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The ''Final Fantasy'' Series

An overview

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Contents
Articles
Introduction
''Final Fantasy'' series

1
1

Character classes

16

Character design

30

Gameplay

40

Minigames

49

Music

57

Main series

69

''Final Fantasy I''

69

''Final Fantasy II''

77

''Final Fantasy III''

84

''Final Fantasy IV''

94

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

105

''Final Fantasy V''

111

''Final Fantasy VI''

121

''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''

134

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''

138

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''

147

''Final Fantasy VII''

153

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''

168

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

175

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''

185

''Final Fantasy VIII''

191

''Final Fantasy IX''

203

''Final Fantasy X''

214

''Final Fantasy X-2''

225

''Final Fantasy XI''

236

''Final Fantasy XII''

251

''Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings''

266

''Final Fantasy XIII: Fabula Nova Crystalis''

272

''Final Fantasy XIII''

273

''Final Fantasy XIII: Agito''

291

''Final Fantasy XIII: Versus''

294

''Final Fantasy XIV''

300

Spinoffs

304

''Chocobo'' series

304

''Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series''

310

''Final Fantasy: Dissidia''

313

''Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals''

323

''Final Fantasy Mystic Quest''

326

''Final Fantasy Tactics'' series

332

''Mana'' series

333

''SaGa'' series

344

Compilations and re-releases

348

''Final Fantasy I'' and ''II'' compilations

348

''Final Fantasy IV'' (Nintendo DS)

353

''Final Fantasy Chronicles''

358

''Final Fantasy VII'' (Famicom)

362

References
Article Sources and Contributors

366

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

375

Article Licenses
License

378

Introduction
''Final Fantasy'' series
Final Fantasy

Genre(s)

Role-playing video game

Developer(s)

Square Enix (formerly Square)

Publisher(s)

Square Enix (formerly Square)

Creator(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Platform(s)

Cellular phone, Game Boy Advance, iPhone OS, MSX, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Entertainment System,
Nintendo GameCube, Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Super
Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Wonderswan Color, Xbox 360

Platform of origin

Nintendo Entertainment System

First release

Final Fantasy
December 18, 1987

Latest release

Final Fantasy XIII


December 17, 2009

Spinoffs

Kingdom Hearts series and Mana series

Official website

Official Portal

[1]

Final Fantasy () is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed


and owned by Square Enix (formerly Squaresoft). The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy
console role-playing games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise. The
series began in 1987 as an eponymous video game developed to save Square from bankruptcy; the game was a
success and spawned sequels. The video game series has since branched into other genres such as tactical
role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, and racing.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent stories with various different settings and main
characters, they feature common elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot themes,
character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the
characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are often derived from the history, languages, and
mythologies of cultures worldwide.
The series has been commercially and critically successful; it is Square Enix's best selling video game franchise,
with more than 96 million units shipped, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. It was awarded a star on
the Walk of Game in 2006, and holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's
Edition 2008. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion
videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy has been a
driving force in the video game industry. The video game series has affected Square's business practices and its
relationships with other video game developers. It has also introduced many features now common in console RPGs
and has been credited with helping to popularize RPGs in markets outside Japan.

''Final Fantasy'' series

Titles
Games
The first installment of the series premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987. Subsequent titles are numbered and
given a story unrelated to previous games; consequently, the numbers refer more to volumes than to sequels. Many
Final Fantasy games have been localized for markets in North America, Europe, and Australia on numerous video
game consoles, personal computers (PC), and mobile phones. Future installments will appear on seventh generation
video game consoles; upcoming titles include Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and Final
Fantasy XIV. As of March 2007, there are 28 games in the franchise;[2] this number includes the main installments
from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XIII, as well as direct sequels and spin-offs. Most of the older titles have been
remade or re-released on multiple platforms.
Main series
Timeline of release years
1987

Final Fantasy

1988

Final Fantasy II

1989
1990

Final Fantasy III

1991

Final Fantasy IV

1992

Final Fantasy V

1993
1994

Final Fantasy VI

1995
1996
1997

Final Fantasy VII

1998
1999

Final Fantasy VIII

2000

Final Fantasy IX

2001

Final Fantasy X

2002

Final Fantasy XI

2003
2004
2005
2006

Final Fantasy XII

2007
2008
2009

Final Fantasy XIII

Three Final Fantasy installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Final Fantasy was
released in Japan in 1987 and in North America in 1990.[3] [4] It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre,
and has since been remade on several platforms.[4] Final Fantasy II, released in 1988 in Japan, has been bundled

''Final Fantasy'' series


with Final Fantasy in several re-releases.[4] [5] [6] The last of the NES installments, Final Fantasy III, was released in
Japan in 1990;[7] however, it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006.[6]
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) also featured three installments of the main series, all of which
have been re-released on several platforms. Final Fantasy IV was released in 1991; in North America, it was
released as Final Fantasy II.[8] [9] It introduced the "Active Time Battle" system.[10] Final Fantasy V, released in
1992 in Japan, was first in the series to spawn a sequel: a short anime series titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the
Crystals.[4] [11] [12] Final Fantasy VI was released in Japan in 1994, but it was titled Final Fantasy III in North
America.[13]
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. The 1997 title Final Fantasy VII moved
away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer
graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern
setting, a style that was carried over to the next game.[4] It was also the first in the series to be released in Europe.
The eighth installment was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned
characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music.[4] [14] Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the
series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and
VIII.[4] [15]
Three main installments, including one online game, were published for the PlayStation 2 (PS2). The 2001 title Final
Fantasy X introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series, and was the first to spawn a direct video game
sequel (Final Fantasy X-2).[16] [17] Final Fantasy XI was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002, and later on the Xbox
360.[18] [19] The first massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series, Final Fantasy XI also
introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters.[19] The twelfth installment, published in 2006, also
includes real-time battles in large, interconnected playfields.[20] [21]
Final Fantasy XIII was released in December 2009 in Japan. It was released on March 9, 2010 in North America and
Europe.[22] [23] It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation.[24] Also
in development is Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG due for release in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and PC.[25]
Sequels and spin-offs
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Three Square games were released in North America
with their titles changed to include "Final Fantasy": The Final Fantasy Legend and its two sequels. The games,
however, are part of Square's Saga series and feature few similarities to Final Fantasy.[26] Final Fantasy Adventure
is a spin-off that spawned the Mana series.[27] Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was developed for a United States
audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the
series.[27] [28] The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series, and Kingdom Hearts series also include
multiple Final Fantasy elements.[26] [29] In 2003, the video game series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was
released.[30] Dissidia: Final Fantasy was released in 2009, and is a fighting game that features heroes and villains
from the first ten games from the main series.[31] Other spin-offs have taken the form of compilationsCompilation
of Final Fantasy VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII.

Other media
Square Enix has expanded the Final Fantasy series into various media. Multiple anime and computer-generated
imagery (CGI) films have been produced that are based either on individual Final Fantasy games or on the series as
a whole. The first was an original video animation (OVA) titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, a sequel to
Final Fantasy V. The story was set on the same world as the game though 200 years in the future. It was released as
four 30-minute episodes first in Japan in 1994 and later released in the United States by Urban Vision in 1998.[32] In
2001, Square Pictures released its first feature film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The film is set on a
future-Earth invaded by alien life forms.[33] The Spirits Within was the first animated feature to seriously attempt to

''Final Fantasy'' series

portray photorealistic CGI humans, but was considered a box office bomb.[33] [34] [35] 2001 also saw the release of
Final Fantasy: Unlimited, a 25 episode anime series based on the common elements of the Final Fantasy series. It
was broadcast in Japan by TV Tokyo and released in North America by ADV Films.[36] In 2005, Final Fantasy VII
Advent Children and Last Order: Final Fantasy VII were released as part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Several video games have either been adapted into or have had spin-offs in the form of manga and novels. The first
was the novelization of Final Fantasy II in 1989, and was followed by a manga adaptation of Final Fantasy III in
1992.[37] [38] The past decade has seen an increase in the number of non-video game adaptations and spin-offs. Final
Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been adapted into a novel, the spin-off game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has
been adapted into a manga, and Final Fantasy XI has had a novel and manga set in its continuity.[39] [40] [41] [42] Two
novellas based on the Final Fantasy VII universe have also been released. The Final Fantasy: Unlimited story was
partially continued in novels and a manga after the anime series ended.[43] Two titles, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
and Final Fantasy: Unlimited, have been adapted into radio dramas.

Common elements
Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent, many themes and elements of gameplay recur
throughout the series.[44] [45] Most titles feature recycled names often inspired from various cultures' history and
languages including Japanese, Hebrew, and Latin.[46] Examples include weapon names like Excalibur and
Masamunederived from Arthurian legend and the Japanese swordsmith Masamune respectivelyas well as the
spell names Holy, Meteor, and Ultima.[45] [46] Beginning with Final Fantasy IV, the main series adopted its current
logo style that features the same typeface and an emblem designed by manga artist Yoshitaka Amano. The emblem
relates to a title's respective plot and typically portrays a character or object in the story. Subsequent remakes of the
first three games have replaced the previous logos with ones similar to the rest of the series.[45]

Plot and themes


The central conflict in many Final Fantasy games focuses on a
group of characters battling an evil, and sometimes ancient,
antagonist that dominates the game's world. Stories frequently
involve a sovereign state in rebellion, with the protagonists taking
part in the rebellion. The heroes are often destined to defeat the
evil, and occasionally gather as a direct result of the antagonist's
malicious actions.[4] [46] Another staple of the series is the
existence of two villains; the main villain is not always who it
appears to be, as the primary antagonist may actually be
subservient to another character or entity.[4] The main antagonist
introduced at the beginning of the game is not always the final
enemy, and the characters must continue their quest beyond what
appears to be the final fight.[46]

Final Fantasy V is typical of the series in that the


heroes must retrieve several crystals to save the world
from an ancient evil.

Stories in the series frequently emphasize the internal struggles,


passions, and tragedies of the characters, and the main plot often
recedes into the background as the focus shifts to their personal lives.[21] [47] Games also explore relationships
between characters, ranging from love to rivalry.[4] Other recurring situations that drive the plot include amnesia, a
hero corrupted by an evil force, mistaken identity, and altruistic suicide.[4] [48] [49] Magical orbs and crystals are
recurring in-game items that are frequently connected to the themes of the games' plots.[46] Crystals often play a
central role in the creation of the world, and a majority of the Final Fantasy games link crystals and orbs to the

''Final Fantasy'' series


planet's life force. As such, control over these crystals drives the main conflict.[46] [50] The classical elements are a
recurring theme in the series related to the heroes, villains, and items.[46] Other common plot and setting themes
include the Gaia hypothesis, an apocalypse, and conflicts between advanced technology and nature.[46] [48] [51]

Characters
In recent years, the series has featured several males with androgynous or effeminate characteristics.[52] [53] [54]
Character names are another recurring theme. Since the release of Final Fantasy II, including subsequent remakes of
the original Final Fantasy, a character named Cid has appeared in different capacities: a non-playable ally, party
member, and villain. Though Cid's appearance and personality differ between titles, the character is normally related
to the in-game airships. Biggs and Wedge, inspired by two Star Wars characters by the same name, appear in titles as
minor characters, sometimes as comic relief.[21] [45] Recurring creatures include Chocobos and Moogles.[21]
Chocobos are large, often flightless birds that appear in several installments as a means of long-distance travel for
characters. Moogles, on the other hand, are white, stout creatures resembling teddy bears with wings and a single
antenna. They serve different capacities in games including mail delivery, weaponsmiths, party members, and saving
the game. Chocobo and Moogle appearances are often accompanied by specific themes that have been arranged
differently for separate titles.[4] [21] [45]

Gameplay
In Final Fantasy games, players command a party of characters as they
progress through the game's story by exploring the game world and
defeating opponents.[4] [46] Enemies are typically encountered
randomly through exploring, a trend which changed in Final Fantasy
XI and Final Fantasy XII. The player issues combat orderslike
"Fight", "Magic", and "Item"to individual characters via a
menu-driven interface while engaging in battles. Throughout the series,
the games have used different battle systems. Prior to Final Fantasy
XI, battles were turn-based with the protagonists and antagonists on
different sides of the battlefield. Final Fantasy IV introduced the
"Active Time Battle System" that augmented the turn-based nature
with a perpetual time-keeping system. Designed by Hiroyuki It, it
injected urgency and excitement into combat by requiring the player to
Example diagram of the Active Time Battle
system used in several Final Fantasy games from
act before an enemy attacks, and was used until Final Fantasy X,
[55]
its US patent application.
which implemented the Conditional Turn-Based system.[4] [21] [56] The
new system returned to the previous turn-based system, but added
nuances to offer players more challenge.[17] [57] Final Fantasy XI adopted a real-time battle system where characters
continuously act depending on the issued command.[58] Final Fantasy XII continued this gameplay with the "Active
Dimension Battle" system.[59]
Like most RPGs, the Final Fantasy installments use an experience level system for character advancement, in which
experience points are accumulated by killing enemies.[60] [61] [62] [63] Character classes, specific jobs that enable
unique abilities for characters, are another recurring theme. Introduced in the first game, character classes have been
used differently in each title. Some restrict a character to a single job to integrate it into the story, while other games
feature dynamic job systems that allow the player to choose from multiple classes and switch throughout the game.
Though used heavily in many games, such systems have become less prevalent in favor of characters that are more
versatile; characters still match an archetype, but are able to learn skills outside their class.[21] [45] [46]
Magic is another common RPG element in the series. It is generally divided into classes, which are organized by
color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming

''Final Fantasy'' series


enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy
attacks; and "green magic" which focuses on 'buffing' allies or 'debuffing' the enemy.[4] [45] [56] Other magic includes
summoning legendary creatures to aid in battle, and has persisted since Final Fantasy III. These creatures, often
referred to as "Summons", have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.[45] [46]
Different means of transportation have appeared through the series. The most common is the airship for long range
travel, accompanied by chocobos for travelling short distances, but others include sea and land vessels. Following
Final Fantasy VII, more modern and futuristic vehicle designs have been included.[46]

Development and history


Origin
In the mid 1980s, Square entered the Japanese video game industry
with simple RPGs, racing games, and platformers for Nintendo's
Famicom Disk System. Though a couple games were successful in
North America, most were not popular and the company faced
bankruptcy. In 1987, Square designer Hironobu Sakaguchi headed
development of a game to prevent the company's financial ruin.
Sakaguchi chose to create a new fantasy role-playing game for the
cartridge-based NES, and drew inspiration from popular fantasy
Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy
games: Enix's Dragon Quest, Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda, and
series
Origin Systems's Ultima series. As Sakaguchi planned to retire after
completing the project, he named it Final Fantasy.[64] [65] [66] Despite
his explanation, publications have also attributed the name to the company's hopes that the project would solve its
financial troubles.[64] [67]
The game indeed reversed Square's lagging fortunes, and it became the company's flagship franchise.[34] [64]
Following the success, Square immediately developed a second installment. Because Sakaguchi assumed Final
Fantasy would be a stand-alone title, its story was not designed to be expanded by a sequel. The developers instead
chose to carry over only thematic similarities to its predecessor, and some of the gameplay elements, such as the
character advancement system, were overhauled. This approach has continued throughout the series; each major
Final Fantasy game features a new setting, a new cast of characters, and an upgraded battle system.[6]

Design
For the original Final Fantasy, Sakaguchi required a larger production team than Square's previous titles. He began
crafting the game's story while experimenting with gameplay ideas. Once the gameplay system and game world size
was established, Sakaguchi integrated his story ideas into the available resources. A different approach has been
taken for subsequent titles; the story is completed first and the game built around it.[68] Designers have never been
restricted by consistency, though most feel each title should have a minimum number of common elements. The
development teams strive to create completely new worlds for each title, and avoid making new games too similar to
previous ones. Game locations are conceptualized early in development and design details like building parts are
fleshed out as a base for entire structures.[44]
The first five games were directed by Sakaguchi, who also provided the original concepts. He served as a producer
for subsequent games until he left Square in 2001.[46] [69] Yoshinori Kitase took over directing the games until Final
Fantasy VIII,[70] [71] [72] and has been followed by a new director for each new title. Hiroyuki It designed several
gameplay systems, including Final Fantasy V's Job System, Final Fantasy VIII's Junction System and the Active
Time Battle concept, which was used from Final Fantasy IV until Final Fantasy IX. It also co-directed Final
Fantasy VI with Kitase.[46] [70] Kenji Terada was the scenario writer for the first four games; Kitase took over as

''Final Fantasy'' series

scenario writer for Final Fantasy V through Final Fantasy VII. Kazushige Nojima became the series' primary
scenario writer from Final Fantasy VII until his resignation in October 2003; he has since formed his own company,
Stellavista. Nojima partially or completely wrote the stories for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy
X, and Final Fantasy X-2. He also worked as the scenario writer for the spin off series, Kingdom Hearts.[73]
Artistic design, including character and monster creations, was handled
by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano from Final Fantasy through Final
Fantasy VI. Amano also handled title logo designs for all of the main
series and the image illustrations from Final Fantasy VII onward.[69]
Tetsuya Nomura was chosen to replace Amano because Nomura's
designs were more adaptable to 3D graphics. He worked with the
series from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X;[46] [69] for
Final Fantasy IX, however, character designs were handled by Shukou
Murase, Toshiyuki Itahana, and Shin Nagasawa.[74] Nomura is also the
character designer of the Kingdom Hearts series, Compilation of Final
Fantasy VII, and the upcoming Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy
XIII.[75] Other designers include Nobuyoshi Mihara and Akihiko
Yoshida. Mihara was the character designer for Final Fantasy XI, and
Yoshida served as character designer for Final Fantasy Tactics, the
Square-produced Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII.[28] [76]
Final Fantasy VI artwork by Yoshitaka Amano,
who provided designs for much of the series.

Graphics and technology


The first titles on the NES feature small sprite representations of the leading party members on the main world
screen because of graphical limitations. Battle screens use more detailed, full versions of characters in a side-view
perspective. This practice was used until Final Fantasy VI, which uses detailed versions for both screens. The NES
sprites are 26pixels high and use a color palette of 4colors. 6frames of animation are used to depict different
character statuses like "healthy" and "fatigued". The SNES installments use updated graphics and effects, as well as
higher quality audio than in previous games, but are otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. The
SNES sprites are 2pixels shorter, but have larger palettes and feature more animation frames: 11colors and
40frames respectively. The upgrade allowed designers to have characters be more detailed in appearance and
express more emotions. The first title includes non-player characters (NPCs) the player could interact with, but are
mostly static in-game objects. Beginning with the second title, Square used predetermined pathways for NPCs to
create more dynamic scenes that include comedy and drama.[77]
In 1995, Square showed an interactive SGI technical demonstration of Final Fantasy for the then next generation of
consoles. The demonstration used Silicon Graphics's prototype Nintendo 64 workstations to create 3D graphics.[77]
[78]
Fans believed the demo was of a new Final Fantasy title for the Nintendo 64 console; however, 1997 saw the
release of Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation.[78] [79] The switch was due to a dispute with Nintendo over its
use of faster and more expensive cartridges, as opposed to the slower, cheaper, and much higher capacity compact
discs used on rival systems.[80] [81] Final Fantasy VII introduced 3D graphics with fully pre-rendered
backgrounds.[80] [82] It was because of this switch to 3D that a CD-ROM format was chosen over a cartridge
format.[80] [83] The switch also led to increased production costs and a greater subdivision of the creative staff for
Final Fantasy VII and subsequent 3D titles in the series.[44]

''Final Fantasy'' series

Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, the series adopted a more


photo-realistic look.[84] [85] Like Final Fantasy VII, full motion video
(FMV) sequences would have video playing in the background, with
the polygonal characters composited on top. Final Fantasy IX returned
briefly to the more stylized design of earlier games in the series. It still
maintained, and in many cases slightly upgraded, most of the graphical
techniques used in the previous two games in the series.[85] Final
Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2, and used the more
powerful hardware to render graphics in real-time instead of using
Final Fantasy VIII, along with VII and IX, used
pre-rendered backgrounds.
pre-rendered material to obtain a more dynamic look; the game
features full 3D environments, rather than have 3D character models
move about pre-rendered backgrounds. It is also the first Final Fantasy game to introduce voice acting, occurring
throughout the majority of the game, even with many minor characters.[17] This aspect added a whole new dimension
of depth to the character's reactions, emotions, and development.[17] [86]
Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG.[87]
Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving 6 months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on
the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan.[88] This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a
free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many
polygons as Final Fantasy X in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting.[89] [90] It also retains the freely
rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII was shown at E3 2006 and will make use of Crystal
Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.[91] [92]

Music
The titles in the series feature a variety of music, but frequently reuse themes. Most of the games open with a piece
called "Prelude", which has evolved from a simple, 2-voice arpeggio in the early games to a complex, melodic
arrangement in recent installments.[21] [45] [65] Victories in combat are often accompanied by a victory fanfare, a
theme that has become one of the most recognized pieces of music in the series. The basic theme that accompanies
Chocobo appearances has been rearranged in a different musical style for each installment. A piece called
"Prologue" (and sometimes "Final Fantasy"), originally featured in the first game, is often played during the ending
credits.[45] Although leitmotifs are common in the more character-driven installments, theme music is typically
reserved for main characters and recurring plot elements.[34]

''Final Fantasy'' series

Nobuo Uematsu was the chief music composer of the Final Fantasy series
until his resignation from Square Enix in November 2004.[34] Other
composers include Masashi Hamauzu and Hitoshi Sakimoto.[93] [94]
Uematsu was allowed to create much of the music with little direction from
the production staff. Sakaguchi, however, would request pieces to fit
specific game scenes including battles and exploring different areas of the
game world.[95] Once a game's major scenarios were completed, Uematsu
would begin writing the music based on the story, characters, and
accompanying artwork. He started with a game's main theme, and
developed other pieces to match its style. In creating character themes,
Uematsu read the game's scenario to determine the characters' personality.
He would also ask the scenario writer for more details to scenes he was
unsure about.[96] Technical limitations were prevalent in earlier titles;
Sakaguchi would sometimes instruct Uematsu to only use specific notes.[95]
It wasn't until Final Fantasy IV on the SNES that Uematsu was able to add
more subtlety to the music.[77]

Nobuo Uematsu, composer of most of the


Final Fantasy soundtracks

Reception
Overall, the Final Fantasy series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, though each installment
has seen different levels of success. The series has seen a steady increase in total sales; it sold 45million units
worldwide by August 2003, 63million by December 2005, and 85million by July 2008.[97] [98] [99] In March 2010,
Square Enix announced that the series has shipped over 96 million units.[100] Its high sales numbers have ranked it as
one of the best-selling video game franchises in the industry; in January 2007, the series was listed as number three,
and later in July as number four.[34] [101] Several games within the series have become best-selling titles. At the end
of 2007, the seventh, eighth, and ninth best-selling RPGs were Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final
Fantasy X respectively.[102] Final Fantasy VII has sold more than 9.5million copies worldwide, earning it the
position of the best-selling Final Fantasy title.[103] Within two days of Final Fantasy VIII's North American release
on September 9, 1999, it became the top-selling video game in the United States, a position it held for more than
three weeks.[104] Final Fantasy X sold over 1.4million Japanese units in pre-orders alone, which set a record for the
fastest-selling console RPG.[102] [105] Final Fantasy XII sold more than 1.7million copies in its first week in
Japan.[106] By November 6, 2006one week after its releaseFinal Fantasy XII had shipped approximately
1.5million copies in North America.[107]

Critical response
The series has been praised for the quality of its visuals and soundtracks.[34] It was awarded a star on the Walk of
Game in 2006, making it the first franchise to win a star on the event (other winners were individual games, not
franchises). WalkOfGame.com commented that the series has sought perfection as well as been a risk taker in
innovation.[108] In a 2008 public poll held by The Game Group plc, Final Fantasy was voted the best game series,
with five titles appearing in their "Greatest Games of All Time" list.[109] IGN has commented the menu system used
by the series is a major detractor for many and is a "significant reason why they haven't touched the series."[21] The
site has also heavily criticized the use of random encounters in the series' battle systems.[110] [111] IGN further stated
the various attempts to bring the series into film and animation have either been unsuccessful, unremarkable, or did
not live up to the standards of the games.[12] In July 2007, UK-based Edge magazine criticized the series for a
number of related titles that include the phrase "Final Fantasy" in their titles, which are considered to be not of the
same quality as previous titles. It also commented that with the departure of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the series might be

''Final Fantasy'' series


in danger of growing stale.[34]
Many Final Fantasy games have been included in various lists of top games. Several games have been listed on
multiple IGN "Top Games" lists.[112] [113] [114] [115] Eleven games were listed on Famitsu's 2006 "Top 100 Favorite
Games of All Time", four of which were in the top ten, with Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII being first and
second, respectively.[116] The series holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's
Edition 2008, which include the "Most Games in an RPG Series" (13 main titles, 7 enhanced titles, and 32 spin-off
titles), the "Longest Development Period" (the production of Final Fantasy XII took five years), and the
"Fastest-Selling Console RPG in a Single Day" (Final Fantasy X).[102] [117] The 2009 edition listed two titles from
the series among the top 50 consoles games: Final Fantasy XII at number 8 and Final Fantasy VII at number 20.[118]
Several individual Final Fantasy titles have garnered extra attention; some for their positive reception and others for
their negative reception. Despite the success of Final Fantasy VII, it is sometimes criticized as being overrated. In
2003, GameSpy listed it as the 7th most overrated game of all time, a comment echoed by IGN.[119] [120] Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII shipped 392,000units in its first week of release, but received review scores that were
much lower than that of other Final Fantasy games.[121] [122] [123] A delayed, negative review after the Japanese
release of Dirge of Cerberus from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu hinted at a controversy between the magazine
and Square Enix.[124] The MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, reached over 200,000 active daily players in March
2006[125] and had reached over half a million subscribers by July 2007.[34] Though Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
was praised for its visuals, the plot was criticized and was considered a box office bomb.[33] [34] [35] [126] Final
Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube received overall positive review scores, but reviews stated that the
use of Game Boy Advances as controllers was a big detractor.[79] [127]

Impact and legacy


The Final Fantasy series and several specific games within it have been credited for introducing and popularizing
many concepts that are today widely used in console RPGs.[4] [79] The original title is often cited as one of the most
influential early console RPGs, and played a major role in legitimizing and popularizing the genre. Prior to the
series, RPGs featured one-on-one battles against monsters from a first person perspective. Final Fantasy introduced
a side view perspective with groups of monsters against a group of characters that has been frequently imitated.[4]
[65] [79]
Final Fantasy II was the first sequel in the industry to omit characters and locations from the previous title.[6]
Final Fantasy VII is credited with allowing console role-playing games to find a place in markets outside Japan.[80]
[128]

The series' success affected Square's business on several levels. The financial success of the first game saved Square
from bankruptcy, while the commercial failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within resulted in hesitation and delays
from Enix during merger discussions.[35] [65] Square's decision to produce games exclusively for the Sony
PlayStationa move followed by Enix's decision with the Dragon Quest seriessevered their relationship with
Nintendo.[4] [79] Final Fantasy games were absent from Nintendo consoles, specifically the Nintendo 64, for seven
years.[68] [80] Critics attribute the switch of strong third-party titles, like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games,
from the Nintendo 64 to the PlayStation as one of the reasons behind the systems' decline and success,
respectively.[4] [79] [83] The release of the Nintendo GameCube, which used optical disc media, in 2001 caught the
attention of Square. To produce games for the system, Square created the shell company The Game Designers Studio
and released Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which spawned its own metaseries within the main franchise.[26]
Final Fantasy XI's lack of an online method of subscription cancellation prompted the creation of legislation in
Illinois that requires internet gaming services to provide such a method to the state's residents.[129]
The series' popularity has resulted in its appearance and reference in numerous facets of popular culture like anime,
TV series, and webcomics.[130] [131] [132] Music from the series has permeated into different areas of culture. Final
Fantasy IV's "Theme of Love" was integrated into the curriculum of Japanese school children and has been
performed live by orchestras and metal bands.[133] In 2003, Uematsu became involved with the The Black Mages, a

10

''Final Fantasy'' series


rock group independent of Square that has released albums of arranged Final Fantasy tunes.[134] [135] Bronze
medalists Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova performed their synchronized swimming routine at the 2004 Summer
Olympics to music from Final Fantasy VIII.[102] Many of the titles' official soundtracks have been released for sale
as well. Numerous companion books, which normally provide in-depth game information, have been published. In
Japan, they are published by Square and are called Ultimania books.[136] [137] In North America, they take the form
of standard strategy guides.

External links

Square Enix's official Final Fantasy website [1]


Square Enix's official Final Fantasy website [138] (Japanese)
Final Fantasy Games [139] at the Open Directory Project
Final Fantasy Wiki [140]
IGN Presents the History of Final Fantasy [141]

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[110] Lundigran, Jeff (1999-09-10). "IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 153/ 153847p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-02-17.
[111] Smith, David (2000-11-22). "IGN: Final Fantasy IX Review" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 162/ 162190p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-02-17.
[112] "IGN's Top 100 Games" (http:/ / top100. ign. com/ 2003/ index. html). IGN. 2003. . Retrieved 2007-10-05.
[113] "IGN's Top 100 Games" (http:/ / top100. ign. com/ 2005/ index. html). IGN. 2005. . Retrieved 2007-10-05.
[114] "Top 99 Games of All Time: Readers' Pick" (http:/ / microsites. ign. com/ kfc/ top99games/ ). IGN. 2005. . Retrieved 2007-10-05.
[115] IGN PlayStation Team (2007-03-16). "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 772/ 772296p3. html). IGN. .
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[116] Campbell, Colin (2006). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100" (http:/ / www. edge-online. com/ features/ japan-votes-all-time-top-100).
Edge. . Retrieved 2007-10-02.
[117] Parsons, Doug (2008-07-30). "Record Breaking Final Fantasy Series heads to The Record Breaking Nintendo DS" (http:/ / gamers.
guinnessworldrecords. com/ news/ 300708_ffiv. aspx). Guinness World Records. . Retrieved 2008-08-02.
[118] "Top 50 Console Games". Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition. Guinness World Records. Guinness. 2009-02-03. pp.190191.
ISBN978-1-904994-45-9.
[119] GameSpy Staff (September 2003). "25 Most Overrated Games of All Time" (http:/ / archive. gamespy. com/ articles/ september03/
25overrated/ ). GameSpy. . Retrieved 2007-11-21.
[120] Buchanan, Levi (2009-03-03). "Is Final Fantasy VII Overrated?" (http:/ / retro. ign. com/ articles/ 958/ 958466p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2009-04-23.

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[121] "Top 10 Weekly Software Sales (January 23 January 29, 2006)" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060205034213/ http:/ / m-create.
com/ eng/ e_ranking. html). Archived from the original (http:/ / www. m-create. com/ eng/ e_ranking. html) on 2006-02-05. .
[122] "Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Reviews" (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ ps2/ 924449-dirge-of-cerberus-final-fantasy-vii/ index.
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[123] "Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (ps2:2006): Reviews" (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ ps2/
dirgeofcerberusfinalfantasy7?q=dirge of cerberus). Metacritic. . Retrieved 2007-10-23.
[124] Dormer, Dan (2006-02-08). "Famitsu Digs Into Dirge of Cerberus" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ newsStory?cId=3147827). 1UP.com. .
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[125] Woodard, Christopher (2006-03-24). "GDC: Creating a Global MMO: Balancing Cultures and Platforms in Final Fantasy XI" (http:/ /
www. gamasutra. com/ features/ 20060324/ woodard_01. shtml). Gamasutra. . Retrieved 2007-10-05.
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20010711/ REVIEWS/ 107110301/ 1023). RogerEbert.com. . Retrieved 2007-10-23.
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[128] Kraus, Alex (2006-08-30). "'Dirge of Cerberus' defies expectations, for better and worse" (http:/ / www. usatoday. com/ tech/ gaming/
2006-08-29-dirge-of-cerberus_x. htm). USA Today. . Retrieved 2009-03-30.
[129] "Record Breaking Games: Role-Playing Games". Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition. Guinness World Records. Guinness.
2009-02-03. pp.174175. ISBN978-1-904994-45-9.
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[131] Kuchera, Ben (2006-05-23). "Robot Chicken pokes fun at Final Fantasy" (http:/ / arstechnica. com/ gaming/ news/ 2006/ 05/ 4078. ars).
Ars Technica. . Retrieved 2009-03-09.
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15

Character classes

Character classes
In several installments of the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games by Square Enix, classes (jobs) are roles
assigned to playable characters that determine the character's proficiencies.[1] Classes can be loosely categorized into
physical classes, which specialize in using weapons and techniques; magical classes, which are proficient in magic;
and mixed classes, which combine elements of both classes in addition to other special abilities.
This article summarizes the most common character classes; many games in the series have featured unique classes
that have not reappeared in subsequent games. For information on those classes, see the article regarding the game in
which the class appeared. Job classes in Final Fantasy XI are featured in Final Fantasy XI character classes; those in
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are featured in List of jobs in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

History and development


In Final Fantasy, the player allocates permanent class selections to the four
playable characters at the beginning of the game, each of the six starting
classes can be upgraded to a corresponding advanced class midway through
the game.[2] Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy V changed the formula by
allowing the player to change a character's class, as well as acquire new and
advanced classes and combine class abilities.[3] [4] In Final Fantasy Tactics
and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, classes are once again chosen by the
player from one of the two starting jobs; however, characters must meet
prerequisites before changing classes.[5] [6] Character classes were
The job system in Final Fantasy V
re-introduced in Final Fantasy X-2 as "dresspheres"; these classes are
gradually acquired and can be changed at any point, including battle mode.[7]
The classes that appeared in Final Fantasy XI, the first MMORPG title in the series, have certain unique
implementations that more closely follow MMORPG convention.[8] Notably, in Final Fantasy XI a player can equip
a secondary job, called a subjob, and have half the abilities of another class that way. Extensive backstories are often
given to FFXI's job classes to add to the setting's lore.
Other Final Fantasy installments deviate from the class system by allowing flexibility in character growth, or
featuring pre-determined jobs. Characters in Final Fantasy II are molded according to their performance in battle.[9]
Final Fantasy IV introduced characters already locked into a class; abilities related to the character's class are learned
as the character gains experience points.[10] In Final Fantasy VI, VII, and VIII, characters begin with equipment and
attack proficiencies similar to character classes, but the player can allocate magic and statistical bonuses.[11] [12] [13]
In Final Fantasy VI, each playable character has a class and a signature command, such as Dance, Lore or Mimic.[11]
In Final Fantasy VII and VIII, characters lack classes, and they all play the same in battle; nevertheless, each
character has one or more unique limit breaks.[12] [13] [14] In Final Fantasy IX, characters have predetermined
"dormant abilities" similar to IV; however, the characters in IX learn abilities by wearing equipment instead of
gaining levels.[15] Final Fantasy X introduced the sphere grid; characters began at certain areas of the grid, which
represent traditional character classes by their statistical bonuses and abilities. In Final Fantasy XII, the player can
mold characters into anything, without restriction of traditional classes.[16] [17] However, in the game's international
version and sequel, the growth system is modified to have more clearly defined classes. Final Fantasy character
classes have also made cameo appearances as hidden players in Mario Hoops 3-on-3 and as enemies in Kingdom
Hearts II.

16

Character classes

Physical classes
Physical classes are able to inflict damage through a variety of weapons and job-specific techniques. In general,
these jobs have access to heavier weapons and armor than magical or mixed classes, giving them superior attack
power and physical defense.

Warrior
The Warrior ( Senshi), formerly translated as the Fighter, is portrayed as an expert of the sword and/or axe who
uses some of the most powerful armors and weaponry.[2] [3] As such, it is a well-rounded physical combatant with
high attack and defense statistics.[7] Initially, the Knight was treated as an upgraded form of the Warrior class,[2] [3]
but later games in the series began to use the two terms interchangeably.[18] Recurring abilities shared by the Warrior
/ Fighter and Knight classes include various special attacks, the most common of which are the various "break" or
"rend" abilities, each of which can either inflict a specific stat-lowering debuffs or destroy a specific piece of enemy
equipment. Recurring abilities of the Knight class include the ability to cast some lower level white magic spells and
Cover, which intercepts attacks against wounded allies. The Warrior has appeared in Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy
III,[3] Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance,[6] and Final Fantasy XI;[8] the Knight has appeared in
Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy IV(Knight[Naito] also meaning Paladin in the Japanese
Version), Final Fantasy V,[18] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System and Final Fantasy Tactics.[5]
Many games in the series feature specialized sword-wielding classes, such as Dark Knight, Paladin, Samurai, or
Holy Knight.[3] [5]

Monk
The Monk ( Monku) is a master of martial arts who favors barehanded fighting,[2] [3] [18] sometimes
supplemented with claws. In some games, they can use meditative techniques, which improve their power or heal
their wounds.[5] [18] They can often counterattack against physical attacks as well.[18] In early English localizations
of the series, the Monk was known as the Black Belt;[19] in Final Fantasy III, the Black Belt is an upgraded form of
the Monk.[3] The Monk has appeared as a class in Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy IV (as Yang
Fang Leiden),[10] Final Fantasy V,[18] Final Fantasy VI (as Sabin Rene Figaro),[20] Final Fantasy IX (as Amarant
Coral), Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] Final
Fantasy Tactics Advance,[6] and Hataraku Chocobo. In addition, Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII) and Zell Dincht
(Final Fantasy VIII) both fight with gloved hands (the former can also use claws), as well as having hand-to-hand
limit breaks, keeping the tradition of the monk class.

Samurai
Samurai ( Samurai) are Japanese-styled fighters who fight primarily with katana.[5] They hold their weapons with
both hands for increased damage. Some abilities often associated with Samurai are Coin Toss (sometimes Gil Toss,
GP Rain, or Zeninage) which uses Gil to damage enemies, Fast Draw (also referred as Fdraw, Iainuki, Zantetsu or
Oblivion/Cleave) an attempt to defeat the enemy in a single attack, and Blade Catch (Shirahadori), a supplementary
evasion skill.[21] Samurai are featured as classes in Final Fantasy V,[21] Final Fantasy VI (as Cyan Garamonde),
Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XI,[22] and Final Fantasy Tactics. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Samurai can unleash
the "spirit" of certain katana with their Draw Out skill.[5] In Final Fantasy X, the character Auron uses the abilities
that of a samurai and fighter. Samurai is also a type of enemy in Kingdom Hearts II, with similar powers and
appearance.

17

Character classes

Dragoon
The Dragoon ( Rykishi) (also known as Dragon Knight or
Lancer) uses spears and their Jump ability and usually wears heavy
armor.[3] [18] Jump typically does double damage when the user is
wielding a spear, and removes the Dragon Knight from combat for one
round.[10] [18] While jumping, Dragoons either thrust downward with
their spears to skewer enemies,[5] [10] or toss the weapon at the foe
from above. In Final Fantasy VI, the "Jump" skill is a special ability
conferred by the "Dragoon Boots" relic. The English software
localization of Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy
Tactics Advance refers to Dragon Knights as Dragoons,[22] and the
English localization of Final Fantasy Tactics refers to them as
Lancers.[5] In addition, the characters Ricard Highwind (Final Fantasy
II), Kain Highwind (Final Fantasy IV),[10] Cid Highwind (Final
Fantasy VII),[23] Freya Crescent (Final Fantasy IX), and Llyud (Final
Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings) are identified as Dragoons. Alexander
Highwind Tycoon (Final Fantasy V), though not specifically stated to
be a Dragoon, shares the common Highwind surname and wears armor
Kain Highwind, a dragoon-class character from
Final Fantasy IV
resembling the traditional Dragoon garb. Ward Zabac (Final Fantasy
VIII) is similar to a Dragoon because he fights with harpoon-style
weapons and features an aerial limit break ("Jump"-like attacks).[24] Kimahri Ronso (Final Fantasy X) uses spears
for weapons and features an overdrive called Jump.[25] The MMORPG Final Fantasy XI features the dragoon as a
playable job class; players as able to utilize several signature jump techniques, as well as summon a wyvern as
support in combat. In the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance series, only Bangaa characters can become Dragoons.
Dragoon is also a type of enemy in Kingdom Hearts II, with similar powers and appearance. Unlike their armor, the
design for the Dragoons' helmets remain fairly constant from game to game.

Thief
The Thief ( Shfu) is generally a nimble and agile physical combatant whose main weapon includes daggers
or short swords.[2] They usually have very high speed, accuracy, and evasion but low defense due to light armor.[7]
Steal is their trademark ability; it allows them to transfer an item or piece of equipment held by an enemy to the
player's inventory.[5] [7] They can also disarm traps and detect hidden passages.[18] as well as sometimes obtaining
the skill 'capture' or 'mug', which allows items to be stolen during an attack. The Thief has appeared as a class in
Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy V,[18] Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy
Tactics,[5] Final Fantasy Tactics Advance,[6] and Hataraku Chocobo. Locke Cole (Final Fantasy VI) and Zidane
Tribal (Final Fantasy IX) were stated to be Thieves in their respective games, although Locke insists that he is a
"treasure hunter."[26] [27] Rikku (Final Fantasy X-2) starts off with Thief as her default dressphere,[7] and learns
theft-related moves in Final Fantasy X (Steal, Pilfer Gil, etc).

Ninja
The Ninja is generally both fast and powerful; however, to achieve this level of dexterity, Ninja are unable to wear
heavy armor. They can equip Ninja-specific weapons, such as Ninja Swords, Katanas, Knives, and Boomerangs.
Ninja usually possess the Throw ability, which allows them to throw powerful, damage-dealing items like Shuriken
and weapons from the inventory at the enemy.[5] [18] In many games, Ninja possess the ability to hold a weapon in
each hand, sometimes known as Doublewield or Two Swords.[5] [18] There are various Ninjutsu effects that
depending on the game appear as magic,[10] throwable items, or commands. Specific to Final Fantasy XI, "Ninja

18

Character classes
shares more in common with a spellcaster than a physical job with the line of Ninjutsu spells". Current trends in
FFXI, however, render this quote somewhat unsatisfactory. Players emphasize both the Ninja's iconic dual-weapon
focused melee expertise as well as it's Ninjutsu "magic" to debuff and avoid damage, culminating with this game's
incarnation of the job often finding a niche as unique flavour of tank. In the original Final Fantasy, the Ninja class is
a class change of the Thief. This association between the Thief class is a constant trend in latter Final Fantasy games.
Edge in Final Fantasy IV has the Steal skill as well as the Ninjutsu abilities; in Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced
mastering skills in the "Thief" jobclass is a prerequisite to acquiring the "Ninja" class.[2] They also appear in Final
Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy IV (as Edward "Edge" Geraldine),[10] Final Fantasy V,[18] Final Fantasy VI (as
Shadow),[20] Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Final Fantasy XI.[22] Yuffie Kisaragi,
from Final Fantasy VII, has her job given as "Ninja". Amarant Coral from Final Fantasy IX possesses the ninja
signature move, 'Throw', but also possesses many characteristics of the monk character class.

Dark Knight
Dark Knights are the embodiment of sorrow, regret, and mourning; they wield dark magic dedicated to stealing the
health of an enemy. Their special attacks usually involve draining their own health or, in some cases, sacrificing
themselves to inflict heavy damage on the enemy.[10] Some of the most notable dark knights in the series include
Leon/Leonhart (Final Fantasy II), Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy IV),[10] Goffard Gafgarion (Final Fantasy Tactics)
and Zeid (Final Fantasy XI). Dark Knights are also found in Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy X-2, and Final
Fantasy XI. In Final Fantasy XI, they are a damage dealing class with the highest base attack in the game but have
relatively weak black magic spells other than their dark magic.[22] They do not appear in Final Fantasy VIII and
Final Fantasy IX, but their trademark Darkside ability is learnable. In Final Fantasy XII, the Soul Eater ability and
the Arcane class of magic are learnable. In Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, characters can use the Dark
Knight class. This differs from Gafgarion's version of the class, which is renamed Fell Knight.[28]

Paladin
Paladins, the opposite of Dark Knights, are virtuous knights devoted to the good of the people; these "knights in
shining armor" wield low-level white magic to aid the people. The Paladin can use Cover to temporarily redirect
damage from an ally to itself. This ability was also usable through a Relic called True Knight in Final Fantasy VI,
and was also available through the "Cover" Materia in Final Fantasy VII. Notable Paladins in the series include Cecil
Harvey (Final Fantasy IV), Beatrix (Final Fantasy IX), Agrias Oakes, and Delita Hyral (both of whom are called
Holy Knights in Final Fantasy Tactics). In Final Fantasy XI, they rely on curative magic and high defense bonuses
to aid their parties in battle, they also have the highest sword and shield skills.[22] Paladins also appear in Final
Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Hunter
The Hunter (sometimes called Archer,[5] Ranger,[22] or Gunner[7] ) is a physical class specializing in long-ranged
weaponssuch as bows, crossbows and occasionally guns.[5] The class frequently possesses the "Aim" command,
which performs an attack with greatly increased accuracy,[21] and a command localized as "Barrage", "Rapid Fire" or
"X-Fight", which makes several attacks for reduced damage, generally against random targets. Aside from their bow
attacks, some Hunters have personal buff abilities, such as Charge, which increases the damage that arrows inflict.[5]
They can inflict status effects with specialized arrows, and sometimes can detect, capture, or hide from enemies.
They have appeared as a class (in some form) in Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy V,[21] Final Fantasy XI,[22] Final
Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.[6] Some
White Mages and Warriors throughout the series can use bows. Rosa from Final Fantasy IV, for example, is a White
Mage with the "Aim" ability.[10] The Hunter class is not present in Final Fantasy VI, however their "X-Fight"
command is available. In Final Fantasy Tactics, the Engineer, Mediator, and Chemist classes have the ability to

19

Character classes
shoot long-range guns. The Sniper is an upgraded class of the Archer in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and can use
more advanced moves like Doubleshot. Barret Wallace and Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII fight with a
gun-arm and a gun, respectively, like Hunters, an the Double Cut materia can be used to gain the "Barrage" / "Rapid
Fire" / "X-Fight" command, which is localized as "4x Cut" in this installment. Irvine Kinneas from Final Fantasy
VIII wields a variety of rifles, and his Limit Break, "Shot", allows him to fire a volley of a variety of bullets with
various effects. Laguna Loire from Final Fantasy VIII wields a machine gun and his Limit Break, "Desperado", has
him swing from a rope and unleash a barrage of gunfire, followed by an explosion from a hand grenade, which deals
damage to all enemies. Yuna (Final Fantasy X-2) starts off with the Gunner as her default dressphere. Wakka from
Final Fantasy X serves as an interesting new take on a Hunter; as he fights with a blitzball he can throw to attack
enemies from long distances rather than the expected bow, crossbow, or gun, and he, too, can use the "Aim" ability.
The new playable race known as Gria in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Grimoire of the Rift are able to become Hunters.
The other new race in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Grimoire of the Rift, the Seeq, have the Ranger job available to
them.

Berserker
The Berserker is a pure physical class focusing on high strength to defeat their opponents. Typically, berserkers use
axes and hammers. In most appearances a Berserker is in a permanent "Berserk"-Status and as such not able to use
other commands than "Attack". They first appeared in Final Fantasy V as a Job Class after acquiring the pieces of
the Water Crystal, although the Viking class of Final Fantasy III is similar. The Yeti Umaro from Final Fantasy VI
can also be considered as a berserker. Final Fantasy VII's Vincent Valentine may be considered a berserker due to
his Limit Breaks, which morph him into powerful, yet uncontrollable creatures. In Final Fantasy X-2 the Berserker
class appears again with the Berserker Dressphere. Berserker are controllable this time, but can use the berserk
command to increase their power for less control. Berserker is also a type of enemy in Kingdom Hearts II, with
similar powers and appearance. The Berserker class is also available as a job to the Seeq race in Final Fantasy
Tactics A2 Grimoire of the Rift.

Mystic Knight
Mystic Knights are warriors that can cast magic on their swords to perform attacks with the power of the spell for
several rounds. They have also been called Magic Knights, Mageknights, Biskmatars, and Sorcerers.[21] In Final
Fantasy V, the Mystic Knight can use any magic previously learned on their sword.[21] In Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance, it is a Bangaa-exclusive class called Gladiator. The skill itself is called Magic Sword and Spellblade (Final
Fantasy V Advance). Although their magic power is weaker than the mages', Mystic Knights use less MP (and
generally pierce Reflect, which can hinder certain mages' offense). In Final Fantasy XI, Red Mages have "En-"
spells, which imbue their weapons with elements. The Mystic Knight's ability appears in Final Fantasy IX in the
form of the combo between Steiner and Vivi, where Vivi casts a spell on Steiner's sword, who attacks the enemy at
the same time (although, confusingly, it is Steiner's MP which is consumed by doing so). In Final Fantasy VII, the
Added Effect materia could be used in a combo slot with a Magic materia such as Bio or Transform or the Elemental
Materia with other magic Materia such as Ice (Blizzard) or Fire for the same results. Likewise, the same effect can be
obtained in Final Fantasy VIII through the use of the Junction system, adding elemental or status-inflicting spells to
their respective attack junctions. In Final Fantasy X-2, the Warrior dressphere carries elemental physical attacks that
use MP.

20

Character classes

Onion Knight
Onion Knights are warriors with distinctine, onion-like helmets. In all versions of Final Fantasy III, they have an
initially low stat growth rate which steeply increases as they approach the maximum level of 99. In earlier versions
of Final Fantasy III, they are the starting class, can use all equipment and cannot cast spells or use other special
abilities. In the Nintendo DS remake, they are an optional class obtainable through a sidequest, and have gained the
ability to use black and white magic of all levels, however they cannot use other classes' new class-specific
equipment. In Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, the Onion Knight job can use any weapon, its' stats are
initially low, but increase based on the number of other jobs a character has mastered. In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the
Onion Knight character can use sword-based attacks and black magic spells.

Machinist
The Machinist ( Karakurishi), Gadgeteer, Tinker or Engineer job is focused on using mechanical
devices. In Final Fantasy VI, Edgar Roni Figaro, has the Tool command, which allows him to use tools to damage
and / or debuff enemies, and can wield spears, swords and knives. In Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job
System, the Machinist job can wield guns and measures, wear light armor and cast some high level time spells and
low level green spells. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Engineers can wield guns and have the Aimed Shot command,
which includes three attack abilities: Arm Shot, which prevents attacks and spells, Leg Shot, which prevents
movement, and Seal Evil, which can petrify undead targets, and the Engineer job is exclusive to the recruitable
character Mustadio Bunansa and the NPC Barich Fendsor. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance includes a Gadgeteer job
and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift includes a Tinker job, Gadgeteers have the Pandora command
and Tinkers have the similar Clockwork command, each Pandora or Clockwork ability performs a specific effect,
such as healing, applying a specific buff or buffs or applying a specific debuff, and randomly targets either all
members the enemy team or all members of the Engineer's own team, both jobs use fist and claw weapons and are
exclusive to the Moogle race.

Freelancer
The Freelancer ( Suppin), also localized as Bare or Natural, is usually the default job in the games in
which it appears. In Final Fantasy V, the Freelancer can use any piece of equipment, it starts out with no stat
bonuses or penalties and no special abilities, however it inherits the highest stat bonuses and most passive abilities
from other jobs a character masters, and, unlike other jobs, it has two slots for commands or special abilities. In the
Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III, the Freelancer has replaced the Onion Knight as the default job,
Freelancers have average stats, can use most equipment and can cast first level black and white magic spells. In
Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission, characters change to the Bare job if all available Dresspheres have
been disabled in the Yadonoki Tower bonus dungeon, Bare characters have low stats and no special abilities. In
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, the Natural job has average stats and learns mostly offense-oriented,
chocobo-themed abilities. In Final Fantasy III and V, characters with the Freelancer job wear their default outfits. In
Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission, characters with the Bare job are unarmed and in their underwear, in
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, Chocobo, the protagonist, wears a red pouch around his neck while
using the Natural job.

Gunner
The Gunner ( Jyuutsukai), sometimes localized as Fusilier, is a class focused on the use of firearms. Each
version of the class includes a command for performing special attacks with a gun, in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, that command is Gunmanship, and the attacks deal elemental
damage or have a chance of inflicting a specific debuff on the target, while in Final Fantasy X-2, the class's signature
command is called Gunplay and most of the special attacks deal physical damage to a single target. The class was

21

Character classes
first introduced to the series in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and has also been featured in Final Fantasy X-2, and
in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, in which it is localized as Fusilier. In Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, the class is exclusive to the Moogle race.

Magical classes
Magical classes specialize in casting magic, including traditional white and black magic, as well as more esoteric
forms of magic, such as geomancy. Magical classes are generally restricted to lighter equipment, such as rods, staves
and robes, giving them weak attack power and physical defense, however their armor often provides high magical
defense, and their equipment often provides bonuses to magic-related stats.

Black Mage
One of the most iconic classes of the Final Fantasy franchise, the Black Mage ( Kuromadshi) is a magic
user specializing in attack magic, Black Magic.[2] [21] Their weapons are generally restricted to rods and daggers.
They are usually depicted wearing distinctive costumes consisting of a blue or black robe and a large conical,
wide-brimmed hat which obscures their face, with two yellow eyes shining from within the shadow.[2] [21] The outfit
of the Black Mages is similar to the generic appearance of a wizard. In the original NES game, the Black Wizard
lacked the hat and obscured face that became the defining features of the Black Mage. This was changed in the
WonderSwan remakes and Final Fantasy Origins so that he still looks like a traditional Black Mage after becoming
a Black Wizard.[2] In Final Fantasy IX, the Black Mage Village is a forested hamlet where many mass-produced
Black Mages have become self-aware. Final Fantasy IX is the only game that features Black Mages as a distinct
race, although the Yukes of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles are very similar in their inhuman appearance and
magical ability.
The Black Mage is available as a class in Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy V,[21] Final Fantasy
X-2,[7] Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] and Final
Fantasy Tactics Advance.[6] In the English localization of Final Fantasy Tactics, Black Mages were called
Wizards.[5] In Final Fantasy I, Black Mages can be upgraded into Black Wizards.[2] Other black mages throughout
the series are Rydia (who is also a Summoner and loses the ability to cast White Magic halfway through the game)
and Palom of Final Fantasy IV,[10] Vivi Orunitia from Final Fantasy IX (who also carries several of the distinct
characteristics of a Black Mage),[29] Lulu from Final Fantasy X[25] and Kytes (Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings).
In Kingdom Hearts, some of Donald Duck's rods have the figure head of a Black Mage. Statues of Black Mages are
seen in various places at the magic academy in Geo in Legend of Mana. A Black Mage is a playable character in the
PlayStation racing game Chocobo Racing. A Black Mage also appears in Dice de Chocobo, Chocobo Land: A Game
of Dice and Mario Hoops 3-on-3, while enemy Black Mages appear in Chocobo's Dungeon 2. The Black Mages is
the name of Final Fantasy music composer Nobuo Uematsu's band that plays remixes of Final Fantasy music.

White Mage
A White Mage ( Shiromadshi) uses White Magic,[2] which emphasizes defensive spells such as
replenishing party members' hit points with spells such as Cure, reviving the fallen with spells such as Raise or Life,
and curing status conditions with spells such as Esuna.[21] Typically having a weak and limited repertoire of attack
spells and an inability to use heavy weaponry or armor, their primary use is support for other members of a battle
party. Usually their only offensive skill is the magic Holy, which deals heavy damage to a target, regardless of
whether or not the target is undead. They often cast 'holy'-element spells, which are typically effective against
undead or demonic enemies. Because of the limited use of the class in combat, the White Mage has occasionally
been integrated with the Summoner class. The White Mage is typically depicted as wearing a white cloak or robe,
which robe has long sleeves and a hood that covers the Mage's hair.[2] [3] [22] Another feature of the robe is the red,
triangular patterns on the cuffs of the sleeves and bottoms of the robes.[2] [3] [22] In some games, female White Mages

22

Character classes
wear the hood over their hair, while male White Mages normally do not wear the hood at all. In Final Fantasy XI, the
hood is a separate piece from the body and they can be worn independently, regardless of gender.
White Mages have appeared as a class in Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy V,[21] Final Fantasy
X-2,[7] Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] and Final
Fantasy Tactics Advance.[6] Minwu of Final Fantasy II shares many similarities with White Mages, and Rosa Farrell
and Porom of Final Fantasy IV are referred to as 'White Mage' in the original English translation.[10] In Final
Fantasy VII, Aerith Gainsborough's defensive and restoring limit breaks, her staff, and her possession of the "Holy"
Materia place her in the White Mage tradition. Garnet Til Alexandros XVII and Eiko Carol (Final Fantasy IX)
incorporate characteristics of the White Mage class and the Summoner class. Garnet also dons the classic White
Mage garb as a disguise near the beginning of the game. Yuna's area of the sphere grid in Final Fantasy X almost
exclusively contains abilities normally attributed to white mages. Some White Mage NPCs appear in various towns
in Final Fantasy IV, and Shelinda from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 is also a White Mage NPC. In the
English localization of Final Fantasy Tactics White Mages were referred to as Priests (but not in the introduction
movie, oddly).[5] Shirma, (or Shiroma) a pink-haired female White Mage, is the partner of the main character Boco
in Chocobo's Dungeon 2, a playable character in Chocobo Racing and makes another appearance in the Nintendo DS
game Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales. She is also one of the central characters in Final Fantasy Fables:
Chocobo's Dungeon for the Wii console. A White Mage is also playable in Dice de Chocobo, Chocobo Land: A
Game of Dice, and Mario Hoops 3-on-3.
White mages' weapons are generally restricted to staves, maces and similar weapons such as flails and hammers. The
relic weapon for white mage in Final Fantasy XI is the mythical hammer Mjollnir.

Summoner
Summoners ( Shkanshi) use Summoning Magic, which calls on powerful entities known as call beasts
(Final Fantasy IV), espers (Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy XII), Guardian Force (or "GF," for short, in Final
Fantasy VIII), Eidolons (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XIII and the DS version of Final Fantasy IV), Aeons
(Final Fantasy X), Avatars (Final Fantasy XI), or simply Summon Monsters (most other games in the series). These
entities attack enemies, protect the party, or render other forms of aid. Summoners often use commands such as
"Summon," but in Final Fantasy IV, the command was instead known as "Call". As a magic-using class, summoners
are typically shown to be physically frail as a trade-off for high magical potency, and can traditionally equip only
light armaments such as clothing and robes. Summoners often use staves or rods as weapons,[5] although in some
games they can also use whips; their potential in the use of melee weaponry is downplayed significantly in favor of
their ability to use magic. Many summoners feature a horn on the forehead and green robes.[22] [30]
Summoners have appeared as classes in Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy IV (as Rydia),[10] Final Fantasy V,[30]
Final Fantasy XI,[22] Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Rydia of Final Fantasy IV,
Garnet Til Alexandros XVII and Eiko Carol of Final Fantasy IX, and Yuna of Final Fantasy X are identified as
summoners,[25] though there is usually also a strong White Mage element to the character. In games that lacked
Summoners, various means of equipping the summon ability (Espers formed from magicite in Final Fantasy VI,[20]
Summon Materia in Final Fantasy VII,[24] Guardian Forces in Final Fantasy VIII,[31] Espers in Final Fantasy
XII.[32] ) are provided. In Final Fantasy III, the lower-class name for a Summoner is called an "Evoker".[3] Notable
recurring "Summons" include Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh, Bahamut and Odin.

23

Character classes

Time Mage
The Time Mage ( Tokimadshi) is a specialized wizard with the ability to manipulate the space-time
continuum to speed up, slow down, or completely halt the passage of time; control celestial bodies; or influence the
pull of gravity.[30] Although it is referred to as Time Mage in English localizations of the series, some versions call it
the Time/Space Mage. Time magic is also referred to as green magic and Time Mages as Green Mages to coincide
with the black/white/red/blue mage theme. In actuality, the Japanese version specifically calls these mages "Time
Mages" (, tokimadshi). Time Mages can typically wield rods and/or staves. Although he mostly resembles
the Fighter class, Tidus from Final Fantasy X has a variety of Time Mage spells in his section of the Sphere Grid.
Time Mages have appeared as classes in Final Fantasy V,[30] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System,
Final Fantasy Tactics,[5] Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Hataraku Chocobo, commonly depicted wearing tall,
pointed wizard hats adorned with star and moon decorations.[30]

Scholar
Scholars are a magic-based class introduced in Final Fantasy III. In Final Fantasy III, they use 'books', physical
weapons with element-based damage and which are equally powerful from the front or back rows. In the original
version of Final Fantasy III, Scholars can check an enemy's hit points or weakness. In the Nintendo DS remake, they
can cast low level Black and White Magic spells, the effects of any items they use in battle are doubled, and their
Study ability allows them to check an enemy's hit points and weakness, as well as removing the target's buffs. Also,
Scholars were added as a job in the fourth expansion to Final Fantasy XI. In Final Fantasy XI, Scholars have access
to both the curative White Mage spells and the elementally powerful Black Mage spells, but do not have access to
most of the enfeebling or enhancing spells from either job's spell line (though many of these can be acquired
depending on the sub-job selected). They have spells that influence the weather effect that a character is under, and
can cast powerful elemental Damage Over Time (DOT) spells that inflict small amounts of damage over regular
intervals for a period of time. They also build up "charges" that are used to power effects that can cause spells to be
cast more efficiently or more powerfully. While books cannot be equipped in Final Fantasy XI, the book theme from
Final Fantasy III is retained as a book appears floating before the Scholar whenever a charge is used. In Final
Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, the Scholar class is exclusive to the Nu Mou race. Scholars have the Lore
ability, which allows them to cast a number of spells. Many Lore spells inflict a specific type of damage such as ice
or thunder indiscriminately against all units on the field, other Lore spells include Mad Science, which inflicts a
random debuff on a single target, and Study, which reveals the target's equipment, treasure and gil (money). A
well-known NPC Scholar is Maechen from Final Fantasy X.

Green Mage
Although often combined with the role of the Time Mage, the Green Mage ( Midori Madshi) is
occasionally a separate class, specializing in casting status effects or removing them. They can cast single/multiple
variants of staples such as Poison, Sleep and Blind and their reversals, as well as newer effects such as Leap
(increasing agility). Green Magic does not include spells that cause HP damage, with the exception of some damage
over time spells; nor does it typically include curative spells. Like most magic users they have relatively low HP
(though higher than that of a Black Mage in general) but greater attack power than other caster classes, as they wield
maces and hammers. As can be expected, the typical uniform for a Green Mage is dyed green. Final Fantasy Tactics
A2: Grimoire of the Rift also features the class, exclusive to the Viera race. In Final Fantasy Tactics and Final
Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions the Oracle, or Mystic class specializes in casting negative status effects and
dispelling positive ones.

24

Character classes

Sage
The Sage ( or Kenja or Sji) is a combination mage who can cast both black and white magic spells,
like Red Mages. Unlike Red Mages, however, Sages eschew physical combat in favor of increased spellcasting
proficiency, and are therefore usually restricted to light armor and weak weapons such as staves and wands. In Final
Fantasy III, Sages have access to any magic spells in the game. Tellah the Sage of Final Fantasy IV can learn and
use all white magic spells and most black magic spells. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, sages
share some spells with the Green Mage, White Mage and White Monk classes, as well as having some exclusive
spells, and the job is exclusive to the Nu Mou race.

Alchemist
The Alchemist or Chemist class is generally focused on consumable restorative items. In Final Fantasy V, Chemists
possess the passive Pharmacology ability, which doubles the potency of consumable restorative items such as
Potions and Ethers and the Drink command, which allows a Chemist to use special drinks for personal buffs, and can
gain three more commands: Mix, which combines two items to generate various effects depending on the items used,
Recover, which removes debuffs from the party, and Revive, which revives the party with a small number of hit
points. In Final Fantasy X-2, Alchemists possess the Mix command, which functions much like it does in Final
Fantasy V, can learn abilities used through the Stash command, which mimic the effects of consumable restorative
items without consuming them, and can learn the Chemist, Elementalist and Physicist passive abilities, which double
the potency of restorative, elemental damage and non-elemental damage items respectively. In Final Fantasy Tactics,
Chemists possess the Items command, which makes it possible to use various consumable restorative items, and the
Throw Items ability, which increases the range of these items, the ability to use each type of item must be learned
separately. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, the Alchemist job
is exclusive to the Nu Mou race, Alchemists can learn powerful damaging non-elemental damage spells such as
Flare, as well as other spells, such as Rasp, which reduces the target's magic points, Astra, a buff which prevents the
next status ailment from affecting the target, Poison, which poisons the target, and Toad, which transforms the target
into a toad.

Mixed classes
These classes can use both adequate physical attacks and magic or magic-related attacks. Generally, these classes can
equip heavier weapons and armor than magical classes, although their selection of heavier weapons and armor tends
to be limited compared to that of physical classes.

Red Mage
Red Mages ( Akamadshi) are members of a hybrid class, able to cast spells associated with either Black
or White Mages, as well as wield swords. Unfortunately, the jack-of-all-trades quality of their profession makes
them less powerful at each individual skill than the classes which specialize in them. In general, they are only able to
cast low-mid level spells,[3] but make up for this deficiency by casting more quickly. For example, in later
appearances, they are often associated with the ability to cast two spells in a single combat round (called Dualcast or
Doublecast).[30] Final Fantasy XI, while not turn-based, continues this tradition by granting players who play as Red
Mages a "Fast Cast" job trait, significantly shortening the period of time required to cast any magic spell. They are
also able to access the special ability "Chainspell," which allows the player to both cast and recast spells instantly for
a short period of time.
In dress, Red Mages are usually recognizable by a distinctive red hat tipped with a white feather.[22]
Red Mages have appeared in Final Fantasy,[2] Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy V,[30] Final Fantasy IX (as NPCs)
and Freya Crescent, while actually being a dragoon, wears a red hat tipped with a white feather that is distinctive to

25

Character classes
the red mage, Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance (as a Viera job class), and Hataraku Chocobo. Red mages did not appear in Final Fantasy VI, Final
Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy X, although their signature X-Magic / W-Magic / Doublecast ability appears in all three
games.

Blue Mage
The Blue Mage ( Aomadshi) is a mage who is able to replicate the special attacks of his/her
opponents.[30] The precise extent of and mechanism for this capacity differs from game to game. Most Final Fantasy
games require that an enemy use the ability at least once during combat. For example, Blue Mages in Final Fantasy
V must be targeted by the ability to learn it; once the ability has been learned, however, any Blue Mage in the party
may use it.[33] Players who adopt the Blue Mage job in Final Fantasy XI have a random chance to learn abilities
executed during combat, by absorbing the essence of felled opponents. Typically, Blue Mages learn a variety of
abilities, making them very versatile. The Final Fantasy XI incarnation is highly skilled in swords, making them a
potentially deadly melee fighter, while having an arsenal of powerful spells at their disposal which can either be
damaging, enfeebling, enhancing, or healing, making the Blue Mage potentially one of the most powerful and well
rounded classes in the game when played to its limit. Players must set their learned magic, and depending on what
types of spells are equipped, determines the role the Blue Mage will be best suited for while in a party or event
situation.
Other installments do not require an enemy to use the ability at all. Quistis Trepe of Final Fantasy VIII[34] learns
skills from enemies by using items obtained from their defeat. Quina Quen of Final Fantasy IX devours enemies to
gain their abilities. Kimahri Ronso of Final Fantasy X may absorb skills via his Lancet ability.[25]
Some games in the series which do not explicitly offer the Blue Mage as a job class feature abilities or characteristics
generally associated with Blue Mages. For example, any character in Final Fantasy VII may copy certain abilities
onto an equipped Enemy Skill materia and cast them as magic, having once had the ability used on him/her by an
opponent. Though Final Fantasy XII lacks blue magic as a formal class of magic, the game's Technicks branch of
abilities include several spells typically classified as blue magic, such as 1000 Needles.
Blue Mages have appeared as a playable class in Final Fantasy V,[30] Final Fantasy VI Strago Magus, Final Fantasy
Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Final Fantasy X-2 (as the Gun Mage dressphere), and the Final Fantasy
XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion pack.

Geomancer
Geomancers ( Fsuishi) channel the powers of the surrounding environment;[3] therefore, their abilities
differ depending on their location. If in a forest, they will attack with vines and forest animals, if in a cave with
rockslides, if in a desert with quicksand, and so on. Geomancers are featured either as a class or in loose association
with a character's powers. They first appear in Final Fantasy III,[3] and they reappear in Final Fantasy V and Final
Fantasy Tactics.[5] [35] In the two first games, the Geomancers are depicted wearing green or blue fur-lined clothes
and a fur-lined cap.[21] In the Japanese versions, Geomancers are " (fsuishi)," which specifically refers to
Chinese geomancy or feng shui. The signature attack for a Geomancer has been called "Terrain" (Final Fantasy
III),[3] "Gaia" or "Earth" (Final Fantasy V),[35] "Elemental" (Final Fantasy Tactics) and "Geomancy" (Final Fantasy
Tactics A2).[5] In Final Fantasy VI, the moogle Mog can use dances that have similar effects to the
Geomancer(combining elements of both Geomancer and Dancer). In Final Fantasy XII, there is a member of the
Garif tribe that is identified as a Geomancer and grants access to a sidequest later in the game. In Final Fantasy
Tactics A2, Geomancer is a job class for the Gria race.

26

Character classes

Bard
Bards ( Gin'yshijin) use songs to cause effects, often buffing the party or debuffing the opposition via the
Sing command.[3] [7] [35] They generally equip harps as weapons.[35] Some Bard incarnations, including Edward
Chris von Muir from Final Fantasy IV, have the ability to Hide from the enemy.[10] This command is mainly
inserted due to the Bard's low physical abilities. Bards in Final Fantasy XI have MP regeneration songs and stat
boosting songs. The Bard class is seen in Final Fantasy III,[3] Final Fantasy IV (as Prince Edward Chris von Muir of
Damcyan),[10] Final Fantasy V,[35] Final Fantasy XI,[8] Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy
Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Bard is the only male-exclusive class available to generic
units.[5] In "Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift", the Bard job is exclusive to the Moogle Hurdy. Final
Fantasy X-2 does not have a bard class, however its' Songstress class combines aspects of the Bard and Dancer
classes, learning both songs and dances.[7]

Beastmaster
Beastmaster (also known as Tamer or Trainer) can control or even capture and train monsters.[35] In Final Fantasy
Tactics, the ability is adjusted for the job Mediator as learning an ability to communicate with and manipulate
monsters.[5] The class (or a variation thereof) has also appeared in Final Fantasy V,[35] Final Fantasy X-2, Final
Fantasy XI,[8] and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (restricted to the Nu Mou race).[6] Typically, the class wields
whips. In Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced, whips are not an available weapon type, instead, the
Beastmaster classes of those games specialize in axes and instruments respectively. In Final Fantasy VI, the Fake
Mustache accessory allows Relm the Pictomancer to use the Control command in place of her usual Sketch
command.

Dancer
Dancers ( Odoriko) use special Dances to cause status effects or damage to enemies on a battle field.[5] [7] In
Final Fantasy V, there are four offensive dances, each with a single effect, one of which is performed randomly when
the Dance command is selected. In Final Fantasy VI, the Dance command allows one of eight dances to be
performed, each dance causes the player to lose control of the character, who will randomly perform one of the
dance's four special abilities each turn. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift and
Final Fantasy X-2, the Dance command allows one of several dances to be selected, each dance performs a single
fixed effect. The Dancer class was introduced to the series in Final Fantasy V. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Dancer is
the only female-exclusive class available to generic units.[5] In Final Fantasy VI, there is no Dancer class, however
Mog, whose class is Moogle, possesses the Dance command. The Dancer class also appears in Hataraku Chocobo.
Dancer is included in the latest expansion of Final Fantasy XI, Wings of the Goddess; it uses TP (Tactical Points) to
carry out dances which have varying effects and can be played as a front-line healer because of its restorative dances.
In "Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift", the dancer class is exclusive to Penelo. Final Fantasy X-2 does
not have a Dancer class, however its' Songstress class combines aspects of the Bard and Dancer classes, learning
both songs and dances.[7]

Gambler
The Gambler ( Gyanbur) uses a Slots system in battle. When the player selects the slots command,
three slots like those of a slot machine are presented on screen. Each slot is then stopped by the press of a button.
Certain combinations produce beneficial effects such as healing the party or dealing great damage, or even death, to
the enemies. However, this is usually balanced with combinations that have disadvantageous effects, such as
reducing the party's health, or instant game over. The first gambler was Setzer Gabbiani (Final Fantasy VI).[20] In
Final Fantasy VII, Cait Sith's limit break attack featured a slot machine or dice. In addition, Tifa Lockhart's limit
break used a slot system to determine which techniques in a string of powerful moves hit or missed. Selphie Tilmitt

27

Character classes
from Final Fantasy VIII uses Slot as her limit break;[34] in Final Fantasy X, Wakka's Overdrive uses slots as well.[25]
The gambler class has also appeared as in Final Fantasy X-2 as the Lady Luck dress sphere, using different Dice and
Slots attacks. In Final Fantasy XII, the player had to press a button on the controller given a short amount of time
that appears suddenly to perform a Quickening, a form of a limit break. An evolution to the Gambler class has
appeared in Final Fantasy XI, which has been dubbed Corsair. The Corsair class uses a dice based game similar to
Blackjack (or Twenty-One) to enhance party members' proficiency in battle. Gambler is also a type of enemy in
Kingdom Hearts II, with similar powers and appearance. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, there is a class called the
Gadgeteer that bears resemblance to the Gambler because it uses techniques that have an equal chance of affecting
the party or the enemy (e.g., Green Gear has an equal chance of poisoning the player's party or the enemy's party.)
However, they do not use a slot system.

Mime
Mimes can replicate the previous action of another party member with the Mimic command.[35] In Final Fantasy V,
Mimes can equip most weapons and be given other previously learned abilities and commands.[35] In addition to
replacing their Fight command with the Mimic command, they also sacrifice their Item command for an extra
custom ability slot, both commands can be added back just like others. In Final Fantasy VI, Gogo is a Mimic who
possesses the class' signature Mimic command, and can be given up to three other commands.[20] In Final Fantasy
VII, the characters equipped with the "Mime" Materia can mimic the most recent action performed by another party
member. In Final Fantasy Tactics, the Mime is the final unlockable class, available to a character once they unlock
most other jobs and achieve certain levels in those other jobs. These Mimes are complimented by immense strength
of their own, however, they cannot equip armor or weapons, and suffer from extreme vulnerability. Although the
class does not appear in Final Fantasy X, players can learn a miming move called "Copycat". In Dissidia: Final
Fantasy the hero representing Final Fantasy V, Bartz Klauser, uses the other player's attacks as his own and his
general appearance is based on the Mime job class.

Puppet Master
Puppet Masters employ a toy puppet into combat. The puppet itself can have various skills usually from other jobs
most notably Paladin, Black Mage, White Mage, and Ranger. Usually these skills are modified to fit in with the
Puppet Theme. Puppet Master while not directly in games previous to Final Fantasy XI. Some abilities and
characters do fit under the basic description of Puppet Master. Namely Cait Sith from Final Fantasy 7 both as Reeve
being the Puppet Master of Cait Sith, and Cait Sith being the Puppet Master of his large stuffed Moogle that he rides.
Lulu from Final Fantasy X uses a puppet toy as a weapon, and to assist in her spell casting.

