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Dhampir
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History of Final Fantasy
November 27, 2006, 4:43AM

HistoryofFF.jpg

"In 1983 two men by the names of Masafumi Miyamoto and Hironobu Sakaguchi created Square Co. limited. The company began its career in the video game business by creating games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The company didn?t do as well as Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Sakaguchi had hoped and in four short years the company was facing bankruptcy. In 1987 the company decided to pool its remaining resources and create one final game. It was called Final Fantasy. The game became so popular and sold so well in both Japan and North America that Square Co. was pulled right out of bankruptcy and became one of the most successful game developers of the NES era.

Square followed up Final Fantasy with Final Fantasy II a year later and Final Fantasy III in 1990. These two games were never released in North America due to the impending launch of Nintendo?s new system, the Super NES. It would be a decade before Final Fantasy II reached Europe and North American shores in the form of a compilation called Final Fantasy Origins, which included Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II. As of today Final Fantasy III has never been released outside of Japan.

Final Fantasy III ended the 8-bit era for Square but it would not be the last game they made, not by a long shot.

With the release of the Super NES came the ability for game developers to create better looking, longer, and more enjoyable games. Square, which would become known as Squaresoft in North America, took notice and quickly began development on their next Final Fantasy game. In 1991 Final Fantasy IV was released in Japan. The game was also released in America but because it was only the second game released on western shores it was titled Final Fantasy II. The game sold very well, proving that fans world wide couldn?t get enough Final Fantasy. The games visual style and general game structure set a precedent for modern role playing games at the time. Many companies and developers imitated Square?s style but it was never duplicated. Only a year later Final Fantasy V was released in Japan. The game was never released in North American or Europe due to budget constraints set upon Square because of all the side projects they were working on. In 1994 Square released Final Fantasy VI in Japan.
The game was also released in North America and Europe under the title Final Fantasy III. This game is hailed by many Final Fantasy fans as being the best of the pre-3D era and by many others the best in the whole series. The game boasted a rich story, deeply developed characters, and beautiful visuals for its time. Eventually in 1999 Final Fantasy V made it to North America and Europe along with a re-release of Final Fantasy VI in a compilation called Final Fantasy Anthology.

This ended the 16-bit era for Square and its Final Fantasy series and it would be three long years before the world saw another Final Fantasy release.

For its entire life, Square Co. and Squaresoft had been partners with Nintendo. So far Square had made six Final Fantasy games for Nintendo and the partnership seemed to be as strong as ever. That all changed when Sony, a company that had been supporting Nintendo for many years, decided to make its own gaming device. In 1994 the Sony Playstation was released in Japan. Nintendo would eventually release the Nintendo 64 a couple years later. The issue was that Square wanted to make its famous Final Fantasy games bigger, longer, and better looking. While it would be easy to make the games better looking on Nintendo?s N64, the length and scale of the games would be a problem. Square decided that what they needed for their next entry into the series was CD-ROM. It would provide the memory needed to hold the amount of software Square wanted to put into the next game. Nintendo was determined to use cartridge based software in their next system, Sony?s new system was going to be CD-ROM based. It was an easy decision for Square. Square would strike a deal with Sony and they got to work on the next Final Fantasy.

Three years after the release of the Playstation, Square final released Final Fantasy VII. At the time this game was released there was nothing else like it on the market. The stunning visuals, beautifully composed music, and the amazing story made Final Fantasy VII an instant classic and a fan favorite. Final Fantasy VII also played a crucial role in bringing the fabled RGP series to North America. The game became incredibly popular in North America, proving that Final Fantasy appreciativeness was not designated solely to Japan. It was Final Fantasy VII that inspired Square to re-release many of its past Final Fantasy games on the Playstation in the form of collections.

