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Happy Blue Cow
Oct 23, 2008

I have moooore respect for
Mr. Carpainter then others. Even if I become someone's steak dinner, I'll still respect him.





Welcome to the New and Improved Final Fantasy Megathread!! (Previous thread can be found at Link)

Consider this thread a safe-haven for talking about anything and everything Final Fantasy!

Kupo.

So just what exactly is Final Fantasy and why is there so much of it?
If by chance you are completely unaware on just what exactly this series is, Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantajī) is an Japanese RPG owned by Square-Enix (formerly Squaresoft) which first made it's debut in the year 1987, and has been going (relatively) strongly since. There has been a game donning the "Final Fantasy" brand released almost every year since it's inception. As of 2010, fourteen games have been released as part of the main (numbered) series, which I will try to cover briefly below. In addition a huge slew of sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and related video games have been published, as well as numerous titles in other media forms, which I will also try to go into detail. The series has been a resounding critical and commercial success for Square-Enix, and due to its immense popularity, there has been a whole slew of Remakes, Enhanced Ports, and Fan-Translations for a variety of different games in the series.

I've never played a Final Fantasy, what should I know and where should I start?
One of the unique elements found in the main numbered series of Final Fantasy, is that each game takes place in its own independent fictional universe. While there may be some recurring names, creatures, plot themes, or tropes, you can pretty much pick up any numbered game, and play it from start to finish without worrying about missing anything.

When it comes to choosing which Final Fantasy to play first that's when you'll get into conflicting opinions... Like the thread title states, for every positive suggestion you'll get from someone, you'll most likely find someone else who thinks that's the worst game in the series, and that you should play another one instead.

Either way, you can't go wrong, they're ALL great.

So... what you're saying is...
What I'm saying is if there is one thing Final Fantasy fans share in common, it's that people LOVE their favorite Final Fantasy. This series is home to probably the most fanatical passionate lovers of any game on the planet. There are people who are fans of this series that could spend hours upon hours just talking about their interpretation of certain plot points from games released decades ago; Cosplayers who spend days meticulously sculpting their costumes to identically match these characters they love; People who listen to the orchestrated music from their favorite scenes to reminisce, and Musicians who try to emulate their favorite songs; Artists who will draw portraits of their favorite characters; Writers who will draw inspiration from their game play experience; and even just Gamers, who will pour hours and hours into these games trying a variety of different playstyles and strategies...

... and it is all just fantastic.






    Release years by system:
    1987 – Nintendo Entertainment System
    1989 – MSX
    2000 – WonderSwan
    2002 – PlayStation
    2004 – Game Boy Advance, Mobile phones
    2007 – PlayStation Portable (Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition)
    2010 – iOS
    Also included in the Final Fantasy I-II (Nintendo Entertainment System, 1994), Final Fantasy Origins (PlayStation, 2002), and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance, 2004) compilations and the Final Fantasy Mobile (Mobile phones, 2004) collection


Ahhh! The start of it all.

This Fantasy is relatively simple, four youths called the "Warriors of Light", 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. While it might sound corny reading it now, back in 1987, it blew people away. FF1 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 (nearly non-existant) genre.

Before it's release, Square really wasn't doing so well in the gaming industry, and was literally on the edge of bankruptcy. That's when the creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, realized that his next game was most probably going to be the companies last, so he wanted to go out with a bang. The irony in this games creation comes in the form of its title, Final Fantasy, is exactly what it was meant to be, a last attempt at something great. Little did he know that he had just planted the seed that lead the Final Fantasy series to become one of the most recognized names in the entire gaming industry.


    Release years by system:
    1988 – Nintendo Entertainment System
    2001 – WonderSwan Color
    2002 – PlayStation
    2005 – Mobile phones
    2007 – PlayStation Portable (Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition)
    2010 – iOS
    Also included in the Final Fantasy I-II (Nintendo Entertainment System, 1994), Final Fantasy Origins (PlayStation, 2002), and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance, 2004) compilations and the Final Fantasy Mobile (Mobile phones, 2005) collection


This Fantasy 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 and prepares to attempt to destroy the world; the four characters agree to join forces to defeat him.