Reception
In a review of the Final Fantasy Anthology compilation, IGN praised Final Fantasy V's "incredibly engrossing" job
system.[36] The gameplay of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was lauded for retaining elements from Final Fantasy
Tactics while offering freedom to players to develop characters as they wish;[37] however, some reviewers thought
the character jobs in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are too many and overlaps one another, and have reached a
point where certain abilities are redundant.[38]

28

Character classes

References
[1] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy Tactics North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.13, 24. SCUS-94221.
[2] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Origins North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.5. SLUS-01541.
[3] Final Fantasy III Official Website (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ff3/ ). Square Enix (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ). Retrieved February 17,
2007.
[4] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. pp.1718. SLUS-00879GH.
[5] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy Tactics North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.2426. SCUS-94221.
[6] Final Fantasy Tactics Official Website (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ FFT-A/ ) Square-Enix.com (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ).
Retrieved February 18, 2007.
[7] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy X-2 North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.13.
[8] Final Fantasy XI Official Site (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ ff11eu/ guide/ system/ index. html?pageID=system). Playonline.com (http:/ /
Playonline. com). Retrieved February 9, 2007.
[9] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Origins North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.23. SLUS-01541.
[10] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy Chronicles North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.69. SLUS-01360.
[11] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. pp.4748. SLUS-00879GH.
[12] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.3234. SCUS-94163.
[13] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.2435. SLUS-00892GH.
[14] The Evolution of Final Fantasy (http:/ / au. ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 756/ 756635p1. html). IGN.com. Retrieved February 11, 2006.
[15] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy IX North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.1619. SLUS-01251.
[16] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. pp.1819. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[17] Final Fantasy XII introduces a new way to experience RPGs (http:/ / www. cbsnews. com/ stories/ 2006/ 12/ 21/ tech/ gamecore/
main2289842. shtml). CBS News. Retrieved February 11, 2006.
[18] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.19. SLUS-00879GH.
[19] Final Fantasy Origins review (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 400/ 400156p1. html). IGN.com. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
[20] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. pp.4446. SLUS-00879GH.
[21] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.20. SLUS-00879GH.
[22] Final Fantasy XI Official Website: Job Descriptions (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ ff11us/ intro/ about/ job01. html?pageID=about).
Playonline.com. Retrieved February 10, 2006.
[23] Khosla, Sheila (2003). "Tetsuya Nomura 20s" (http:/ / flaregamer. com/ b2article. php?p=81& more=1). FLAREgamer (http:/ / flaregamer.
com/ ). . Retrieved April 13, 2006.
[24] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.711. SCUS-94163.
[25] Final Fantasy X Official Site (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ FFX/ ). Square Enix.com (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ). Retrieved
February 10, 2006.
[26] Terra: You're Locke, right? Edgar told me about you. Is it true you're a thief? / Locke: That's TREASURE HUNTER! (Final Fantasy VI)
[27] Amarant: Listen to you. I lost to some spineless thief. / Zidane: The sly eagle doesn't kill at whim. (Final Fantasy IX)
[28] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. pp.284286. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[29] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy IX North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p.18. SLUS-01251.
[30] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.21. SLUS-00879GH.
[31] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p.25. SLUS-00892GH.
[32] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. p.44. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[33] http:/ / www. ffcompendium. com/ h/ jobs/ bluemage. shtml#FFX2
[34] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p.21. SLUS-00892GH.
[35] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.22. SLUS-00879GH.
[36] Reyes, Francesca (1999). "Final Fantasy Anthology IGN Review" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161674p1. html). PSX.IGN.com. .
Retrieved 27 July 2006.
[37] Kasavin, Greg (2003-09-08). "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ gba/ strategy/
finalfantasytacticsadvance/ review. html). GameSpot.com. . Retrieved 2007-07-24.
[38] Metts, Jonathan (2003-10-13). "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Review" (http:/ / www. nintendoworldreport. com/ reviewArt.
cfm?artid=4138& CFID=30555671& CFTOKEN=7047d980c0012122-F60FF80E-C09F-3E62-05010BE4A523E195).
Nintendoworldreport.com. . Retrieved 2007-07-24.

29

Character design

Character design
Although each installment of the Final Fantasy series is generally set in a different fictional world with separate
storylines, there are some commonalities when it comes to character design. Certain design themes repeat
themselves, as well as specific character names and classes. Within the main series, Yoshitaka Amano was the
character designer for the first six games, Tetsuya Nomura was the character designer for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X,
XI and XIII, Toshiyuki Itahana was the character designer for Final Fantasy IX, and Akihiko Yoshida was the
character designer for Final Fantasy XII.

Character design
The series has often featured androgynous[1] male main characters. This trend
has generally increased as the series evolved.[2] These androgynous characters
are usually teenagers destined to save the world.[3] According to some critics,
these characters are designed so in order to make the players identify with
them.[4] At the same time, female characters have been increasingly designed
to wear very revealing outfits. Square Enix has stated that a more rugged
Rinoa's limit, Angel Wing.
looking hero had been considered for Final Fantasy XII but had ultimately
been scrapped in favor of Vaan, another effeminate protagonist. The developers cited scenaristic reasons and target
demographic considerations to explain their choice.[2] For Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix settled on a female main
character, described as a "female version of Cloud from FFVII."[5] This aspect of Final Fantasy has also been carried
into Kingdom Hearts, a crossover series featuring Final Fantasy and Disney characters, with the protagonist Sora.[3]
In some Final Fantasy titles, some characters appear with real or symbolic wings. Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy
VI gained real wings after he ascended to godhood in his final form. Final Fantasy VII's villain Sephiroth ascended
to the form of Sefer Sephiroth, in which he had one wing on his right shoulder, as well as 3 pairs of wings where his
abdomen should be. The one-sided wing is the source of his nickname as the "One-Winged Angel". Sephiroth has
appeared in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts with one wing on his right side. Cloud Strife,
his antithesis, also appears in Kingdom Hearts with one wing, although it is non-feathered, resembling a bat's, and
comes from his left side. Final Fantasy VIII used the depiction of two white wings on the back of Rinoa Heartilly's
vest. Rinoa also grows literal wings temporarily during her "Angel Wing" Limit Break during battle. She also
transforms a petal that she catches in the wind into a single white feather in the opening sequence of the game.
Selphie's limit break "Rapture" removes all opponents from the field by forcing them to grow wings and fly away,
causing an instant victory in most non-boss battles. In contrast, the game's antagonist, Ultimecia, sports a pair of
feathered black wings, and Seifer Almasy, her "knight", is shown blasting into black feathers at the stroke of Squall
Leonhart's final gunblade strike in the opening FMV. Final Fantasy IX brought back physical wings in the form of
ornaments that Eiko Carol wears on her back. Her wings were a gift, and they enlarge in her trance form. Yuna from
Final Fantasy X wears a wedding dress that has white wings incorporated into its design. In Final Fantasy XI,
Selh'teus gains multicolored wings upon merging with the soul of Phoenix near the conclusion of the Chains of
Promathia storyline. In Final Fantasy XII, Penelo has leather wing-like projections incorporated into her armor.

30

Character design

31

Recurring characters
Biggs and Wedge

Biggs in Final
Fantasy VII

Wedge in Final
Fantasy VII

The names Biggs and Wedge ( Biggusu & Wejji) are given to two related characters in
several Final Fantasy games. They are speculated to be a homage to the Star Wars characters Biggs Darklighter and
Wedge Antilles by an online editor.[6] Their first appearance is in Final Fantasy VI with "Biggs" mistranslated to
"Vicks" as a pair of Vector soldiers accompanying Terra Branford in an attack on Narshe to claim an Esper. They
are playable for a short period, but are soon killed by the Esper.
Following their first appearance, Biggs and Wedge have appeared in several games. In Final Fantasy VII, Biggs and
Wedge are members of AVALANCHE, an eco-warrior organization. They are killed after a failed attempt to stop
one of Midgar city's support pillars from being destroyed by Shinra Company. Final Fantasy Tactics features a form
of the namesas "Viggs" and "Wezaleff"as members of a raiding party, who have no speaking roles and die while
descending Orbonne Monastery. In Final Fantasy VIII, Biggs and Wedge are Galbadian soldiers who engage in
battle with the protagonists twice, (once in Dollet Disc I, and again in D-District Prison Disc II) providing
comic relief. They eventually retire from the Galbadian forces in Disc III.

Biggs and Wedge in Final Fantasy VIII

In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, Biggs and Wedge are guards at the
Luca Blitzball stadium, and can be scouted by the player to participate in
Blitzball. In Final Fantasy XII, two Archadian guards named Gibbs and
Deweg (variation of Biggs, anagram of Wedge) stand at Nalbina Town, and
appear as comic relief in several optional scenes in a sidequest. In the English
translation of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Biggs is a former business
subordinate of Cid; Biggs and Wedge also appear as random names for
character units and hero classes in Final Fantasy I. In Crisis Core: Final
Fantasy VII, Biggs and Wedge are enemies in a sniping mini-game.

Biggs and Wedge are common names in other video games by Square Co.
and Square Enix. In Chrono Trigger, Vicks and Wedge, along with a third character named Piett (who likewise
shares a name with a Star Wars character), are sideshow attractions at Norstein Bekkler's Lab at the Millennial Fair.
Biggs retains his original name in the Nintendo DS re-release of Chrono Trigger. In Kingdom Hearts II, Biggs and
Wedge are storekeepers to armor shops. Lastly, Chocobo's Dungeon 2 features them as two Black Mage who may
assist the player.
Biggs and Wedge also appears in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as Red Wings soldiers who die protecting Prince
Ceodore from an attack led by the Mysterious Woman. The game reveals that Biggs and Wedge were actually the
two soldiers who questioned Cecil about stealing the Water Crystal of Mysidia at the beginning of Final Fantasy IV.

Character design
Fantasy fiction author Raymond E. Feist also added Gibbs ('g' and 'b' reversed) and Megie (w and d fliped verticaly)
as minor characters in Talon of the Silver Hawk.
Biggs and Wedge are Featured in Final Fantasy XIII as the name of a shop, B&W outfitters.

Boko
A chocobo named Boko or Boco () appears in several installments of the series.Boko appears in Final Fantasy
V as Bartz Klauser's mount. Boco also appears in Final Fantasy Tactics as a chocobo owned by Wiegraf Folles,
which is later encountered lost in a forest and can be saved and recruited by the protagonist Ramza Beoulve. A
chicobo (young chocobo) named Boko appears in Final Fantasy VIII and can be obtained by Squall Leonhart; this
chicobo possesses its own minigame with Chocobo World. Boko also appears in Final Fantasy VII as a chocobo in
races. A chocobo named Bobby Corwen appears inFinal Fantasy IX in the Black Mage Village; his initials in
Japanese katakana characters form "Boko". In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, a pilot in the Shera airship
mentions that she is raising a chocobo named Boco.

Chaos
Chaos ( Kaosu) is the final boss in the first Final Fantasy game. He is a
relatively large, winged demonic figure. His other form, Garland, is also a common
recurring character. Chaos first exists as Garland, an evil knight who kidnaps the
princess of Cornelia. His plot is foiled by the Warriors of Light, who supposedly kill
him while rescuing the princess. Garland is resurrected by the power of the four
Orbs, siphoned by the Four Elemental Fiends and is sent 2,000 years back in time,
turning him into Chaos. From the past, these four Fiends are sent into the present by
Chaos to cause mass destruction and will eventually be responsible for the
Chaos as he appears in Final
resurrection of his former-self in the future, Garland. This pact creates a time-loop
Fantasy Origins
and allows Garland to live forever. The Warriors of Light return to the Chaos Shrine
ruins to travel two thousand years into the past, where they meet a Garland who
remembers them, and seeks revenge, having defeated them in previous/alternate time-lines. After the Warriors of
Light defeat Chaos, they return to their own time with the Garland of a new reality waiting for them.
Chaos appears as the god of discord and main antagonist in Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the PSP, voiced by Norio
Wakamoto in Japanese and Keith David in English. Garland is a semi-separate character who is forced by the Great
Will to ensure the time-loop cycle, seeing his fate to become Chaos as an absolute no matter the outcome.
The name "Chaos" appears in other Final Fantasy titles. In Final Fantasy VII,
Vincent's fourth and final Limit Break causes him to take the form of a black,
winged demon called Chaos; this concept is explored further in Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy IX, Garland is the lord of
planet Terra, the last of his dying world's people. In Final Fantasy XII, Chaos
appears as an Esper within the game, obtained by defeating him first, and
bearing the title "Walker of the Wheel". While fighting him, he wields four
elemental blades which aid him, but can be destroyed. Also, the flagship of
Chaos, as featured in Final Fantasy XII
the anti-Imperial Resistance fleet bears the name Garland. In the anime series
Final Fantasy:Unlimited, Chaos is an otherworldly being that consumes other
worlds, feeding on the negative energy of others.

32

Character design

33

Cid
Cid ( Shido) is a character who appears, or is at least mentioned, in all Final Fantasy
installments since Final Fantasy II. Although he is rarely the same age, and never the same
individual in each of the main series, he is usually presented as an owner, creator, and/or
pilot of airships and provides transportation to the main characters and their party members
at various points of the game. In the second game, he has a friendly relationship with a
woman named Hilda; he also has a close relationship with a woman of the same name in
the ninth and eleventh installments.
Cid does not appear in the original Nintendo Entertainment System version of Final
Fantasy, but he is retroactively inserted in subsequent versions (from Final Fantasy
Origins onwards), where he is mentioned as the creator of the party's airship. This Cid
(known as Cid of the Lufaine) becomes more involved in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, serving
as the game's non-physical narrator and dear friend of Cosmos.
In Final Fantasy II, Cid is a non-playable character and a freelance airship pilot. Cid
reappears in the "Soul of Rebirth" section of the Dawn of Souls and 20th Anniversary
versions, which takes place during the final parts of the main game. Cid also appears in
Final Fantasy III as Cid Haze, a non-playable character.

Cid from Final Fantasy


II

The Super Nintendo installments feature Cid in a greater role. In Final Fantasy IV, Cid Pollendina is a playable
character, the first playable Cid in the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy V, Cid Previa is a non-playable
character and elderly inventor. In the original video animation sequel to Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy: Legend of
the Crystals, the late Cid's brain has been stolen by Ra Devil to be used in the villain's plans. Lastly, in Final Fantasy
VI, Cid del Norte Marguez is a non-player character who is a researcher for the Empire and the adoptive
grandfather of playable character Celes Chere.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cid Highwind is a spear-wielding main character and an airship pilot. He also appears in the
game's prequel Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII and the sequels Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. This version also appears in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II with an alternate
version of Highwind. A memory version appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and its PS2 remake.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Cid Kramer is a non-playable character and the headmaster of Balamb Garden, which, at one
point in the game, turns into an airship. He is the husband of Edea Kramer, who appears initially as the antagonist of
the game.
In Final Fantasy IX, Cid Fabool is the ruler of Lindblum and is playable in a small sequence on Disc 3. He is also
married to Hilda. Appropriately, his full name was "Cid Fabool the 9th". He designed two airships that the party uses
throughout the game (both of which are named after his wife), and plays an important political and personal role in
relation to various other characters in the game. In the epilogue, he and Hilda adopt Eiko, much to Eiko's delight.
In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, Cid is the leader of the Al Bhed tribe, the father of Rikku and Brother,
and Yuna's uncle. He is the captain of the first game's only airship, but he was not the creator of the machine; rather,
he led the Al Bhed in restoring a broken airship that had sunk to the bottom of the sea.
In Final Fantasy XI, Cid is featured prominently in the world of Vana'diel as a non-playable character. He is the
chief engineer of Bastok who created the airships.
Final Fantasy XII is notable for being both the first FF with more than one Cid, and the first in which Cid is a villain.
Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa is a non-playable character as an enemy boss (also a first for the series). He is the
father of the sky pirate, Balthier, a playable character. There is also a character by the name of Al-Cid Margrace,
who is the heir of Rozarria and friend of Larsa. It should be noted, though, that the former is the more prominent
"Cid" of the game, while the latter shares less significance to the story.

Character design

34

Final Fantasy XIII continues the portrayal of a villainous Cid in the form of Cid Raines, who is the youngest Cid to
appear in the main game series.
The name Cid also appears in Final Fantasy games outside the main series. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Cidolfas
Orlandu is a playable character, a powerful general described as the only man that Ramza Beoulve's father,
Balbanes, could truly trust. His stat growth, in comparison to other characters in the game, is immense and often
disproportionate. Meanwhile, an optional side task that can be taken by members of Ramza's party involves raising a
sunken ship named theHighwind.
In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Cid Randell is the leader of the Judges who uphold law in the game's world
Ivalice, and can be acquired as a player character. In the spin-off, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift,
there is a different playable character named Cid, who belongs to the race of Revgaji (the first clearly non-human
Cid in the series) and is the leader of the Clan Gully. Al-Cid from Final Fantasy XII also returned in Final Fantasy
Tactics A2.
Cid also appears in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (as Dr. Sid), Final Fantasy: Unlimited (as the first youthful
Cid in the entire series), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (as Mogcid), Final Fantasy Crystal
Chronicles: Crystal Bearers (as Professor Cid), Chocobo Racing,Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Final Fantasy Fables:
Chocobo Tales, Treasure of the Rudras, and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (as Ducktor Cid).
Cid will take the main role in a Final Fantasy game for the first time with Final Fantasy Fables: Cid and Chocobo's
Dungeon DS+ for the Nintendo DS, a remake of the Wii title announced in July 2008.

Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh ( Girugamesshu)[7] is a character first
introduced in Final Fantasy V. He is characterized by having grey
complexion, flamboyantly colorful battle armor, and multiple (usually six)
arms wielding multiple weapons at once. He has a fierce faade, but this
masks his own childlike personality. The name "Gilgamesh" comes from the
Sumerian king Gilgamesh, the main character in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Unlike other recurring character names, the Gilgamesh who reappears in
other installments of the Final Fantasy series seems to be the same person,
hinted at through appearance and occasionally bits of dialogue. Gilgamesh's
first appearance is in Final Fantasy V as a major villain, who the party
encounters several times. He is one of the first engaging villains in the series.

Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy XII,


wielding Cloud Strife's Buster Sword.
The kanji nise on the sword means
"imitation" or "fake."

One theory as to how Gilgamesh is the same person in each game involves the fact that, late in Final Fantasy V, he
was exiled to the Void by Exdeath, which may have caused him to wander aimlessly through the rift and stumble
into other dimensions, possibly searching for his beast-man companion, Enkidu, and the legendary blade, Excalibur.
Gilgamesh reappears in Final Fantasy VI as one of four new Espers that have been added to the Game Boy Advance
version of Final Fantasy VI. He appears if the player bets the rare sword Excalipur in the Dragon Neck Colosseum.
He will randomly use one out of four attacks if summoned, each with different levels of power: Excalipur (weakest,
1 dmg), Excalibur, Masamune(pierces def), Enkidu (strongest). In Final Fantasy VIII, Gilgamesh is a randomly
visiting Guardian Force who replacesOdin late in the game, if the player has already acquired Odin. He is depicted as
an inter-dimensional traveler on a journey to collect swords (he refers to Odin's Zantetsuken as "the fourth one" upon
retrieving it). In Final Fantasy IX, Gilgamesh is a four-armed self-proclaimed great treasure hunter known as
Alleyway Jack; the player encounters this four-armed man multiple times during the journey, until Zidane receives a
letter from him, revealing his true identity. In Final Fantasy XI, the leader of the Tenshodo pirating organization in
Norg is a man named Gilgamesh. Players will run into him while attempting missions from the first expansion pack,
Rise of the Zilart. Gilgamesh is also the name of one of Final Fantasy XI's world servers. Gilgamesh shows up in the

Character design
Dawn of Souls remake of Final Fantasy I, as a warrior boss exploring the undersea ruins of Lifespring Grotto, a
secret dungeon that includes several bosses who originally appeared in Final Fantasy V that becomes available after
defeating Kraken and getting the Water Crystal. In Final Fantasy XII, Gilgamesh returns as an optional boss under
the Mark "Ancient Man of Mystery", accompanied by his animal companion Enkidu. He is fought two times,
wielding a collection of signature swords from the Final Fantasy series; Cloud's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy
VII, Squall's Gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII, Zidane's "off-hand" dagger from Final Fantasy IX (though it is
lengthened to be a sword), Tidus's Brotherhood from Final Fantasy X, Odin's Zantetsuken sword (completely
redesigned with unique handle and skull carving), two Tournesol swords from the game itself, and Loto's Sword
from the Dragon Quest series (called the Wyrmhero Blade). However, these swords are generally fake since all have
distinct differences to the original ones, and the kanji symbol on the Buster sword reads replica. For instance, the
original Buster Sword contains no kanji character as shown in the picture above, and the one Gilgamesh wields has
two extra materia holes further along the blade. Also, the original Revolver Gunblade displayed an image of a
lionlike creature, whereas Gilgamesh's version features a picture of a chocobo. In contrast, a few Gilgamesh has
legitimately acquired, such as the Zantetsuken from Odin in Final Fantasy VIII. It is also likely that one of the
Tournesols is genuine due to it being an exact match to the one crafted in the game. He later returns in the sequel to
Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings as an optional boss, summoning numerous Enkidu to his aid.
Upon defeating him, Gilgamesh becomes an allied Esper who can be summoned in battle. The Final Fantasy XII
incarnation of Gilgamesh is voiced by veteran voice actor John DiMaggio in English language versions of the
games.
Gilgamesh has been shown in both villain and hero positions. Through the actions of Final Fantasy V, he is shown to
be good-natured, such as when he is seen to act sad when hearing of Galuf's death, as well as sacrificing himself for
the party when fighting Necrophobia. However, his arrogance, occasional stupidity, and thirst for battle have
generally pitted him against the party, usually leading to a difficult boss battle.
Gilgamesh is commonly known to carry the powerful Genji equipment set, consistently composed of the Genji
Gauntlet, Genji Shield, Genji Helm, and Genji Armor.
During Square Enix's Private Party, DK3713, it was rumored that Gilgamesh would be an optional boss in
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This rumor has yet to be confirmed or denied.
Incorrect Appearances
In the Game Boy Advance remake of Final Fantasy IV, Gilgamesh's name appears on a turtle similar to
Adamantoise [8]. This is a mistranslation of the monster's actual name Gilgame, a portmanteau of "Gil", the currency
of Final Fantasy, and "kame", the Japanese word for turtle ( kame). However, the error was corrected in the
European version, and the monster's name is properly translated as "Gil Turtle". This turtle also makes an appearance
in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 as the mark "Gil Snapper".

Mog
Moogles with the simple name Mog have appeared various times. Mog was a playable moogle character inFinal
Fantasy VI. His special technique was to cause various effects by dancing. He was temporarily playable in one of the
opening battles of the game, along with many other moogles, and can be recruited again later by saving him from a
thief, and later, regardless of the player's actions during the thief event. The dancing ability associated with Mog can
be seen on display in Final Fantasy XII in Old Archades, where the player can see a band of dancing moogles. Other
appearances include Final Fantasy IX; where a female moogle named Mog serves as Eiko Carol's guardian, though
she proves not to be a moogle after all, and Final Fantasy VII, where he appeared along with a Chocobo as a
summon and not just as a summon, but as a name for all moogles, being that in FF7 all moogles are referred to as
mogs. Two moogles also appeared in Final Fantasy VII as a game in the Gold Saucer, and Final Fantasy Crystal
Chronicles as a chalice holder in single-player mode. Mog also appears as a Chocobo's rival moogle in Chocobo

35

Character design
Racing. None of these appearances are the same individual, though often they have characteristics in common. A
Moogle called Montblanc first appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as the leader of a clan Marche joined.
Montblanc returns in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift as the leader of Clan
Centurio. In Final Fantasy XII, the "Stuffed Animal" Look is replaced for a much more friendly rabbit look. A
moogle named Mog also appears inFinal Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.

Ultima and Omega


Ultima and Omega are recurring names that have appeared in the Final Fantasy series. They often appear as optional
bosses towards the end of the game, as they are far more formidable than an average monster. Omega Weapon
appeared (as "Omega") as an optional boss near the end of the game in Final Fantasy V. Ultima Weapon appeared in
Final Fantasy VI and again in Final Fantasy VII (under the name Ultimate Weapon) as a main storyline boss. In
Final Fantasy VIII, they appear as extra bosses and in Final Fantasy X, they both reside in the Omega Ruins, the
most difficult dungeon in the game, where Ultima exists as Omega's shadow. In Final Fantasy XI, both Omega and
Ultima appear as bosses in the Chains of Promathia story line in and again as Proto-Omega and Proto-Ultima as
bosses of the Limbus areas. In Final Fantasy XII, Ultima appears as an Esper in addition to lending its name to a
sword called the Ultima Blade, whereas Omega appears as an optional boss in the form of a giant Mimic named
"Omega Mark XII".

Recurring species and races


Chocobo
A Chocobo ( Chokobo) is a large, normally flightless galliforme/ratitebird capable of being ridden and is
a staple of the Final Fantasy series. The onomatopoeia for a chocobo's call is "Kweh" ( Kue). "Kweh" is
sometimes replaced with "Wark" in English translations. Most chocobos dwell in forests. While timid in the wild,
and vicious if threatened, they tame rather easily and make good transports. Chocobos have occasionally been
sighted as lightly armored war mounts in which case they can assist their riders with beak and claw. In Final Fantasy
Tactics chocobo can be used as playable characters (though only in battle). Most often chocobo can be caught in the
wild and ridden without fear of random encounters, escaping after the player dismounts. Overall, the species is a
very versatile and useful bird, which comes in handy as horses are untamed or non-existent in Final Fantasy games.
While ordinary Chocobos are yellow, certain rare breeds are of different colors and have special abilities, such as
crossing mountains or flight. An even rarer, more extreme variant is the Fat Chocobo (or Chubby Chocobo), which
resembles a morbidly obese yellow chocobo.
The Chocobo signature theme is an immediately recognizable upbeat ditty that is present in one form or another in
all Final Fantasy gamessince Final Fantasy II. Chocobos have a spin-off series dedicated to them. Chocobos are
also a common sight in other Squaresoft and Square Enix games, notably in the Mana series.

36

Character design

Moogle
Moogles ( Mguri) are small creatures that appear
throughout several Square Enix game series, including the Final
Fantasy series, the Seiken Densetsu series, the Chocobo series, and the
Kingdom Hearts series. The Japanese name is a portmanteau of the
Japanese words mogura (mole) and kmori (bat).
Moogles have small, black eyes (often closed) and red, pink, black, or
purple bat-like wings. A single black antenna sticks up from their
heads, with a small colorful ball (usually red, yellow or pink) at the end
called a "pompom". Their ears are usually shaped like a cat's and their
fur is white or light pink. However, in Crystal Chronicles they have a
Moogles in their first Final Fantasy appearance
different body shape, lacking a distinct head and torso, while in Tactics
on the Famicom's Final Fantasy III
Advance and Final Fantasy XII they have longer, rabbit-like ears and
beige to gray fur. When they first appeared, in Final Fantasy III,
Moogles generally ended their sentences with the word "nya", the Japanese equivalent of a cat's "meow". In the later
games, they use the word "kupo" instead; some games briefly mention a Moogle language formed out of various
permutations of "kupo". In the Final Fantasy III Nintendo DS remake, the word "nya" was replaced with "kupo".
Moogles run an in-game message delivery service in Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. In the
Final Fantasy III remake, the Moogles' message delivery service allows to send real e-mails to other players' games
using the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi function. In Final Fantasy XI, a Moogle is assigned to each player to take care of their
house and change their jobs (hence it is called a Mog House), and "Festive" Moogles run the holiday events in the
game. In Final Fantasy XII, the Moogles are known to be skillful in mechanics and engineering; they were the first
pioneers of airship construction.
Several Moogle characters of the Final Fantasy series are named Mog, including a playable character in Final
Fantasy VI, a character from an arcade game in Final Fantasy VII, a form of the Eidolon Madeen in Final Fantasy
IX, and the single player's companion in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. In the spin-offs Chocobo no Fushigina
Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, and Chocobo Racing, a Moogle named Mog is friends with the main character
Chocobo. Moogles appear as summoned creatures in Final Fantasy VIIwhere a Moogle appears riding a Chocobo, in
Final Fantasy VIII with a young Moogle called MiniMog, and inFinal Fantasy Tactics. Eiko in Final Fantasy IX
had a Moogle guardian named Mog; she later became the Summon Madeen or Guardian Mog in the English version.
Other notable Moogles include Stiltzkin from Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, and
Montblanc from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift and Final Fantasy
XII.
In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, the Moogles have a variety of different jobs to
master in the clan. Some of the "Base Jobs" include Thief, Animist and Black Mage. After you master a certain
amount of abilities, new jobs are available for the Moogles. Other Moogle Jobs include Juggler, Tinker, Time Mage,
Fusilier, Flintlock, Chocobo Knight, and Moogle Knight. There is one special Moogle Job in Final Fantasy Tactics
Advanced 2 called Bard. The Bard is named Hurdy. Hurdy is able to use a series of different instruments to give
buffs and debuffs to allies or foes, heal health, or make himself invisible.
Moogles first appear in the Final Fantasy series in Final Fantasy III and are present in all subsequent numbered
installments except Final Fantasy IV, in addition to Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final
Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, and Final Fantasy: Unlimited. They were used as Save Points in Final Fantasy IX.
Moogles appear only as stuffed dolls in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children,Dirge of Cerberus, Final Fantasy X and
Final Fantasy X-2, in addition to Yuna's version of the Mascot dressphere being a moogle in Final Fantasy X-2.
Moogles make an appearance in the Seiken Densetsu series as a race and/or as a status condition in Final Fantasy

37

Character design
Adventure, Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3, and are mentioned in Sword of Mana. They make an appearance
in the Chocobo series inChocobo no Fushigina Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Chocobo Racing, and Chocobo
Land: A Game of Dice. They also appear in all four games of the Kingdom Hearts series, which includes Moogles
named after many famous characters from the series. Finally, a Moogle appears in Egg Monster Heroes, while one is
an unlockable character in Mario Hoops 3-on-3.

Monsters
Certain fictional monsters reappear frequently throughout the series, including Goblins, Oni/Ogres/Gigas/Giants,
Bombs, Behemoths, Tonberries, Malboros, Flans and Cactuars ("Sabotenders" in the Japanese version, after
"saboten", the Japanese word for cactus). Summoned monsterssuch as Bahamutas well as the elemental
monstersShiva (ice) and Ifrit (fire)have appeared in almost every title in the series. The lightning elemental has
been represented by a variety of creatures, principally Ramuh but also Quetzalcoatl and Ixion. In Final Fantasy
Tactics Advance, the elemental monsters represent spells cast by Summoners (either the player's own, or those of
rivals). In Final Fantasy XII the traditional summon monsters were changed but still made a cameo of sorts as the
names of Archadian airships. 'The series borrows four creature types directly from the original version of Dungeons
and Dragons: Beholders, Mindflayers, Otyughs and Sahuagin. Other monsters are based on creatures in the real
world, such as wolves, wasps, piranhas, and others have amplified, deadlier versions appearing throughout the series.
Other creatures are not necessarily harmful and may provide benefits to the player, such as the Magic Pot.
Several entries in the series provide backstories on the origins and motives behind monsters. The backstory of the
fiends and monsters given in-game (depending on the series) was first established in Final Fantasy VII, where
monsters are animals and some humans who have been exposed to a high degree of Mako. In Final Fantasy VIII,
monsters are sent to the game world from one of its moons via a burst of energy from the moon called the "Lunar
Cry".[9] In Final Fantasy IX, monsters are spawned from the Mist, which is made up of the souls of the dead unable
to pass on.[10] [11] In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 these hostile monsters are better known as fiends, which
are monsters manifested from the restless spirits of the dead and driven by malice to devour those alive.[12] In
FFX-2, these Fiends are classified by type.[13] In Final Fantasy XII, the monsters have differing origins; however,
most of the more powerful variants (namely the particularly powerful 'Rare Game') are the result of a mutation
caused by an overdose of any exposure to the Mist.[14] [15]

References
Birlew, Dan (2000). FINAL FANTASY IX Official Strategy Guide. Brady Publishing. ISBN0744000416.
Birlew, Dan (2001). Final Fantasy X Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. ISBN0744001404.
Birlew, Dan (2003). Final Fantasy X-2 Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. ISBN0744002850.
Boyce, Mary (1975). History of Zoroastrianism, Vol. I. Leiden: Brill.
Cassady, David (1997). Official FINAL FANTASY VII Strategy Guide. Brady Publishing. ISBN1-56686-714-2.
Cassady, David (1999). Official FINAL FANTASY VIII Strategy Guide. Brady Publishing. ISBN1-56686-903-X.
Ong, Alicia (March 22, 2001). "The Religions Behind Final Fantasy" [16]. Archived from the original [17] on
2007-03-17.
Schmidt, Ken (2006). Final Fantasy III Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. ISBN0744008484.
Spoors, Glen (January 2005). "Meaning and Emotion in Squaresofts Final Fantasy X: Re-Theorising Realism
and Identification in Video Games" [18]. p. 96. Archived from the original [19] on 2007-09-28.

38

Character design

External links
Gilgamesh article at the Final Fantasy wiki

References
[1] "GameSpy: Project Sylpheed - Page 2" (http:/ / xbox360. gamespy. com/ xbox-360/ project-sylph/ 807782p2. html). gamespy.com. .
Retrieved 2010-04-06.
[2] "Final Fantasy XII Q&A - PlayStation 2 News at IGN" (http:/ / uk. ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 441/ 441293p1. html). ign.com. . Retrieved
2010-04-06.
[3] "Because Women DO Play" (http:/ / www. womengamers. com/ revprev/ adv/ kingdomhearts. php). WomenGamers.Com. . Retrieved
2010-04-06.
[4] "Nerd Heroes: The Phenomenon of Loser Protagonists in Modern Japanese Games" (http:/ / www. gamecritics. com/ nerd-heroes).
GameCritics.com. . Retrieved 2010-04-06.
[5] "FFXIII Interview: Nomura, Kitase, Hashimoto and Toriyama: News from" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ newsStory?cId=3151333).
1UP.com. . Retrieved 2010-04-06.
[6] "Final Fantasy, Star Wars, Biggs and Wedge - Playstation 3" (http:/ / www. bellaonline. com/ articles/ art9321. asp). Bellaonline.com. .
Retrieved 2010-03-04.
[7] "Final Fantasy Summons: Gilgamesh" (http:/ / www. ffcompendium. com/ h/ espmon/ gilgamesh. shtml). Ffcompendium.com. . Retrieved
2010-03-04.
[8] http:/ / www. ffcompendium. com/ h/ espmon/ adamant. shtml
[9] Controller: The lunar world is a world of monsters. Didn't you learn that in school? As you can see, the monsters are gathering at one point.
History's starting to repeat itself. The Lunar Cry is starting. (Final Fantasy VIII)
[10] Steiner: Surely even you must know something about the Mist! The vicious monsters it spawns! (Final Fantasy IX)
[11] Garland: The Mist you see comprises the stagnant souls of Gaia. (Final Fantasy IX)
[12] Lulu: The dead need guidance. Filled with grief over their own death, they refuse to face their fate. They yearn to live on, and resent those
still alive. You see, they envy the living. And in time, that envy turns to anger, even hate. Should these souls remain in Spira, they become
fiends that prey on the living. Sad, isn't it? The sending takes them to the Farplane, where they may rest in peace. (Final Fantasy X)
[13] Final Fantasy X-2 Guide, 315
[14] Sage Knowledge 09: Mist: Naturally occurring energy, found in almost all regions of the world, affecting all living things, the climate, and
even the land itself... The highest concentrations of Mist can even do damage, leading to over-rapid changes in the environment, and violent
behavior among animals and those more sensitive to the Mist's effects. (Final Fantasy XII)
[15] Sage Knowledge 63: Nabreus Deadlands: [D]ense Mist has given rise to all manner of bizarre flora and fauna of an invariably vicious
temperament. (Final Fantasy XII)
[16] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070317015750/ http:/ / shl. stanford. edu/ Game_archive/ StudentPapers/ BySubject/ A-I/ F/
FinalFanstasy/ Ong_Alicia. pdf
[17] http:/ / www. scribd. com/ doc/ 3302245/ Religions-Behind-Final-Fantasy
[18] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070928043924/ http:/ / www. upnaway. com. au/ ~waldemar/ Research/ PhD+ (Submitted+ to+ Library).
doc
[19] http:/ / members. upnaway. com/ ~waldemar/ Research/ PhD%20(Submitted%20to%20Library). doc

39

Gameplay

40

Gameplay
Though each Final Fantasy story is independent, many aspects of gameplay have remained relatively consistent
throughout the series.

Parties and battles


Throughout the Final Fantasy series, players have been able to
command a party of characters. The maximum size of the party has
been as low as three and as high as seven, depending on the game. This
is only noticeably different in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and
Dissidia: Final Fantasy, in which you take control of only one
character.[1] Players must face a variety of enemies in battle who will
try to damage the player,[2] as well as afflict the characters with several
standard "status ailments" such as poisoning them or putting them to
sleep.[3] Many of the games feature a random encounter system,[4] the
player is randomly drawn into battle with enemies that are not visible
on the map.[5] This remained true of the series until Final Fantasy XI
moved to a system where all enemies are visible as the player explores
the game world.[4]

Screen Shot of Final Fantasy 6's ATB system.

In battle, the characters can select a variety of commands from a menu, such as "Fight", "Magic", "Item", as well as
other special skills such as "Steal" or "Summon".[4] While Final Fantasy VI introduced desperation attacks,
Yoshinori Kitase created an improved system in Final Fantasy VII called "Limit Breaks". These were powerful
attacks that gained strength as the player took damage, and were accompanied by a sophisticated animation.[6] Since
then, games in the series allow characters to perform special moves when they fill up a power meter,[5] and this
gameplay has become synonymous with the series.[7]
Throughout the series, the battle system has evolved from a turn-based system to incorporate more real-time
elements. The original turn-based system, with the player characters on the right and the enemies on the left, is
imitated by numerous RPGs.[2] Hiroyuki It introduced the "Active Time Battle System" in Final Fantasy IV,[1]
where the time-keeping system does not stop.[8] Square Co filed a Japanese patent application related to the ATB
system on July 16, 1991 and a corresponding US application on March 16, 1992. One Japanese patent (JP2794230)
and two US patents (US5390937 and US5649862) were granted based on these applications.[9] On the battle screen,
each character has an ATB meter that gradually fills, and the player is allowed to issue a command to that character
once the meter is full.[10] Because the fact that enemies can attack or be attacked at any time, and the player can lose
his turn if he doesn't attack quick enough, urgency and excitement are credited to be injected into the combat
system.[8] This remained the norm until Final Fantasy X implemented a Conditional Turn-Based system, which
slowed gameplay while making it important for the right characters to square off against the right monsters.[11]
However, Final Fantasy XI embraced a real-time battle system where characters continuously attacked unless issued
another command.[12] Final Fantasy XII continued this real-time gameplay with the Active Dimension Battle
system,[13] where the player may issue commands to the characters or allow them to act automatically with certain
behavioral triggers.[14]

Gameplay

Minigames
In addition the normal gameplay, the series has featured various forced
and optional minigames. The first of these were simple minigames
hidden as Easter eggs which must be unlocked by pressing special
button combinations in a particular location. In Final Fantasy, a sliding
puzzle can be unlocked while boarding the ship. In Final Fantasy II, a
Comparison of the Snow Game minigame in
matching game can be unlocked while boarding the ice sled and
Final
Fantasy VII (left) and Final Fantasy VII
meeting a certain requirement. Final Fantasy VII was the first game to
Snowboarding on mobile phones (right).
feature a large number of minigames. A number of minigames appear
occasionally throughout the main storyline and at various locations,
many of which can later be played at the Gold Saucer theme park within the game, along with various other
minigames exclusive to the Gold Saucer. These include a chocobo racing game, chocobo breeding, motorbike racing,
a snowboarding game, and several others. The snowboarding minigame was later released as a separate
snowboarding game for mobile phones entitled Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding, which released in Japan and North
America in 2005. It is a mobile port of the snowboarding minigame featured in the original game.[15] The game is
playable on the LG VX8000, LG VX8100, Audiovox 8940 and Samsung A890 mobile phone and contains different
tracks than the original minigame.
Final Fantasy VIII introduced Triple Triad, a card game designed by battle designer Hiroyuki Ito. It was not
considered an essential part of the game, but more to provide a light relief to the storyline and allow the player to
interact with minor characters in a different way. Through the use of a Card Mod ability, the player is able to create
rare items by converting cards earned by defeating various competitors.[16] Final Fantasy VIII was the first of the
series to introduce a side-game with such interaction. In 1999, following the release of Final Fantasy VIII, Japanese
games company Bandai produced a full set of collectible Triple Triad cards. The set was made up of the 110 cards as
seen in the game along with 72 artwork cards and a collectors edition playing mat.[17] Triple Triad was praised by
GameSpot as a "more-than-worthy RPG minigame", finding it engaging and unique.[16]
Chocobo World ( RPG Odekake Chokobo RPG) is a handheld electronic game designed by
Hiroyuki Itou of Square Co. (now Square Enix) for the PocketStation handheld game console. The game can be
played exclusively, but is intended as a minigame to Final Fantasy VIII.[18] The game was present in all localizations
of Final Fantasy VIII, but the PocketStation itself was only released in Japan.[19] It was later ported to the Windows
version of Final Fantasy VIII in 2000.[20] The game allows players to control Boko, a baby chocobo, on his quest to
save his friend Mog from the clutches of an evil demon.
The game's screen consists of black and white pixel graphics and is presented in a manner similar to the "virtual pet"
concept conceived by Bandai's Tamagotchi. To play in conjunction with Final Fantasy VIII, the player must find
Boko in the world of Final Fantasy VIII. Once accomplished, the player receives a user interface for communicating
with the minigame. At any time, the player may send Boko into Chocobo World to gain experience and collect
special items, which are transferred back for use in Final Fantasy VIII. In addition, Boko may be used as a summon
in Final Fantasy VIII.[21] The Electric Playground and Malaysian website The Star Online both noted the similarity
of Chocobo World to another digital pet game, Tamagotchi,[22] with The Electric Playground describing the
minigame as "very nice" and pleasing.[23] Ars Technica thought that players who enjoy "walking as a Chocobo on
the horizontal plane of infinity" might find the minigame fun.[24] IGN considered the PC version of the minigame a
"nice touch" to Final Fantasy VIII, noting that users can play the former while doing other activities on their
computer since it runs on a tiny window on the screen.[25] Conversely, The Star Online felt that playing the
minigame on a PC was "a little boring" and deplored the lack of compatibility with Palm devices.[22]

41

Gameplay

Similar to Triple Triad, Tetra Master is a card game found in Final


Fantasy IX. Unlike most of the minigames in the series, a few Tetra
Master games are required to be played, one at the beginning of the
game, and several closer to the end. Tetra Master was seen by
GameSpot as inferior and confusing compared to Triple Triad, as the
rules for it were only vaguely explained in Final Fantasy IX and there
were very few rewards earned from playing it despite its
extensiveness.[26] Final Fantasy IX also had an additional minigame
named Chocobo Hot and Cold. Upon the acquisition of a chocobo, the
A goal is scored in the blitzball minigame in
player becomes able to access the game inside of Chocobo Forests. No
Final Fantasy X
games of Chocobo Hot and Cold are required to be played during the
game, though items received through the game could be used in the rest of Final Fantasy IX, including both regular
game items and clues towards discovering more items in the main game.
In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, Blitzball is a sport featuring six-man teams that combines the physicality
of rugby with soccer kicks for scoring and the hand passes of water polo. The game is played underwater in a large
sphere pool suspended in the air. Although blitzball is a crucial element to Final Fantasy X's plot, only one game is
required to be played. In Final Fantasy X the player controls the individual players on the team, while in X-2 they act
as a manager and coach. X-2 also had a game called Sphere Break, a mathematical game using numbered coins that
possess several different attributes that can help the player in the Sphere Break minigame itself or gain items that can
help in the various battles in Final Fantasy X-2.[27] GameSpot has commented that "trivial minigames have been
creeping into the Final Fantasy games at an alarming rate over the last few years, and in this regard, X-2 is definitely
the most egregious offender in the series".[28]

Character development and classes


The Final Fantasy series is like many role-playing games in that it uses a
level-up system,[29] where players gain experience points and raise their
character's experience level by killing enemies.[30] [31] [32] Players may have
difficulty defeating an enemy until they reach a higher experience level,
although Final Fantasy VIII reduces the need to level-up by making the
enemy's experience level always match that of the player's.[33]
Each character class has unique abilities which develop as the player's level
increases. In some titles, the player can choose a character with a specific
class at the start of the game, while others allow characters to combine and
The job system in Final Fantasy V
[1]
learn abilities from a number of classes. An important example is Final
Fantasy V, where each character can be assigned and re-assigned one of 22 classes, and they gain abilities in that
class as they win battles. Many core players praised the game for allowing characters to gain abilities from multiple
classes, although others considered this system highly complex and may be a reason the game was not initially
released in North America.[34] But in games such as Final Fantasy IV, the characters are assigned a job class that
reflects their personality in the storyline,[4] [8] and in some cases the character's classes are not explicitly stated.[4]
Final Fantasy IV also introduced the concept of characters joining or leaving the party throughout the storyline,
which requires players to adjust their battle plans constantly.[8] In addition to other abilities, a character's class
usually determines the types of weapons and armor that they can use.[1] Some of the more traditional classes include
the Knight/Warrior, the Dragoon, the Thief and the different Mages/Wizards.[4] [34] Mage classes have included
Black Mages, who use offensive spells, White Mages, who cast healing magic, Red Mages, who use both, Blue
Mages, who use enemy spells and attacks cast against them, and Time Mages, who cast spells which speed up or

42

Gameplay
slow down time. More esoteric classes have appeared throughout the series, such as Bards, Scholars, and
Summoners.[34]
The complexity of the class system varies from game to game.[4] In Final Fantasy, the player allocates permanent
class selections to the four playable characters at the beginning of the game, each of the six starting classes can be
upgraded to a corresponding advanced class midway through the game.[35] Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy V
changed the formula by allowing the player to change a character's class, as well as acquire new and advanced
classes and combine class abilities.[36] [37] In Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, classes are
once again chosen by the player from one of the two starting jobs; however, characters must meet prerequisites
before changing classes.[38] [39] Character classes were re-introduced in Final Fantasy X-2 as "dresspheres"; these
classes are gradually acquired and can be changed at any point, including battle mode.[40] The classes that appeared
in Final Fantasy XI, the first MMORPG title in the series, have certain unique implementations that more closely
follow MMORPG convention.[41] Notably, in Final Fantasy XI a player can equip a secondary job, called a subjob,
and have half the abilities of another class that way. Extensive backstories are often given to FFXI's job classes to
add to the setting's lore.
Other Final Fantasy installments deviate from the class system by allowing flexibility in character growth, or
featuring pre-determined jobs. Characters in Final Fantasy II are molded according to their performance in battle.[42]
Final Fantasy IV introduced characters already locked into a class; abilities related to the character's class are learned
as the character gains experience points.[43] In Final Fantasy VI, VII, and VIII, characters begin with equipment and
attack proficiencies similar to character classes, but the player can allocate magic and statistical bonuses.[44] [45] [46]
In Final Fantasy VI, each playable character has a class and a signature command, such as Dance, Lore or Mimic.[44]
In Final Fantasy VII and VIII, characters lack classes, and they all play the same in battle; nevertheless, each
character has one or more unique limit breaks.[45] [46] [47] In Final Fantasy IX, characters have predetermined
"dormant abilities" similar to IV; however, the characters in IX learn abilities by wearing equipment instead of
gaining levels.[48] Final Fantasy X introduced the sphere grid; characters began at certain areas of the grid, which
represent traditional character classes by their statistical bonuses and abilities. In Final Fantasy XII, the player can
mold characters into anything, without restriction of traditional classes.[49] [50] However, in the game's international
version and sequel, the growth system is modified to have more clearly defined classes. Final Fantasy character
classes have also made cameo appearances as hidden players in Mario Hoops 3-on-3 and as enemies in Kingdom
Hearts II.

Magic
Like many role-playing games, the titles in the Final Fantasy series feature a system of magic. While the first game
in the series had eight levels of spells with one to eight uses per level, later games jettisoned this concept for a
common pool of magic points that all spells consume.[2] Magic in the series is generally divided into classes, which
are usually organized by color.[5] The actual magic classes vary from game to game, but most games include "White
Magic", which is focused primarily on spells that help teammates, and "Black Magic", which focused on harming
enemies.[2] One who is proficient in White or Black magic is often known as a White Mage or Black Mage,
respectively.[2] [51] Other games include other types of mages and spells, such as geomancers who can cast spells
based on the terrain, blue mages who can cast spells that are learned from enemies in battle, and red mages who can
cast both white and black magic.[51] In most games, the most powerful white magic spell is either "Holy", "White" or
"Pearl", while the most powerful black magic spell is "Ultima", "Meteor", "Meltdown" or "Merton". In some games,
acquiring these spells is a difficult quest, and in Final Fantasy VII they are only used at specific points in the plot.[51]
Another recurring class of magic is "Summoning Magic," which calls forth magical creatures to attack enemies
and/or heal or protect party members.[1] [4] This magic debuted in Final Fantasy III with eight different summons,
and hit a peak of 51 different summons in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.[1] These summoned creatures draw
their names from classic mythology. Ifrit, Kjuta and Bahamut come from Arab mythology. Meanwhile, the Hindu

43

Gameplay
tradition inspired several summons, including Shiva, Garuda, and Lakshmi (the correct translation of the summon
known as "Starlet"). Ramuh is another Hindu inspired summon, drawn from Indra and Rama.[1] Meanwhile, the
serpent Leviathan is inspired by the Old Testament, and the phoenix is drawn from Egyptian mythology.[1] Greek
mythology inspired Titan, Hecatonchires, Hades, Cerberus and Siren, while Norse mythology was the source for
Odin the warrior and Fenrir the wolf.[1]

Airships and transport


Although some Final Fantasy games have featured unique vehicles such as a spaceplane or hovercraft, many
vehicles are common to several games in the series. Many games in the series allowed players to pilot a ship over
oceans and seas, with some even allowing players to pilot a ship or submarine under water. Trains also appear in
several games in the series. The first the games in the series allowed players to ride a canoe through rivers. But all
games since Final Fantasy II have featured a chocobo, a species of fictional bird which often acts as a mode of
transport.[1]
However, one of the most iconic modes of transport in the Final Fantasy series is the airship, which has appeared in
every game. The visual style of each airship varies between games. In several games, they are repaired and
improved, allowing the player to access new areas. And in many they have built in weapons for random encounters,
which attack at the beginning of a battle. However, in Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XII,
flight is abstracted with a short cut scene and essentially allows the player to teleport between locations. The
impossibly fast 'Nautilus' in Final Fantasy III was dubbed the fastest airship in the whole series, travelling across the
world map in less than 10 seconds.[1]

Inventory
Crystals
Elemental orbs or crystals have appeared in more than ten of the twelve titles of the series. They usually drive the
plot as an essential link to the planet's life force, and thus the player must find or collect these crystals to advance the
plot and win the game.[1]

Currency
Final Fantasy games allow players to purchase various items and equipment from shops,[52] using a currency known
as Gil ( giru).[53] [54] Final Fantasy IV is the only game to explain the origin of the word; in that game, the
word Gil is named after Gilbart, a common name for members of the royal family of Damcyan, and was originally
used as the currency of Damcyan.[55] The most common way to earn gil is from random battles, although Final
Fantasy VIII is a notable exception where gil is earned as a regular stipend from an academy for mercenaries.[33]

Weapons
The Excalibur, named after the King Arthur legend, and Masamune, named after the Japanese swordsmith, have
been top-tier blade weapons since the first Final Fantasy.[1] As the series progressed, other weapons such as the
ultima weapon, the blood sword, and the Ragnarok have challenged their supremacy as weapons.[1] [51]
Numerous weapons have seen recurring use throughout the series; others have been influenced by a variety of
mythological and fantasy concepts. Interspersed between unique weapons are a graded scale of other, more common
weapons, usually sold in shops. They are typically labeled according to the following progression, from weakest to
strongest: Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mythril/Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Crystal, Adamantite (found in Final
Fantasy I), and Adamantine. Armor typically follows the same alloy progression. Moreover, armors of "Genji" series
are seen in Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy

44

Gameplay
IX, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy Tactics, and most recently in Final Fantasy XII. "Wooden" weapons and
"Leather" armor are also often seen throughout the series.
The Final Fantasy installments feature several types of projectile weapons, including bows, balls, guns, boomerangs,
and launchers. Gunblades have a gun-like handle which contains a firing mechanism but are not considered
projectile as the firing mechanism only makes the blade vibrate causing extra damage, and does not fire any actual
shells, with the exception of Yazoo's gunblades from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Weiss's twin Gunblades,
shown in Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus, and Lightnings gunblades, shown in "Final Fantasy XIII". In some
installments, such as Final Fantasy III, ammunition (bullets and arrows) is limited; others, like Final Fantasy XII,
have unlimited ammunition, only requiring the player to actually have it. Other installments, like Final Fantasy VII,
omit ammunition completely. Some of the common recurring projectile weapons include Yoichi's Bow, and the Full
Moon boomerang.
Swords are commonly seen throughout the series, and come in various forms. Elemental swords, which include a
certain element, such as fire or wind, during the attack, are seen almost every installment in the series. Some
elemental swords launch an additional magical attack during battle, such as the Lightbringer in Final Fantasy VI.
Elemental swords have had many names, fire-elemental swords usually named 'Flame Saber' or 'Flametongue',
ice-elemental swords named 'Blizzard' or 'Ice Brand', thunder-elemental swords are 'Thunderblade' or 'Coral Sword'
and on one occasion in Final Fantasy I, a 'Vorpal Sword'. A water-elemental sword hasn't been used often, but in
Final Fantasy X the main character obtains one called 'Brotherhood', that has minor relevance to the story, and in
Final Fantasy X-2, Warrior dress sphere has a water-elemental sword attack ability named 'Liquid Steel'.
There are also various staffs/rods featured in many of the Final Fantasy games which use special actions, most often
of which are not directly damaging (or deal very low damage) and are often beneficial, such as the "Healing Staff"
found in Final Fantasy V. The effects of such weapons are usually used by selecting "attack", even if no actual attack
is initiated. Additionally, some weapons are able to be used from the items menu (usually by pressing up at the top of
the items menu during gameplay) and can produce a variety of effects such as dealing damage to an enemy, placing a
negative status effect on an enemy, healing the user or an ally, or placing a positive status effect on the user or an
ally.
In addition to the types of weapons above, Final Fantasy includes whips, dice, staffs/rods, lances, axes, knives,
daggers, swords and other common weapons.

Armor and accessories


Many pieces of armor and accessories from the series appear in multiple titles. One of the most common sets of
equipment is Genji, which consists of a shield, helmet, body armor, and sometimes gloves. Some armor featured in
the series is named after metals or stones, such as bronze, iron, silver, mythril, gold, emerald, diamond, and crystal;
others are based on colors or spells. Armor and accessories used in the series consist of bracers, shields, rings,
bangles, shoes, helmets, body armor, robes, and dresses. However, not all games in the series have an armor system;
for example, Final Fantasy X-2 uses the equipping of dress spheres instead of armor. Final Fantasy VIII uses stats
increases from equipping Guardian Forces, a form of summoning in the game, than the use of armor.
Several individual pieces of armor and accessories recur throughout the series. Two of the most common are the
Aegis shield and the Protect Ring, which provide various effects for the character, depending on the game. The
Golden Hairpin almost always benefits the spellcasters in the party. For example, in Final Fantasy VI and Final
Fantasy V, they were accessories that reduced spell costs by half; in Final Fantasy Tactics, they were head armor
that gave a significant boost to the maximum MP value and nullified the silence status effect. The Ribbon is an item
in most Final Fantasy games that allows the equipped user to become immune to most or all status ailments. Most
times, it appears as a helmet; in some games, such as Final Fantasy VI, it is an accessory or a special item.

45

Gameplay

46

Items
"Items" are collected objects that may affect the status or health of a character or
enemy. Many objects are one-use and include a limit to how many are stocked in the
party's inventory. In every installment, the basic HP-recovering item is some form of
potion. The items' names varied in earlier games, such as being called "Heal
Potions" in the first game, "Cure Potions" in the English translation of Final Fantasy
IV (called Final Fantasy II), and "Tonics" in the English translation of Final
Fantasy VI (called Final Fantasy III). Other variants, which heal more HP, include
the mid-level "Hi-Potion", the high-level "X-Potion", and the multi-target "Mega
Potion".
Since Final Fantasy IV, the lead MP-recovering item has been the "Ether". The
name is derived from Aether, a classical term used in medieval times to describe a
possible substance between air, earth, fire, and water. The English language
localization of Final Fantasy VI renamed the Ether to "Tincture," and also featured a
second-level MP-restoration item, "Hi-Ether", which was renamed simply "Ether" in
the English localization. The Turbo Ether (also known as "Dry Ether") has appeared
in recent games and restores either a significant or complete portion of a character's
MP.

The Final Fantasy XII "Potion"


drink.

The "Elixir", which appears in most Final Fantasy games, is an HP and MP recovery item. Some games include the
Megalixir (or Last Elixir), which fully restores the party's HP and MP. Other items recover both HP and MP at
specific locations. "Tents" are often used on field maps or at Save Points as replacements for an Inn as they restore
some of the party's HP and MP. Variants such as Cabin, Cottage, and Sleeping Bag restore more or less HP and MP;
sometimes to only one character. In Final Fantasy IX, Tents can be used during battle, although there is chance of
being inflicted with abnormal status effects when used.
Status effect-curing items are also recurring. For example, "antidote" heals poison and venom, "echo screen"/"echo
herbs"/"echo drops" removes silence, "eye drops" cures blindness, and "soft" (originally "Golden Needle") cures
petrification. There is a variation of the soft, the Supersoft a key item (see below) which only appeared in Final
Fantasy IX used to remove the petrification effects from an entire forest. "Phoenix Down" (also translated as
"Phoenix Tail") is used in most Final Fantasy games to revive an unconscious party member with a small portion of
their HP. In some of the earlier games, the word was translated as "FenixDown" because of size issues with fitting
English letters in the space previously occupied by Japanese characters. Phoenix Down often instantly kills or inflicts
maximum damage on undead and other creatures harmed by curative spells. The item is supposed to be the feather of
a Phoenix, a common symbol of life and rebirth; "down" refers to the down feathers of a bird, the undercoat of
feathers beneath the visible layer on top. Other representations of Phoenix Down include the bottled tears of a
Phoenix, bolted quivers and bead necklaces. Variants of this item include the Phoenix Pinion and Mega Phoenix,
which revive all party members.
There are other basic items seen throughout the Final Fantasy series, including "Gysahl Greens", which can be used
to summon Fat Chocobo, an item storage service, at specific locations in Final Fantasy IV, catch, feed and race
chocobos in Final Fantasy VII, summon a pet chocobo in Final Fantasy VIII, or ride a chocobo in Final Fantasy IX,
Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII. The "Rename Card" renames characters that have already been named. This
first appeared in Final Fantasy VI, though the character Namingway had a similar function in Final Fantasy IV. In
Final Fantasy VIII, a Rename Card renames Guardian Forces, and Pet's Nametag renames Rinoa's pet dog's name. In
Final Fantasy IX, the Namingway Card had the effect of renaming the characters in Daguerreo, and in Final Fantasy
X, it was used to rename Aeons. All Final Fantasy games also have "key items", which must be acquired to further
the game's story or complete a sidequest. Key items are usually kept in their own special inventory separate from the

Gameplay
player's stock of usable items. Examples of key items include the "Nitro" from the original Final Fantasy, the "Huge
Materia" from Final Fantasy VII, and the "Supersoft" from Final Fantasy IX. A key item is typically received
shortly before the player reachs the point where it is needed. After a key item is used, it usually remains in the
player's inventory permanently, but serves no further purpose. Some items or key items are/may be almost
completely useless, like "Tissue" from the American release of Final Fantasy VII.

References
[1] "Final Fantasy Retrospective Part XIII" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 27455. html). GameTrailers. 2007-11-02. . Retrieved
2009-03-30.
[2] Andrew Vestal (1998-11-02). "The History of Final Fantasy - Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ vgs/ universal/
finalfantasy_hs/ sec1_1_2. html). Gamespot. . Retrieved 2008-12-31.
[3] Greg Kasavin (2007-11-12). "Final Fantasy XII" (http:/ / www. cnet. com. au/ final-fantasy-xii-339283709. htm). CNET. . Retrieved
2009-04-02.
[4] Patrick Kolan (2007-01-18). "The Evolution of Final Fantasy" (http:/ / au. ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 756/ 756635p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2009-04-01.
[5] David Jenkins (2007-02-28). "(Never the) Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. virginmedia. com/ games/ features/ finalfantasyhistory2. php). Virgin
Media. . Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[6] "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / au. retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p1. html). IGN. 2008-04-30. . Retrieved
2009-04-01.
[7] Interview with Final Fantasy creator. GameAxis Unwired. 2006-11. p.24.
[8] Andrew Vestal (1998-11-02). "The History of Final Fantasy - Final Fantasy IV" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ vgs/ universal/
finalfantasy_hs/ sec1_4_2. html). Gamespot. . Retrieved 2008-12-31.
[9] "List of patent family members for US Patent No. 5390937" (http:/ / v3. espacenet. com/ inpadoc?DB=EPODOC& locale=en_V3& FT=D&
CC=US& NR=5390937A). espacenet. . Retrieved 2009-11-09.
[10] USpatent5390937 (http:/ / v3. espacenet. com/ textdoc?DB=EPODOC& IDX=US5390937), "Video game apparatus, method and device
for controlling same", granted February 21, 1995 , assigned to Square Co., Ltd
[11] 1UP Staff (2000-01-01). "Final Fantasy X (PS2)" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ reviewPage?cId=3061568& sec=REVIEWS). 1up. .
Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[12] Tom Bramwell (2002-01-02). "Final Fantasy XI" (http:/ / www. eurogamer. net/ articles/ p_ffxi_ps2). eurogamer. . Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[13] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. pp.3536. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[14] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. p.37. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[15] Buchanan, Levi (2005). "Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/ 594/ 594902p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2006-08-11.
[16] Vestal, Andrew (February 24, 1999). "Final Fantasy VIII for PlayStation Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy8/
review. html). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2007-11-15.
[17] "Final Fantasy VIII: Triple Triad" (http:/ / www. boardgamegeek. com/ game/ 15957). Board Game geek (http:/ / www. boardgamegeek.
com/ ). . Retrieved 2006-12-07.
[18] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.3840.
SLUS-00892GH.
[19] IGN staff (July 15, 1999). "FFVIII PocketStation Opens Up Chocobo World" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 068/ 068855p1. html).
www.ign.com. . Retrieved 2006-07-18.
[20] Dan Calderman (2000). "Chocobo World Playable on PC" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q1-2000/ 010600c. html).
www.rpgamer.com. . Retrieved 2006-07-18.
[21] IGN Staff (2000-01-28). "IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review" (http:/ / uk. pc. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161737p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-03-31.
[22] The Star Online : TechCentral - Malaysia Technology (http:/ / star-techcentral. com/ reviews/ story. asp?file=/ 2000/ 5/ 2/
conquering_the_latest_fantasy& sec=reviews& ref=game& new=0& cat=4& rid=33)
[23] Electric Playground (http:/ / www. elecplay. com/ reviews_article. php?article=2270)
[24] Yellow fever and bird flu: the Chocobo allure (http:/ / arstechnica. com/ journals/ thumbs. ars/ 2007/ 03/ 26/
yellow-fever-and-bird-flu-the-chocobo-allure)
[25] IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review (http:/ / uk. pc. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161737p1. html)
[26] Vestal, Andrew (July 19, 2000). "Final Fantasy IX Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy9/ review. html). GameSpot.
. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
[27] "Final Fantasy X-2 Review" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 458/ 458474p3. html). IGN (http:/ / www. ign. com/ ). . Retrieved 2006-12-08.
[28] Shoemaker, Brad (2003). "Final Fantasy X-2 for PlayStation 2 Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps2/ rpg/ finalfantasyx2/ review.
html). GameSpot (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). . Retrieved July 30, 2006.
[29] Bill Loguidice, Matt Barton (2009). Vintage Games. Focal Press/Elsevier. ISBN9780240811468 0240811461.

47

Gameplay
[30] Final Fantasy Anthology Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. 1999. ISBN1566869250.
[31] (in Japanese) Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. Studio BentStuff. 2004. ISBN4757512430.
[32] (in Japanese) Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania Omega. Square-Enix. 2004. ISBN4757511612.
[33] Andrew Vestal (1998-11-02). "The History of Final Fantasy - Final Fantasy VIII" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ vgs/ universal/
finalfantasy_hs/ sec1_8_3. html). Gamespot. . Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[34] Andrew Vestal (1998-11-02). "The History of Final Fantasy - Final Fantasy V" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ vgs/ universal/
finalfantasy_hs/ sec1_5_2. html). Gamespot. . Retrieved 2008-12-31.
[35] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Origins North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.5. SLUS-01541.
[36] Final Fantasy III Official Website (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ff3/ ). Square Enix (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ). Retrieved February 17,
2007.
[37] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. pp.1718. SLUS-00879GH.
[38] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy Tactics North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.2426. SCUS-94221.
[39] Final Fantasy Tactics Official Website (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ FFT-A/ ) Square-Enix.com (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ).
Retrieved February 18, 2007.
[40] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy X-2 North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.13.
[41] Final Fantasy XI Official Site (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ ff11eu/ guide/ system/ index. html?pageID=system). Playonline.com (http:/ /
Playonline. com). Retrieved February 9, 2007.
[42] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Origins North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. p.23. SLUS-01541.
[43] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy Chronicles North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.69. SLUS-01360.
[44] Square Enix Co., ed. Final Fantasy Anthology North American instruction manual. Square Enix Co.. pp.4748. SLUS-00879GH.
[45] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.3234. SCUS-94163.
[46] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.2435. SLUS-00892GH.
[47] The Evolution of Final Fantasy (http:/ / au. ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 756/ 756635p1. html). IGN.com. Retrieved February 11, 2006.
[48] Square Electronic Arts, ed. Final Fantasy IX North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.1619. SLUS-01251.
[49] BradyGAMES, ed (2006). Final Fantasy XII Official Strategy Guide. DKPublishing. pp.1819. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[50] Final Fantasy XII introduces a new way to experience RPGs (http:/ / www. cbsnews. com/ stories/ 2006/ 12/ 21/ tech/ gamecore/
main2289842. shtml). CBS News. Retrieved February 11, 2006.
[51] Andrew Vestal (1998-11-02). "The History of Final Fantasy - Final Fantasy Series" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ vgs/ universal/
finalfantasy_hs/ sec2. html). Gamespot. . Retrieved 2009-04-01.
[52] Steve Watt. "Final Fantasy XI (Square Enix)" (http:/ / www. ugo. com/ channels/ games/ features/ finalfantasy_xi/ ). UGO. . Retrieved
2009-04-02.
[53] Louis Bedigian (2006-08-14). "Dirge Of Cerberus - Final Fantasy VII Review" (http:/ / ps2. gamezone. com/ gzreviews/ r26389. htm).
GameZone. . Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[54] Justin Calvert (2007-06-01). "Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition Hands-On" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ rpg/
finalfantasyanniversaryedition/ news. html?sid=6171865). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2009-04-02.
[55] RACapowski (2007). "Translation of Final Fantasy IV documents on Settings Book/Settei Shiryou Shuu/Compendium/What Have You"
(http:/ / home. att. net/ ~RCgamusic/ ff4comp. htm#contents). . Retrieved April 5, 2007.

48

Minigames

Minigames
The popular video game franchise Final Fantasy ( Fainaru Fantaj) has become known
for its inclusion of one or more minigames as part of its core gameplay, beginning mainly with Final Fantasy VII.
Participation and progression in these minigames generally will not affect the main game, but can often offer many
items or "power ups" that are either very rare, or simply otherwise unavailable. They can also offer a diversion to the
main story, and add a few more hours of gameplay. However, in some Final Fantasy installments, such as Final
Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X, certain minigames are sometimes necessary in order to progress the storyline.

Minigames
Easter Egg minigames
Several simple minigames of the series are hidden as Easter eggs which must be unlocked by pressing special button
combinations in a particular location. In Final Fantasy, a sliding puzzle can be unlocked while boarding the ship. In
Final Fantasy II, a matching game can be unlocked while boarding the ice sled and meeting a certain requirement. In
Final Fantasy IX, a Blackjack game can be unlocked on the ending screen.

Final Fantasy VII minigames


Final Fantasy VII was the first game to feature a large number of minigames and still remains the role-playing game
with the most minigames. A number of minigames appear occasionally throughout the main storyline and at various
locations, many of which can later be played at the Gold Saucer theme park within the game, along with various
other minigames exclusive to the Gold Saucer.
The Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII has a number of different theme park attractions, which include: Battle
Square, a tournament; Chocobo Square, a chocobo racing game; Event Square, a short stageplay played like a
visual novel or graphic adventure; Ghost Square, a halloween-themed hotel; Round Square, a Gondola ride; Speed
Square, a light gun shooter; Station Square, a train station to travel to and from the Gold Saucer; and Wonder
Square, a videogame arcade from where most of the minigames in Final Fantasy VII can be played.[1]
Some of the minigames playable at Wonder Square include: 3D Battler, a simple boxing sports game; Arm
Wrestling Mega Sumo, an arm wrestling simulator; Fortune Telling, a fortune-telling simulator; G Bike, a
motorbike racing game; Mog House, a moogle-feeding game; Snow Game, a snowboarding game; Super Dunk, a
basketball free throw simulator; Wonder Catcher, a simple casino game; and Torpedo Attack, a submarine
simulation game.[1]
Storyline-driven minigames first played outside of (or not included in) the Gold Saucer include: gym squats at the
Wall Market, a mystery puzzle minigame to find Mayor Domino's password, the G Bike motorbike racing game
mentioned above, a piano simulation, a CPR minigame, a jumping minigame with Mr. Dolphin, a military parade
marching band simulation, a posing minigame for Rufus, a version of the Snow Game snowboarding minigame
mentioned above, and a submarine battle like the Torpedo Attack minigame mentioned above.
Some of the other minigames in Final Fantasy VII only found outside of the Gold Saucer and outside of the main
storyline include: a chocobo-breeding game, a real-time strategy at Fort Condor, and a treasure-hunting game at
Bone Village.

49

Minigames

50

Minigames are primarily played with Cloud Strife.


However, following events on Disc 2 in which players
temporarily control Tifa Lockheart and Cid Highwind,
the game may offer the chance to play as them during
G Bike, Snow Game and Chocobo Racing, provided
they are in your party.

Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding

Comparison of the Snow Game minigame in Final Fantasy VII (left)


and Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding on mobile phones (right).

One of the many minigames to be featured in Final


Fantasy VII included a snowboarding game. It can be played for the first time at the Icicle Lodge, and another
version of the minigame, entitled Snow Game, can later be played at the Wonder Square arcade of the Gold Saucer
theme park within Final Fantasy VII for the price of 200 gil each time. In the Gold Saucer, players pop balloons
whilst on the snowboard and receive points. Depending on how well you do (with factors such as crashes, points,
etc), you get a prize. There are three different types of tracks: the Beginner track; the Advanced track, and the Crazy
track, each with their own prize. Red balloons, the easiest balloons to pop, get you 1 point, Blue balloons, harder to
pop than red ones, get you 3 points, and Green balloons, the hardest ones to pop, get you 5 points. After beating a
course, you are given one of four comments. BAD = 0 - 29 points, AWFUL = 30 - 69 points, GOOD = 70 - 99
points, and COOL = 100 points. Once you score a GOOD ranking on each course, you unlock the Time Attack
mode.
The Snow Game minigame was later released as a separate snowboarding game for mobile phones entitled Final
Fantasy VII Snowboarding, which released in Japan and North America in 2005. It is a mobile port of the
snowboarding minigame featured in the original game.[2] The game is playable on the LG VX8000, LG VX8100,
Audiovox 8940 and Samsung A890 mobile phone and contains different tracks than the original minigame.

Triple Triad
Triple Triad is a card game in Final Fantasy VIII, designed by battle designer Hiroyuki Ito. It was not considered
an essential part of the game, but more to provide a light relief to the storyline and allow the player to interact with
minor characters in a different way. Through the use of Quezacotl's Card Mod ability, the player is able to create rare
items by converting cards earned by defeating various competitors.[3] Final Fantasy VIII was the first of the series to
introduce a side-game with such interaction.
Triple Triad is played on a three-by-three (3x3) square grid of blank spaces, where cards will be placed as the game
progresses. The cards depict various characters, monsters, and bosses from the game, and four numbers placed in
arrangement so each corresponds to one of the four sides of the card. These numbers range from one to nine, the
letter A representing ten.
In a basic game of Triple Triad, each player has five cards. A coin-flip decision is made to decide which of the two
players will begin. The player who wins the coin toss may then choose a card to play anywhere on the grid. After the
first card is played, the opposing player may then play a card on any unoccupied space on the board. The game
continues with player's turns alternating in this fashion.

Minigames

51
When a card is played, its values are assessed and compared to any cards which are
adjacent on the grid. If no cards are adjacent, no assessment is made and play
continues. If any cards controlled by the other player are adjacent to the played card,
then the values of the sides of the played card are compared to the adjacent sides of
the opposing cards. If the played card's sides are of a higher value, then the opposing
card or cards become controlled by the player, and change in color.

Gameplay continues until the entire grid is filled. As there are only nine spaces on the
board, the player who did not go first has one card remaining. Once the game is
complete, the player who has the most cards in his color is named the winner. As
The Angelo Triple Triad card.
there are a total of ten cards, this allows the possibility of the game ending in a draw,
which may be resolved by a sudden death scenario, or by playing until a winner is
defined. The winner claims a prize by taking one or more of the loser's cards.
In Final Fantasy VIII, each region of the game world has its own unique rules that can be applied to Triple Triad.
Some include whether the players can see each others' unplayed cards, how many cards can be taken by the winner
of the game, and how draws are determined. These rules can be added to or removed from the various regions in the
game world, depending on choices that the player makes.
The main in-game purpose for playing was to gain rare cards, which could then be "refined" by Quezacotl's Card
Mod ability into rare items, used for upgrading weapons, teaching abilities, or further refining into spells or
ammunition for use in one of the Limit Break abilities.
In 1999, following the release of Final Fantasy VIII, Japanese games company Bandai produced a full set of
collectible Triple Triad cards. The set was made up of the 110 cards as seen in the game along with 72 artwork cards
and a collectors edition playing mat.[4] Because the set was only released commercially in Japan and was not
generally available in America or Europe, the cards have become a rare collectors item.
The game remains very popular, with many free third-party internet versions currently thriving online. These online
editions generally add cards for other games, and many have additional rule sets.

Chocobo World
Chocobo World (RPGOdekake Chokobo RPG) is a handheld electronic game designed by
Hiroyuki Itou of Square Co. (now Square Enix) for the PocketStation handheld game console. The game can be
played exclusively, but is intended as a minigame to Final Fantasy VIII.[5] The game was present in all localizations
of Final Fantasy VIII, but the PocketStation itself was only released in Japan.[6] It was later ported to the Windows
version of Final Fantasy VIII in 2000.[7] The game allows players to control Boko, a baby chocobo, on his quest to
save his friend Mog from the clutches of an evil demon.
The game's screen consists of black and white pixel graphics and is presented in a manner similar to the "virtual pet"
concept conceived by Bandai's Tamagotchi. To play in conjunction with Final Fantasy VIII, the player must find
Boko in the world of Final Fantasy VIII. Once accomplished, the player receives a user interface for communicating
with the minigame. At any time, the player may send Boko into Chocobo World to gain experience and collect
special items, which are transferred back for use in Final Fantasy VIII. In addition, Boko may be used as a summon
in Final Fantasy VIII.[8]

Minigames

Boko faces a Blobra on the battle


screen

52
In Chocobo World, Boko perpetually wanders around a nondescript landscape in
search of "events" to interact with, such as enemy battles. Depending on how the
player sets the "Move" option, Boko may break from his path to navigate to the
nearest event perpendicular to his direction of travel. Players can also turn off the
"Event Wait" option, eliminating the need for player input, although choosing this
option prevents encounters with special events. At any time, players can intervene
and halt Boko's computer-controlled movement in favor of manually controlling
him. Events are shown on the map as black dots, while Boko's location is
represented by a flickering black dot. When an event is cleared, it vanishes on the
map, only to be replaced by another in a random location. When Boko gains a level
of experience through battling enemies, the map resets and randomly redistributes

events across the world.[5]


Battles are the most common event the player encounters in Chocobo World. Upon confronting an enemy, the player
is thrust into the battle screen and must fight until either the enemy or Boko is defeated. Combatant health is
represented by numerical "hit points" displayed on the far sides of the playing screen; the first creature who's hit
points reach zero loses the battle. Combat relies on a variant of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system featured in
Final Fantasy VIII. In battle, Boko and his opponent each have a time counter; the first combatant's counter to reach
zero is allowed to attack, upon which both time counters reset and the process repeats itself. By alternately pressing
the left and right buttons, players can speed up Boko's time counter, reducing the time required for him to attack.
Upon winning a battle, Boko receives a magic stone which is randomly placed on a tic-tac-toe-style board. If three
stones line up in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row, Boko gains a "level" of experience, which increases his hit
point count in Chocobo World and his strength in Final Fantasy VIII. If the player finds Mog within Chocobo World,
he will assist Boko in battle as a last resort. If Mog's attack fails to defeat the enemy, he leaves his partner and Boko
loses the battle. After losing, Boko must rest to restore his hit points, while the player is allowed to continue the
game without penalty.[5]

Tetra Master
Similar to Triple Triad, Tetra Master is a card game found in Final Fantasy IX. Unlike most of the minigames in
the series, a few Tetra Master games are required to be played, one at the beginning of the game, and several closer
to the end. The game is played between two players on a four-by-four square grid of blank spaces, where cards are
placed as the game progresses.[9] Cards depict various characters, monsters or other items from Final Fantasy IX.
Each card features four values written across the card, and has anywhere from zero to eight arrows corresponding to
the sides and corners of the card. The basis of the game is for cards on the grid to 'challenge' adjacent cards, whereby
the values written on the card are assessed to decide the winner.
In a basic game of Tetra Master, each player has five cards, neither knowing the other's
hand. Just before the game commences, up to six grid-blocks can be placed on the game
grid randomly. These prevent cards from being placed in that grid square.[10] A coin-flip
decision is made as to which of the two players shall begin. The players alternate placing
cards onto the game grid. If a player places a card onto the grid with an arrow on it
pointing to one of the other player's cards, then a card battle begins.[9] If the other player's
card does not have an arrow opposing the attacking player's card's arrow, then it becomes
in the control of the attacking player. Otherwise, the winner of the card battle is chosen
based on the cards' stats.[11] If a card is taken, then it in turn takes any cards it can have an
unopposed card battle with.[12]

A Tetra Master card.

