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Old 2007-12-18, 10:00   Link #1
WanderingKnight
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On this day, 20 years ago...

...a little game was being released in Japan. It was deemed to be the development company's last work, as the shadow of bankruptcy was being casted upon it. In a display of ironic playfulness, the game's director imparted his final wish, forever engraved in the name of the game.

On December 18, 1987, Final Fantasy was born.

Whether you love or hate the series, you can't deny its impact in gaming worldwide, and its main push towards people starting to consider games as a true work of art. I'm remembered of something I heard once, I think in Gametrailers' Final Fantasy Retrospective set of videos:

Quote:
Steven Spielberg once said "Games will become a work of art when a player confesses he cried at level seventeen".

He never played Final Fantasy VII
The series (and Squaresoft) has had tons of lovers, and almost an equal amount of detractors. What can't be denied, however, is that it represents an integral part of the history of Japanese RPGs, not only by setting precedent in hundreds of now familiar and essential characteristics that define Japanese RPGs, but also by showing and integrating a huge generation of people (myself included) into something else. Upon playing and beating Final Fantasy IX, my personal view on gaming was changed forever. Of course, it was just a gateway game (or drug, you pick ) that lead me to discover a huge genre that had passed unnoticed to my eyes up till that point. Final Fantasy still remains my favorite franchise these days, though I've enjoyed a huge amount of different Japanese RPGs, too. And, nowadays, jRPGs are mostly the only thing I play (IF I play at all).

So, here's to Final Fantasy, one of the most influential pieces in gaming history. And let the fantasy never end.
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Old 2007-12-18, 12:04   Link #2
Demongod86
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Amen to that!
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Old 2007-12-18, 18:32   Link #3
Terrestrial Dream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
...a little game was being released in Japan. It was deemed to be the development company's last work, as the shadow of bankruptcy was being casted upon it. In a display of ironic playfulness, the game's director imparted his final wish, forever engraved in the name of the game.

On December 18, 1987, Final Fantasy was born.

Whether you love or hate the series, you can't deny its impact in gaming worldwide, and its main push towards people starting to consider games as a true work of art. I'm remembered of something I heard once, I think in Gametrailers' Final Fantasy Retrospective set of videos:

The series (and Squaresoft) has had tons of lovers, and almost an equal amount of detractors. What can't be denied, however, is that it represents an integral part of the history of Japanese RPGs, not only by setting precedent in hundreds of now familiar and essential characteristics that define Japanese RPGs, but also by showing and integrating a huge generation of people (myself included) into something else. Upon playing and beating Final Fantasy IX, my personal view on gaming was changed forever. Of course, it was just a gateway game (or drug, you pick ) that lead me to discover a huge genre that had passed unnoticed to my eyes up till that point. Final Fantasy still remains my favorite franchise these days, though I've enjoyed a huge amount of different Japanese RPGs, too. And, nowadays, jRPGs are mostly the only thing I play (IF I play at all).

So, here's to Final Fantasy, one of the most influential pieces in gaming history. And let the fantasy never end.
Wouldn't that be Dragon Quest? Anyhow Final Fantasy is a good series, haven't really played any of the ps2 one but I have to admit though VI is and IX are very good game and imo best in the franchise.
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Old 2007-12-18, 20:38   Link #4
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Final Fantasy was the one that revived Squaresoft, and Dragon Quest (warrior) wasn't part of Squaresoft back then
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Old 2007-12-18, 20:56   Link #5
Terrestrial Dream
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Originally Posted by HurricaneHige View Post
Final Fantasy was the one that revived Squaresoft, and Dragon Quest (warrior) wasn't part of Squaresoft back then
I know that Dragon Quest was made by Enix, and I was just saying Final Fantasy didn't define the essential characteristic of JRPG, I believe that it was Dragon Quest that did it.
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Old 2007-12-18, 21:24   Link #6
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Quote:
I know that Dragon Quest was made by Enix, and I was just saying Final Fantasy didn't define the essential characteristic of JRPG, I believe that it was Dragon Quest that did it.
Depends a lot on how you see it. For example, Final Fantasy was the first RPG to feature multiple enemies and a side view in battles--RPGs at the time, including the original Dragon Quest, had only first-person one-on-one battles. Also, Final Fantasy had something more than the usual "go save the princess!" objective--saving the princess was just the first step. Though it's probably correct that Dragon Quest created the genre, Final Fantasy was probably the first game to deliver it in its full glory.