Final Fantasy II is when Square really tried to push the envelop when it came to story-telling in the video game medium. Contrary to how FF1 was created, the team on FF2 focused first on creating a compelling narrative, and then designed the core game play mechanics around it. One of the biggest changes to this game was completely abandoning the traditional EXP system that was found in other popular RPG's such as Dragon Quest, and instead going with a "Activity-Based Progression" system. Which essentially boiled down to, The more I hit with my Axe, the better I am with Axes! This lead to some hilarious masochistic grinding in the first area of the game to completely break the game flow.

Also worth noting that, due to the untimely release of the SNES in conjunction with the localization time needed for FF2, this game never saw North American shores until much, much later.

One of the key things to note is that FF2 is the spawning point of a large variety of recurring elements found throughout the series, such as Crystals, Cid, and most importantly Chocobos!!


    Release years by system:
    1990 – Nintendo Entertainment System
    2006 – Nintendo DS (Full Remake with 3D Graphics)
    2011 – iOS


This Fantasy 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.

Coming somewhat back to their original roots from FF1, they returned to the standard Experience System for FF3. Only this time, they introduced the phenomenal "Job System" which introduced a variety of classes which are easily recognizable to this day. Each of the four characters could change their "Jobs" at will, to a variety of staple classes such as Black Mage, White Mage, Thief, Monk, Warrior, and much more. This allowed for an enormous amount of customization and let the players craft their team however they desired.

Once again though, due to the untimely release of the SNES, North Americans didnt get a chance to get their hands on this game until 16 years later when it was Remade for the Nintendo DS.


    Release years by system:
    1991 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    1991 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Final Fantasy IV Easytype) (Read as: Easy Mode Re-release)
    1997 – PlayStation
    2002 – WonderSwan Color
    2005 – Game Boy Advance (Final Fantasy IV Advance)
    2007 – Nintendo DS (Full Remake with 3D Graphics)
    2011 – PlayStation Portable (Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection)
    Included in the Final Fantasy Collection (1999, PlayStation) and Final Fantasy Chronicles (2001, PlayStation) compilations, and the European release of the Final Fantasy Anthology (2002, PlayStation) compilation, as well as the Finest Fantasy For Advance collection (2005, Game Boy Advance)
    The PSP version of the game is a compilation of the original game, its sequel Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, and an all-new story which is a tie-in between the other two games.


This game was one of Squares major landmarks on the industry and the genre. FF4 is often heralded as one of the top in the series, and the entire genre as well. This is mostly due in part for it's very strong characterization and story-driven events, as well as the ground-breaking new role-playing designs such as the ATB-Battle system (which has been used for years afterwards)

This Fantasy follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. You can pretty much tell by this point, that "Crystals" usually appear in some way in the plot of any FF whether its major or minor.

This games release in North America also was the reason for MUCH confusion. Due to FF2/FF3 not ever making it to NA shores, FF4 was released in NA under the name "Final Fantasy II" on the SNES. So for those of you who started their first Final Fantasy with FF7 on PS1, and wondered where FF4/5/6 were, this is the reason. Thankfully developers have since rectified this mix-up, and all re-releases have been accurately named FF4.

Nearly all the re-releases of this game are great. The DS version is probably the most newbie friendly of the bunch though, in addition to the cutscenes and graphical overhaul, it has some significant design changes to make some of the more "useless" abilities become useful in their own right.


    Release years by system:
    1992 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    1998 – PlayStation
    2006 – Game Boy Advance (Final Fantasy V Advance)
    Included in the Final Fantasy Collection (1999, PlayStation) and the Final Fantasy Anthology (2002, PlayStation) compilations, as well as the Finest Fantasy For Advance collection (2006, Game Boy Advance)


This Fantasy 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.