Every card has four values, or stats. Each of these stats relate to the strength of the card. The second value from the
left is always an alphabetical value, while the other three stats increase on a hexadecimal range, meaning they can

Minigames
range from zero to fifteen, with the letters A through F representing the numbers ten through fifteen. These stats are,
in order, the power, the battle class, the physical defense, and the magical defense of the card.[10]
Each stat represents a range of possible values, with the actual value of the stat being randomly chosen in that range
whenever a battle begins. The power stat is the offensive value of the card. The physical defense and magical
defense stats are the physical and magic defenses of the card. The battle class stat is either a P, M, X, or A, and refers
to whether the card's class is physical, magical, flexible, or assault. This affects which stat the attacking card attacks.
Physical will attack the Physical Defense stat while Magical will attack the Magical Defense stat. Flexible will attack
the lowest of the two defenses and Assault will attack the lowest number on the card.[10]
The player who controls the most cards when all cards have been placed is declared
the winner. If both players have the same number of cards, then no winner is
declared. The winning player may take one of the cards from the opposition's set, but
only one which was captured during the game. A game win is declared "perfect" if
either player succeeds in controlling all of the cards at the end of a game. In this
An example of card hierarchy
situation, the winning player claims all of the opposition's cards.[13] There is also a
chance that one of the stats of one of the winning player's cards will upgrade after a
battle, though each card has its own limits on how much it can be upgraded.[10]
Within Final Fantasy IX, one's collector's level increases and decreases as they play more Tetra Master, depending
upon how many unique cards that player owns.[14] To achieve the highest collector's level, the player must collect
one of every card in the game, each one with a different arrow pattern, and each one either A or X class.[15]
A board game version of Tetra Master was released for a short time in Europe. It consisted of 120 cards, two
ten-sided dice, a manual, a double-sided playing board featuring two scenes from Final Fantasy IX, ten yellow
counters and ten red counters. It featured a simplified version of the rules used in the game.[16]
Tetra Master is available to play online on the PlayStation 2 or a Windows PC using Square's PlayOnline service for
a monthly fee.[17] Players may choose to compete against computers or other players. Cards may also be traded,
auctioned, and bought from or sold to a card shop using in-game currency.[17] Users outside of Japan must purchase
Final Fantasy XI to access the PlayOnline service on the PlayStation 2; however, subscription to Tetra Master does
not require a subscription to Final Fantasy XI.

Chocobo Hot and Cold


Final Fantasy IX also had an additional minigame named Chocobo Hot and Cold. Upon the acquisition of a
Chocobo, the player becomes able to access the game inside of Chocobo Forests. No games of Chocobo Hot and
Cold are required to be played during the game, though items received through the game could be used in the rest of
Final Fantasy IX, including both regular game items and clues towards discovering more items in the main game.
Chocobo Hot and Cold is played inside of Chocobo Forests while riding a chocobo. The player uses the chocobo to
peck at the ground, with the chocobo emitting different sounds corresponding to how far away from the closest
buried item the player is.[18] Upon the discovery of the location of a buried item, the player must peck repeatedly at
the ground to unearth the item, with more valuable items being buried deeper and thus requiring more pecks. The
player typically begins the game with a minute to find as many items as possible, though this varies between forests.
The player can also extend their time by collecting many items before time expires. Besides items and gil, the player
can unearth chocographs, which are pictures hinting at the location of items buried outside of the chocobo forest in
the main game world. These items can be retrieved in much the same way as the items in the minigame.[19]
Chocobo Hot and Cold was added to FFXI in late 2006. It is played almost exactly the same, the only difference
being that you must receive a certain kind of wildgrass from the stables each time you want to play. This can be
bought from any stable in one of the three major cities.[20]

53

Minigames

54

Blitzball
In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, Blitzball is a sport featuring six-man teams that combines the physicality
of Rugby with Soccer kicks for scoring and the hand passes of water polo (in fact, it has some similarities with
Underwater rugby). The game is played underwater in a large sphere pool suspended in the air. Although blitzball is
a crucial element to Final Fantasy X's plot, only one game is required to be played.
The blitzball minigame is played from a top-down perspective, with the player controlling his team members in turn.
Teams are made up of six players a side, of whom one is the goalkeeper. The aim is to kick a dimpled ball (called the
blitzball) into the opponent's goal area. The team with the most goals after two five-minute halves is declared the
winner. As characters advance through the ranks they learn many new tricks to improve both their offensive and
defensive skills, called techniques. Defensive techniques in blitzball often include violent tackles. Some tackles are
intended to poison, cripple, or knock opponents unconscious altogether. As substitutions are not allowed outside of
halftime intermissions, the use of these techniques can offer teams a temporary numerical advantage. Special
goal-shooting and goal-tending techniques can also be learned. The ball always ends up in the hands of a player or in
the goal, whether fumbled or blocked.
When the blitzball mini-game first becomes available in Final Fantasy
X, the player takes control of the Besaid Aurochs, and is given a
standard player roster, which the player may alter by signing up other
players from around the world, including players who began as
members of the five other teams. Likewise, other teams may change
their rosters as well.
The blitzball minigame in Final Fantasy X-2 differs from the one seen
in Final Fantasy X, as players no longer directly manipulate the actions
of their blitzball team members. Rather, they act as the coach, training
and selecting players for their team.[21]

A goal is scored in the blitzball minigame in


Final Fantasy X

There are six teams in the blitzball minigame in Final Fantasy X and
Final Fantasy X-2. These include the Al Bhed Pscyhes (from the Al Bhed home, Home), Luca Goers (from the city
of Luca), Ronso Fangs (from the Ronso hometown of Mount Gagazet), Guado Glories (from the home of the Guado,
Guadosalam), Kilika Beasts (from the island of Kilika) and the Besaid Aurochs (from the island of Besaid). In Final
Fantasy X, the Luca Goers and Al Bhed Psyches start off as the strongest teams but by the end they are mediocre to
average at best. Both these teams start off with high shoot, endurance, attack and block attributes, but have average
passing stats. The Guado Glories are characterized as having the fastest players in Final Fantasy X, but in Final
Fantasy X-2, they have the slowest players. Their key stats include passing and their weaknesses are shooting and
endurance. They are average throughout the game. The Ronso Fangs are the slowest team in Final Fantasy X, but
have average speed in Final Fantasy X-2. They are known to have consistently high endurance, attack and shooting
values, but lack in the passing and block departments. The Kilika Beasts are the most interesting team because they
start of with arguably worse stats than even the Besaid Aurochs, but by the end of the game, they end up having the
best players. In fact, having all 5 or 6 Beasts as part of one's final team is considered an important strategic move by
many players and as such, they are highly valued by all teams beyond level 60.

Minigames

Sphere Break
Sphere Break is a minigame within the game Final
Fantasy X-2. The game has a numerical grid that has to
be dealt with using a set of rules. The mechanics of the
minigame are purely mathematical, relying on sums
and multiplications; the aim is to create the most
multiples of a "core number" by combining numbers of
the sixteen coins on the board. The game is played on a
four-by-four grid of blank spaces, which are randomly
populated with coins at the beginning of each turn
except for the four golden entry Coins in the center. All
coins are numbered from one to nine and possess
A Sphere Break game in progress.
several different attributes that can help the player in
the Sphere Break minigame itself, such as Echo
bonuses or Quota multipliers, or gain items that can help in the various battles in Final Fantasy X-2.[22]
Before the game starts, a set number of border coins that needs to be collected by the end of the game, or quota, is
determined, as well the four entry coins to be used, the number of turns allowed, and the time limit per turn. The
empty spaces on the board are then randomly populated with coins with the chosen entry coins in the center, and the
Core Sphere produces a random number from one to nine. The player first selects one entry coin, then chooses any
number of border coins and entry coins until the total value of the selected coins is a multiple of the core sphere,
called a core break. This ends the turn, and the sum of the selected coin values are added towards the quota. Any
border coins used are removed from play and replaced with a random coin at a later turn, and all other border coins
have their values increased by one. Any coin whose value goes over nine is also replaced. The next turn then begins,
and the player continues until there are no turns remaining, the quota is filled, or all border coins are used up.
Entry coins may also contain bonus attributes, such as multipliers to the next turn's score, or items to be used within
Final Fantasy X-2. These bonuses or items can only be obtained if the applicable entry coin is used during play.

Reception and criticism


The Electric Playground and Malaysian website The Star Online both noted the similarity of Chocobo World to
another digital pet game, Tamagotchi,[23] with The Electric Playground describing the minigame as "very nice" and
pleasing.[24] Ars Technica thought that players who enjoy "walking as a Chocobo on the horizontal plane of infinity"
might find the minigame fun.[25] IGN considered the PC version of the minigame a "nice touch" to Final Fantasy
VIII, noting that users can play the former while doing other activities on their computer since it runs on a tiny
window on the screen.[26] Conversely, The Star Online felt that playing the minigame on a PC was "a little boring"
and deplored the lack of compatibility with Palm devices.[23]
Triple Triad was praised by GameSpot as a "more-than-worthy RPG minigame", finding it engaging and unique.[3]
Tetra Master, however, was seen by GameSpot as inferior and confusing compared to Triple Triad, as the rules for it
were only vaguely explained in Final Fantasy IX and there were very few rewards earned from playing it despite its
extensiveness.[27] GameSpot has also commented that "trivial minigames have been creeping into the Final Fantasy
games at an alarming rate over the last few years, and in this regard, [Final Fantasy] X-2 is definitely the most
egregious offender in the series".[28]

55

Minigames

See also
List of fictional games
Minigame

External links
Tetra Master [29] official website at PlayOnline

References
[1] "Final Fantasy VII: Gold Saucer" (http:/ / www. eyesonff. com/ ff7/ goldsaucer. php). Eyes on Final Fantasy. . Retrieved 2008-05-19.
[2] Buchanan, Levi (2005). "Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/ 594/ 594902p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2006-08-11.
[3] Vestal, Andrew (February 24, 1999). "Final Fantasy VIII for PlayStation Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy8/
review. html). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2007-11-15.
[4] "Final Fantasy VIII: Triple Triad" (http:/ / www. boardgamegeek. com/ game/ 15957). Board Game geek (http:/ / www. boardgamegeek.
com/ ). . Retrieved 2006-12-07.
[5] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.3840.
SLUS-00892GH.
[6] IGN staff (July 15, 1999). "FFVIII PocketStation Opens Up Chocobo World" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 068/ 068855p1. html).
www.ign.com. . Retrieved 2006-07-18.
[7] Dan Calderman (2000). "Chocobo World Playable on PC" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q1-2000/ 010600c. html). www.rpgamer.com.
. Retrieved 2006-07-18.
[8] IGN Staff (2000-01-28). "IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review" (http:/ / uk. pc. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161737p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-03-31.
[9] Alleyway Jack: Let's talk about how to actually play the game. You take turns placing your cards on a 4x4 grid with your opponent.
Sometimes your opponent's card flips. That's because of the yellow arrows on the corners and the sides of the cards. If your arrow is facing in
the direction of your opponent's card, that card becomes yours. But if your opponent's card has an arrow facing yours, a card battle begins.
Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation. (2000-11-14)
[10] Birlew, Dan (2000). FINAL FANTASY IX Official Strategy Guide. Brady Publishing. p.53. ISBN0744000416.
[11] Mogster: If your card wins the card battle, you win the opponent's card. If your card loses the card battle, the opponent wins your card.
Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation. (2000-11-14)
[12] Alleyway Jack: If your card wins against the opponent's card, all the cards facing that card's arrows are yours. That's called a combo.
Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation. (2000-11-14)
[13] Alleyway Jack: What is a perfect game, you ask? You get one of your opponent's cards when you win. If you flip over all of your
opponent's cards and play a perfect game, you can take all of them! Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation.
(2000-11-14)
[14] Alleyway Jack: Let me tell you about collector's levels! Check your menu and go to the section entitled Card. You can check your
collector's level there. You can level up as you collect more cards. Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation.
(2000-11-14)
[15] Piggyback (2001-01-29). Final Fantasy IX: Official Strategy Guide (Strategies & Secrets). Piggyback Interactive. ISBN1-903511-10-0.
[16] "Final Fantasy IX Tetra Master Card Game" (http:/ / www. boardgamegeek. com/ game/ 7604). BoardGameGeek (http:/ / www.
boardgamegeek. com/ ). . Retrieved May 18, 2007.
[17] "TetraMaster" (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ tetraus/ about. html). PlayOnline (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ ). . Retrieved May 19, 2007.
[18] Mene: Here's the thing, kupo. Choco has the ability to seek out treasures and items hidden underground. But I can't ride chocobos. Will you
help me, kupo? 60 gil per game, and you keep all the items Choco digs up! Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts).
PlayStation. (2000-11-14)
[19] Mene: There's a picture of some location on the stone, kupo. This place must have tons of treasures... Why don't you go out of the forest and
look for this place? Square Co. Final Fantasy IX. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation. (2000-11-14)
[20] "Chocobo Raising" (http:/ / www. playonline. com/ pcd/ update/ ff11us/ 20060822VOL2B1/ detail. html). PlayOnline (http:/ / www.
playonline. com/ ). . Retrieved 2007-05-11.
[21] "Final Fantasy X-2 Side Quests- Blitzball" (http:/ / squareonline. ffshrine. org/ FF/ ff10-2/ blitzball. php). Square Online (http:/ / www.
square-online. info/ ). . Retrieved 2006-12-08.
[22] "Final Fantasy X-2 Review" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 458/ 458474p3. html). IGN (http:/ / www. ign. com/ ). . Retrieved 2006-12-08.
[23] The Star Online : TechCentral - Malaysia Technology (http:/ / star-techcentral. com/ reviews/ story. asp?file=/ 2000/ 5/ 2/
conquering_the_latest_fantasy& sec=reviews& ref=game& new=0& cat=4& rid=33)
[24] Electric Playground (http:/ / www. elecplay. com/ reviews_article. php?article=2270)

56

Minigames
[25] Yellow fever and bird flu: the Chocobo allure (http:/ / arstechnica. com/ journals/ thumbs. ars/ 2007/ 03/ 26/
yellow-fever-and-bird-flu-the-chocobo-allure)
[26] IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review (http:/ / uk. pc. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161737p1. html)
[27] Vestal, Andrew (July 19, 2000). "Final Fantasy IX Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy9/ review. html). GameSpot.
. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
[28] Shoemaker, Brad (2003). "Final Fantasy X-2 for PlayStation 2 Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps2/ rpg/ finalfantasyx2/ review.
html). GameSpot (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). . Retrieved July 30, 2006.
[29] http:/ / www. playonline. com/ tetraus/ about. html

Music
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video
games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous console role-playing
game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise.[1] [2] The
music of the Final Fantasy series refers to the soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series of video games, as well as
the surrounding medley of soundtrack, arranged, and compilation albums. The series' music ranges from very light
background music to emotionally intense interweavings of character and situation leitmotifs.
The franchise includes a main series of numbered games as well as several spin-off series such as Crystal Chronicles
and the Final Fantasy Tactics series. The primary composer of music for the main series was Nobuo Uematsu, who
single-handedly composed the soundtracks for the first nine games, as well as directing the production of many of
the albums. Music for the spin-off series and main series games beginning with Final Fantasy X was created by a
variety of composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Kumi Tanioka.
The majority of Final Fantasy games, including all of the main series games, have received a soundtrack album
release. Many have also inspired orchestral, vocal, or piano arrangement albums. In addition to the regular albums, a
number of compilation albums of songs from multiple games have been produced both by Square Enix and outside
groups. Music from the original soundtracks of the games has been arranged as sheet music for the piano and
published by DOREMI Music Publishing, while sheet music from the piano albums have been published by Yamaha
Music Media. The franchise's music has been performed numerous times in concert tours and other live
performances such as the Orchestral Game Music Concerts, Symphonic Game Music Concerts, and the Play! A
Video Game Symphony and Video Games Live concert tours, as well as forming the basis of specific Final Fantasy
concerts such as the Dear Friends and Distant Worlds concert tours.

Themes
Although each game in the Final Fantasy series offers a variety of music, there are some frequently reused themes.
Most of the games open with a piece called "Prelude", which is based on a short piece by Bach that has evolved from
a simple, two-voice, arpeggiated theme in the early games to a complex melodic arrangement in recent
installments.[3] [4] [5] It has been described as being "as recognizable in gaming circles as the Super Mario Bros.
theme or Sonic the Hedgehog's title screen pop".[4] Battle victories in the first 10installments of the series were
accompanied by a victory fanfare; this theme has become one of the most recognized pieces of music in the series.[6]
[7]
Chocobos and moogles, two mascots for the series, each have their own theme songs. The basic theme for
chocobos is rearranged in a different musical style for each installment, and usually has a title ending in "de
Chocobo", while moogles have a theme entitled "Moogle's Theme", which first appeared in Final Fantasy V.[3] The
chocobo inspired the spin-off Chocobo series, and many of the songs from the soundtracks of that series are
stylistically based on the main chocobo theme.[8] A piece called "Prologue" or "Final Fantasy", originally featured in
the first game, has appeared in some form in every game in the main series; originally appearing in the prologue of
the games. It sometimes appears as a full arrangement and surfaces other times as a theme played during the finale
track.[3] [9] Although leitmotifs are often used in the more character-driven installments, theme music is typically

57

Music

58

reserved for main characters and recurring plot elements.[1]

History
Main series
19871994: Famicom era
Timeline of release years
1987

Final Fantasy

1988

Final Fantasy II

1989
1990

Final Fantasy III

1991

Final Fantasy IV

1992

Final Fantasy V

1993
1994

Final Fantasy VI

1995
1996
1997

Final Fantasy VII

1998
1999

Final Fantasy VIII

2000

Final Fantasy IX

2001

Final Fantasy X

2002

Final Fantasy XI

2003
2004
2005
2006

Final Fantasy XII

2007
2008
2009

Final Fantasy XIII

When Nobuo Uematsu was working at a music rental shop in Tokyo, a woman working in the art department for
Square, which would later become Square Enix, approached him about creating music for some of their titles in
development, and he agreed. Uematsu considered it a side job and was skeptical it would become any sort of
full-time position. He said it was a way to make some money on the side, while also keeping his part-time job at the
music rental shop.[10] Before joining Square, he composed music for television commercials.[11] The first score he
produced for Square was the soundtrack for the computer role-playing game Cruise Chaser Blassty. While working
at Square, he met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, who asked him if he wanted to compose music for
some of his games, which Uematsu agreed to.[10] Sakaguchi gave him a few instructions for the soundtrack of Final
Fantasy, Uematsu's 16th score,[5] such as the need for "battle" and "town" music, but left the remainder of the
composing to Uematsu, aside from informing him of the specific technical limitations of the Famicom system. The

Music

59

game was released in 1987.[12]


After the success of Final Fantasy I, Uematsu remained with the series to compose the soundtrack to Final Fantasy
II (1988). Although I and II were composed separately, music from the two games have only been released on
albums together. These albums include a soundtrack album and two arranged albums. Final Fantasy III (1990) was
released two years later and featured a soundtrack from Uematsu that has been lauded as one of the best soundtracks
of any NES game.[13] The soundtrack spawned two soundtrack albums, as well as a disc of vocal and orchestral
arrangements.[14]
Final Fantasy IV (1991) was the first game in the series to be released
for the Super Famicom, and the resultant changes in the sound
technology resulted in a composition process that Uematsu noted was
"excruciating".[15] Uematsu has stated that, beginning with this
soundtrack, he started to move away from the idea that the soundtrack
had to be solely an orchestral score.[16] In addition to the soundtrack
album, the music of IV was arranged and released in the style of Celtic
music, performed by Mire Breatnach. It also sparked the release of an
album of piano arrangements, something which would be repeated for
every subsequent main-series game to date.[14]
Having now gained experience with the Super Famicom sound chip,
Uematsu felt that the sound quality of the soundtrack for the next game
in the series, Final Fantasy V (1992), was much better than that of IV.
Regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu
He named this as the primary reason that the soundtrack album was
two CDs long, a first for the series.[17] Like IV, the discography of Final Fantasy V included an arranged and a piano
album in addition to the main soundtrack album.[14]
In 1994, Square released Final Fantasy VI (1994), the last for the Super Famicom, and the accompanying soundtrack
has been considered one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever composed.[18] The game's discography also
includes orchestral and piano arrangement CDs, as well as EPs of unreleased tracks and character themes. The
soundtrack included the first attempt in the Final Fantasy series to include a vocal track, "Aria di Mezzo Carattere",
which has been described as "one of Uematsu's greatest achievements".[9] This track features an unintelligible
synthesized "voice" that harmonizes with the melody, as technical limitations for the SPC700 sound format chip
prevented the use of an actual vocal track. The first actual vocals in a song appeared in Final Fantasy VII.[14]
19972000: PlayStation era
Beginning with Final Fantasy VII (1997), the series moved platforms to the PlayStation. While the media
capabilities of the PlayStation allowed for CD quality music, Uematsu opted instead to use MIDI sounds.[19] The
soundtrack album ran a record four discs, and Uematsu has stated that the move into the "PlayStation era", which
allowed video game composers to use sounds recorded in the studio rather than from synthesizers, had "definitely
been the biggest change" to video game music.[20] VII was the first game in the series to include a track with
digitized vocals, "One-Winged Angel", which has been described as Uematsu's "most recognizable contribution" to
the music of the series.[21] The song, described as "a fanfare to impending doom", is said to not "follow any normal
genre rules" and has been termed "possibly the most innovative idea in the series' musical history."[19] The lyrics of
the song, a Latin choral track which plays at the climax of the game, were taken from the medieval poetry on which
Carl Orff based his Carmina Burana, specifically the songs "Estuans Interius", "O Fortuna", "Veni, Veni, Venias"
and "Ave Formosissima".[22] There was a plan to use a "famous vocalist" for the ending song as a "theme song" for
the game, but the idea was dropped due to time constraints and thematic concerns.[21] [23] The idea of a vocal theme
song would be resurrected in the following installment of the series. In 2006, IGN ranked VII's music the best Final
Fantasy soundtrack to date and cited the "gripping" character tracks and "One-Winged Angel" in particular as

Music
contributing factors.[9] The discography of the original game only includes soundtrack, best of, and piano albums.[14]
However, beginning in 2005 Square Enix produced a collection of media centered on the game and world of Final
Fantasy VII entitled the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. This collection has produced five additional soundtrack
albums, each for a different game or animation.[14]
The soundtrack of Final Fantasy VIII (1999), unlike that of VI and VII, did not include character themes, as Uematsu
felt they would not be effective.[24] In response to a question by IGN music stating that the music of Final Fantasy
VIII was very dark and perhaps influenced by the plot of the game, Uematsu stated "the atmosphere of music varies
depending on story line, of course, but it's also my intention to put various types of music into one game".[25]
Although the idea had not been used in the previous game, he thought a ballad would closely relate to the theme and
characters of VIII, and composed "Eyes on Me", performed by Faye Wong.[24] The song was released as a single,
while Square produced soundtrack, orchestral, and piano albums for the game's music.[14]
The music of Final Fantasy IX, (2000), was based around a theme of medieval music, and was heavily inspired by
previous Final Fantasy games, incorporating themes and motifs from earlier soundtracks. Uematsu felt previous
games VII and VIII had a mood of realism, but that Final Fantasy IX was more of a fantasy, so "a serious piece as
well as silly, fun pieces could fit in".[26] [27] Uematsu has claimed several times that the music of IX is his favorite
work, as well as the one he is most proud of.[28] [29] Like Final Fantasy VIII, IX included a vocal theme, "Melodies
of Life", which was sung by Emiko Shiratori. The game's discography includes albums of the original soundtrack, a
selection of the best tracks, a piano arrangement album, an album of unreleased tracks, and a single of "Melodies of
Life".[14]
2001present: other composers
Final Fantasy X (2001) marked the first time in the series' history that
Uematsu was not the sole composer for the soundtrack. Released on
the PlayStation 2, the score was created by Masashi Hamauzu and
Junya Nakano. Uematsu contributed 51tracks, Hamauzu contributed
20tracks and Nakano contributed 18tracks to the game.[30] The two
new composers were chosen for the soundtrack based on their ability to
create music that was different than Uematsu's while still working
together.[31] The discography for the game includes the soundtrack
album, piano, and vocal arrangement albums, and an EP of songs by
Uematsu inspired by the game. The theme song for the game, "Suteki
da ne", which translates to "Isn't it Wonderful?", was written by Nobuo
Hitoshi Sakimoto was the main composer of
Uematsu and Kazushige Nojima and was sung by Japanese folk singer
Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics.
Ritsuki Nakano, known as "RIKKI", whom the music team contacted
while searching for a singer whose music reflected an Okinawan
atmosphere.[32] "Suteki da ne" is sung in its original Japanese form in both the Japanese and English versions of
Final Fantasy X, and was released as a single.[33]
Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka composed Final Fantasy XI (2002). It was the last Final Fantasy
soundtrack that Uematsu was a main composer for until the forthcoming Final Fantasy XIV, as he resigned from
Square Enix in November 2004.[1] The expansion packs were scored by Mizuta alone. The opening of the game
features choral music with lyrics in Esperanto. According to Uematsu, the choice of language was meant to
symbolize the developers' hope that their online game could contribute to cross-cultural communication and
cooperation.[34] The game and each of its four expansion packs have produced a soundtrack album; the discography
for the game also includes two piano albums, an album of unreleased tracks, and two arranged albums.[14]
Final Fantasy XII (2006) was mainly composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, although six compositions were contributed
by his fellow composers Hayato Matsuo and Masaharu Iwata. Uematsu only contributed the theme song, "Kiss Me

60

Music

61

Good-Bye", sung by Angela Aki.[35] Violinist Taro Hakase also contributed a piece named "Symphonic Poem
'Hope'" featured during the game's ending credits. Sakimoto was brought in to compose the soundtrack to the game
by Yasumi Matsuno, the producer of the game, five months before the game was officially announced.[36] Sakimoto
experienced difficulty following in Uematsu's footsteps, but he decided to create a unique soundtrack in his own
way, although he cites Uematsu as his biggest musical influence.[37] [38] Sakimoto did not meet with Uematsu for
direction on creating the soundtrack and tried to avoid copying Uematsu's style from previous Final Fantasy
soundtracks. However, he did attempt to ensure that his style would mesh with Uematsu's "Kiss Me Good-Bye" and
the overall vision of the series.[36] The soundtrack has not inspired a piano album like IV through XI, with the current
discography limited to the soundtrack album and singles for "Kiss Me Good-Bye" and "Symphonic Poem
'Hope'".[14]
The newest game in the main series is Final Fantasy XIII (2009), and was composed by Masashi Hamauzu.[39]
Although its main theme song was originally announced to be composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Uematsu instead gave
the song to Hamauzu to compose after being selected as the composer for Final Fantasy XIV, making XIII the first
game in the main series to not have any work by Uematsu.[40] A single of the game's theme song "Because You're
Here" ( Kimi ga Iru Kara), sung by Sayuri Sugawara, was released on December 2, 2009.[41] The
international versions of XIII feature the song "My Hands" sung by English singer Leona Lewis from her second
album Echo. XIII was released in Japan on December 17, 2009 and forms the basis of a Fabula Nova Crystallis
Final Fantasy XIII collection of games which take place in the same universe but are not directly related to each
other.[42] [43] The other two games announced for the collection are Final Fantasy Agito XIII and Final Fantasy
Versus XIII.[44] Final Fantasy XIV, announced at the June 2, 2009, Sony E3 conference, will be composed by
Uematsu through his "Smile Please" studio.[45]

Spin-offs
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Timeline of release years
1997

Final Fantasy Tactics


Fushigina Dungeon

1998

Chocobo's Dungeon 2

1999

Chocobo Racing

2000
2001
2002
2003

Final Fantasy X-2


Tactics Advance

2004

Before Crisis
Crystal Chronicles

2005

Advent Children
Last Order

2006

Dirge of Cerberus
Chocobo Tales

Music

62
2007

Crisis Core
Revenant Wings
The War of the Lions
Ring of Fates
Grimoire of the Rift
Chocobo's Dungeon

2008

The After Years


Crystal Defenders
My Life as a King
Magic Picture Book

2009

Echoes of Time
My Life as a
Darklord
Vanguard Storm

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is the formal title for a series of games and animated features developed by
Square Enix based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Spearheaded by Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori
Kitase,[46] [47] [48] the series consists of several titles across various platforms, all of which are extensions of the
Final Fantasy VII story. The first announced element of the compilation was Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, an
animated sequel to the original game, though the first to be released was the mobile phone game Before Crisis: Final
Fantasy VII. Before Crisis's soundtrack was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, while Advent Children was scored by
Nobuo Uematsu, Keiji Kawamori, Kenichiro Fukui, and Tsuyoshi Sekito. Other titles in the compilation are Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, the soundtrack of which was composed by Masashi Hamauzu, Crisis Core: Final
Fantasy VII, which was primarily composed by Takeharu Ishimoto with a few tracks provided by Kazuhiko Toyama,
and Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, also composed by Ishimoto.[14]
Advent Children featured a song by former Japanese rock band Bowy's singer Kyosuke Himuro in its ending
credits, the Dirge of Cerberus soundtrack contained two vocal songs by Gackt, including its theme song
"Redemption", and Crisis Core's theme song, "Why", was performed by Ayaka. Each element of the compilation
sparked its own soundtrack album except for Before Crisis and Last Order, which had their soundtracks released
together in one album.[14] Dirge of Cerberus also had a download-only soundtrack album for its Japan-only
multiplayer mode, while "Redemption" and "Why" each had a single release by their respective artists.[49] [50]
Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy X-2 (2003), was the first direct video game sequel to any Final Fantasy game. Despite having
composed the majority of the soundtrack for its prequel, Final Fantasy X, Nobuo Uematsu did not contribute any
music to the project. No songs from X or other games in the series were used in the game. In an attempt to make a
different style of music for the game than previous franchise titles, Square brought Noriko Matsueda and Takahito
Eguchi onboard to compose the music for X-2, as the developers felt they were the "perfect fit" to incorporate a
"pop" style into the music.[51] The game includes two songs with vocalized elements, one of which, the J-Pop song
"real Emotion", was written by Ken Kato and composed by Kazuhiro Hara. The other, J-Pop ballad "1000 Words",
was written by scenario writers Kazushige Nojima and Daisuke Watanabe. Matsueda and Eguchi composed and
arranged the track. Both songs were sung by Jade Villalon from Sweetbox in the English version of the game, and
are available as bonus tracks on the Japanese release of her album Adagio.[52] In the Japanese version of the game
both the songs were sung by Kumi Koda and were released as a single entitled real Emotion/1000 no Kotoba. Koda
also released her own English versions of the songs on her CD single Come with Me, with slightly different versions
of the lyrics than Jade. In addition to Come with Me, the collection of music for Final Fantasy X-2 includes the
two-disc soundtrack album, a piano album, a soundtrack album for the Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last
Mission version of the game, a single for the song "Eternity ~ Memory of Lightwaves", and a set of three singles
themed around the three main characters of the game.[14]

Music
Tactics and Ivalice Alliance series
The Final Fantasy Tactics series is a spin-off of the main Final Fantasy series, consisting of primarily tactical
role-playing games with heavy thematic similarities to the main series. After Final Fantasy XII was set in the same
world, Ivalice, as the two games in the series Final Fantasy Tactics (1997) and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
(2003), Square Enix announced that all future games set in the game world would be part of the new Ivalice Alliance
subseries. These games to date include Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (2007), Final Fantasy Tactics: The War
of the Lions (2007), Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (2007), Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac
Job System (2007), Crystal Defenders (2008), and Crystal Defenders: Vanguard Storm (2009).[53]
The music of these games has been primarily composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, who also composed the main-series
game set in Ivalice, Final Fantasy XII. Masaharu Iwata shared compositional duties with him for Tactics; Sakimoto
composed 47tracks for the game while Iwata composed the other 24.[54] Sakimoto composed almost all of the music
for Tactics Advance, while Uematsu contributed the main theme and Kaori Ohkoshi and Ayako Saso composed
additional battle tracks.[55] Both games have a soundtrack album, while Tactics Advance inspired an arranged album.
Sakimoto again was the composer for Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, though this time he was supported by
composers from his studio Basiscape, and it too sparked a soundtrack album release. He also scored Revenant Wings,
though it primarily consisted of arrangements of his previous work and has not been released as a separate album,
and his work on Tactics was used as the score for Crystal Defenders and Vanguard Storm.[56]
Crystal Chronicles
Another spin-off of the main series, the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series consists of Crystal Chronicles
(2004), its sequel Ring of Fates (2007), and their spin-offs My Life as a King (2008), Echoes of Time (2009), My Life
as a Darklord (2009), and the newest title The Crystal Bearers (2009). Kumi Tanioka is the main composer for the
series, having composed the music for all of the released games. Her only work on the main series to date has been
as one of the co-composers for Final Fantasy XI.[57] She will not be composing the soundtrack for The Crystal
Bearers; Hidenori Iwasaki will be composing it instead.[58] Tanioka is known for using an eclectic mix of
instruments in her albums; she has described the musical style for the soundtrack to Crystal Chronicles as being
based on "ancient instruments". The soundtrack has extensive use of many medieval and Renaissance musical
instrumentssuch as the recorder, the crumhorn and the lute; creating a distinctively rustic feeland also follows
the practices and styles of medieval music.[59] For the soundtrack to Ring of Fates, Tanioka purposefully did not
focus on "world music", instead focusing on "creating a new landscape containing the same atmosphere".[60] Echoes
of Time also incorporates a variety of instruments, including oboes, xylophones, marimbas, and Latin guitars.[61]
Of the released games, Crystal Chronicles, Ring of Fates, and Echoes of Time are the only ones to have a released
soundtrack. Crystal Chronicles also has sparked a single of its vocal theme song, "Sound of the Wind" (
Kaze no Ne), composed by Kumi Tanioka and performed by Fujimoto Yae.[62] Ring of Fates also has an associated
single of its theme song, "A World Without Stars" ( Hoshi no Nai Sekai), written and performed by
Aiko.[63] Echoes of Time did not have a vocal theme song.[61]
Chocobo series
The Chocobo series is a spin-off series of games first developed by Square and later by Square Enix, featuring a
super deformed version of the Final Fantasy series mascotthe chocoboas the protagonist. These games include
Mystery Dungeon installments and a variety of minigame collections over a wide variety of video game consoles.
The series includes over a dozen games, most of which have been released only in Japan.[64] The soundtracks to the
games have been composed by a wide variety of composers, and many of the soundtracks are composed primarily of
arranged versions of tracks from previous Final Fantasy soundtracks, especially the "chocobo" theme.[8]
Only some of the games have led to separate soundtrack releases. The first of these was Chocobo's Mysterious
Dungeon ( Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon),

63

Music
which was scored by Masashi Hamauzu and inspired an orchestral arrangement album also composed by
Hamauzu.[65] The soundtrack of Chocobo's Dungeon 2 was composed by Kumi Tanioka, Yasuhiro Kawakami,
Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenji Ito, and Nobuo Uematsu.[66] The games whose soundtracks were primarily composed of
previous Final Fantasy and Chocobo tracks were Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, which was arranged
by Yuzo Takahashi of Joe Down Studio, Chocobo Racing, whose original tracks were composed by Kenji Ito, and
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales. The sequel to Chocobo Tales, Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book: The
Witch, The Maiden, and the Five Heroes, contains mainly original works, and the two games were scored by Yuzo
Takahashi. Unlike the other Chocobo games, they had a joint soundtrack album release, while Chocobo Tales had a
previous download-only "best of" album.[67]
Others
Other spin-offs of the main Final Fantasy series include Final Fantasy Adventure (1991), a spin-off game later also
considered as the first game in the Mana series, which had references to Final Fantasy removed in its remake, Sword
of Mana.[68] It was scored by Kenji Ito, with one track by Uematsu. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (1992) is an SNES
game scored by Ryuji Sasai and Yasuhiro Kawakami.[69] Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals (1994) is an
animated sequel to Final Fantasy V, and was scored by Masahiko Sato.[70] Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001),
a computer animated science fiction film, was scored by Elliot Goldenthal,[71] and Final Fantasy: Unlimited (2001),
a 25-episode anime series, was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, Shiro Hamaguchi, and Akifumi Tada.[72] The soundtracks
to The Spirits Within and Mystic Quest were released as separate albums, while Unlimited had two soundtrack album
releases.[69] [71] [72] Final Fantasy Adventure saw the release of a soundtrack album, an arranged album, a release
which compiled both previous albums together, and a soundtrack album for its remake.[68]

Merchandise
The majority of games in the franchise, including all of the main series games, have led to a soundtrack album
release. Many have also inspired orchestral, vocal, or piano arrangement albums as well. These albums have been
produced and reprinted by a number of different companies, including DigiCube, NTT Publishing, Square Enix
itself, and many others. Additionally, many albums have been made available at the iTunes Music Store.[73] In
addition to the regular albums, a number of compilation albums of songs from several Final Fantasy games have
been produced both by Square Enix and outside groups, both officially and unofficially. These albums include music
directly from the games, as well as arrangements covering a variety of styles. Square Enix produced the first album,
Final Fantasy 19871994 (1994) and has since produced 13albums, leading up to Final Fantasy Remix (2008). The
first compilation album produced by an outside group was The Best of Final Fantasy 19941999: A Musical Tribute,
released in 2000 by Sherman F. Heinig; the newest is Voices of the Lifestream, an unlicensed download-only album
from OverClocked ReMix released in 2007.[74]
Music from the original soundtracks has been arranged for the piano and published by DOREMI Music
Publishing.[75] Books are available for every main series game except for Final Fantasy V, as well as for Advent
Children and Crystal Chronicles. All songs in each book have been rewritten by Asako Niwa as beginning to
intermediate level piano solos, though they are meant to sound as much like the originals as possible.[76] "Best of"
collections and arrangements for guitar solos and piano duets are also available.[77]
Additionally, the actual piano sheet music from each of the nine Final Fantasy Piano Collections albums has been
published as nine corresponding music books by Yamaha Music Media.[78] Each book contains the original music,
exactly as arranged and performed on the albums. Unlike the Original Score arrangements, these pieces are intended
only for advanced players as they are generally more difficult. Sheet music for the Final Fantasy XI Piano
Collections album included in the Final Fantasy XI OST Premium Box Set was included in that box set, and, like the
album itself, is unavailable for purchase elsewhere;[79] sheet music for the identically named standalone piano album
is published by Yamaha.[78]

64

Music

65

Public performances
Music from Final Fantasy has been performed numerous times in
concert tours and other live performances. Music from the series was
played in the first four concerts of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra's
Orchestral Game Music Concerts series from 1991 to 1994, and each
concert has been released on an album. It has also been played in the
Video Games Live concert tour from 2005 to date as well as the Play! A
Video Game Symphony world tour from 2006 onwards, for which
Nobuo Uematsu composed the opening fanfare that accompanies each
performance.[80] [81] Final Fantasy music was played at the
Rinoa Heartilly shown at the Los Angeles Dear
Symphonic Game Music Concert series, a series of annual German
Friends concert
video game music concerts notable for being the first of their kind
outside of Japan, from 2003 to 2007.[82] [83] The music made up one
fourth of the Symphonic Fantasies concerts in September 2009 which were produced by the creators of the
Symphonic Game Music Concert series.[84] It has also been played by the Australian Eminence Symphony Orchestra,
an independent symphony orchestra specializing in classical music from video games.
Music from the series has also been played in specific Final Fantasy concerts and concert series. After the success of
the 20020220 Music from Final Fantasy concert in 2002, a recording of which was produced as an album, the Tour
de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy was launched in Japan in 2004. It was followed by the Dear Friends -Music
from Final Fantasy- tour in the United States that same year, which was originally scheduled to be a single concert
but grew into a year-long tour.[85] In 2005, a concert entitled More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy was
performed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the first Dear Friends concert and also had an album
published of the performance.[86] The latest Final Fantasy tour is the worldwide Distant Worlds: Music from Final
Fantasy tour, which began in Sweden in 2007 and still continues to date.[87] A recording of its first performance was
released as an album. Nobuo Uematsu additionally plays with The Black Mages, a band which performs Final
Fantasy music in a rock music style. They have performed music live in concert, as well as with orchestras as part of
various concert tours. They have released three albums to date, as well as DVDs of their live performances.[14]
From November 2003 to April 2004, Square Enix U.S.A. launched an AOL Radio station dedicated to music from
the series, initially carrying complete tracks from Final Fantasy XI in addition to samplings from VII through X.[88]
The station was relaunched in July 2006 and still remains on the site. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the American
synchronized swimming duo consisting of Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova were awarded the bronze medal for
their performance to the song "Liberi Fatali" from Final Fantasy VIII.[89]

Artists inspired by Final Fantasy music


Owen Pallett
Piano Squall

External links

Official Square Enix Final Fantasy music site [90]


Nobuo Uematsu's official website [91]
Masashi Hamauzu's Square Enix North America profile [92]
Hitoshi Sakimoto's official website [93]

Music

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[67] Chris, Chocobo and the Magic Books Original Soundtrack: Review by Chris (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ reviews/ chris/
chocobods. shtml), Square Enix Music Online, , retrieved 2009-02-26
[68] Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ sd-sc/ index. html), RPGFan, 2001-11-16, , retrieved
2009-05-04
[69] Gann, Patrick (2001-03-23), Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffmq/ index.
html), RPGFan, , retrieved 2009-05-04
[70] Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals (OAV) (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ encyclopedia/ anime. php?id=613), Anime News
Network, , retrieved 2009-05-04
[71] Coleman, Christpher, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within by Elliot Goldenthal (http:/ / tracksounds. com/ reviews/ finalfantasy. htm),
RPGFan, , retrieved 2009-05-04
[72] Aevloss, Final Fantasy Unlimited Music Adventure Verse 2 :: Review by Aevloss (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ reviews/ aevloss/
ffunlimitedvol2. shtml), Square Enix Music Online, , retrieved 2009-05-04
[73] Square Enix Music Download (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ music/ tunes/ ff/ ), Square Enix, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[74] Radd, David (2007-09-14), Game Daily: OC Remix releases FFVII: Voices of the Lifestream (http:/ / www. gamedaily. com/ articles/ news/
oc-remix-releases-ffvii-voices-of-the-lifestream/ 18011/ ), Game Daily, , retrieved 2007-11-17
[75] (in Japanese) Doremi Music Web Site (http:/ / www. doremi. co. jp/ Doremi/ ATC01. do), DOREMI Music Publishing, , retrieved
2008-09-14
[76] SquareSound Sheet Music Books: Original Scores (http:/ / www. squaresound. com/ original-scores-c171. html), SquareSound, , retrieved
2009-04-10
[77] SquareSound Sheet Music Books: Compilations (http:/ / www. squaresound. com/ compilations-c173. html), SquareSound, , retrieved
2009-04-10
[78] (in Japanese) (http:/ / www. ymm. co. jp/ ), Yamaha Music Media, , retrieved
2008-09-14
[79] Gann, Patrick, Final Fantasy XI OST Premium Box (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff11-box/ index. html), RPGFan, , retrieved
2008-03-28
[80] Matsuzaki, Kimberly; O'Donnell, Ryan (2005-07-15), Video Games Live from 1UP.com (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ feature?pager.
offset=1& cId=3141949), 1UP.com, , retrieved 2009-01-13
[81] Daiker, Brandon (2006-05-27), Play! A Video Game Symphony (http:/ / www. n-sider. com/ contentview. php?contentid=352), N-Sider, ,
retrieved 2008-04-08
[82] Symphonic Game Music Concerts (http:/ / www. vgmconcerts. com/ main. php?section=about& lang=english), 2009-04-02, , retrieved
2009-04-10
[83] Video-game Concerts Bring New Life To Hallowed Halls (http:/ / www. gameinformer. com/ News/ Story/ 200903/ N09. 0326. 1901. 55028.
htm), Game Informer Online, 2009-03-26, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[84] "Concert program for download" (http:/ / www. symphonicfantasies. com/ post/ 176557691/
the-concert-program-for-symphonic-fantasies-is). Symphonic Fantasies. 2009-09-01. . Retrieved 2009-11-02.
[85] Uematsu's Music (http:/ / www. square-enix-usa. com/ uematsu/ concert/ dear_friends. html), Square Enix, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[86] Uematsu's Music (http:/ / www. square-enix-usa. com/ uematsu/ concert/ more_friends. html), Square Enix, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[87] Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy (http:/ / www. ffdistantworlds. com/ main. php?section=news& subs=latest& full=1), Square
Enix, 2007-10-15, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[88] Fans Speak: Final Fantasy Radio Returns to AOL (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0724/ ), Square Enix,
2006-07-24, , retrieved 2009-04-10
[89] NBCOlympics.com 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games | Free Online Videos, Olympic Event | Athlete Interviews | NBC Olympics
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Nbcolympics.com, , retrieved 2008-09-14
[90] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ music/
[91] http:/ / www. square-enix-usa. com/ uematsu/
[92] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ music/ cm/ profile/ hamauzu. html
[93] http:/ / www. sakimoto. jp/ inamerica/

68

69

Main series
''Final Fantasy I''
Final Fantasy

Box art for the original NES release in North America


Developer(s)

Square
Micro Cabin (MSX2)
TOSE (WSC, PS, GBA, PSP)

Publisher(s)

NES
JP
Square
NA
Nintendo
MSX2
JP
Micro Cabin
Game Boy Advance
JP
Square Enix
Other regions
Nintendo
PlayStation Portable
Square Enix
Virtual Console
Square Enix
iPhone OS
Square Enix

Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano

Writer(s)

Akitoshi Kawazu
Kenji Terada

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX2, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, mobile phones,
PlayStation Portable, Virtual Console, iPhone OS

Release
date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

''Final Fantasy I''

70

Rating(s)

Apple: 9+
ESRB: E (GBA)/E10+ (PSP)
OFLC: G8+
PEGI: 3+
USK: Free for all

Media

2 megabit cartridge
3.5" Floppy Disk
32 megabit cartridge
CD-ROM
128 megabit cartridge
NTT DoCoMo
FOMA
CDMA 1X WIN
UMD
download

Final Fantasy () is a console role-playing game created by Hironobu Sakaguchi,


developed and published in Japan by Square (now Square Enix) in 1987, and published in North America by
Nintendo of America in 1990. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series. Originally released for the
Nintendo Entertainment System, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently
packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors,
who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends.
Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
The game received generally positive reviews, and it is regarded as one of the most influential and successful
role-playing games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, playing a major role in popularizing the genre. Praise
focused on the game's graphics, while criticism targeted the time spent wandering in search of random battle
encounters to raise the player's experience level. All versions of Final Fantasy sold a combined total of two million
copies worldwide by March 2003.

Gameplay
Final Fantasy has four basic modes of gameplay: an overworld map, town and dungeon maps, a battle screen, and a
menu screen. The overworld map is a scaled-down version of the game's fictional world, which the player uses to
direct characters to various locations. The primary means of travel across the overworld is by foot, but a canoe, a
ship, and an airship become available as the player progresses. With the exception of some battles in preset locations
or with bosses, enemies are randomly encountered on field maps and on the overworld map when traveling by foot,
canoe, or ship, and must either be fought or fled from.[1] The player begins the game by choosing four characters to
form a party, which lasts for the duration of the game.[2]
The game's plot develops as the player progresses through towns and dungeons. Some town citizens offer helpful
information, while others own shops that sell items or equipment. Dungeons appear in areas that include forests,
caves, mountains, swamps, underwater caverns and buildings. Dungeons often have treasure chests containing rare
items that are not available in most stores. The game's menu screen allows the player to keep track of their
experience points and levels, to choose which equipment their characters wield, and to use items and magic. A
character's most basic attribute is their level, which can range from one to fifty, and is determined by the character's
amount of experience. Gaining a level increases the character's attributes, such as their maximum hit points (HP),
which represents a character's remaining health; a character dies when they reach zero HP. Characters gain
experience points by winning battles.[1]

''Final Fantasy I''

71
Combat in Final Fantasy is menu-based: the player selects an action
from a list of options such as Fight, Magic, and Item. Battles are
turn-based and continue until either side flees or is defeated. If the
player's party wins, each character gains experience and gold; if it
flees, it is returned to the map screen; and if every character in the
party dies, the game is over.[1] Final Fantasy was the first game to
show the player's characters on the right side of the screen and the
enemies on the left side of the screen, as opposed to a first-person
view.[3]

Each character has an "occupation", or character class, with different


attributes and abilities that are either innate or can be acquired.[2] There
The Light Warriors battle Lich, Fiend of Earth
are six classes; Fighter, Thief, Black Belt, Red Mage, White Mage, and
[2]
Black Mage. Later in the game, each character undergoes a "class change"; their sprite portraits mature, and some
classes even gain the ability to use weapons and magic that they previously could not use.[1] Final Fantasy contains a
variety of weapons, armor, and items that can be bought or found to make the characters more powerful in combat.
Each character has eight inventory slots, with four to hold weapons and four to hold armor. Each character class has
restrictions on what weapons and armor it may use. Some weapons and armor are magical; if used during combat,
some of these items will cast spells. Other magical artifacts provide protection, such as from certain spells. At shops,
the characters can buy items to help themselves recover while they are traveling. Items available include Potions,
which heal the characters or removes an ailment like poison or petrification; Tents and Cabins, which can be used on
the world map to heal the player and optionally save the game; and Houses, which also recovers the party's magic
after saving. Special items may be gained by doing quests.[1]
Magic is a common ability in the game, and several character classes use it. Spells are divided into two groups:
White, which is defensive and healing, and Black, which is debilitating and destructive. Magic can be bought from
White and Black magic shops and assigned to characters whose occupation allows them to use it. Spells are
classified by a level between one and eight, with four White and four Black spells per level. Each character may
learn only three spells per level. White and Black Mages can potentially learn any of their respective spells, while
other classes cannot use most high-level magic.[1]

Plot
Final Fantasy takes place in a fantasy world with three large continents. The elemental powers on this world are
determined by the state of four orbs, each governing one of the four classical elements: earth, fire, water, and wind.
The world of Final Fantasy is inhabited by numerous races, including Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Mermaids,
Dragons, and Robots. Each non-Human race has one "town" in the game, although individuals are sometimes found
in Human towns or other areas as well. Four hundred years prior to the start of the game, the Lefeinish people, who
used the Power of Wind to craft airships and a giant space station (called the Floating Castle in the game), watched
their country decline as the Wind Orb went dark. Two hundred years later, violent storms sank a massive shrine that
served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the Water Orb went dark. The Earth Orb and the Fire Orb
followed, plaguing the earth with raging wildfires, and devastating the agricultural town of Melmond as the plains
and vegetation decayed. Some time later, the sage Lukahn tells of a prophecy that four Light Warriors will come to
save the world in a time of darkness.

''Final Fantasy I''

The game begins with the appearance of the four youthful Light
Warriors, the heroes of the story, who each carry one of the darkened
Orbs. Initially, the Light Warriors have access to the Kingdom of
Coneria and the ruined Temple of Fiends. After the Warriors rescue
Princess Sara from the evil knight Garland, the King of Coneria builds
a bridge that enables the Light Warriors' passage east to the town of
Pravoka. There the Light Warriors liberate the town from Bikke and
his band of pirates, and acquire the pirates' ship for their own use. The
Warriors now embark on a chain of delivery quests on the shores of the
Aldi Sea. First they retrieve a stolen crown from the Marsh Cave for a
Outside the Kingdom of Coneria
king in a ruined castle, who turns out to be the dark elf Astos.
Defeating him gains them the Crystal, which they return to the witch Matoya in exchange for a herb needed to
awaken the Elf Prince cursed by Astos. The Elf Prince gives the Light Warriors a key capable of unlocking any door.
The key unlocks a storage room in Coneria Castle which holds TNT. Nerrick, one of the Dwarves of the Cave of
Dwarf/Dwarf Village, destroys a small isthmus using the TNT, connecting the Aldi Sea to the outside world.[3]
After visiting the near-ruined town of Melmond, the Light Warriors go to the Earth Cave to defeat a vampire and
retrieve the Star Ruby, which gains passage to Sage Sarda's cave. With Sarda's Rod, the Warriors venture deeper into
the Earth Cave and destroy the Earth Fiend, Lich. The Light Warriors then obtain a canoe and enter Gurgu Volcano
and defeat the Fire Fiend, Kary. The Floater from the nearby Ice Cave allows them to raise an airship to reach the
northern continents. After they prove their courage by retrieving the Rat's Tail from the Castle of Ordeal, the King of
the Dragons, Bahamut, promotes each Light Warrior. Using an air-producing fairy artifact known as Oxyale, the
Warriors defeat the Water Fiend, Kraken, in the Sunken Shrine. They also recover a Slab, which allows a linguist
named Dr. Unne to teach the Lefeinish language. The Lefeinish give the Light Warriors access to the Floating Castle
that Tiamat, the Wind Fiend, has taken over.[3] With the four Fiends defeated and the Orbs restored, a portal to 2000
years in the past opens in the Temple of Fiends. There the Warriors discover that the four Fiends sent Garland (now
the archdemon Chaos) back in time and he sent the Fiends to the future to do so, creating a time loop by which he
could live forever.[4] The Light Warriors defeat Chaos, thus ending the paradox, and return home. By ending the
paradox, however, the Light Warriors have changed the future to one where their heroic deeds from their own time
remain unknown outside of legend.[3]

Development
Final Fantasy was developed during Square's brush with bankruptcy in
1987, and in a display of gallows humor, director Hironobu Sakaguchi
declared that his "final" game would be a "fantasy" role-playing game;
hence the title.[5] When Sakaguchi was asked what type of game he
wanted to make, he replied "I don't think I have what it takes to make a
good action game. I think I'm better at telling a story." Sakaguchi's
concept was a game with a large world map to explore and an engaging
story.[3] Sakaguchi took an in-development ROM of the game to
Hironobu Sakaguchi thought Final Fantasy
Japanese magazine Family Computer, but it would not review it. Video
would be his final game
game magazine Famitsu, however, gave the game extensive coverage.
The development team was composed of seven people, while the other
team at Square had about twenty. Sakaguchi stated that if the game did not sell, he would quit making video games
and return to college to make up a year. Only 200,000 copies were to be shipped, but Sakaguchi pleaded with the
company to make 400,000 to help spawn a sequel, and it agreed.[6]

72

''Final Fantasy I''


The game's characters and title logo were designed by Yoshitaka Amano. The scenario was written by Akitoshi
Kawazu and freelance writer Kenji Terada. Iranian-American freelance programmer Nasir Gebelli, who was living in
Japan at the time, worked as the programmer for the game. Among the other developers were Hiromichi Tanaka,
Kichi Ishii, and Kazuko Shibuya. Following the successful North American localization of Dragon Quest, 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, partly due to Nintendo's then-aggressive marketing tactics.
No version of the game was marketed in the PAL region until Final Fantasy Origins in 2003.[5]
The music for Final Fantasy was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, and was his 16th video game music composition.[3]
The soundtrack album was released together with the score of Final Fantasy II in 1989.[7] Some of the game's tracks
became mainstays to the Final Fantasy series: the "Prelude", the arpeggio played on the title screen; the "Opening
Theme", which is played when the party crosses the bridge early in the game and later referred to as the Final
Fantasy theme; and the "Victory Fanfare", which is played after every victorious battle. The opening motif of the
battle theme has also been reused a number of times in the series.[3]

Versions and re-releases


Final Fantasy has been remade several times for different platforms,
and has frequently been packaged with Final Fantasy II in various
collections.[3] While all of these remakes retain the same basic story
and battle mechanics, various tweaks have been made in different
areas, including graphics, sound, and specific gameplay elements. The
game was first re-released for the MSX2 system and was published by
Micro Cabin in Japan in June 1989.[8] It had access to almost three
times as much storage space as the Famicom version, but suffered from
The WonderSwan Color version was one of the
problems not present in Nintendo's cartridge media, including
first expansive remakes of the game
noticeable loading times. There were also minor graphical upgrades,
improved music tracks and sound effects. In 1994, Final Fantasy III, a compilation of Final Fantasy and Final
Fantasy II, was launched for the Famicom.[9] This version was only released in Japan and had very few graphical
updates. The WonderSwan Color remake was released in Japan on December 9, 2000,[10] and featured many new
graphical changes. The 8-bit graphics of the original Famicom game were updated, battle scenes incorporated full
background images, and character and enemy sprites were re-drawn to look more like the ones from the Super
Famicom Final Fantasy games.[11]
In Japan, Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II were re-released both separately and as a combined game for the
PlayStation. The collection was released in Japan in 2002 as Final Fantasy I & II Premium Package and in PAL and
North America in 2003 as Final Fantasy Origins. This version was similar to the WonderSwan Color remake,[12]
and featured several changes, such as more detailed graphics, a remixed soundtrack, added full motion video
sequences, and art galleries of Yoshitaka Amano's illustrations.[13] Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls is, like Final
Fantasy Origins, a port of the first two games in the series for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. The Dawn of Souls
version incorporates various new elements, including four additional dungeons, an updated bestiary, and a few
gameplay tweaks.[14]
Square Enix released a version of Final Fantasy for two Japanese mobile phone networks in 2004; a version for NTT
docomo FOMA 900i series was launched in March under the title Final Fantasy i,[15] and a subsequent release for
CDMA 1X WIN-compatible phones was launched in August.[16] Another titular version was released for SoftBank
Yahoo! Keitai phones on July 3, 2006.[17] Graphically, the games are superior to the original 8-bit game, but not as
advanced as many of the more recent console and handheld ports. Square Enix planned to release this version of the
game for North American mobile phones sometime in 2006,[18] but it has yet to be released. For the 20th anniversary
of Final Fantasy, Square Enix remade Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II for the PlayStation Portable.[19] The

73

''Final Fantasy I''


games were released in Japan and North America in 2007,[20] and in PAL territories in 2008.[21] The PSP version
features higher-resolution 2D graphics, full motion video sequences, a remixed soundtrack, and a new dungeon as
well as the bonus dungeons from Dawn of Souls. The script is the same as in the Dawn of Souls version, aside from
the new dungeon.[22]
Square Enix released the original NES version of the game on the Wii's Virtual Console service in Japan on May 26,
2009[23] and in North America on October 5, 2009.[24] On February 25, 2010, Square Enix released the iPhone OS
version of Final Fantasy, based on the PSP port with touch controls, worldwide.[25]

Reception and legacy


Final Fantasy has been well-received by critics and commercially successful; the original release sold 400,000
copies.[6] As of March 31, 2003, the game, including all re-releases at the time, had shipped 1.99 million copies
worldwide, with 1.21 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and 780,000 abroad.[26] As of November 19,
2007, the PlayStation Portable version has shipped 140,000 copies.[27] In March 2006, Final Fantasy appeared in the
Japanese magazine Famitsu's Top 100 games list, where readers voted it the 63rd best game of all time.[28]
GameFAQs users made a similar list in 2005, which ranked Final Fantasy at 76th.[29] It was rated the 49th best
game made on a Nintendo system in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[30] In August 2008, Nintendo Power
ranked it the 19th best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, praising it for setting up the basics of console
role-playing games along with Dragon Warrior, and citing examples such as epic stories, leveling up, random
battles, and character classes.[31] Editors at IGN ranked Final Fantasy the 11th-best game on the console, calling the
game's class system diverse, and praising its convenient use of vehicles as a means of traveling across the world
map.[32]
Final Fantasy was one of the most influential early console role-playing games, and played a major role in
legitimizing and popularizing the genre.[33] According to IGN's Matt Casamassina, Final Fantasy's storyline had a
deeper and more engaging story than the original Dragon Quest (known as Dragon Warrior in North America).[34]
Many modern critics have pointed 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 levels and money than it does
exploring and solving puzzles. Other reviewers find the level-building and exploration portions of the game as the
most amusing ones.[13] The game is also considered by many as the weakest and most difficult installment of the
series.[11]
The subsequent versions of Final Fantasy have garnered mostly favorable reviews from the media. Peer Schneider
of IGN enjoyed the WonderSwan Color version, praising its graphical improvements, especially the environments,
characters, and monsters.[11] Final Fantasy Origins was generally well-received; GamePro said the music was
"fantastic", and that the graphics had a "suitably retro cuteness to them".[35] Reviews for Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn
of Souls were generally positive, with Jeremy Dunham of IGN giving particular praise to the improved English
translation, saying it was better than any previous version of the game.[36] The PlayStation Portable version was not
as critically successful as the previous releases; GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd cited the visuals as its strongest
enhancement, but stated that the additional random enemy encounters and updated graphics did not add much
value.[37]
The theme song that plays when the player characters first cross the bridge from Coneria has become the recurring
theme music of the series, and has been featured in most numbered Final Fantasy titles except Final Fantasy II.
Final Fantasy was also the basis for the series finale of a video game-themed cartoon series Captain N: The Game
Master entitled The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N.[38] 8-Bit Theater, a sprite-based webcomic created by Brian
Clevinger parodying the game, has become very popular in the gaming community since it started in March 2001.[39]
Warrior of Light, based on Yoshitaka Amano's design of the lead character, and Garland are the respective hero and
villain representing Final Fantasy in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Warrior of Light is voiced by Toshihiko Seki in the
Japanese version and Grant George in the English version, while Garland is voiced by Kenji Utsumi in the Japanese

74

''Final Fantasy I''


version and Christopher Sabat in the English version.[40]

External links

Quotations related to Final Fantasy at Wikiquote


Final Fantasy on the Final Fantasy Wiki
Final Fantasy Origins [41]

References
[1] Final Fantasy Explorer's Handbook (instruction manual). Square Co.. 1989. NES-FF-USA.
[2] Final Fantasy Explorer's Handbook (instruction manual). Square Co.. 1989. p.80. NES-FF-USA.
[3] "Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part I" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 22250. html). GameTrailers. 2007-07-15. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[4] Square Co. Final Fantasy. (Nintendo of America). Nintendo Entertainment System. (1990-07-12) "Garland: Remember me, Garland? Your
puny lot thought it had defeated me. But, the Four FIENDS sent me back 2000 years into the past. / From here I sent the Four FIENDS to the
future. The FIENDS will send me back to here, and the Time-Loop will go on. / After 2000 years, I will be forgotten, and the Time-Loop will
close. I will live forever, and you shall meet doom!!"
[5] Berardini, Csar A. (2006-04-26). "An Introduction to Square-Enix" (http:/ / features. teamxbox. com/ xbox/ 1554/
An-Introduction-to-SquareEnix/ p1/ ). TeamXbox. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[6] Fear, Ed (2007-12-13). "Sakaguchi discusses the development of Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. developmag. com/ news/ 28960/
Sakaguchi-discusses-the-development-of-Final-Fantasy). Develop. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[7] Schweitzer, Ben; Gann, Patrick. "All Sounds of Final Fantasy I - II" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff1& 2/ index. html). RPGFan. .
Retrieved 2008-07-09.
[8] "Final Fantasy Tech Info" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ msx/ rpg/ finalfantasy/ tech_info. html?tag=tabs;summary). GameSpot. . Retrieved
2008-12-23.
[9] "Final Fantasy I & II [pre-owned]" (http:/ / www. play-asia. com/ paOS-13-71-bk-49-en-70-pta. html). Play-Asia. . Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[10] "Final Fantasy Tech Info" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ wsc/ rpg/ finalfantasy/ tech_info. html?tag=tabs;summary). GameSpot. . Retrieved
2008-12-23.
[11] Schneider, Peer (2001-02-12). "Final Fantasy (Import)" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 165/ 165845p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[12] Shoemaker, Brad (2003-04-08). "Final Fantasy Origins Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasyorigins/ review.
html?om_act=convert& om_clk=gssummary& tag=summary;read-review). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-12-23.
[13] Dunham, Jeremy (2003-04-15). "Final Fantasy Origins Review" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 400/ 400156p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[14] "Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls Developer Interview" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ gba/ rpg/ finalfantasyiii/ video/ 6114052/
final-fantasy-i--ii-dawn-of-souls-developer-interview). GameSpot. 2004-11-29. . Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[15] Tsukioka, Aki (2004-02-24). "Square Enix to Launch DoCoMo Sites for World-Famous Game Titles" (http:/ / www. japancorp. net/ Article.
Asp?Art_ID=6612). Japan Corporate News Network. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[16] "KDDI Announces Three New CDMA 1X WIN Models" (http:/ / www. kddi. com/ english/ corporate/ news_release/ 2004/ 0712/ index.
html). KDDI. . Retrieved 2008-12-23.
[17] " for MOBILE" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ mobile/ ff/ ) (in Japanese). Square Enix. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[18] "Square Enix to Showcase All Encompassing Line-up at E3 2006" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0424/ ).
Square Enix. 2006-04-24. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[19] Lumb, Jonathan (2007-01-17). "Final Fantasy Remakes Coming to PSP" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ newsStory?cId=3156429). 1UP.com. .
Retrieved 2008-12-23.
[20] "Square Enix ships remastered edition of Final Fantasy to retail" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2007/ 0626/ ). Square
Enix. 2007-06-26. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[21] "Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition for PSP" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ rpg/ finalfantasyanniversaryedition/ similar.
html?mode=versions). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[22] Masae, Nakamura (2007-04-23). "Final Fantasy Preview" (http:/ / psp. gamespy. com/ playstation-portable/ final-fantasy-i-/ 782716p1.
html). GameSpy. . Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[23] "VC [VC Final Fantasy]" (http:/ / www. nintendo. co. jp/ wii/ vc/ vc_ff/ index. html). Nintendo. . Retrieved
2009-10-05.
[24] "Discover New Worlds, Hidden Words and the First Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. nintendo. com/ whatsnew/ detail/
c4tMRvn7hyMKidz4qH-aw4rwS6d9j7M9). Nintendo of America. 2009-10-05. . Retrieved 2009-10-05.

75

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[25] Lanxon, Nate (2010-02-25). "Final Fantasy now available on iPhone" (http:/ / www. wired. co. uk/ news/ archive/ 2010-02/ 25/
final-fantasy-now-available-on-iphone. aspx). Wired. . Retrieved 2010-02-25.
[26] "Titles of game software with worldwide shipments exceeding 1 million copies" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/
download/ 0404-200402090000-01. pdf#page=27). Square Enix. pp. 27. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[27] "FY2007 First-Half Period Results Briefing Session" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/ download/ 20071119en_20.
pdf). Square Enix. 2007-11-19. . Retrieved 2009-01-13.
[28] Edge Staff (2006-03-03). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100" (http:/ / www. edge-online. com/ features/ japan-votes-all-time-top-100).
Edge. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[29] "Fall 2005: 10-Year Anniversary Contest - The 10 Best Games Ever" (http:/ / www. gamefaqs. com/ features/ contest/ top10). GameFAQs. .
Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[30] Michaud, Pete (January 2006). "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power 199: 4243.
[31] (Magazine) Nintendo Power - The 20th Anniversary Issue!. Nintendo Power. 231. San Francisco, California: Future US. August 2008. p. 71.
[32] "11. Final Fantasy Top 100 NES Games" (http:/ / www. ign. com/ top-100-nes-games/ 11. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2010-03-22.
[33] "Final Fantasy (Final Fantasy I)" (http:/ / cheats. ign. com/ objects/ 006/ 006010. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[34] Casamassina, Matt (2005-07-19). "State of the RPG: GameCube" (http:/ / cube. ign. com/ articles/ 634/ 634965p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[35] Fox, Fennec (2003-04-07). "Final Fantasy Origins" (http:/ / www. gamepro. com/ article/ reviews/ 28844/ final-fantasy-origins/ ). GamePro.
. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
[36] Dunham, Jeremy (2004-11-30). "Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 569/ 569570p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[37] VanOrd, Kevin (2007-06-25). "Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ rpg/
finalfantasyanniversaryedition/ review. html?tag=tabs;reviews). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-12-22.
[38] "Final Fantasy Retrospective - Part X" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 25549. html). GameTrailers. 2007-09-25. . Retrieved
2008-10-16.
[39] Maragos, Nich (2005-11-07). "Will Strip For Games: Gaming Comics Online" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ feature?pager. offset=2&
cId=3145208). 1UP.com. . Retrieved 2008-12-23.
[40] Niizumi, Hirohiko (2008-08-06). "Dissidia: Final Fantasy Hands-On" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ action/ dissidiafinalfantasy/ news.
html?sid=6195546& mode=previews). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-12-23.
[41] http:/ / www. fforigins. com

76

''Final Fantasy II''

77

''Final Fantasy II''


Final Fantasy II

Developer(s)

Square
TOSE (WSC, PS, GBA, PSP)

Publisher(s)

Square/Square Enix

Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Akitoshi Kawazu

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano

Writer(s)

Akitoshi Kawazu
Kenji Terada

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Family Computer, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, mobile phones, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable,
Virtual Console, iPhone OS

Release date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Rating(s)
Media

2 megabit cartridge
UMD, download

Final Fantasy II (II) is a fantasy console role-playing game developed and published by
Square (now Square Enix) in 1988 for the Family Computer as the second installment of the Final Fantasy series.
The game has received numerous enhanced remakes for the WonderSwan Color, the Sony PlayStation, Japanese
mobile phones, the Game Boy Advance, and the PlayStation Portable. Only the PlayStation, Game Boy, and
PlayStation Portable versions have been released outside of Japan. As neither this game nor Final Fantasy III had
been released outside of Japan, Final Fantasy IV was originally released in North America as Final Fantasy II, so as
not to confuse players. The most recent release of the game is a release of the enhanced version of the game for the
iPhone OS worldwide on February 25, 2010.
The game's story centers on four youths whose parents were killed during an army invasion by the empire of
Palamecia. Three of the four main characters join a rebellion against the empire, embarking on missions to gain new
magic and weapons, destroy enemy superweapons, and rescue leading members of the resistance. After defeating the
empire and the Emperor, the trio discovers that the fourth youth, now a dark knight, has taken the place of the
previous emperor and is preparing to attack the rebellion. Upon confronting him, the Emperor reappears as a demon,
the "Dark Emperor", and prepares to attempt to destroy the world; the four characters agree to join forces to defeat
him. They proceed to do so in his demonic castle. The Game Boy Advance remake adds a bonus story after the game

''Final Fantasy II''


is completed, following several side characters who died during the game as they attempt to defeat an alternate
version of the Emperor, the "Light Emperor".
Final Fantasy II introduced many elements that would later become staples of the Final Fantasy franchise, including
chocobos and the recurring character Cid. It also eliminated the traditional experience point leveling system of the
prior and later games in the series, using instead a system where the characters' statistics increase according to how
they are used or acquired. Despite being a sequel to Final Fantasy I, the game includes no characters or locations
from the first game. Final Fantasy II received little attention at the time from non-Japanese reviewers, though its
remakes have garnered favorable reviews.

Gameplay
Final Fantasy II features gameplay similar to that of its predecessor, Final Fantasy. The player can freely roam an
overworld containing several towns and dungeons. A menu-based system allows the player to outfit each character
with equipment and up to twooften disposableitems for battle. Magic spells are assigned to the character from
the item menu, and certain spells, such as "Cure", can be used outside of battle.[1] The player can also save their
progress on the overworld. Weapons, armor, items, and magic spells can be purchased at shops, and townspeople
provide useful information for the player's progression through the game. One new feature is the "Word Memory"
system: when in conversation with non-player characters (NPCs), the player can "ask" about and "memorize" special
keywords or phrases, which can later be repeated to other NPCs to gain more information or unlock new actions.
Similarly, there exist a handful of special items that can be shown to NPCs during conversation or used on certain
objects, which have the same effect.[2] Characters and monsters are no longer separated into separate windows in the
battle screen as they were in Final Fantasy I, and players can see their current and total hit points below the battle.
Players can also fight with less than four characters in their party, which was not possible in the first game. Final
Fantasy II introduced the chocobo, the signature Final Fantasy mascot, which lets characters ride to a location at
great speed without being attacked by enemies. The recurring character Cid was also introduced in II; a character of
the same name has appeared in every main-series game since.[3]
On the overworld and within dungeons, random encounters with
enemies can be fought to improve each character's attributes.[4] Unlike
the original Final Fantasy, players could not upgrade their characters'
classes. The game is also one of the few games in the series to not use
experience-based levels. Instead, each character participating in battle
develops depending on what actions they take. For instance, characters
who use a particular type of weapon frequently will become more
adept at wielding a weapon of that type, and will also increase in
physical strength and accuracy. Attributes include hit points, magic
points, magic power, stamina, strength, spirit, agility, intelligence, and
The ill-fated opening battle in the Famicom
evasion. Players can also increase their ability to wield certain types of
version
weapon, and repeated use in combat causes the ability to level up.[3] [4]
Hit points (HP) and magic points (MP) increase with their use; a
character who takes a heavy amount of damage in a battle might earn an increase in maximum HP, while a character
who uses a lot of MP during battle might increase their maximum MP.[4] This experience system had several
unintended consequences that allowed characters to gain much more experience than intended, such as players
having their characters attack each other and repeatedly cast spells, thus causing their HP and abilities to grow
extensively.[3] Final Fantasy II uses the same turn-based battle system seen in the original Final Fantasy, with battle
parties consisting of up to four characters at a time. The game introduces a "back row" in battle, within which
characters or enemies are immune to most physical attacks, but can be harmed with bows and magical attacks.[1]

78

''Final Fantasy II''

Plot
Characters
Final Fantasy II features four playable characters as
well as several secondary characters who are only
briefly controlled by the player. Primary characters
include Firion (Frioniel in the Japanese release), a
resident of the country of Fynn; Maria, a soft-spoken
archer and dedicated enemy of the Empire; Guy (Gus
in the remake for the PlayStation), a simple monk
who communicates with animals; and Leon (Leonhart
in the Japanese release), a conflicted dark knight who
is missing for most of the game.[3] [5] Five playable
Yoshitaka Amano's artwork of the main characters Leon, Firion,
characters temporarily join the party to assist Firion,
Maria, and Guy
Maria, and Guy in their missions for the rebellion.
These are Gordon, the prince of Kas'ion and a
member of the rebellion; Josef, a villager in the town of Salamand; Leila, a pirate; Minwu (Mindu in the PlayStation
remake), who is a white mage with the rebellion, and Ricard Highwind (Gareth in the remake, but Ricard again in
the later Dawn of Souls remake), who is the first dragoon to appear in the series.[3]
While Final Fantasy was mostly focused on gameplay, Hironobu Sakaguchi decided for the second installment to
put more emphasis on character development. Care was taken to make the characters feel like real human beings,
able to experience various emotions that the player could similarly feel, such as sadness or happiness.[6] Final
Fantasy II also had playable characters die as part of the normal storyline. Music composer Nobuo Uematsu was
initially opposed to the creation of these death scenes, but eventually agreed with Sakaguchi's ideas. In terms of
gameplay, once a guest character would die in a scripted event, the player would have no means to revive them or
recover their equipment and weapons.[6]
Firion and Mateus (the Emperor of Palamecia) are the respective hero and villain representing Final Fantasy II in
Dissidia: Final Fantasy, a fighting game featuring characters from across the series. Firion is voiced by Hikaru
Midorikawa in the Japanese version and by Johnny Yong Bosch in the English version; Mateus is voiced by Kenyuu
Horiuchi in the Japanese version and Christopher Corey Smith in the English version. In the PlayStation's opening
FMV of Final Fantasy II, Firion is also voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa, while Maria is played by Noriko Shitaya,
Guy by Kenta Miyake, and Leon by Takayuki Yamaguchi. Final Fantasy II features an airship pilot named Cid;
each Final Fantasy game in the series after II features a character named Cid as well.[3]

Story
Final Fantasy II begins as Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon are attacked by Palamecian soldiers and left for dead. Firion,
Maria, and Guy are rescued by Princess Hilda, who has established a rebel base in the town of Altair after her
kingdom of Fynn was invaded by the Emperor. Hilda denies their request to join the rebel army because they are too
young and inexperienced. The three set off for Fynn in search of Leon; there they find a dying Prince Scott of
Kashuan, Hilda's fianc, who informs them that a former knight of Fynn, Borghen, betrayed the rebellion and
became a General in the Imperial army. The party returns to Altair to inform Hilda. She allows the group to join the
rebellion and asks them to journey north to find mythril, a metal which could be used to create powerful weapons.
The party makes its way north to the occupied village of Salamand, saves the villagers forced to work in the nearby
mines, and retrieves the mythril.