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I have to admit though VI is and IX are very good game and imo best in the franchise.
IX is my personal favorite, and then probably come VI and VII. I like them all, though, even weaker titles like FF V.
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Last edited by WanderingKnight; 2007-12-18 at 21:45.
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Old 2007-12-19, 01:50   Link #7
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Final Fantasy always led to an epic RPG experience. I mean, you pick it up and you're starting out small, but you know that by the time you're at the final battle the world - perhaps even the universe - is at stake. Chrono Trigger was my first RPG, and it's still my favorite. I've played 8, IX, X, X-2, and after all that - VII. I'm passing on XII, but I did recently pick up FF III for Nintendo DS.

VIII was my favorite, probably because it was my first FF and because at the time it had some amazingly immersive graphics. After playing IX, I was so burned out from being emotionally caught up in worldly struggles that I began seeking RPGs that were a bit simpler, and found Rhapsody (from which I derived my alias). I still enjoy Final Fantasy, but I guess it's begun to feel a bit generic, in some way. My new favorite RPG series to follow is the Megami Tensei series. They don't quite have the epic feel that Final Fantasy does, but they have very interesting storylines and tend to lace their stuff with mythology from various cultures.
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Old 2007-12-19, 04:41   Link #8
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Final Fantasy VI is perfection packaged in a SNES little cartridge.
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Old 2007-12-19, 06:59   Link #9
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Final Fantasy is overrated. Only two days later a much better game was released, called Phantasy Star. Much better graphics and sound, three planets to explore, a female main character, animated monsters, an interface that isn't clunky, first-person 3D dungeons, and in some ways a better battle engine that has aged better than Final Fantasy's.

People who played Phantasy Star II and IV unspoiled know that Final Fantasy VII wasn't the first game to make you cry.

Ever since Final Fantasy VII the series has become a blockbuster RPG series where they throw a lot of money at graphics (especially cut-scenes) and sound, and spoonfeed the story to you. Food for the average angsty teen.
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Old 2007-12-19, 08:11   Link #10
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Quote:
Final Fantasy is overrated. Only two days later a much better game was released, called Phantasy Star. Much better graphics and sound, three planets to explore, a female main character, animated monsters, an interface that isn't clunky, first-person 3D dungeons, and in some ways a better battle engine that has aged better than Final Fantasy's.

People who played Phantasy Star II and IV unspoiled know that Final Fantasy VII wasn't the first game to make you cry.

Ever since Final Fantasy VII the series has become a blockbuster RPG series where they throw a lot of money at graphics (especially cut-scenes) and sound, and spoonfeed the story to you. Food for the average angsty teen.
Opinions are opinions. If you ask me, I'll tell you straight away that Phantasy Star sucks, but what the hell, it's just my perception of the game, just like that which you just posted was just your perception of the games

Quote:
first-person 3D dungeons
Umm, PS wasn't the first game to do this... it's an inherent characteristic of classic Western RPGs (Ultima, anyone?). And clunky, if you ask me... 3D attempts in 8 and 16-bit era pretty much sucked, and I'm tempted to say many 3D attempts in the PSX era also sucked pretty bad.

Quote:
and in some ways a better battle engine that has aged better than Final Fantasy's.
Now THAT I really don't understand. I understand your liking of the first-person, strictly turn-based system, but I fail to see how it has aged better than Final Fantasy's. As far as I know, the only game that still uses such a system is Dragon Quest, but DQ was the one which first implemented it in a Japanese RPG in the first place. But Final Fantasy's basic active time engine, first introduced in FF IV, has been reinvented and reimplemented several times in the course of gaming history, and it's undoubtedly one of the most popular and "natural" system these days, though lately the RPG gaming scene has been evolving more towards action-oriented gameplay.

But hey, that's just my opinion

PS:

Quote:
Final Fantasy VII wasn't the first game to make you cry.
Yep. To me it was Final Fantasy VI:

Spoiler:
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Old 2007-12-19, 23:18   Link #11
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Wouldn't that be Dragon Quest? Anyhow Final Fantasy is a good series, haven't really played any of the ps2 one but I have to admit though VI is and IX are very good game and imo best in the franchise.
Unless I'm mistaken, what separates FF from the other top Japanese RPGs like Tales or DQ series is its popularity in the west. One time I read somewhere on the net that kids skip school to buy Dragon Quests(this was before DQ8 came out), so I decided to check it out. Even had a hard time *finding* an used Dragon Warrior 7. Not to mention the level grinding bored me to death.

