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.
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.
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.