79

''Final Fantasy II''


For their next mission, The party is sent to the city of Bafsk to prevent the construction of a large airship known as
the Dreadnought; however, it takes off just as they arrive. After retrieving the Sunfire, a weapon which can blow up
the Dreadnought, they watch helplessly as an airship with Hilda on board is captured by the Dreadnought. When the
Dreadnought is put down to stock up on supplies, the party rescues Hilda and throws the Sunfire into the airship's
engine. Before escaping from the explosion, the party encounters a dark knight whom Maria recognizes as Leon.
On his deathbed, the King of Fynn tasks the party to seek the help of the seemingly extinct dragoons of Deist. In
Deist, the party finds only a mother with her son, learning that all but one of the Dragoons are dead, partly as a result
of Imperial poison. After placing an egg of the last wyvern in a cavern, the party returns to Altair and rescues Hilda
from the Empire a second time, before successfully reclaiming Fynn from the Imperial forces. They then travel west
in search of a powerful magic item, joining forces with the last surviving dragoon on the way. The party returns to
Fynn and sees that many towns have been destroyed by a cyclone summoned by the Emperor. The party calls upon
the newly born last wyvern to take them to a castle inside the cyclone, where they confront and kill the Emperor.
Back at Fynn, everyone celebrates the Empire's defeat, but a mortally wounded Fynn soldier arrives and reveals that
Leon has taken the throne and plans to destroy the Rebels with the Imperial army.
The party enters the castle of Palamecia and confronts Leon. However, the Emperor reappears in the throne room in
a new demonic form, revealing he returned from Hell with the intention of destroying the entire world and its
inhabitants. The party and Leon escape Palamecia Castle with the wyvern, while the place crumbles and is replaced
with the palace of Hell, Pandaemonium. Leon agrees to help the group seal the Emperor away. The party travels to
the Jade Passage, an underground passage to the underworld, and finds the portal to Pandaemonium, where they
finally defeat the Dark Emperor.
The Dawn of Souls remake of the game for the Game Boy Advance includes an additional mission that takes place
after the game, called "Soul of Rebirth". The story of the bonus mission follows several characters who died during
the story of the game as they travel through alternate versions of several locations in the game and defeat another
version of the Emperor, the Light Emperor.

Development
A second installment of Final Fantasy was not planned in advance, and only materialized after the first game's
widespread popularity. The game was released one day less than a year after the first game came out. While
Hironobu Sakaguchi remained in overall charge of the project, co-designer Akitoshi Kawazu took a more active role
in the game's development, and made several key decisions such as more of an emphasis on character than the
previous game, and the revamped stat system. As the first Final Fantasy game was not plotted to have a sequel,
Square took the game in a new direction, and included none of the previous game's characters or locations.[3] Using
the development experience gained from the first installment, which focused more on fitting story ideas into their
new gameplay system and game world, the team fully crafted Final Fantasy II's story first. The gameplay was then
built around the story.[7] The experience system was designed to be a more realistic advancement system than that of
the first game. Several members of the original staff from the first game reprised their jobs for Final Fantasy II.
Nobuo Uematsu composed the music for the game as he had for the first game, while Yoshitaka Amano was again
the concept artist.[3]
The music for Final Fantasy II was later arranged by Tsuyoshi Sekito for the WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, and
Game Boy Advance remakes. Although the two soundtracks were composed separately, the soundtrack to II has only
been released as a combined album with the soundtrack to Final Fantasy I. They were first released as All Sounds of
Final Fantasy III in 1989, which was then republished in 1994.[8] An arranged album of music from the two
soundtracks titled Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy was also released in 1989, while Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II
Original Soundtrack, a combined soundtrack album for the PlayStation versions of the games, was released in 2002
and re-released in 2004.[9] [10] The music of Final Fantasy II has also appeared in various official concerts and live
albums, such as 20020220 music from FINAL FANTASY, a live recording of an orchestra performing music from the

80

''Final Fantasy II''


series including several pieces from the games.[11] Additionally, several songs from the game were performed as part
of a medley by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy
concert tour,[12] while a different medley of songs from the game were performed by the New Japan Philharmonic
Orchestra in the Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[13]

Versions and re-releases


Unreleased English version
Following the successful release of the original Final Fantasy by
Nintendo in 1990, Square Soft, Square's North American subsidiary,
began work on an English language localization of Final Fantasy II. It
was to be called Final Fantasy II: Dark Shadow Over Palakia.
Assigned to the project was Kaoru Moriyama, whose later work
included script translations for Final Fantasy IV and Secret of Mana
(known as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan). Although a beta version was
produced, and the game was advertised in several Square Soft trade
publications, the long development time, the age of the original
Japanese game and the arrival of the Super Nintendo Entertainment
Screenshot from the unreleased English prototype
System, the NES's successor console, led Square Soft to cancel work
on the Final Fantasy II localization in favor of the recently released
Final Fantasy IV (which, to avoid confusing North American players, was retitled Final Fantasy II to reflect the
jump in releases).[3] [14]
Although a prototype cartridge of the NES Final Fantasy II was produced (with the subtitle Dark Shadow over
Palakia), the project was, by Moriyama's own admission, still far from complete. He said that "We had so very
limited memory capacity we could use for each game, and it was never really "translating" but chopping up the
information and cramming them back in... [Additionally] our boss had no understanding in putting in extra work for
the English version at that time".[14] In 2003, when the game was finally released to English-speaking audiences as
part of Final Fantasy Origins, it was released with a brand new translation under the supervision of Akira
Kashiwagi. A fan translation of the game was also created prior to the release of Origins, and makes use of an
original translation as the existence of the prototype cartridge was not common knowledge at the time.[14]

Re-releases
In addition to its original Famicom release, Final Fantasy II has been re-released as a compilation package with
Final Fantasy I titled Final Fantasy III on the Famicom in 1994, on the WonderSwan Color by itself in 2001, and
both singularly and as part of a collection with Final Fantasy I for the PlayStation in 2002. It was released on the
Game Boy Advance in 2004 as part of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, for mobile phones in 2004 and 2006 by
itself, and on the PlayStation Portable in 2007. Its most recent release has been for the Japanese Wii Virtual Console
on June 16, 2009.[15]
The Final Fantasy III collection included the original game with only minor changes. The WonderSwan Color
version of the game was a launch title for the system, and was later included as a bundle with a special Final Fantasy
II edition of the console.[16] [17] It included a complete graphical update including larger character sprites, redone
music by Tsuyoshi Sekito, and full graphical backgrounds in battle mode.[18] The PlayStation remake featured even
more graphical updates over the WonderSwan version, and the soundtrack was again remixed by Tsuyoshi Sekito to
a higher quality to use the audio capabilities of the PlayStation and composed a few new tracks to be used in the new
cutscenes. It was published both individually (in Japan only) and alongside Final Fantasy I in a collection entitled
Final Fantasy Origins (or Final Fantasy I+II Premium Collection in Japan); this was the first release of the game

81

''Final Fantasy II''


outside of Japan.[19] This release was the first time the game was released outside of Japan.[3]
Final Fantasy II was again released in a new format in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance as part of Final Fantasy I &
II: Dawn of Souls. The primary change for this version was the addition of a bonus storyline entitled Soul of Rebirth
accessible to the player after completing the game.[20] In 2004 and 2006, Square Enix released a version of Final
Fantasy II for three Japanese mobile phone networks.[21] To celebrate the Final Fantasy series' 20th anniversary, the
game was released in Japan for the PlayStation Portable in 2007.[22] The remake features improved graphics, the
cutscenes and soundtrack from Final Fantasy Origins, and the bonus quest and dungeons from Final Fantasy I & II:
Dawn of Souls. It additionally includes two new dungeons in which more character-specific equipment can be found,
alongside powerful enemies and a new boss.[23] The release for the Japanese Wii Virtual Console on June 16, 2009 is
the most recent release; this version is identical to the original Famicom release, incorporating none of the updates of
the later versions.[15] On February 25, 2010, Square Enix released a port of the PSP version modified with
touchscreen controls for the iPhone OS platform.[24]

Reception and legacy


As of March 31, 2003, the game, including all re-releases at the time, had shipped 1.28 million copies worldwide,
with 1.08 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and 200,000 abroad.[25] Despite having only been released
in June of that year, as of September 2007 the PlayStation Portable version had shipped 90,000 copies in Japan and
70,000 in North America.[26] Despite these high sales, the game had sold the least copies of any out of the first ten
main Final Fantasy series as of March 31, 2003.[25]
The original release of the game was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon #199 by Sandy Petersen in the "Eye of the
Monitor" column. Petersen gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, praising the difficulty and length of the game. He also
applauded the story, which he compared favorably to those of novels and movies rather than the simplistic plots
found in many contemporary video games; this led him to become "more attached to my party in Final Fantasy II
than in any other computer game Ive played".[27] He attributed this to the fact that characters joined and left the
party due to their own motivations, making them feel more real, though he noted that the characterizations were still
thin. Petersen was dismissive of the graphics, calling them inferior to other NES games, but was highly praising of
the game's music.[27]
The game's re-releases have been more heavily reviewed; GameSpot noted the Dawn of Souls' mostly outdated
graphics but praised its length and bonus content.[28] IGN noted the great improvement in the translation of the story
and the adding of later Final Fantasy features, such as being able to save anywhere in the overworld map without a
tent or cabin.[29] The Dawn of Souls release was called the "Game of the Month" for March 2004 on the Game Boy
at IGN.[30] The dialogue system was thought to be time consuming and stilted, but was still a milestone for
interactivity. The story was considered to be much more involved and deep than the first Final Fantasy, as it
involved romance and also had characters die. The game's plot was thought by reviewers to mirror elements of Star
Wars: A New Hope in its use of an orphan joining a rebellion against an empire that was building a massive ship,
with a captive princess inside.[3] GameSpy praised the addition of the ability to save the game at any time, calling the
feature crucial for a game on a handheld game console, but in contrast to GameSpot praised the graphics, saying that
while primitive, they were "well-suited" to the Game Boy Advance.[31]
The PSP version met average reviews. GameSpot called the level up system "chaotic" and noted that unlike previous
versions, this was shipped without a version of Final Fantasy I. IGN also complained about the gameplay, saying,
"If you're the type of player who puts a higher emphasis on more satisfying gameplay experiences, however, then
FF2 definitely isn't the upgrade it appears to be." Both sources praised the graphics, however.[32] [33] GameSpy,
however, while echoing similar complaints about the "quirky and sometimes confusing" leveling system and praises
for the graphics, also applauded the supposed decrease in difficulty of the game, which in the reviewers opinion
eliminated the necessity to abuse the leveling system in order to progress in the game as the player did in the original
game.[34]

82

''Final Fantasy II''


In April 1989, the game was novelized by its original scenario writer Kenji Terada under the title Final Fantasy II:
Ts Muma no Meiky (literally "The Labyrinth of Nightmare"). It was published in Japan exclusively by Kadokawa
Shoten.[35]

External links

Quotations related to Final Fantasy II at Wikiquote


Final Fantasy II on the Final Fantasy Wiki

References
[1] Final Fantasy Origins instruction manual. Square Enix. 2003. p.17. SLUS-05141.
[2] Final Fantasy Origins instruction manual. Square Enix. 2003. pp.15, 22. SLUS-05141.
[3] "Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part II" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 22650. html). GameTrailers. 2007-07-23. . Retrieved
2008-04-16.
[4] Final Fantasy Origins instruction manual. Square Enix. 2003. p.22. SLUS-05141.
[5] Final Fantasy Origins instruction manual. Square Enix. 2003. p.15. SLUS-05141.
[6] DeWoody, Lucas (2005-08-12). "The Fantasy Begins- History of Square Vol. 2" (http:/ / gc. advancedmn. com/ article. php?artid=5543&
pg=2& comments=& preview=). Advanced Media Network (http:/ / advancedmn. com/ ). Advanced Media. pp. 2. . Retrieved 2007-07-07.
[7] Kent, Steven (2001). "The Mainstream and All Its Perils". Ultimate History of Video Games. Three Rivers Press. pp.541542.
ISBN0761536434.
[8] Gann, Patrick; Schweitzer, Ben. "All Sounds of Final Fantasy I - II" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff1& 2/ index. html). RPGFan. .
Retrieved 2008-07-09.
[9] Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffss/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved
2008-07-09.
[10] "Final Fantasy I II Original Soundtrack" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff1& 2-remake/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved
2008-09-14.
[11] "20020220 - Music from FINAL FANTASY" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ 20020220/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved
2007-04-01.
[12] "Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy - Album Information" (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ albums/ f/ ffdistantworlds. shtml).
Square Enix Music Online. . Retrieved 2008-02-22.
[13] "Album Information - Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy DVD" (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ albums/ dvds/ tourdejapon.
shtml). Square Enix Music Online. . Retrieved 2008-02-22.
[14] Collette, Chris. "Spotlight: Final Fantasy II" (http:/ / www. lostlevels. org/ 200312/ 200312-ffan2. shtml). LostLevels.org. . Retrieved
2006-08-25.
[15] "VC II" (http:/ / www. nintendo. co. jp/ wii/ vc/ vc_ff2/ index. html) (in Japanese). Nintendo. . Retrieved 30
November 2009.
[16] Harris, Craig (2000-09-08). "Final Fantasy Goes WonderSwan Color" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 084/ 084736p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2006-09-03.
[17] Wonderswan Gamer (2006-01-19). "Final Fantasy II Boxset" (http:/ / www. wonderswan. co. uk/ 2006/ 01/ final-fantasy-ii-boxset. html).
Wonderswan Gaming. . Retrieved 2006-09-04.
[18] fastbill1. "Final Fantasy II" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20071225054434/ http:/ / import. portablereview. com/ review211. html).
PortableReview.com. Archived from the original (http:/ / import. portablereview. com/ review211. html) on 2007-12-25. . Retrieved
2006-09-04.
[19] Triche, Stephen (2002). "Final Fantasy Origins" (http:/ / www. psillustrated. com/ psillustrated/ soft_rev. php/ 1283/
final-fantasy-origins-playstation. html). gamevortex.com. . Retrieved 2006-03-08.
[20] Gantayat, Anoop (2004-07-02). "Final Fantasy Pushed Back" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 528/ 528007p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2006-09-03.
[21] "Final Fantasy mobile" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ mobile/ ff/ ). Square Enix. . Retrieved 2007-03-20.
[22] "Final Fantasy for PSP" (http:/ / www. famitsu. com/ game/ news/ 2007/ 02/ 06/ 103,1170729727,66700,0,0. html). Famitsu. . Retrieved
2007-03-20.
[23] "Square-Enix to remake FF I and II for anniversary" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 755/ 755976p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2007-01-18.
[24] Lanxon, Nate (2010-02-25). "Final Fantasy now available on iPhone" (http:/ / www. wired. co. uk/ news/ archive/ 2010-02/ 25/
final-fantasy-now-available-on-iphone. aspx). Wired. . Retrieved 2010-02-25.
[25] "Titles of game software with worldwide shipments exceeding 1 million copies" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/
download/ 0404-200402090000-01. pdf#page=27). Square Enix. 2004-02-09. pp. 27. . Retrieved 2008-03-01.
[26] "FY2007 First-Half Period Results Briefing Session" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/ download/ 20071119en_20.
pdf). Square-Enix.com. 2007-11-19. . Retrieved 2009-01-13.

83

''Final Fantasy II''

84

[27] Petersen, Sandy (November 1993). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (199): 5664.
[28] Massimilla, Bethany (2004-11-29). "Final Fantasy 1 & 2:Dawn of Souls" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ gba/ rpg/ finalfantasyiii/ review.
html). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2006-08-31.
[29] Dunham, Jeremy (2004-11-30). "Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 569/ 569570p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2006-08-31.
[30] IGN Staff (2004-11-30). "GBA Game of the Month: November 2004" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 569/ 569738p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2006-09-03.
[31] Vassar, Darryl (2004-12-01). "Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls" (http:/ / gba. gamespy. com/ gameboy-advance/
final-fantasy-gba-rumored/ 569939p1. html). GameSpy. . Retrieved 2009-12-02.
[32] VanOrd, Kevin (2007-08-03). "Final Fantasy II Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ rpg/ finalfantasyiianniversaryedition/ review.
html). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2009-11-25.
[33] Dunham, Jeremy (2007-07-26). "Final Fantasy II Review" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 808/ 808182p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2009-11-25.
[34] Graziani, Gabe (2007-07-26). "Final Fantasy II" (http:/ / psp. gamespy. com/ playstation-portable/ final-fantasy-ii/ 808381p1. html).
GameSpy. . Retrieved 2009-12-02.
[35] Yahoo! Japan staff (N/A). "2 " (http:/ / books. yahoo. co. jp/ book_detail/ AAD37156/ ). . .
Retrieved 2010-01-12.

''Final Fantasy III''


Final Fantasy III

Developer(s)

Square
Matrix Software (Nintendo DS)

Publisher(s)

Square
Square Enix (Nintendo DS, Virtual Console)

Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi (Famicom)


Hiromichi Tanaka (all versions)
Kazuhiko Aoki (all versions)

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano (Famicom)


Akihiko Yoshida (Nintendo DS)

Writer(s)

Kenji Terada (Famicom)

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Famicom
[2]
Nintendo DS
Virtual Console

[1]

''Final Fantasy III''

85
Release date(s) Famicom
[1]
JP
April 27, 1990
Nintendo DS
[3] [4]
JP
August 24, 2006
[5]
NA
November 14, 2006
[6]
EU
May 4, 2007
Virtual Console
[7]
JP
July 21, 2009
[1]

Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player,

Rating(s)

Nintendo DS
[2]
CERO: A
ESRB: E10+
OFLC: PG
PEGI: 12+

Media

4 megabit cartridge
[2]
1-gigabit Nintendo DS Game Card

[1]

[2]

multiplayer (Nintendo DS)

Input methods Game controller

Final Fantasy III (III) is a console role-playing game developed and published by
Square in 1990 for the Family Computer as the third installment in the Final Fantasy series. It is the first numbered
Final Fantasy game to feature the job-change system.
The story revolves around four orphaned youths drawn to a crystal of light. The crystal grants them some of its
power, and instructs them to go forth and restore balance to the world. Not knowing what to make of the crystal's
pronouncements, but nonetheless recognizing the importance of its words, the four inform their adoptive families of
their mission and set out to explore and bring back balance to the world.
The game was released in Japan on April 27, 1990. It had never been released outside of Japan until a remake was
released on the Nintendo DS on August 24, 2006. At that time, it was the only Final Fantasy game not previously
released in North America or Europe.[8] There had been earlier plans to remake the game for Bandai's WonderSwan
Color handheld, as had been done with the first, second, and fourth installments of the series, but the game faced
several delays and was eventually canceled after the premature cancellation of the platform. The Nintendo DS
version of the game was positively received internationally, selling over one million copies in Japan. The Famicom
version of the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console service in Japan on July 21, 2009.[7]

''Final Fantasy III''

86

Gameplay
The gameplay of Final Fantasy III combines elements of the first two
Final Fantasy games with new features. The turn-based combat system
remains in place from the first two games, but hit points are now
shown above the target following attacks or healing actions, rather than
captioned as in the previous two games. Auto-targeting for physical
attacks after a friendly or enemy unit is killed is also featured for the
first time. Unlike subsequent games in the series, however, magical
attacks are not auto-targeted in the same fashion.[9]
The experience point system featured in Final Fantasy makes a return
following its absence from Final Fantasy II. The character class
The battle screen, showing the party battling three
system featured in the first game in the franchise also reappears, with
monsters. Like earlier games in the series, Final
some modifications. Whereas in the original game the player chooses
Fantasy III displays battle messages in text
windows, such as the "Miss" displayed in the
each character's class alignment at the start of the game, Final Fantasy
central box. Like later games in the series,
III introduces the "job system" for which the series would later become
animated messages or symbols are also shown on
famous. Jobs are presented as interchangeable classes: in the Famicom
the character in question.
version of the game, all four characters begin as "Onion Knights", with
a variety of additional jobs becoming available as the game progresses.
Any playable character has access to every currently available job.[10] Switching jobs consumes "capacity points"
which are awarded to the entire party following every battle, much like gil. Different weapons, armor and
accessories, and magic spells are utilized by each job. A character's level of proficiency at a particular job increases
the longer the character remains with that job. Higher job levels increase the battle statistics of the character and
reduce the cost in capacity points to switch to that job.[9]
Final Fantasy III is the first game in the series to feature special battle commands such as "Steal" or "Jump", each of
which is associated with a particular job ("Steal" is the Thief's specialty, while "Jump" is the Dragoon's forte).
Certain jobs also feature innate, non-battle abilities, such as the Thief's ability to open passages that would otherwise
require a special key item.[11] It is also the first game in the series to feature summoned creatures which are called
with the "Summon" skill.[10]

Plot
Setting
One thousand years before the events in the game, on a floating continent hovering high above the surface of an
unnamed planet, a technologically advanced civilization sought to harness the power of the four elemental crystals of
light. They did not realize that they could not control such fundamental forces of nature. This power of light would
have consumed the world itself had the light crystals not had their natural counterparts: the four dark elemental
crystals. Disturbed by the sudden interruption of the careful balance of light and dark, four warriors were granted the
power of the dark crystals to recapture the power of the light crystals. These so-called Dark Warriors succeeded in
their quest, and restored harmony to the world. But their victory came too late to save the doomed civilization. Their
culture was reduced to ruin, though their floating continent remained. On that continent, the circle of Gulgans, a race
of blind soothsayers and fortune-tellers, predicted that these events will ultimately repeat.[12]

''Final Fantasy III''

87

Characters
Final Fantasy III focuses around four orphans from the remote village
of Ur, each of them starting off as Freelancers. The Nintendo DS
version of the game individualized the party members, giving them
unique appearances (designed by Akihiko Yoshida), backstories,
personalities and names: Luneth (), who symbolizes courage,
an adventurous orphan boy raised in the village of Ur; Arc (),
who symbolizes kindness, Luneth's childhood best friend and a timid
yet intelligent young man; Refia (), who symbolizes
affection, a girl raised in the village of Kazus who tires of her father's
blacksmith training and often runs away from home; and Ingus
(), who symbolizes determination, a loyal soldier serving the
King of Sasune, with a (mutual) soft spot for the princess Sara.[13]

Render of the four main characters Luneth, Ingus,


Arc, and Refia, for the DS remake of Final
Fantasy III

Though Xande ( Zande) is the one they have to stop for the most of the game, he is eventually revealed to be
merely a pawn of the Cloud of Darkness ( Kurayami no Kumo), a malevolent and vicious deity who
wishes to push the world into a state of chaos and destruction by upsetting the balance between light and darkness,
allowing the Void to consume the world. Appearing in a female-like form, she refers to herself in first-person
plurals. Although she initially defeats the Warriors of the Light, they are resurrected with Unei and Doga's help, and,
with help from the Dark Warriors, they defeat the Cloud of Darkness.
The Onion Knight (seemingly based on both Luneth and the unnamed lead character of the Famicom version, with
an alternate costume based on Luneth) and the Cloud of Darkness are the respective hero and villainess representing
Final Fantasy III in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where they are voiced by Jun Fukuyama and Masako Ikeda
respectively in the Japanese version, and by Aaron Spann and Laura Bailey, respectively, in English. In the game,
the Onion Knight is a child prodigy sort who accompanies Terra Branford in their search for their crystals. But from
getting his after battling the Cloud of Darkness, learns to feel from his heart as he and Cloud Strife help Terra get her
crystal from Kefka Palazzo.
The Cloud of Darkness is referenced in Ivalice-set titles Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final
Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift as a summonable entity (known as an "Esper" in the first, a "Totema" in the
second and a "Scion" in the third) by the name of Famfrit, also known as "the Darkening Cloud".

Story
An earthquake opens up a previously hidden cavern in Altar Cave near the village of Ur on the floating continent.
Four young orphans under the care of Topapa, the village elder, explore the earthquake's impact and come across a
crystal of light. The crystal grants them a portion of its power, and instructs them to go forth and restore balance to
the world. Not knowing what to make of the crystal's pronouncements, but nonetheless recognizing the importance
of its words, the four inform their adoptive family of their mission and set out to explore an overworld outside the
area in which they were brought up to bring back balance to the world.[12]
Their adventures bring them to discover that there lies a whole world beyond the boundaries of the floating continent
upon which they were living. In the world below, they discover that a warlock named Xande, one of three
apprentices to the legendary Archmage Noah, is trying to possess the crystals of light to bring forth chaos and
disorder. The four warriors eventually arrive at the Crystal Tower where they discover that the Cloud of Darkness is
the source of the recent events. The Cloud attempts to bring back a similar situation as the Flood of Light a millennia
earlier so that the world is pulled into the void. The warriors from the light traverse into the domain of the dark
crystals to free the imprisoned dark warriors and defeat the Cloud of Darkness, thereby restoring the crystals and
balance to the world.[12]

''Final Fantasy III''

Development
Director Hironobu Sakaguchi, designer Hiromichi Tanaka, character designer Yoshitaka Amano, scenario writer
Kenji Terada, and music composer Nobuo Uematsu returned from the two previous Final Fantasy games to
contribute to the development of Final Fantasy III.[14] As with the previous two installments of the series, Final
Fantasy III was programmed for the Famicom by Nasir Gebelli. It was the last original Final Fantasy title worked
on by Gebelli.[15] The finished game was one of the largest ever produced for the Famicom.[16] Like many console
role-playing games of the era, Final Fantasy III is noted for its difficulty.[16]
Square developed and released Final Fantasy III during the same period that Nintendo released its 16-bit Super
Famicom console, intended as the successor to the original 8-bit Famicom. Designer Hiromichi Tanaka said that the
original game was never released outside of Japan because Square was focused on developing for Nintendo's new
console.
Nowadays we know that when you've got a platform like PlayStation, you'll have PlayStation 2 and then
PlayStation 3, and where you've got Xbox, you move on to Xbox 360 - you can sort of assume what's going to
happen in the future. But back then, that was the first time that we'd seen a new generation of consoles, and it
was really difficult to predict what was going to happen. At that time, then, we were working so hard to catch
up on the new technology that we didn't have enough manpower to work on an English version of Final
Fantasy III.
Hiromichi Tanaka[16]

Cancelled WonderSwan Color remake


Bandai unveiled their WonderSwan Color handheld system in 2000 and had immediately headed up a deal with
Square Co. to release enhanced remakes of their first three Final Fantasy titles on the new console.[17] Although
Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II were both released within a year of the announcement, Final Fantasy III was
ultimately delayed from its late 2001 release date, even after Bandai picked up the game's publishing rights.[18]
While a port of Final Fantasy IV was eventually released for the WonderSwan Color, Square remained silent
regarding Final Fantasy III. Although the game was never formally cancelled, the official website was taken offline
once production of the WonderSwan Color consoles ceased in 2002.[19]
In 2007, Hiromichi Tanaka explained in an interview that the WonderSwan Color remake had been abandoned
because the size and structure of the coding of the original Famicom game was too difficult to recreate on the
WonderSwan Color:
When we developed FF3, the volume of content in the game was so huge that the cartridge was completely
full, and when new platforms emerged, there simply wasn't enough storage space available for an update of
FF3, because that would have required new graphics, music and other content. There was also a difficulty with
how much manpower it would take to remake all of that content.
Hiromichi Tanaka[16]

Nintendo DS remake
Following the failure of the effort to remake the game for the WonderSwan Color, and Square's merger with former
competitor Enix to form Square Enix in 2003, the company posted assurance that the game's promised remake would
not be completely forgotten, and there was speculation that it might find its way to Sony's PlayStation or Nintendo's
Game Boy Advance as its predecessors had.[20] [21] Square Enix considered porting the game to the PlayStation 2,
but was eventually convinced by Nintendo to develop the title for their new handheld system, the Nintendo DS, a
decision that would later be positively reinforced by the commercial success of the Nintendo DS.[22] The Final
Fantasy III remake was first announced to be in development on 2004-10-07, but detailed information did not
emerge until a year later. Hiromichi Tanaka headed the project as both the executive producer and director. His

88

''Final Fantasy III''


guidance and supervision were needed because the remake was not a mere graphical update as Final Fantasy and
Final Fantasy II's remakes were, but a total overhaul using the Nintendo DS's 3D capabilities. Along with 3D
graphics, a full motion video opening scene was produced for the game, similar to those found in the ports of the 2D
Final Fantasy games for the PlayStation. Developer Matrix Software handled the programming of the game.[23]
The remake was produced by Tomoya Asano and co-developed by Matrix Software and Square Enix. In addition,
Ryosuke Aiba (Final Fantasy XI) was the art director. Akihiko Yoshida (Final Fantasy XII) redesigned the original
characters for use in 3D, and designed the looks of the new playable characters.[24] The formerly generic and
nameless party characters were replaced with more concrete characters with new personalities and background
stories, and additional scenes were added to develop their individuality; however, the main storyline was not altered
significantly.[25] Along with these four, additional characters (called "sub-characters") also join the party
temporarily, like in the original. Unlike the original, however, these characters may randomly participate in battle.[26]
Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS features overhauls to the job system, including the rebalancing of the classes,
the addition of new abilities, a new "Freelancer" class that replaces "Onion Knight" as the default job at the
beginning of the game (Onion Knight is retained as a secret class), new events, a new crystal and dungeon, and the
removal of capacity points. Unlike the original Famicom version, most of the jobs remain useful for the entire game.
The ultimate jobs the Ninja and the Sage and some of the lesser-used jobs like the Geomancer - were redesigned
to have the same level of abilities as the Warrior. Also new are special job-specific items available only if a character
has fully mastered a certain job.[27]
In place of capacity points, each character incurs a small temporary penalty for switching jobs. This penalty
decreases the character's statistics for the next 0 to 10 battles. This period is called a "Job Transition Phase" and its
length is based on how similar the new job is to the old job, and how proficient the character already is at the new
job.[27]
The remake takes advantage of the Wi-Fi feature of the Nintendo DS in the form of a Mail/Mognet system similar to
Final Fantasy IX. Various moogles in the game allow the player to send mail to others. Players are also able to send
mail to various characters in the game as well as to other players.[13] Side quests can also be unlocked using this
system, such as the quest to unlock the Onion Knight.[28] An interruption-save option is also available that lets the
player turn off the DS and continue when turning it back on. Like in the original, there is no way to make permanent
saves while inside a dungeon.[29]

Music
Final Fantasy III was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and is his 21st video game score. Final Fantasy III: Yky no
Kaze Densetsu, an arranged album by Uematsu featuring vocals by Dido, a Japanese vocal duo of Michiaki Kato and
Shizuru Ohtaka, was also issued shortly following the release of the Famicom game in 1990.[30] A soundtrack album
of the original game score followed a year later.[31]
Selected tracks the game were featured in various Final Fantasy arranged music compilation albums, including
Final Fantasy: Pray and Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow (with lyrical renditions performed by singer Risa Ohki),[32]
[33]
and the second and third albums from Uematsu's progressive metal group, The Black Mages.[34] [35] Several
tracks from the game were subsequently remixed and featured in later Square or Square Enix titles, including
Chocobo Racing[36] and Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.[37]
The score was arranged for the Nintendo DS remake by Tsuyoshi Sekito and Keiji Kawamori, working under
Uematsu's supervision.[38] This score was released on compact disc under the title Final Fantasy III: Original
Soundtrack. A remix of "This is the Final Battle" by The Black Mages, as well as a techno version of "Eternal Wind"
by muZik, appeared on the DS game's soundtrack, released in Japan on 2006-09-20.[39]

89

''Final Fantasy III''

90

Reception and legacy


Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score
[40]

GameRankings

77%

Metacritic

77 out of 100

(DS)
[41]

(DS)

Review scores
Publication
1UP.com
Famitsu

Score
[42]

B+

(DS)

[43]
36 out of 40
(Famicom)
[43]
34 out of 40
(DS)
[44]

GamePro

4 out of 5

GameSpy

8 out of 10

GameTrailers

8.2 out of 10

IGN
Nintendo
Power

[45]

(DS)
(DS)

[46]

(DS)
[47]

7.8 out of 10 (DS)


[48]

8 out of 10

(DS)

The Famicom version Final Fantasy III was thought to be typical of RPGs of its day, with a high degree of difficulty
requiring a significant amount of grinding.[16] It was influential in the development of the magic system and job
systems of Final Fantasy XI.[49] In 2006, readers of the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu voted the original Final
Fantasy III the eighth-best video game of all-time.[50] As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 1.4 million
copies in Japan,[51] and is regarded as one of the top-selling games of 1994.[52]
The remake's reception has been mostly positive with high sales and fair reviews from video game critics. IGN notes
that "interest in FFIII should come as no surprise given...the popularity of the DS".[53] The game sold 500,000 units
within the first week in Japan, beating Square Enix's original prediction that they would only sell 350,000.[54] As of
August 6, 2007, the game has sold 990,000 units in Japan and 460,000 units in North America.[55] As of August 8,
2008, it has sold 480,000 units in Europe.[56] Figurines of the characters from the game have been created.[57]
Reviews of the DS remake of Final Fantasy III have been mostly positive, with the game holding an aggregate score
of 77% on GameRankings.[40] 1UP.com described the gameplay as "an RPG for dedicated RPG enthusiasts", and
noted that while the job system had been heavily improved over the original title, it still felt at times "very limiting".
The review however stated that it was important to remember Final Fantasy III as "a slice of history and a missing
piece of a blockbuster series", citing that "hardcore RPG players" may enjoy the title more than other Final Fantasy
games and calling it "one of the best portable RPGs to date".[42] GameSpy stated enjoyment hinged "entirely on your
desire to play a game with decidedly archaic game mechanics that may seem primitive and uninviting" compared to
other recent Square Enix titles, noting the game as "quite challenging" and adding "Some people live for this stuff,
but others may be annoyed at the game's often unfriendly nature."[45]
GameTrailers noted that while the plot was simple and the party members generic, the game's scenarios were "top
notch". It additionally noted that while players should expect to have to do some level grinding, the game offers "lots
of little areas to explore."[40] IGN described the game as one that may be "amazingly frustrating for the now
mainstream Final Fantasy fan", and noted that while at the time the unique concept of the job class was one that

''Final Fantasy III''


"simply blew gamers' minds", comparing it to Final Fantasy XII' license board system was "literally no contest". The
review additionally argued that the remake hampered the game, citing that battles that would take "mere seconds to
scroll through" to now be "lengthened to nearly a minute". Another complaint was in the game's presentation on the
Nintendo DS, noting that the handheld's top screen was inactive for "75% of the game", and that even displaying
only artwork on the screen during those periods would have been a preferable outcome. However IGN described the
game as "graphically phenomenal and is set to a simply beautiful musical score", and that the transition from 2D to
3D was "a good call".[47]
From 1991 to 1992, Kadokawa Shoten's Famicom gaming magazine, Maru Katsu Famicom ()
published Legend of the Eternal Wind, from Final Fantasy III ( III
Yky no Kaze Densetsu Fainaru Fantaj Sur-yori), a manga serialization of Final Fantasy III illustrated by Yu
Kinutani. Based on the original story by Kenji Terada, the manga chronicles the events that take place throughout the
course of the game. It was subsequently collected into three tankbon under Kadokawa Shoten's Dragon Comics
imprint: Legend of the Eternal Wind 1, from Final Fantasy III, Legend of the Eternal Wind 2, from Final Fantasy III,
and Legend of the Eternal Wind 3, from Final Fantasy III.
In the PSP game Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the Onion Knight is a playable character. The attacks in Dissidia: Final
Fantasy are based on the attacks in the original game. The Onion Knight's outfit is taken from aspects of all
incarnations of the hero of Final Fantasy III. It is possible to unlock an alternate look that resembles Luneth in the
DS remake. While in EX Mode, the Onion Knight changes job to a sage when performing a magical attack, and a
ninja when performing a physical attack.

External links
Nintendo DS version
Official Japanese website [58]
Official North American website [59]
"Official European website" [60]. Archived from the original [61] on 2008-01-29.

References
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[2] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ff3/ ) (in Japanese). Square Enix Japan. . Retrieved 2008-07-11.
[3] "IIIDS Lite" (http:/ / www. famitsu. com/ game/ news/ 2006/ 07/ 12/
103,1152678634,56678,0,0. html) (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2006-07-12. . Retrieved 2007-10-26.
[4] Gantayat, Anoop (2006-08-24). "FIII Mania in Japan" (http:/ / ds. ign. com/ articles/ 728/ 728081p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2007-10-26.
[5] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20071017025808/ http:/ / www. nintendo. com/
gamemini?gameid=tkf6F442Z4tWTPh27NOdPoeqjSI_5J9h). Nintendo. 2007. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. nintendo. com/
gamemini?gameid=tkf6F442Z4tWTPh27NOdPoeqjSI_5J9h) on 2007-10-17. . Retrieved 2007-10-26.
[6] "FFIII Release date in Europe" (http:/ / www. gwn. com/ news/ story. php/ id/ 11716/ Final_Fantasy_III_Launch_Date_Confirmed. html).
GWN. 2007. . Retrieved May 17, 2007.
[7] Spencer (June 26, 2009). "Final Fantasy III Heads To Virtual Console In July" (http:/ / www. siliconera. com/ 2009/ 06/ 26/
final-fantasy-iii-heads-to-virtual-console-in-july/ ). Siliconera.com. . Retrieved 2009-06-29.
[8] Gantayat, Anoop (2004-10-07). "Miyamoto Speaks to Final Fantasy Producer" (http:/ / ds. ign. com/ articles/ 555/ 555485p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2006-09-03.
[9] Square Enix (1990). Final Fantasty III instruction manual.
[10] Roschin, Oleg; Vitaglione, Erik. "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. ugo. com/ channels/ games/ features/ finalfantasy/ finalfantasy3. asp).
The World of Final Fantasy. UGO.com Games. . Retrieved 2008-07-11.
[11] "Final Fantasy III Cheats" (http:/ / cheats. gamespy. com/ nes-cheats/ final-fantasy-iii/ ). GameSpy. . Retrieved 2008-07-11.
[12] (Japanese)Square. Final Fantasy III. (Square). Nintendo Family Computer. (1990-04-27)
[13] Square Enix, ed (2006). Final Fantasy III Instruction Book. Square Enix. p.51.
[14] "Game Credits for Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. mobygames. com/ game/ nes/ final-fantasy-iii/ credits). MobyGames (http:/ / www.
mobygames. com/ ). . Retrieved 2008-07-14.

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[15] Lau, John (2005-01-22). "The Secret of Nasir" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070716125605/ http:/ / www2. hawaii. edu/ ~johnlau/
nasir. html). University of Hawaii. Archived from the original (http:/ / www2. hawaii. edu/ ~johnlau/ nasir. html) on 2007-07-16. . Retrieved
2008-07-14.
[16] Rob Fahey (2007-03-13). "Fantasy Reborn" (http:/ / www. eurogamer. net/ articles/ fantasy-reborn-interview). Eurogamer. . Retrieved
2008-03-10.
[17] Harris, Craig (2000-09-08). "Final Fantasy Goes WonderSwan Color" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 084/ 084736p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2006-09-03.
[18] Joseph Witham (2003). "Final Fantasy III Still WonderSwan Bound" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q1-2003/ 030603b. html).
RPGamer. . Retrieved 2006-09-04.
[19] Eve C. (2002). "WSC FFIII Vanishes, FFI-II Remake In The Works" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ news/ 2002/ 1717. html). RPGFan. .
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[20] Andrew Long and Jesse Kanda (2003). "Final Fantasy III Finally On Deck" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q3-2003/ 070703a. html).
RPGamer. . Retrieved 2006-09-04.
[21] Adam Riley (2006-08-05). "Final Fantasy III: Nintendo DS" (http:/ / www. cubed3. com/ preview/ 194/ ). Cubed3.com. . Retrieved
2006-09-04.
[22] Nix (2006-09-24). "TGS 2006: Square on Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / ds. ign. com/ articles/ 734/ 734997p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2006-09-25.
[23] ""Creator's Voice" - The Final Fantasy III Interview" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060812044056/ http:/ / xcomp. gamebrink. com/
?p=222). zgameBrink.com. 2006-08-10. Archived from the original (http:/ / xcomp. gamebrink. com/ ?p=222) on 2006-08-12. . Retrieved
2006-08-27.
[24] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. mobygames. com/ game/ nintendo-ds/ final-fantasy-iii_). Moby Games. . Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[25] "Final Fantasy III Review" (http:/ / palgn. com. au/ nintendo-ds/ 6546/ final-fantasy-iii-review/ ). PALGN. . Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[26] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. eurogamer. net/ articles/ r_ffiii_ds). EuroGamer. . Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[27] written by Ken Schmidt (2006-11-15). Final Fantasy III Official Strategy Guide. Brady Games. ISBN0744008484.
[28] Shoemaker, Brad (2006-07-20). "Final Fantasy III Update" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ds/ rpg/ finalfantasyiii/ news. html?sid=6154385).
Gamespot.com. . Retrieved August 31, 2006.
[29] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. computerandvideogames. com/ article. php?id=163246). Computer and Video Games. . Retrieved
2008-07-16.
[30] "Final Fantasy III: Yuukyuu no Kaze Densetsu (Legend of the Eternal Wind)" (http:/ / ffmusic. info/ fflegendwind. html). Daryl's Library
(http:/ / www. ffmusic. info/ ). 2008-04-01. . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[31] "Final Fantasy III Original Sound Version" (http:/ / ffmusic. info/ ff3. html). Daryl's Library. 2008-04-29. . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[32] Patrick Gann. "Final Fantasy Vocal Collections II [Love Will Grow (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ fflove/ index. html)"].
RPGFan. . Retrieved 2008-07-24.
[33] Patrick Gann. "Final Fantasy Vocal Collections I -Pray-" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffpray/ index. html). RPGFan (http:/ /
www. rpgfan. com/ ). . Retrieved 2008-07-24.
[34] Jesse Jones. "Final Fantasy ~ The Black Mages II: The Skies Above" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffbm2/ index. html).
RPGFan. . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[35] Logan Castonguay. "Final Fantasy ~ The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffbm3/ index.
html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[36] Aaron Lau (1999-08-25). "The classic Final Fantasy sound returns, in excellently remixed form" (http:/ / www. soundtrackcentral. com/ cds/
chocoboracing_ost. htm). Soundtrack Central (http:/ / www. soundtrackcentral. com/ ). . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[37] Adam Corn (2008-07-12). "The Ghosts of Final Fantasy Past" (http:/ / www. soundtrackcentral. com/ cds/
chocobosmysteriousdungeonloft_ost. htm). Soundtrack Central. . Retrieved 2008-07-14.
[38] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ music/ sem/ page/ ff3/ ). Square-Enix. 2006-01-01. . Retrieved August 31, 2006.
[39] "Final Fantasy III Original Soundtrack" (http:/ / www. gmronline. com/ info. asp?CatNumber=SQEX-10076~7). Game Music CD
Information Database. 2005-01-01. . Retrieved August 31, 2006.
[40] "Final Fantasy III - DS" (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ ds/ 924897-final-fantasy-iii/ index. html). Game Rankings. . Retrieved
2008-07-16.
[41] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ ds/ finalfantasy3?q=final fantasy iii). Metacritic. . Retrieved
2008-07-16.
[42] "Final Fantasy III (Nintendo DS)" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ reviewPage?cId=3155163). 1UP.com. UGO Networks. . Retrieved
2008-07-16.
[43] "Final Fantasy - famitsu Scores Archive" (http:/ / fs. finalfantasytr. com/ search. asp?query=final+ fantasy). Famitsu Scores Archive. .
Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[44] "Review: Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. gamepro. com/ article/ reviews/ 86308/ final-fantasy-iii/ ). GamePro. . Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[45] "Final Fantasy III (DS)" (http:/ / ds. gamespy. com/ nintendo-ds/ final-fantasy-iii/ 746923p1. html). GameSpy. . Retrieved 2008-07-15.
[46] "Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ gamereview. php?id=2761). GameTrailers. . Retrieved 2008-07-15.
[47] Bozon, Mark (2006-11-14). "Final Fantasy III Review" (http:/ / ds. ign. com/ articles/ 746/ 746066p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2009-09.
[48] "Final Fantasy III review". Nintendo Power: 103. January 2007.

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[49] Nickel, Thomas (2006-01-01). "Hiromichi Tanaka Final Fantasy III" (http:/ / www. g-wie-gorilla. de/ content/ view/ 218/ 18/ ). g-wie
gorilla. . Retrieved 2008-03-10.
[50] Simon Carless (2006-03-03). "Famitsu Reveals Top 100 Reader-Voted Games of All Time" (http:/ / www. gamasutra. com/ php-bin/
news_index. php?story=8378). Gamasutra. . Retrieved 2008-07-16.
[51] "Titles of game software with worldwide shipments exceeding 1 million copies" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/
download/ 0404-200402090000-01. pdf#page=27). Square Enix. 2004-02-09. pp. 27. . Retrieved 2008-03-01.
[52] Kent, Steven L. (2000). The First Quarter: a 25-year History of Video Games. BWD Press. p.436. ISBN0970475500.
[53] IGN Staff (2006). "FFIII Mania in Japan" (http:/ / uk. ds. ign. com/ articles/ 728/ 728081p1. html). IGN (http:/ / www. ign. com/ ). .
Retrieved January 31, 2007.
[54] IGN Staff (2006). "Final Fantasy Tops Half Million" (http:/ / uk. ds. ign. com/ articles/ 728/ 728959p1. html). IGN (http:/ / www. ign. com/
). . Retrieved January 31, 2007.
[55] "Annual Report 2007" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ eng/ pdf/ ar/ 20070831_01. pdf#page8). Square-Enix.com. August 6, 2004. .
Retrieved 2008-12-20.
[56] "Annual Report 2008" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ eng/ pdf/ ar/ 20080808_01. pdf#page=11). Square-Enix.com. August 8, 2008. .
Retrieved 2008-12-20.
[57] Jon Jordan (February 2, 2007). "Final Fantasy III figures on the way" (http:/ / www. pocketgamer. co. uk/ r/ DS/ Final+ Fantasy+ III+
Trading+ Arts+ Minis/ news. asp?c=2270). pocketgamer.co.uk. . Retrieved March 11, 2008.
[58] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ff3/
[59] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ff3/
[60] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080129112533/ www. finalfantasy3. eu. com/ index_flash. html?lang=en
[61] http:/ / www. finalfantasy3. eu. com/

93

''Final Fantasy IV''

94

''Final Fantasy IV''


Final Fantasy IV

Japanese Super Famicom cover art; the North American version displayed a "II" instead of "IV".
Developer(s)

Square
TOSE (PS, GBA)
Sting (WSC)
Matrix Software (DS)

Publisher(s)
Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Takashi Tokita

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano

Writer(s)

Takashi Tokita

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS,
Virtual Console

Release date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Rating(s)
Media

8 megabit cartridge (SNES)


1 CD-ROM (PlayStation)
64 megabit cartridge (GBA)
1024 megabit cartridge (Nintendo DS)

Final Fantasy IV (IV Fainaru Fantaj Fru) is a console role-playing game developed
and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1991 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game was originally
released for the Super Famicom in Japan, but has been ported by TOSE to the Sony PlayStation, Bandai's
WonderSwan Color, and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, with increasing changes. The game was
re-titled "Final Fantasy II" during its initial release outside of Japan as the original Final Fantasy II and III had not
been released outside of Japan at the time. However, later localizations used the original title.
The game's story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful
crystals and destroying the world. He is joined on this quest by a frequently changing group of allies, several of
whom die or appear to die throughout the game. Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the
Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its "Active Time Battle" system was used in six subsequent
Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series gave each character their own unchangeable character
class.

''Final Fantasy IV''

95

With its character-driven plot, use of new technologies and critically acclaimed score by Nobuo Uematsu, Final
Fantasy IV is regarded as a landmark of the series and of the role-playing genre. It is considered to be one of the first
role-playing games to feature a complex, involving plot, and is thought to have pioneered the idea of dramatic
storytelling in an RPG. The various incarnations of the game have sold more than four million copies worldwide. A
sequel to the game, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, was released for Japanese mobile phones in 2008, and
worldwide via the Wii Shop Channel on June 1, 2009.

Gameplay

A battle scene from the Super Nintendo version


of the game: the party engages a Blue Dragon on
the Moon

In Final Fantasy IV, the player controls a large cast of characters and
completes quests to advance the story. Characters move and interact
with people and enemies on a field map, which may represent a variety
of settings, such as towers, caves, and forests. Travel between areas
occurs on a world map. The player can use towns to replenish strength,
buy equipment, and discover clues about their next destination.[1]
Conversely, the player fights monsters at random intervals on the
world map and in dungeons. In battle, the player has the option to
fight, use magic or an item, retreat, change character positions, parry,
or pause. Certain characters have special options.[1] The game was the
first in the series to allow the player to control up to five characters in
your party; previous games had limited the party to four.[2]

Player characters and monsters have hit points (HP), with the
characters' HP captioned below the main battle screen. Attacks reduce remaining HP until none are left, at which
point the character faints or the monster dies. If all characters are defeated, the game must be restored from a saved
game file.[1] The player can restore the characters' hit points by having them sleep in an inn or use items in the party's
inventory, such as a potions, as well as healing magic spells. Equipment (such as swords and armor) bought in towns
or found in dungeons can be used to increase damage inflicted on monsters or minimize received damage.[1] The
player can choose whether characters appear on the front line of a battle or in the back. A character's placement
impacts damage received and inflicted depending on the type of attack.[1] The game's story is linearthe player can
usually advance the game through only one path, although limited side quests are available.[3]
Final Fantasy IV introduced Square's Active Time Battle (ATB) system designed by Hiroyuki Ito, who was one of
the battle designers with Kazuhiko Aoki and Akihiko Matsui, which differed from the turn-based designs of previous
RPGs. The ATB system centers on the player inputting orders for the characters in real time during battles.[4] The
ATB system was used in many subsequent Square games.[2]
Each character always has certain strengths and weaknesses; for instance, a strong magic user may have low defense,
while a physical fighter may have low agility. Like other Final Fantasy games, characters gain new, more powerful
abilities with battle experience. Magic is classified as either "White" for healing and support; "Black" for offense; or
"Summon" (or "call") for summoning monsters to attack or carry out specialized applications.[1] A fourth
type"Ninjutsu"consists of support and offensive magic and is available to only one character. Magic users, who
account for eight of twelve playable characters, gain magic spells at preprogrammed experience levels or fixed story
events. The developers have balanced point gains, items, and rewards to eliminate long sessions of gaining levels.[5]
Due to the Super Nintendo's greater processing power, Final Fantasy IV contains graphics improved over previous
Final Fantasy titles. The game employs the Super Nintendo's Mode 7 technology to give enhanced magic spell
visuals and to make airship travel more dramatic by scaling and tilting the ground for a bird's eye view.[6]

''Final Fantasy IV''

96

Plot
Setting
Most of Final Fantasy IV takes place on Earth, also known as the Blue Planet,[7] which consists of a surface world
(or Overworld) and an underground world (or Underworld) inhabited by the Dwarves. A red, artificial moon orbits
the planet, upon which the Lunarians live. The Lunarians are a race of beings from a world destroyed which became
the asteroid belt, and are identified by a moon-shape crest on their foreheads. They created this artificial moon,
resting until a time they believe their kind can co-exist with humans.[2] A second, natural moon orbits as well,
though it is never visited in the game.

Characters
Final Fantasy IV offers twelve playable characters, each with a unique,
unchangeable character class. The main character, Cecil Harvey, is a dark knight
and the captain of the Red Wings, an elite air force unit of the kingdom of Baron.
He serves the king alongside his childhood friend Kain Highwind, the commander
of the Dragoons. Rosa Farrell is a white mage/archer and Cecil's love interest. The
Red Wings' airships were constructed by Cecil's friend, the engineer Cid
Pollendina.[2]
During his quest, Cecil is joined by others, including Rydia, a young summoner
from the village of Mist, Tellah, a legendary sage of Mysidia, Edward Chris von
Muir, the prince of Damcyan and a bard, and Yang Fang Leiden, the head of the
monks of Fabul. The other characters are the black mage Palom and white mage
Porom, twin apprentices from the magical village of Mysidia, Edward "Edge"
Geraldine, the ninja prince of Eblan, and lastly FuSoYa, the guardian of the
Lunarians during their long sleep.[2]

Development sketch by Yoshitaka


Amano of the character Kain

Cecil and Golbez are the respective hero and villain representing Final Fantasy IV in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Cecil
is voiced by Shizuma Hodoshima in the Japanese version and by Yuri Lowenthal in the English version; Golbez is
voiced by Takeshi Kaga in the Japanese version and by Peter Beckman in the English version.

Story
Final Fantasy IV begins as the Red Wings are attacking the city of Mysidia to steal the Water Crystal there. When
Cecil, Captain of the Red Wings, afterwards questions the king's motives, he is stripped of his rank and sent with
Kain to deliver a package to the Village of Mist.[8] There, Kain and Cecil watch in horror as monsters from inside the
package destroy the village. A young girl, Rydia, is the only survivor and summons an earthquake in anger,
separating Cecil and Kain.[9] Cecil awakens afterward and takes the wounded Rydia to a nearby town. Baron soldiers
come for Rydia, and Cecil defends her.[10]
Soon after, they meet Tellah, who is going to Damcyan Castle to retrieve his eloping daughter.[11] Anna is killed
when the Red Wings bomb the castle. Edward, Anna's lover and the prince of Damcyan, explains that the Red
Wings' new commander, Golbez, did this to steal the Fire Crystal for Baron as they had stolen the Water Crystal
from Mysidia.[12] Tellah leaves the party to seek vengeance on Golbez for Anna's death.[13] Cecil, Edward, and
Rydia decide to go to Fabul to protect the Wind Crystal. There the Red Wings attack, and Kain reappears as one of
Golbez's servants. He attacks and defeats Cecil; when Rosa intervenes, Golbez kidnaps her as Kain takes the
crystal.[14] On the way back to Baron, the party is attacked by Leviathan and thus separated.
Cecil awakes in Mysidia. There, he learns that to defeat Golbez, he must climb Mt. Ordeals and become a
Paladin.[15] On the mountain he encounters Tellah, who is searching for the forbidden spell Meteor to defeat

''Final Fantasy IV''


Golbez.[16] Cecil becomes a Paladin, while Tellah learns the secret of Meteor. Upon reaching Baron the party
confronts the King of Baron, only to discover that he had been replaced by one of Golbez's minions.[17] After
defeating him, Cid arrives and takes them to one of his airships.
On the airship, Kain appears and demands Cecil retrieve the final crystal in exchange for Rosa's life.[18] After the
crystal is retrieved, Kain leads the party to the Tower of Zot, where Rosa is imprisoned. At the tower's summit,
Golbez takes the crystal and attempts to flee. Tellah sacrifices himself to stop Golbez with Meteor, but only weakens
him, although it does end Golbez's mind control of Kain.[19] Kain helps Cecil rescue Rosa and Rosa teleports the
party out of the collapsing tower to Baron.
In Baron, Kain reveals that Golbez must also obtain four subterranean "Dark Crystals" to achieve his goal of
reaching the moon. [20] The party travels to the underworld and encounter the Dwarves who are currently fighting the
Red Wings. They stop Golbez from stealing the Dwarves' crystal, and are rejoined by Rydia in the fight. They flee
the underworld in the airship, and Cid sacrifices himself to reseal the passage to underworld.[21] The party travels to
the Tower of Babil where the crystals are being kept. When they reach the crystal room, the party falls through a trap
door to the underworld. The heroes go to retrieve the eighth crystal before Golbez. Upon retrieving it, Golbez reveals
he still has control over Kain, and takes the crystal.[22] After learning of the Lunar Whale, a ship designed to take
travelers to and from the moon, the party is rejoined by Cid, and travels to the surface and boards the ship.[23]
On the moon, the party meets the sage Fusoya, who explains that Cecil's father was a Lunarian.[24] Fusoya also
explains that a Lunarian named Zemus plans to destroy life on the Blue Planet so that the Lunarians can take it over,
using Golbez to summon the Giant of Babil, a colossal robot.[25] They return to Earth and the forces of the two
worlds attack the Giant. After the party breaks the robot, Golbez and Kain confront them, only to have Fusoya break
Zemus' control over Golbez, in turn releasing Kain. Cecil learns that Golbez is his older brother.[26] Golbez and
Fusoya head to the core of the moon to defeat Zemus, and Cecil's party follows. In the moon's core, the party
witnesses Golbez and Fusoya kill Zemus, but then quickly fall to his resurrected form, the spirit Zeromus.[27] Cecil
and his allies defeat Zeromus. Following the battle, Fusoya and Golbez opt to leave Earth with the moon.[28] In an
epilogue we see Kain atop Mt. Ordeals while everyone else reunites to celebrate Cecil and Rosa's wedding and their
coronation as Baron's new king and queen.

Development
After completing Final Fantasy III in 1990, Square planned to develop two Final Fantasy gamesone for the
Nintendo Famicom and the other for the forthcoming Super Famicom, to be known as Final Fantasy IV and Final
Fantasy V respectively.[29] Due to financial and scheduling constraints, Square dropped plans for the Famicom game
and continued development of the Super Famicom version, retitled Final Fantasy IV. A mock-up screenshot of the
cancelled title was produced for a Japanese magazine, but little other information exists about it.[29]
Final Fantasy IV was lead designer Takashi Tokita's first project at Square as a full time employee. Before this,
Tokita wanted to make a career as a theater actor, but working on the game made him decide to become a "great
creator" of video games.[30] Initially Hiromichi Tanaka, the main designer of Final Fantasy III, was also involved in
the development of the game. However, Tanaka wanted to create a seamless battle system that had no separate battle
screen and was not menu-driven, and since Final Fantasy IV was not going in that direction, he changed
development teams to work on the action RPG Secret of Mana instead.[31] The development team of Final Fantasy
IV was composed of 14 people in total, and the game was completed in roughly one year.[32]
Initial ideas were contributed to by the game's director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, including the name of Baron's royal air
force, the "Red Wings".[33] As the game's lead designer, Tokita worked on all the game's events and contributed
pixel art. He stated that there was a lot of pressure and that the project would not have been completed if he did not
work directly on it. According to Tokita, Final Fantasy IV was designed with the best parts of the previous three
installments in mind: the job system of Final Fantasy III, the focus on story of Final Fantasy II, and the four
elemental bosses acting as "symbols for the game" as in the first installment.[32] Other influences include Dragon

97

''Final Fantasy IV''


Quest II.[34] The themes of Final Fantasy IV were to go "from darkness to light" with Cecil, a focus on family and
friendship bonds with the large and diverse cast,[35] and the idea that "brute strength alone isn't power".[33] Tokita
feels that Final Fantasy IV is the first game in the series to really pick up on drama,[32] and the first Japanese RPG to
feature "such deep characters and plot".[36]
The game's script had to be reduced to one fourth of its original length due to cartridge storage limits, but Tokita
made sure only "unnecessary dialogue" was cut rather than actual story elements. As the graphical capacities of the
Super Famicom allowed Yoshitaka Amano to make more elaborate character designs than in the previous
installments, with the characters' personalities already evident from the images, Tokita felt the reduced script length
improved the pacing of the game.[32] [37] Still, he acknowledges that some parts of the story were "unclear" or were
not "looked at in depth" until later ports and remakes of the game. One of the ideas not included, due to time and
space constraints, was a dungeon near the end of the game where each character would have to progress on their
ownthis dungeon would only be included in the Game Boy Advance version of the game, as the Lunar Ruins.[32]

Music
The score of Final Fantasy IV was written by longtime series composer Nobuo Uematsu. Uematsu has noted that the
process of composing was excruciating, involving trial and error and requiring the sound staff to spend several nights
in sleeping bags at Square Co. headquarters. His liner notes were humorously signed as being written at 1:30 AM "in
the office, naturally."[38] The score was well received; reviewers have praised the quality of the composition despite
the limited medium.[3] [39] The track "Theme of Love" has even been taught to Japanese school children as part of
the music curriculum.[40] Uematsu continues to perform certain pieces in his Final Fantasy concert series.[41]
Three albums of music from Final Fantasy IV have been released in Japan. The first album, Final Fantasy IV:
Original Sound Version, was released on June 14, 1991 and contains 44 tracks from the game. The second album
was Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon, released on October 24, 1991, contains a selection of tracks from the game,
arranged and performed by Celtic musician Mire Breatnach. Lastly, Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections, an
arrangement of tracks for solo piano performed by Toshiyuki Mori, was released on April 21, 1992 and began the
Piano Collections trend for each successive Final Fantasy game. Several tracks have appeared on Final Fantasy
compilation albums produced by Square, including The Black Mages and Final Fantasy: Pray. Independent but
officially licensed releases of Final Fantasy IV music have been orchestrated by such groups as Project Majestic
Mix, which focused on arranging video game music.[42] Selections also appear on Japanese remix albums, called
dojin music, and on English remixing websites such as OverClocked ReMix.[43]

North American localization


Because the previous two installments of the Final Fantasy series had not been localized and released in North
America at the time, Final Fantasy IV was distributed as Final Fantasy II to maintain naming continuity. Later
remakes of the game have been released in North America under the original title. While the game retains the
storyline, graphics, and sound of the original, developers significantly reduced the difficulty for beginning
gamers.[44] Certain character descriptions and elements of backstory have been cut due to space limitations. For
instance, Kain's background and relationship with his father and the motivations for Zemus's plans to colonize Earth
are not in the game.[45] Other changes include the removal of overt Judeo-Christian religious references and certain
potentially objectionable graphics. The magic spell Holy was renamed White. All references to prayer were
eliminated; the Tower of Prayers in Mysidia was renamed the Tower of Wishes, though the White Mage in the tower
still calls it "Tower of Prayers," and Rosa's Pray command is absent. Direct references to death were omitted,
although several characters clearly die over the course of the game.[46] The translation was changed in accordance
with Nintendo of America's censorship policies (at the time before the formation of the ESRB and its rating
system).[47]

98

''Final Fantasy IV''

99

Re-releases

The logo for the Game Boy Advance re-release: Final Fantasy IV Advance.

In addition to its original release, Final Fantasy IV has


been remade into many different versions. The first of
these was Final Fantasy IV Easytype, a modified
version of the game was released for the Super
Famicom in Japan. The Easytype was modified to be
even easier than its North American counterpart. In this
version, the attack powers of weapons have been
enhanced, while the protective abilities of certain
accessories and armor are amplified.[44]

A PlayStation re-release debuted in Japan on March 21, 1997. Ported by TOSE and published by Square Co., it was
designed and directed by Kazuhiko Aoki, supervised by Fumiaki Fukaya, and produced by Akihiro Imai.[48] This
version is identical to the original game, although minor tweaks introduced in the Easytype are present. The most
notable changes in the PlayStation release are the inclusion of full motion video opening & ending sequences, the
ability to move quickly in dungeons and towns by holding the Cancel button, and the option of performing a "memo"
save anywhere on the world map.[48] On March 11, 1999, this version was released a second time in Japan as part of
the Final Fantasy Collection package, which also included the PlayStation versions of Final Fantasy V and Final
Fantasy VI.[49] Fifty-thousand limited edition copies of the collection were also released and included a Final
Fantasy-themed alarm clock.[50]
This version was later released with Chrono Trigger in North America as part of Final Fantasy Chronicles in 2001
and with Final Fantasy V in Europe and Australia as part of Final Fantasy Anthology in 2002. The English
localizations feature a new translation, although certain lines from the previous localization by Kaoru Moriyama such as "You spoony bard!" - were kept, as they had become fan favorites.[51] A remake for the WonderSwan Color,
with few changes from the PlayStation version, was released in Japan on March 28, 2002. Character sprites and
backgrounds were graphically enhanced through heightened details and color shading.[52]
Final Fantasy IV was ported again by TOSE for the Game Boy Advance and published as Final Fantasy IV Advance
(IV Fainaru Fantaj F Adobansu). It was released in North America by
Nintendo of America on December 12, 2005; in Japan by Square Enix on December 15, 2005; in Australia on
February 23, 2006; and in Europe on June 2, 2006. In Japan, a special version was available which included a limited
edition Game Boy Micro with a themed face plate featuring artwork of Cecil and Kain.[53] The enhanced graphics
from the WonderSwan Color port were even further improved, and minor changes were made to the music. The
localization team revised the English translation, improving the flow of the story, and restoring plot details absent
from the original.[44] The abilities that were removed from the original North American release were re-added, while
spells were renamed to follow the naming conventions of the Japanese version, changing "Bolt2" to "Thundara" for
example.[46] A new cave at Mt. Ordeals was added featuring powerful armor and stronger weapons for five
additional characters, as was the Lunar Ruins, a dungeon accessible only at the end of the game.[44]
The game was remade again for the Nintendo DS for the Final Fantasy series' 20th anniversary, and was released as
Final Fantasy IV in Japan on December 20, 2007, in North America on July 22, 2008, and in Europe on September
5, 2008.[54] The remake adds a number of features not present in the original, such as voice acting, minigames, and
some changes to the basic gameplay. The game was developed by Matrix Software, the same team responsible for
the Final Fantasy III DS remake, and was supervised by members of the original development team: Takashi Tokita
served as executive producer and director, Tomoya Asano as producer and Hiroyuki It as battle designer. Animator
Yoshinori Kanada storyboarded the new cut scenes.
The original version of the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on August 4, 2009 and in North
America on March 8, 2010.[55] The latest version of the game is an enhanced port released in Japan on October 5,

''Final Fantasy IV''


2009, for iMode compatible phones. It retains features introduced in the Wonderswan Color and Gameboy Advance
ports, while incorporating enhanced character graphics on par with those found in The After Years, as well as an
exclusive "extra dungeon" available after completing the game.[56]

Reception and legacy


In Japan, 1.44 million copies of Final Fantasy IV's Super Famicom version were sold.[57] By March 31, 2003, the
game, including the PlayStation and WonderSwan Color remakes, had shipped 2.16 million copies worldwide, with
1.82 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and 340,000 abroad.[58] As of 2007 just before the release of the
Nintendo DS version, nearly 3 million copies of the game had been sold around the world.[2] By May 2009, the DS
version of the game had sold 1.1 million copies worldwide.[59]
Major reviewers have called Final Fantasy IV one of the greatest video games of all time, noting that it pioneered
many now common console role-playing game features, including "the whole concept of dramatic storytelling in an
RPG."[60] [61] Reviewers have praised the game for its graphics, gameplay and score.[44] [60] Reviewers have noted
that Final Fantasy IV was one of the first role-playing games to feature a complex, involving plot.[5] [39] Nintendo
Power proclaimed it set a "new standard of excellence" for role-playing games.[62] It would later place ninth and
twenty-eighth in the "100 Greatest Nintendo Games" lists of issues 100 and 200, respectively.[63] [64] In addition, the
magazine GamePro rated it a perfect 5 out of 5 score in its March 1992 issue.[65] In 2005 IGN ranked it as
twenty-sixth on its list of greatest games of all time; it is the highest rated Final Fantasy title on the list, but in 2007,
the game was ranked #55, behind Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy Tactics.[66] [67] Famitsu released a reader poll
in 2006 ranking it as the sixth best game ever made.[68] However, the game's original release was heavily criticized
for the poor quality of its English-language translation.[39] [44]
Final Fantasy Collection sold over 400,000 copies in 1999, making it the 31st best selling release of that year in
Japan.[69] Weekly Famitsu gave it a 54 out of 60 points, scored by a panel of six reviewers.[50] The Game Boy
Advance version, Final Fantasy IV Advance, was met with praise from reviewers,[70] although a few noted the
game's graphics do not hold up well to current games, especially when compared to Final Fantasy VI.[44] [71]
Reviewers noted that some fans may still nitpick certain errors in the new translation.[60] The Nintendo DS version
of the game was praised for its visuals as well, along with the gameplay changes and new cutscenes.[72] [73] [74] It
was a nominee for Best RPG on the Nintendo DS in IGN's 2008 video game awards.[75]
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, also known in Japan as Final Fantasy IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan
(IV --) is the sequel to Final Fantasy IV, set seventeen years
after the events detailed in the original. The first two chapters of the game were released in Japan in February 2008
for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 903i series phones, with a release for au WIN BREW series phones slated for Spring
2008. The game revolves around Ceodore, the son of Cecil and Rosa, and many of the original cast members will
return, with some being featured in more prominent roles than before, among other new characters.[76] [77] After the
mobile release, it was hinted that The After would be released outside of Japan.[78] On March 25, 2009, an
announcement was made by Satoru Iwata during Nintendo's GDC 2009 Keynote speech that the U.S. will see the
Final Fantasy IV sequel released later this year on the Wii's WiiWare service.[79] . Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
first two chapters ("Main Story" which compiles Prologue, Ceodore's and Kain's Tales from original Japanese game
and "Rydia's Tale") were released on June 1, 2009 in North America and June 5, 2009 on PAL territories. The
additional chapters were released in the following months.[80] [81]
A two-volume novelization of Final Fantasy IV was released in Japan on Dec 25, 2008.[82] [83]

100

''Final Fantasy IV''

See also
Final Fantasy IV (Nintendo DS)
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

External links

"Nintendo Final Fantasy IV Advance Official Website" [84]. Archived from the original [85] on 2008-01-29.
Square Enix Final Fantasy IV Advance Official Website [86] (Japanese)
Square Enix Final Fantasy IV for Nintendo DS Official Website [87] (Japanese)
Square Enix Final Fantasy IV for Mobile Official Website [88] (Japanese)
Final Fantasy IV [89] at Wikia

References
[1] Square Co., ed (1991). Final Fantasy II instruction manual. Square Co.. p.74. SFS-F4-USA-1.
[2] "Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part III" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 22905. html). GameTrailers. 2007-07-30. . Retrieved
2008-04-16.
[3] "Review of Final Fantasy IV" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070706224046/ http:/ / www. allrpg. com/ games/ ff4/ index.
php3?page=review& num=1). AllRPG. 2003-06-14. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. allrpg. com/ games/ ff4/ index.
php3?page=review& num=1) on 2007-07-06. . Retrieved 2006-09-12.
[4] Final Fantasy Advance instruction manual. Square Enix. 2005. p.22. AGB-BZ4E-USA.
[5] Alley, Jake (2001-10-29). "Birth of the plot-driven RPG" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ ff4/ reviews/ ff4strev2. html). RPGamer. .
Retrieved 2006-09-10.
[6] Palley, Steve (2005-09-09). "Sail to the Moon: Final Fantasy II" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ features/ 6132899/ index. html). GameSpot. .
Retrieved 2006-03-07.
[7] Fusoya: Long ago, the world that lay between the Red Planet and the Great Behemoth stood at the verge of destruction, both terrible and
complete. The last survivors of that devastation boarded a ship and escaped to the Blue Planet. / Cecil: Blue Planet? / Fusoya: The one that
you call home. But your planet was still in the midst of its evolution, you see. And so those travelers created a second moon for the planet, and
there they settled into a long and quiet slumber. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[8] King of Baron: This is most unfortunate, but I can place no trust on one who offers none in return. I hereby relieve you of command of the
Red Wings. / Cecil: My liege! / King: You will go now to the Valley of Mist instead. There is a task I would have you do. A phantom
creature haunts the borders of that land-the Eidolon of Mist. You will slay it and deliver this ring to the village that lies beyond they will
know its meaning. Be gone by first light in the morning! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[9] Rydia: Mother, you can't die! Just because your dragon did... Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[10] Officer of Baron: Our orders come directly from His Majesty's own mouth. Surrender the girl, and he will pardon all you've done. The
inhabitants of Mist represent a threat to us all. They must not be allowed to live! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo
DS. (2008-07-22)
[11] Tellah: My daughter Anna was tricked by a silver-tongued bard. He's taken her to Damcyan Castle. I fear I've little time. I sense something
sinister. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[12] Edward: The Red Wings laid siege to us, led by a man named Golbez. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS.
(2008-07-22)
[13] Tellah: Tears do not bring back the dead, boy! Anna's death must be avenged. I'll find this Golbez! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS.
(Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[14] Kain: It's been some time, Cecil. / Cecil: Kain! You're alive! / Kain: I am. / Cecil: You'll fight, then? / Kain: Of course. That's the very
reason I've come. But, Cecil...The one I'll fight is you! / Cecil: Kain!? / Kain: A duel, Cecil! / Cecil: What do you mean? / Kain: Draw your
blade! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[15] Elder: First you must ascend the mountain and trade your dark sword for one of light. Should the hallowed light deem you worthy, you will
be made a paladin--a warrior of virtue. But know it will be no easy trail. Many are the man who have scaled the mountain, but not one has
returned. Will you try where all others have failed? / Cecil: I will! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS.
(2008-07-22)
[16] Cecil: Weren't you planning to go after Golbez?. /Tellah: Yes, but my magic is no match for a man of his strength. I've been searching for
the legendary magic of Meteor. It has been long sealed aswat, and I know not where. But I feel a powerful aura radiating from this place. I
believe the spell I seek may well rest within this mountain. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[17] Cecil: What have you done with the king!? / "King of Baron": Would you like to go and see him, that king of yours? You best not mistake
me for another Scarmiglione. How one as weak as he came to be crowned an archfiend is something I will never know. Mwa ha ha! / Cecil:
Then you're one of them! / "King of Baron": Behold! I am the Drowned King, Cagnazzo--archfiend of water and sworn servant of Golbez!

101

''Final Fantasy IV''


Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[18] Cecil: Where's Rosa? She's safe, I trust. / Kain: Heh. Worried about her, are you? If you wish to see Rosa alive, fetch me the Earth Crystal
from the land of Troia.Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[19] Golbez: So, the old man's interference severed my hold over you. No matter. Your purpose is served. Do not think this affront will be
forgiven. / Cecil: Why...why now stay your hand?/Golbez: You're--You..But--how?...? We will finish this another time. Square Enix. Final
Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[20] Cecil: Kain, we've lost the Earth Crystal. Golbez holds all them now. / Kain: No. he holds four. / Rosa: You mean to say there are more? /
Cid: Come to think it, I've heard tales of others! You speak of the Dark Crystals? / Kain: I do. / Kain: There is more. He said when all of the
Crystals were gathered, the way to the moon would be opened. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[21] Cid: Once you breach surface, I'll seal off that hold for good--with this! / Rosa: No! Not you too! / Cid: I was hoping I'd get to see your kids
someday, but, well--someone's got to keep Yang company! You get yourselves back to Baron. Talk to my boys there! / Rydia: But Cid! You'll
die! / Cid: And so young, too! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[22] Golbez: Kain...Return to me, my pawn...Deliver to me the Crystal... / Cecil: Golbez! / Cecil: Kain! / Rosa: Don't listen! Resist him! / Kain:
It's alright. I...I'm back in control of myself. / Edge: You filthy double-crosser! / Rosa: Kain. What are you doing!? /Golbez: You
underestimate the strength of my abilities. I had but slackened your friend's leash, waiting for the proper moment to pull it taut. With this final
Crystal, the Tower of Babil will be made complete. Come, Kain. / Cecil: Kain! Don't listen to him! Kain! / Kain: The Crystals are all
assembled. We can open the way to the moon at last! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[23] Elder: She is risen! The promised Ship of Light... The Lunar Whale! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS.
(2008-07-22)
[24] 'Cecil: And the Lunar Whale, where did it come from? / Fusoya: Ah, the ship...My younger brother KluYa built that vessel long ago, and
flew it to the Blue Planet. He took with him several of our secrets, such as the ones employed in your Devil's Road and in airships--a gift to
your people. Kluya was fascinated by your planet and wished to know more about it. And while he was there, he fell in love with a woman of
your planet. Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[25] Fusoya: He thought it fit that we should simply raze all existing life on the Blue Planet and claim it as our own. / Rydia: That's horrible... /
Fusoya: Yes. And so I used my powers to force him into hibernation with the others. But as he slept, his will grew stronger and took on a
consciousness all its own. It reached out to men with tainted hearts on your planet, twisting them into beings yet darker still. And through
them, he began to gather the Crystals. / Cecil: So he was manipulating Golbez! / Edge: Does this guy have a name? / Fusoya: His name is
Zemus. The Crystals function as a source of energy you see. I fear he has gathered them in order to activate the interdimenional elevator
within the Tower of Babil. With it, he will be able to transport the Giant of Babil to your planet and use it to extinguish all life there.Square
Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[26] Golbez: My father... His name was Kluya. / Rosa: That you're Cecil's own... / Edge: Brother!? Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square
Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[27] Zeromus: I am the wellspring of darkness, fed by Zemus's unbridled hate. I am He who is called Zeromus... I am He who know naught but
hate! Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
[28] Golbez: I cannot return. Not after I have done. And I would very much like to meet my father's people. At least one time. Square Enix.
Final Fantasy IV DS. (Square Enix). Nintendo DS. (2008-07-22)
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104

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

105

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''


Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

The Final Fantasy IV: The After Years logo, by Yoshitaka Amano
Developer(s)

Matrix Software

Publisher(s)

Square Enix

Designer(s)

Takashi Tokita

Composer(s)

Junya Nakano

Series

Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy IV

Platform(s)

NTT docomo FOMA p903i series mobile phones, au WIN BREW series mobile phones, Yahoo! Keitai
compatible mobile phones, WiiWare

Release date(s) DoCoMo


JP
February 18, 2008
au
JP
May 15, 2008
Yahoo! Keitai
JP
November 4, 2008
WiiWare
NA
June 1, 2009
EU
June 5, 2009
JP
July 21, 2009
Genre(s)

Console role-playing

Mode(s)

Up to Four Players

Rating(s)

CERO: A
ESRB: E
[2]
OFLC: PG
[3]
PEGI: 7+

[1]

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, released in Japan as Final Fantasy IV the After Years: Return of the Moon
(IV -- Fainaru Fantaj F Ji Afut Iyzu -Tsuki no
Kikan-) is a Japanese role-playing game developed by Matrix Software and published by Square Enix, and is the
sequel to Final Fantasy IV. Originally released in Japan in 2008 as a mobile game with the title Final Fantasy IV
the After: Return of the Moon (IV -- Fainaru Fantaj F Ji
Afut -Tsuki no Kikan-), an enhanced WiiWare port of the title was released in North America, PAL regions, and
Japan in 2009.[4] [5] [6]
Set 17 years after Final Fantasy IV, The After Years follows the original cast and their descendants in episodic tales
as a new villain appears, setting into action a mysterious chain of events that threatens the fate of the Blue Planet.[4]
Largely utilizing assets, locations, and mechanics from its predecessor, the title nevertheless incorporates higher
quality character graphics and several new gameplay systems.[7] [8]

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

106

Gameplay
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years uses most of the gameplay features
of Final Fantasy IV, including random encounters and the Active Time
Battle (ATB) system, which it originally popularized. It also retains a
number of the graphical enhancements from the Wonderswan Color
and Game Boy Advance versions of Final Fantasy IV, while further
improving the quality of character sprites to a level comparable with
those of Final Fantasy VI.[7]

A screenshot from the mobile version showing


the effects of the new "Age of the Moon" system.