This is the Final Fantasy that took the Job System which was first introduced in FF3, and kicked it into overdrive. This is mostly due to the addition of a new form of experience, noted as "Ability-Points" (AP). AP was used in order to individually level up and master the various jobs used by the character. Once an ability was learned, it could be equipped as a sub-skill on another class, allowing for tons of "player created" combinations. The freedom and customization allowed by the player on their party was greatly praised.

Once again, due to a variety of translation issues and time constraints, this game never saw a proper North American release on the SNES. We had to wait for it to be released later on the Playstation/GBA much later. Incidentally though, FF5 was one of the first games to be fan-translated completely.

If you want to play this game, be warned: the release available on the PSN is typically considered to be something of a subpar product. It suffers from significant load times that don't exist in other versions and a script that wasn't localized all that well. It's worth your while to seek out the GBA version, which works off of a much better-written translation, or the Original SNES version with Fan-Translation Patch.


    Release years by system:
    1994 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    1999 – PlayStation
    2006 – Game Boy Advance (Final Fantasy VI Advance)
    Included in the Final Fantasy Collection (1999, PlayStation) and the North American release of the Final Fantasy Anthology (2002, PlayStation) compilations, as well as the Finest Fantasy for Advance collection (2006, Game Boy Advance)


This Fantasy is 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.

It was in this game where Square slowly stepped away from the "high-fantasy" setting, and instead focused on a more "steampunk" aesthetic. The narrative structure was also very different from previous final fantasy's at the time. Instead of focusing on a very linear experience, through the use of flash backs and many optional sub-plots which could be completed in any order, the players were able to create their own non-linear design and really felt as though the story was crafted just for them.

Despite having worked on the previous 5 Final Fantasy games, Hironobu Sakaguchi had to step down from directing FF6 due to having a very large workload. The director role was passed on to Yoshinori Kitasep and Hiroyuki Ito, 2 names you might have undoubtedly heard in the Final Fantasy circa. This game is also another victim of incorrect title labeling, FF6 was originally released in North American on the SNES under the title of "Final Fantasy III"... I promise though this is the last time they mess up a Final Fantasy title when bringing it overseas.

It should be noted that the PSN version of 6 has load time problems. Go for the original SNES version (also on the Wii Virtual Console) if you don't mind a few minor bugs or the GBA version if you don't mind decreased sound quality.


    Release years by system:
    1997 – PlayStation
    1997 – PlayStation (Final Fantasy VII International) (Japan Only)
    1998 – Microsoft Windows PC


This Fantasy follows protagonist Cloud Strife, who, at the beginning of the game, joins the rebel organization AVALANCHE in their quest to stop the world-controlling megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet for use as an energy source. As the story progresses, Cloud and his allies become involved in a larger world-threatening conflict and face Sephiroth, the game's main antagonist.

While Final Fantasy had been primarily found on Nintendo consoles up until this point, Square decided to make a bold move when seeing the power of the Playstation and moved this title there. It was a smart decision indeed, as FF7 was one of the biggest launches in the series selling over 10 million copies worldwide, the most any FF has ever sold. It could even be argued that the success of FF7 is why the Nintendo 64 saw next to no RPG's.

The addition of CGI Backgrounds and Cinematics helped enhance this story-driven narrative ten-fold. This games release literally laid a landmark on history of video games, as it set a standard for RPG's and other games in the genre from then on.


    Release years by system:
    1999 – PlayStation
    2000 – Microsoft Windows personal computer


This Fantasy 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 primary protagonist is Squall Leonhart, a 17-year-old reclusive loner and student at the military academy Balamb Garden, who is training to become a "SeeD", a mercenary paid by the academy.

