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Final Fantasy Series Information

Final Fantasy Series Information

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Published by jerrbear
This is a history of the Final Fantasy games series that I wrote.
This is a history of the Final Fantasy games series that I wrote.

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Published by: jerrbear on Jun 25, 2008
Copyright:Public Domain

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02/03/2012

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Final Fantasy (
Fainaru Fantaj
 ī) is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchiand owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and othermerchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous console role-playing game(RPG) developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the centralfocus of the franchise.The franchise has since branched out into other genres andplatforms, such as tactical RPGs,portable games, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and games for mobile phones. As of March 2007, there are twenty-eight games in the franchise—including twelve numbered games and numerous spin-off titles.The series has spurred the release of three animated productions, two full-length CGI films, and several printed adaptations.Most Final Fantasy installments are independent stories (the numbers after the titlerefers more to volumes than sequels); however, they feature common elements thatdefine the franchise. Such elements include recurring creatures, character names,airships and character classes. The series has popularized many features that arenow widely used in console RPGs, and it is well known for its visuals, music, andinnovation,such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic charactermodels, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. The series have beencommercially and critically successful; it is the fourth-best-selling video gamefranchise,with more than 80 million units sold as of December 2007.Many individualtitles in series have garnered extra attention and their own positive reception. Inaddition, the series was awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006.
Games
 The first installment of the series premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987. Eachsubsequent title was numbered and given a unique story. Since the original release,many Final Fantasy games have been localized for markets in North America, Europe,and Australia, on numerous video game consoles, IBM PC compatible computers, andmobile phones. Future installments will appear on seventh generation video gameconsoles; two upcoming titles for the PlayStation 3 include Final Fantasy XIII and FinalFantasy Versus XIII. As of March 2007, there are 28 games in the franchise.Thisnumber includes the main installments from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XII, as wellas direct sequels and spin-offs. Many of the older titles have been re-released onmultiple platforms.
Main series
* Final Fantasy was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan in1987 and in North America in 1990.The story focuses on the four "Light Warriors" andtheir elemental orbs, which have been darkened by four Elemental Fiends. FinalFantasy introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre.* Final Fantasy II was originally released on the Famicom in Japan in 1988.The storycenters on four youths who join a resistance to end the Emperor's military campaignagainst the world. Final Fantasy II was the first game to introduce Chocobos and Cid.* Final Fantasy III was released on the Famicom in Japan in 1990.The plot focuseson four orphaned youths who come across a crystal, which grants them power andinstructs them to restore balance to the world. It was the first game to implement a Job System, summoning and introduce Moogles.* Final Fantasy IV was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in1991; in North America, it was released as Final Fantasy II.The story centers on a
 
Dark Knight and his journey to save the world from the evil Golbez.It was the firstgame to introduce the "Active Time Battle" system.* Final Fantasy V was released on the Super Famicom in Japan in 1992.The storyfocuses on a wanderer and his allies as they prevent the resurgence of Exdeath. Itfeatures an expanded version of the Job System from Final Fantasy III.* Final Fantasy VI was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in1994,but it was released in North America under the title Final Fantasy III.[16] Theplot centers on a group of rebels as they attempt to overthrow an imperialdictatorship. It has more battle customization options than its predecessors, as wellas the largest playable cast in the series.* Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation in 1997 and was the first title tobe officially released in Europe.The story centers on a group of adventurers as theybattle a powerful corporation. Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series to use3D computer graphics, which feature fully polygonal characters on pre-renderedbackgrounds. This is the first Final Fantasy to have the same number designation inAmerica and Japan since the original game was released.* Final Fantasy VIII was released on the PlayStation in 1999.The plot focuses on agroup of young mercenaries who seek to prevent a sorceress from manipulating aninternational war. It was the first game in the series to consistently use realisticallyproportioned characters, and feature a vocal piece as its theme music.* Final Fantasy IX was released on the PlayStation in 2000.The story begins withthe protagonists attempting to stop a war sparked by an ambitious queen. It returnedto the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting.* Final Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001.[20] The story focuseson the protagonists trying to defeat a rampaging force known as Sin. Final Fantasy Xintroduced fully three-dimensional areas and voice acting to the series, and it was thefirst to spawn a direct sequel (Final Fantasy X-2).* Final Fantasy XI was released on the PlayStation 2 and PC in 2002, and later onthe Xbox 360. The first MMORPG in the series, Final Fantasy XI is set in Vana'diel,where players can experience hundreds of quests and stories. It is also the first gamein the series to feature real-time battles instead of random encounters.* Final Fantasy XII was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006.The game takes placein Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Itfeatures a real-time battle system similar to Final Fantasy XI, a "gambit" system thatautomatically controls the actions of characters, and a "license board" thatdetermines which abilities and equipment the character can use.* Final Fantasy XIII is in development for the PlayStation 3. It will be the flagshipinstallment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation.
Direct sequels and spin-offs
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and compilations. Three Square gameswere released in North America with their titles changed to include "Final Fantasy": The Final Fantasy Legend and its two sequels. Final Fantasy Adventure is a spin-off tothe Final Fantasy series and spawned the Mana series.Final Fantasy Mystic Quest wasdeveloped for a United States audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics featured many
 