The battle system uses a new feature called the "Age of the Moon"
( Getsurei), which reflects the game's lunar phases, which change
as players rest at inns, with each of the phases altering physical and
magical attack powers for both player characters and enemies. Certain
rare monsters also only appear during certain lunar phases.[8]

The game also introduces a new type of combination attack through the
"Band System" ( Bando Shisutemu), known as a
"Band" ( Bando) ability. Similar to the Double and Triple Techs of Chrono Trigger, these allow two or more
characters to coordinate separate commands into a single new attack at the cost of MP from all involved. Band
abilities are said to be extremely powerful, and there are over 70 different Band abilities in all.[8]

Plot
Following the events of the original Final Fantasy IV, the second moon leaves the Blue Planet's orbit and there is a
period of peace as Damcyan, Eblan, and the Village of Mist are rebuilt, while the Kingdom of Baron comes under
the rule of Cecil and his wife, Rosa. However, 17 years later, the second moon has reappeared in the sky, much
closer to the planet than it was years ago, and the unchanging Crystals begin to emit a soft light; however, the
meaning behind these events remains unknown.[4]
The game revolves around Ceodore ( Seodoa), a young man who is the son of Cecil Harvey and Rosa
Farrell, two of the protagonists from the original, both of whom return along with most of the other main cast
members and a number of entirely new characters.[7] Amongst these new additions to the cast are the Hooded Man
( Nazo no Otoko, lit. "Mysterious Man"), a wandering swordsman enshrouded in purple robes who is
strangely familiar with Cecil's previous adventure, and the Mysterious Woman ( Nazo no Shjo), a female
antagonist able to summon Eidolons, who attacks the kingdoms in search of the Crystals.[4]
The storyline of the game unfolds through episodic chapters, released roughly once a month, each primarily focused
on a specific character. These chapters utilize foreshadowing, cliffhangers, flashbacks, and a nonlinear narrative
structure to build the world setting and both explore and expand upon the mysterious events befalling the Blue
Planet.
Part 1 Return of the Moon, The Last of the Red Wings, and The Return of the Dragoon
The story begins as characters from the first Final Fantasy 4 notice the appearance of the second moon. This is of
great concern to Cecil and Rosa who remember their previous ordeal on the moon. Meanwhile, Ceodore sets out
with Wedge and Biggs on his test to become a Red Wing. At the start of the story Ceodore is a nervous young man
who is afraid he will never step out of the shadow of his famous parents. As his test begins he descends into a cave to
obtain the Knight's Emblem, which turns out to be a rat's tail. Wedge and Biggs explain that the purpose of the test
was to show him that he already had what it takes to be a Red Wing, he just needed to prove it to himself.
As the Red Wings start home the player takes control of Cecil, Rosa, and Cid as they defend Baron from an
onslaught of monsters. After surviving several waves of attacks they meet the Mysterious Woman. Cecil asks Cid to

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''


take Rosa to safety as he confronts the intruder. The woman summons Bahamut and defeats Cecil.
Meanwhile, the airship carrying Ceodore encounters several monsters. The airship crashes killing everyone but
Ceodore. Realizing he is the last of the Red Wings, Ceodore sets out on a long journey home. He is almost defeated
by a group on monsters but is rescued by a Hooded Man. As the two head towards Mysidia the player alternately
takes control of Kain as he sets out from Mount Ordeals towards Baron. Along the way Kain gathers the Crystals of
Air, Earth, Fire and Water on the request of the Mysterious Woman and eventually takes Rosa as well. Kain states
how he is going to kill Cecil so he can have Rosa for himself. Ceodore, the Hooded Man, and Edward intercept Kain
in front of Cecil's throneroom. At this point it is revealed that the Hooded Man is in fact Kain, and the Kain that has
taken the crystals and Rosa is Kain's "dark half." After their duel the true Kain wins and becomes a Holy Dragoon. In
addition to his jump ability Kain can use White Magic as well. Kain, Ceodore, Rosa, and Edward continue on their
way to meet Cecil as the first part ends.
Part 2 Planet Eater
The second story begins with Rydia, Luca, and Edge on board an airship in the subterranean world. A man in black
mysteriously falls out of nowhere and takes control of the airship, directing it towards Baron. As the party
approaches the castle they witness meteors from the second moon bombard the world. They return to Baron Castle to
find it sealed by a magical force field. The four travel the world searching for their lost friends, encountering the
Mysterious Woman again, and helping Rydia search for the missing Eideons. After breaking the Mysterious
Woman's control over Titan, Shiva, Ramuh, and Ifrit they are able to enter Baron Castle and find Cecil threatening
Ceodore, Rosa, and Kain. After freeing Cecil from the Mysterious Woman's control the man in black reveals himself
to be Golbez. The second moon is getting closer to the Earth and the party realizes they have to find a way to stop it.
Boarding the Lunar Whale they land on the second moon and descend into its depths. At this point in the game it is
possible for the player to switch out party members by returning to the Lunar Whale or by accessing
inter-dimensional elevators.
During the descent the party encounters several bosses from the other Final Fantasy games like the four elemental
fiends from the first Final Fantasy, most of the bosses from Final Fantasy 4, and several enemies from Final Fantasy
VI including Ultros, the Ultima Weapon, the Ghost Train, and Doom Gaze. Eventually, the party encounters Cecil's
evil side, the Dark Knight. Once the Dark Knight is defeated Cecil returns to the Light and regains the ability to use
white magic.
Once the party reaches the bottommost depths of the second moon they discover the Mysterious Woman they have
been encountering is not a single individual. Each Mysterious Woman was part of a group of beings created to
retrieve the crystals. Venturing further they encounter an entity known as The Creator. He reveals that his race died
out due to a failure to evolve. The Creator decided that the universe should not be allowed to be overrun with inferior
species so he created the crystals and sent them to various life-sustaining worlds as a way to monitor the progress life
on those planets made. He determined if the world did not evolve to its fullest potential it needed to be destroyed,
and Earth was next. After the party defeats the Creator the moon starts to break apart. The Mysterious Women turn
on their "father" and defeat the Creator so the party can escape. As the Creator dies he thanks the party for defeating
him, indicating he may have felt some regret for his actions.
Once the party returns to Earth the characters return to their various homes to resume their lives. Cecil informs
Ceodore that he shall serve in the Red Wings under the command of Kain. Cecil also orders all of Baron's airships to
be disarmed and instead be used to help the other kingdoms rebuild after the devastation caused by the second moon.

107

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

108

Release history
Mobile version
Originally released to the Japanese mobile phone market as Final Fantasy IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan, the first two
installments of the episodic game were released in Japan on February 18, 2008 for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 903i
compatible phones, with the Prologue available as a free preview and Ceodore's Tale as a paid download. A series of
eight supplemental installments were then released in monthly intervals through September. This was followed in
October by a free semifinal installment, The Gathering's Tale, which required only that the player have completed
the supplemental Kain's Tale. The game's finale was released in two parts in November and December. Square-Enix
also began releasing the installments, with a delay, for au WIN BREW compatible phones beginning on May 15,
2008 and Yahoo! Keitai compatible phones on November 4, 2008 (a complete list of compatible phone models is
available on the official Japanese website).[4]

WiiWare version
Beginning on June 6, 2009, an enhanced port of the game titled Final Fantasy IV: The After Years began being
released in the United States on the Wii through the WiiWare service, with releases in PAL regions and Japan
following shortly thereafter. Though the game retains the episodic format used in the mobile version, the release
structure has been modified. In the WiiWare version, the player purchases the core game, or "Main Story", for 800
Wii Points, which includes the Prologue, Ceodore's Tale, and Kain's Tale, while the additional supplemental
installments are released as add-ons for 300 Wii Points each. The first, Rydia's Tale, was released along with the
"Main Story", and the following episodes are slated to be released at monthly intervals in groups of three for the US
and Europe, and in bi-weekly intervals in Japan. The semifinal episode and the two-part finale are combined into a
single final installment, The Crystals, slated to be available for 800 Wii Points.
In both versions, the player is able to save their character's status, equipment, settings, etc., at the end of gameplay,
and can also further explore each Tale to discover new items and complete special tasks. The player's saved data will
ultimately carry over to the game's final installment.
WiiWare Release History
Main Story
Tale #
1

Tale Title
Prologue: Return of the Moon
Josh "Tsuki no Kikan" ( )

Cost
800 Wii
Points

Ceodore's Tale: The Last of the Red Wings


Seodoa Hen "Saigo no Akaki Tsubasa" ( )

Kain's Tale: Return of the Dragoon


Cain's Tale: Return of the Dragon Knight
Kain Hen "Rykishi no Kikan" ( )

Release Date
NA

June 1, 2009
June 5, 2009
JP
July 21, 2009
EU

Optional Scenarios
Chapter
4

Tale Title

Cost

Rydia's Tale: The Eidolons Shackled


Rydia's Tale: The Phantom Creatures Shackled
Ridia Hen "Tozasareta Genj-tachi" ( )

300 Wii
Points

Yang's Tale: The Master of Fabul


Yan Hen "Fabru no Shifu" ( )

300 Wii
Points

Release Date
NA

June 1, 2009
June 5, 2009
JP
July 28, 2009
EU

NA

July 6, 2009
July 10, 2009
JP
August 4, 2009
EU

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

10

109

Palom's Tale: The Mage's Voyage


Palom's Tale: Mage, to the City of Forest and Water
Paromu Hen "Madshi, Mori to Mizu no Miyako e" ( )

300 Wii
Points

July 6, 2009
July 10, 2009
JP
August 18, 2009

Edge's Tale: The Pulse of Babil


Ejji Hen "Babuiru no Kod" ( )

300 Wii
Points

July 6, 2009
July 10, 2009
JP
August 25, 2009

Porom's Tale: The Vanished Lunar Whale


Porom's Tale: The Magic Ship That Vanished into the Moon
Poromu Hen "Tsuki e Kieta Madsen" ( )

300 Wii
Points

Edward's Tale: Star-Crossed Damcyan


Gilbart's Tale: Star-Crossed Damcyan
Girubto Hen "Hoshi Otsuru Damushian" ( )

300 Wii
Points

The Lunarian's Tale: The Blue Planet That Was


Tsuki no Tami Hen "Tsuioku no Aoki Hoshi" ( )

300 Wii
Points

August 3, 2009
August 7, 2009
JP
September 15, 2009

Cost

Release Date

NA

EU

NA

EU

NA

August 3, 2009
August 7, 2009
JP
September 1, 2009
EU

NA

August 3, 2009
August 7, 2009
JP
September 8, 2009
EU

NA
EU

Final Episode
Chapter
11

Tale Title
The Crystals: Planet Eater
The True Moon's Tale: Planet Eater
Shingetsu Hen: Hoshikui ( )

800 Wii
Points

NA

September 7, 2009
September 11,
2009
JP
September 29, 2009
EU

Note: With the exception of the Main Story, all installments are purchased from within the WiiWare title itself.
Only the Main Story (i.e. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years) is purchased directly from the WiiWare online store.

Development
First announced shortly before the release of the enhanced remake of Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS,
executive producer Takashi Tokita stated that while directing the remake, there was talk of creating an after story, as
well as discussion about working on a new mobile title. Tokita, who had grown attached to the characters, having
also previously worked as scenario writer for the original, decided that releasing the sequel in mobile format would
be a good idea, as it would allow players to access the game only a short while after completing the DS remake. By
releasing it in episodic format, he also hopes that players will anticipate future chapters in much the same way as an
anime or manga series, rather than tiring of the game after completing it all at once.[9]
Though the look and feel of the game has remained largely unchanged from that of the original Final Fantasy IV,
new gameplay elements have been incorporated, and Kazuko Shibuya, 2D sprite artist for the first six Final Fantasy
games, has returned to create new, higher quality character graphics. Yoshitaka Amano has also returned as image
illustrator, with character designs by Akira Oguro, a previous colleague of Tokita's and storyboard artist for Square
Enix. Much of Nobuo Uematsu's original musical score for Final Fantasy IV will be included, though new
compositions are also expected.[10]
After the mobile release, staff involved in the development of the game hinted that the title could get a release
outside of Japan.[11] A rating by the ESRB for a Wii game titled Final Fantasy IV: The After Years was discovered
in late February 2009, and was speculated to be referring to a North American localization of this game, distributed
via WiiWare.[12] This would be officially confirmed at the 2009 Game Developers Conference.[5] Square Enix had
also trademarked The After Years in Europe, hinting at a release in that territory as well.[13] This was confirmed with
the opening of the official site, which has provided a PEGI rating for the title as well.[3]

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''


The WiiWare port of the game features several graphical enhancements over the mobile version, including larger
screen resolution, clearer menu screens and fonts, and improved character portraits. The English localization follows
the precedents set by the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV, featuring similar writing and making use of the same
translations of names and terminology. A handful of edits have been made to the English version, including the
modification of Ceodore's official character artwork to Westernize his face, as well as alterations to several female
characters in order to make their clothing less revealing.

Reception
Mobile version
On August 1, 2008, Square Enix issued a press release announcing that Final Fantasy IV: The After Years had
reached a benchmark of one million downloads (not including downloads of the free prologue chapter) in the first
five months following its initial release.[14] As of March 25, 2009, it has exceeded three million paid downloads.[5]

WiiWare version
Reviews of the WiiWare port of the game have been generally positive, with an overall score of 75% at
GameRankings.com.[15] IGN gave the game an 8 out of 10, calling the story "engrossing but mysterious" and stating
that the gameplay, graphics, and presentation, while "dated," are "part of the charm."[16] However, GameSpot gave
the game a score of only 5.5 out of 10, saying that it had a "disjointed, poorly constructed narrative" and an
excessively high encounter rate, and criticized "recycled" content such as the music, graphics, environments, and
story.[17]

External links

Official North American website [18]


Official European website [19]
Official Japanese website (WiiWare version) [20]
Official Japanese website (Mobile version) [21]
Final Fantasy Wiki page [22]

References
[1] Square Enix Japan (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ game/ wiiware/ )
[2] OFLC Website (http:/ / www. oflc. gov. au/ www/ cob/ find. nsf/ 5c2433d416948a0bca25759f00820d25/
99944fb97c837871ca2575a9002764e7!OpenDocument)
[3] Official United Kingdom Final Fantasy IV: The After Years site (http:/ / ff4theafteryears. co. uk/ uk/ )
[4] "A new tale about the moon is spun on mobile phones "Final Fantasy IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan" [Interview and Pictures (http:/ / www.
famitsu. com/ interview/ article/ 1212647_1493. html)"]. 2007-12-21. . Retrieved 2007-12-21.
[5] Square Enix (2009-03-25). "Square Enix Announces New Downloadble Titles for Nintendo's Wii" (http:/ / release. square-enix. com/ na/
2009/ 03/ 25_01. html). Press release. . Retrieved 2009-03-25.
[6] Dprez, Rgis (2009-07-08). "FFIV The After Years: new images" (http:/ / www. gamekyo. com/
newsen31490_ffiv-the-after-years-new-images. html). Gamekyo. . Retrieved 2009-07-09.
[7] V-Jump Magazine, February 2008 Issue
[8] Famitsu Magazine, March 2008 Issue
[9] Famitsu.com (2007-12-28). "Takashi Tokita Talks Final Fantasy IV the After: Return of the Moon" (http:/ / www. famitsu. com/ interview/
article/ 1212841_1493. html). . Retrieved 2008-03-20.
[10] Yoshi Sato (1up.com) (2007-12-19). "More Details on Final Fantasy IV's Sequel" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ newsStory?cId=3165113). .
Retrieved 2008-03-20.
[11] O'Connor, Michael (2008-09-20). "Final Fantasy IV sequel coming to the west?" (http:/ / www. thegamingvault. com/ 2008/ 09/
final-fantasy-iv-sequel-coming-to-the-west). .
[12] Hatfield, Daemon (2009-02-27). "Final Fantasy IV Sequel Heads to Wii" (http:/ / wii. ign. com/ articles/ 957/ 957943p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2009-02-27.

110

''Final Fantasy IV: The After Years''

111

[13] Spencer (2009-02-23). "FFIV Sequel Coming Here As Final Fantasy IV: The After Years?" (http:/ / www. siliconera. com/ 2009/ 02/ 23/
did-we-just-discover-final-fantasy-iv-the-after-years/ ). Siliconera. . Retrieved 2009-03-01.
[14] Square Enix (2008-08-01). "EZwebIV
5100" (http:/ / release. square-enix. com/ news/ j/ 2008/ 08/
20080801_01. html) (in Japanese). . Retrieved 2008-08-03.
[15] "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years for Wii" (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ wii/ 958463-final-fantasy-iv-the-after-years/ index. html).
GameRankings. . Retrieved 2009-06-21.
[16] Jeremy Dunham (2009-06-17). "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Review" (http:/ / wii. ign. com/ articles/ 995/ 995474p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2009-06-21.
[17] Lark Anderson (2009-06-17). "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Review for Wii" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ wii/ rpg/
finalfantasyivtheafteryears/ review. html). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2009-06-21.
[18] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ff4ay/
[19] http:/ / ff4theafteryears. co. uk/ uk/
[20] http:/ / www. ff4theafteryears. jp/
[21] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ mobile/ ff/ ff4after/
[22] http:/ / finalfantasy. wikia. com/ wiki/ Final_Fantasy_IV:_The_After_Years

''Final Fantasy V''


Final Fantasy V

Super Famicom cover art with the character Bartz and his Chocobo Boko
Developer(s)

Square
TOSE (PlayStation, GBA)

Publisher(s)

Super Famicom
JP
Square
PlayStation
JP
Square
NA
Square Electronic Arts
PAL
SCE Europe
Game Boy Advance
JP
Square Enix
NA
Nintendo of America
EU
Nintendo of Europe

Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Hiroyuki It

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano
Tetsuya Nomura

Writer(s)

Yoshinori Kitase

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Super Famicom, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance

Release date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

''Final Fantasy V''

112
Mode(s)

Single-player, limited multiplayer

Rating(s)

PlayStation
ELSPA: 11+
ESRB: T (Teen)
OFLC: M15+
USK: 12+
Game Boy Advance
CERO: A (All Ages)
ESRB: E (Everyone)
PEGI: 12+

Media

Super Famicom
16 megabit cartridge
PlayStation
1 CD-ROM
Game Boy Advance
Cartridge

Final Fantasy V (V) is a medieval-fantasy console role-playing game developed and


published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1992 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared only
in Japan on Nintendo's Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). It has
been ported with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. An original video
animation produced in 1994 called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals serves as a sequel to the events depicted in
the game.
The game begins as a wanderer named Bartz investigates a fallen meteor. There, he encounters several characters,
one of whom reveals the danger facing the four Crystals that control the world's elements. These Crystals act as a
seal on Exdeath, an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party must keep the Crystals from being exploited by Exdeath's
influence and prevent his resurgence.
Final Fantasy V has been praised for the freedom of customization that the player has over the characters, achieved
through the greatly expanded Job System. Despite the lack of an early release in territories other than Japan, the
Super Famicom version sold more than twomillion copies. The PlayStation version has earned "Greatest Hits"
status, selling more than 350,000copies.

Gameplay
Final Fantasy V includes many standard role-playing elements as well as renovated features introduced in earlier
Final Fantasy games. Characters grow in strength by gaining experience points from random encounters with
monsters on the overworld or in a dungeon. Experience culminates in a "level up" in which party members'
attributes, such as hit points or magic power, increase. A menu-based management system allows the player to equip,
heal, and change each character's selected job outside of battle as well as to save the game's progress. The player can
traverse the overworld by foot, Chocobo, hydra-guided ship, wind drake, or airship depending on the situation. Most
towns scattered across the world contain inns for resting, shops for purchasing equipment, and people from whom
the player can gain information. The player may also embark on several side quests that become available as the
story progresses.[1]
Final Fantasy V is the second Final Fantasy game to use the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, in which time flows
continuously for both the player and enemies during combat.[2] This system was first established in Final Fantasy IV
by battle planners Hiroyuki It and Akihiko Matsui[3] , but in that game, there was no way to visibly anticipate
which character's turn would come up next.[4] In Final Fantasy V, the player can see which playable character's turn
is next in battle, in the form of a time gaugeor "ATB Bar"which fills according to a character's speed. When the
selected character's turn arrives, the player can execute one of several commands, such as attacking the enemy with

''Final Fantasy V''

113

an equipped weapon, using a special ability or item, or changing the character's row position.[5] The ATB mechanic
with a gauge, as seen in Final Fantasy V, has been used in nearly every following title in the series.[6]

Job System
The main feature of the gameplay of Final Fantasy V is the Job System
designed by Hiroyuki It.[6] Players can choose jobs for their character
to learn. This system allows each character to gain special abilities and
potentially master up to 22 unique jobs (26 in the Game Boy Advance
version). Each character begins with a default "Freelancer" class, and
as the player acquires crystal shards, new jobs become available.[2]
A separate form of experienceAbility Points (ABP)is used to
improve characters' job levels, while they continue to earn regular
experience points.[2] As job levels increase, new skills become
available for that character to use in a new form of customization:
The Job System is a defining feature of Final
characters learn job-specific abilities that may be carried over to a new
Fantasy V
job. For example, a character with the job of Knight who has also
earned job levels as a Black Mage may set Black Magic as a secondary
command; allowing the use of both Black Mage and Knight abilities in battle. The nature of these abilities varies;
while some may allow for selectable commands in battle, others may be innate to the class or automatically activated
when conditions are met, such as the Thief's "Caution" skill, which prevents rear attacks from enemies.[7] This
system allows for deeper customization of characters.[8] While many of the jobs have appeared previously in the
series, Final Fantasy V introduces a number of new classes including the Blue Mage, Time Mage, and Mime, adding
new elements to combat.[9]

Plot
Setting
The backstory of Final Fantasy V is revealed during the course of the game. One millennium before the events of the
main story, a powerful mage named Enuo emperiled the world using the power of an evil entity known as the
"Void". The people of the world retaliated, using twelve legendary weapons to vanquish Enuo. Because the Void
could not be destroyed, the people split the world's four elemental Crystals into two sets, which sequentially caused
the world itself to split. The Void then became sealed in a dimensional cleft between the two worlds.[10]
Nearly 1,000years passed without incident and both worlds prospered due to the powers of their Crystals of Wind,
Water, Fire, and Earth. Several kingdoms and towns developed, and travel by ship acted as a prominent means of
commerce and communication. Evil spirits had been sealed inside a tree in the Great Forest of Moore, and the tree
soon transformed. The being emerged as Exdeath, the game's primary antagonist. As he attempted to claim the world
for himself, a group of heroes called the "Four Warriors of Dawn" (named Galuf, Xezat, Dorgann, and Kelger)
defeated and sealed him within the parallel world using its Crystals, and peace returned for another 30years.[11]

Characters
Final Fantasy V features five player characters, only four of which are playable at a given time. Bartz Klauser is a
traveling adventurer who becomes involved in the game's events when he investigates the site of a meteorite strike.
Reina Charlotte Tycoon is a princess of Tycoon who follows her father to investigate the Wind Shrine. She is
knocked unconscious and saved from a group of goblins by Bartz. Galuf Doe is a mysterious old man discovered
unconscious near the meteorite who suffers from amnesia. Faris Scherwiz is a pirate captain who captures Bartz,

''Final Fantasy V''


Reina, and Galuf when they try to steal her ship, and is later revealed to be Sarisa Scherwill Tycoon. Krile Mayer
Baldesion is the granddaughter of Galuf who journeys with him to the planet and receives all of her grandfather's
abilities after his death.[12]
Most of the main characters in the game were involved with or related to people who defeated Exdeath 30years
prior, such as Bartz's father Dorgann Klauser, Kelger Vlondett, and Xezat Matias Surgatethree of the original Four
Warriors of Dawn. In addition, the game contains several supporting characters including the engineer Cid Previa,
his grandson Mid Previa, and the turtle sage Ghido. One of Exdeath's henchmen, Gilgamesh, appears as a recurring
mini-boss in the game. Gilgamesh has additional appeared in other titles in the series, such as Final Fantasy VIII and
Final Fantasy XII.[13] [14]

Story
Final Fantasy V begins on a day when the world's wind currents begin
to slow down. Concerned, the King of Tycoon travels to the Wind
Shrine, which holds the Crystal of Wind, only to see it shatter into
pieces upon his arrival. Meanwhile, a meteorite plunges to the planet's
surface in the lands near Tycoon Castle. Resting in the woods, Bartz
investigates the meteor, and comes across a young woman, Reina,
under attack. After rescuing her, they discover an old man in the
wreckage with partial amnesia named Galuf. Reina explains that she is
on her way to the Wind Shrine after her fathercausing Galuf to
suddenly recall that he needs to go there as welland accompanies
her. Bartz continues on his way but returns and rescues them from
King Tycoon approaches the Wind Crystal
more enemies. The three travel together, but the path by land is
seconds before it shatters
blocked by the meteor. With the help of the pirate captain Faris, the
group makes its way to the Wind Shrine to discover the shattered Wind
Crystal and no sign of Tycoon. The shards react to their presence, and an image of Tycoon appears, explaining to
them that they must protect the Crystals.[15]
They learn the crystals are a seal binding the warlock Exdeath, and that each crystal is being exploited for its powers,
which will eventually cause them to shatter and make the world itself uninhabitable.[16] The party attempts to save
the crystals of Water, Fire, and Earth; but they ultimately fail, and Exdeath is freed. Galuf's granddaughter Krile
arrives, and helps restore Galuf's memory completely, and he recalls he is actually from a distant world and departs
with his granddaughter. With help, Bartz and the others resolve to travel to Galuf's world, where Exdeath is already
wreaking havoc in pursuit of that world's crystals. The trio is captured, but Galuf rescues them and defeats Exdeath's
lieutenant, Gilgamesh, in the process. They are blown to a distant continent when a barrier is activated during their
escape, but make their way to Bal Castle, Galuf's kingdom.[17]
The party meets Kelger, one of Galuf's companions and one of the Four Warriors of Dawn, and learn that Bartz's
father was part of their group. Joining forces with another Warrior of Dawn, they deactivate the barrier around
Exdeath's castle, but at the cost of his life. They then learn of Exdeath's origins as the mage Enuo, and travel to the
Guardian Tree to dispel the seals within, only to be trapped by Exdeath and immobolized. Krile arrives to help, but is
trapped in a ring of fire. Galuf frees himself, saves his granddaughter, and fights Exdeath until the warlock collapses
and retreats. After dying of his wounds, despite the party's efforts to save him, Galuf's spirit imparts upon Krile all of
his abilities.[18] The party pursues Exdeath and defeats him, but the remaining crystals shatter and the worlds are
reunited, in the process granting Exdeath the Void, a power sealed in the dimensional interval called the Rift by
dividing the worlds. With it, he removes entire towns and kingdoms from existence. Gathering weapons and magic
that had been used against Enuo, the party enters the Rift, where Exdeath reveals his true form, a massive tree. With
help of their fallen allies, the party survives his use of the Void and attack, weakening him until the Void devours

114

''Final Fantasy V''


him. He then transforms into Neo Exdeath, intent on destroying all reality and then himself.[19] They defeat him, and,
using the power of the Crystal shards, seal the Void once more and restore the crystals in full. The game's ending
varies based on how many people are still alive at Neo Exdeath's defeat, detailing the events after his defeat. At the
end, the remaining group visits the Guardian Tree, and find that the fallen party members have returned to life.[20]

Development
Final Fantasy V was directed by Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi who, previous to the release of
Final Fantasy IX, called it his favorite Final Fantasy game.[21] The character, image, and title logo designs were
created by series illustrator and image designer Yoshitaka Amano, while the monsters were designed by Tetsuya
Nomura.[22] Amano has stated that he counts his depictions of both Faris from Final Fantasy V and Terra from Final
Fantasy VI among his favorite Final Fantasy designs.[23]
The official English translation of Final Fantasy V began shortly after
the Japanese version's release. The game was to be released and titled
"Final Fantasy III" in North America, but the project fell through.[24]
Translator Ted Woolsey explained in a 1994 interview, "it's just not
accessible enough to the average gamer".[25] Rumors later circulated
that a second attempt at localization would be made and that the game
would be titled Final Fantasy Extreme, but this attempt likewise was
canceled. A third attempt was made to port the game to Microsoft
Windows-based personal computers for North American release by
developer Top Dog Software, but this was cancelled.[24] Another
Final Fantasy V was one of the first complete
attempt to port the game to Windows for North America was "handled
fan-translated games
by Eidos Interactive" circa 1998 (but it is unclear whether this is the
same version Top Dog Software was working on or an actual fourth
[26]
attempt).
The continual canceling of the localization angered fans and led to Final Fantasy V becoming one of the
first games to receive a complete fan translation.[24]

Music
The game's soundtrack was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and consists of 56tracks.[27] A two-disc album was
released alongside the game totaling 67tracks.[28] Uematsu had originally calculated that the game would require
more than 100 pieces of music, but he managed to reduce the number to 56.[29] The song "Dear Friends" would
become the title piece in the 2004 concert tour Dear Friends -Music from Final Fantasy-, chosen to reflect
Uematsu's appreciation for his music's worldwide fan support.[30] The song "Clash on the Big Bridge" would later be
arranged by Hitoshi Sakimoto for the Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack in 2006.[31]
The album Final Fantasy V: 5+1 was released in 1992 and contained five songs from the original score as well as a
previously unreleased Super Famicom version of "Matoya's Cave" from the original 1987 Final Fantasy for the
Nintendo Entertainment System.[32] A collection of arranged tracks, Final Fantasy V Dear Friends; a 13-track disc,
Piano Collections Final Fantasy V; and a short series of remixes, Final Fantasy V: Mambo de Chocobo, were all
released in 1993.[33] Finally, many of the original songs were included on the North American Final Fantasy
Anthology Soundtrack, together with the two-game compilation.[34]

115

''Final Fantasy V''

116

Re-releases
Final Fantasy V was ported by TOSE to the Sony PlayStation and re-released in Japan on March 19, 1998; it was
included in the 1999 release of Final Fantasy Collection, alongside Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI.[35] [36]
The PlayStation version boasted two new full motion video opening and ending sequences and a "memo-save"
feature, but the game otherwise remained unchanged.[2] [37] Square Enix released 50,000 limited edition copies of the
collection which included a Final Fantasy-themed alarm clock.[36] In the same year, Square Enix released the
PlayStation compilation Final Fantasy Anthology in North America, which included Final Fantasy V, as well as the
PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VI. This would mark the first time the game was published outside Japan,
nearly sevenyears after its initial release.[38] In 2002, Square Enix released this version of the game in Europe and
Australia, this time alongside Final Fantasy IV.[39] The English version of the game received changes from its
original format, including a different interpretation of character names, such as the names "Bartz" as opposed to
"Butz" and "Gill" as opposed to "Guido", the official romanizations in Japan.[40]
Following the release of the PlayStation 2, Sony reported that the new system had compatibility issues with the Final
Fantasy V half of Final Fantasy Anthology.[41] The game experienced a bug where if players attempted to save their
games, a graphical error would occur.[41] Squaresoft then released a statement that only the look of the save screen
was corrupted, and saving was still possible, and if players wished, repeatedly going into and out of the save screen
would make a normal screen eventually appear.[41]
Final Fantasy V was ported a second time by TOSE to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance as Final Fantasy V
Advance, which was released on October 12, 2006, in Japan, November 6, 2006, in North America, and April 20,
2007, in Europe.[42] Similar to the Game Boy Advance re-releases of its predecessors, this version features updated
graphics, though the changes are very subtle.[43] Additional features include four new jobs (Gladiator, Cannoneer,
Necromancer, and Oracle), a new dungeon called "The Sealed Temple", and a new optional boss from the back story
of Final Fantasy V, Enuo, which was designed by Tetsuya Nomura instead of the game's original character designer
Yoshitaka Amano.[43] [44] In addition, the game included a bestiary, a quick save function, music player, and
additional equipment in the style of previous Game Boy Advance re-releases.[45] Like the remakes of its
predecessors, Final Fantasy V Advance featured a new English translation,[43] which included some unusual
references to US pop-culture, such as dialogue referring to PBS's Reading Rainbow.[46]

Reception and legacy


Reception[47]
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score
[48]

GameRankings

82% (based on 25 reviews)

Metacritic

83% (based on 25 reviews)

[49]

Review scores
Publication

Score

1UP.com

[21]
B- (SFC)
[50]
A (GBA)
[51]

Electronic Gaming
Monthly

8.8 out of 10

GameSpot

8.5 out of 10

IGN

8.5 out of 10

[52]
[43]

''Final Fantasy V''

117
[53]

Allgame

3.5 out of 5 (SFC)

GameDaily

7 out of 10

[54]

Awards
Entity

Award

Famitsu

15th All Time Best


[55]
Game

Final Fantasy V has sold 2.45million units on the Super Famicom, while the Japanese Game Boy Advance version
has sold nearly 260,000copies as of December 2007.[56] [57] Final Fantasy Collection sold over 400,000copies in
1999, making it the 31st best selling release of that year in Japan.[58] The North American release of Final Fantasy
Anthology sold 364,000copies as of 2004.[59] In March 2006, Final Fantasy V was ranked as number 15 on Japanese
magazine Famitsu's reader list of top 100 video games of all time.[55]
While not initially released in North America, the game received mixed reception from import reviews. 1UP.com's
staff stated that while the game's story was very weak, the gameplay was "another story", heavily praising the job
system and the feature to combine abilities from different job classes, and gave it a score of B-.[21] Allgame's review
shared similar sentiments regarding the storyline and job system, adding praise for the addition of hidden events and
items for players to search for, giving the game a score of 3.5 out of 5.[53] RPGamer found that the game improved
on the visual presentation, menu system, and overall field navigation of Final Fantasy IV, but the "maddeningly high
encounter rate", "average sound selection", and "washed out" color palette hurt the game's presentation, giving it a
score of 5/10.[60]
Critics likewise gave mixed reviews of the Anthologies version of the game. GameSpot criticized the game for
having "paper-thin characters" and a cliche plot, augmented by a lack of character development during the game's
fetch quests. They went further to say that the translation was terrible and overshadowed by the two previous fan
efforts.[8] IGN called Final Fantasy V's graphics "dated" but cited "incredibly engrossing" job system as the game's
highlight and praised its music.[61] Electronic Gaming Monthly repeated the sentiments towards the job system,
adding that while the game suffered from long load times periodically, Final Fantasy V was the main reason to buy
the collection.[62]
In comparison, reviews of the Game Boy Advance re-release of the game were mostly positive. GameSpot's review
regarded the game more favorably than its PlayStation counterpart, calling it "better than ever" and citing the strong
localization of the script and extensive special features. They further stated that while the game's characters seemed
unlikable and that the plot felt "predictable or trite", they felt both aspects were superior to many of today's games,
giving the game a score of 8.5.[52] Nintendo Power stated that "while playing Final Fantasy V is a chore on the
PlayStation, it's good fun on the GBA because of the vastly improved translation and new features", further calling it
the "definitive" version of one of the series' best titles.[63] IGN gave the game a score of 8.5, calling it a "must-own"
for the portable system and describing it further as always an "entertaining and surprisingly deep role-playing
game."[64] 1UP.com stated the port of the game from the Super Famicom to the Game Boy Advance was "rock
solid", and added that while the game's story started off at a slow pace, it gradually improved. The review further
praised the addition of features and removal of questionable ones that had been added to the Anthologies version of
the game.[50] GameDaily gave the game a score of 7/10, noting that while enjoyable, the high encounter rate, the
necessity to constantly engage in battle to gain abilities through the job system, and other aspects made the game feel
repetitive at times.[54]

''Final Fantasy V''

Sequel
In 1994, Square released an original video animation sequel to Final Fantasy V titled Final Fantasy. Produced by
animation studio Madhouse, the anime was released in four 30-minute VHS tapes in Japan and was set two hundred
years after the events of the first game.[65] [66] The story focuses on four warriors, one of them the descendant of
Bartz,[67] protecting the Wind Crystal from the villain Deathgyunos, who pursues it to achieve godhood.[68] It was
localized by Urban Vision in 1998 and released in two VHS volumes for North America under the title Final
Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals.[69]

External links

Official Final Fantasy V website (US Anthology version) [70]


Nintendo's Official Final Fantasy V Advance website [71]
Official Final Fantasy V Advance website [72] (Japanese)
Final Fantasy V at the Final Fantasy Wiki at Wikia

References
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[10] Gill: A thousand years ago the evil presence Enuo held the power of the Void. A long battle ensued, and finally the people defeated Enuo
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[11] Galuf: I am not from this earth! I came by meteorite from another planet To stop the evil spirit wed sealed up 30years earlier From
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[12] Meyers, Andy (2006). Final Fantasy V Advance: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Nintendo. pp.610. ISBN1-59812-017-4.
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[14] Barba, Rick; David Cassady, Joe Epstein, Wes Ehrlichman (2006). Final Fantasy XII. Brady Publishing. p.229. ISBN0-7440-0837-9.
[15] King Tycoon: The wind crystal is shattered, and the other three are at great risk. Go and protect them. The very essence of evil is trying to
return If it does, it will turn all to darkness Square Co. Final Fantasy V. (Square Electronic Arts). PlayStation. (1999-09-30)
[16] Reina: For a while nothing would change But gradually, the earth would decay and the waters would stagnate. Fire would grow cold, and
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[18] Galuf: Ive borrowed the power of Elder's Tree, which protected the crystals for 1000years. Now I give that power to you Square Co.
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[19] Neo Exdeath: I am Neo Exdeath! All memoriesdimensionsexistenceAll that is shall be returned to nothing! Then I, too can
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[20] Narrator: In the beginning, there was only the Void... But from the Void came four essences. They formed the crystals, and the world was
born. Hope blessed the earth. Courage blazed into flame. Care and devotion turned water into the seeds of life. The passion for knowledge
spread intelligence and wisdom on the winds. If ever the Void threatens to engulf the world, so long as the four essences still exist in man,
light will be born anew. The four essences shall rise from the Void and weave light once again. Square Enix. Final Fantasy V Advance.
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[22] "Tetsuya Nomura" (http:/ / stars. ign. com/ objects/ 963/ 963453. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2009-07-02.
[23] Mielke, James (2006-07-20). "A day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Yoshitaka Amano" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ feature?pager. offset=4&
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final-fantasy-video-retrospective-part-iii/ ). GameTrailers. . Retrieved 2008-07-29.
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. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
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uematsu/ concert/ concert_synopsis. html). . Retrieved 2007-08-17.
[31] Cunningham, Michael. "Final Fantasy XII OSTSoundtrack Review" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ ff12/ sounds/ reviews/
musicreview01. html). RPGamer. . Retrieved 2007-08-18.
[32] "Final Fantasy 5+1" (http:/ / ffmusic. info/ ff5_1. html). ffmusic.info. . Retrieved 2008-03-25.
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[71] http:/ / ffv. nintendo. com/
[72] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ff5/

120

''Final Fantasy VI''

121

''Final Fantasy VI''


Final Fantasy VI

Japanese Super Famicom box art; the North American version displayed a "III" instead of "VI".
Developer(s)

Square
TOSE (PS1, GBA)

Publisher(s)

Super NES
Square
PlayStation
JP
Square
NA
Square Electronic Arts
EU
Sony Computer Entertainment
Game Boy Advance
JP
Square Enix
NA/EU
Nintendo

Director(s)

Yoshinori Kitase
Hiroyuki It

Producer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Artist(s)

Yoshitaka Amano
Tetsuya Nomura

Writer(s)

Yoshinori Kitase

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance

Release date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player, multiplayer

Rating(s)

PlayStation
ELSPA: 11+
ESRB: T (Teen)
OFLC: M15+
USK: 12+
Game Boy Advance
CERO: A (all ages)
ESRB: E10+ (Everyone 10 and older)
PEGI: 7+

Media

24 megabit cartridge (SNES)


1 CD-ROM (PlayStation)
64 megabit cartridge (GBA)

Input methods

Gamepad

''Final Fantasy VI''

122

Final Fantasy VI (VI), also known as Final Fantasy III in North America when it was
first released, is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix). It was released
in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a part of the Final Fantasy series. It was ported by TOSE
with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation in 1999 and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance in 2006.
Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's
story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an imperial dictatorship. The game features fourteen
permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series. Final Fantasy VI was the first game in the
series to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled
instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki It. Yoshitaka Amano, a long-time contributor to the Final Fantasy series,
returned as the image and character designer, while regular composer Nobuo Uematsu wrote the game's score, which
has been released on several soundtrack albums.
Released to critical acclaim, the game is regarded as a landmark of the series and of the role-playing genre. Its Super
Nintendo and PlayStation versions have sold over 3.48 million copies worldwide to date as a stand-alone game, as
well as over 750,000 copies as part of the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection and the North American Final Fantasy
Anthology. Final Fantasy VI has won numerous awards since its release.

Gameplay
Like previous Final Fantasy installments, Final Fantasy VI consists of four basic modes of gameplay: an overworld
map, town and dungeon field maps, a battle screen, and a menu screen. The overworld map is a scaled-down version
of the game's fictional world, which the player uses to direct characters to various locations. As with most games in
the series, the three primary means of travel across the overworld are by foot, chocobo, and airship. With a few
plot-driven exceptions, enemies are randomly encountered on field maps and on the overworld when traveling by
foot. The menu screen is where the player makes such decisions as which characters will be in the traveling party,
which equipment they wield, the magic they learn, and the configuration of the gameplay. It is also used to track
experience points and levels.[1]
The game's plot develops as the player progresses through towns and dungeons. Town citizens will offer helpful
information and some residents own item or equipment shops. Later in the game, visiting certain towns will activate
side-quests. Dungeons appear as a variety of areas, including caves, sewers, forests, and buildings. These dungeons
often have treasure chests containing rare items that are not available in most stores. Some dungeons feature puzzles
and mazes, which require the player to divide the characters into multiple parties.[1]

Combat

A battle in Final Fantasy VI

Combat in Final Fantasy VI is menu-based, in which the player selects


an action from a list of such options as Fight, Magic, and Item. A
maximum of four characters may be used in battles, which uses the
series' traditional Active Time Battle system, or ATB, which was
designed by Hiroyuki It and first featured in Final Fantasy IV. Under
this system, each character has an action bar that replenishes itself at a
rate dependent on their speed statistic. When a character's action bar is
filled, the player may assign an action. In addition to standard battle
techniques, each character possesses a unique special ability. For
example, Locke possesses the ability to steal items from enemies, while
Celes' Runic ability allows her to absorb most magical attacks cast until
her next turn.[2]

''Final Fantasy VI''


Another element is a powerful attack substitution that occasionally appears when a character's health is low. Similar
features appear in later Final Fantasy titles under a variety of different names, including Limit Breaks, Desperation
Moves, Trances, and Overdrives.[3] Characters are rewarded for victorious battles with experience points and money,
called gil (GP in the original North American localization). When characters attain a certain amount of experience
points, they gain a level, which increases their statistics. An additional player may play during battle scenarios, with
control of individual characters assigned from the configuration menu.[2]

Customization
Characters in Final Fantasy VI can be equipped with a wide variety of weapons, armor and accessories (known as
"Relics") to increase their statistics and obtain special abilities. Most of this equipment can be used by several
different characters, and each character may equip up to two Relics. Relics have a variety of uses and effects, some
of which alter basic battle commands, allow characters to use multiple weapons, provide permanent status changes
during battle or use protective magical spells in response to being near death.[4]
Although only two characters start the game with the ability to use magic, almost every character can learn to do so.
Characters may equip magicite, which enables the summoning of espers, this game's incarnation of summoned
monsters (including several recurring summons such as Ifrit, Shiva, Bahamut and Odin, along with many new
summons exclusive to Final Fantasy VI), as well as that of specific magic spells. If a character has a piece of
magicite equipped, he or she will gain "Magic Acquisition Points" after most battles. As a character gains magic AP,
he or she gradually learns spells from the magicite equipped and will gain additional statistic bonuses when leveling
up, depending on the magicite.[5]

Plot
Setting
Final Fantasy VI takes place on a large, unnamed world. During the course of the game, its geography and landscape
change due to various developments in the game's plot. During the first half of the game, the world is divided into
two major continents and referred to as the World of Balance. The northern continent is punctuated by a series of
mountain ranges and contains many of the locations accessible to the player. Halfway through the game, the world's
geographical layout is altered, resulting in its two large continents splitting into several islands of various size
situated around a larger continent at their center. This altered layout of the game's locations is referred to as the
World of Ruin.
In contrast to the medieval settings featured in previous Final Fantasy titles, Final Fantasy VI is set in a steampunk
environment. The structure of society parallels that of the latter half of the 19th century, with opera and the fine arts
serving as recurring motifs throughout the game,[6] and a level of technology comparable to that of the Second
Industrial Revolution. Railroads are in place and a coal mining operation is run in the northern town of Narshe.[7]
Additionally, several examples of modern engineering and weaponry (such as a chainsaw, power drill, and automatic
crossbow) have been developed in the Kingdom of Figaro. However, communication systems have not reached
significant levels of development, with letters sent by way of carrier pigeon serving as the most common means of
long-distance communication.
One thousand years before the events of the game, three goddesses who served as the source of all magic in the
world were at war with one another in a conflict known as the War of the Magi. This quarrel released magical energy
into the world, transforming any human touched by it into an esper, who were used as soldiers by the goddesses.
Eventually repenting of the war, the goddesses returned free will to the espers and turned themselves to stone. Their
only request was that the espers ensure their power remain sealed so that it could not be misused again.[8] After the
war ended, the espers departed to a hidden land, taking the statues of the gods with them and sealing the entrance to
their world, leaving behind the remaining humans. Cut off from magic, the humans build a society based on

123

''Final Fantasy VI''


technology.[7] At the opening of the game, the most powerful technology is in the hands of the Empire, a cruel and
expanding dictatorship led by Emperor Gestahl and his court magician Kefka. Approximately eighteen years before
the events of the game begin, the barrier between the esper's land and the rest of the world weakened. Soon after,
Gestahl takes advantage of this and attacks the espers' land, capturing several of them.
Using the espers as a power source, Gestahl initiated a research program to combine magic with machinery and
infuse humans with magical powers, the result being a technology known as Magitek. Kefka was infused with
magic, becoming one of the prototypes in a line of soldiers called Magitek Knights. The process was still
experimental in the prototype phase and as a result, Kefka's sanity was impaired.[9] At the opening of the game, the
Empire is on the verge of rediscovering the full potential of magic by reopening the gateway to the world of the
espers. However, the Empire's rule is opposed by the Returners, a group of rebels seeking to overthrow the Empire
and free its territories.

Characters
Final Fantasy VI features fourteen permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series, as well
as several secondary characters who are only briefly controlled by the player. The starting character, Terra Branford,
is a reserved half-human, half-esper girl who spent most of her life as a slave to the Empire, thanks to a
mind-controlling device, and is unfamiliar with love.[10] Other primary characters include Locke Cole, a treasure
hunter and rebel sympathizer with a powerful impulse to protect women; Celes Chere, a former general of the
Empire, who joined the Returners after being jailed for questioning imperial practices; Edgar Roni Figaro, a
consummate womanizer and the king of Figaro, who claims allegiance to the Empire while secretly supplying aid to
the Returners;[11] Sabin Rene Figaro, Edgar's brother, who fled the royal court in order to pursue his own path and
hone his martial arts skills; Cyan Garamonde, a loyal knight to the kingdom of Doma who lost his family and friends
as a result of Kefka poisoning the kingdom's water supply; Setzer Gabbiani, a habitual gambler and thrill seeker;
Shadow, a ninja mercenary, who offers his services to both the Empire and the Returners at various stages
throughout the game; Relm Arrowny, a young but tough artistic girl with magical powers; Strago Magus, Relm's
elderly grandfather and a Blue Mage; Gau, a feral child surviving since infancy in the harsh wilderness known as the
Veldt; Mog, a Moogle from the mines of Narshe; Umaro, a savage but loyal sasquatch also from Narshe, talked into
joining the Returners through Mog's persuasion; and Gogo, a mysterious, fully shrouded master of the art of
mimicry.
Most of the main characters in the game hold a significant grudge against the Empire and, in particular, Kefka, who
serves as one of the game's main antagonists along with Emperor Gestahl. The supporting character Ultros serves as
a recurring villain and comic relief throughout the game. A handful of Final Fantasy VI characters have reappeared
in later games, such as Secret of Evermore and Kingdom Hearts II. Additionally, Final Fantasy SGI, a short
technology demo produced for the Silicon Graphics Onyx workstation, featured polygon-based 3D renderings of
Locke, Terra, and Shadow.[12]

Story
Final Fantasy VI begins with Terra Branford participating in an Imperial raid on Narshe in search of a recently
unearthed frozen esper (later identified as Tritoch; Valigarmanda in the GBA retranslation) found in the city's mines.
However, the esper kills her controllers and the Imperial control over her is broken, but she is unable to remember
anything about her past.[13] Locke Cole, a thief, promises to protect her until she can regain her memories and helps
her escape to the hideout of the Returners, a group of militants opposing the Empire. Along the way, they pass
through the Kingdom of Figaro and meet Edgar Roni Figaro, the king, and his estranged brother, Sabin Rene Figaro,
who join them. Banon, the leader of the Returners, asks for Terra's help in their struggle against the Empire, and she
agrees.[14] Just as the resistance is preparing to return to Narshe to investigate the frozen esper, the Empire attacks
South Figaro. Locke heads to the besieged town to slow the Empire's advance, while the rest of the group makes

124

''Final Fantasy VI''


their way via rafting down the nearby Lethe River. However, Sabin is separated from the group after a battle with
Ultros, self-proclaimed "octopus royalty" and a recurring antagonist, forcing the various members of the Returners to
find their own ways to Narshe in three different scenarios controlled by the player. In Locke's scenario, he must
escape the imperial occupied town of South Figaro without detection. Sabin has been swept to a distant continent and
must find a way back while Terra, Edgar, and Bannon will continue to float down the Lethe River back to Narshe.
Eventually, the original party reunites in Narshe. Locke brings with him Celes Chere, one of the Empire's own
generals, whom he saved from execution for defying the Empire's ruthless practices. Sabin brings with him Cyan
Garamonde, whose family was killed during the Empire's siege of Doma Castle when Kefka ordered the water
supply poisoned, and Gau, a feral child he befriended on the Veldt. In Narshe, the Returners prepare to defend the
frozen esper from the Empire. After the player successfully thwarts the Imperial invasion, Terra approaches the
frozen esper, prompting her to transform into an esper-like form herself. She flies away, confused and horrified by
her own transformation.[15]
The Returners set out to search for Terra and eventually trace her to the city of Zozo, though they are still shocked by
her apparent existence as an esper. There, they also meet the esper Ramuh, who tells them that if they free various
other espers from the Magitek Research Facility in the Empire's capital, Vector, they may find one who can help
Terra.[16] Vector is on the southern continent, to which the Empire does not allow maritime access, so the Returners
go to the Opera House and recruit Setzer Gabbiani, who is believed to be the owner of the Blackjack, the only airship
in the world. They then travel to Vector and attempt to rescue several espers, including Maduin, who is revealed to
be Terra's father. However, the espers choose instead to give their lives to transform into magicitethe crystallized
remains of their essences that form when they die and allow others to use their powers[17] which they bestow upon
the Returners.[18] Before the group can then escape, Kefka arrives and causes the Returners, including Locke, to
momentarily doubt Celes's loyalty, much to her anguish. However, she provides proof to them of her support by
covering for the group while the rest escape.[19] The rest of the group then returns to Zozo, where Terra reacts to the
magicite of her father, prompting her to gain knowledge of her past and accept herself as the half-human, half-esper
child of Maduin and a human woman.[20]
After reuniting with Terra, the Returners decide that it is time to launch an all-out attack on the Empire, and Banon
asks Terra to attempt contacting the espers' land in order to gain their support.[21] Terra succeeds in making contact,
and when the espers learn that the others captured by the Empire previously have now perished, they become
infuriated and enter the human world, where they destroy much of Vector. When the Returners arrive in the capital,
they find Emperor Gestahl claiming to no longer have the will to fight, inviting the Returners to a banquet to
negotiate peace. Gestahl asks Terra to deliver a truce to the espers on his behalf, to which she agrees.[22]
Accompanied by Locke, Shadow (a ninja mercenary hired by the Empire for the mission) and Generals Celes and
Leo, the player must then guide Terra to the remote village Thamasa in search of the espers, where they meet Strago
Magus and his granddaughter, Relm Arrowny, who also accompany them.
Soon, they find the espers and Terra convinces them to accept a truce with Gestahl. However, during the
negotiations, Kefka attacks the espers, killing each of those still alive and capturing the magicite that remains from
their essence. Additionally, he kills General Leo, who is appalled by Kefka's dishonorable tactics and attempts to
defend the espers. The Returners reunite, now aware that the peace was a ploy for Gestahl to obtain magicite and the
stone statue remains of the Warring Triad within the espers' now-unsealed land.[23] [24] Kefka and Gestahl travel
through the open gate to the esper world, find the Warring Triad, and prompt the island on which the esper world is
located to detach and fly in the sky as an ominous Floating Continent. The Returners attempt to stop them from
causing further damage, but despite their efforts, they are unable to prevent Kefka and Gestahl from gaining the
power of the statues. Now empowered, Kefka promptly kills Gestahl and moves the statues out of their proper
alignment, upsetting the balance of magical power and causing the destruction of most of the surface world. In the
disaster, the Returners are separated from one another as Setzer's airship is torn apart.

125

''Final Fantasy VI''


One year later, Celes awakens from a coma on a deserted island and learns that the world has been devastated by
Kefka. Much of its human population has died and its plant and animal life are slowly being killed by sickness to
punctuate humanity's despair.[25] Celes sets out from the Solitary Island to try and reunite with as many of her
friends as she can find. One by one, in a series of mostly optional side-quests, the gamer has the opportunity to
reunite the group, all still alive, as well as new allies Umaro and Gogo. Together, the reunited Returners launch a
new offensive against Kefka, using the Falconan airship that belonged to a deceased friend of Setzer'sto reach
Kefka's Tower and infiltrate it. Inside, the Returners battle their way through Kefka's defenses and destroy the three
statues, the source of Kefka's newfound power. When destroying the statues, once the source of all magic, does not
cause any noticeable reaction, the party realizes that Kefka has successfully drained the Warring Triad of power and
has become the source of all magical power.
Making a final stand against Kefka, the characters successfully destroy him, but since the gods' power had come to
reside in him all magicite begins to shatter and Kefka's magically-maintained tower begins to crumble. Terra leads
the characters out as she begins to weaken due to her half-esper heritage.[26] However, before her father's magicite
shatters, his spirit informs her that by holding to the human side of herself, she may survive the passing of magic. In
the end, the party escapes Kefka's Tower aboard the Falcon. Terra survives, and the group observes the world's
communities rejuvenating themselves.

Development
Graphics
Yoshitaka Amano, a long-time contributor to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the image and character designer.
Amano provided concept sketches to the programmers, who converted them into the sprites featured in the game due
to technical limitations of the time. Liberties were taken during the conversion, such as changing Terra Branford's
hair from blonde to green, and changing Celes Chere's outfit entirely. Amano also designed the title logo. The
graphics were directed by Tetsuya Takahashi (graphic chief), Hideo Minaba (background graphics), Kazuko Shibuya
(object graphic), and Tetsuya Nomura (designer for some characters). In the full motion videos produced for the
game's PlayStation re-release, the character designs featured are based on Amano's designs.[27]
While character sprites in the earlier installments were less detailed on the map than they were in battle, Final
Fantasy VI's sprites had an equally high resolution regardless of the screen. This enabled the use of animations
depicting a variety of movements and facial expressions.[28] Though it was not the first game to utilize the Super
Nintendo's Mode 7 graphics, Final Fantasy VI made more extensive use of them than its predecessors. For instance,
unlike both Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V, the world map is rendered in Mode 7, which lends a somewhat
three-dimensional perspective to an otherwise two-dimensional game.[29]

Localization

126

''Final Fantasy VI''

The original North American localization and release of Final Fantasy


VI by Square for the Super Nintendo featured several changes from the
original Japanese version. The most obvious of these is the change of
the game's title from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy III; because
only two games of the series had been localized in North America at
the time, Final Fantasy VI was distributed as Final Fantasy III to
maintain naming continuity. Unlike Final Fantasy IV (which was first
Graphics for the North American releases were
released in North America as Final Fantasy II), there are no major
edited to cover up minor instances of nudity.
changes to gameplay, though several changes of contents and editorial
From left to right: Japanese SFC and GBA, North
adjustments exist in the English script. In a January 1995 interview
American SNES, and Western GBA releases.
with Super Play magazine, translator Ted Woolsey explained that
"there's a certain level of playfulness and ... sexuality in Japanese games that just doesn't exist here [in the USA],
basically because of Nintendo of America's rules and guidelines".[30] Consequently, objectionable graphics (e.g.
nudity) were censored and building signs in towns were changed, as well as religious allusions (e.g. the spell Holy
was renamed Pearl).[31]
Also, some direct allusions to death, killing actions, and violent expressions, as well as offensive words have been
replaced by softer expressions. For example, after Edgar, Locke and Terra flee on chocobos from Figaro Castle,
Kefka orders two Magitek Armored soldiers to chase them by shouting "Go! KILL THEM!", in the Japanese
version. It was translated as "Go! Get them!" Also, when Imperial Troopers burn Figaro Castle, and Edgar claims
Terra is not hidden inside the castle, Kefka replies "then you can burn to death" in the Japanese version, which was
replaced in the English version by "Then welcome to my barbecue!". Similarly, as Magitek soldiers watch Edgar and
his guests escape on Chocobos, one swears in Japanese, "Son of a bitch!", which was translated by Ted Woolsey as
"Son of a submariner!".[31] The localization also featured changes to several names, such as "Tina" being changed to
"Terra". Finally, dialogue text files had to be shortened due to the limited data storage space available on the game
cartridge's read-only memory.[30] As a result, additional changes were rendered to dialogue in order to compress it
into the available space.[30] This translation was done in only 30 days by Woolsey alone.[32]
The PlayStation re-release featured only minor changes to the English localization. The title of the game was
reverted back to Final Fantasy VI from Final Fantasy III, to unify the numbering scheme of the series in North
America and Japan with the earlier release of Final Fantasy VII. A few item and character names were adjusted, as
in the expansion of "Fenix Down" to "Phoenix Down". Unlike the PlayStation re-release of Final Fantasy IV
included in the later Final Fantasy Chronicles compilation, the script was left essentially unchanged.[27] The Game
Boy Advance re-release featured a new translation by a different translator, Tom Slattery.[33] This translation
preserved most of the character names, location names, and terminology from the Woolsey translation, but changed
item and spell names to match the conventions used in more recent titles in the series.[34] The revised script
preserved certain quirky lines from the original while changing or editing others, and it cleared up certain points of
confusion in the original translation.[35]

Music
The soundtrack for Final Fantasy VI was composed by long-time series contributor Nobuo Uematsu. The score
consists of themes for each major character and location, as well as music for standard battles, fights with boss
enemies and for special cutscenes. The extensive use of leitmotif is one of the defining points of the audio tracks.
The "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" is one of the latter tracks, played during a cutscene involving an opera performance.
This track features an unintelligible synthesized "voice" that harmonizes with the melody, as technical limitations for
the SPC700 sound format chip prevented the use of an actual vocal track (although some developers eventually
figured out how to overcome the limitation a few years later). The orchestral album Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale
features an arranged version of the aria, using Italian lyrics performed by Svetla Krasteva with an orchestral

127

''Final Fantasy VI''


accompaniment. This version is also found in the ending full motion video of the game's Sony PlayStation re-release,
with the same lyrics but a different musical arrangement. In addition, the album Orchestral Game Concert 4 includes
an extended version of the opera arranged and conducted by Ksuke Onozaki and performed by the Tokyo
Symphony Orchestra, featuring Wakako Aokimi, Tetsuya no, and Hiroshi Kuroda on vocals.[36] It was also
performed at the "More Friends" concert[37] at the Gibson Amphitheatre in 2005 using a new English translation of
the lyrics, an album of which is now available.[38] "Dancing Mad", accompanying the game's final battle with Kefka,
is 17 minutes long and contains an organ cadenza, with variations on Kefka's theme. The "Ending Theme" combines
every playable character theme into one composition lasting over 21 minutes.[39]
The original score was released on three Compact Discs in Japan as Final Fantasy VI: Original Sound Version.[39] A
version of this album was later released in North America as Final Fantasy III: Kefka's Domain; this version of the
album is the same as its Japanese counterpart, except for different packaging and small differences in the translation
of some track names between the album and newer releases.[40] Additionally, Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale
features eleven tracks from the game, arranged by Shiro Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito and performed by the
Ensemble Archi Della Scala and Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano (Milan Symphony Orchestra).[41] Piano Collections:
Final Fantasy VI, a second arranged album, features thirteen tracks from the game, performed for piano by Reiko
Nomura.[42] More recently, "Dancing Mad", the final boss theme from Final Fantasy VI, has been performed at
Play! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm, Sweden on June 2, 2007, by the group Machinae Supremacy.[43]
Nobuo Uematsu's rock band, The Black Mages, released a progressive metal version of Dancing Mad on their
eponymous first album in 2003. Their 2008 album, subtitled "Darkness and Starlight", is so named after its premiere
track: a rock opera version of the entire opera from FFVI, including the Aria di Mezzo Carattere performed by
Etsuyo Ota.

Re-releases
PlayStation
Final Fantasy VI was ported to the Sony PlayStation by TOSE and re-released by Square in Japan and North
America during 1999. In Japan, it was available both individually and as part of Final Fantasy Collection, while it
was only available as part of Final Fantasy Anthology in North America, and individually in Europe. Fifty-thousand
limited edition copies of the Japanese version were also released in Japan and included a Final Fantasy-themed
alarm clock.[44]
Final Fantasy VI's PlayStation re-release is very similar to the original Japanese release as seen on the Super
Famicom. With the exception of the addition of two full motion video opening and ending sequences and new effects
used for the start and end of battles, the graphics, music and sound are left unchanged from the original version,
though some have noted that the sound quality isn't as good as in the original.[45] The only notable changes to
gameplay (in addition to loading times not present in the cartridge versions) involve the correction of a few software
bugs from the original and the addition of a new "memo save" feature, allowing players to quickly save their
progress to the PlayStation's RAM.[46] The re-release included other special features, such as a bestiary and an
artwork gallery.[47]

Game Boy Advance


Final Fantasy VI was ported a second time by TOSE and re-released as Final Fantasy VI Advance by Square Enix in
Japan on November 30, 2006, by Nintendo in North America on February 5, 2007, and in Europe on June 29,
2007[48] , for the Game Boy Advance. It includes additional gameplay features and slightly enhanced visuals, as well
as a re-translated script that follows Japanese naming conventions for the spells and monsters, but it does not feature
the full motion videos from the PlayStation release of the game. Four new espers appear in this re-release: Leviathan,
Gilgamesh, Cactuar, and Diabolos. Two new areas include the Dragons' Den dungeon, which includes the Kaiser

128

''Final Fantasy VI''

129

Dragon, a monster coded but not included in the original, and a "Soul Shrine", a place where the player can fight
monsters continuously. Three new spells also appear, and several bugs from the original are fixed. In addition,
similarly to the other handheld Final Fantasy re-releases, a bestiary and a music player are included. Interestingly,
even in the Japanese version, the music player is in English and uses the American names, e.g. Strago over
Stragus.[49] The package features new artwork by series veteran and original character and image designer Yoshitaka
Amano.[50]

Reception
Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score

GameRankings

[51]
93.7% (11 reviews)
(SNES)
[52]
90.6% (26 reviews)
(GBA)

Review scores
Publication

Score
[53]

Allgame

[54]

Edge

8 of 10

Electronic Gaming
Monthly

9 of 10

Famitsu

[55]

(SNES)

(SNES)
(SNES)

[56]
37 of 40
(SNES)
[56]
31 of 40
(GBA)
[57]

GameSpot

8.9 of 10

IGN

9 of 10

[34]

(GBA)

(GBA)

Final Fantasy VI received positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful. As of March 31, 2003, the
game had shipped 3.48 million copies worldwide, with 2.62 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and
860,000 abroad.[58] Final Fantasy Collection sold over 400,000 copies in 1999, making it the 31st-best-selling
release of that year in Japan.[59] It received 54 out of 60 points from Weekly Famitsu, scored by a panel of six
reviewers.[44] Final Fantasy Anthology has sold approximately 364,000 copies in North America.[59]
The game garnered rave reviews upon its original release. GamePro rated it as 5 out of 5, stating that "Characters,
plotlines, and multiple-choice scenarios all combine to form one fantastic game!"[60] Electronic Gaming Monthly
granted a 9 out of 10 and named it game of the month, commenting that "RPGs with this much depth and realism
come once in a blue moon".[55] It won several awards from Electronic Gaming Monthly in their 1994 video game
awards, including Best Music for a Cartridge-Based Game, Best Role-Playing Game, and Best Japanese
Role-Playing Game.[61] Additionally, they later ranked the game ninth in their 1997 list of the 100 greatest console
games of all time.[62] For their part, Nintendo Power declared the game "the RPG hit of the decade", noting its
improved sound and graphics over its predecessors, and the game's broadened thematic scope.[63] Moreover, they
suggested that "with so much story and variation of play ... fans may become lost in the world for months at a
time".[64] In 1997, they ranked it as the 8th greatest Nintendo game, saying it "had everything you could
wantheroes, world-shattering events, magic, mindless evilplus Interceptor the wonder dog!"[65] In April 2008,
ScrewAttack named Final Fantasy VI the 3rd best SNES game, beaten only by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the
Past and Super Metroid.[66]

''Final Fantasy VI''


The game was still earning rave reviews after the release of its PlayStation version, with GamePro and Electronic
Gaming Monthly rating it 4 out of 5 and 9.5 out of 10, respectively.[62] Nintendo Power again ranked it as one of the
best Nintendo games in 2006, placing it as 13th on their "Top 200 games on a Nintendo Platform", suggesting that it
might be the "best" Final Fantasy ever.[67] In 2005, multimedia news website IGN ranked Final Fantasy VI 56th on
their list of the 100 greatest games, as the second highest ranked Final Fantasy title on the list after Final Fantasy
IV.[68] IGN described the graphics of the PlayStation re-release as "beautiful and stunning", reflecting that, at the
time of its release, "Final Fantasy III...represented everything an RPG should be", inspiring statistic growth systems
that would later influence titles like Wild Arms and Suikoden. Moreover, they praised its gameplay and storyline,
claiming that these aspects took "all ... preceding RPG concepts and either came up with something completely new
or refined them enough to make them its own", creating an atmosphere in which "[players] won't find it difficult to
get past the simplistic graphics or seemingly out-dated gameplay conventions and become involved ..."[68] . In an
updated version of the "Top 100" list in 2007, IGN ranked Final Fantasy VI 9th on the list, above all other Final
Fantasy games in the series. They continued to cite the game's character development, and especially noted Kefka as
"one of the most memorable bad guys in RPG history".[69] In 2009, Game Informer put the SNES version of Final
Fantasy III 8th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that it "perfected the 2D role-playing
game".[70]
Readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu voted it as the 25th best game of all time in early 2006.[71] RPGamer
gave a perfect rating to both the original game and its PlayStation re-release, citing its gameplay as "self-explanatory
enough that most any player could pick up the game and customize their characters' equipment", while praising its
music as "a 16-bit masterpiece". Alternatively, they describe the game's sound effects as limited and the game itself
as lacking in replay value due to having "one ending, one [fundamental] path through the plot, and ... [mandatory]
sidequests". Additionally, they regarded the game's English translation as "unremarkable", being "better than some
but worse than others", and offered similar comments for its gameplay difficulty. However, they referred to the
game's storyline as its "...most unique aspect", citing its large cast of characters, "nearly all of whom receive a great
deal of development", and the "surprisingly large number of real world issues, the vast majority of which have not
been addressed by any RPG before or since, ranging from teen pregnancy to suicide". Overall, RPGamer regarded
the game as an "epic masterpiece" and "truly one of the greatest games ever created".[72] [73]
The game's latest release, for the Game Boy Advance, also garnered praise. In 2007, the Game Boy Advance
re-release was named 8th best Game Boy Advance game of all time in IGN's feature reflecting on the Game Boy
Advance's long lifespan.[74] In 2009, Final Fantasy VI was inducted into the IGN Videogame Hall of Fame,
becoming the second Final Fantasy game to do so. The only other Final Fantasy to do so was the original Final
Fantasy.[75] Final Fantasy VI took the #1 spot on G4 TV's Top Must Own RPG's list in 2008.[76]
In IGN's ranking of the Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy VI took the #1 spot as the best game in the series.
Gamesradar has also ranked Final Fantasy VI #1 in a similar list.
Final Fantasy VI has also won over famous reviewers that are often difficult to please. James Rolfe, more commonly
known as The Angry Video Game Nerd, stated that Final Fantasy VI is one of his all-time favorite games on the
SNES console.[77] Another notoriously cynical video game critic, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, also praised the game. In
a Zero Punctuation review of Final Fantasy XIII, Croshaw said that FFVI was a Final Fantasy game that he actually
enjoyed. In the review he cites the game in response to the widely held view that he does not like Japanese
role-playing games or turn-based battle systems, in an attempt to justify why he is reviewing Final Fantasy XIII.
Within the context of the highly sardonic review, he appears to contrast FFVI's storytelling and gameplay with
FFXIII. This makes Final Fantasy VI one of the three turn-based JRPGs Croshaw has ever positively received or has
given praise to, the others being EarthBound and Paper Mario.[78] [79]

130

''Final Fantasy VI''

Legacy
Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game (also known as the Final Fantasy SGI demo, or Final Fantasy x (not
related to the actual 10th game in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy X) was a short demonstration produced by
Square using characters and settings from Final Fantasy VI. Produced using new Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) Onyx
workstations acquired by Square, the demo was Square's first foray into 3D graphics, and many assumed that it was a
precursor to a new Final Fantasy title for the Nintendo 64 video game console, which also used SGI hardware.[12]
Square, however, had not yet committed to Nintendo's console at the time of the demo's production, and much of the
technology demonstrated in the demo was later put to use in the rendering of full motion video sequences for Final
Fantasy VII and subsequent games for the PlayStation. The demo itself featured Terra Branford, Locke Cole, and
Shadow in a series of battles. The game was controlled largely through mouse gestures: for example, moving the
cursor in the shape of a star would summon a dragon to attack.[12]

External links
Square Enix's Official Final Fantasy VI website [80]
Square Enix's Official Final Fantasy VI Advance website [81] (Japanese)
"Nintendo's Official Final Fantasy VI Advance website" [82]. Archived from the original [83] on 2007-02-06.
(English)
Final Fantasy III [84] at Nintendo.com (archives [85] of the original [86] at the Internet Archive)
Final Fantasy VI Advance [87] at Nintendo.com (archives [88] of the original [89] at the Internet Archive)

References
[1] Square Enix staff, ed (1999). Final Fantasy Anthology instruction manual. Square Enix. p.39. SLUS-00900GH.
[2] "Final Fantasy VIBattle Systems" (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ anthology/ FFVI/ battle. html). Square Enix. 2002. . Retrieved
2006-07-21.
[3] "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / au. retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p1. html). IGN. 2008-04-30. . Retrieved
2009-04-01.
[4] Square Enix staff, ed (1999). Final Fantasy Anthology instruction manual. Square Enix. p.49. SLUS-00900GH.
[5] Square Enix staff, ed (1999). Final Fantasy Anthology instruction manual. Square Enix. p.47. SLUS-00900GH.
[6] Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11) "(NPC in Jidoor) You like art? No?
Philistines!"
[7] Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11) "(Game opening) Long ago, the War of
the Magi reduced the world to a scorched wasteland, and magic simply ceased to exist. 1000 years have passed... Iron, gunpowder and steam
engines have been rediscovered, and high technology reigns..."
[8] Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11) "Left statue: The birth of magic... three
goddesses were banished here. In time they began quarreling, which led to all-out war. Those unlucky humans who got in the way were
transformed to Espers, and used as living war machines. / Right Statue: The goddesses finally realized that they were being laughed at by
those who had banished them here. In a rare moment of mutual clarity, they agreed to seal themselves away from the world. With their last
ounce of energy they gave the Espers back their own free will, and then transformed themselves... ...into stone. Their only request was that the
Espers keep them sealed away from all eternity. / Center Statue: The Espers created these statues as a symbol of their vow to let the
goddesses sleep in peace. The Espers have sworn to keep the goddesses' power from being abused."
[9] Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11) "(NPC in Vector) That guy Kefka? He
was Cid's first experimental Magitek Knight. But the process wasn't perfected yet. Something in Kefka's mind snapped that day...!"
[10] Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11) "Wedge: Not to worry. The Slave Crown
on her head robs her of all conscious thought. She'll follow our orders."
[11] Locke: On the surface, Edgar pretends to support the Empire. The truth is, he's collaborating with the Returners, an organization opposed to
the Empire. I am his contact with that group... The old man you met in Narshe is one of us. Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super
Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[12] "Final Fantasy SGI Demo" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ affw/ ffsgi. html). RPGamer. . Retrieved 2006-08-10.
[13] Terra: You... saved me? / Locke: Save your thanks for the Moogles! / Terra: Uhh... I can't remember anything... past or present... / Locke:
You have amnesia!? Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[14] Banon: Have you made a decision? Will you become our last ray of hope? ... / Terra: I'll do it! Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft).
Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)

131

''Final Fantasy VI''


[15] Locke: ...Where's Terra? / Celes: She changed into a...something, and...took off. She looked like... She looked like...an Esper... Square Co.
Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[16] (Unidentified character) Terra looks like she's in pain. / Ramuh: Her very existence strikes fear into her own heart. / (Unidentified
character) How can we help her? / Ramuh: When she accepts this aspect of herself, I think she'll be all right. / (Unidentified character) We
have to help her! / Ramuh: Then free those of my kind imprisoned in Gestahl's Magitek Research Facility. One of them can surely help her.
Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[17] Ramuh: Gestahl's method is incorrect. You can't drain a live Esper of all its power. It is only when we are reduced to Magicite that our
abilities can be transferred in total... / Unspecified character: Pardon!? / Ramuh: When we transform into Magicite, our power can be
relocated. / Unspecified character: Magicite...!? / Ramuh: That's what's left of us when we... pass away. Square Co. Final Fantasy III.
(Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[18] (An Esper) Our friends are all gone... We haven't much time left... We have no choice but to entrust you with our essences... / Esper: You
want to help me... But... I haven't long to live. Just as Ifrit did before me, I'll give to you my power... Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square
Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[19] Kefka: So that's it! Magicite... ... / Kefka: General Celes!! The game's over. Bring me those Magicite shards! / Locke: Celes! You...
deceived me!? / Celes: Of course not! Have a little faith! / Kefka: G'hee, hee, hee! She has tricked you all! Celes, that's so... YOU! / Celes:
Locke... Please believe me... / Locke: I... ... ... / Kefka: NOW!! / Kefka: Exterminate all of them! / Celes: Locke... Let me protect you for
once... Maybe now... Now you'll believe me... / Kefka: Celes! W... What are you doing? Stop it!!! Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square
Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[20] Terra: Father...? I remember it all... I was raised in the Esper's world. ... / Terra: I'm the product of an Esper and a human... That's where I
got my powers... Now I understand... I finally feel I can begin to control this power of mine... Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft).
Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[21] Arvis: I see... Your plan would combine Narshe's money with Figaro's machinery to storm the Empire... not enough manpower, though... /
Banon: We have to open the sealed gate... Terra!? / Terra: To the Esper World...? / Arvis: We'll never beat the Empire without them. /
Banon: When the gate has been opened, the Espers can attack from the east. We'll storm in at the same time, from the north. No way around
it. We MUST get the Espers to understand. We have to establish a bond of trust between humans and Espers. Only one person can do this...
Terra... / Terra: Half human, half Esper... My existence is proof that such a bond CAN exist... I'll do it. I'm the only one who can! Square Co.
Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[22] Gestahl: I've lost my will to fight... ... / Gestahl: I've ordered this war to be over! Now I must ask for a favour... After they devastated my
Empire, the Espers headed northward, towards Crescent Island. They must be found...! We must tell them we're no longer their enemy. After
all that I have put them through, it is up to me to set things right. That is why... I need to borrow Terra's power. Only Terra can bridge the gap
between Esper and human. We must make for Crescent Island aboard the freighter from Albrook. Will you accompany me? Square Co. Final
Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[23] Kefka: G'ha, ha, ha! Emperor's orders! I'm to bring the Magicite remains of these Espers to his excellency! Behold! A Magicite mother
lode!! Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[24] Setzer: We've been had!! The Emperor is a liar! ... / Edgar: I got to know the gal who brought us tea. After a while, she just blurted out the
whole crooked plan. Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[25] Cid: Celes... at last...! You're finally awake... / Celes: I... feel like I've been sleeping forever... / Cid: For one year, actually... ... / Cid: We're
on a tiny, deserted island. After the world crumbled, I awoke to find us here together with... a few strangers. / Cid: Since that day, the world's
continued its slide into ruin. Animals and plants are dying... The few others who washed up here with us passed away of boredom and despair.
Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[26] Celes: Terra! What's wrong? The Magicite... Magic is disappearing from this world... / Edgar: The Espers... They no longer exist... / Celes:
You mean Terra, too? / Terra: Come with me. I can lead you out with my last ounce of strength. Square Co. Final Fantasy III. (Square Soft).
Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (1994-10-11)
[27] Musashi. "RPGFan Reviews Final Fantasy Anthology" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ reviews/ finalfantasyanthology/
Final_Fantasy_Anthology. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2009-10-22.
[28] "Final Fantasy Retrospective Part IV" (http:/ / www. gametrailers. com/ player/ 23185. html). Gametrailers.com. . Retrieved 2008-04-20.
[29] Otterland. "Final Fantasy VIRetroview" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ ff6/ reviews/ ff6rdrev14. html). RPGamer. . Retrieved
2006-07-22.
[30] "Fantasy Quest: Interview with Ted Woolsey". Super Play (Future Publishing) 1 (23). September 1994. ISSN0966-6199.
[31] Beckett, Michael. "Final Fantasy VI Staff Re-Retroview" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ ff6/ reviews/ ff6strev3. html).
RPGamer. . Retrieved 2009-10-28.
[32] Parkin, Simon (2007). "Eurogamer: Final Fantasy VI advance review" (http:/ / www. eurogamer. net/ articles/
final-fantasy-vi-advance-review). . Retrieved 2007-03-13.
[33] "Final Fantasy VI advance info" (http:/ / www. gamefaqs. com/ portable/ gbadvance/ data/ 930370. html). GameFAQs. 2007. . Retrieved
2007-05-03.
[34] Dunham, Jeremy (2007-02-15). "IGN: Final Fantasy VI Advance Review" (http:/ / gameboy. ign. com/ articles/ 764/ 764961p1. html). IGN.
. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
[35] Schreier, Jason (2007). "Final Fantasy VI Advance Staff Review" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ games/ ff/ ff6gba/ reviews/ ff6gbastrev2.
html). RPGamer. . Retrieved 2007-05-03.

