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Final Fantasy This article is about the Final Fantasy franchise.

For the first video game in the series, see Final Fantasy (video game). For other uses, see Final Fantasy (disambiguation). Final Fantasy ( Fainaru Fantaj ?) is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Square). 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 roleplaying, 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 97 million units sold, 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. Main series

Three Final Fantasy installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 and in North America

it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006. Final Fantasy V. It introduced the "Active Time Battle" system. all of which have been re-released on several platforms. published in 2006. It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre.[3][14] Three main installments. but it was titled Final Fantasy III in North America.[3][13] Final Fantasy IX. released in 1992 in Japan. a style that was carried over to the next game. an MMORPG due for release in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and PC. Final Fantasy IV was released in 1991. and has since been remade on several platforms. 2010. however. the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. and later on the Xbox 360. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) also featured three installments of the main series. also includes real-time battles in large. returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and 1990. The twelfth installment. Final Fantasy III. released in 1988 in Japan. interconnected playfields.[19][20] Final Fantasy XIII was released in December 2009 in Japan.[3][10][11] Final Fantasy VI was released in Japan in 1994. it was released as Final Fantasy II. Final Fantasy II.[3][4][5] The last of the NES installments. and was the first to spawn a direct video game sequel (Final Fantasy X-2). It was also the first in the series to be released in Europe. The 2001 title Final Fantasy X introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series. has been bundled with Final Fantasy in several re-releases. The first massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series. It was released on March 9. The eighth installment was published in 1999. including one online game. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation. Also in development is Final Fantasy XIV. Final Fantasy XI also introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters. 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. . were published for the PlayStation 2 (PS2). released in 2000. was first in the series to spawn a sequel: a short anime series titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals. The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. was released in Japan in 1990. and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. It also introduced a more modern setting. in North America and Europe. in North America. Final Fantasy XI was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002.

Final Fantasy Adventure is a spin-off that spawned the Mana series. and tragedies of the characters. and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. passions. The main antagonist introduced at the beginning of the game is not always the final enemy. Dissidia: Final Fantasy was released in 2009.Sequels and spin-offs Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was developed for a United States audience. the video game series' first direct sequel. was released. and the main plot often recedes into the background as the focus shifts to their personal lives. The spin-off Chocobo series. Ivalice Alliance. Plot and themes The central conflict in many Final Fantasy games focuses on a group of characters battling an evil. the main villain is not always who it appears to be. as the primary antagonist may actually be subservient to another character or entity. Stories in the series frequently emphasize the internal struggles. and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII. The heroes are often destined to defeat the evil. and the characters must continue their quest beyond what appears to be the final fight. Other recurring situations that drive the . are part of Square's Saga series and feature few similarities to Final Fantasy. and sometimes ancient. In 2003. with the protagonists taking part in the rebellion. and is a fighting game that features heroes and villains from the first ten games from the main series. Final Fantasy X-2. antagonist that dominates the game's world. however. ranging from love to rivalry. Three Square games were released in North America with their titles changed to include "Final Fantasy": The Final Fantasy Legend and its two sequels. Another staple of the series is the existence of two villains. Stories frequently involve a sovereign state in rebellion. and occasionally gather as a direct result of the antagonist's malicious actions. Crystal Chronicles series. Other spin-offs have taken the form of compilations²Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. and Kingdom Hearts series also include multiple Final Fantasy elements. The games. Games also explore relationships between characters.

and conflicts between advanced Characters Further information: Character design of Final Fantasy In recent years. the series has featured several males with androgynous or effeminate characteristics.Origin Chocobos are large. party member. and platformers for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System. As such. including subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy. often flightless birds that appear in several installments as a means of long-distance travel for characters. and saving the game. Though a couple of games were successful in North America. mistaken identity. Since the release of Final Fantasy II. weaponsmiths. Recurring creatures include Chocobos and Moogles. In 1987. villains. control over these crystals drives the main conflict. Other common plot and setting themes include the Gaia hypothesis. and a majority of the Final Fantasy games link crystals and orbs to the planet's life force. appear in titles as minor characters. sometimes as comic relief. an apocalypse. most were not popular and the company faced bankruptcy.plot include amnesia. They serve different capacities in games including mail delivery. racing games. and altruistic suicide. a character named Cid has appeared in different capacities: a non-playable ally. Character names are another recurring theme. and items. Chocobo and Moogle appearances are often accompanied by specific themes that have been Origin In the mid 1980s. Crystals often play a central role in the creation of the world. Magical orbs and crystals are recurring in-game items that are frequently connected to the themes of the games' plots. The classical elements are a recurring theme in the series related to the heroes. inspired by two Star Wars characters by the same name. . Moogles. the character is normally related to the in-game airships. on the other hand. Biggs and Wedge. party members. Though Cid's appearance and personality differ between titles. stout creatures resembling teddy bears with wings and a single antenna. Square entered the Japanese video game industry with simple RPGs. a hero corrupted by an evil force. are white. Square designer Hironobu Sakaguchi headed development of a game to prevent the company's financial ruin. and villain.

and an upgraded battle system The first titles on the NES feature small sprite representations of the leading party members on the main world screen because of graphical limitations. and drew inspiration from popular fantasy games: Enix's Dragon Quest. cheaper. As Sakaguchi planned to retire after completing the project. but are otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. 6 frames of animation are used to depict different character statuses like "healthy" and "fatigued". but are mostly static in-game objects. The SNES installments use updated graphics and effects. Despite his explanation. The upgrade allowed designers to have characters be more detailed in appearance and express more emotions. he named it Final Fantasy. however. Final Fantasy VII introduced 3D graphics .[76][77] Fans believed the demo was of a new Final Fantasy title for the Nintendo 64 console. The switch was due to a dispute with Nintendo over its use of faster and more expensive cartridges. The first title includes non-player characters (NPCs) the player could interact with. Square immediately developed a second installment. were overhauled. and much higher capacity compact discs used on rival systems. and Origin Systems's Ultima series. such as the character advancement system. Square used predetermined pathways for NPCs to create more dynamic scenes that include comedy and drama. Square showed an interactive SGI technical demonstration of Final Fantasy for the then next generation of consoles. and it became the company's flagship franchise. which uses detailed versions for both screens. The game indeed reversed Square's lagging fortunes. Following the success. but have larger palettes and feature more animation frames: 11 colors and 40 frames respectively. Beginning with the second title. as opposed to the slower. Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda. Because Sakaguchi assumed Final Fantasy would be a stand-alone title. a new cast of characters. publications have also attributed the name to the company's hopes that the project would solve its financial troubles. The NES sprites are 26 pixels high and use a color palette of 4 colors. This practice was used until Final Fantasy VI. its story was not designed to be expanded by a sequel. as well as higher quality audio than in previous games. and some of the gameplay elements. The developers instead chose to carry over only thematic similarities from its predecessor. The SNES sprites are 2 pixels shorter.[76] In 1995. Battle screens use more detailed. 1997 saw the release of Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation. each major Final Fantasy game features a new setting.Sakaguchi chose to create a new fantasy role-playing game for the cartridge-based NES. The demonstration used Silicon Graphics's prototype Nintendo 64 workstations to create 3D graphics. full versions of characters in a side-view perspective. This approach has continued throughout the series.

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