaries.​
  • A live recitation of a Dissidia Final Fantasy NT side-story occured twice in December of that year. Titled Dissidia Final Fantasy: Secretum -Himitsu-, the first day of the event was on December 18th, exactly 30 years after the release of the original game (also 10 years since the original Dissidia Final Fantasy, which was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary).​
  • Everybody's Golf received special in-game items, such as Cactuar jackets, caps, Chocobo carts, Moogle costumes, and more.​
  • Two anniversary plushies, a Chocobo and a Moogle, were released.​
  • Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary bluray/CD set released, showcasing videos, music, and artwork from the franchise as a whole. The site still exists and can be seen here.​


30 years later and the franchise continues to grow, despite the hits and misses depending on who you ask. This year we had received the much anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Remake, alongside Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, and a mobile return of the Tactics-style games with War of the Visions. With the announcement of a new expansion later this year for Final Fantasy XIV, there is still plenty to look forward to for the franchise.



Happy birthday, Final Fantasy.
Thank you for the memories.
 
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LegendOfKage

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Mar 6, 2018
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It's always a shame when good threads like this slide off the front page before they can inspire conversation. There was a time when a celebration of FF would have felt purely nostalgic for me, but Final Fantasy VII Remake has recently given me hope for the franchises future. There's a lot of original material in that game, and it fits in nicely with one of the best games in the series' history.
 

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
31,412
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Beat the PS1 version. It was pretty fantastic. Unlike the GBA versions, the PS1 ver maintains most of the difficulty of the NES with some quality-of-life improvements.

For example when you kill an enemy and have another attacked queue'd at the same target, you won't whiff anymore. Your attack command will jump to another monster.
 

Pejo

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Jul 1, 2009
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I restarted playing the PSP version not that long ago, I should finish it. 1-9 are an absolute gaming treasure. Great OP!
 
Feb 7, 2012
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This is the final fantasy i started with ( on NES).

Fun story, i rented it and in those days there was little information outside of the manual unless you happen to have a magazine with info. Everyone in game was saying go rescue the princess from garland but he wouldnt advance...turns out there was a trigger you had to do before you advance the plot. What happened was about 3 hours of trying to figure out what to do..the manual said ships come to the harbor...walked back and forth across the harbor about twenty times thinking a ship would show up...etc etc . I really miss the obscurity of info with games brought to the US. pre internet...there will never be a time like that again.
 
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Pejo

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Jul 1, 2009
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This is the final fantasy i started with ( on NES).

Fun story, i rented it and in those days there was little information outside of the manual unless you happen to have a magazine with info. Everyone in game was saying go rescue the princess from garland but he wouldnt advance...turns out there was a trigger you had to do before you advance the plot. What happened was about 3 hours of trying to figure out what to do..the manual said ships come to the harbor...walked back and forth across the harbor about twenty times thinking a ship would show up...etc etc . I really miss the obscurity of info with games brought to the US. pre internet...there will never be a time like that again.
I know what you mean, that was a great time to grow up with gaming.

I bet you don't miss shit like this though:

 
Feb 7, 2012
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I know what you mean, that was a great time to grow up with gaming.

I bet you don't miss shit like this though:



Honestly....i kinda do. I dont know how old you are but for me these things took on a life of its own outside the game. To be honest..its that mysterious weirdness of the unknown in the games worlds that drove me to be an environment artist and why i now work on the environments of games. I wanna know whats going on in that forest back there.
 
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Pejo

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Honestly....i kinda do. I dont know how old you are but for me these things took on a life of its own outside the game. To be honest..its that mysterious weirdness of the unknown in the games worlds that drove me to be an environment artist and why i now work on the environments of games. I wanna know whats going on in that forest back there.
Well this thing in particular was hinted at in the JP version, but localization either did it wrong or dropped it, so you had absolutely no way to know you had to kneel at this cliff to make a tornado take you to the next area. That's the kind of stuff I mean. The cryptic stuff was just because there was no internet around to tell you where to go/what to do. Games themselves still have plenty of hidden/obscure stuff, even if most of it is optional and easter egg type stuff.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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My favorite game series of all time. I struggle to think of a Final Fantasy game I didn't enjoy, though some obviously more than others. The series spin-off games are usually really wacky and fun. The music is an incredible part of package and I've seen it performed live at Distant Worlds now five times.