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[36] Farand, Eric. "Original Game Concert 4" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ogc4/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2006-08-10.
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[38] Gann, Patrick. "More Friends music from Final Fantasy ~Los Angeles Live 2005~" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ffmorela/
index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2007-06-20.
[39] Schweitzer, Ben & Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy VI OSV" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff6ost/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved
2006-08-10.
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[41] Space, Daniel; Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff6finale/ index. html). RPGFan. .
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[42] Space, Daniel; Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff6piano/ index. html). RPGFan. .
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[43] "Play! A Video Game Symphony Upcoming Concerts" (http:/ / www. play-symphony. com). Play! A Video Game Symphony. . Retrieved
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[89] http:/ / www. nintendo. com/ gamemini?gameid=JKZK9j5PaAlUyd6u02rEh21Rqfenkdra

''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''


Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is the formal title
for a series of games and animated features developed
by Square Enix based in the world and continuity of
Final Fantasy VII. Spearheaded by Tetsuya Nomura
and Yoshinori Kitase,[1] [2] [3] the series consists of
several titles across various platforms, all of which are
extensions of the Final Fantasy VII story.

Creation and scope


Square Enix labeled the project "the company's first
steps toward ... 'polymorphic content'", a marketing
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII logo
strategy designed to "[provide] well-known properties
on several platforms, allowing exposure of the
products to as wide an audience as possible".[1] Compilation producer Yoshinori Kitase said that when given the
opportunity to expand any previous Final Fantasy title for the company's experiment in polymorphic content, he
"immediately chose Final Fantasy VII", because of its status as a milestone in the series' history, its status as a
reference in the series, and its popularity among fans.[4] He further explained that "the ending of FFVII seemed to...
open up so many possibilities with its characters, more so than other games".[5] One of the main conditions for the
project's launch was to be able to reunite the original staff members of Final Fantasy VII; art director Yusuke Naora,
composer Nobuo Uematsu, and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima joined Kitase and Nomura to work on the
project.[4]
Nomura has revealed that when he was brought onto the project, he only expected for Final Fantasy VII Advent
Children and Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII to be developed, whereas Kitase envisioned a production of greater
scope, leading to the introduction of several other titles.[6] [7] Kitase explained that when development for Advent

134

''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''


Children began, the team agreed that one title was not enough to cover the entire world of Final Fantasy VII, and
thus Before Crisis and Dirge of Cerberus were conceived to embrace more aspects.[4] The team expected to be able
to share resources and models across the different projects; however, they faced difficulties in doing so and Nomura
eventually decided to create different designs for each title. When asked about the presence of non traditional
role-playing game within the Compilation, Kitase explained that the team's plan was to make several games of the
same quality, rather than a "hardcore" role-playing game which would stand out from the other titles and involve too
much physical and emotional attachment from the team's part. He added that the existence of Final Fantasy
X-2the first game sequel in the series and a lighthearted titlealso helped them consider more various genres than
the regular role-playing game type.[4] Square Enix president Yichi Wada announced that the Compilation could
remain an active franchise until the twentieth anniversary of Final Fantasy VII's release.[8]

Titles
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Games (chronological order)

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII


Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Lost Episode

Films
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII
The first title in the Compilation is the mobile game Before Crisis, a prequel starring the Turks that focuses on the
six years preceding the original game.[9] [10] Released by subscription in twenty-four chapters,[11] full service began
in Japan on September 24, 2004[12] for the NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series of mobile phones.[10] Advent Children
was the first title announced in the Compilation, having been unveiled in September 2003 at the Tokyo Game
Show,[13] [14] but was the second to be released. It screened in its completion for the first time on September 2, 2005
at the 62nd Venice Film Festival.[13] [15] It is a CGI film sequel to the original Final Fantasy VII, set two years after
the conclusion of the game. Produced for DVD and Universal Media Disc (UMD) for Sony's PlayStation Portable
(PSP), it was released in Japan on September 14, 2005,[16] and in European and North American markets on April
25, 2006.[17] [18] [19] Special editions of the film included Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an original video animation
produced by Madhouse that recounts the destruction of Nibelheim.[20]
Another sequel is Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone counterpart, Dirge of Cerberus Lost
Episode: Final Fantasy VII, both of them first-person/third-person shooter hybrids.[21] [22] Developed for the
PlayStation 2 and set three years after the events of the original Final Fantasy VII,[23] [24] Dirge was released in
Japan on January 26, 2006,[21] and in North America on August 15, 2006.[21] Lost Episode was released for Amp'd
Mobile phones three days later on August 18, 2006.[25] Finally, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an action
role-playing game for the PSP that revolves around Zack's past, chronicling the seven years prior to the events of the
original game.[26] [27] After having been pushed back several times, the game was released on September 13, 2007 in
Japan, March 25, 2008 in North America,[28] and on June 20, 2008 in Europe.

135

''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''

136

Audio
The new Final Fantasy VII titles were also accompanied by their own
soundtracks. Though Nobuo Uematsu had been the primary composer for the
original game, he had very little involvement with the music of the new titles.
Some soundtracks have been released in both a regular edition and a limited
edition. Some of the soundtracks include new arrangements of songs from Final
Fantasy VII such as battle themes, Aerith's iconic theme, the Shinra and Turks'
themes, and Sephiroth's theme song "One Winged Angel", and of course the main
theme of FFVII. An iconic addition to the complimations soundtrack is the Crisis
Core ending theme "Why"

Cover of the Final Fantasy VII


Advent Children soundtrack

Reception
Though Final Fantasy VII received an overall positive reception, the titles in the compilation have received mixed
reviews. In July 2007, Edge magazine stated that the titles "could be of a high quality, but there is also a perversion
of the original."[29] Dirge of Cerberus shipped 392,000 units in its first week,[29] [30] though it received a score 28
out of 40 from Famitsu.[31] The CGI film Advent Children met with positive sales figures. The Japanese DVD
release sold over 420,000 copies in its first week, which was 93% of all published copies at the time.[32]

References
[1] Kohler, Chris (2004). "More Compilation of Final Fantasy VII details" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps2/ action/
dirgeofcerberusfinalfantasyvii/ news. html?sid=6108651). GameSpot (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). . Retrieved August 10, 2006.
[2] GameSpot site staff (2003). "Kingdom Hearts II's Tetsuya Nomura Q & As" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps2/ rpg/ kingdomhearts2/ news.
html?sid=6076646). GameSpot (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). . Retrieved August 10, 2006.
[3] V-Jump, ed (2005) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Prologue. Shueisha. p.50. ISBN4-08-779339-7.
[4] Stone, Cortney (2005-09-01). "Kitase Discusses Compilation of Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q3-2005/ 090105b.
html). RPGamer (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ ). . Retrieved September 2, 2007.
[5] Editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly, ed (2005). Electronic Gaming Monthly October 2005; issue 196. Ziff Davis Media Inc.. p.104.
[6] Young, Billy (2004). "Details Arise From Tetsuya Nomura Interview" (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q4-2004/ 120104g. html).
RPGamer (http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[7] Choudhury, Rahul (2004). "Nomura: "Don't look at me, Kitase did it!"" (http:/ / square-haven. com/ news/ ?id=0889). SquareHaven.com
(http:/ / square-haven. com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[8] RPGFan site staff (2006). "Square Enix Conference Report" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ news/ 2006/ 1287. html). RPGFan (http:/ / www.
rpgfan. com/ ). . Retrieved August 26, 2006.
[9] Watanabe, Yukari, ed (2006) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children - Reunion Files -. SoftBank. pp.9697. ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[10] Gantayat, Anoop (2004). "Before Crisis FF7 Details" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/ 519/ 519385p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). .
Retrieved September 2, 2007.
[11] Buchanan, Levi (2006). "Interview with Square Enix Mobile: Kosei Ito" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/ 711/ 711470p1. html). IGN
(http:/ / ign. com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[12] Gantayat, Anoop (2004). "Final Fantasy Destroys Square Enix" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/ 544/ 544743p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign.
com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[13] Watanabe, Yukari, ed (2006) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children - Reunion Files -. SoftBank. p.74. ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[14] IGNPS2 (2003). "TGS 2003: Final Fantasy VII: The Movie?" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 451/ 451541p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/
). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[15] Hernandez, Eugene (2005). "With A Record Eleven U.S. Titles, Venice Fest Sets 2005 Lineup" (http:/ / www. indiewire. com/ ots/
onthescene_050729vff. html). indieWIRE (http:/ / www. indiewire. com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[16] Gantayat, Anoop (2005). "FFVII Tops Charts" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 652/ 652310p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). . Retrieved
August 11, 2006.
[17] IGN DVD (2005). "Official Final Fantasy VII Release Date News" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 688/ 688275p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign.
com/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.

''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''


[18] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Comes to DVD and PSP April 25" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ news/ 6144171. html). GameSpot
(http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). 2005. . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[19] Square Enix North America site staff (2005). "Square Enix Announces Settlement in Movie Piracy Case" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/
na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0420/ ). Square Enix North America (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ ). . Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[20] Watanabe, Yukari, ed (2006) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children - Reunion Files -. SoftBank. p.95. ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[21] Dunham, Jeremy (2006). "Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Review" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 724/ 724990p2. html). IGN (http:/
/ ign. com/ ). . Retrieved August 13, 2006.
[22] Vasconcellos, Eduardo (2006). "Comic-Con 2006: Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-: Lost Episode" (http:/ / wireless. ign. com/ articles/
720/ 720691p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). . Retrieved August 13, 2006.
[23] Watanabe, Yukari, ed (2006) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children - Reunion Files -. SoftBank. p.98. ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[24] IGN site staff (2006). "Dirge of Cerberus: FFVII" (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ objects/ 693/ 693672. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). . Retrieved
August 13, 2006.
[25] Square Enix North America site staff (2006). "DIRGE of CERBERUS - FINAL FANTASY VII - EXPLODES ONTO RETAIL SHELVES"
(http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0815/ ). Square Enix North America (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ ). .
Retrieved August 26, 2006.
[26] Editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly, ed (2005). Electronic Gaming Monthly October 2005; issue 196. Ziff Davis Media Inc.. p.101.
[27] IGN site staff (2006). "Crisis Core FFVII Update" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 709/ 709034p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). .
Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[28] Gantayat, Anoop (2007-05-12). "Date Set For Crisis Core" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 787/ 787957p1. html). IGN (http:/ / ign. com/ ). .
Retrieved August 11, 2006.
[29] "Final Frontiers", Edge (Future Publishing) (177): 7279, July 2007
[30] "TOP 10 Weekly Software Sales (January 23 - January 29, 2006)" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060205034213/ http:/ / m-create. com/
eng/ e_ranking. html). Media Create. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. m-create. com/ eng/ e_ranking. html) on 2006-02-05. .
[31] "Japanese Sales Charts, Week Ending February 5" (http:/ / www. gamasutra. com/ php-bin/ news_index. php?story=8119). Gamasutra.
2006-02-10. . Retrieved 2007-10-08.
[32] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children - DVD Information" (http:/ / www. adventchildren. net/ ff7ac/ movie/ info. php). AdventChildren.net. .
Retrieved 2007-06-06.

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''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''

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''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''


Final Fantasy VII Advent
Children

Directed by

Tetsuya Nomura
Takeshi Nozue

Produced by

Yoshinori Kitase
Shinji Hashimoto

Written by

Kazushige Nojima

Starring

Japanese:
Takahiro Sakurai
Showtaro Morikubo
Maaya Sakamoto
Ayumi Ito
English:
Steve Burton
Steve Staley
Mena Suvari
Rachael Leigh Cook
George Newbern
Wally Wingert
Steven Blum

Music by

Nobuo Uematsu
Keiji Kawamori
Kenichiro Fukui
Tsuyoshi Sekito

Cinematography Yasuharu Yoshizawa


Editing by

Keiichi Kojima

Studio

Square Enix

Distributed by

Square Enix (Japan)


Sony (International)

Release date(s)

Theatrical Version:
September 14,
2005
April 24, 2006
April 25, 2006
Director's Cut:
April 16, 2009
July 27, 2009
June 2, 2009

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''

139
Running time

Country
Language

Theatrical Version:
100 minutes
Director's Cut:
125 minutes
Japan

Japanese

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (VII Fainaru Fantaj


Sebun Adobento Chirudoren) is a 2005 CGI film directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Takeshi Nozue and produced by
Yoshinori Kitase and Shinji Hashimoto. It was written by Kazushige Nojima and the music was composed by Nobuo
Uematsu. Advent Children was the first announced title in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series.
The film is based on the highly successful 1997 console role-playing game Final Fantasy VII. It is set two years after
the events of the game, and follows Cloud Strife as he unravels the cause of a mysterious plague called "Geostigma"
that has beset the population.
Advent Children received mixed reviews from critics, attaining an approval rating of 33% on the review aggregator
Rotten Tomatoes[1] . In 2005, the film received the "Maria Award" at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de
Catalunya, and at the 2007 American Anime Awards it was awarded "best anime feature". As of 2006, the DVD and
UMD releases of Advent Children have sold over 10.5 million copies worldwide.

Plot
Two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, the survivors of Midgar have begun to build a new city, Edge, on
the outskirts of the old metropolis. A strange disease known as "Geostigma" has arisen. After Cloud's showdown
with Sephiroth, he has been living with Tifa in Edge. Marlene and an orphaned boy named Denzel have been
entrusted to their care. After receiving a message from Tifa, Cloud is attacked by three men, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo,
who believe that he has hidden their "mother". The leader, Kadaj, ends the battle as he discovers that Cloud does not
have their "mother". Cloud responds to a message from Tifa, who tells him that the Turks have a job for him. At the
meeting place, Cloud discovers that Rufus Shinra is still alive. Rufus attempts to enlist Cloud's help to stop the trio,
but fails as he refuses and leaves. Kadaj arrives and demands that Rufus tell him where to find his "mother". It is
revealed that his "mother" is Jenova's remains, and is somehow connected to the cause of the Geostigma. The trio are
planning a new "reunion" that will culminate in an assault on the Planet.
Loz arrives at Aerith's church in Midgar in an attempt to find Jenova's remains, and is confronted by Tifa. After
battling Tifa, he receives instructions on his cell phone to capture Marlene. Kadaj and the gang begin collecting
children infected with Geostigma, including Denzel and the uninfected Marlene, and take them to the Forgotten City.
Cloud attempts to rescue them but fails, and is quickly defeated, and is then rescued by Vincent Valentine, who
reveals to Cloud what the trio is seeking and that it could result in the return of Sephiroth. Cloud agrees to return to
Edge and face Kadaj in battle. In Edge, the trio call forth several monsters to attack the populace, including the
summon "Bahamut SIN". While Cloud's companions deal with Bahamut SIN, Reno and Rude try to take care of
Yazoo and Loz until Cloud arrives. Cloud and his friends are able to dispatch the monsters and Bahamut SIN.
In a nearby building, Rufus reveals to Kadaj that he has been in possession of Jenova's remains all along. He throws
the box containing it from the edge of the building. Kadaj dives after the remains and recovers them shortly after
Rufus shoots the box and damaging its contents. Kadaj spots Cloud in pursuit of him, and is followed to the ruins of
Midgar. They battle each other in Aerith's church. Kadaj destroys the flowerbed, which releases an outflow of
Lifestream-infused water that cures Cloud's Geostigma. Kadaj flees to the ruins of Shinra Headquarters, where they
continue their fight. Outmatched, Kadaj absorbs Jenova's remains into his body, allowing Sephiroth to be reborn
through the Remnant's body. Sephiroth reveals that once those who die from the Geostigma return to the Lifestream,
he will be able to control it and use the Planet as a vessel to travel space in search of a new planet for him to rule.

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''


After a heated final battle, Cloud defeats Sephiroth who dissipates leaving a weakened Kadaj at Cloud's mercy.
Aerith begins to pour healing rain across Edge, curing the people of their Geostigma. She tells Kadaj to be at peace,
who believes her voice to be that of his "mother", and he is taken by the Lifestream. Cloud is then shot by Yazoo in
the back. Also succumbing to the healing rain but bent on not going alone, Yazoo and Loz prepare one final blast at
Cloud as he charges at them, resulting in a large explosion that engulfs all three.
Afterward, Cloud appears surrounded by a white light, and Aerith and Zack are heard. Aerith tells Cloud that his
place is not with them yet, and sends him back. Cloud awakens in a pool of Lifestream-infused water in Aerith's
church, surrounded by his friends, family and the citizens of Edge. After curing the Geostigma-infected Denzel, he
turns and sees Aerith crouching by some children. As she stands and walks to the doorway, she turns back and says
that everything's all right now, and steps into a white light with Zack. Cloud watches them go, and says that he now
knows that he's not alone.

Production
The idea for Advent Children came about when script writer Kazushige Nojima wrote a script that was "just a story
about Cloud and Tifa and the kids". Visual Works, a company that has developed CG films for Square, picked Final
Fantasy VII as the theme for a presentation that they were going to create.[2] Square's research and development
department worked with them on its launch, and director Tetsuya Nomura joined the crew after producer Yoshinori
Kitase called him. Advent Children was originally going to be a game sequel, but Nomura stated that it was not
possible due to a number of factors. However, the development team decided to stick with the original plan and work
on it as a movie production.[3]
According to Nomura in the DVD commentary, the original movie was only supposed to be 20 minutes. The details
of the original story is that it featured someone requesting a message to be sent to Cloud. The message is then
relayed to Cloud through several children and, when the message finally reaches Cloud, it is revealed who the
messenger is. Although Nomura insisted that he very much liked the original script, as it became the foundation for
the theme of the final result of the movie, he decided to make the project more grand in scope because early word of
this movie generated so much interest that a demand for the film to be feature length eventually became so great that
Nomura complied.
After Square and Enix merged to Square Enix in 2003, the production of the film started. As there was little time,
Nomura began developing a textual storyboard instead of a visual storyboard. He made a timeline of the story and
wrote down all the elements of the story from the beginning to the end as keywords. The creators of the film had no
prior knowledge of how to make a movie, and it was based on their knowledge of in-game movies. They used
motion capture in the film's battle scenes, but the parts that were not humanly possible had to be done by hand.[3]

Music
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Original Soundtrack was released on September 28, 2005 containing new
material created specifically for the movie, as well as arrangements of tunes from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack.
Both the original tracks and the arrangements cover a variety of musical styles, including orchestral, choral, classical
piano, and rock music; Variety noted that the styles vary between "sparse piano noodlings, pop metal thrashings and
cloying power ballads".[4] The tracks were composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Keiji Kawamori, Kenichiro Fukui, and
Tsuyoshi Sekito, and arranged by Fukui, Sekito, Kawamori, Shiro Hamaguchi, and Kazuhiko Toyama. The ending
theme "Calling" was written and performed by former Bowy vocalist Kyosuke Himuro. The album spans 26 tracks
on two discs, covers a duration of 1:21:41. In addition to the regular release, a limited edition was produced. It
contained alternate cover art displaying the Advent Children renditions of the characters Cloud Strife and Sephiroth
and a booklet containing credits and lyrics.[5]
A mini-album titled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Mini Album was released on April 10, 2009 to
coincide with the release of the Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete version of the movie.[6] The new

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''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''


release of the movie included a new ending theme, "Safe and Sound", by Kyosuke Himuro and My Chemical
Romance singer Gerard Way, and replaced "Water" with a new song, "Anxious Heart".[6]

Promotion and release


Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was originally scheduled for a September 14, 2005 release in Japan and a
September 13, 2005 release in North America, with Japan obtaining a special release of the DVD with more bonus
material and collectible offers than the US release. The official website for the English version of Advent Children
had a countdown clock, displaying the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until this release date. The film
was released on DVD on April 25, 2006 and by the 5th week, had sold 963,023 units which translated to
$14,860,534 in revenue.[7]
However, days before the release, Square Enix changed the US release date to a tentative November 2005, a move
many felt indicated an attempt by Square Enix to release the film during the lucrative holiday sales times. The
estimate for release was changed once again in early November to a January release, and due to the release date
being pushed back several times, the timer was removed from the official North American site. When fans noted that
the E3 2005 trailer had confirmed the simultaneous September release, Square Enix stated that the trailer was not the
real E3 trailer and possibly a fake trailer.
In an article for the website The Digital Bits, it was eventually mentioned that the delays were due to the extra time
required to complete the bonus supplements. Finally, in an IGN article on February 13, 2006, it was revealed that
April 25, 2006 was the new official North American release date.[8] Later the same day, on an article on 1UP.com,
the release date was confirmed yet again, along with the entire English voice cast.[9] Square Enix confirmed the info
on their US website, indicating that the film was on track for a certain US release.[10] The official film website was
updated with the info and a new countdown timer was implemented.
A special one-time only theatrical screening of the English version of the film took place on April 3, 2006 at the
ArcLight movie theatre in Los Angeles. The event was promoted via e-mail to those who subscribed to the Square
Enix mailing list. The screening featured trailers of Kingdom Hearts II and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII,
and was highlighted by appearances of the English language cast and the Japanese developers. The film was rated
PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of intense action violence.

Special editions
The European, Australian, and North American DVD is a 2-disc set that includes several bonus features. Certain
retailers offered a bonus disc to go with the DVD set. The disc contains a featurette on the English voice-over
process, including interviews with Steve Burton (Cloud), Rachael Leigh Cook (Tifa) and Mena Suvari (Aerith).
Sony later announced Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) for release on February
20, 2007 for an MSRP of $49.95.[11] The set included more bonus material than the previous DVD releases,
including printed materials.[12]

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete


At the Tokyo Game Show 2006, Square Enix showed a trailer of a director's cut of the film, titled Final Fantasy VII
Advent Children Complete, for release on the Blu-ray Disc format. New scenes will be added to the film. The film
also benefits from high-definition video and audio that the Blu-ray format offers. In Japan, it came with a playable
demo of Final Fantasy XIII. The cut had formerly been expected to be released in mid 2007, but Square Enix
announced at the Tokyo Game Show 2007 that they would postpone the product until 2008.[13]
At the 2008 Square Enix DK3713 Party, it was announced that Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete would
be released in March 2009 in Japan,[14] but it was delayed soon after and was released on April 16, 2009. A separate
bundle was sold that included a demo of Final Fantasy XIII. Both editions included the first HD trailers of Final

141

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''


Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. The film features a 20-minute long extra movie on the disc, which
is an anime version of the "Case of Denzel" chapter featured in the On the Way to a Smile short story.[14] Advent
Children Complete was released in North America on June 2, 2009[15] , July 27, 2009, in Europe and October 7,
2009, in Australia. However, both the North American and the European versions do not come with the playable
demo of Final Fantasy XIII. Instead, it comes with a new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII.
It contains a considerable amount of new footage that the original version lacks, as well as roughly a thousand
revised scenes. This adds a total of 26 minutes to the film, some of the new scenes include a more in depth look at
the Geostigma, Denzel and Kadaj's origins, as well as an extended fight between Cloud and Sephiroth. Unlike the
original version, which was rated PG-13, this version is unrated.
The Japanese release of this edition features a new ending track from Kyosuke Himuro called "Safe and Sound,"
with additional lyrics from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. The track replaces Himuro's previous
track "Calling" from the original cut of the film. However, in the North American and European release, the song
"Calling" remains, and "Safe and Sound" is absent.
The film was released in Japanese in three bundles. One included a limited edition 160GB "Cloud Black" PS3
bundle with the Final Fantasy XIII demo, another was the film with the demo, and the last was be the stand-alone
film. The film also includes an OVA based on On the Way to a Smile: Case of Denzel, along with never-before-seen
trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Nomura also said that Complete may be the last
installment of the Compilation for some time, but he and Nozue have other ideas and are contemplating another film
project. The North American and European release of the movie saw the new ending song strangely absent, with the
original song Calling in its place, although the sequence is cut differently than the original version, which includes
new two montages of the characters and some of the newly incorporated scenes, and leads into the slightly extended
sequence after the credits end. These releases also saw different cover art and a new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII,
although the Versus XIII trailer from the Japanese release is absent.
An offer existed for gamers who purchased a PlayStation 3 80GB system through Gamestop.com or in store, also
received a Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Blu-ray movie bonus.

Tie-ins
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII is an original video animation from 2005 directed by Morio Asaka, written by
Kazuhiko Inukai, and animated by Madhouse.[16] [17] It was originally released with the "Ultimate Edition" of the
Advent Children movie, Advent Pieces: Limited, in Japan by Square Enix on September 14, 2005.[18] [19] The
collectors set was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in the United States on February 20, 2007.[20]
There is currently no English dub and the OVA is subtitled.[21]
The OVA is an anime rendition of two flashbacks that took place in the game. One details events from five years
before Final Fantasy VII, revolving around the Nibelheim scenario that focused on Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, Tifa
Lockhart, and Sephiroth. The other involves Zack and Cloud on the run from Shinra. The anime cuts back and forth
between these two flashbacks, linked by the Turk commander Tseng's reflection on the Nibelheim events.

142

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''

Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII


Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII is a story digest of Final Fantasy VII, as recalled by Cloud at a time set shortly
after the events of Advent Children. It consists of edited scenes from the original PlayStation game and live-action
shots of locations seen in the bonus ending. Between flashbacks to the original game's sequences, it relates a short
story about Cloud making deliveries while taking phone calls from other members of AVALANCHE.
The basic premise is that Yuffie wants Cloud to take a day off from work, and as a way of telling him she sends a
"closed for business" sign to him through Barret. Cloud then calls Tifa and asks her if she can close the bar the next
day while he takes a day off from running deliveries. Only the voices of Cloud, Yuffie, Cid, Vincent, and Barret can
be heard during the story digest, as there are no actual animated renderings of them featured in Reminiscence. The
only CGI in Reminisence is of Cloud's motorcycle parked on the side of the road as Barret gives him Yuffie's
package.

On the Way to a Smile


On the Way to a Smile is a series of short stories taking place between the time of Final Fantasy VII and Final
Fantasy VII Advent Children. Written by Kazushige Nojima, the first story (Case of Denzel) was released in
episodes on the official Japanese Advent Children website, while the series was released in its entirety in V-Jump's
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Prologue book.
The first four chapters are told indirectly through the perspective of Denzel, the young orphan featured in Advent
Children. Johnny, the bumbling regular of Tifa's 7th Heaven bar from the original game, has opened up his own bar
in the newly built city of Edge. One day Denzel shows up in Johnny's store to have a private meeting with Reeve
Tuesti. He has requested an interview with him in the hopes that he may become part of Reeve's newly formed
World Regenesis Organization, an army devoted to rebuilding the planet. Denzel then goes on to tell his life story,
including how he became an orphan, the events leading up to his becoming afflicted with Geostigma, and how he
came into the care of Tifa and Cloud. He also offers a firsthand account of the events of the fateful day when the
Lifestream emerged to save the planet from Meteor. The second short story consists of Tifa's account of the events
following Meteor's destruction, overlapping in part with Denzel's story. This part of On the Way to a Smile helps to
uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the beginning of the film, including identifying its setting and offering
further insight into Cloud and Tifa's respective feelings for themselves and one another. A third On the Way to a
Smile story was released with the North American limited edition box set of Advent Children. It involves Barret and
his struggle with having a weapon for an arm, and trying to find a new energy source for the people of the world, the
story also gives insights for the rest of the AVALANCHE members' lives after the events of Final Fantasy VII.
Advent Children Complete includes short stories in this series from the perspective of Yuffie, Red XIII, Rufus
Shinra, and the Lifestream itself.

Reception
The DVD release of Advent Children sold over 420,000 copies in Japan in its first week, which was 93% of all
published copies at the time.[22] In 2006, Square Enix and Sony announced that the English language DVD and
UMD releases combined had sold over 1.4 million units worldwide. Only 100,000 of these sales were in Europe,
while the rest was sold in America and Australia. Combined with the Japanese sales, Advent Children had sold over
2.4 million copies.[23] The DVD ranked a "surprise" #2 during its first week in Nielsen VideoScan.[24] Nielsen later
made a survey named "Top Selling Anime Releases of 2006" and Advent Children ranked at the top.[25] The film
achieved number one on Amazon.com's "Top Sellers" page days before the North American DVD release. In an
Oricon poll from 2005, the regular edition from the DVD ranked as the 12th DVD best-selling from Japan with a
total of 209,759 copies sold. The limited edition ranked 15th with 202,793 copies sold.[26] In a 2006 survey by the
Japan External Trade Organization, the DVD ranked as the top best selling Japanese anime DVD in the United
States. In the consecutive 2007 poll, the DVD stayed 10th.[27] During its release week, the Blu-ray format of the film

143

''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''


#2 bestselling Blu-ray Disc.[28] In its first day of release, over 100,000 copies of Advent Children's Blu-rays were
sold in Japan.[29] According to the retail news source ICv2, Advent Children was one of the top three anime
properties in North America during 2007.[30] In ICv2's Top Ten Anime Properties from 2006, Advent Children was
featured at the top.[31] During 2009, the blu-ray from Advent Children Complete sold 49,000 units in Japan ranking
2nd in the category "Animation/Special Effects Blu-ray Discs" from Oricon's survey "2009's Top-Selling Blu-ray
Discs in Japan (Overall)".[32] It also ranked 8th in the category "Overall Blu-ray Discs, by Yen" with 310 million yen
(US$3.4 million) sold in 2009.[33]
Advent Children has received mixed reviews by critics. Chris Carle of IGN praised the sound and the English voice
acting, but criticized the lack of commentary in the DVDs extras.[34] He gave the film an overall score of nine out of
ten.[35] 1UP.com's James Mielke commented on the quality and clarity of the CG visuals as "genuinely amazing". He
did however criticize the film's music, and called it "a bit sappy".[36] Although Anime News Network writer Carlo
Santos praised the animation calling it "outstanding", he criticized the film's plot due to the fact that non-players
from Final Fantasy VII would not understand the story. The feature Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII was found by
Santos to be "just as confusing as the movie and is more of a refresher for those who have played Final Fantasy
VII."[37] A similar response was given by Mania Entertainment's John Eriani who commented that anybody who has
not played Final Fantasy VII should search for information about the game to understand the film's storyline.[38]
Fellow writer Dani Moure agreed with Eriani and added that he liked how the characters were further explored in the
film.[39] On the other hand, Todd Douglass Jr. from DVD Talk commented that Advent Children "is pretty much the
film that fans all over the world have been waiting for." Besides the animation and the appearances from various
characters being praised, Cloud's development in the film was commented to be one of the best parts from the film
by Douglass.[40]
Advent Children attained a 33% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 6 reviews,[41] while the PlayStation
Portable UMD release of the film got an 88% score at Metacritic, based on five reviews.[42] The film received the
Honorary Maria Award at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya on October 15, 2005.[43] The film was
also awarded for "best anime feature" at the 2007 American Anime Awards.[44]

External links

Official English website [45]


Official Japanese website [46]
Official Japanese Advent Children Complete website [47]
Official English Advent Children Complete site [48]
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children [49] at the Internet Movie Database
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children [50] at Allmovie

References
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Retrieved 2009-12-01.
[2] McLaughlin, Rus (2008-04-30). "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p1. html).
IGN. . Retrieved 2008-09-14.
[3] "DPM Interview w/Tetsuya Nomura" (http:/ / www. khinsider. com/ content/ view/ 41/ 41/ ). Dengeki PlayStation. Kingdom Hearts Insider. .
Retrieved 2008-01-29.
[4] Felperin, Leslie (2005-09-01). "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Review" (http:/ / www. variety. com/ review/ VE1117928025.
html?categoryid=31& cs=1& p=0). Variety. . Retrieved 2009-01-14.
[5] Gann, Patrick (2005-10-30). "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children OST" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff7ac/ index. html).
RPGFan. . Retrieved 2008-07-28.
[6] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Mini Album" (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ albums/ f/ ff7adventcomplete. shtml).
Square Enix Music Online. . Retrieved 2009-04-21.
[7] http:/ / www. the-numbers. com/ movies/ 2006/ 0FF7D-DVD. php

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[8] "Official Final Fantasy VII Release Date News" (http:/ / dvd. ign. com/ articles/ 688/ 688075p1. html). IGN. 2006-02-13. . Retrieved
2007-06-06.
[9] "FFVII Advent Children English cast and release date get!" (http:/ / 1up. com/ do/ newsStory?cId=3147962). 1UP.com. 2006-02-13. .
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[10] "STEVE BURTON, RACHAEL LEIGH COOK AND MENA SUVARI LEND THEIR VOICES TO THE CG-ANIMATED
ACTION-PACKED FEATURE FILM BASED ON THE BEST-SELLING PLAYSTATION GAME FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT
CHILDREN" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0213/ ). 2006-02-13. . Retrieved 2007-06-06.
[11] McCutcheon, David (2006-12-15). "Further Final Fantasy VII DVDs Due" (http:/ / dvd. ign. com/ articles/ 751/ 751165p1. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2007-06-06.
[12] Carle, Chris (2007-02-16). "Double Dip Digest: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set)" (http:/ / dvd. ign.
com/ articles/ 765/ 765583p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2008-01-17.
[13] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Blu-Ray edition postponed" (http:/ / www. newlaunches. com/ archives/
final_fantasy_vii_advent_children_complete_bluray_edition_postponed. php). Newlaunches.com. . Retrieved 2007-06-06.
[14] "FFXIII Demo Will Be Released with Advent Children Complete" (http:/ / finalfantasy-xiii. net/ 2008/ 08/ 02/
final-fantasy-xiii-demo-will-be-released-with-advent-children-complete. html). finalfantasyxiii.net. . Retrieved 2008-08-02.
[15] "Advent Children Complete North American Release June" (http:/ / release. square-enix. com/ na/ 2009/ 05/ 12. html). Square Enix. .
Retrieved 2009-05-29.
[16] SoftBank, ed (2006) (in Japanese/English). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files. Square-Enix. pp.9495.
ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[17] "Otakon Hosts Nana, Chobits Director Morio Asaka" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2007-06-13/
otakon-hosts-nana-chobits-director-morio-asaka). Anime News Network. . Retrieved August 24, 2008.
[18] "Advent Children Delayed" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2005-08-25/ advent-children-delayed). Anime News Network. .
Retrieved July 3, 2008.
[19] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Advent Pieces: Limited" (http:/ / www. play-asia. com/ paOS-13-71-a7-49-en-70-q1f. html). Play-Asia.
. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
[20] "Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) (2005)" (http:/ / www. amazon. com/ dp/ B000K4WLXA/ ).
Amazon.com. . Retrieved March 4, 2009.
[21] Last Order: Final Fantasy VII (http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0489134/ ). [DVD]. Square Enix. 2009-04-10. . Retrieved March 10, 2009.
[22] "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children DVD Information" (http:/ / www. adventchildren. net/ ff7ac/ movie/ info. php). Advent Children.net. .
Retrieved 2007-06-06.
[23] "Flash: Advent Children is Popular" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2006-06-20/ flash-advent-children-is-popular). Anime
News Network. June 6, 2006. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[24] "Advent Children #2 on VideoScan" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2006-05-04/ advent-children-no. 2-on-videoscan).
Anime News Network. May 4, 2006. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[25] "Top Selling Anime Releases of 2006" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2006-06-14/ top-selling-anime-releases-of-2006).
Anime News Network. June 14, 2006. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[26] "Top Japanese DVDs of 2005" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2005-12-31/ top-japanese-dvds-of-2005). Anime News
Network. December 31, 2005. . Retrieved August 2, 2009.
[27] "N. America's 2007 Anime Market Pegged at US$2.8 Billion (Update 3)" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2009-04-01/
n-america-2007-anime-market-pegged-at-us$2. 8-billion). Anime News Network. April 1, 2009. . Retrieved August 2, 2009.
[28] "Final Fantasy VII: ACC Was #2 U.S. BD in First Week" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2009-06-18/ final-fantasy-vii/
acc-was-no. 2-u. s-bd-in-first-week). Anime News Network. June 18, 2009. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[29] "Report: Final Fantasy VII: ACC Sells 100K+ BDs on 1st Day" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2009-04-20/ report/
final-fantasy-vii/ acc-sells-100k+ bds-on-1st-day). Anime News Network. April 20, 2009. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[30] "ICv2: North American Anime DVDs Were Down 20%+ in 2007" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2008-02-13/
icv2-north-american-anime-dvds-were-down-20-percent+ in-2007). Anime News Network. February 13, 2008. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[31] "ICv2's Ten Most Powerful" (http:/ / www. icv2. com/ articles/ news/ 8964. html). ICv2. July 12, 2006. . Retrieved August 6, 2009.
[32] "2009's Top-Selling Blu-ray Discs in Japan (Overall)" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2009-12-24/
2009-top-selling-blu-ray-discs-in-japan-overall). Anime News Network. December 24, 2009. . Retrieved December 25, 2009.
[33] "2009's Top-Selling Blu-ray Discs in Japan (Continued)" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2009-12-26/
2009-top-selling-blu-ray-discs-in-japan-continued). Anime News Network. December 26, 2009. . Retrieved December 27, 2009.
[34] Carle, Chris (2006-04-17). "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children review" (http:/ / dvd. ign. com/ articles/ 701/ 701928p3. html). IGN. .
Retrieved 2008-01-17.
[35] "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children DVD" (http:/ / dvd. ign. com/ objects/ 761/ 761530. html). IGN. . Retrieved 2008-01-17.
[36] Mielke, James (2005-09-16). "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ reviewPage?cId=3143876& did=1).
1UP.com. . Retrieved 2008-02-25.
[37] Santos, Carlo (April 28, 2006). "Anime News Network: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork.
com/ review/ final-fantasy-vii-advent-children). Anime News Network. . Retrieved August 2, 2009.

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[38] Eriani, John (May 25, 2006). "Mania Entertainment: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review" (http:/ / www. mania. com/
final-fantasy-7-advent-children_article_78554. html). Mania Entertainment. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[39] Moure, Dani (June 2, 2006). "Mania Entertainment: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review (2)" (http:/ / www. mania. com/
final-fantasy-7-advent-children_article_78554. html). Mania Entertainment. . Retrieved August 4, 2009.
[40] Santos, Carlo (April 21, 2006). "DVD talk: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review" (http:/ / www. dvdtalk. com/ reviews/ 21290/
final-fantasy-vii-advent-children/ ). DVD Talk. . Retrieved August 3, 2009.
[41] "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)" (http:/ / www. rottentomatoes. com/ m/ final_fantasy_7_advent_children/ ). Rotten Tomatoes. .
Retrieved 2008-09-10.
[42] "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children reviews" (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ psp/ finalfantasy7adventchildren?q=advent
children). Metacritic. . Retrieved 2008-01-29.
[43] "38 edition. 2005" (http:/ / www. cinemasitges. com/ uk/ index. php?a=edicion05). Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya. .
Retrieved 2008-01-29.
[44] Carle, Chris (2007-02-24). "NYCC 07: American Anime Award Winners Revealed" (http:/ / uk. tv. ign. com/ articles/ 767/ 767737p1. html).
IGN. . Retrieved 2008-03-07.
[45] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ dvd/ ff7ac/
[46] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ dvd/ ff7ac/
[47] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ff7acc/
[48] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ ff7acc
[49] http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0385700/
[50] http:/ / www. allmovie. com/ work/ 332992

146

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''

147

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''


Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII

Logo for Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII


Developer(s)

Square Enix

Publisher(s)

Square Enix

Designer(s)

Yoshinori Kitase

Artist(s)

Tetsuya Nomura
Yusuke Naora

Writer(s)

Kazushige Nojima

Composer(s)

Takeharu Ishimoto

Series

Final Fantasy
Compilation of Final Fantasy
VII

Platform(s)

Mobile phones

Release date(s) DoCoMo: JP September 24, 2004


Softbank: JP January 30, 2007
AU: JP April 5, 2007
Genre(s)

Action role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Media

Monthly subscription

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII ( -VII- Bifoa Kuraishisu


-Fainaru Fantaj Sebun-) is a Japanese action role-playing game[1] developed and published by Square Enix in 2004.
It was the first original (i.e. not an enhanced remake) game to be produced by Square Enix exclusively for mobile
phones, and was released on NTT DoCoMo's FOMA iMode line of phones on a monthly subscription basis.
Following an announcement at TGS 2006, it was released for the first of two additional Japanese mobile carriers,
Softbank Yahoo! Mobile, in January 2007, and a version for EZweb was released in April 2007. In their pre-E3,
2005 press conference, Square Enix announced that an English version of the game would be released in the United
States in 2006. It wasn't.[2] The prevailing rumour is that the game will be released on Sprint mobile phones; it has
not been verified.
Before Crisis is the prequel to the 1997 PlayStation video game Final Fantasy VII, taking place during the six years
prior to the events of that game. It involves the adventures of the Turks, a group of supporting characters featured in
Final Fantasy VII, and was the second installment in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series.

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''

Gameplay
Battle System
Before Crisis is a real-time action RPG. The game's graphics are 2D, and the player moves along in a side-scrolling
manner. Gameplay is divided up between several modes of play. Episode Mode plays through the game's main
storyline through the various episodes. The player must complete the objectives given to continue onward in the
game. Free Mode allows the player to play extra missions to gain EXP and items, similar to Crisis Core's missions.
Some items are exclusive to Free Mode. Rescue Mode is the last mode of play. If a player is defeated during the
game's playthrough, they have two options. They can either restart and lose points, or allow themselves to be
imprisoned. Afterwards they must wait for other players on their network to rescue them.
Characters have HP and MP, level up upon acquisition of EXP and can equip weapons and armor. Materia is present
in the game, but must be gotten by the player him or herself via a unique system called the Materia Generation
System. The player must take a picture with their camera phone, and the game synthesizes that picture down to its
base color. Depending upon the dominant color, lighting, darkness, and other factors, the game instantly makes a
Materia of certain type. A dark green picture makes a Bio Materia, a blue picture makes Cure, etc. Materia can be
leveled up as in Final Fantasy VII, up to level 9.
Another new feature to Before Crisis are Rank Points (RP). RP are given during the completion of objectives in all
three modes of play. After so much RP is accumilated, special bonuses such as stronger armor, weapons, and
Materia slots can be given. The player is also given a rank, based upon how long they have been playing the game.
The higher their rank, the better the bonuses the player gets. But it makes Training Mode more difficult, as the player
must fight stronger and stronger opponents

Plot
Characters
Turks
The Turks perform covert operations on behalf of the Shinra company, including espionage, kidnappings and
assassinations. They also scout for potential candidates for Shinra's elite military unit, SOLDIER, and serve as
bodyguards for the Shinra executives. With Before Crisis, several members of the Turks not seen in Final Fantasy
VII were introduced to continuity, and are included in this list. Note that all of the game's playable Turks' official
names are composed of their weapon and gender, and have not been officially given any other proper names.
The following Turks are playable characters in Before Crisis (and therefore named by the player) and have no
particular names, and are thus referred to here by their weapon of choice. The Softbank and AU versions of the game
each originally contained an original character only available in those versions, however, all three versions share the
same mobile network, meaning that they can interact via the Rescue Missions and other multiplayer aspects.
Rod (Male): An ex-gang leader from Midgar, he enjoyed fighting other gangs and stealing motorbikes. He is
highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, as well as in riding and fixing motorbikes. He was rather unfamiliar with
failure, and with his ever growing confidence decided to sneak into Shinra's parking garage to steal a bike
from the company, but was arrested by Reno. Verdot realized his skills could be used to aid the Turks, and he was
offered a place in the organization. Aside from his role in Before Crisis, he also appears in Last Order: Final
Fantasy VII. In the OVA he seemed to have some familiarity with Shotgun (Female) due to the fact that she
teased him at the end of the mission. He was also called "newcomer" by Reno before the Turks boarded the
helicopter. He has been playable since the original beta version of the game, and uses a rod as his weapon. Voiced
by Daisuke Namikawa in his guest role in Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.
Gun (Female): Her father was a teacher at the Shinra military academy, where she attended. She graduated with
outstanding performances, and her forte is marksmanship. Her excellent handling of firearms impressed the leader

148

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''


of the Turks, Tseng, and he recruited her to the force with great confidence in her abilities. She is a very serious
person who rarely jokes around, and is often very strict. Like Rod (Male), she also appears in Last Order. Elena, a
Turks member featured in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, is Gun (Female)'s younger
sister. The two are not on very good terms in Before Crisis, as despite their mutual dedication to their work
and their exceptional skills their personalities often clash and Elena resents her sister for outdoing her. Gun
(Female) has been playable since the original beta version of the game, and uses handguns as her weapons. Like
her more known younger sister, she is voiced by Megumi Toyoguchi in her guest role in Last Order: Final
Fantasy VII.
Two Guns (Male): A former bodyguard of Don Corneo, his specialty is his ability to rapidly fire two guns at
once with outstanding accuracy, much like Gun (Female). Spending most of his time in the slums, he became fed
up with the politics that had overrun the underworld society and was offered a place in the Turks. He took up the
role, knowing that it would put his skills to the test. His unorthodox "underground" style of conducting missions
often results in him failing. He also appears in Last Order, and has been playable since the official release of
Before Crisis. His weaponry is strictly dual firearms. Voiced by Ginpei Sato in his guest role in Last Order: Final
Fantasy VII.
Shotgun (Female): A female hunter from a wealthy family who likes to do things with flair. She has familiarized
herself with the art of hunting since she was a child, and is, thus, an expert with her chosen weapon. She likes
showing off and constantly tries to outdo herself, and, thus, immediately accepted the offer to become a Turk
when it was presented. She also appears in Last Order, and has been playable since the official release of Before
Crisis. She uses a range of shotguns as her only form of weaponry. Voiced by Mayuko Aoki, who has also voiced
Yuna in Final Fantasy X and X-2, in her guest role in Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.
Martial Arts (Male): An ex-detective from Costa del Sol, where he solved some rather complicated cases. A
passionate, hot blooded and courageous man, he puts his all into everything he does, a trait that manifests in his
personal and professional lives. His tendency to rely on his emotions eventually got him in trouble with his
previous occupation, and seeing no alternative took the job offered to him by the Turks, who had been
trying to recruit him for some time. He uses his powerful fists as his only weapons. He has been playable since
Episode 7 of Before Crisis when Verdot decided that the Turks were still lacking the required manpower to deal
with AVALANCHE. Like several of the other Turks, he also appears in Last Order, where he is voiced by Hch
tsuka.
Martial Arts (Female): A new recruit to the Turks in Episode 7, along with Martial Arts (Male). As a mercenary,
she has seen a lot of battle and is accustomed to taking orders. As such, she adjusted to her new-found role in the
Turks easier than some. A thoroughly businesslike woman during missions, she gets her work done with a
minimum of fuss. She is level-headed, alert and perceptive, frequently able to assess a situation and take the most
prudent course of action. She is a skilled martial artist who uses a style that involves a great deal of agility and
kicking. Like many of the other Turks, she also appears in Last Order, but has no speaking role.
Katana (Male): A swordsman who was born in Gongaga and has a soft spot for beauty. He tends not to stay in
one place for very long. Those in his hometown fear his skill and strength for it is said that he killed a large
number of people to rescue a friend and was imprisoned as a result. Under the condition that he would join the
Turks, he was given amnesty. He first appears in Episode 18 of Before Crisis, but has been a Turk for several
years at that point and was simply on an undisclosed assignment. He uses a katana as his sole weapon.
Shuriken (Female): A young woman whose place of birth is unknown, she wields a crimson Shuriken called
"Rekka" in battle as her weapon of choice. She is warm-hearted and has a mothering side which can border on
bossy, which often manifests in how she looks after her colleagues. While still in an orphanage at a young age,
the Turks expressed an interest in recruiting her, and she was brought up under harsh training techniques. In the
history of the Turks, she is the youngest member to join. Like Katana (Male), she first appears in Episode 18,
though at that time had been a Turk for several years and was simply on assignment. In "Special Episode of
Reno", it is revealed that her assignment had been to keep Zack under surveillance. She also appears in Crisis

149

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''


Core: Final Fantasy VII, in which she is given the name Cissnei,[3] though she later reveals to Zack that this isn't
her real name. She is voiced in Japanese by Asumi Nakata and in English by Carrie Savage in Crisis Core.
Nunchaku (Male): A young man who was born into a wealthy household, and despite being raised in an
environment where anything he wanted could be purchased, he was unsatisfied with money and demanded to join
the Turks in order to seek out a new life of his own. The brand of the Turks is very dear to him, and he follows
their ideals every day. He is a short-range fighter, using nunchaku in battle. He appears in Episode 1, and was
originally only available in the Softbank version, though he is now available in the DoCoMo version as well.
Knife (Female): A young woman from Corel who fights by using throwing knives. Although she feels as if she's
all alone in the world, she covers it up by cheerfully doing her duties. Both her parents died in the war, so she
fights desperately in hopes of creating a peaceful world to prevent tragedies like her own from happening again.
She is well attuned to other people's feelings and is a bit clumsy due to an old bullet wound. She appears in
Episode 1, and was originally only available in the EZweb version, though she is now available in the DoCoMo
version as well.
Legend (Male): Originally from Junon, he is a super-first class agent who was once feared on the battlefield as
the God of Death, and is nicknamed the "Legendary Turk". His fame attracts a great deal of attention, thus he is
intensely private in both his official and personal life. He uses both chain bombs and remote controlled bombs in
battle. He becomes a playable character after completing Episode 24, has his own Special Episode, and can be
used for Episode 10 and on.
Verdot ( Verudo)[4] is the previous leader of the Turks. He is very particular on matters relating to
succeeding in missions and very unforgiving when it comes to failure. Tseng considers him a role model and
eventually succeeds him. Though many of his subordinates are intimidated by his severity, they all deeply respect
him. When Heidegger usurps his position at one point during the story, Verdot blackmails President Shinra into
returning it. Formerly a resident of the town of Kalm, he had a daughter and wife that he believed perished when
the town was razed due to his own misinterpreted commands. In actuality, his daughter survived, and is
eventually revealed to be the leader of AVALANCHE, Elfe. He cares very deeply for the Turks, and does not
wish for them to suffer any events similar to what he has; he also cares very much for his daughter, defecting
from Shinra when he discovers she is alive. Verdot appears only in Before Crisis, but is mentioned in Last Order:
Final Fantasy VII.
AVALANCHE
AVALANCHE is an eco-terrorist organization that seeks to topple Shinra, whom they believe to be slowly killing
the Planet with their manufacturing of Mako Energy. In Final Fantasy VII's continuity, there are two incarnations of
AVALANCHE, the second of which is featured in Final Fantasy VII and its sequels; the original group, which was
far more militant and ruthless, appears in Before Crisis.
Elfe: Raised from a young age by AVALANCHE, she was chosen to be their leader after the founder died. She
wields a katana, and her superb fighting capabilities have earned her much respect among the organization. Over
the course of the story, she is revealed to be getting gradually weaker despite her superhuman strength, both of
which came as a result of the presence of a mysterious summon materia called "Zirconiade" implanted
within her body by Hojo. The only others who seemed aware were Aerith Gainsborough (who felt that Elfe's
voice sounded nostalgic, though unaware that she actually recognized materia housed inside Elfe's body) and
Fuhito, who intended to use Zirconiade in his plans. This summon beast is drawn from her when Fuhito summons
Zirconiade in an incomplete form. Elfe is somewhat quiet, decidedly taciturn, and surprisingly non-charismatic.
She is eventually revealed to be Felicia, the daughter of Verdot, leader of the Turks.
Sears: A powerful field leader of AVALANCHE and second strongest member of the organization in physical
terms (second only to Elfe), he had excellent hand-to-hand combat skills and often took charge of executing
operations and formulating battle strategies. He is completely devoted to Elfe and even once asks the player to
defend her if he should die. He and Fuhito are decidedly not fond of one another, and at one point argue over how

150

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''


Fuhito speaks of Elfe.
Fuhito: The intellectual force behind AVALANCHE, Fuhito excels in creating battle plans. Highly
knowledgeable in not just matters of science, but also in terms of tactical warfare, he is helpful with conceiving
tactical solutions and providing support from a strategic vantage. However, he is very treacherous, planning to not
only destroy Shinra, but he's also been using Elfe in a plot to summon a creature called "Zirconiade" to fulfill his
true ambitions: killing all life on the Planet so as to remove all potential threats to it, while also revitalizing it.
Fuhito creates the genetically enhanced AVALANCHE force known as "the Ravens," who serve as his personal
attack squad, and he is shown to have no tolerance for failure, casually killing one of his subordinates for being
beaten by the Turks. He is also shown to have no patience with Sears.
The Ravens: A squad of AVALANCHE members who have undergone genetic modification by Fuhito to serve
as his personal attack squad. Though they have developed increased combat capabilities, as well as the ability to
completely recover from normally fatal wounds, they have lost their humanity. Despite their formidable
regenerative capabilities, they can be killed when properly wounded. Named Ravens are Tierce, Kyneugh, and
Kanos. SOLDIERs Yishay and Sebastian were also put through the same modification.
Other characters
Numerous characters from Final Fantasy VII reappear in Before Crisis, mostly in cameo appearances. These include
the nine playable characters as well as Sephiroth, Zack Fair, the Shinra executives, and Elena. Azul from Dirge of
Cerberus also makes an appearance in Episode 21. "Special Episode of Reno", a crossover with Crisis Core, also
features the Dr. Hollander and Genesis Copies.
Original minor characters include Shalua Rui, who would have a more important role in Dirge of Cerberus.
Rayleigh is a scientist who is employed at Shinra. Due to the knowledge she carries, AVALANCHE targets her.
Sebastian and Essai are two SOLDIERs who have an acquaintance with Zack. They are captured and experimented
on by Fuhito, leading Zack and the player's Turk to team up and attempt to free them. However, they become
soulless due to the experiments, and Zack is forced to kill them. In Crisis Core, Zack visits their grave in a DMV
sequence. Deneh is of the same species as Red XIII and was chosen to perform a ceremony with him. When Shinra
is sent to collect one of them for testing, Red XIII defends Deneh and is taken instead of her.

Story
Before Crisis's story begins shortly after the ending of the war between the Shinra Electric Power Company and the
Wutai tribe, a conflict mentioned in passing during Final Fantasy VII. With Wutai defeated and the people of the
world now dependent on their Mako Energy and Materia, Shinra finds itself the dominant economic, military and
political power in the world. The story continues for several years until after Zack Fair escapes from the experiments
at Nibelheim, all at the same time as Shinra is fighting Genesis during the events of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-,
though the two storylines do not overlap.
There are those who remain dedicated to the destruction of Shinra, chief among them being the newly emerged
insurgent movement known as "AVALANCHE". AVALANCHE is an eco-terrorist organization that seeks to topple
Shinra, whom they know to be slowly killing the Planet with their manufacture of Mako Energy. This first
AVALANCHE is far more ruthless and violent than the group headed by Barret Wallace in the beginning of Final
Fantasy VII, and are the villains this time around. The game's central heroes are the player Turks. The player decides
which of these Turks take place in the storyline, and gives them their names. The Turks are led by Verdot, with his
lieutenant the future leader, Tseng. Non-player Turks include Reno and Rude, both veterans who have been in the
organization longer than the player.
The game unfolds through a series of "episodes." Because of the subscription-based nature of the game, the game's
story unfolded over a period of time. Thus the game's storyline is highly disjointed and episodic, with episodes rarely
having much to do with each other. It isn't until the very end of the game that episodes flow together in a single
coalescing story arc. Over the course of the story, much of the backstory of Final Fantasy VII is included as

151

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''


Episodes, including the Nibelheim Incident, the destruction of Corel, and other events. The entire playable cast of
Final Fantasy VII make cameo appearances.
The player Turk first encounters the AVALANCHE organization during his or her routine patrol of Midgar Sector 8,
as per Turk tradition for new recruits. Using the PHS to contact Tseng, the player reports the insurgents attacking
Shinra's capital. The player, with help of Reno, fights the AVALANCHE forces and forces them to retreat. The
enemy commander, Sears proves to be a formidable opponent, with skills in martial arts and dangerously
well-formed intelligence.
But the attack on Midgar is a rouse for a greater strike at Junon, where President Shinra himself is located to give a
speech. Fuhito, the cold scientist for AVALANCHE out to destroy all life and return it to the Planet, leads this
attack. Though the Turks try to protect the President, a secret AVALANCHE fifth column inside Shinra forces
allows them to get close enough to Shinra to shoot him. The President survives, and calls in his trump card, the
legendary SOLDIER, Sephiroth. After all that has happened, it is revealed that even AVALANCHE's plot against
Shinra was another ruse. Their true goal was the Mako Cannon, which they planned to fire upon Midgar and destroy
the city. This force is lead by AVALANCHE's leader herself, Elf, a frighteningly powerful warrior with a
mysterious Materia embedded in the back of her hand. Sephiroth arrives and fights Elf, but even with all his power
he can only end the fight in a draw. AVALANCHE retreats to create havoc across the Planet.
During one of these attacks, at Midgar, AVALANCHE targeted Professor Rayleigh, who was carrying data on the
SOLDIER members and their creation. The player Turk is sent to protect her, along with several Shinra guards, one
of whom is Cloud Strife, the future hero of Final Fantasy VII but for now is a mere grunt. Using a new creation by
Fuhito, the monstrous Black Warriors known as the Ravens, the data is captured. The Turk decides to follow morals
over duty by saving Rayleigh rather than the data, a sign of future differences between Shinra and the Turks.
Using the SOLDIER data, Fuhito continues to perfect his Ravens. He uses them to capture two SOLDIER members,
Essai and Sebastian up north in Icicle Inn. The Turks are sent to rescue them, and succeed despite the heavy enemy
resistance from Fuhito and Sears fighting together. Afterwards, the Turks, Essai, Sebastian, and a SOLDIER 1st
Class, Zack Fair are sent in to destroy the AVALANCHE forces in the area. Essai and Sebastian are captured once
again, and are turned into Ravens. Zack must kill his fellow SOLDIERs, much to his emotional bereavement. (In
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, there is a scene in which Zack and Tseng visit their makeshift graves.)
President Shinra now becomes suspicious of the men beneath him, knowing that somebody must be leaking
information. There could be no other way that AVALANCHE could be working this effectively. He wrongly suspect
Verdot, and removes him from command of the Turks. In Verdot's place, the President puts Heidegger in charge, the
arrogant and incompetent head of the Shinra military. Heidegger only leads a single operation, and comes close to
completely destroying Junon. Verdot blackmails the President to return his job. With Verdot in command, the Turks
defeat AVALANCHE.
An assault at Corel's Mako Reactor proves to be a key battle. Rufus Shinra is captured by the Turks, but they are
ordered to merely put him under house arrest, rather than use stronger methods for the traitor. Sears, a good man who
is worried about Elf's condition, defects from AVALANCHE to join with the Turks to save her. Verdot discovers
that Elf is in fact his long lost daughter Felicia, and he leaves Shinra. With Elf continuing to weaken, Fuhito takes
completely control of AVALANCHE. During the fighting, a strange Materia is found. It turns out that Elf's Materia
is in fact Zirconiade an ancient Summon with immense power. But the Zirconiade Materia is broken, and is slowly
sucking away at Elf as a power source. To save her, the four Support Materia must be found. Fuhito holds one, and
now the Turks working with Sears hold another.
Though Shinra orders the Turks to take Verdot in, they continue to follow his orders and work for him. They also
hold Rufus as leverage against the President. Not wishing that his son's betrayal become known, the President orders
Scarlet to target the Turks and kill them. Now the Turks are enemies of both AVALANCHE and Shinra. Despite the
threats, they find two more Support Materia, one in Gongaga with help from Cait Sith, another in Corel Prison.
Verdot is captured by Scarlet, and has to be rescued.

152

''Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis''

153

With Fuhito's control, AVALANCHE breaks down into an army of zombies and Ravens. It can barely even hold
together as a fighting force towards the end. In the final battle, Fuhito summons Zirconiade to destroy all life on the
Planet, fusing the monster with his own body. Sears sacrifices himself to save Elf, and is killed. He transforms into
an insane monster. But his plans fall apart when Zirconiade itself is defeated by the player Turks, thus saving the
world. Fuhito is killed during the fighting. Tseng saves Verdot and Elf by reporting them assassinated, and is
allowed to return to Shinra as the Turk leader, though they all now work under Heidegger. The player Turks escape
into obscurity, but appear again to defeat Jade WEAPON and later help save Midgar from Meteor. The first
AVALANCHE collapses, but a second, much smaller version is created just afterwards in the Sector 7 Slums of
Midgar. This group takes up plans left behind by Fuhito to attack the Sector 1 Reactor, and so set the stage for the
beginning of Final Fantasy VII.

External links
Official website [5] (Japanese)

References
[1] "Before Crisis Tech Info" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ mobile/ rpg/ beforecrisisfinalfantasyvii/ tech_info. html?om_act=convert&
om_clk=gssummary& tag=summary;techinfo). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-04-09.
[2] Steve Palley, GameSpot Posted May 16, 2005 6:47 pm PT (DS). "Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis bound for US mobiles - News at
GameSpot" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ news/ 2005/ 05/ 16/ news_6124974. html). Square Enix. . Retrieved 2008-10-13.
[3] "CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ccff7/ ). Square Enix. 2007. . Retrieved August 28, 2007.
[4] Massimilla, Bethany (2006). "E3 06: Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII Hands-On Impressions" (http:/ / uk. gamespot. com/ mobile/ rpg/
beforecrisisfinalfantasyvii/ news. html?sid=6150317& mode=previews). Gamespot (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ). . Retrieved 24 May 2006.
[5] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ mobile/ bcff7. html

''Final Fantasy VII''


Final Fantasy VII

North American box art depicting the main character Cloud


Developer(s)

Square

Publisher(s)

PlayStation
JP
Square
NA
Sony
PAL
SCE Europe
INT
Square
Windows
Eidos Interactive
PlayStation Network
Square Enix

''Final Fantasy VII''

154

Director(s)

Yoshinori Kitase

Producer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Artist(s)

Tetsuya Nomura

Writer(s)

Yoshinori Kitase
Kazushige Nojima

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation Network

Release date(s)
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Rating(s)

CERO: B
ELSPA: 11+
ESRB: T
OFLC: PG
PEGI: 12+
USK: 12+

Media

3 CD-ROMs (PS)
4 CD-ROMs (Windows)

System
requirements

Windows
166MHz Pentium CPU, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5.1 compatible sound and video card, 260
MB available hard disk space, Windows 95 or above (officially not compatible with NT 4.0 or 2000)

Input methods

PlayStation controller (PS)


Keyboard or joystick (Windows)

Final Fantasy VII (VII) is a role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix)
and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was
originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation. It was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based
personal computers and in 2009 on the PlayStation Network. The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer
graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds.
Development of Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 and the game was originally intended for release on the SNES, but
it was later moved to the Nintendo 64. As the system's cartridges lacked the required storage capacity, Square
decided to release the game for the PlayStation instead. The music was scored by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo
Uematsu, while the series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura.
Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII's story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others
to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story
progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game's main antagonist.
Helped by a large promotional campaign by Square in the months prior to its release, Final Fantasy VII became an
immediate worldwide success, selling over a million copies in its first year on the market. In the years following, it
has continued to sell solidly as of December 2005, the game had sold 9.8 million copies worldwide, making it the
best-selling title in the series. Noted for its graphics, gameplay, music and story, Final Fantasy VII has
retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized the console role-playing game genre outside of the
Japanese market and has been named as one of the best games of all time by fans and critics alike. It has also
attracted criticism, most notably for its English localization. The popularity of the title led Square Enix to produce a
series of prequels and sequels for different platforms under the collective title Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. An
enhanced remake for the PlayStation 3 has been rumored since 2005, though Square Enix have formally stated that

''Final Fantasy VII''

155

no such product is in development at the time;[1] however, in March 2010, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada told the
media that the company would explore the possibility of a remake.[2]

Gameplay
Like previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists of three modes: an overworld map,
field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game's
fictional world which the player navigates to travel between the game's locations.[3] As with preceding games in the
series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos, airship, or submarine.[3] On field maps, characters are
directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent
locations such as towns or forests.[4] The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building's interior
or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.[5]
While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in
combat.[6] Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully-rendered polygons,
rather than 2D sprites.
Initially, the player is restricted to exploring the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, the entire world becomes
accessible to the player.[3] Progression through the game's storyline is largely developed by way of scripted
sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes sometimes also advance the story.[6]

Combat
During battle sequences, the game uses the same Active Time Battle
(ATB) system designed by Hiroyuki It, first featured in Final Fantasy
IV. Unlike previous games in the series, which allow 4-5 playable
characters to participate in battle, Final Fantasy VII allows only three
characters to be in the party at any time.[7]
Final Fantasy VII's skill system is built around the use of materia
(which any character can use); magical orbs that are placed in special
slots on weapons and armor, allowing players to customize their
characters' access to magic spells, summons, and special abilities.
A battle in Final Fantasy VII
Magic and summon materia also make the characters physically
weaker. In addition to their individual attributes, materia can be used
together in a fixed number of ways to enhance their effects or produce other abilities.[8] Summon spells feature in the
game, equippable as materia, with elaborately animated attacks.
A modified form of Final Fantasy VI's "Desperation Attacks" appears in Final Fantasy VII as the "Limit Break".
Every playable character has a bar that gradually fills up when they suffer damage in battle. When the bar is
completely filled, the character is able to unleash his or her Limit Break, a special attack which generally inflicts
significantly more damage on enemies than normal attacks, or otherwise aids the party in battle.[6] Unlike materia,
each character has their own unique set of Limit Breaks, which are divided into four levels of strength.[9]

Plot
Setting
The game's setting follows in the footsteps of Final Fantasy VI by presenting a world with considerably more
advanced technology than the first five games in the series. Overall, the game's technology and society approximates
that of an industrial or post-industrial science fiction.[10] The world of Final Fantasy VII, referred to in the game as
"The Planet", but retroactively named "Gaia", is composed of three main land masses. The eastern continent features

''Final Fantasy VII''

156

the city of Midgar, an industrial metropolis that serves as the capital city of the world as it hosts headquarters of the
Shinra, who operate as the de facto world government. Other locations on the continent are Junon, Shinra's major
military base; Fort Condor, a fort with a huge condor covering up a Mako reactor on top of it; a chocobo ranch; and
Kalm, a small town inspired by medieval Europe.
The western continent features most of the accessible areas, which include the Gold Saucer, an amusement park with
Corel Prison below; Costa Del Sol, a seaside resort; Nibelheim, a town residing at the base of Mt. Nibel; Rocket
Town, the location of Shinra's failed rocket launch; and a settlement called Cosmo Canyon. Wutai, a village inspired
by pre-modern Japan and China, is located on a large island off the western continent. The tribe inhabiting Cosmo
Canyon emphasize living in harmony with nature and dedicating causes to the planet's well-being.[11] Their
settlement features an observatory and serves as a research facility for those who wish to participate in a philosophy
known as the "Study of Planet Life", a lifestyle that encourages deference for nature and teaches that the planet has a
life of its own.[11] The northernmost continent is a heavily glaciated landmass, and its few settlements include an
excavation site; a ski resort; the mythical "City of the Ancients"; and the Northern Crater, where the game's climax
takes place. There are also underwater locations accessible via submarine, such as a sunken plane transporter.

Characters
The nine main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud
Strife, an unsociable mercenary who claims to be a former 1st Class
member of Shinra's SOLDIER unit;[12] Barret Wallace, the leader of
the anti-Shinra rebel group AVALANCHE; Tifa Lockhart, a martial
artist and childhood friend of Cloud's; Aeris Gainsborough[13] , a
flower merchant who has been pursued by Shinra's special operations
unit Turks since childhood;[14] Red XIII, a wise lion-like creature who
was experimented on by Shinra scientists; Cait Sith, a fortune-telling
robotic cat who rides an animated moogle doll;[15] Cid Highwind, a
pilot whose dreams of being the first man in outer space were
crushed;[16] Yuffie Kisaragi, a young thief and a skillful ninja; and
Vincent Valentine, a former member of Shinra's Turks unit who was
killed and brought back to life as an immortal.[17] The game's main
antagonist is Sephiroth, a former member of SOLDIER who reappears
several years after disappearing in a battle in which he was concluded
to have died.[18]

Tetsuya Nomura's designs of the main playable


characters in Final Fantasy VII. Clockwise from
top right: Cait Sith, Tifa, Barret, Cloud, Aeris,
Yuffie, Red XIII, Vincent, Cid.