In that same year, just a few short months after Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics was released. Final Fantasy Tactics was a huge surprise for Final Fantasy fans as it threw out the traditional RPG format and adopted a strategy form. Everything Final Fantasy was still in the game ? magic, swords, summons, chocobos ? but the entire game took place in a chess like system. Of course the story was just as deep and long as previous Final Fantasy titles, in fact many fans of the series consider Final Fantasy Tactics to have one of the most confusing stories of all time. Final Fantasy Tactics even included a secret character later in the game from a previous Final Fantasy game that you could add to your cast of characters. 1997 was indeed a good year for Final Fantasy Fans, they would have two years to complete Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantsy Tactics before Square released their next game in their beloved series.

In 1999 Square unleashed Final Fantasy VIII on Japan. Square made a change of style with its eighth entry into the Final Fantasy series. The game featured realistic full motion video in its cut scenes and realistic looking characters. The game also had an all new magic system that many gamers felt was out of place. To this day many Final Fantasy fans laugh (or shake their heads) at the magic system that required you to steal from enemies in order to use magic. The game sold as well as any other Final Fantasy game but many fans tend to think of it as the black sheep in the post-16 bit era of Final Fantasy games.

A year later, Square released Final Fantasy IX. The game reverted back to a cartoonish feel, yet it had the great plot and depth that has made the series so popular. If there?s anything that sets Final Fantasy IX apart from the rest of the series it would have to be the nostalgia factor. Final Fantasy IX featured a large amount of hints and references to many of the older Final Fantasy games. You would get the feeling that you were wading through an immense collection of Final Fantasy jokes and tie-ins as you progressed through the game. The result was a pleasant game that played on what Final Fantasy fans had come to love and wanted. It was also the fourth and last Final Fantasy game to be made for the Sony Playstation; however it would be no longer than a year before the next Final Fantasy game would be released.

In 2001 Square released Final Fantasy X for the Sony Playstation 2. The first Final Fantasy Game on the Playstation 2 demonstrated the power of Sony?s new machine with its stunning graphics and amazing sound. The game used a new experience system in that abilities and magic were learned through a path on a chart that you would navigate as you gained more experience. The game featured a lengthy and deep plot strung together with memorable characters. However, the most noticeable part of the game was the visuals. Final Fantasy X was host to, arguably, the best graphics for it?s time. The visual detail was incredibly refined and proved to be a jaw-dropper for many Final Fantasy fans. The game was also one of the longest Final Fantasy games, depending on whether you did all the side quests, as is the case with many Final Fantasy games.

The Final Fantasy series was ten games old, a huge marker for a video game series. Square now wanted to do something different. There were several options available to the company at this point. Video gaming in general was a huge market and there were several platforms to consider in creating the next game. Square would eventually use many of these platforms for their Final Fantasy series.

The first thing Square did was change itself from a video game developer into a film studio. In 2001 Square created the film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The film was made entirely of CGI (computer generated imagery) and featured breathtaking visuals. However, fans reacted to the film with mixed reviews. Many fans felt the film did not truly embody the Final Fantasy feeling and style. The absence of many Final Fantasy traditions such as airships, chocobos, and magic left a sour taste in the mouths of many Final Fantasy fans and the film fell far below its anticipated profit. Truth be told, the film isn?t bad on its own, however it just misses too much of the Final Fantasy universe to appease fans.

The next step was to create the next Final Fantasy game in the series. The developers knew it had to be different and fans of the series knew the game was going to be different. At the time when the idea of an eleventh Final Fantasy game was merely rumors and speculation there were many ideas of what the game would be. Many people thought Square would incorporate online play, as the recent wave of consoles and the gaming industry in general had adopted some form of online play or another. However, no one could have guessed the direction that Square would take.

In 2002 Square releases Final Fantasy XI, the first Final Fantasy MMORPG. Many fans of the Final Fantasy series felt betrayed by Square for making the game exclusively online, as not everyone had the hardware, online capability or resources to play the game. Despite a public outcry of anger over the choice of genre for the game, Square marketed the game and eventually built up a huge following. Final Fantasy XI became a huge hit in Japan and, in 2003 America as well. The game currently has thousands upon thousands of subscribers and continues to grow.