Really enjoyed the first FF but it wasn’t my first, that particular honor belongs to Mystic Quest :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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TeezzyD

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I own the PS1 disc for FF Origins. I'll get around to FF 1 and 2 one day, I swear it. There's always just other new titles or other classics which catch my interest more. I own it, I will play it. Mark my dang words. It's fascinating to see just how much the series has evolved since inception.

 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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I remember getting this in the mail as a kid (Nintendo Power subscriber!) and wasn't expecting it. I still have it, and it's still awesome.


 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Unless they mean the European Game Boy Mystic Quest, aka FF Adventure in the US, aka one of the best GB games ever.


I played the first FF on PSP. Wasn’t particularly challenging until the final battle, when the boss kept mercilessly annihilating me. Spent an hour grinding to level 50 in the final dungeon and BAM!, beat him first try.
Did the PS1 versions have the same horrible loading times as FF4-6? Those versions were unplayable for me. Opening the menu - something you do literal hundreds of times during the game - took several seconds. I’ll never understand how they did that to SNES ROMs that weighted a few MB each and had instant load times.
 
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People ignored this thread. Seriously? Fucking hell.

I'm thankful for what this game started and some of the music is great but having played and beat it a few years ago. I don't think I'll ever personally replay it again in my life time, I enjoyed the first DQ a lot more.
 

JORMBO

Darkness no more
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People ignored this thread. Seriously? Fucking hell.

That seemed weird to me too. Guessing he drafted the thread behind the scenes with mod hacks and then published it today.

With FF7R and Shadowbringers I am hyped about FF again.
 
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Pallas

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My favorite game series of all time. I struggle to think of a Final Fantasy game I didn't enjoy, though some obviously more than others. The series spin-off games are usually really wacky and fun. The music is an incredible part of package and I've seen it performed live at Distant Worlds now five times.



To be fair, I was really young and at the time didn’t even realize it was a FF game. As bad as the game was though, it had some decent music.
 
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Synless

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Absolutely loved it when I was a kid on NES. I still have my copy. My favorite version is on PSP, fantastic remake. I wish 5 and 6 got the same treatment. 1, 2, and 4 are delicious remakes on psp.
 

Erdrick

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It was a hot summer July back in 1990 when I begged my mom to take me to the local electronics store where I saw the original Final Fantasy advertised. I knew what it was of course, since it was the next big thing being promoted by Nintendo Power. Having been a huge fan of Dragon Quest on the NES at that point, with... the one game to absorb and play tons, Final Fantasy was absolutely massive and epic in terms of size and scope in comparison. You could get a boat! A flying airship! A... Canoe!? It looked to be a globe-trotting adventure with a rich and vibrant world to explore. You had FOUR (!!!) party members that you could customize by class? Sign me up!

Sure, you only had one save spot, and had to buy spells and there was no traditional MP system that I was used to in DQ (Or later FF's eventually.) Want 99 potions? Hope you enjoy hitting the A button a lot. Attack an enemy that was killed? Enjoy hitting the air and wasting a turn. In the scheme of things though, minor nitpicks and easily adaptable.

What you did get in return was a world that was teeming with mystery and curiosities. Who was Garland? What was the purpose of the Crown? Why was that Silver Sword in Elfland so fucking expensive?!?! What laid beyond the seas as you sped across the waves to that catchy music? Could I solve that block puzzle? Will I ever get that victory theme out of my head? (lol Never) Why was Erdrick dead!?! That wasn't even the same series! Or was it?!