With the success of FF7 under their belt, Square felt pretty comfortable in their position and could really think about pushing their limits further. One of the most notable graphical changes was in FF8; In all previous FF's, there were two seperate character sprites/models, one for in the field, and one high-definition for in battle. They decided to abolish this idea, and instead create a single high-definition model which can be used in every situation, whether it be on the field, in a cut-scene, or in battle. This enhanced immersion greatly in the title.

While remaining somewhat in the "steampunk fantasy" genre, FF8 also focused on the concept of being a student in the military academy. This gave the game a sort of "school days" vibe to it and felt really unique when compared to the rest of the series. It showed in the sales, as this title snagged a healthy 8 million units sold.

FF8 also made a nod towards FF2 with its unique leveling system. Rather than having players focus on Experience Points and Magic Points, they used the "Junction" and "Draw" system in tandem with character growth. Players could "Draw" (up to 99) of a Magic Spell, and then Junction that onto a Characters Stat in order to raise it. This allowed players a great deal of customization, and not to mention crazy tactics to break the game.


    Release years by system:
    2000 – PlayStation


This Fantasy centers on a war between many nations. Players follow a young thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with others to defeat Queen Brahne of Alexandria, the one responsible for beginning the war. The plot shifts, however, when the characters realize that Brahne is working with an even more threatening person called Kuja.

This title took a different approach when compared to the last 3 titles in the series. Rather than going with the realistic steam-punk aesthetic, they instead followed the roots of the series and went with more of a cartoony and distorted high-fantasy tale. Sakaguchi himself called this his favorite Final Fantasy game as "it's closest to [his] ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be," the Final Fantasy that he envisioned all those years ago.

Despite a few complaints that "old fashioned" can sometimes border on clichι, it was the best reviewed game in the series, at least in the West. Despite this, it "only" managed to sell 5 million copies, a fact that could partly be attributed to the declining 32-bit generation and the release of Dragon Quest VII in Japan a few months earlier.


    Release years by system:
    2001 – PlayStation 2
    2002 – PlayStation 2 (Final Fantasy X International)
    2012 - Playstation 3 & Vita (Final Fantasy X HD) (Newly Announced!!)


This Fantasy is set in the world of Spira, and is centered around a group of adventurers and their quest to defeat a rampaging monster known as Sin. The player character is Tidus, a blitzball star who finds himself in Spira after his home city of Zanarkand is destroyed by Sin. During the game, Tidus, along with several others, aids the summoner Yuna on her pilgrimage to destroy Sin.

This was Squares largest undertaking in the series. Due to the newly launched Playstation 2, Square was given the ability to do things they could not on previous consoles. The first of those things was completely abolishing 2D CGI backgrounds, and instead creating fully navigable 3D Environments. The second of these things, was making the entirety of the game... voiced. While most games at the time had small snippets of voice acting, FF10 managed to cram 30-hours worth of voice-acting and pretty much set a standard for games of the genre. They also went crazy when it came to In-Game Cut-scenes, as this title had the most the series had seen to date.


    Release years by system:
    2003 – PlayStation 2
    2004 – PlayStation 2 (Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission)


This Fantasy follows the character Yuna from Final Fantasy X as she seeks to resolve political conflicts in the fictional world of Spira before it leads to war.

One of the first things worth mentioning about this title, is that it is the first ever "Direct Sequel" in the main series. By this I mean, the story from 10-2 directly follows after the story from 10, so chances are if you play this without knowing what happened, you might be a little lost. It was also the first game in the series to feature only three playable characters, an all-female main cast, and early access to most of the game's locations. It's also one of the few games in the series to feature multiple endings. Finally, it was the first Final Fantasy game in the series that didn't have any musical contributions in it from longtime composer Nobuo Uematsu.

The developers sought to make this a very "light-hearted" title from the start. At the time, Final Fantasy was mostly recognized for its heavy melodramatic plots, and 10-2 took a step in the opposite direction and made the narrative very fluffy and fun.