The game's character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, has expressed that


Final Fantasy VII was hindered by graphical limitations, and as such his designs were very plain in comparison to
his real style. Cloud's original design of slicked back black hair with no spikes was intended to serve as a contrast to
Sephiroth's long, flowing silver hair. Nomura feared that such masculinity could prove to be unpopular with fans,
and therefore he changed Cloud's design to feature a shock of spiky, bright blond hair. Tifa's outfit with her dark
miniskirt was designed to contrast Aeris's long, pink dress. Vincent's character developed from horror researcher to
detective, then to chemist, and finally to the figure of a former Turk with a tragic past. Nomura has indicated that Cid
Highwind's fighting style resembles that of a Dragoon Knight, a character class which was chosen because his last
name is the same as that of two previous Dragoon Knights featured in the Final Fantasy series, Ricard Highwind of
Final Fantasy II and Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV.[6]
Due to their popularity, several characters from Final Fantasy VII have made cameo appearances in other Square
Enix titles, most notably the fighting game Ehrgeiz and the popular Final Fantasy-Disney crossover series Kingdom
Hearts. Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the newest game to include Final Fantasy VII characters such as Cloud and
Sephiroth and lets players battle it out with characters from other Final Fantasy games.[19] Aeris's death in the game

''Final Fantasy VII''


has often been referred as one of the most emotional moments from any video game.[20] [21] Sephiroth remains one
of the most popular villains in video game history, unanimously voted #1 by the staff of gaming publication
Electronic Gaming Monthly in their "Top 10 Video Game Bosses" list in October 2005,[22] and winning GameFAQs'
best villain contest in spring of the same year.[23]

Story
Final Fantasy VII begins with Cloud joining AVALANCHE in a series of raids against the Mako reactors
surrounding the city of Midgar. Although the first mission is successful, AVALANCHE is trapped at another reactor
during a subsequent raid. The reactor explodes, launching Cloud from the upper levels of Midgar into the slums
below. He lands on a flower bed, where he is formally introduced to Aeris.[24] Prompted by the arrival of Shinra's
Turks operatives sent to capture Aeris, Cloud agrees to be Aeris' bodyguard and defends her from the Turks.[25]
After the Shinra discover the location of AVALANCHE's hideout,[26] they destroy it by demolishing the entirety of
Sector 7, killing its population and three members of AVALANCHE. The Turks also capture Aeris, who is revealed
to be the last surviving "Cetra",[27] a race closely attuned with the planet and previously thought extinct. President
Shinra believes Aeris can lead him to the "Promised Land", a mythical land of fertility, where he expects to find
Mako energy.[28]
The remaining members of AVALANCHE infiltrate Shinra corporate headquarters to rescue Aeris. After freeing her
and Red XIII, they escape because most of the personnel in the building, including the president, are killed by
Sephiroth, a man presumed to be dead, who stated that he would never allow Shinra to claim the Promised Land.[29]
The party also learns that during Sephiroth's attack on Shinra, the headless body of a creature named "Jenova"
disappeared from the building's research facility.[30] While the president's son, Rufus Shinra, assumes control of the
company, AVALANCHE pursues Sephiroth across the planet, fearing his intentions for the Promised Land may be
more destructive than Shinra's. The party is joined by Cait Sith and Cid Highwind, and optionally by Vincent and
Yuffie. The full scope of Sephiroth's plan is eventually revealed: if the world is significantly damaged, the
Lifestream will gather in an attempt to heal the wound. Sephiroth intends to use a powerful spell called "Meteor" to
cause this injury, and then merge with the planet's energy, allowing him to be reborn as a god and rule over the
planet.[31] Aeris sets off to stop Sephiroth on her own. AVALANCHE follow her to the northern continent, where
they enter an ancient Cetra city. After finding Aeris praying to the planet for aid, Sephiroth impales Aeris with his
sword.[32]
Influenced by Sephiroth, Cloud becomes suspicious of his memories
and insists he is not a real human, but instead a specimen created from
Jenova's genetic material by Professor Hojo. Jenova was an interstellar
creature who crash landed on the planet roughly 2,000 years prior to
the game's events. Jenova had intended to infect all living organisms
on the planet with a virus inducing insanity and monstrous
transformations;[33] among its victims were most of the Cetra.
Attempting to defend itself, the planet created giant monsters called
"WEAPON".
The majority of humans fled rather than fight Jenova;
Sephiroth kills Aeris in a scene which has been
referred to by some as "the most shocking
however, a small group of Cetra survivors managed to defeat and
[20]
moment in video games".
confine Jenova.[34] Eventually, the remains of Jenova were unearthed
by Professor Gast, a researcher for the Shinra Company. Mistaking the
creature for a Cetra, Gast was given authorization to conduct an experiment to artificially produce a Cetra by
combining cells from Jenova with the fetus of an unborn child.[33] Sephiroth learned that he was the product of this
experiment while on a Shinra mission in Cloud and Tifa's hometown, Nibelheim. He concluded that he was a Cetra
who had been produced solely from Jenova's genetic material. He burned down Nibelheim, intending to kill all

157

''Final Fantasy VII''


descendants of those he believed had abandoned his ancestors in the defense of the planet. Cloud confronted
Sephiroth during this massacre, after which Sephiroth vanished under unknown circumstances and was presumed
dead until his reappearance in the Shinra building. When AVALANCHE travels to the Northern Crater to confront
Sephiroth, he tells Cloud that he was not in Nibelheim, showing him images of a SOLDIER with dark hair who
occupies Cloud's place in his memories.[35] Tifa is unable to refute Sephiroth's claims, and Sephiroth casts the
Meteor spell, causing the planet to awaken the WEAPONs in response. During the earthquake that follows, Cloud is
separated from his companions and falls into the Lifestream.
As the meteor summoned by Sephiroth slowly approaches the planet, the Shinra Company focuses its efforts on
protecting humanity from the WEAPONs, as well as defeating Sephiroth, in the hopes that this will dismiss Meteor
itself.[36] Meanwhile, the members of AVALANCHE find Cloud in a catatonic state on a tropical resort where he
washed up following the casting of Meteor. The WEAPONs' destructive activity causes the island to split open, and
Cloud and Tifa fall into the Lifestream, where she reconstructs Cloud's memories and learns the truth about his past.
It is revealed that Cloud never succeeded in joining SOLDIER, and that the dark-haired SOLDIER from his
memories was actually Aeris's first love and Cloud's best friend, Zack Fair. Zack, Tifa, and Cloud had fought
Sepiroth during the burning of Nibelheim. Although Tifa and Zack were defeated, Cloud and Sephiroth severely
wounded one another. After decapitating Jenova, Sephiroth was thrown into the Lifestream by Cloud, taking the
creature's head with him. Rather than dying, his body and consciousness were crystallized in Mako inside Jenova's
crater.
Cloud and Zack were among the wounded survivors who were apprehended by Shinra as part of a cover-up of
Sephiroth's massacre. Professor Hojo subjected these survivors to an experiment, performing the same enhancements
given to SOLDIER membersa procedure which included Mako showers and the injection of Jenova cells. All but
Zack entered a comatose state, and nearly five years later, Zack broke free from his confinement and took Cloud
with him. However, the alien Jenova cells in Cloud's body still allowed Sephiroth to modulate his behavior.
Moreover, the cells' ability to duplicate information allowed Cloud's mind to construct a false persona built around
Zack's behavior. This was prompted by Zack himself, who was killed outside Midgar by Shinra soldiers during the
escape; he urged Cloud to live both their lives before passing on. Afterward, Tifa discovered Cloud, who was
wearing a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform, and offered him a job with AVALANCHE.[33]
After Cloud awakens, it is revealed that Aeris, in her final moments, was casting the spell "Holy" with the White
Materia, the only means of opposing Meteor. Although she succeeded, Sephiroth had since prevented the spell from
taking effect. Deciding to protect humanity from the WEAPONs before approaching Sephiroth, Shinra and
AVALANCHE destroy the WEAPONs, although nearly all of Shinra's executives are killed in the process. Among
the few survivors are Reeve Tuesti, who is revealed to be the repentant controller of Cait Sith,[37] and Professor
Hojo, who is revealed to be Sephiroth's biological father. He explains that he and his wife were assistants to
Professor Gast, and offered up their unborn child as a test subject to research involving Jenova.[38] After finding out
that Hojo is trying to help Sephiroth gain mastery over the Lifestream, AVALANCHE kills him. In their final assault
against Sephiroth, the group travels through the Northern Crater to the planet's core. They defeat Sephiroth and free
Holy, but the spell is unable to destroy Meteor alone. Selected as Meteor's target, Midgar is almost completely
destroyed. However, the Lifestream rises from the planet to aid Holy in destroying the Meteor.[39] During the
epilogue, taking place 500 years after the game's events, Red XIII runs through a canyon with two cubs at his side.
He proceeds up a cliff-face, which reveals a lush land of greenery where Midgar had once been.

158

''Final Fantasy VII''

Development
Planning sessions for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 after the release of Final Fantasy VI. At the time, the game
was planned to be another 2D project for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.[40] Series creator Hironobu
Sakaguchi intended the story to take place in modern New York City in the year 1999. Several of the staff members
were working in parallel on Chrono Trigger, and development for Final Fantasy VII was interrupted when the other
project became significant enough to require the help of Yoshinori Kitase and other designers. Some of the ideas
originally considered for Final Fantasy VII ended up in Chrono Trigger instead. Other ideas, such as the New York
setting and the sorceress character Edea, were kept unused until the later projects Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy
VIII respectively.[41] The original script of Final Fantasy VII, which was written by Sakaguchi, was completely
different from the finished product. Tetsuya Nomura recalled how Sakaguchi "wanted to do something like a
detective story". The first part of the story involved a "hot blooded" character named "Detective Joe" who was in
pursuit of the main characters. The main characters managed to blow up the city of Midgar, which had already been
developed for the story.[42]
Development of Final Fantasy VII resumed in late 1995,[32] and required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and
programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage|3D software and a budget of more than US$30 million.[43] Final
Fantasy VI's co-director and scenario writer, Kitase, returned to direct and co-write Final Fantasy VII and was
concerned the franchise might be left behind if it did not catch up to the 3D computer graphics used in other games
at the time.[44] Production began after the making of a short, experimental tech demo called "Final Fantasy SGI" for
Silicon Graphics, Inc. Onyx workstations. The demo featured polygon-based 3D renderings of characters from Final
Fantasy VI in a real time battle.[45] This experiment led the development team to integrate these design mechanics
into Final Fantasy VII. However, as a result of the high quantity of memory storage required to implement the
motion data, only the CD-ROM format would be able to suit the project's needs.[32] Nintendo, for which Square had
developed all previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, had decided to continue to use cartridges for its upcoming
Nintendo 64 console. This eventually led to a dispute that resulted in Square ending its long, tumultuous relationship
with Nintendo, and Square announced on January 12, 1996 it would be developing Final Fantasy VII for Sony's
PlayStation platform.[46]
The transition from 2D computer graphics to 3D environments overlaid on pre-rendered backgrounds was
accompanied by a focus on a more realistic presentation. While the extra storage capacity and computer graphics
gave the team the means to implement more than 40 minutes of full motion video movies, this innovation brought
with it the added difficulty of ensuring that the inferiority of the in-game graphics in comparison to the full motion
video sequences was not too obvious. Kitase has described the process of making the in-game environments as
detailed as possible to be "a daunting task".[32] The series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was busy
opening art workshops and exhibitions in France and New York, which limited his involvement in the game. This
issue was addressed by bringing Nomura on board as the project's main artist, while Amano aided in the design of
the game's world map.[6]
In early August 1996, a demonstration disc called "Square's Preview Extra" was released in Japan as a bonus pack-in
with the PlayStation game Tobal No. 1. The disc contained the earliest playable demo of Final Fantasy VII and
previews of other upcoming games such as Bushido Blade and SaGa Frontier. The demo allowed players to play
through the first part of Midgar. However, there were some noticeable differences from the final version, namely that
Aeris was featured in the initial party and that the ability to use Summons had not yet been implemented.[47]
The game's release in North America was preceded by a massive three-month marketing campaign, which consisted
of three 30-second television commercials on major networks, a one minute long theatrical commercial, a holiday
promotion with Pepsi, and printed ads in publications such as Rolling Stone, Details, Spin, Playboy and comic books
published by Marvel and DC.[48] Several additions to gameplay and story were made for the game's North American
release, such as easier exchange of materia, arrows highlighting exits on field screens,[4] and an extra cutscene,
prompting a re-release in Japan under the title "Final Fantasy VII International".[49] In 1998, Final Fantasy VII was

159

''Final Fantasy VII''

160

ported to Windows-based PCs. This re-release featured smoother graphics and fixed translation and spelling errors,
as well as gameplay-related glitches. However, the PC version also suffered from its own bugs, including errors in
the display of some full motion videos when rendering in hardware mode on certain graphics chipsets.[50]

Music
The music for Final Fantasy VII was composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Instead of recorded music and sound effects for
the game, Uematsu opted for MIDIs, using the PlayStation's internal sound chip.[6] Final Fantasy VII was the first
game in the series to include a track with digitized vocals, "One-Winged Angel", which has been described as
Uematsu's "most recognizable contribution" to the music of the Final Fantasy series.[51] Uematsu has said that the
soundtrack has a feel of "realism", which prevented him from using "exorbitant, crazy music".[52]
The game's soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs.[53] One of the most notable pieces from the soundtrack
is "Aeris's Theme" (or otherwise known as "Aerith's Theme"), which is most noticeably played after Aeris is killed
by Sephiroth. It has become popular among fans, and has inspired several arrangements.[54] A single-disc album of
selected tracks from the Original Soundtrack and three arranged tracks, entitled Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks,
was released separately.[55] Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII, a piano arrangement of selected tracks, was
released in 2003.[56] Several tracks from the game have been remixed in subsequent Square productions, including
Final Fantasy IX[57] , Final Fantasy VII Advent Children[58] and Kingdom Hearts.[59]

Reception
Final Fantasy VII was both a critical and commercial success, and set several sales records. Within three days of its
release in Japan, the game had sold 2.3 million copies.[6] This popularity inspired thousands of retailers in North
America to break street dates in September to meet public demand for the title.[60] In the game's debut weekend in
North America, it sold 330,000 copies,[61] and had reached sales of 500,000 units in less than three weeks.[62] The
momentum built in the game's opening weeks continued for several months; Sony announced the game had sold one
million copies on the continent by early December,[63] prompting business analyst Edward Williams from Monness,
Crespi, Hardt & Co. to comment, "Sony redefined the role-playing game (RPG) category and expanded the
conventional audience with the launch of Final Fantasy VII".[63] Final Fantasy VII had sold over 9.8 million copies
worldwide including Final Fantasy VII International as of December 2005,[64] making it the highest-selling Final
Fantasy title.[65] Although Square's announcement that Final Fantasy VII would be produced for Sony rather than
Nintendo and that it would not be based on the Final Fantasy SGI demo was initially met with discontent among
gamers,[45] [46] the game continues to maintain a strong following.

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score

GameRankings

[66]
92%
[67]
86.30% (PC)

Metacritic

[68]

92/100

Review scores
Publication

Score
[69]

1UP.com

A+

Electronic Gaming Monthly

9.5/10

Famitsu

38/40

[68]

[70]

''Final Fantasy VII''

161
GamePro

[71]

5/5

GameSpot

[4]
9.5/10
[72]
8.0 (PC)

IGN

[7]
9.5/10
[72]
8.2 (PC)
[73]

Official PlayStation Magazine (US)

5/5

PC Gamer US

90%/100%

PSM

5/5

[74]

[75]

Computer Gaming World

[76]

Computer Games Magazine

[77]

Upon release, the game received near universal acclaim from critics. GameSpot commented that "never before have
technology, playability, and narrative combined as well as in Final Fantasy VII", expressing particular favor toward
the game's graphics, audio, and story.[4] IGN's Jay Boor insisted the game's graphics were "light years beyond
anything ever seen on the PlayStation", and regarded its battle system as its strongest point.[7] RPGamer praised the
game's soundtrack both in variety and sheer volume, stating that "Uematsu has done his work exceptionally well"
and "is perhaps at his best here".[78]
Since 1997, Final Fantasy VII has been picked by many game magazinesincluding Electronic Gaming
Monthly,[79] IGN[80] and Gamespot[20] as one of the best and most important video games of all time, and has
placed at or near the top in many reader polls of all-time best games. In January 2005, it was selected by Electronic
Gaming Monthly as sixth on their list of "the 10 most important games ... that helped redefine the industry since ...
1989". Citing its "beautiful cut-scenes and a deep, introspective narrative", they claimed that "Squares game was ...
the first RPG to surpass, instead of copy, movie-like storytelling." In late 2007, Dengeki PlayStation named Final
Fantasy VII as the "best story", "best RPG", and "best overall game" in their retrospective awards feature about the
original PlayStation.[81] GamePro named it the fourteenth most important and most innovative video game of
all-time,[82] [83] as well as the best RPG title of all time.[84] Final Fantasy VII placed second in the "Top 100
Favorite Games of All Time" poll by Japanese magazine Famitsu during March 2006,[85] while users of the video
game website GameFAQs voted Final Fantasy VII as the "Best Game Ever"[86] in November 2005 and in 2004,[87]
and placed second in 2009.[88]
Final Fantasy VII has received negative criticism as well. GameSpy rated it seventh on their "25 Most Overrated
Games" list in September 2003.[89] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (OPM) and GameSpot questioned the game's
highly linear progression.[4] [73] OPM considered the game's translation "a bit muddy" and felt the summon
animations were "tedious".[73] RPGamer said "[the game] is far from perfect", citing its translation as "packed with
typos and other errors which further obscure what is already a very confusing plot".[90] GamePro also considered the
Japanese-to-English translation a significant weakness in the game,[50] and IGN regarded the option to use only three
characters at a time as "the game's only shortcoming".
Reviewers praised the game's Windows conversion, but criticized it for its lower-quality pre-rendered visuals and
audio, and for its framerate and installation problems;[91] [76] [74] Computer Games Magazine said that "[no] game in
recent memory" had its "tendency to fail to work in any capacity on multiple [computers]".[77] Computer Gaming
World complained that the "music, while beautifully composed, is butchered by being dependent on [a] sound
card",[76] and Next Generation Magazine found the game's pre-rendered backgrounds significantly less impressive
than those of the PlayStation version.[91] However, the latter magazine found the higher-resolution battle visuals
"absolutely stunning",[91] and Computer Games Magazine said that they "[show] off the power of [a] PC equipped
with a 3D card".[77] All three magazines concluded by praising the game despite its technical flaws,[91] [77] [76] and

''Final Fantasy VII''


PC Gamer US summarized that, while "Square apparently did only what was required to get its PlayStation game
running under Windows", Final Fantasy VII is "still a winner on the PC".

Legacy
Final Fantasy VII is credited as "the game that sold the PlayStation", as well as allowing console role-playing games
to find a place in markets outside Japan, and (as measured in copies sold) remains the most popular title in the
series.[92] [93] [94] [95] The game's popularity and open-ended nature also led director Kitase and scenario writer
Nojima to establish a plot-related connection between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X-2. The character
Shinra from Final Fantasy X-2 proposes the concept of extracting the life energy from within the planet Spira.
Nojima has stated that Shinra and his proposal are a deliberate nod to the Shinra Company, and that he envisioned
the events of Final Fantasy X-2 as a prequel to those in Final Fantasy VII.[96] It has also inspired an unofficial
version of Final Fantasy VII for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Chinese company Shenzhen Nanjing
Technology.[97] This port features the Final Fantasy VII game scaled back to 2D, with some of the side quests
removed.[97] In addition to the PlayStation and PC releases, the game was released onto the PlayStation Network in
Japan on April 10, 2009, in America on June 2, 2009 and in Europe and Australia on June 4, 2009.
The full motion video sequences and computer graphics presented in Final Fantasy VII would allow Sakaguchi to
begin production of the first Final Fantasy film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.[98] The game also introduced
settings dominantly suffused with modern-to-advanced technology into the Final Fantasy series, a theme continued
by Final Fantasy VIII and The Spirits Within.[99] [100] Re-releases of Square games in Japan with bonus features
would occur frequently after the release of Final Fantasy VII International. Later titles that would be re-released as
international versions include Final Fantasy X (as "International"),[101] Final Fantasy X-2 (as "International + Last
Mission"),[102] Kingdom Hearts (as "Final Mix"),[103] Kingdom Hearts II (as "Final Mix"),[104] and Final Fantasy
XII (as "International Zodiac Job System").[105]

Related media and merchandise


Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is the formal title for a series of games and animated features and short stories
based in the world and story of Final Fantasy VII. The series consists of several titles across various platforms, all of
which are extensions of the original story.[106] The first title in the Compilation is the mobile game Before Crisis:
Final Fantasy VII, which is a prequel focusing on the Turks six years preceding the original game.[107] The CGI film
sequel Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was the first title announced in the series, but it was the second to be
released. It is set two years after the conclusion of Final Fantasy VII. Special editions of the film included Last
Order: Final Fantasy VII, an original video animation that recounts the destruction of Nibelheim.[108] Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone counterpart, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII,
are third-person shooters.[109] Dirge of Cerberus is set three years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. The most
recent title in the Compilation is the PlayStation Portable game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, an action
role-playing game that revolves around Zack's past.[110] Also included in the compilation is On the Way to a Smile, a
collection of seven short stories written by Kazushige Nojima based on the events that immediately followed the end
of the game, leading up to Advent Children. Originally only three short stories were released: "Case of Barret", "Case
of Tifa" and "Case of Denzel". With the release of Advent Children Complete, "Case of Nanaki", "Case of Yuffie",
"Case of ShinRa" and "Case of Lifestream -- White & Black" were added.
Releases not under the Compilation label include, Maiden who Travels the Planet, which follows Aeris' journey in
the Lifestream after her death at the hands of Sephiroth, taking place concurrently with the second half of Final
Fantasy VII.[111] Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding is a mobile port of the snowboard minigame featured in Final
Fantasy VII.[112] It contains different tracks than the original minigame.[113] The game is downloadable on V
CAST-compatible mobile phones, and was first made available in 2005 in Japan and North America.[114]

162

''Final Fantasy VII''

Possible remake
It was speculated that the Final Fantasy VII Compilation would include an enhanced remake of the original Final
Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3. This speculation was sparked at the 2005 E3 by the release of a tech demo
featuring the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII recreated using PlayStation 3's graphical capabilities,[115] and
fueled further by thank-you notes to "the Final Fantasy VII PS3 testing team" in the credits of both Advent Children
and Crisis Core; however, it is quite possible the note was aimed at the testers for the PSN release of Final Fantasy
VII, or that either game used graphical assets from that demo.[116] [117] Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has
explained that the presentation was intended only for technological demonstration purposes,[115] and an official
statement from the company said that they had not announced such a project.[118] In June 2009 Final Fantasy VII
was released on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.[119]
Yoshinori Kitase, producer of Final Fantasy XIII, said at Games Convention "As for a VII remake, all I can advise
right now is to play the PSN release that just came out for the time being. Maybe, perhaps we'll have some news for
you at a later time. I'm actually working on multiple projects right now, I don't know exactly what new projects I'll
be taking on after XIII, but I am working on Final Fantasy Agito XIII as well, so maybe I'll be able to focus a little
bit more on that project once XIII is complete."[120] In February 2010, Kitase stated that creating a Final Fantasy VII
for the PlayStation 3 in order to give it a similar quality to the one from Final Fantasy XIII "would take as much as
three or four times longer than the three and a half years it has taken to put this Final Fantasy together! So it's
looking pretty unrealistic to happen!" Additionally, Kitase commented that making games with the same style of
Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3 is very difficult as it would take the staff too much time to make the
graphics; due to this, Final Fantasy XIII is "more linear" than previous titles.[121] In a March 2010 interview,
however, Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama stated, "If we had the manpower and the time to work on a
project, if we were to remake Final Fantasy VII with the quality of Final Fantasy XIII it would become a tremendous
project. If we can get the number of people we need by all means that would be the one I would really want to
remake."[122] Also in March 2010, CEO Yoichi Wada revealed that they are exploring the possibility of a remake,
following the high demand.[2]
Due to the number of questions the site GamesRadar received about the game's remake they featured it in their
article "5 reasons to hate Final Fantasy", stating " If the company can pump out Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus,
Dissidia Final Fantasy, Advent Children and all the rest of its endless spinoffs and unrelated games, it can damn well
make an acceptably pretty Final Fantasy VII for the current-gen market", yet they wished it could be released so that
fans would stop asking them about it.[123] GamesRadar later published an article called "The truth about the Final
Fantasy VII remake", stating that despite the staff's comments that they will not make a remake, recents interviews
from mid-2009 onwards gave gamers hope that it is still possible that a remake will be released.[124]

External links

Quotations related to Final Fantasy VII at Wikiquote


Square Enix's official Final Fantasy VII website [125] (PSN release)
Square Enix's official Final Fantasy VII website [126] (Square Soft release)
Final Fantasy VII at the Final Fantasy Wiki at Wikia

References
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very life of the Planet? Think how much energy would be gathered! Ha ha ha. And at the center of that injury, will be me. All that boundless
energy will be mine. By merging with all the energy of the Planet, I will become a new life form, a new existence. Melding with the Planet... I
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''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''


Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

European boxart
Developer(s)

Square Enix

Publisher(s)

Square Enix

Designer(s)

Hajime Tabata

Artist(s)

Tetsuya Nomura

Writer(s)

Kazushige Nojima

Composer(s)

Takeharu Ishimoto

Series

Final Fantasy
Compilation of Final Fantasy
VII

Platform(s)

PlayStation Portable

Release date(s)

JP

[1]

September 13, 2007


[2]
March 25, 2008
[3]
EU
June 20, 2008
NA

Genre(s)

Action role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Rating(s)

CERO: B
ESRB: T
PEGI: 16+
OFLC: M
USK: 12+

Media

UMD

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII ( -VII- Kuraishisu Koa -Fainaru


Fantaj Sebun-) is an action role-playing game developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. The game is a
prequel to Final Fantasy VII and is also the sixth installment in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Production
was overseen by Yoshinori Kitase, the director of the original Final Fantasy VII, with Hajime Tabata as the game's
director and Tetsuya Nomura as the game's character designer.

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''


The game mainly focuses around Zack Fair, a 2nd Class SOLDIER, and the events leading up to his destined
demise. He meets many of the Final Fantasy VII characters, including Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough, with
whom he develops strong bonds. The game's storyline takes the player from the war with the Wutai to the events at
Nibelheim, and right up to the time just before the Final Fantasy VII beginning. Some of the missing events or plot
holes from Nibelheim and afterwards are explained in the animated feature, Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.

Gameplay
Crisis Core is a role-playing game in which the player controls the main character Zack through the game's storyline.
During the main story of the game, the player moves Zack through and between open areas, allowing him to talk
with non-playable characters, interact with the environment, or encounter monsters in battle. At any save point in
these areas, the player may opt to take one of many side missions that are available; if selected, Zack is moved to a
special area to complete the mission, usually to defeat one or more monsters. If the mission is successfully
completed, the player is rewarded with one or more items, and often one or more new missions become available.
Whether the mission is completed successfully or if Zack falls in battle, Zack is returned to the save point at the end.
If Zack should fall in battle during the main story combat, the player will be forced to restart from their last saved
game.
Crisis Core uses a real-time combat system in which the player can
move Zack around, initiate attacks, special abilities, spells, or item use,
and have Zack block or dodge an attack.[4] [5] Zack's abilities in battle
are set by what materia that he is equipped with.[6] Up to six materia
can be equipped, and can impart special attacks, magic spells, or
passive bonuses such as bonuses to Zack's health meter or the ability to
display the statistics of the current foe in combat. Materia are gained
Zack in battle.
throughout the game through exploration, rewards from side missions
or spoils of war, or from shops. Materia can be fused together to make
more powerful versions with improved bonuses; for example, fusing an attack skill materia with an elemental magic
materia can create a new attack skill materia that inflicts elemental magic damage in addition to physical damage.
Special items collected in the game can also be used in materia fusion to further increase the materia's power.
Crisis Core uses a slot machine-like mechanic to affect the combat
system. The "Digital Mind Wave" (DMW) features two sets of three
spinning wheels; one set with numbers one through seven, and another
with pictures of characters that Zack befriends during the game. The
DMW automatically spins as long as Zack has at least 10 Soldier
Points; Soldier Points are awarded to the player by defeating foes. If
the DMW stops with the same three pictures lined up, Zack will then
Digital Mind Wave.
perform an appropriate Limit Break attack or ability that can greatly
harm an enemy or significantly heal Zack. Additionally, in this case, if
the number slots give two or more of the same number, the materia in that slot will power up. Should the numbers
line up as "777", Zack will gain an experience level, increasing his health, soldier points, and ability points in
combat. Otherwise, if there is no match on the pictures, matching numbers on the slots will still grant temporary
bonuses in battle such as limited invincibility or zero-cost use of skills and abilities. The chance of matching pictures
is tied to the current Limit level, which is raised by taking damage in battle and reduced upon successful matches,
and after certain storyline events, through heightened emotions towards a specific character. After collecting certain
items in the game, the pictures on the DMW may also randomly change to summonable creatures, which have more
destructive and beneficial Limit Breaks should the pictures match up.

169

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''


Following the completion of the game, the player will obtain a New Game Plus option.[7] The North American and
European releases of Crisis Core have an added difficulty mode to the game which increases the power and health of
the enemies in the game.

Plot
Characters
Crisis Core takes place some years before the events of Final Fantasy
VII, and as such, many characters from the game and other related
works appear in Crisis Core. However, the primary characters in the
game are from either Shinra Electric Power Company's private armed
forces dubbed SOLDIER, or from their covert branch of operatives
called the Turks.
The main protagonist and playable character of Crisis Core is Zack
Fair, a young and friendly man. At the start of the game, he is a 2nd
class SOLDIER operative. Angeal is a 1st class SOLDIER and acts as
a mentor for Zack. Both are friends with fellow SOLDIER members
Left to right, Genesis, Angeal, Zack, Sephiroth,
Sephiroth and Genesis, the latter serving as the game's primary
Tseng, and Cloud.
antagonist who takes special interest in an unfinished play called
"LOVELESS". The SOLDIER operatives work under Director Lazard,
the illegitimate son of President Shinra. Zack is also friends with the Turks, particularly their leader Tseng and one
of their female operatives Cissnei. During the course of the game, Zack encounters and befriends Aerith, a young
woman tending flowers from a ruined church in the Midgar slums, and also befriends Cloud, a Shinra infantryman,
and like Zack, raised in a country town. Zack also encounters Dr. Hollander, a former Shinra scientist that is
performing unethical experiments in secret. Luxiere and Kunsel are two SOLDIER operatives that befriend Zack, as
well as informing him on events and actions while offering help in his time of need.

Story
Genesis and several other SOLDIER forces desert Shinra after an operation in Wutai. As SOLDIER further
investigates the situation, Angeal also goes missing. Zack eventually tracks both Angeal and Genesis to their
hometown of Banora. After learning that Genesis is in a nearby arms factory, Tseng and Zack infiltrate the factory,
and find Genesis and Angeal inside. After a brief cut scene, Zack runs back to the edge of town, after fending off
bombs set by Shinra's troops (Shinra wanted to destroy all evidence of their involvement in Banora), and finds
Angeal standing next to his mother's lifeless body, which leads him to believe that Angeal has killed her. Genesis
flies away while Zack helps to evacuate Angeal before the village is destroyed by Shinra bomb. Zack meets with
Lazard and Sephiroth, during which Lazard promotes Zack to a 1st class SOLDIER while Genesis creates an army of
"Genesis copies" to attack Shinra headquarters. Though the forces are defeated, Angeal goes missing again. Zack
and Sephiroth track down Genesis' mutation to a secret lab deep in a Midgar mako reactor, and learn that Dr.
Hollander, a genetic researcher, had used both Genesis and Angeal as part of Project G, an early attempt to create
soldiers infused with Jenova Cells. Zack attempts to chase down Hollander but is stopped by Angeal, now with one
white wing, intent on keeping Hollander alive. Angeal knocks Zack through the floor of the reactor into the slums of
Midgar.
Zack recovers to find Aerith tending over him. Zack returns to SOLDIER headquarters and is ordered to investigate
a mako excavation site near Modeoheim where Genesis has been spotted; en route, Zack meets Shinra infantry
soldier Cloud Strife, and due to their similar background, quickly becomes friends with him. Zack encounters
Genesis at the facility and beats him in battle, but instead of being captured, Genesis appears to commit suicide by

170

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''


throwing himself into the depths of the facility. Zack travels to the Modeoheim and finds both Angeal and Hollander.
It turns out that Project G was named after Angeal's mother, Gillian, not Genesis. Angeal's mother was so ashamed
of having been the root of Project G that she killed herself (Angeal did not kill her). Angeal struggles to hold back
his mutation but is unable to do so, and Zack is forced to kill him. Before he dies, Angeal gives Zack his buster
sword, telling him to "Protect your [Zack's] honor, always". Hollander is captured by arriving Shinra forces, but later
escapes during an attack by Genesis clones, while Zack, distraught over the death of his friend and mentor, goes
back to the Sector 5 church, where he is comforted by Aerith. He leaves Aerith with an Angeal copy that seems to be
protecting her.
Sometime later, after Zack has been promoted to 1st class SOLDIER, he travels with Sephiroth and Cloud to
investigate a mako reactor near Nibelheim. Sephiroth discovers from Genesis that he himself was an experiment,
implanted with cells of the extraterrestrial Jenova. In his anger, Sephiroth sets Nibelheim's town ablaze. Zack
attempts to defeat Sephiroth but fails, but Cloud arrives and despite being impaled by Sephiroth's sword, which then
mixes Jenova's blood with Cloud's, is able to throw Sephiroth into the Lifestream. Zack and Cloud fall unconscious.
Zack awakes to find he and Cloud part of Dr. Hojo's experiments on Jenova cells and Mako exposure; while Zack is
unaffected by the Jenova cells, thanks to the genetic modifications already present in him thanks to SOLDIER,
Cloud has reacted badly to the introduction of Jenova cells into his body and is unable to move on his own. Zack
helps Cloud to escape and they quickly become high priority targets for the Shinra forces. Zack encounters Cissnei
during their escape, but she does not capture them, instead allowing them use of a Turk motorcycle. While fleeing,
Genesis intercepts Zack and Cloud, and makes one of his clones eat a lock of Zack's hair. When this causes the
mutation to go awry, Genesis flies away. Zack, realizing that Genesis is trying to stabilize his mutation, vows to
defeat Genesis before being captured again.
Zack and Cloud travel to Gongaga, Zack's hometown, to try to hide but learn from Cissnei the Shinra forces are not
far behind. After defeating Hollander, who himself has started to become a Genesis clone, Zack encounters Director
Lazard, now inflicted as an Angeal clone. Lazard directs Zack to the remains of Banora, noting that Genesis always
carries one of the dumapples which only grow near that village. At Banora, Lazard watches over Cloud as Zack
descends into a cavern exposed to the Lifestream as the result of the Shinra destruction. Inside, he encounters
Genesis, who reveals that Cloud has been infused with Sephiroth's cells and plans to use him to stabilize his
mutation. Genesis attempts to defeat Zack by calling forth on the Lifestream to transform him into a giant beast, but
Zack manages to destroy Genesis' power source. As the Lifestream leaves him, the mutation is also removed, leaving
Genesis human but near death. Zack returns to the surface with Genesis, and finds that Shinra tried to attack Lazard
and Cloud but Lazard was able to hold them back at the cost of his life. The Angeal copy that guarded Aerith had
come to fight for Zack and is fatally wounded. As the Angeal copy dies, Zack discovers a note he had carried from
Aerith to Zack, and learns that he has been gone from Midgar for more than four years, and Aerith has given up hope
on his return. Zack takes Cloud and makes the return to Midgar immediately. After they leave Banora, Genesis is
collected by two unknown soldiers (Nero the Sable and Weiss the Immaculate).
The Turks attempt to find Zack and Cloud before the Shinra forces do, knowing that Zack and Cloud may resist
arrest and end up killed. Unfortunately, Shinra discovers the two first on the barren terrain outside Midgar. Leaving
Cloud hidden away, Zack goes off to defend his honor as a SOLDIER against an enormous number of Shinra troops,
and is ultimately fatally wounded. Cloud manages to crawl to Zack's body after Shinra has left, and Zack, in his
dying breath, bequeaths the buster sword to Cloud as Angeal had done to him. Cloud begins to walk back to Midgar,
while Zack's body is taken to the Lifestream by Angeal.
The epilogue recreates the opening scenes of Final Fantasy VII, with the promise of the story being continued in that
game.

171

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''

Development and release


The game was announced at E3 2004 before the release of the PlayStation Portable. Its first trailer consisted of clips
from Last Order.[8] In an interview for Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura had stated that a playable demo of the game would
be ready by the end of 2006. However, there was no mention of whether the demo would be openly available to PSP
owners.[9] A playable demo was available at Jump Festa '06.[10]
On September 13, 2007 Square Enix released a special edition bundle for Crisis Core, which included a copy of the
game that had a special box cover art of Zack standing in front of Shinra Headquarters holding the Buster Sword in
front of him. A special silver colored PlayStation Portable Slim and Lite with Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary
insignia on the back, on one side, designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and the meteor from Final Fantasy VII on the other
side was included along with a Buster Sword strap. As with many limited edition Final Fantasy VII-related releases
by Square Enix, the bundle was limited to 77,777 units.
On December 17, 2007 it was announced that Crisis Core would be coming to the United States on March 25, 2008.
If pre-ordered from certain retailers such as Gamestop, the buyer may receive a Shinra UMD case, depending on
how long supplies last at each retailer and if pre-ordered from Best Buy, the buyer may receive Crisis Core with a
metallic foil cover. Two versions of the game were released in Europe: a limited edition version only available
online, and then only when pre-ordered. This limited edition version includes special slipcase packaging and a book
of promotional CG artwork entitled The Art of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.[11] In Australia and Europe, a bundle
with the game and limited edition Crisis Core engraved silver PlayStation Portable was released on June 20.[12] [13]

Audio
The game's soundtrack was released on October 10, 2007, covering 55 songs across two discs. The music was
composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, with a few tracks orchestrated by Kazuhiko Toyama. The soundtrack also includes
remixes of various music from Final Fantasy VII composed by Nobuo Uematsu and "Last Order: Final Fantasy VII",
which was also composed by Ishimoto. The game's ending theme, "Why", is performed by Ayaka.

Reception
Sales
Crisis Core sold 350,000 copies in Japan on its release date, including the 77,777 Limited Edition PSP/Crisis Core
bundles.[14] Square Enix recently announced that Crisis Core was its best-selling game across all regions from April
through September with 710,000 copies sold in Japan.[15]
In March 2008, Crisis Core sold 301,600 copies upon its first month of release in the United States,[16] behind the
sales of God of War: Chains of Olympus, which sold 340,500 copies, making Crisis Core the second best-selling
game for the PSP during the month of March and the sixth best-selling game overall.[16] As of March 31, 2009,
Square Enix announced that Crisis Core had sold 2,100,000 units worldwide, with 830,000 of those sales coming
from Japan.[17] About 840,000 units of the game, including 550,000 in Europe, were sold during Square Enix's 2009
fiscal year.[18]

Critical reception

172

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''

173

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score
[19]

GameRankings

82%

Metacritic

83/100

[20]

Review scores
Publication

Score
35/40

GamePro

4.5/5

GameSpot

9.0/10

IGN

8.5/10

[21]

Famitsu

Official PlayStation Magazine (US)

[22]
[23]
[24]

4/5

Crisis Core has received generally positive reviews. With individual scores of 9/9/8/9, the game received an overall
rating of 35/40 points from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.[21] GameSpot gave the game a score of 9/10,
praising its plot, as well as its overall presentation. Because of this, the game was credited as an "Editor's Choice".
IGN gave it 8.5/10, citing its great overall presentation and story. It also received a place amongst the "Editor's
Choice" gallery of recommended games for the PSP platform. On Metacritic, it has an average score of 83/100.
X-Play gave it a 2/5 with complaints about the unskippable cutscenes, dialogue, gameplay, and plot.[25] On April
Fools' Day, in response to criticism over their original review, they "decided to give the game a second look and give
it a re-review, this time with a clear unbiased perspective", sarcastically dubbing over the original and giving it an
impossibly high 6/5.[26] It was rated 9.0/10 by GameSpot saying it's one of the best games for the PSP. It was also
nominated by GameSpot for the "Best of 2008" awards, in "Best Story", "Best RPG Game" and "Best PSP Game"
categories; it won "Best PSP Game of 2008".

External links
Official Japanese website [27]
Official North American website [28]
Official European website [29]

References
[1] "Crisis Core Confirmed for September" (http:/ / www. squareinsider. com/ news/ article/ 1193/ crisis-core-confirmed-for-september/ ).
SquareInsider.com. . Retrieved 2007-09-07.
[2] "Square Enix announces 2008 North American line-up" (http:/ / www. gaming-age. com/ news/ 2007/ 12/ 17-24). Gaming Age. . Retrieved
2007-12-17.
[3] "GAME UK: Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core Special Edition" (http:/ / www. game. co. uk/ PSP/ RolePlaying/ ~r334245/
Crisis-Core-Final-Fantasy-VII-Special-Edition/ ). GAME UK. . Retrieved 2008-03-27.
[4] Gantayat, Anoop (2006). "Hands On: Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 751/ 751423p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved
2007-03-09.
[5] Suzaku (2007). "New Crisis Core details" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070603042528/ http:/ / forums. adventchildren. net/ showthread.
php?p=2795715). Crisis-Core.net. Archived from the original (http:/ / forums. adventchildren. net/ showthread. php?p=2795715) on
2007-06-03. . Retrieved 2007-03-09.
[6] Suzaku (2007). "New Crisis Core Scans from Famitsu" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20070723092310/ http:/ / forums. adventchildren. net/
showthread. php?p=2939910). Crisis-Core.net. Archived from the original (http:/ / forums. adventchildren. net/ showthread. php?p=2939910)
on 2007-07-23. . Retrieved 2007-06-12.

''Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core''


[7] "Game Grep - Crisis Core Review" (http:/ / www. gamegrep. com/ news/ 5050-ffvii_crisis_core_reviewed_given_875_out_of_10/ ).
Gamegrep.com. 2007-09-05. . Retrieved 2007-01-06.
[8] Boyke, Edward (2005-05-18). "Square Enix's E3 Press Conference Highlights" (http:/ / www. the-nextlevel. com/ feature/
square-enixs-e3-press-conference-highlights/ ). The Next Level. . Retrieved 2007-09-07.
[9] "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII playable demo by the end of 2006" (http:/ / pspupdates. qj. net/
Crisis-Core-Final-Fantasy-VII-playable-demo-by-end-of-2006-/ pg/ 49/ aid/ 70886). PSP Updates. 2006. . Retrieved 2006-11-30.
[10] "Jumpa Festa 2007 - Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ jf07/ titles/ ccff7/ ). Square Enix. 2006. . Retrieved
2006-11-30.
[11] "Play.com (UK) : Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Special Edition)" (http:/ / www. play. com/ Games/ PSP/ 4-/ 5230505/
Crisis-Core-Final-Fantasy-VII/ Product. html). . Retrieved 2008-03-17.
[12] "EB Games (Australia) : Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Bundle" (http:/ / www. ebgames. com. au/ PSP/ home. cfm). . Retrieved 2008-06-12.
[13] "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Bundle (Europe)" (http:/ / www. eurogamer. net/ articles/ europe-getting-crisis-core-psp-bundle). . Retrieved
2008-07-02.
[14] "FFVII: Crisis Core sells 350,000 copies on first day" (http:/ / www. gamegrep. com/ news/
5237-ffvii_crisis_core_sells_350000_copies_on_first_day/ ). Gamegrep.com. 2007-09-16. . Retrieved 2007-09-16.
[15] Powell, Chris (2007-11-22). "Crisis Core is Square's best selling game this year" (http:/ / www. pspfanboy. com/ 2007/ 11/ 21/
crisis-core-is-squares-best-selling-game-this-year/ ). MaxConsole.net. . Retrieved 2007-11-22.
[16] Sinclair, Brendan (2008-04-17). "NPD: March game sales skyrocket 57 percent" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ news/ 6189483. html).
GameSpot. . Retrieved 2008-05-22.
[17] "Results Briefing: Fiscal Year ended May 31, 2009" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ eng/ pdf/ news/ 20090525_01en. pdf#8).
Square-Enix.com. May 19, 2009. . Retrieved 2009-07-21.
[18] Spenser (2009-05-21). "What Square Enix Games Sold Well Last Year?" (http:/ / www. siliconera. com/ 2009/ 05/ 21/
what-square-enix-games-sold-well-last-year/ ). Siliconera. . Retrieved 2009-05-21.
[19] "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ psp/ 925138-crisis-core-final-fantasy-vii/ index. html). Game Rankings.
. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
[20] "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ psp/ crisiscorefinalfantasy7?q=Crisis Core: Final Fantasy
VII). Metacritic. . Retrieved 2009-02-14.
[21] Malloc (2007-09-05). "Famitsu reviews Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core" (http:/ / www. maxconsole. net/ ?mode=news& newsid=20468).
MaxConsole.net. . Retrieved 2007-09-07.
[22] "Crisis Adverted: Final Fantasy Shines on the PSP!" (http:/ / www. gamepro. com/ article/ reviews/ 171508/
crisis-averted-final-fantasy-shines-on-the-psp/ ). . Retrieved 2009-02-14.
[23] "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PSP Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ psp/ rpg/ crisiscorefinalfantasyvii/ review. html). .
Retrieved 2009-02-13.
[24] "IGN: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Review" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 860/ 860615p1. html). . Retrieved 2009-02-13.
[25] D.F. Smith (2008-03-25). "X-Play reviews Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. g4tv. com/ xplay/ reviews/ 1749/
Crisis_Core_Final_Fantasy_VII. html). G4tv.com. . Retrieved 2008-03-25.
[26] "X-Play rereviews Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. g4tv. com/ xplay/ features/ 21036/
Crisis_Core_Final_Fantasy_VII_ReReview. html). G4tv.com. 2008-04-01. . Retrieved 2008-04-01.
[27] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ ccff7/
[28] http:/ / www. crisiscore. com/
[29] http:/ / www. crisiscoregame. com/

174

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

175

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''


Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

Developer(s)

Square Enix PDD 1

Publisher(s)

Square Enix

Designer(s)

Takayoshi Nakazato

Artist(s)

Tetsuya Nomura
Yukio Nakatani
Yusuke Naora

Composer(s)

Masashi Hamauzu

Series

Final Fantasy
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

Native resolution 480i (SDTV)


Platform(s)

PlayStation 2

Release date(s)

JP

January 26, 2006


August 15, 2006
PAL
November 17, 2006
INT
September 4, 2008
NA

Genre(s)

Third-person shooter

Mode(s)

Single-player, multiplayer (Japanese version only)

Rating(s)

BBFC: 15
CERO: B
ESRB: T
OFLC: M
PEGI: 16+

Media

DVD-ROM

Input methods

Gamepad

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII ( -VII-Dju obu


Keruberosu -Fainaru Fantaj Sebun-) is a third person shooter game developed and published by Square Enix in
2006. It is part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII metaseries, a multimedia collection set within the universe of
the popular 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII.

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

176

Gameplay

First-person view mode with a sniper's scope

Dirge of Cerberus is a third-person shooter (the first game of this genre


developed by Square Enix) with RPG elements. Battles occur in
real-time, with the HUD displaying information including Vincent's
HP and MP, the currently selected item and the quantity thereof, and a
cross-hair to aid in targeting enemies. Defeating enemies yields EXP,
which is totaled at the end of each stage and can either be used to level
up Vincent, increasing his statistics, or converted to gil, which can be
used to purchase items and equipment upgrades at jukebox-shaped
shops scattered throughout each stage, or the shop at the end of a stage,
which also allows the purchase of additional equipment.

Unlike Final Fantasy VII, where a character could equip three types of equipment (weapon, armor and accessory),
Vincent's equipment consists solely of his weapon, which has amalgamated the effects of armor and accessories
through customization. Players can customize three weapons through the frame: a three barrel handgun he names
Cerberus, as well as a rifle, Hydra, and a machine gun, Griffon, which are two new weapon types (also named after
Greek mythological creatures) and the size of the barrel (short-, regular or long-barrel, with longer barrels affording
targeting of enemies that are further away at the cost of weight). Accessories include a sniper scope, charms (such as
the Cerberus charm) which can increase Vincent's defense and decrease the weight of the gun (which affects the
speed of Vincent's actions) among other things, and materia, which returns from Final Fantasy VII and enables
magic shots with special properties that use up MP. All weapons have limited ammunition, which is dropped by
defeated enemies, but can also be bought at shops. Ammunition capacity can be increased through upgrades.
Limit Breaks also return from the original game. Two of Vincent's Limit Breaks are available in Dirge of Cerberus:
the Galian Beast, Vincent's first Limit Break, can be activated in two different ways: in the Japanese version of the
game, it can be activated when the MP gauge is full. Upon transformation, the gauge slowly decreases and, once the
gauge becomes empty, Vincent returns to human form. In the American and European versions of the game, the
Galian Beast transformation can be activated through the use of an item called the "Limit Breaker". The effect lasts
for around 30 seconds, upon which time the transformation reverses automatically. In all versions of the game, the
transformation can be reverted by the player by pressing the L1 and R1 buttons at the same time. The other Limit
Break is Chaos, Vincent's final and most powerful form, who serves as a major plot device and is playable only in
the final stage of the game, when it is permanently enabled. Also, in specific areas of the game, such as in Training
Mode, when Vincent's Limit Break is activated, instead of transforming into the Galian Beast, Vincent's body would
pulse a color; his firing rate would increase, have an unlimited amount of ammunition, and all his attacks would be
more powerful.

Miscellaneous
Being modeled after many first-person and third-person shooters, the game takes a few liberties and implements
minor features that are featured in many games that are similar in genre. A blinking disc icon appears whenever the
game loads data from the disc, something akin to many console shooter games. The game can also be controlled
using either the DualShock 2 controller or a USB mouse and keyboard.
Bonus material is available in the game, and the method of unlocking bonus material consists of shooting Memory
Capsules, which are well hidden and found during the course of the game. Memory Capsules found during the story
mode unlock the game's cut scenes, while a variety of Memory Capsules found in the Extra Missions mode unlock
various other features, such as a music player, an artwork viewer, a character model viewer and additional extra
missions.

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

Plot
Story
The game begins during the climax of Final Fantasy VII. As Vincent, the protagonist, and Yuffie help to evacuate
Midgar, Vincent finds Hojo, the scientist responsible for the antagonist of Final Fantasy VII, slumped at the controls
of a Mako Cannon. As Vincent is about to finish him off, the cannon explodes, destroying Hojo and forcing Vincent
to escape.
Three years later, Vincent is in the city of Kalm, where a celebration is taking place to commemorate the events of
Final Fantasy VII. Suddenly, the city is attacked by mysterious soldiers, who capture some of the citizens and kill the
rest. Vincent, with the help of Reeve Tuesti and the World Regenesis Organization (WRO), an organization
dedicated to helping Gaia recover from the events of Final Fantasy VII, fights the soldiers and forces them to retreat.
Reeve reveals that the soldiers were members of Deepground, a military organization made up of super-soldiers.
Reeve believes that Vincent is the best chance the WRO has of defeating Deepground, as he currently houses Chaos.
Reeve sends Vincent to retrieve research on Chaos completed by Vincent's 'deceased' lover, Lucrecia.
Based on the research, the group determines what Deepground has planned. There is a weapon called OMEGA
weapon, which will activate when Gaia senses that it is in mortal danger; the weapon causes Gaia to gather the
Lifestream and move to another planet, leaving the planet and everyone on it to die. Deepground plans to slaughter a
large number of people at once to trick Gaia into activating OMEGA early.
Vincent and the WRO launch a full-scale assault on Deepground's headquarters. During the assault, Vincent finds
Weiss, leader of Deepground, slumped in his throne, lifeless. Momentarily, the Lifestream around the room surges,
and Weiss emerges from his throne. It is revealed that Weiss is possessed by Hojo; before Hojo was killed in the
Mako Cannon, he uploaded his consciousness into the worldwide network, then took possession of Weiss' body
while he was online. Hojo and Vincent battle to a standstill; shortly after, Weiss' brother emerges from the
Lifestream and pulls Hojo into the Lifestream.
The death of Hojo triggers the activation of OMEGA. While the WRO continues to fight the remnants of
Deepground, Vincent challenges OMEGA. After a long battle with OMEGA, it sprouts wings and tries to escape
into space. Vincent gathers his strength and charges OMEGA. On contact OMEGA is destroyed; Vincent is nowhere
to be found.
Yuffie is seen to be calling Vincent and later asks Tifa about Cloud in hopes of finding Vincent's whereabouts.
As life begins to return to normal, Vincent is found at Lucrecia's crystalline coffin, thanking her for being his reason
to keep fighting.

Characters
Dirge of Cerberus centers around Vincent Valentine and a new cast of characters. Vincent's father Grimoire
Valentine is mentioned several times throughout the game as the one who devised a thesis on Chaos but died in an
experiment. The playable characters of Final Fantasy VII make cameo appearances, notably Cait Sith, who is
controllable for a brief sequence. A new WEAPON is also introduced, Omega Weapon, which serves as an "ark" for
the planet's Lifestream when a calamity arises.
Supporting characters
Yuffie Kisaragi () also makes a return in Dirge of Cerburus. Having joined the World
Regenesis Organization, Yuffie is in charge of the espionage and intelligence gathering. Yuffie works to fight
against Deepground. She is the one who rescues Vincent from Rosso the Crimson in the Shinra Mansion, where
the bloodthirsty Tsviet was about to kill him, and takes him back to the WRO Headquarters. Onboard the Shera,
she still carries her motion sickness with her, and leads the troops from the airships to the ground for the Battle of

177

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''


Midgar to shut down a generator inside the ShinRa building. Then she and Vincent go into Deepground in attempt
to kill Weiss but are stopped by Nero, who sucked Yuffie into Darkness and Vincent goes to save her, since
Nero's darkness does not affect him. She and other AVALANCHE members aided Vincent in Omega's
destruction and is seen last in Seventh Heaven, asking Tifa if she has heard from Cloud, most likely concerning
Vincent's whereabouts.
Shalua Rui ( Sharua Ri) is a female scientist, who first appeared in a small role in Before
Crisis. She is a WRO scientist with a prosthetic left arm, that serves as her life-support system, and a missing left
eye. Shalua is a workaholic who is actually searching for her sister, Shelke. Upon meeting her, she was
heart-broken over how little of her sister there was left and blamed herself for it. In order to make up, she helped
Shelke escape the clutches of Azul, who had turned on her, in exchange for her life. Research shows that Shalua
was a workaholic and often spent many of her hours at the WRO Headquarters; given the time she used to search
for her "reason to live" which was assumed to be Shelke.
Reeve Tuesti, the former head of Shinra's Urban Development Department, leads the World Regenesis
Organization (WRO; called World Restoration Organization in the Japanese version of the game), an operation
dedicated to restoring the world and undoing the mistakes made by Shinra. Prominent members of WRO include
Yuffie Kisaragi, in charge of espionage and intelligence gathering; Shalua Rui, WRO's chief scientist; and Cid
Highwind, head of the WRO's airship division. Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, and Tifa Lockhart also lend their
support to the WRO during the second half of the game.
Grimoire Valentine ( Gurimoa Varentain) is Vincent Valentine's father. He
appears in flashbacks as Lucrecia's mentor, and later dies protecting her from Chaos.
Omega WEAPON appears as the game's final boss and is the result of Professor Hojo's plans to merge with
Weiss and bring destruction upon the earth.
Other characters that were featured prominently or otherwise in Final Fantasy VII also return. Lucrecia Crescent
is shown mainly in flashbacks, further fleshing out her story. Hojo returns as well in flashbacks, and he then
reappears in the penultimate moments of the game. Red XIII also makes a brief cameo in the game's ending,
though he does not speak.

178

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

179

Tsviets
The Tsviets ( Tsuvito) are the highest ranking elite squad within
Deepground and its chain of command. All of the members of the group are
named after colors from different languages, hence the group's name, which is
derived from "", the Russian word for color. Five members appear in the
single player mode of the game, and at least one more member appears in the
online mode.
Weiss the Immaculate ( Junpaku no Tei Vaisu, lit.
"Weiss the Immaculate White Emperor") The leader of the elite Tsviets of
Deepground. All of the other Tsviets owe his or her loyalty to Weiss. He fights
with two gunblades, and possesses all the abilities of the other Tsviets, the
only exceptions being Nero's darkness and Azul's metamorphosis. He is
controlled by Hojo's digitized mind, who invaded his body when Weiss was in
"Synaptic Net Dive" mode, trying to find a cure to the Restrictors' virus that
infected him after he overthrew them. Weiss's first appearance in the game is
during a planet wide speech in which he declairs his intention to kill as many
people as he and Deepground can. He is eventually defeated by Vincent;
however, in the game's ending sequence, his body is seen carried off by an
awakened Genesis, who addresses Weiss as his "brother" and tells him that "it
is not yet time for slumber" and that they "still have much work to do". In the
online version, Weiss is shown fighting both Azul and Rosso at the same time
and winning while Restrictors watch. The Restrictors permanently kept Weiss
chained to his throne in Mako Reactor Zero rather than risk the chance that
Weiss find a way to all in a moment of weakness. This proved to be futile
since he was the mastermind behind the death of Restrictors. Weiss means
"white" in German. He is voiced by Dave Boat in English, and Joji Nakata in Japanese.

The Tsviets

Nero the Sable ( Shikkoku no Yami Nero, lit. "Nero the Jet-black Darkness") is a 23 year-old man
and second member of the Tsviets, whose face is always obscured. He is Weiss' younger brother and can control
darkness as the only fully successful experiment from stagnant mako injection into a fetus. The power that
resulted from this is a primordial darkness that is capable of swallowing and destroying anyone that is forced into
it. Only being born from that darkness like Chaos can permanently survive in Neros darkness. He secretly leads
Deepground under Weiss' name after the unification of the organization, when Weiss' state becomes unclear to the
remaining Deepground soldiers. Nero deeply loves his brother and acts on Weiss/Hojo's desire to awaken Omega
and destroy the planet. Nero has two wing-like blades on his back that are used as slashing weapons and four
handguns, two for his hands and two built into the blades to allow for an impressive balance of long and short
range attacks He can transform into the spider-like Arachnero ( Nero Rafurea, Nero Raw
Flayer). He eventually merges with Weiss to free the latter from Hojo's control. Nero means "black" in Italian and
Sable is the tincture black in heraldry. He is voiced by Mike Rock in English, and Ryotaro Okiayu in Japanese.
Rosso the Crimson ( Aka no Rosso) is a red-clothed, psychotic 25 year-old woman and third recruit
of the Tsviets. She fights with a double-bladed weapon capable of bursts of gunfire. Rosso moves with elegance
and speed and does not care if she kills friend or foe to win. Even though there are several meetings with her over
the course of the game, Vincent only fights her once, but she fights Cloud Strife in a cut scene. Overconfident and
egomaniacal, she commits suicide after being beaten by Vincent: she collapses a part of the building with her on
top of it so that she "shall not grant him the pleasure of killing Rosso the Crimson". Rosso means "red" in Italian,
and she is given a Romanian accent in the English version, voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and Atsuko

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''


Tanaka in Japanese.
Shelke the Transparent ( Mushoku no Sheruku) is a blue-eyed, 19 year-old girl trapped by
mako in her 10 year old body and fourth recruit of the Tsviets. She fights with two electromagnetic sabers, and
has a special ability named SND ("Synaptic Net Dive"), which allows her to project a residual image of herself
within a computer network. She is initially emotionless, but becomes connected to Lucrecia's personality as the
game progresses. She is also revealed to be Shalua's younger sister, and is referred to as Shelke Rui in the ending
credits of the game. Shelke's job within the Tsviets was to locate Vincent Valentine. However, Shelke's body does
not allow her to fight for very long and without the Mako stations in Deepground to support her, Shelke tires
quickly. She is also the only member of the Tsviets who does not possess cells from Genesis. She later abandons
the Tsviets in favor of aiding Vincent. Shelke means "orange" in Urdu. She is voiced by Kari Wahlgren in English
and Fumiko Orikasa in Japanese.
Azul the Cerulean ( Aoki Asru) is the blue-haired, 33 year-old final recruit of the Tsviets. He
first appeared in Before Crisis as an ordinary man who wanted to be a SOLDIER. As the largest of the Tsviets,
Azul uses a large cannon with disturbing ease. He is one of three Tsviets subjected to the Metamorphose
experiment, allowing him to transform into the monstrous Arch Azul ( Shin Asru, True Azul).
He fights against Vincent three times during the game and is finally killed when Vincent, in Chaos form, impales
him with his own cannon, and blasts him. He falls down into the abyss by the elevator. His greatest love is battle.
Azul means "blue" in both Portuguese and Spanish. He is voiced by Brad Abrell in English and Tessho Genda in
Japanese.
Online mode characters
The Restrictors are members of the 14th SOLDIER force, "Lost Force", and the former leaders of the Deepground
before Weiss took over. The Restrictors destroyed "Ragnarok", the 13th and previously strongest force of SOLDIER,
in a single night. Their weapons are two short gunblades. The Restrictors' leader governed over Deepground,
implanting chips into the brain stems of all DGS recruits so they cannot turn against the group. The player character
in the multiplayer mode is the exception to this, who was part of Weiss' plan to take control of the Deepground. At
the end of the multiplayer mode, the entire Tsviet group managed to defeat Restrictor and take his place as the ruling
force of the DGS. Though they succeeded, Restrictor's leader attempted to kill Weiss with the virus implanted within
him.
Argento ( Arujento) is a member of the Tsviets seen only in the Japanese multiplayer mode. She
has an eye-patch over her right eye. Although she wields a large sword as her weapon, her role is to observe
others as an instructor. She conspired with Weiss to overthrow the Restrictors. Argento means "silver" in Italian,
and it is revealed in the Compilation Ultimania, that Argento was the one who made all the weapons of the
colored Tsviets.
Usher is a mysterious orange-haired SOLDIER who assists the player several times throughout the multiplayer
mode. In the mode's ending sequence, Shelke deactivates her Synaptic Net Dive with the player's character and
Usher disappears, thus revealing that he was only a simulation created by Shelke to guide the player into helping
with their plan to overthrow the Restrictors.

Development
Director Takayoshi Nakazato said that he was a big fan of the PC game Half-Life and wanted to turn it into an RPG,
and he has done so, in the form of Dirge of Cerberus. This is the last game in chronological order in the Compilation
of Final Fantasy VII, and is often referred to by the staff of the game as "the ending finale to Final Fantasy VII".
However, producer Yoshinori Kitase has recently stated in an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly that it is
not necessarily the end of Final Fantasy VII's story, but will provide resolution to Vincent's personal story, just as
Advent Children resolves Cloud's. The game's secret epilogue also leaves the door open, introducing a mysterious

180

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''


character named Genesis, or "G", who speaks in a cryptic fashion that suggests the story is not yet over. Genesis is
introduced in the PSP title Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII as the main antagonist and central plot device.
The North American and European releases of Dirge of Cerberus received a major overhaul in its globalization due
to the fact that the developers were not satisfied with the final Japanese version; the developers also wanted to make
the game more single player oriented.
Vincent's running speed is 1.2 times faster, and he can perform a double-jump and do ranged and melee attacks in
midair. Also, his dive-roll dodge move is supplanted with a dash move.
Vincent's weapon can be customized to make it lighter, so there is no sluggishness when drawing his weapon.
Limit Breaks no longer detract from the magic bar; instead, a single-use item can be used to perform the attack.
"Easy Mode" has been removed, replaced with an "Extra Hard" mode. This new mode includes unlockables such
as 40 special missions, a character-model viewer, and artwork and sound galleries.
Online Multiplayer support was removed due to the poor popularity of PlayOnline in America, and lack of PS2
HDD support in the U.S. Missions from the Multiplayer Mode were reworked into some of the missions that can
be unlocked in "Extra Hard" mode, however, this contains none of the additional storyline presented in the
Japanese Multiplayer Mode.
The game retains support for mouse and keyboard peripherals for PC First-person shooter-style gameplay.

International version
Dirge
of
Cerberus:
Final
Fantasy
VII
International
(

-VII- Dju obu Keruberosu -Fainaru Fantaj SebunIntnashonaru) was released by Square Enix in Japan on September 4, 2008 as part of their Ultimate Hits lineup.
This version retains all of the new features incorporated into the North American and European releases, and also
includes the cutscenes that were originally only available in the Japanese online Multiplayer Mode. Audio is in
English, with Japanese text and subtitles.

Audio
The soundtrack for the game was composed by Masashi Hamauzu. Vocal tracks were performed and composed by
J-Rock singer, Gackt Camui for the theme songs, 'Longing' and 'Redemption'. The soundtrack was released on
February 15, 2006 in Japan with a price of 3,300 and the limited edition of the soundtrack will be released on the
same day with a price of 3,900. The CD consists of 2 CDs with 53 tracks. The limited edition of the soundtrack
includes a 'Cerberus Complete Case' deluxe box which is designed to hold the soundtrack along with the 'Dirge of
Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII' PS2 game and the limited edition of Gackt's single for the game, 'Redemption'.
The CD single for Gackt's single for the game, 'Redemption' was released on January 25, 2006, with a price of
1,200 (roughly USD 10.17). A limited edition was also released featuring two 'Redemption' video clips, one being
Gackt's promotional music video and one being set to animation from the game, with a price of 1,950 (roughly
USD 16.53).
A supplemental soundtrack was released through the Japanese iTunes service and the Square-Enix Music Download
page on August 22, 2006, for the price of 1,500. Titled "Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Multiplayer Mode
Original Sound Collections", this album consists of 27 tracks, including a handful of songs from the single player
game which weren't included in the official sound track, as well as all of the original music composed for the
multiplayer mode and two new songs composed by Ryo Yamazaki for the North American release of the game.

181

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

182

Reception
Reception
Review scores
Publication

Score

GameSpot

6.0/10

GameTrailers

7.2/10

IGN

7.0/10

Awards
Entity

Award

Golden Video Game Awards 2009

Game of the Year

GamesRadar

Best Script

Gametrailers

Visual Excellence

Upon its release in Japan, the game received mixed reviews. Gaming magazine Dengeki PS2[1] rewarded the game
with a 313/400 while Famitsu scored it a lower 28/40.[2] The Famitsu review was not made available until three
weeks after Dirge of Cerberus was released, contrary to the Dengeki PS2 score. The game managed to ship 392,000
units in its first week.[3] As of November 2008, over 513,000 copies of the game have been sold in Japan alone.[4] As
of August 31, 2008, 460,000 units were sold in North America and 270,000 units were sold in Europe.[5]
Dirge of Cerberus received similarly mixed reviews from American critics. Gaming review sites IGN and Gamespot
scored the game 7.0[6] and 6.0[7] respectively. IGN praised the presentation, storyline, and the fact that it can be very
enjoyable, but also criticized the number of cutscenes, AI, and some mediocre level design. GameTrailers gave it a
7.2/10 praising the exact same aspects, but also criticizing the same cons. 1UP.com gave the game a D+[8] while
Electronic Gaming Monthly collectively scored the game with a 4.6/10 average from three reviews.[9] G4's game
review show, X-Play, gave the game a 2 out of 5 due to poor level design, weak gunplay, a tremendous amount of
cutscenes and bad AI.[10] Similar reviews also cited poor gameplay as a major criticism. At Game Rankings, the
combined reviews for the game are currently 60%.[11] The combined score from Metacritic is currently 57 out of 100
based on 51 reviews.[12]

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

Mobile phone tie-in


Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII (
-VII- Dju obu
Keruberosu Rosuto Episdo -Fainaru Fantaj Sebun-) is a Japanese third
person shooter role-playing game was co-developed by Square Enix and
Ideaworks3D, and published by Square Enix. Unveiled at E3 '06, the game was
released on August 22, 2006 in North America[13] and July 26, 2007 in
Japan.[14] First only available on Amp'd mobile phones, the game was
eventually also made available on Verizon's V Cast network. It was also
unveiled as a flagship title for NTT DoCoMos Foma 903i handset at the 2006
Tokyo Game Show. The title initially released a single player mode, with a
multiplayer function launching at a later date.
Screenshot of the Dirge of Cerberus
Lost Episode reveals a missing chapter of Dirge of Cerberus taking place
mobile phone game.
between two events of the latter. It involves the adventures of Vincent
Valentine struggling to save the world from the evil Deepground Soldiers, a
mysterious army of soldiers. Three years after Meteorfall from the original Final Fantasy VII, the world is threatened
by the Deepground soldiers, a mysterious army of bloodthirsty warriors. Vincent learns that the soldiers are
searching for him in the hopes of harvesting the Protomateria from his body. He decides to investigate the Shinra
Mansion in an effort to uncover the truth about his own pastand the mystery behind the Protomateria as well.
Reeve Tuesti's goal is to find information on the DG written by Dr. Lucrecia Crescent. On his way to the mansion,
his chopper is attacked by the Deepground. He survives and makes his way to the Shinra Manor, fighting countless
Deepground Soldiers and destroying a DG battle bot.

References
IGN Preview [15]
Press release [16]
Billy Young [17]. "Details Arise From Tetsuya Nomura Interview [18]." RPGamer [19]. December 1, 2004.
Accessed on January 9, 2005.

External links

Dirge Of Cerberus on IMDB [20]


Official European site [21]
Official US site [22]
Official Japanese site [23]
Official Japanese PlayOnline site [24]
Dirge Of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII E 2006 page at SQUARE ENIX [25]
Dirge of Cerberus [26] at the Open Directory Project

183

''Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus''

References
[1] Famitsu/Dengenki Review Scores - Dirge of Cerberus, Tourist Trophy (http:/ / www. gamesarefun. com/ news. php?newsid=6016) at Games
Are Fun
[2] Japanese Sales Charts, Week Ending February 5 (http:/ / www. gamasutra. com/ php-bin/ news_index. php?story=8119) at Gamasutra
[3] "Top 10 Weekly Software Sales (January 23 - January 29, 2006)" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060205034213/ http:/ / m-create. com/
eng/ e_ranking. html). Archived from the original (http:/ / www. m-create. com/ eng/ e_ranking. html) on 2006-02-05. .
[4] "Sony PS2 Japanese Ranking" (http:/ / www. japan-gamecharts. com/ ps2. php). Japan-GameCharts.com. . Retrieved 2008-12-20.
[5] "Annual Report 2007" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ eng/ pdf/ ar/ 20070831_01. pdf#page8). Square-Enix.com. August 6, 2004. .
Retrieved 2008-12-20.
[6] Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Review (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 724/ 724990p1. html) at IGN
[7] Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation 2 Review (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps2/ action/ dirgeofcerberusfinalfantasyvii/
review. html?om_act=convert& om_clk=tabs& tag=tabs;reviews) at Gamespot
[8] Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ reviewPage?cId=3152877) review at 1UP.com
[9] Reviews: Dirge of Cerberus (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ reviewPage?cId=3153273) EGM Review at 1UP.com
[10] X-Play review (http:/ / www. g4tv. com/ xplay/ reviews/ 1251/ Final_Fantasy_VII_Dirge_of_Cerberus. html)
[11] Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Reviews (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ htmlpages2/ 924449. asp?q=dirge of cerberus) at Game
Rankings
[12] Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (ps2:2006): Reviews (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ ps2/
dirgeofcerberusfinalfantasy7?q=dirge of cerberus) at Metacritic
[13] Square Enix (2006-08-22). "Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode -Final Fantasy VII- breaks down mobile gaming boundaries" (http:/ / www.
square-enix. com/ na/ company/ press/ 2006/ 0822/ ). Press release. . Retrieved 2008-04-22.
[14] "What's New" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ whatsnew/ 0707. html) (in Japanese). Square Enix. . Retrieved 2008-04-22.
[15] http:/ / ps2. ign. com/ articles/ 548/ 548211p1. html
[16] http:/ / faqsmovies. ign. com/ faqs/ binary/ dirgeofcerberus. zip
[17] http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ bios/ byoung. html
[18] http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/ news/ Q4-2004/ 120104g. html
[19] http:/ / www. rpgamer. com/
[20] http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0481507/
[21] http:/ / www. dirgeofcerberus. eu. com/
[22] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ dcff7/
[23] http:/ / www. square-enix. co. jp/ games/ ps2/ dcff7/
[24] http:/ / www. playonline. com/ dcff7/
[25] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ e306/ titles/ dcff7_m/
[26] http:/ / www. dmoz. org/ Games/ Video_Games/ Roleplaying/ F/ Final_Fantasy_Games/ Final_Fantasy_VII_Series/
Final_Fantasy_VII_-_Dirge_of_Cerberus/ /

184

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''

185

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''


Last Order: Final Fantasy VII

Last Order logo and promotional artwork featuring Zack (front), Sephiroth (middle), and Jenova (back)
-VII(Rasuto d -Fainaru Fantaj Sebun-)
Genre

Fantasy, Action, Science fiction, Cyberpunk


Original video animation

Director

Morio Asaka

Producer

Masao Maruyama
Jungo Murata
Akio fuji

Writer

Screenplay:
Kazuhiko Inukai
Kazushige Nojima
Original story:
Hironobu Sakaguchi
Kazushige Nojima

Composer

Takeharu Ishimoto

Studio

Madhouse
Square Enix

Licensor

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Released

September 14, 2005 (Japan)


February 20, 2007 (North America)

Runtime

25 minutes

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII ( -VII- Rasuto d -Fainaru Fantaj


Sebun-), also abbreviated as Last Order or LO, is a 2005 Japanese anime original video animation (OVA) produced
by Madhouse and released by Square Enix. It is an alternate rendition of two flashbacks found within the 1997
PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII. Last Order was released in Japan with Advent Pieces: Limited, a special edition
release of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and is an addition to the North American limited collector's edition
release of Advent Children. The OVA was not given an English dub, but is subtitled in the English release.
Last Order is associated with the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a series of prequels and sequels to the original
Final Fantasy VII. Though not an official Compilation installment or canon within it, the OVA has nonetheless been

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''


included in official guidebooks. The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII includes the games Before Crisis: Final
Fantasy VII, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, as well as the film Final
Fantasy VII Advent Children. Last Order's soundtrack was released with the music of Before Crisis, and select songs
were later remixed for Crisis Core. The OVA was created due to the success of promotional commercials for Before
Crisis. Production for Last Order lasted 6 months and the crew faced several challenges during the time period.
Two events that occurred before Final Fantasy VII are detailed in Last Order. One event revolves around the
Nibelheim scenario that focuses on Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, Sephiroth and Tifa Lockhart. The other involves Zack
and Cloud on the run from the megacorporation Shinra. The OVA cuts back and forth between these two flashbacks,
linked by the Turk leader Tseng's reflection on the Nibelheim event. Originally meant to focus on Zack, Last Order
also highlighted Tseng's feelings and position in the Shinra company, as well as his moral values.
77,777 copies of Advent Pieces: Limited were released in Japan and had been sold out months in advance before the
official release date. Last Order received a negative fan response due to changes in content and presentation from the
original Final Fantasy VII. Because of this, the crew of Crisis Core avoided recreating certain scenes of Last Order.
OverClocked ReMix created a Final Fantasy VII tribute album entitled Voices of the Lifestream, which included a
disc themed after the OVA and entitled Order.

Background
Last Order explores situations shown and referenced within Final Fantasy VII and other Compilation titles.[1] The
world of Final Fantasy VII, referred to as "the Planet", is dependent on a flow of spirit energy called Lifestream for
survival.[2] [3] Previously, the Planet had been inhabited by the Cetra (or "Ancients"), who were almost completely
destroyed due to Jenova, an extraterrestrial lifeform that crashed onto the Planet and began infecting the Cetra.[4]
Over time, the megacorporation Shinra Electric Power Company rises to power and begins extracting the Lifestream
through Mako reactors, subsequently killing the Planet.[5] Shinra uses the Mako as an energy source[6] and to
manipulate the strength and abilities of their paramilitary, SOLDIER.[7] Sephiroth, considered the strongest member
of SOLDIER, was sent to investigate a Mako reactor in the secluded town of Nibelheim and is accompanied by the
SOLDIER Zack and two grunts, one of whom is Cloud.[8] [9] Whilst there, Sephiroth spends most of his time reading
in the Shinra Mansion, which had previously been used by the Shinra scientist Hojo to conduct his experiments.
Through Hojo's log books, Sephiroth comes to learn of his past, in which he was injected with Jenova's cells.
However, the scientists who unearthed Jenova mistakenly identified it as a Cetra, causing Sephiroth to believe he
was one and that humans had betrayed him.[10] [11]

Plot
Narrated by Tseng, leader of the elite espionage and assassination division known as the Turks, Last Order switches
between the Nibelheim incident and Zack's escape to Midgar with his unconscious friend, Cloud Strife. During the
Nibelheim event, Sephiroth, insane after discovering his origins, sets fire to the village of Nibelheim. After killing
many villagers, he proceeds to the Nibelheim reactor where Jenova has been encased. Soon after he arrives, Tifa, a
resident of Nibelheim, attacks him. Sephiroth knocks her aside continues to Jenova's body, preserved in a large glass
tank filled with liquid. Zack follows Sephiroth into the reactor and fights him, but is eventually disarmed and injured
too severely to attack further. Sephiroth returns to Jenova's body, but does not notice the military grunt Cloud
approaching.

186

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''

Cloud is impaled by Sephiroth and hung over


the reactor core, a scene also explored in other
[12] [13]
Final Fantasy VII series' titles

187
Cloud immediately impales Sephiroth with his sword, cracking Jenova's
glass tank. He returns to Tifa and the two converse, while Sephiroth,
still alive after receiving the injury, cuts off Jenova's head. He carries
the head with him towards Cloud and they engage in battle. During the
fight, Cloud is impaled through the stomach and hung over the reactor's
core; in a feat of strength, he grabs Sephiroth's sword and moves himself
down the blade to solid ground and hurls Sephiroth aside. Instead of
continuing to fight, Sephiroth, with Jenova's head, jumps into the reactor
core in an attempt to reach the "Promised Land". Though Zack and
Cloud survive the ordeal, they are taken to the Shinra Mansion by Hojo
for experimentation.

The other event detailed in Last Order illustrates Zack and Cloud's escape from Shinra. During their
experimentation, Cloud had succumbed to Mako poisoning, caused by a surge of memories flooding through his
mind.[14] Due to this, Cloud remains in an unconscious, non-reactant state. Zack escapes with Cloud from the Shinra
Mansion with the intention of returning to Midgar, the headquarters of Shinra. However, Shinra orders their
paramilitary and the Turks to find the two escapees. However, Tseng decides to capture them alive while Shinra's
army is sent out to eliminate the pair.
On a bluff overlooking Zack and Cloud, who had hitched a ride on a truck, Shinra operatives decide to ignore orders
to wait for the Turks. One takes aim on the incapacitated Cloud and Zack, noticing, jumps in front of Cloud, yelling
at him to escape.

Cast
Kenichi Suzumura voices Zack Fair,[15] a 1st class SOLDIER who faces Sephiroth and is brutally defeated. After
being experimented on by Hojo, Zack attempts to escape Shinra with his friend, Cloud. The production crew used
Last Order "to portray Zack properly" as light-hearted and young.[16] Suzumura described that Zack seemed
much more alive in Last Order than in Advent Children.[17]
Takahiro Sakurai voices Cloud Strife,[15] a Shinra grunt who fights against Sephiroth after seeing his friends,
Zack and Tifa, hurt and Nibelheim destroyed. Nearly dead due to wounds he sustained, Cloud is experimented on
by Hojo and lapses into an unresponsive state. Zack escapes with him and protects him from members of the
Shinra military unit.
Toshiyuki Morikawa voices Sephiroth,[15] a 1st class SOLDIER and a past friend of Zack. After discovering his
origins, Sephiroth goes insane and "betray[s] those who had believed in him".[16] He attempts to bring his
"mother", Jenova, and himself to the Promised Land. After engaging in battle with both Zack and Cloud,
Sephiroth jumps into the Mako reactor core with Jenova's head.
Junichi Suwabe voices Tseng,[15] the leader of the Turks who narrates the OVA. Originally, the OVA was
intended to focus on Zack, but Tseng became the "real highlight". Last Order details Tseng's changing feelings
and position towards his job, as well as where he places his moral values.[16]
Ayumi Ito voices Tifa Lockhart,[15] a resident of Nibelheim and a childhood friend of Cloud. In a fit of rage, Tifa
tries to kill Sephiroth, but he easily blocks her attacks and mortally wounds her.
Hiroshi Fujioka voices Zangan,[15] Tifa's martial arts instructor. After Tifa is injured by Sephiroth at the Mako
reactor, Zangan retrieves her and carries her to safety.
Keiji Fujiwara voices Reno and Taiten Kusunoki voices Rude.[15] They are both members of the Turks under
Tseng's command and operate as partners.
Nachi Nozawa voices Professor Hojo,[15] the head of Shinra's science department. Hojo takes Zack and Cloud for
experimentation, instantly dismissing Tseng's discontent about using them.