There is so much more to the game in terms of enemies and exploration and locations. The sense of freedom when finally getting an airship? Unrivaled. (Except fuck you if you wanted to land anywhere not open.) The search for the Rat Tail to submit to Bahamut for a promotion... It was so cool to see some evolution in characters beyond simple stats.

The ending still is weird and silly, but it was leaps and bounds over anything we had seen outside of Japan on a console at that point. People need to have this as context when looking at the game now and dismissing it because it's aged and rough in comparison to modern games.

But I still remember my younger self sitting in the cool dark AC'd bedroom in that hot day in July of 1990 being in utter awe of exploring. While I don't play the newer ones as much since they seem to be a bit too complex for their own good sometimes, and I prefer in a lot of ways to be able to create characters instead of playing them (Sometimes, When FF does it right, they nail it. See FF4/6/7/10 and so on.)

Now... Time to find some Orbs.
 

Setzer

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I was 17 when this was released and up to that point I never played an RPG before. I remember reading about it in Nintendo Power and being hyped to play it. It came out in May of '90 and I was still in school at that point and my parents wouldn't let us play video games during the school year. So right after school ended for Summer break in June I rushed down to my local Play Co. store and bought the game and I want to say it was something ridiculous like $69.99 for it. I didn't care, I bought it and I got the Players guide from Nintendo Power. I played it all Summer long and even though it isn't my favorite in the series, it still has a special place for me because it's the game that hooked me on RPG's.
 

Faust

Perpetually Tired
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Sep 16, 2018
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It was a hot summer July back in 1990 when I begged my mom to take me to the local electronics store where I saw the original Final Fantasy advertised. I knew what it was of course, since it was the next big thing being promoted by Nintendo Power. Having been a huge fan of Dragon Quest on the NES at that point, with... the one game to absorb and play tons, Final Fantasy was absolutely massive and epic in terms of size and scope in comparison. You could get a boat! A flying airship! A... Canoe!? It looked to be a globe-trotting adventure with a rich and vibrant world to explore. You had FOUR (!!!) party members that you could customize by class? Sign me up!

Sure, you only had one save spot, and had to buy spells and there was no traditional MP system that I was used to in DQ (Or later FF's eventually.) Want 99 potions? Hope you enjoy hitting the A button a lot. Attack an enemy that was killed? Enjoy hitting the air and wasting a turn. In the scheme of things though, minor nitpicks and easily adaptable.

What you did get in return was a world that was teeming with mystery and curiosities. Who was Garland? What was the purpose of the Crown? Why was that Silver Sword in Elfland so fucking expensive?!?! What laid beyond the seas as you sped across the waves to that catchy music? Could I solve that block puzzle? Will I ever get that victory theme out of my head? (lol Never) Why was Erdrick dead!?! That wasn't even the same series! Or was it?!

There is so much more to the game in terms of enemies and exploration and locations. The sense of freedom when finally getting an airship? Unrivaled. (Except fuck you if you wanted to land anywhere not open.) The search for the Rat Tail to submit to Bahamut for a promotion... It was so cool to see some evolution in characters beyond simple stats.

The ending still is weird and silly, but it was leaps and bounds over anything we had seen outside of Japan on a console at that point. People need to have this as context when looking at the game now and dismissing it because it's aged and rough in comparison to modern games.

But I still remember my younger self sitting in the cool dark AC'd bedroom in that hot day in July of 1990 being in utter awe of exploring. While I don't play the newer ones as much since they seem to be a bit too complex for their own good sometimes, and I prefer in a lot of ways to be able to create characters instead of playing them (Sometimes, When FF does it right, they nail it. See FF4/6/7/10 and so on.)

Now... Time to find some Orbs.

The sense of exploration, of finding new villages hidden in caves or items that you didn't know what to do with, an adventure that gives you statistical and physical growth (once you get the tail and upgrade your classes) - I adored my time playing, replaying, and living in the world shown in the original.

I would not be against seeing Square Enix pull a Nintendo and bring back that style of FInal Fantasy for modern systems (akin to what BotW was for the OG Zelda).
 
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