What amazes me about FF is how its games can reach out to the casual gamers. Rather than just the hardcore RPG fans.
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Old 2007-12-19, 23:32   Link #12
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RPGs at their core are boring and repetitive. What sets one RPG from another is the movie qualities about it such as graphics, music, and characters/plot. Because there is very little different between FF1 and FFX in terms of attack=>target monster=>-500
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Old 2007-12-20, 00:55   Link #13
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[size"3"]I remember FF like one of my first video games, so I really like it ^^[/size]
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Old 2007-12-20, 01:32   Link #14
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So, anyone going to get FFIV DS when it comes out in English? Today's the Japanese release and, judging from the impressions so far on the gaming forums I visit, it's pretty good.
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Old 2007-12-20, 08:58   Link #15
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Opinions are opinions. If you ask me, I'll tell you straight away that Phantasy Star sucks, but what the hell, it's just my perception of the game, just like that which you just posted was just your perception of the games
Opinions are fine, but motivate them! I did.
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Umm, PS wasn't the first game to do this... it's an inherent characteristic of classic Western RPGs (Ultima, anyone?).
I never said it was the first. But it was impressive at its time.
Quote:
Now THAT I really don't understand. I understand your liking of the first-person, strictly turn-based system, but I fail to see how it has aged better than Final Fantasy's. As far as I know, the only game that still uses such a system is Dragon Quest, but DQ was the one which first implemented it in a Japanese RPG in the first place. But Final Fantasy's basic active time engine, first introduced in FF IV, has been reinvented and reimplemented several times in the course of gaming history, and it's undoubtedly one of the most popular and "natural" system these days, though lately the RPG gaming scene has been evolving more towards action-oriented gameplay.
When I said Final Fantasy, I meant the game, not the series. Final Fantasy's battle system is quite is messy and clunky. What's up with there being two windows? Why do a character hit air if another character kills an enemy that he/she was targetting? Why is battle so slow by default (you can adjust the speed of the dialogue boxes, I've heard)?

Phantasy Star doesn't have these problems, though the trade-off is that you can't select individual enemies. The backgrounds are great, though. Much better than Final Fantasy's minimalist ones.
Quote:
What amazes me about FF is how its games can reach out to the casual gamers. Rather than just the hardcore RPG fans.
Simple. The release of Final Fantasy VII was accompanied by a big marketing blitz. Add to that the impressive graphics (at the time), and casual gamers were sold on it. Once a brand is known, just keep up the eye candy and they will keep buying.
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Old 2007-12-20, 09:49   Link #16
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Quote:
When I said Final Fantasy, I meant the game, not the series. Final Fantasy's battle system is quite is messy and clunky. What's up with there being two windows? Why do a character hit air if another character kills an enemy that he/she was targetting? Why is battle so slow by default (you can adjust the speed of the dialogue boxes, I've heard)?

Phantasy Star doesn't have these problems, though the trade-off is that you can't select individual enemies. The backgrounds are great, though. Much better than Final Fantasy's minimalist ones.
Well, during Ye Olde 8 and 16-bit console wars, Sega had always the upper hand in terms of raw console power... despite that, Nintendo has won both of the wars in its time Besides, isn't that what people usually complain about the newer FFs? That they're all flash and no substance?

Anyways, I already explained that FF and Square have as many detractors as they have fans, so point taken, PS rocks or whatever, now let me celebrate the anniversary in peace (plus a game-related religious flamewar makes less sense that an emacs vs vi one)

Quote:
What amazes me about FF is how its games can reach out to the casual gamers. Rather than just the hardcore RPG fans.
I wouldn't know about that... I'd be willing to say that Japanese RPGs in general cater more to the "casual gamer" rather than to the hardcore RPG fan. In my mind, hardcore RPG fan equates to "Western RPG fan". No Japanese RPG is a true roleplaying game in any sense of the word, since they focus more in a predeterminate story and in narrative flow. You're not the character: you're merely watching the character. Western RPGs, on the contrary, try to make you feel you're the character, much more akin to classic tabletop RPGs like D&D (and, incidentally, those are the games the term "RPG" comes from).