The next item on Squares agenda involved another company. Enix had been a long-time competitor of Square in the RPG genre for many years. In 2003 that changed when Square absorbed the rival and became Square-Enix. There were several reasons for the merger, including a way to make competition less fierce and the fact that both parts of the new company would make more money. However a general consensus on the merge is that it was the result of the large loss that Square suffered from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
That same year Square-Enix released Final Fantasy X-2 in Japan. Final Fantasy X-2 was the first direct sequel ever in the Final Fantasy Series. The game featured much of the same world and same characters that were present in Final Fantasy X. The game featured a different battle system than Final Fantasy X and the game had a much different tone for the majority of the story. The game received mixed reviews from fans but the overall consensus was that the game was a success. The success of this game would prove to Square-Enix that direct sequels were not a taboo among the Final Fantasy series and had potential.

Another Final Fantasy game was released in 2003, for the Gameboy Advance. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was a throwback to the tactic RPG that Square had created in 1997. The game featured almost as much depth and customization as the previous Tactics title without suffering much visually, thanks to the unique art style. The game quickly became a big hit in both Japan and North America paving the way for future iterations of the Final Fantasy series on the GBA.

The last entry into the Final Fantasy series came in September of 2005. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was the direct sequel to Square?s famous Final Fantasy VII. Not only was it a sequel, it was a movie as well. The film was everything Final Fantasy fans wanted in a film and was extremely successful in Japan, where it sold 700,000 copies in its first two weeks.
"

[This topic was updated on January 21, 2007, 3:20PM by Dhampir.]


4D

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
November 27, 2006, 4:52PM

Intresting stuff.

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Dhampir
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
November 30, 2006, 2:32AM

Indeed.

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Reno

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
December 5, 2006, 2:33AM

I watched something on G4 that talked about this o_oV

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bl00d of alucard
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
December 12, 2006, 10:40PM

I also liked the video history breakdown of FF featured in the FFXII disc. Good stuff.

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Reno

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 16, 2007, 3:02AM

What video history break down?o_o?

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Dhampir
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 16, 2007, 6:07PM

On the extra disc in the collectors edition of FF12.

I downloaded it, it's pretty cool.

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Reno

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 16, 2007, 6:45PM

Ah....I didn't get that version ;>> They were out...

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Dhampir
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 21, 2007, 8:21PM

(added a lil title pic for this thread)

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4D

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 23, 2007, 6:58PM

Dude nice.

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sorasblade

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
January 24, 2007, 12:45PM

thats a hell of a lot of History Kudos to you Kupo

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Balmung

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
March 21, 2007, 12:25AM

^ Fuck man, never say "Kupo". You're not a moogle.



xXFallingforyouXx

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
March 24, 2007, 2:32AM

I wana be a moogle. =/ "KUPO! GIVE ME A GOD D*MN NUT!"

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sorasblade

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
April 24, 2007, 8:21AM

Moogles rock



signofthec0w

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
August 19, 2007, 8:05PM

http://www.gametrailers.com/game/4831.html

Interesting set of videos. They cover the basics of the series up to FFVII, I guess more videos are coming later.

What strikes me most is how the art style of FFVI is so well preserved, when the style of FFVII looks scrappy. I'm not bashing FFVII or anything - I think it's a great game - it's just interesting because at the time, VII was a great leap forward in technology, yet looking back, it's the 16 bit games that have withstood the test of time.

Style > Power


Dhampir
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
August 20, 2007, 6:46AM

It's like the video version of this thread.

FF12 has it on the bounus DVD that comes in the speical edition.

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eponas_rage

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
April 1, 2008, 11:57AM

i've only got 2 ff games... Final FantasyVII: Dirge of Ceberus, and FFVIII. I don't like them as much as i do ffvii.

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Dhampir
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Re: History of Final Fantasy
April 2, 2008, 2:01AM

>.>

You've missed out on alot.

Poor FF newfags 2.gif

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Antilabel

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
April 2, 2008, 2:09AM

I loved FF 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12

I wish i had gotten the Collectors edition of 12 but they were out 2.gif

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eponas_rage

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Re: History of Final Fantasy
April 2, 2008, 3:14AM

ffvii was the only one i actually understood. i guess im stuck in the past

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