references and themes found in previous Final Fantasy games. In 2003, the videogame series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released.Square Enix hasreleased numerous games featuring Chocobos, and the Kingdom Hearts seriesincludes characters and themes from Final Fantasy.Vagrant Story, another Squaregame, is set in Ivalice, the same world featured in Final Fantasy Tactics and FinalFantasy XII.Three Final Fantasy compilations—Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, IvaliceAlliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII—share many themes.
OverviewCommon elements
Final Fantasy installments are independent, many themes and elements of gameplayrecur throughout the series. The concept of summoning legendary creatures to aid inbattle has persisted since Final Fantasy III; common summons include Shiva, Ifrit, andBahamut.Recurring creatures include Chocobos, Moogles, Tonberries, Behemoth,Cactuars and Malboros.Some spin-off titles have cameo appearances of charactersfrom other games, and most titles feature recycled character names. For example,there has been a character named Cid in each game since Final Fantasy II;however,each appearance and personality is different. Airships and character classes—specific jobs that enable unique abilities for characters—are other recurring themes.
Gameplay
Final Fantasy games typically have several types of screens, or modes of interaction, that arebroadly categorized by function. Screens are accessed either by the player's actions or byautomatic events. Such screens include: field screens, battle screens, world screens, menuscreens, cutscenes, and minigames. The player normally controls the character interaction withthe environment via Field, Battle, and World screens; minigames are sometimes used for this aswell."Field screens" are enclosed and interconnected areas—towns, caves, fields, and other environments—through which the player can navigate the playable characters. Most of thecharacter dialogue and exploration occurs on the field screens. In the first ten titles (except FinalFantasy VIII, where other characters follow the main character when you are not on the worldmap), players can navigate the main character, which represents the whole party, around theenvironment. Since Final Fantasy XI, multiple playable characters have been shown on the Fieldscreen, and battles have been incorporated into the Field screen."Battle screens" facilitate battles in an arena, usually with a change of scale and a backgroundthat represents where the battle is occurring. For example, a random battle in a desert will have adesert backdrop.Battles are normally either plot-relevant or random encounters. In Final FantasyXI and XII, battles screens were omitted by having battle sequences occur on the main fieldscreen;the change was influenced by a desire to remove random encounters.The "World screen" is a low-scale map of the game world used to symbolize traveling greatdistances that would otherwise slow the plot progression. The party can often traverse this screenvia airships, Chocobos, and other modes of transportation."Menu Screens" are used for character and game management; typical menu screens include items, character status, equipment,abilities, and game options.This screen is usually presented in a very simple table layout."Cutscenes" are non-interactive playbacks that provide instructions for the player or advance theplot. They can either be pre-rendered video, also known as full motion video, or they can beexecuted with the same engine as any of the first three modes. "Minigames" are small activitiesthat generally serve as diversions from the story.

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