Me, I can't stand Western RPGs, even being a tabletop RPG fan myself. My point is that it's impossible to convey the implications a tabletop game presupposes with a video game, so I'd better have something else rather than a highly unpolished, failed attempt at mimicking something I can find by gathering all my friends and my set of dice.
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Old 2007-12-20, 20:40   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
Simple. The release of Final Fantasy VII was accompanied by a big marketing blitz. Add to that the impressive graphics (at the time), and casual gamers were sold on it. Once a brand is known, just keep up the eye candy and they will keep buying.
Well, obviously it's not that simple, or certainly some other company would be able to emulate the sucess of FF & Squaresoft in the west. Yet for the most part, other JRPGs have not been made mainstream in the west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I wouldn't know about that... I'd be willing to say that Japanese RPGs in general cater more to the "casual gamer" rather than to the hardcore RPG fan. In my mind, hardcore RPG fan equates to "Western RPG fan". No Japanese RPG is a true roleplaying game in any sense of the word, since they focus more in a predeterminate story and in narrative flow. You're not the character: you're merely watching the character. Western RPGs, on the contrary, try to make you feel you're the character, much more akin to classic tabletop RPGs like D&D (and, incidentally, those are the games the term "RPG" comes from).
By "casual gamer" I actually mean gamers who don't specifically like JRPGs. Those who usually play 1st person shooter and other mainstream genres in the US. These people tend to know FF, but little else.

I do agree with your definition of RPG. It's just that the word gets thrown around so much as a general term to mean much more than it should be. So I tend to use it like that.
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Old 2007-12-20, 22:52   Link #18
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Originally Posted by meh View Post
Well, obviously it's not that simple, or certainly some other company would be able to emulate the sucess of FF & Squaresoft in the west. Yet for the most part, other JRPGs have not been made mainstream in the west.
I'd imagine that the response to this would be brand dominance. Once you've marketed the heck out of your product and everyone knows it, your product is the big deal. There can be competitors, but once you're established, you're gold. The car analogy is like asking "why are Ferraris considered premium-grade cars, and why can't other car companies match it?" From what I hear, Ferraris are crap cars these days, yet they're still incredibly expensive and they're still highly regarded. That's what market dominance and brand establishment is all about.

As for other JRPGs becoming mainstream, I think it's happened. When I first got into the Megami Tensei series with Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, I was amazed to find that it was sold out practically everywhere. I think I snagged the last copy from the store I found it at. I'd thought that the franchise was totally unknown, but apparently people follow it rather heavily (the more well-known titles from the Megami Tensei series are the Persona line of games). Arguably Disgaea and some of the other RPGs from Nippon Ichi Software also generate a lot of buzz and become hard to find.

Admittedly, part of the scarcity is due to the fact that the games aren't printed and sold in huge numbers. By comparison, Square-Enix floods the market. But what it really comes down to is that Final Fantasy is an established game brand, and it's very unlikely that they could lose it. Even after releasing FFX-2 and receiving a lot of negative sentiments, people were still eager about FFXII.
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Old 2007-12-21, 10:24   Link #19
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Well, during Ye Olde 8 and 16-bit console wars, Sega had always the upper hand in terms of raw console power... despite that, Nintendo has won both of the wars in its time
Irrelevant (and you're wrong anyway, Sega pretty much won the 16-bit war, except in Japan).
Quote:
Besides, isn't that what people usually complain about the newer FFs? That they're all flash and no substance?
Yes. But Phantasy Star wasn't super flashy. It was well animated and care had gone into the graphics. And it had substance. Three planets, talking with creatures, vehicles, etc.
Quote:
PS rocks or whatever, now let me celebrate the anniversary in peace
The anniversary was three days ago. And yesterday was Phantasy Star's.

Not to mention that there isn't much to celebrate. It was a half-decent game. In the West, Final Fantasy didn't even see the light of day until many years later, and Phantasy Star was released overseas in 1988 and was the West's first console RPG.
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Old 2007-12-21, 13:00   Link #20
siya
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20 years...Wow...It came out 5 years before I was born...I never knew that..and yet I've played all of them (except for 3 on DS...)...Final Fantasy, may you go on with another 20 years..and beyond!

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Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
Irrelevant (and you're wrong anyway, Sega pretty much won the 16-bit war, except in Japan).

Yes. But Phantasy Star wasn't super flashy. It was well animated and care had gone into the graphics. And it had substance. Three planets, talking with creatures, vehicles, etc.

The anniversary was three days ago. And yesterday was Phantasy Star's.
Well, I liked Phantasy Star....I found it like a mix of Final Fantasy and Star Wars
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