Final Fantasy I

Pixelcade on Saturday, 26 February 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: I'm sure everyone here is familiar with this game -- by name and reputation if nothing else. It kicked off a franchise that's still going strong today, with sequels, spin-offs, collectibles, films, concerts, and many other products all being released under the Final Fantasy brand. Pixelcade shares his memories of the game that started it all. -mossy_11


The Final Fantasy…or was it? Hello fellow gamers! This RGotW is brought to you by the year 1987 and the system Nintendo, sponsored in part by the company Square. With a helpful grant from MacScene and Pixelcade. Rather than my usual choice of some obscure game or movie or random event no one has heard of, this week I am doing a mainstream game.

So, 1987: Where were you what were you doing? US President Ronald Reagan was undergoing prostate surgery, La Bamba moved everyone's hips in dance clubs world wide, and PBS was hacked in Chicago by a man wearing a Max Headroom mask, babbling about who knows what -- it sure wasn't New Coke. Also at this time a video game that would go on to shape every single RPG to date in one way or another was developed by a little company going out of business -- Square.

The story goes that a long long time ago (some 20-or-so years), a man by the name of Hironobu Sakaguchi was losing his life savings on his video game company. He decided to produce one final game before shutting down, settling on the title Final Fantasy. So let's move on to 1990 when the game hit the shores of the United States on the NES. I recall reading an issue of Nintendo Power and seeing this game, thinking, "oh look -- a Dragon Warrior rip off." However the graphics BLEW MY MIND! Each issue they would build on the information released about the game, teasing out the details.



This is one of only a few games I have ever bought on launch. I wasn't very old at the time, and I remember my friend bought it at the same time. We raced to see who could beat the game first and who could find what items. We had sleepovers in which we also began working on each other's game. We'd dress up like our characters and run around the house at 1 in the morning, waking everyone up (yes, we were 10(-ish) year old nerds). Then before we knew it the strategy guide landed in our mail boxes and the thing looked like it had been eaten by ravage dogs within days.

We would try to beat the game using crazy parties like 3 white mages and a Thief or Fighter. Before we knew it, we could walk through the game in a matter of hours. Ahhh, good times. But I digress to the importance of this game on the RPG world.

Over the years, this game has been rehashed in version after version then sequel after sequel -- the main series has just reached number fourteen, while the original game has received several enhanced remakes. How long will this grand franchise that was supposed to be the last stand of a video game company last? How many more spinoffs consisting of characters from the franchise will be done? Only time can tell.


The graphical differences between the NES original and PSP remake are certainly substantial.

I'd like to ask you, readers, what your favorite version of THIS game is? For me it's the 20th Anniversary Edition on PSP. It has by far the best graphics and sound, plus extra dungeons. What is the hardest group you've beaten the game with? I put it out there, let's get some talk going.


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