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''

188

Daisuke Namikawa voices Turk (Rod), Ginpei Sat voices Turk (Two Guns), Hch tsuka voices Turk (Martial
Arts), Mayuko Aoki voices Turk (Shotgun), and Megumi Toyoguchi voices Turk (Gun),[15] all of which are
Turks under Tseng's command that originally appeared in Before Crisis.
Other roles include Keiji Okuda, Atsushi Imaruoka, Ryji Mizuno, and Daisuke Kirii as members of Shinra's
military units who attempt to apprehend Cloud and Zack. Yhei Tadano and Katsuhisa Hki voice villagers at
Nibelheim.[15]

Production and release


Last Order: Final Fantasy VII was produced and scripted by Madhouse[16]
and directed by Morio Asaka.[19] The decision to create Last Order spawned
from the positive reaction towards a popular promotional commercial created
by Madhouse for Before Crisis. Madhouse was chosen to produce it partly
because of the previous success with the commercial and that the president of
the company was very enthusiastic about the project.[16] However, the main
reason for choosing Madhouse was that the company "understood the
significance" of making a Final Fantasy VII animation, as it was considered a
large responsibility to animate "the most popular game in the FF [Final
Fantasy] series".[16] Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer for the Final
Fantasy VII series and co-director of Advent Children,[20] [21] [22] acted as the
supervising director.[16] He had the ability to reject or accept concept
drawings for Last Order; as a result, Nomura had a large quantity of images
redrawn, to the extent where "the entire production was in jeopardy".[16]

Last Order was released on the


collector's set of Final Fantasy VII
[18]
Advent Children in North America

Production lasted six months and the production crew considered the most
challenging part of creating the OVA to be making "Nomura's drawings move
on screen".[16] Due to Last Order being hand-drawn, the crew also faced difficulties with the size and thickness, as
well as simplification, of lines. Another issue was the overall feel of each scene; original drawings were done by
several artists, which left scenes with different feelings.[16] However, Akio Ofuji, a producer of Last Order,[16] [15]
explained that they "wanted to make sure that the final product was of very high quality, so [they] worked with the
production company day and night, straight through the deadline".[16] Nomura and Ofuji agreed that many scenes
showing important events and feelings in Final Fantasy VII had been fragmented and disjointed, and so they had
decided that those scenes would be the subject of Last Order, giving the audience of Advent Children (the film Last
Order was released with) a "more enjoyable understanding".[16] They also used the film as an opportunity to portray
Zack "properly" as a "handsome, light-hearted man [who] was in everyone's memory".[16]
Last Order was originally released with the "Ultimate Edition" of the Advent Children movie, Advent Pieces:
Limited, in Japan by Square Enix on September 14, 2005.[23] The OVA was included on the North American
collector's set, referred to as Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Limited Edition Collector's Set, released by Sony
Pictures Home Entertainment on February 20, 2007.[18] [24] The North America release did not come with an English
dub and the OVA is subtitled.[15]
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a series of prequels and sequels to the original Final Fantasy VII game. Last
Order is not part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and is considered an outside work.[25] However, it has
been continued to be associated with the Final Fantasy VII series since its creation,[26] and is mentioned alongside
official installments in official guidebooks and Ultimanias.[16] [25] Compilation titles include the film Advent
Children and games Before Crisis (mobile phone), Dirge of Cerberus (PS2), and Crisis Core (PSP). Like Last
Order, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII (a mobile phone spin-off of Dirge of Cerberus) is an
outside work associated with the Compilation.[25]

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''

Music
Last Order's score was composed, arranged, and produced by Takeharu Ishimoto, including the ending theme
entitled Last Order.[15] The music was combined with the music from Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII on a single
soundtrack and released in Japan on December 19, 2007.[27] The soundtrack was later made available in North
America by Square Enix.[28] Tracks 13 through 27 on the disc contain the score from Last Order, while tracks 1
through 12 contain music from Before Crisis.[27] Select tracks on the soundtrack of Crisis Core contain music and
remixes of music from the OVA.[29]

Response and cultural impact


Only 77,777 copies of Advent Pieces: Limited were produced in Japan, and they are no longer available, having been
sold out months in advance to its release.[30] They retailed for 29,500 Japanese yen, or 300 United States dollars,
each[30] while the North American collector's edition retailed for $49.95.[31]
Overall, Last Order garned mixed feedback. Chris Carle of IGN noted that Last Order was "the true meat of the new
extras [in the Advent Children collector's set] a traditionally animated chapter for FF [Final Fantasy] fans that
centers on the story of Zack and Cloud" and that "it adds even more dimension to the story [of Final Fantasy
VII]".[18] However, Hideki Imaizumi, the producer of Crisis Core, stated that they had received "considerable
negative feedback" from fans, who were displeased with changes made to the Nibelheim event in Last Order. Due to
this, the scene was redone for Crisis Core, and the production crew was careful to avoid making the same
decisions.[1]
OverClocked ReMix's four disc tribute album, Voices of the Lifestream, has a disc entitled Order. The name was
chosen to coincide with Last Order, and the music is themed after it.[32]

External links

Advent Children Official Website (English) [45]


Advent Children Official Website (Japanese) [46]
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII [33] at the Internet Movie Database
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII [34] (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

References
[1] McCarthy, Dave (April 28, 2008). "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII UK Interview" (http:/ / psp. ign. com/ articles/ 869/ 869858p1. html). IGN.
. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
[2] Bugenhagen: "Lifestream... In other words, a path of energy of the souls roaming the Planet. 'Spirit Energy' is a word that you should never
forget."(Final Fantasy VII)
[3] Cloud: "If the Spirit energy is lost, our Planet is destroyed..."(Final Fantasy VII)
[4] Ifalna: "That's when the one who injured the Planet... or the 'crisis from the sky', as we call him, came. He first approached as a friend,
deceived them, and finally...... gave them the virus. The Cetra were attacked by the virus and went mad... transforming into monsters. Then,
just as he had at the Knowlespole. He approached other Cetra clans...... infecting them with... the virus..."(Final Fantasy VII)
[5] Bugenhagen: "Ho Ho Hoooo. Spirit energy is efficient BECAUSE it exists within nature. When Spirit energy is forcefully extracted, and
manufactured, it can't accomplish its true purpose."/Cloud: "You're talking about Mako energy, right?"/Bugenhagen: "Every day Mako
reactors suck up Spirit energy, diminishing it. Spirit energy gets compressed in the reactors and processed into Mako energy. All living things
are being used up and thrown away. In other words, Mako energy will only destroy the Planet..."(Final Fantasy VII)
[6] Marlene: "The Shinra Electric Power Company discovered a way to use the Lifestream as an energy source."(Advent Children)
[7] Sephiroth: "Normal members of SOLDIER are humans that have been showered with Mako. You're different from the others, but still
human."(Final Fantasy VII)
[8] Sephiroth: "Our mission is to investigate an old Mako reactor. There have been reports of it malfunctioning, and producing brutal creatures.
First, we will dispose of those creatures. Then, we'll locate the problem and neutralize it."/Cloud: "Brutal creatures... Where?" /Sephiroth:
"The Mako Reactor at Nibelheim."(Final Fantasy VII)
[9] Marlene: "Anyway, there was one SOLDIER named Sephiroth, who was better than the rest."(Advent Children)

189

''Final Fantasy VII: Last Order''


[10] Sephiroth: "...an organism that was apparently dead, was found in a 2000 year old geological stratum. Professor Gast named that organism,
Jenova...X Year, X Month, X Day. Jenova confirmed to be an Ancient...X Year, X Month, X Day. Jenova Project approved. The use of Mako
Reactor 1 approved for use..."(Final Fantasy VII)
[11] Sephiroth: "You ignorant traitor. I'll tell you. This Planet originally belonged to the Cetra. Cetra was a itinerant race. They would migrate
in, settle the Planet, then move on...At the end of their harsh, hard journey, they would find the Promised Land and supreme happiness. But,
those that disliked the journey appeared. Those who stopped their migrations built shelters and elected to lead an easier life. They took that
which the Cetra and the planet had made without giving back one whit in return! Those are your ancestors."/Cloud: "Sephiroth..." /Sephiroth:
"Long ago, disaster struck this planet. Your ancestors escaped... They survived because they hid. The Planet was saved by sacrificing the
Cetra. After that, your ancestors continued to increase. Now all that's left of the Cetra is in these reports./Cloud: "What does that have to do
with you?" / Sephiroth: "Don't you get it? An Ancient named Jenova was found in the geological stratum of 2000 years ago. The Jenova
Project. The Jenova Project wanted to produce people with the powers of the Ancients...... no, the Cetra....I am the one that was
produced."(Final Fantasy VII)
[12] Square Enix. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation Portable. (April 1, 2010)
[13] Square Enix. Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. (April 1, 2010)
[14] Doctor: "I'll say it again, he's got Mako poisoning. I've never seen a case this bad...An immense amount of Mako-drenched knowledge was
put into his brain all at once......"(Final Fantasy VII)
[15] Last Order: Final Fantasy VII (http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0489134/ ). [DVD]. Square Enix. April 10, 2009. . Retrieved March 10,
2009.
[16] SoftBank, ed (2006) (in Japanese/English). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files. Square Enix. pp.9495.
ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[17] SoftBank, ed (2006) (in Japanese/English). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files. Square Enix. p.59. ISBN4-7973-3498-3.
[18] Carle, Chris (February 16, 2007). "Double Dip Digest: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set)" (http:/ / dvd.
ign. com/ articles/ 765/ 765583p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved August 5, 2008.
[19] "Otakon Hosts Nana, Chobits Director Morio Asaka" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2007-06-13/
otakon-hosts-nana-chobits-director-morio-asaka). Anime News Network. June 13, 2007. . Retrieved August 24, 2008.
[20] McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "The History of Final Fantasy VII (page 8)" (http:/ / retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p8. html). IGN.
. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
[21] Gantayat, Anoop (May 4, 2005). "Tetsuya Nomura on Everything: Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy VII and more." (http:/ / ps2. ign. com/
articles/ 610/ 610042p1. html). IGN. . Retrieved February 28, 2010.
[22] McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "The History of Final Fantasy VII (page 1)" (http:/ / retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p1. html). IGN.
. Retrieved Ferbuary 28, 2010.
[23] "Advent Children Delayed" (http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ news/ 2005-08-25/ advent-children-delayed). Anime News Network.
August 25, 2005. . Retrieved July 3, 2008.
[24] "Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) (2005)" (http:/ / www. amazon. com/
Final-Fantasy-VII-Children-Collectors/ dp/ B000K4WLXA/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8& s=dvd& qid=1239382346& sr=8-1). Amazon.com. .
Retrieved March 4, 2009.
[25] Studio BentStuff, ed (2008) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 2: Scenario. Square Enix. p.226.
ISBN978-4-7575-2251-0.
[26] McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "The History of Final Fantasy VII (page 9)" (http:/ / retro. ign. com/ articles/ 870/ 870770p9. html). IGN.
. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
[27] "Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- & Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- OST" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff7bc/ index. html).
RPGFan. . Retrieved March 18, 2008.
[28] "Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- & Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- Original Soundtrack" (http:/ / store. na. square-enix. com/ store/
sqenixus/ en_US/ pd/ productID. 128768400). Square Enix. . Retrieved December 4th, 2009.
[29] "Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- OST" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff7cc/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved August 24, 2008.
[30] Crocker, Janet; Smith, Lesley; Henderson, Tim; Arnold, Adam. "The Legacy of Final Fantasy VII" (http:/ / www. animefringe. com/
magazine/ 2005/ 12/ feature/ 01-3. php). AnimeFringe. . Retrieved August 5, 2008.
[31] "Sony Double Dips With 'FF VII: Advent Children'" (http:/ / www. icv2. com/ articles/ news/ 9784. html). ICv2. December 19, 2006. .
Retrieved August 5, 2008.
[32] "Tracks: Voices of the Lifesteam" (http:/ / ff7. ocremix. org/ tracks/ ). OverClocked ReMix. . Retrieved March 10, 2009.
[33] http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0489134/
[34] http:/ / www. animenewsnetwork. com/ encyclopedia/ anime. php?id=5561

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''Final Fantasy VIII''

191

''Final Fantasy VIII''


Final Fantasy VIII

North American box art showing the characters Squall, Rinoa, and Seifer, with Edea in the background
Developer(s)

Square

Publisher(s)

JP

Square
Square Electronic Arts
PAL
Square Europe (PlayStation)
EU
Eidos Interactive (Windows)
NA

Designer(s)

Yoshinori Kitase

Artist(s)

Tetsuya Nomura
Yusuke Naora

Writer(s)

Kazushige Nojima

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, PocketStation, PlayStation Network

Release date(s)

PlayStation
JP
February 11, 1999
NA
September 9, 1999
PAL
October 27, 1999
Windows
NA
January 25, 2000
EU
February 18, 2000
JP
March 23, 2000
PlayStation Network
JP
September 24, 2009
NA
December 17, 2009
[1]
EU
February 4, 2010

Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player

Rating(s)

CERO: B
ELSPA: 11+
ESRB: T
OFLC: M15+
PEGI: 16

Media

4 CD-ROMs (PlayStation)
5 CD-ROMs (Windows)

''Final Fantasy VIII''

192

System
requirements

Windows
266 MHz Intel Pentium II CPU, 64 MB RAM, video card with 4 MB RAM, 8X CD-ROM drive, 300MB free
hard disk space, DirectX 6.1, Windows 95 operating system or above

Input methods

Gamepad, keyboard, mouse

Final Fantasy VIII (VIIIFainaru Fantaj Eito) is a console role-playing game released
for the PlayStation in 1999 and for Windows-based personal computers in 2000. It was developed and published by
Square (now Square Enix) as the Final Fantasy series' eighth title, removing magic point-based spell-casting and the
first title to consistently use realistically proportioned characters.
The game's story focuses on a group of young mercenaries who are drawn into an international conflict, and seek to
protect the world from a sorceress manipulating the war for her own purposes. The main protagonist is Squall
Leonhart, a 17-year-old loner and student at the military academy Balamb Garden, who is training to become a
"SeeD", a mercenary paid by the academy.
The development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997, during the English localization process of Final Fantasy VII.
The music was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, series regular, and in a series first, the theme music is a vocal piece,
"Eyes on Me", performed by Faye Wong. The game was positively received by critics and was a commercial
success. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Thirteen weeks
after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final
Fantasy title of all time. The game has shipped 8.15million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2003.[2]
The game became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in Japan on September 24, 2009, in the
US on December 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 4, 2010.

Gameplay
Like any Final Fantasy before it, Final Fantasy VIII consists of three main modes of play: the world map, the field
map, and the battle screen. The world map is a 3D display in which the player may navigate freely across a
small-scale rendering of the game world. Characters travel across the world map in a variety of ways, including by
foot, car, Chocobo, train, and airship. The field map consists of controllable 3D characters overlaid on one or more
2D pre-rendered backgrounds, which represent environmental locations such as towns or forests. The battle screen is
a 3D model of a location such as a street or room, where turn-based fights between playable characters and
CPU-controlled enemies take place. The interface is menu-driven, as in previous titles, but with the typical weapon
and armor systems removed and new features present, such as the Junction system. Also featured is a collectible
card-based minigame called "Triple Triad."[3]

Junction system

A battle against X-ATM092, an early boss; Zell


will summon Shiva when the blue bar that has
replaced his ATB is drained.

For Final Fantasy VIII, Hiroyuki Ito designed a battle system based on
summon-able monsters, called "Guardian Forces", abbreviated in-game
as "GF." Assigning ("junctioning") a GF onto a character allows the
player to use battle commands beyond Attack with the main weapon,
such as Magic, GF (to summon the junctioned GF and have it perform
an action), and Item. While previous Final Fantasy titles provided each
character with a limited pool of magic points that were consumed by
each spell, in Final Fantasy VIII, spells are acquired ("drawn") either
from enemies in battle, Draw Points distributed throughout the game's
environments, or by refining items and cards. Spells are then stocked

''Final Fantasy VIII''


on characters as quantified inventory (up to 100 per spell and limited to 32 distinct spells per character) and are
consumed one by one when used. Characters can also junction these spells onto their statisticssuch as Strength,
Vitality, and Luckfor various bonuses, provided the character has junctioned a Guardian Force.[4] The junction
system's flexibility affords the player a wide range of customization options.
The character designer of the Guardian Forces, Tetsuya Nomura, felt they should be unique beings, without clothes
or other human-like concepts. This was problematic, as Nomura did not want them to "become the actual monsters",
so he took great care in their design. Leviathan was the first GF, created as a test and included in a game demo. After
it received a positive reaction from players, Nomura decided to create the remaining sequences in a similar
fashion.[5] The use of summoned creatures for anything other than a single devastating attack during battle was a
significant departure for the Final Fantasy series. The junction system also acts as a substitute for armor and
accessories used in previous titles to enhance the characters' statistics. Moreover, where earlier titles required
weapons to be equipped and tailored to the character, each major character in Final Fantasy VIII features a unique
weapon which can be upgraded, affecting its appearance, power, and Limit Break.[6]

Limit Breaks
Characters in Final Fantasy VIII have unique special attacks called "Limit Breaks", as in Final Fantasy VII. While
the Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy VII are triggered after sufficient damage has been received, in Final Fantasy VIII,
the availability of Limit Breaks depends on a character's current healtha Limit Break is more likely to be available
to a character with low health. The magic spell Aura increases the probability of Limit Breaks appearing, regardless
of a character's remaining hit points, while various status afflictions can prevent Limit Breaks. They are similar to
the Desperation Attacks of Final Fantasy VI, as they are randomly triggered when a character's health falls below a
certain level and his or her Hit Points are in yellow instead of white.[7]
Final Fantasy VIII also introduced interactive elements to complement Limit Break animations. These interactive
sequences, which vary between character, weapon, and Limit Break range from randomly selected magic spells to
precisely timed button inputs. Successfully completing an interactive sequence increases the resulting attack's
potency.[8]

Experience levels
Final Fantasy VIII used an experience point and level system quite
different from previous games in the series. While EXP is awarded
after battling and defeating enemies, who are predominantly
encountered randomly, and contribute to the continued strengthening
and level-gaining of the characters, here the similarity ends. While
levels in previous games required ever-increasing amounts of EXP to
surmount (e.g., getting to level 2 might require 200 experience points,
level 3 might require 400, etc), characters in Final Fantasy VIII gain a
level
after accumulating 1000 points. Enemies around the world,
An example of navigation on the field map
furthermore, remain on equal levels with the characters, as opposed to
most RPGs, where enemies from previously-visited locations in the game are often weak and easily defeated.
Higher-level enemies are capable of inflicting and withstanding significantly more damage, may have additional
special attacks, and carry additional magic spells, allowing for Junctioning bonuses which themselves far exceed the
bonuses imparted by level-gain.
In addition to gaining levels, Guardian Forces earn Ability Points (AP) after battles, which are automatically
allocated to special abilities that Guardian Forces can learn. When a Guardian Force has learned an ability, that
ability becomes available for any character or the character party, as is the case with field abilities. These abilities
allow characters to attack more efficiently, refine magic spells from items, receive stat bonuses upon leveling up,

193

''Final Fantasy VIII''


access shops remotely and use additional battle commands.[6] [9]

Plot
Setting
Most of Final Fantasy VIII is set on an unnamed fantasy world with one moon. The planet comprises five major
landmasses, with Esthar, the largest, covering most of the eastern portion of the map.[10] Galbadia, the second-largest
continent, lies to the west,[10] and contains many of the game's locations. The northernmost landmass is Trabia, an
Arctic region. Positioned roughly in the middle of the world map lies Balamb, the smallest continent,[10] the island
on which the game begins. The remaining landmass is small and mostly desolate, riddled with rough, rocky terrain
caused by the impact of a "Lunar Cry", an event where monsters from the moon fall to the planet.[11] [12] The
southernmost landmass includes an archipelago of broken sections of land that have drifted apart. Islands and marine
structures flesh out the rest of the game world, and a handful of off-world locations round out the game's playable
areas.
As part of a theme desired by director Yoshinori Kitase to give the game a foreign atmosphere, various designs were
given to its locations using the style of internationally familiar places, while also maintaining a fantasy atmosphere.
Inspiration ranged from ancient Egyptian and Greek architecture, to the city of Paris, France, to an idealized
futuristic European society. Flags were also given to some factions, their designs based on the group's history and
culture.[5] In contrast, in an interview with the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Kitase stated that Triple Triad was
added to the game because cards were a popular hobby in Japan.[13]
In an interview with Famitsu, art director Yusuke Naora described that the game was generally designed to be a
"bright, fresh Final Fantasy."[14] The designers felt a need to invert the atmosphere of previous games in the series,
which had feelings of "light emerging from darkness".[14] This decision was easy for the developers to make,
because most of them had worked on Final Fantasy VII and felt that a new direction was acceptable.[13] The world
designs were also developed with the knowledge that most of the staff were now used to computer graphics, which
was not the case with Final Fantasy VII.[14] The developers also noted that with Final Fantasy VIII, they attempted
to "mix future, real life and fantasy."[14]

Characters
The six main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII are Squall Leonhart, a loner who keeps his focus on his duty
to avoid vulnerability; Rinoa Heartilly, an outspoken and passionate young woman who follows her heart in all
situations; Quistis Trepe, an instructor with a serious, patient attitude; Zell Dincht, a martial artist with a passion for
hot dogs; Selphie Tilmitt, a cheerful girl who loves trains and pilots the airship Ragnarok; and Irvine Kinneas, a
marksman and consummate ladies' man.[3] Temporarily playable characters include Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill, and
Ward Zabac, who appear in "flashback" sequences, and antagonists Seifer Almasy and Edea Kramer.
During the game's pre-production, character designer Tetsuya Nomura suggested the game be given a "school days"
feel. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima already had a story in mind in which the main characters were the same age;
their ideas meshed, taking form as the "Garden" military academies. Nojima planned that the two playable parties
featured in the game (Squall's present day group and Laguna's group from the past) would be highly contrasted with
one another. This idea was conveyed through the age and experience of Laguna's group, versus the youth and navet
of Squall's group.[5]
To maintain a foreign atmosphere, the characters were designed to have predominantly European appearances. The
first Final Fantasy VIII character designed was Squall. Desiring to add a unique angle to Squall's appearance and
emphasize his role as the central character, Nomura gave him a scar across his brow and the bridge of his nose. As
there was not yet a detailed history conceived for the character, Nomura left the explanation for Squall's scar to
Nojima. Squall was given a gunblade, a fictional revolversword hybrid that functions primarily as a sword, with an

194

''Final Fantasy VIII''


added damaging vibration feature activated by use of its gun mechanism,[15] similar to a vibroblade.[16] His character
design was complemented by a fur lining along the collar of his jacket, incorporated by Nomura as a challenge for
the game's full motion video designers.[5]
With Final Fantasy VIII came the inclusion of some designs Nomura had previously drawn, but had not yet used in a
Final Fantasy game. These were the designs of Edea, Fujin and Raijin. The latter two had originally been designed
for use in Final Fantasy VII, but with the inclusion of the Turks characters in that game, it was felt that Fujin and
Raijin were unnecessary. Nomura had designed Edea before the development of Final Fantasy VII, based on the
style of Yoshitaka Amano.[5]

Story
Final Fantasy VIII begins as Squall duels with Seifer in a training session outside the Balamb Garden military
academy. Meanwhile, Galbadia invades the Dollet Dukedom, forcing Dollet to hire assistance from the Balamb
Garden branch of "SeeD", Garden's elite mercenary force. SeeD uses the mission as a final examination for its
cadets;[17] with the help of his instructor, Quistis, Squall passes its prerequisite and is grouped with Seifer and Zell.
Seifer disobeys orders and abandons his team, forcing Selphie to accompany Squall and Zell for the duration of the
mission. After the mission, SeeD halts the Galbadian advance; Squall, Zell, and Selphie graduate to SeeD status,
while Seifer is disciplined for his disobedience.[18] During the graduation party, Squall meets Rinoa, whose
personality is apparently the opposite of his.[19] When assigned with Zell and Selphie to help Rinoa's resistance
faction in Galbadian-occupied Timber, Squall learns that a sorceress named Edea is behind Galbadia's recent
hostilities. Under orders from Balamb and Galbadia Gardens, Squall and his comrades now joined by Rinoa,
Quistis, and Irvine attempt to assassinate Edea.[20] However, the sorceress thwarts the attempt, and the party is
detained. During the attempt, Squall's party also learns that Seifer has left Garden to become Edea's
second-in-command.[21]
After the team escapes, Edea launches a missile attack on Trabia Garden. Fearing that Balamb Garden is the next
target of Edea's revenge, the team splits into two units. Squall's group returns to Balamb to warn of the attack, but
must first stop an internal Garden conflict incited by NORG, SeeD's financier.[22] Selphie's team travels to the
Missile Base to stop the launch, but fails. Squall inadvertently turns Balamb Garden into a mobile fortress, allowing
the facility to evade the missiles; however, unable to control the Garden, it collides with the docks at Fishermans'
Horizon.[23] While local technicians repair the Garden, the Galbadian Army invade in search of a girl named
Ellone,[24] who had been staying at Balamb Garden until recently. Ellone eventually escapes to Esthar, the world's
technological superpower. During Squall's meeting with Ellone, he learns that she had been "sending" him and his
allies into flashbacks set 17 years in the past in a vain effort to alter the present.[25] The scenes center on Laguna and
his two friends, Kiros and Ward. During the flashbacks, Laguna changes from a Galbadian soldier to the defender of
a country village, and then moves from being the leader of a resistance movement against Sorceress Adel to the
President of Esthar.[26]
Meanwhile, Squall confronts his personal anxieties fueled by ongoing developments,[27] such as Headmaster Cid
appointing him as SeeD's new leader,[28] and his increasing attraction to Rinoa. While investigating Trabia Garden's
wreckage, Squall and his comrades learn that they, along with Seifer and Ellone, were all raised (with the exception
of Rinoa) in an orphanage run by Edea; they later developed amnesia due to their use of Guardian Forces.[29] It is
also revealed that Cid and Edea had established Garden and SeeD primarily to defeat corrupt sorceresses.[30] After
these revelations, the forces of Balamb Garden and the Galbadian Army, led by Squall and Seifer respectively,
engage in battle above the orphanage. After Balamb defeats Galbadia, the player learns that Edea is merely an
unwilling tool for "Ultimecia",[31] a powerful sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time into a single
moment; it is for this reason she has sought Ellone.[32] Edea loses a decisive battle against the SeeD, forcing
Ultimecia to transfer her powers to Rinoa; Edea survives, but Rinoa enters a coma. Squall becomes obsessed with
waking her and goes to Esthar to find Ellone, as he believes that she can help save Rinoa.[33]

195

''Final Fantasy VIII''


While Rinoa is being treated on Esthar's space station, Ultimecia uses her to free Sorceress Adel from her orbital
prison. Ultimecia then orders Seifer to activate the Lunatic Pandora facility, inciting a rain of creatures from the
moon that sends Adel's containment device to the planet.[34] [35] Having selected Adel as her next host, Ultimecia
abandons Rinoa in outer space. Squall rescues her, and they return to the planet on a derelict starship. Upon their
landing, delegates from Esthar isolate Rinoa for fear of her sorceress abilities,[36] forcing Squall to rescue her.
President Laguna apologizes for the incident and announces Dr. Odine's plan to let Ultimecia possess Rinoa, have
Ellone send Rinoa (and thus Ultimecia as well) to the past and then retrieve only Rinoa back to the present, enabling
Ultimecia to achieve Time Compression, as it would allow Squall's group to confront Ultimecia in her time.[37] To
do this, Squall's team infiltrates Lunatic Pandora, defeats Seifer and Adel, and has Rinoa inherit Adel's sorceress
powers.[38] Time Compression is thus initiated; Squall and his allies travel to Ultimecia's era and defeat her.
With Ultimecia defeated, the universe begins returning to normal; however, Squall is nearly lost in the flow of time
as he witnesses the origins of the game's story. When a dying Ultimecia travels back in time to pass her powers to
Edea, Squall informs Edea of the concepts of Garden and SeeD that she will create.[39] Afterward, he is able to
properly recollect his memories and was able to regain consciousness and thus return to the present. The ending
cinema depicts the events after Squall's return to the present. Seifer is once again reunited with Raijin and Fujin;
Laguna visits Raine's grave (and recollects his proposal to her) along with Ellone, Ward, and Kiros; and a celebration
takes place in the Garden, with Squall and Rinoa kissing one another under the moonlight.

Development
Development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997 during the English language translation of Final Fantasy VII.[14]
As with much of the production of Final Fantasy VII, series creator and veteran Hironobu Sakaguchi served as the
executive producer, working primarily on the development of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and leaving
direction of Final Fantasy VIII to Yoshinori Kitase.[40] Shinji Hashimoto was assigned to be the producer in
Sakaguchi's place. From the beginning, Kitase knew he wanted a thematic combination of fantasy and realism. To
this end, he aimed to include a cast of characters who appeared to be ordinary people. Character designer and battle
visual director Tetsuya Nomura and art director Yusuke Naora strove to achieve this impression through the
inclusion of realistically proportioned charactersa departure from the super deformed designs used in the previous
title. Additionally, Naora attempted to enhance the realism of the world through predominantly bright lighting effects
with shadows distributed as appropriate. Other measures taken included implementing rental cars for travel
in-game,[14] and the use of motion capture technology to give the game's characters lifelike movements in the game's
full motion video sequences.[13]
Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima has expressed that the dynamic of players' relationships with the protagonist is
important to him. Both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII feature reserved, quiet protagonists in the form of
Cloud Strife and Squall. With Final Fantasy VIII, however, Nojima worked to give players actual insight into what
the character was thinking; a direct contrast with his handling of Final Fantasy VII, which encouraged the player to
speculate.[41] This approach to Final Fantasy VIII is reflected by the frequent use of dialogue that takes place solely
within Squall's mind, allowing the player to read his thoughts and understand what he is thinking or feeling even
when he keeps those thoughts to himself.
In 1999, the ballroom dance scene of Final Fantasy VIII was featured as a technical demo for the PlayStation 2.[42]
In 2000, a PC version was released for Windows. This port featured smoother graphics, enhanced audio, and the
inclusion of Chocobo World, a minigame starring Boko, a Chocobo featured in one of the side-quests in Final
Fantasy VIII.[43] For most North American and European players, the PC version of the game was the only means of
playing Chocobo World, as the game was originally designed to be played via the PocketStation, a handheld console
never released outside Japan.[43] [44] [45] In 2009, Final Fantasy VIII was added to the PlayStation Store on the
PlayStation Network.[46]

196

''Final Fantasy VIII''

Music
Regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu wrote the soundtrack for Final Fantasy VIII. He tried to base the songs off
of the emotional content of when they would be played, asserting that expressing the emotions he desires is more
important than improving skills: "I think it will be a shame if we won't be able to cry as we play our own game". He
could not determine a character's emotions solely based on the plot, instead using images of appearance and
attire"It's important to know when their emotions are at their height, but it usually takes until a month before
release for them to finish the ending dialog...!"[47] In response to a question by IGN music stating that the music of
Final Fantasy VIII was very dark and perhaps influenced by the plot of the game, Uematsu stated "the atmosphere of
music varies depending on story line, of course, but it's also my intention to put various types of music into one
game".[48] The absence of character themes found in the previous two games was due to Uematsu finding those of
Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII ineffective. Uematsu considers it reasonable to have character themes if
each character has a "highlight" in the game, but he found Final Fantasy VIII only focused on Squall Leonhart and
Rinoa Heartilly as a couple, resulting in the "Eyes on Me" theme.[48]
The original soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan on March 10, 1999, and by
Square EA in North America as Final Fantasy VIII Music Collection in January 2000.[49] It was republished
worldwide by Square Enix on May 10, 2004.[50] An album of orchestral arrangements of selected tracks from the
game was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII on November 19, 1999 by
DigiCube, and subsequently published on July 22, 2004 by Square Enix. The pieces were arranged and conducted by
Shiro Hamaguchi for a live orchestra.[51] A collection of piano arrangements performed by Shinko Ogata was
released under the title Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VIII by DigiCube on January 21, 2000 and subsequently
re-published by Square Enix on July 22, 2004.[52]
The score is best known for two songs: "Liberi Fatali", a Latin choral piece that is played during the introduction to
the game, and "Eyes On Me", a pop song serving as the game's theme, performed by Chinese singer Faye Wong.
Near the end of the production of Final Fantasy VII, the developers suggested to use a singer, but abandoned the
idea due to a lack of reasoning based on the game's theme and storyline.[53] However, Nobuo Uematsu thought a
ballad would closely relate to the theme and characters of Final Fantasy VIII. This resulted in the game's developers
sharing "countless" artists, eventually deciding on Wong. Uematsu claims "her voice and mood seem to match my
image of the song exactly", and that her ethnicity "fits the international image of Final Fantasy". After negotiations
were made, "Eyes on Me" was recorded in Hong Kong with an orchestra.[47] The song was released as a CD single
in Japan and sold over 400,000 copies,[54] setting the record for highest-selling video game music disc ever released
in that country at the time. "Liberi Fatali" was played during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens during the
women's synchronized swimming event.[55]
The music of Final Fantasy VIII has appeared in various official Final Fantasy concerts. These include 2002's
20020220 Music from FINAL FANTASY, in which the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra played "Liberi Fatali", "Don't
Be Afraid", "Love Grows", and "The Man with the Machine Gun", the 2004 Tour de Japon series, which featured
"The Oath", the Dear Friends series that began that same year and included "Liberi Fatali" and "Love Grows", and
the 2005 More Friends concert, which included "Maybe I'm a Lion".[56] [57] [58] [59] More recent concerts include the
Voices Music from Final Fantasy 2006 concert showcasing "Liberi Fatali", "Fisherman's Horizon", and "Eyes on
Me" and the international Distant Worlds concert tour that continues to date, which includes "Liberi Fatali",
"Fisherman's Horizon", "Man with the Machine Gun", and "Love Grows".[60] [61] Several of these concerts have
produced live albums as well.[62] Music from the game has also been played in non Final Fantasy-specific concerts
such as the Play! A Video Game Symphony world tour from 2006 onwards, for which Nobuo Uematsu composed the
opening fanfare that accompanies each performance.[63]

197

''Final Fantasy VIII''

198

Reception and legacy


Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score

GameRankings

[64]
89.57% (PS)
[65]
79.5% (PC)
[66]

Metacritic

90 out of 100

Review scores
Publication

Score
[67]

Edge

9 out of 10

Electronic Gaming Monthly

95 out of 100

[68]

Game Informer

9.5 out of 10

GameSpot

[69]
9.5 out of 10 (PS)
[70]
6.7 out of 10 (PC)

GameSpy

90 out of 100 (PC)

[71]

[72]
9 out of 10 (PS)
[73]
7.4 out of 10 (PC)

IGN

[74]

Maximum PC

9 out of 10

Computer Gaming World

2 out of 5 (PC)

[75]

Awards
Entity

Award
[76]

IGN

BestRPGofE31999

ComputerGamingWorld

20thBestGameof2000

IGN

7thBestPlayStationGame

[77]
[78]

Final Fantasy VIII received positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful. Within two days of its
North American release on September 9, 1999, Final Fantasy VIII became the top-selling video game in the United
States, a position it held for more than three weeks.[79] It grossed a total of more than $50million in the 13 weeks to
follow,[80] [81] making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title.[82] In Japan, it sold roughly 2.5million units within
the first four days of release.[83] More than 6million units were sold in total by the end of 1999.[84] As of March 31,
2003, the game had shipped 8.15million copies worldwide: 3.7million in Japan and 4.45million abroad.[2] The
opening cut scene in Final Fantasy VIII was ranked second on Game Informer's list of "Top 10 Video Game
Openings",[85] and first by IGN.[78] IGN additionally named the game's ending the third best of any game for the
PlayStation,[78] while UGO.com named it one of the series' best and most memorable moments.[86] Final Fantasy
VIII was voted by readers of Japanese magazine Famitsu as the 22nd best game of all time in 2006,[87] and named
one of the 20 essential Japanese role-playing games by Gamasutra, stating "[t]here's a lot that Final Fantasy VIII
does wrong, but there's even more that it does right".[88]

''Final Fantasy VIII''


Reviews of the gameplay have been mixed. IGN felt that it was the weakest aspect of the game, citing its Guardian
Force attack sequences as "incredibly cinematic" but tedious,[72] sentiments echoed by Electronic Gaming
Monthly.[68] They also regarded the battle system as intensely complicated, yet refreshingly innovative and
something that "RPG fanatics love to obsess over".[72] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine claims that the game's
Junction system is a major flaw due to repetitive stocking of spells,[89] while the UK-based video game magazine
Edge commented that the battle system consists of a "bewildering" number of intricate options and techniques that
"most gamers will [...] relish".[67] GameSpot praised the game's battle system, commenting that the "possibilities for
customization [with the Junction system] are immense".[69]
In general, Final Fantasy VIII has been compared favorably to its predecessors. Though questioning the game's lack
of voice overs for its characters, Game Revolution praised its storyline and ending.[90] For their part, Edge labeled
Final Fantasy VIII "a far more accomplished game than FFVII". On the other hand, the magazine also felt that the
game's length left its story unable to "offer consistently strong dialogue and sub-plots". Additionally, it found some
of the story's plot twists "not... suitably manipulated and prepared", leaving it "hard not to greet such... moments with
anything but indifference". Overall, Edge considered Final Fantasy VIII to be "yet another outstanding edition of
SquareSoft's far-from-final fantasies", summarizing it as "aesthetically astonishing, rarely less than compelling, and
near peerless in scope and execution".[67] Electronic Gaming Monthly offered similar comments, stating that the
game's character development "is the best of any RPG's" and that "Final Fantasy VIII is the pinnacle of its
genre."[68] UGO.com stated that while no other game in the series had stirred the controversy that Final Fantasy VIII
had and that it was flawed, Final Fantasy VIII was a "daring, groundbreaking game [...] decidedly the most original
console-style RPG ever created".[91] In 2002, IGN named the game the seventh best title for the PlayStation of all
time, placing higher on the list than Final Fantasy VII and described as "[taking] all of its strong points, and
[making] them better".[78]
The PC port received mixed reception. Maximum PC praised the full motion video sequences as "phenomenal",
adding that while the gameplay took getting used to, they enjoyed the teamwork emphasized by it, and that the
game's visual presentation added to its appeal.[74] GameSpy stated that while the game was not a "huge leap
forward" from the previous title, its gameplay and visual appeal worked for its benefit, though that on a computer the
pre-rendered backgrounds appeared blurry and the controls at time difficult with a keyboard.[71] [92] GameSpot
criticized the game for not taking advantage of the capabilities afforded to computers at the time, describing the
PlayStation version as both looking and sounding superior, and recommending that the title was not worth buying
period for the PC.[70] UGO.com also described the port as inferior to its original counterpart, adding that its
presentation was in turn detrimental to the reception the game received as a whole.[91] Computer Gaming World
praised some of the changes made to the game in light of previous titles and the inclusion of the Triple Triad
sub-game, though heavily criticized the port as "lazy" and "disappointing", stating that it only served to emphasize
the original game's flaws.[75] Despite their complaints however, they named the game the twentieth best game of
2000.[77]
In March 1999, one month after the game's release, Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania was published, a book that features
an in-depth guide to Final Fantasy VIII and interviews with the developers.[93] An origami book was released in
November 1999.[94] On September 22, 1999, a CD-ROM titled Final Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories was
released. It contains desktop icons, computer wallpapers, screensavers, and an e-mail application. Additionally, Final
Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories features an edition of the Triple Triad minigame from Final Fantasy VIII, creating
the ability to play against opponents via a local area network.[95]

199

''Final Fantasy VIII''

External links
Official North American website [96]
Official European website [97]

References
[1] http:/ / www. thesixthaxis. com/ 2010/ 01/ 21/ final-fantasy-viii-coming-february-4th/
[2] "Titles of game software with worldwide shipments exceeding 1 million copies" (http:/ / www. square-enix. com/ jp/ ir/ e/ explanatory/
download/ 0404-200402090000-01. pdf#page=27) (PDF). Square Enix. p. 27. . Retrieved 2008-03-01.
[3] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.20, 24, 36.
SLUS-00892GH.
[4] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.28, 3335.
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[5] Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. pp.354355. ISBN4-925075-49-7.
[6] Cassady, David (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. p.4. ISBN1-56686-903-X.
[7] Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. p.64. ISBN4-925075-49-7.
[8] Cassady, David (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. pp.6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 1819.
ISBN1-56686-903-X.
[9] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.2835.
SLUS-00892GH.
[10] "Final Fantasy VIII World" (http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ ff8/ world. html). Square Enix. . Retrieved 2007-03-24.
[11] Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Centra Civilization A civilization in Centra 4000 years ago.
These Centra people emigrated to other continents and founded the Dollet Empire to the west and Esthar to the east. Centra was destroyed 80
years ago by the Lunar Cry."
[12] Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. p.40. ISBN4-925075-49-7.
[13] Staff (February 2001). "Final Fantasy VIII Kitase, Nojima, Naora and Nomura Interview" (http:/ / www. ffshrine. org/ ff8/ ff8_interview.
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[14] Staff (5 June 1998). " VIII [Interview with Final Fantasy VIII]" (http:/ / members. tripod. com/
PlayStationJapan/ ff8iview2. html) (in Japanese). Famitsu Weekly. . Retrieved 2006-07-15.
[15] Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/SquareEnix. p.43. ISBN4-925075-49-7.
[16] Samoon, Evan (July 2008). "Gun Show: A real military expert takes aim at videogame weaponry to reveal the good, the bad, and the just
plain silly". Electronic Gaming Monthly (230): 49.
[17] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Xu: Our client for this mission is the Dollet Dukedom Parliament.
A request for SeeD was made 18 hours ago. Dollet has been under attack by the G-Army since about 72 hours ago."
[18] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Headmaster Cid: Seifer. You will be disciplined for your
irresponsible behavior. You must follow orders exactly during combat. But I'm not entirely without sympathy for you. I don't want you all to
become machines. I want you all to be able to think and act for yourselves."
[19] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.69.
SLUS-00892GH.
[20] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Our next mission... This is no ordinary mission. It's a direct
order from both Balamb and Galbadia Garden. We're to... ...assassinate the sorceress."
[21] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: So, you've become the sorceress' lap dog? / Seifer: I
preferred to be called her knight. This has always been my dream."
[22] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Raijin: I dunno. At first, they were sayin' somethin' 'bout roundin'
up the SeeDs, ya know!? Now, everyone's either sidin' with the Garden Master or the headmaster and fightin' everywhere, ya know!?"
[23] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: I'm terribly sorry. It was inevitable... We lost control of the
Garden."
[24] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Oh, and one more thing... It appeared that the Galbadians
were searching for Ellone. That seemed to be their main objective in FH."
[25] Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Ellone: People say you can't change the past. But even still, if
there's a possibility, it's worth a try, right?"
[26] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Laguna: A fierce debate ensued about who should govern this
country after Adel was gone. I wasn't paying close attention while they made me up to be this hero of the revolution, and I ended up being
president."
[27] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: (I hate having nothing to do. It gets me thinking too much.)
(I hope Selphie and the others are all right. Was it wrong for me to let them go? I wonder how Quistis and Irvine felt about it.) (That
sorceress... Who is she? Why fire missiles at the Garden? Is Seifer ever coming back? I'll get even with him next time.)"

200

''Final Fantasy VIII''


[28] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Cid: This journey will involve many battles. A well qualified
leader is needed for this. Therefore, I am appointing Squall as your new leader. From now on, Squall will be the leader. He will decide our
destination and battle plan."
[29] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: ...Why is it that we forgot? We grew up together as kids...
How's that possible...? / Irvine: How about this? ...The price we pay for using the GF. The GF provides us its power. But the GF makes its
own place inside our brain... / Quistis: So you're saying that the area is where our memories are stored? No...! That's just a rumor the GF
critics are spreading. / Zell: So if we keep relying on the GF, we won't be able to remember a lot of things?"
[30] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Cid: She had been a sorceress since childhood. I married her,
knowing that. We were happy. We worked together, the two of us. We were very happy. One day, Edea began talking about building the
Garden and training SeeD. I became obsessed with that plan. But I was very concerned with SeeD's goal, that one day SeeD might fight
Edea..."
[31] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Edea: ...I have been possessed all this time. I was at the mercy of
Sorceress Ultimecia. Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future. A sorceress many generations ahead of our time. Ultimecia's objective is to find
Ellone."
[32] Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Rinoa: There was a sorceress inside me. Ultimecia, a sorceress
from the future. She's trying to achieve time compression."
[33] Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Let's go, Rinoa. Let's go meet Ellone. Ellone will bring us
together."
[34] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Controller: The lunar world is a world of monsters. Didn't you
learn that in school? As you can see, the monsters are gathering at one point. History's starting to repeat itself. The Lunar Cry is starting."
[35] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Rinoa: But Edea's still... I can't guarantee anything, either, if
Ultimecia possesses me again... You saw me. She controlled me in outer space and made me break Adel's seal."
[36] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Descendant 1: Sorceress Rinoa. Hyne's descendant. / Descendant
2: Come with us. We must seal your power for the sake of the world."
[37] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Doc Odine: There iz only one way to defeat Ultimecia. You must
kill her in ze future. / ... / Ultimecia probably needs to go back further in time to achieve time compression. Only Ellone can take her back
further into ze past. / ... / You will keep moving through ze time compression toward ze future. Once you're out of ze time compression, zat
will be Ultimecia's world. It's all up to you after zat."
[38] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Laguna: Adel will need to pass on her powers before being
defeated. Rinoa, will you be willing to accept them?"
[39] Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Both Garden and SeeD were your ideas. Garden trains
SeeDs. SeeDs are trained to defeat the sorceress."
[40] Staff (5 June 1998). " [Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi]" (http:/ / members. tripod. com/ PlayStationJapan/
Sakaguchi. html) (in Japanese). Famitsu Weekly. . Retrieved 2006-07-15.
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[43] Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp.3840.
SLUS-00892GH.
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[45] Staff (2009-09-23). "FFVIII PocketStation Opens Up Chocobo World" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 068/ 068855p1. html). IGN. IGN
Entertainment. . Retrieved 2006-08-10.
[46] Clements, Ryan. "TGS 09: Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Bundle" (http:/ / ps3. ign. com/ articles/ 102/ 1027979p1. html). IGN. IGN Entertainment.
. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
[47] Maeda, Yoshitake (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack (Limited Edition). DigiCube.
[48] IGN Music. "Twelve Days of Final Fantasy XII: Nobuo Uematsu Interview" (http:/ / music. ign. com/ articles/ 741/ 741101p1. html). IGN. .
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[49] "Final Fantasy VIII Music Collection" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff8music/ index. html). RPGFan. 2000-06-23. . Retrieved
2007-03-27.
[50] Schweitzer, Ben (2006-06-17). "Final Fantasy VIII OST" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff8ost/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved
2009-10-10.
[51] Chandran, Neal (2009-07-27). "Final Fantasy VIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff8flwv/ index.
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[52] Bradley, Ryan; Gann, Patrick (2004-02-25). "Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII" (http:/ / www. rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/ ff8piano/
index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2007-03-27.
[53] Mielke, James (2008-02-15). "A Day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Nobuo Uematsu" (http:/ / www. 1up. com/ do/ feature?pager. offset=0&
cId=3166165). 1UP.com. . Retrieved 2008-08-05.

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[58] Schneider, Peer (2004). "Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy" (http:/ / music. ign. com/ articles/ 513/ 513292p1. html). IGN. .
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[59] Gann, Patrick (2006-04-05). "More Friends music from Final Fantasy ~Los Angeles Live 2005~" (http:/ / rpgfan. com/ soundtracks/
ffmorela/ index. html). RPGFan. . Retrieved 2008-05-20.
[60] "VOICES Music from Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. squareenixmusic. com/ concerts/ voices. shtml). Square Enix Music Online. .
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[61] "Concert Events- Music from Final Fantasy" (http:/ / www. dallassymphony. com/ Ticket/ ProductionDetail. aspx?perf=10709&
kw=distant+ worlds). Dallas Symphony Orchestra. . Retrieved 2009-06-07.
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[63] Daiker, Brandon (2006-05-27), Play! A Video Game Symphony (http:/ / www. n-sider. com/ contentview. php?contentid=352), N-Sider, ,
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[65] "Final Fantasy VIII for PC" (http:/ / www. gamerankings. com/ pc/ 197342-final-fantasy-viii/ index. html). Game Rankings. . Retrieved
2009-10-29.
[66] "Final Fantasy VIII (psx: 1999): Reviews" (http:/ / www. metacritic. com/ games/ platforms/ psx/ finalfantasy8?q=final fantasy VIII).
Metacritic. . Retrieved 2009-10-29.
[67] Staff (September 1999). "Final Fatnasy VII". Edge (Future Publishing): 87.
[68] "Final Fantasy VIII". Electronic Gaming Monthly (123): 188. January 1999.
[69] Vestal, Andrew (1999). "Final Fantasy VIII for PlayStation Review" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy8/ review. html).
GameSpot. . Retrieved 2006-07-13.
[70] Kasavin, Greg (2000-02-02). "Final Fantasy VIII" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ pc/ rpg/ finalfantasy8/ review. html). GameSpot. .
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[71] Koltookian, Gary (2000-02-02). "Final Fantasy VIII" (http:/ / archive. gamespy. com/ legacy/ reviews/ ff8_b. shtm). GameSpy. p. 2. .
[72] Lundigran, Jeff (1999). "Final Fantasy VIII Review" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 153/ 153847p1. html). IGN. IGN Entertainment. .
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[73] Lopez, Vincent (2000-01-28). "Final Fantasy VIII Review (PC)" (http:/ / pc. ign. com/ articles/ 161/ 161737p1. html). IGN. IGN
Entertainment. . Retrieved 2009-11-25.
[74] Staff (April 2000). "Final Fantasy VIII". Maximum PC 5 (4): 85.
[75] Wolpaw, Erik (November 2000). "When Ports Go Bad Final Fantasy VIII Is a Major Disappointment as a Port and as a Game". Computer
Gaming World.
[76] Staff (24 May 1999). "IGN.com Announces 'Best of E3' Awards Capcom, Microsoft, Midway and Rare Take Top Honors". PR Newswire.
[77] Staff (December 2000). "Top 40". Computer Gaming World (196).
[78] Staff (2002-01-22). "Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 080/ 080401p1. html). IGN. IGN
Entertainment. . Retrieved 2009-11-25.
[79] Staff (1999-10-05). "Final Fantasy VIII Tops Videogame Charts" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 071/ 071008p1. html). IGN. IGN
Entertainment. . Retrieved 2006-03-16.
[80] Sato, Yukiyoshi Ike (1999-12-14). "FFVIII Sells Six Million Copies Worldwide" (http:/ / www. gamespot. com/ ps/ rpg/ finalfantasy8/
news. html?sid=2440392& mode=all). GameSpot. . Retrieved 2006-03-16.
[81] Staff (1999-12-19). "FF8 Breaks Sales Records" (http:/ / psx. ign. com/ articles/ 073/ 073032p1. html). IGN. IGN Entertainment. . Retrieved
2006-03-16.
[82] Berardini, Csar A. (2006-04-26). "An Introduction to Square-Enix" (http:/ / features. teamxbox. com/ xbox/ 1554/
An-Introduction-to-SquareEnix/ p3/ ). TeamXbox. IGN Entertainment. . Retrieved 2008-10-16.
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newswire/ news/ index19991206. htm). Gamasutra. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. gamasutra. com/ newswire/ news/
index19991206. htm) on 2008-04-21. .
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[87] Campbell, Colin (2006). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100" (http:/ / www. edge-online. com/ features/ japan-votes-all-time-top-100). Next
Generation Magazine. . Retrieved 2006-03-11.
[88] Kalata, Kurt (2008-03-19). "A Japanese RPG Primer Final Fantasy VIII" (http:/ / www. gamasutra. com/ view/ feature/ 3581/
a_japanese_rpg_primer_the_. php?page=9). Gamasutra. p. 9. . Retrieved 2009-11-25.
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[96] http:/ / na. square-enix. com/ games/ ff8/
[97] http:/ / www. final-fantasyviii. com/

''Final Fantasy IX''


Final Fantasy IX

North American box art


Developer(s)

Square

Publisher(s)

JP

Square
Square Electronic Arts
PAL
Square Europe
EU
Infogrames (Platinum)
NA

Designer(s)

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Hiroyuki It

Artist(s)

Toshiyuki Itahana
Yoshitaka Amano

Writer(s)

Kazuhiko Aoki

Composer(s)

Nobuo Uematsu

Series

Final Fantasy

Platform(s)

PlayStation

''Final Fantasy IX''

204
Release date(s) PlayStation
JP
July 7, 2000
NA
November 14, 2000
EU
February 16, 2001
AUS
February 22, 2001
PlayStation Network
JP
TBA
Genre(s)

Role-playing game

Mode(s)

Single-player, limited multiplayer

Rating(s)

CERO: A
ELSPA: 11+
ESRB: T
OFLC: M
USK: 6+

Media

4 CD-ROMs

Input methods Gamepad

Final Fantasy IX (IXFainaru Fantaj


Nain) is a console role-playing game developed and published by
Square (now Square Enix) as the ninth installment in the Final Fantasy
series. It was released in 2000 and is the third and last numbered Final
Fantasy game for Sony's PlayStation. The game introduced new
features to the series, such as the "Active Time Event", "Mognet", and
a revamped equipment and skill system.
In this early boss battle, Steiner attacks the enemy
Set in the fantasy world of Gaia, Final Fantasy IX's plot centers on a
while Zidane awaits the player's input.
war between several nations. Players follow a young thief named
Zidane Tribal, who joins with several others to defeat Queen Brahne of
Alexandria, who started the war. The plot shifts, however, when the characters realize that Brahne is a puppet for an
arms dealer called Kuja.

Final Fantasy IX was developed alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but took a different path to return to the series' roots
with a more traditional fantasy setting. Consequently, Final Fantasy IX was influenced heavily by the original Final
Fantasy game, and features allusions to other titles in the series. The music was scored by the then regular series
composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game has been subject to generally positive reviews, but received mixed opinions
for its return to the style of older Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy IX was commercially successful, selling 5.30
million units worldwide as of March 31, 2003.

Gameplay

''Final Fantasy IX''

In Final Fantasy IX, the player navigates a character throughout the


game world, exploring areas and interacting with non-player
characters. Most of the game occurs in towns, dungeons, caves, and
similar areas, which are referred to as "field screens".[1] To aid
exploration on the field screen, Final Fantasy IX introduces the "field
icon", an exclamation mark appearing over their lead character's head,
signaling that an item or sign is nearby.[1] [2] Players speak with
moogles to record their progress, restore life energy with a tent, and
The field icon indicates that an object can be
purchase items[3] a deviation from previous installments, which
inspected, as is the case with this ticket booth.
used a save point to perform these functions. Moogles may request that
the playable character deliver letters to other Moogles via "Mognet".[1]
Players journey between field screen locations via the world map, a three dimensional, downsized representation of
Final Fantasy IX's world presented from a top-down perspective.[1] Players can freely navigate around the world
map screen unless restricted by terrain, such as water or mountains. To overcome geographical limitations, players
can ride emu-like chocobos, sail on a boat, or pilot airships. Like previous Final Fantasy installments, travel across
the world map screen and hostile field screen locations is interrupted by random enemy encounters.[1] [4]
Final Fantasy IX offers a new approach to town exploration with Active Time Events (ATE), which provide
character development, special items, and prompts for key story-altering decisions.[1] At specific points, the player
may view events that are occurring simultaneously. ATE is occasionally used to simultaneously control two teams
when the party is divided to solve puzzles and navigate mazes.

Combat
Whenever the playable character encounters an enemy, the map changes to the "battle screen". On the battle screen,
the enemy appears on the opposite side of the characters; each battle uses the familiar Active Time Battle system that
was first featured in Final Fantasy IV.[4] The character's command list is presented in a window opposite the ATB
gauge list; while all characters can physically attack the enemy or use an item from the player's inventory, they also
possess unique abilities. For instance, the thief Zidane can steal items from the enemy, Eiko and Garnet can summon
"eidolons" to aid the party, and Vivi can use black magic to damage the opposition.[1]
These character-specific commands change when the player goes into "Trance mode", which is activated for a short
duration when an uncontrollable gauge fills as character sustains damage in a style similar to the Limit Breaks used
in Final Fantasy VII. When the gauge is full, the character's strength is amplified, and the player can select special
attack commands.[5] Zidane's "Skill" command list, for example, changes to "Dyne", allowing him to execute
powerful attacks; Vivi's "Black Magic" command evolves into "Double Black", allowing him to cast two magic
spells simultaneously.[1] Through the Configuration screen, the player can change the Battle Style from Normal to
Custom, which allows two players to control any combination of characters during battle. However, two controllers
must be plugged into the PlayStation.[5]
A character's performance in battle is determined by numerical values ("statistics") for categories such as speed,
strength, and magical power. Character statistics are driven by experience; when players win battles, they are
awarded "experience points", which accumulate until characters gain "experience levels". When characters "level
up", the statistics for their attributes permanently increase, which may also be amplified by the types of equipment
the character is wearing. Winning battles also awards the player money (Gil), Tetra Master playing cards, and ability
points (AP).[1]

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''Final Fantasy IX''

Abilities and equipment


Final Fantasy IX deviates from the style of customizable characters featured in the last two titles by reviving the
character class concept, which designates a character to a certain role in battle.[6] [7] For instance, Vivi is designated
as a black mage and is the only character who can use black magic, and Steiner is a knight and is the only character
who can use sword skills.[1] [5]
The basic function of equipment in Final Fantasy games is to increase character attributes; arming Zidane with a
Mythril Vest, for example, increases his base defense statistic. In Final Fantasy IX, weapons and armor include
special character abilities, which the character may use once the item is equipped (permitting that the ability matches
their class). Once the character accumulates enough ability points in battle, the ability becomes usable without
having to keep the item equipped.[1] In addition to granting abilities the equipment in Final Fantasy IX determines
the statistical growth of the characters at the time of level up. Armor not only raises base defense or evasion statistics
but raises defense and/or other statistics at level up.[8]
Abilities are classified into action and support categories. Action abilities consume magic points (MP) and include
magic spells and special moves that are used in battle. Support abilities provide functions that remain in effect
indefinitely (e.g., the support ability "Antibody" nullifies poisonous attacks), and must be equipped with magic
stones to be functional. The maximum number of these stones increases as the characters level up.[1] [5]

Plot
Setting
Final Fantasy IX takes place primarily on the four continents of a world named Gaia (homonymous with Final
Fantasy VII's Gaia, but not the same world). Most of Gaia's population reside on the Mist Continent, named so
because the entire continent is blanketed in thick Mist. Lands outside the Mist Continentthe Outer, Lost and
Forgotten continentsare uncharted territories not explored until midway through the game. Several locations on the
parallel world of Terra and the dream land of Memoria round out the game's areas. The Mist Continent features four
factions: Alexandria, Lindblum, Burmecia, and Cleyra. Each country is separated by mountain ranges; the isolated
Cleyran civilization, nestled in a giant tree in the desert, is protected by a sandstorm summoned by the village elders.
Gaia is inhabited by humans and various non-human races. Alexandria and Lindblum are both populated by a mix of
humans and anthropomorphic animals. The Burmecians are anthropomorphic rats who live in both Burmecia and
Cleyra. The Cleyrans, who value dance, split from the Burmecians when the latter started to appreciate "the art of
war". The dwarves are short humanoid creatures who appear as inhabitants of the village of Conde Petie on the Outer
Continent. There is also a village of black mages that have gained sentient thought which reside in the Outer
Continent as well. The Genomes, an artificial race of soulless vessels, inhabit Terra; they will house the
once-dormant Terran souls when Terra assimilates Gaia. Summoners are similar to other humans, but with a horn on
their forehead. In the story, only two summoners remain (Garnet and Eiko); the others were exterminated when the
Terran warship Invincible destroyed their homeland of Madain Sari. Lastly, the Qu are large, seemingly
androgynous humanoids,[9] who are recognized as fine gourmands. They inhabit marshlands throughout the world
where they catch their main source of nutrition: frogs.
In Final Fantasy IX, the game's developers sought to make the game's environment more "fantasy-oriented" than its
PlayStation predecessors. Since the creators wanted to prevent the series from following a redundant setting, Final
Fantasy IX distinctly breaks from the futuristic styles of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII by reintroducing a
medieval setting.[4] In the game, steam technology is just beginning to become widely available; the population
relies on hydropower or wind power for energy sources, but sometimes harness Mist or steam to power more
advanced engines.[10] Continuing with the medieval theme, the game's setting is inspired by Norse and Northern
European mythology. According to director Hiroyuki It, "[The development team is] attracted to European history
and mythology because of its depth and its drama".[11] The main Final Fantasy IX website says the development of

206

''Final Fantasy IX''


the game's world serves as a culmination of the series by blending the "successful elements of the past, such as a
return to the fantasy roots," with newer elements.[9]

Characters
The eight main playable characters in Final Fantasy IX are Zidane Tribal, a member of a group of bandits called
Tantalus masquerading as a theater troupe; Garnet Til Alexandros XVII (alias Dagger), the Princess of Alexandria
who has a strange connection to "Eidolons", Vivi Orunitia, a young, timid, and kind black mage trying to find the
meaning of his existence; Adelbert Steiner, the Captain of the Knights of Pluto and loyal servant of Alexandria and
Princess Garnet; Freya Crescent, a dragon knight from the city of Burmecia looking for her lost love; Quina Quen, a
Qu whose master wants him/her to travel the world so that s/he will learn about cuisine; Eiko Carol, a six-year-old
girl living in Madain Sari, the lost village of the eidolon summoners, and along with Garnet, one of the last two
remaining summoners; and Amarant Coral, a bounty hunter hired to return Garnet to Alexandria.[9] Other main
characters include Regent Cid Fabool, the charismatic leader of Lindblum; Queen Brahne, Garnet's mother and the
power-hungry Queen of Alexandria; General Beatrix, the powerful leader of the female knights of Alexandria; and
antagonist Kuja, an arms dealer and enemy of Gaia. Other minor characters and groups also appear; such as Blank,
Zidane's good friend and band partner but their significance and back-stories are revealed as the game progresses.
During development, the creators made the characters a high priority.[11] The return to the series' roots also affected
the characters' designs, which resulted in characters with "comic-like looks".[11] Uematsu commented that the design
staff attempted to give the characters realism while still appearing comic-like.[11] To accomplish this, and to satisfy
fans who had become used to the realistic designs of Final Fantasy VIII, the designers stressed creating characters
with whom the player could easily relate.[11]

Story
Final Fantasy IX begins with Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe kidnapping Princess Garnet during her
sixteenth birthday celebration. The group learns that Garnet, who is concerned about Queen Brahne's increasingly
erratic behavior, actually wanted to escape to Lindblum to meet with Regent Cid,[12] and had planned to stow away
on the theater ship. The Troupe's airship, Prima Vista, is damaged during the escape; it crashes in the Evil Forest,
prompting Zidane to continue the trek to Lindblum without the rest of Tantalus.[13] Zidane and Garnet are
accompanied by Vivi and Steiner, who became entangled with Tantalus during their escape from Alexandria. During
their journey, Garnet adopts the alias "Dagger" and struggles to mingle with the locals.[14] The group learns of a
factory inside the village of Dali, that manufactures soulless black mage warriors for Alexandria's use. Brahne
dispatches three powerful ones called Black Waltzes to retrieve Garnet by force, but their mission ends in failure.
In Lindblum, Zidane meets Freya and joins in Lindblum's Festival of the Hunt. Regent Cid has been turned into a
bug-like oglop by his wife Hilda, for his womanizing behavior.[15] Wishing to protect Garnet from Brahne's
newfound aggression, he had ordered Tantalus to kidnap her.[16] When the group learns that Alexandria has invaded
Burmecia, Freya investigates the situation with Zidane and Vivi, while Dagger and Steiner head to Alexandria to ask
Brahne to stop the war.[17] Both parties are powerless to stop her, and Dagger has her eidolons forcibly extracted
from her body.[18] Brahne uses Dagger's eidolons to destroy Cleyra, after which she attacks Lindblum, forcing Cid to
surrender.[19] Zidane, Freya, and Vivi, after witnessing the assault on Cleyra, rescue Dagger, befriend General
Beatrix, and return to Lindblum.
Afterward, Cid tells the party about Brahne's arms dealer, Kuja.[20] The party travels to the Outer Continent, the
location of Kuja's headquarters, through an underground tunnel with the help of Quina.[21] There, the party meets a
young summoner named Eiko, who assumes herself to be the last survivor of Madain Sari. They also discover a
village inhabited by self-aware Black Mages. Their pursuit of Kuja leads them to the nearby Iifa Tree, an entity that
dissipates fighting-stimulant Mist.[22] They also learn that Kuja uses Mist to create the Black Mages.[23] The party
defeats the Iifa Tree's core and stops the Mist from flowing. When the party returns to Madain Sari, they confront

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''Final Fantasy IX''


Amarant, who was hired by Brahne to apprehend Dagger. Dagger slowly realizes that she is also a Summoner from
Madain Sari. Amarant joins the party for his own reasons. At the Iifa Tree, Brahne turns against Kuja and intends to
kill him with the eidolon Bahamut.[24] However, Kuja uses the airship Invincible to gain control of Bahamut, killing
Brahne and defeating her army.[25]
The party returns to Alexandria, and Garnet is crowned Queen. Afterward, Kuja assaults Alexandria with Bahamut.
Eiko and Garnet summon the legendary eidolon Alexander, who overpowers Bahamut. Kuja attempts to control
Alexander using the Invincible, but is foiled by a mysterious old man named Garland, who destroys Alexander and
parts of Alexandria.[26] Kuja, still intent on mastering a powerful eidolon to defeat Garland, shifts his attention to
Eiko.[27] The party learns of Kuja's Desert Palace and attempts an assault. However, Kuja imprisons the party and
escapes with Eiko to extract her eidolons. During the extraction attempt, Eiko's guardian moogle Mog uses Trance to
transform into her true form, the eidolon Madeen, disrupting the process.[28] Learning of the powers of Trance,[29]
Kuja escapes to further his aim of defeating Garland.[30] The party rescues Eiko and also finds Hilda, who turns Cid
back into a human. He is now able to design an airship for the party that does not need Mist for power.[31]
With Hilda's aid,[32] the party pursues Kuja to Terra by opening a portal. In the Terran town of Bran Bal, it is
revealed that Garland was created by the people of Terra to orchestrate the process of assimilating Terra into Gaia, as
Terra was a dying world. Garland created Genomes intelligent, sentient beings who lack souls to become
future vessels for the souls of the Terrans.[33] The Iifa Tree's existence,[34] the phenomenon of Mist,[35] the eidolon's
destruction,[36] and even Kuja and Zidane's true purpose of existence,[37] were part of the process. Angered by
Garland's motives, the party confronts him. However, Kuja has now obtained enough souls to achieve Trance.[38]
Trance Kuja ends Garland's life, but not before Garland warns him of his limited lifespan, and that Zidane was
created to replace him.[39] Enraged by this revelation, Kuja destroys Terra while the party rescues the Genomes and
returns to Gaia on the Invincible.
The party discovers that Mist has returned and now envelops all of Gaia. Assisted by the combined forces of
Burmecia, Lindblum, and Alexandria, they travel to the Iifa Tree, where they are teleported to a mysterious location
called Memoria. The spirit of Garland guides the party to Kuja. When Kuja is defeated, he uses his Trance abilities
to destroy the Crystal, the source of life,[40] prompting the appearance of Necron, the "Eternal Darkness" bent on
destroying life.[41] After Necron is defeated, Memoria and the Iifa Tree collapse. Although Kuja teleports the party
to safety, Zidane returns to save him, and is later assumed to have died with Kuja in the collapse.[42]
Some time later, Alexandria has been rebuilt, and Tantalus arrives in Alexandria to perform "I Want To Be Your
Canary" for Queen Garnet. During the play, one of the performers removes his robe and reveals himself to be
Zidane,saved by Kuja's barrier from the collapsing tree. The credits roll as Garnet and Zidane embrace. Other scenes
reveal that there are some Vivi clones still living; Steiner and Beatrix have returned to their old posts as royal
bodyguards and have also become romantically involved; Eiko has been adopted by Regent Cid and Lady Hilda;
Freya is attempting to start over with her former love, Sir Fratley; Armarant is reunited with Lani while, curiously,
on his way to Alexandria; and Quina has now become the head chef of the Alexandria Castle kitchen.

Development and release


Development of Final Fantasy IX began before Square had finished development on its predecessor, Final Fantasy
VIII.[11] The game was developed in Hawaii as a compromise to developers living in the United States.[11] As the
series' last game on the PlayStation, Sakaguchi envisioned a "reflection" on the older titles of the series. Leading up
to its release, Sakaguchi called Final Fantasy IX his favorite Final Fantasy game as "it's closest to [his] ideal view of
what Final Fantasy should be".[43] This shift was also a response to demands from fans and other developers.[11]
Additionally, the team wanted to create an understandable story with deep character development; this led to the
creation of Active Time Events.[11]

208

''Final Fantasy IX''

In the game's conceptual stage, the developers made it clear that the
title would not necessarily be Final Fantasy IX, as its break from the
realism of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII may have
alienated audiences. This led fans to speculate that it would be released
as a "gaiden" to the main series.[44] By late 1999, however, Square had
confirmed that the game would indeed be published as Final Fantasy
IX, and by early 2000, the game was nearly finished. The developers
made several adjustments to the game, such as changing the ending
seven times.[11]

209

Vivi, Zidane, Garnet, and Steiner in a full motion


video sequence; their features are comically
exaggerated compared to the realistic style of
Final Fantasy VIII.

Final Fantasy IX's release was delayed to avoid a concurrent release


with then rival Enix's Dragon Quest VII. On October 7, 2000, a demo
day for the North American version of Final Fantasy IX was held at the Metreon in San Francisco, California.[45]
The first American release of the game was also at the Metreon; limited edition merchandise was included with the
game, and fans cosplayed as Final Fantasy characters in celebration of the release.[46] In Canada, a production error
left copies of Final Fantasy IX without an English version of the instruction manual, prompting Square to ship
copies of the English manual to Canadian stores several days later.[47]
The game was heavily promoted both before and after its release. Starting on March 6, 2000, Final Fantasy IX
characters were used in a line of computer-generated Coca-Cola commercials. Figurines of several characters were
also used as prizes in Coca-Cola's marketing campaign.[48] That same year, IGN awarded Final Fantasy dolls and
figurines for prizes in several of their contests.[49]
Final Fantasy IX was also the benchmark of Square's interactive PlayOnline service. PlayOnline was originally
developed to interact with Final Fantasy X, but when those plans fell through it became a strategy site for Final
Fantasy IX. The site was designed to complement BradyGames' and Piggyback Interactive's official strategy guides
for the game, where players who bought the print guide had access to "keywords" that could be searched for on
PlayOnline's site for extra tips and information. This caused fury among buyers of the guide, as they felt cheated for
the expensive print guide. The blunder made GameSpy's "Top 5 Dumbest Moments in Gaming" list,[50] and Square
dropped the idea for Final Fantasy X, which was under development at the time.

PlayStation Network Release


On 2 April 2010, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy IX would be released as a PSOne Classic on the
Japanese PlayStation Network, like its predecessors Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. Nothing has been
announced as to whether it will be released in other regions, but it seems reasonable to assume it will follow in the
footsteps of the others, and eventually be released in Europe and North America.

Music
The music of Final Fantasy IX was created by Nobuo Uematsu, his last exclusive Final Fantasy score. In
discussions with It, Uematsu was told "It'd be fine if you compose tracks for the eight characters, an exciting battle
track, a gloomy, danger-evoking piece, and around ten tracks or so." However, Uematsu spent an estimated year
composing and producing "around 160" pieces for Final Fantasy IX, with 140 appearing in the game.[51] [52]
Nobuo Uematsu composed with a piano and used two contrasting methods: "I create music that fits the events in the
game, but sometimes, the event designer will adjust a game event to fit the music I've already written."[52] Uematsu
felt Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII had a mood of realism, but Final Fantasy IX was fantasy, so "a serious
piece as well as silly, fun pieces could fit in." He felt the theme was medieval music, and was given a break to travel
in Europe for inspiration"looking at old castles in Germany and so on". The music was not entirely composed in
the medieval mode, Uematsu claims that "it would be unbalanced" and "a little boring". He aimed for a "simple,

''Final Fantasy IX''

210

warm" style and included uncommon instruments such as a kazoo and dulcimer. Uematsu also included motifs from
older Final Fantasy games "because Final Fantasy IX was returning to the roots, so to speak" and incorporated ideas
such as "the old intro for battle music" and arranged the Volcano theme from Final Fantasy and the Pandemonium
theme from Final Fantasy II.[51] [52] Tantalus' band is also heard playing "Rufus' Welcoming Ceremony" from Final
Fantasy VII near the beginning of the game.
Uematsu was twice reported claiming without hesitation that Final Fantasy IX was his favorite score.[53] [54] The
original soundtrack for the game has 110 tracks; an additional soundtrack, Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack
PLUS, was released with 42 more new tracks. Like Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy IX
features a J-pop ballad, Melodies of Life. The song was composed by Uematsu, written by Hiroyuki Ito (as Shiomi)
in Japanese and Alexander O. Smith in English, and performed by Emiko Shiratori. The song itself was sung in
Japanese for the Japanese release of the game, and in English for the North American and European releases.

Reception
Although a top-seller at the time,[55] Final Fantasy IX did not sell as well as Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII
in either Japan or the United States.[56] [57] As of March 31, 2003, the game had sold 5.30 million copies
worldwide.[58] The game was voted the 24th-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu[59]
and 42nd by the users of the website GameFAQs.[60] Final Fantasy IX also achieved an average review score of 94%
on Metacritic, the highest score a Final Fantasy game has received on the site.[61]

Critical response
Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator

Score
[62]

GameRankings

92% (51 reviews)

Metacritic

94 out of 100 (22 reviews)

[61]

Review scores
Publication

Score
[63]

Famitsu

38 out of 40

Game
Informer

9.75 out of 10

[64]

[65]

GamePro

[5]

GameSpot

8.5 out of 10

IGN

9.2 out of 10

[4]

Awards
4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards:

[66]
Console RPG of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Animation
6th Annual Golden Satellite Awards:

[67]
Best Interactive Product/Videogame

''Final Fantasy IX''

Reviews for the game were generally positive, with praise to the graphics and nostalgic elements. Critics pointed out
that the strength of the game lies on the gameplay, character development, and visual representation. GameSpot
noted that the learning curve is easily grasped, and the ability system is not as complex as in Final Fantasy VII or
Final Fantasy VIII.[5] Each player character possesses unique abilities, which hinders the development of an
over-powered character. GameSpot describes the battle system as having a tactical nature and the expanded party
allowing for more interaction between players and between enemies.[5] Nevertheless, IGN disliked the lengthy
combat pace and the repeated battles, describing it as aggravating, and RPGFan feels the Trance system to be
ineffective as the meter buildup is slow and unpredictable, with characters Trancing just before the enemy is
killed.[4] [68]
The characters and graphics received positive reviews. Although IGN feels the in-depth character traits in Final
Fantasy IX could be generally found in other Final Fantasy games, they are nevertheless engaging and
sympathetic.[4] GameSpot finds the characters, up to their dialogue and traits, amusing and full of humor.[5] IGN also
noted that the Active Time Event system helps to expand the player's understanding of the characters' personalities
as they question many ideas and emotions.[4] Their super-deformed appearance, which also covers monsters of every
size, contain detailed animation and design. They gave praise to the pre-rendered backgrounds, noting the careful
attention given to the artwork, movement and animations as well as character interactivity. The movies are seen as
emotive and compelling, and the seamless transition and incorporation to the in-game graphics helped to move the
plot well.[68]
On the other hand, critics acknowledged that the overall story is recycled from previous Final Fantasy installments
and other role-playing games. However, the repeated elements such as evil kingdoms and enigmatic villains are
believed by RPGFan as an attempt to emulate the elements of previous Final Fantasy plot and storyline.[68] The
main villain, though considered by GameSpot to be the least threatening in the series,[5] is seen by IGN as a mixture
of past villains through behavior and appearance.[4] Mixed reactions were given to