    Release years by system:
    2002 – PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows PC
    2006 – Xbox 360


Also known as Final Fantasy XI: Online, This Fantasy is set in the world of Vana'diel, where player-created avatars can both compete and cooperate in a variety of objectives to develop an assortment of jobs, skills, and in-game item rewards. Players can also undertake an array of quests and progress through the in-game hierarchy and thus though the major plot of the game. Since its debut in 2002, four expansion packs have also been released, adding numerous areas, quests, and item rewards to the Final Fantasy XI world.

This was the series first undertaking in the Online MMORPG market. Despite being in the Online world, Square took great efforts in keeping their mantra of Innovation. FF11 was the first ever "Cross-Platform" MMORPG, meaning players on the PS2 could play alongside players on PC. They also took this a step further and merged North American and Japanese Servers together, and through the use of a simple Auto-Translator, ultimately forced players across the globe to communicate and play together.

To this day, the game is still going strong and there is a core dedicated development team who plan on releasing new content. Feel free to check out the FF11 Goon Thread for more information.


    Release years by system:
    2006 – PlayStation 2
    2007 – PlayStation 2 (Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System) (Japan Only)


This Fantasy takes place in the fictional land of Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. When Dalmasca is annexed by Archadia, its princess, Ashe, creates a resistance movement. During the struggle, she meets Vaan, a young adventurer who dreams of commanding an airship. They are quickly joined by a band of allies; together, they rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.

Final Fantasy XII had an uphill battle to climb. The Xbox 360 had already launched, and sales of PlayStation 2 games were falling. In America, Western games like Knights of the Old Republic and Oblivion were eroding the stranglehold Japanese games once held on the console RPG market. When all was said and done, Final Fantasy XII sold 5 million copies.

One of the biggest changes to this game in the series was the complete removal of the turn-based "random battle" screen. Instead the entire world map was transformed into a living battle screen, and monster encounters could be avoided by simply circling around them. Another Love/Hate design addition, was in the form of a mechanic named "Gambits." This allowed players to "pre-program" their party to perform actions when certain conditions were met (example: When Ally HP is Below 50%, Cast Cure.) Some players loved this function, since it eliminated the monotony of repeatedly performing the same actions in battles, whereas other players hated it, since it made it feel like the game was essentially playing itself.

The International Zodiac Job System version of the game made tremendous improvements to the game and is by far the recommended version of the title. The problem is it's been released in Japan Only. A Complete English Fan-Translation Patch exists but that falls under , if you can get your hand on that, it's well worth it.


    Release years by system:
    2009 – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
    2010 – Xbox 360 (Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International)


This Fantasy takes place in the fictional floating world of Cocoon, whose government, the Sanctum, is ordering a purge of civilians who have supposedly come into contact with Pulse, the much-feared world below. The former soldier Lightning begins her fight against the government in order to save her sister who has been branded as an unwilling servant to a god-like being from Pulse, making her an enemy of Cocoon. Lightning is soon joined by a band of allies, and together the group also become marked by the same Pulse creature. They rally against the Sanctum while trying to discover their assigned task and whether they can avoid being turned into monsters or crystals at the completion.

Final Fantasy XIII is the flagship title of the Fabula Nova Crystallis collection of Final Fantasy games and is the first game to use Square Enix's Crystal Tools engine. Final Fantasy XIII received mostly positive reviews from video game publications, which praised the game's graphics, presentation, and battle system. Reviewers were more mixed in their opinion about the game's story and linearity compared to previous games in the series.

The games prominent feature is the "Paradigm Shift" battle system, which allows players to rapidly shift between set roles for their 3-man team setup in order to exploit enemy weaknesses. This allowed for the most active and intense battles the series has seen to date.


    Release years by system:
    2011 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


This Fantasy takes place three years after the events of FF13. Lightning, the protagonist of the original game, has disappeared into an unknown world. Her younger sister Serah Farron, a returning character, and a young man named Noel Kreiss attempt to find Lightning.

This is the second direct sequel in the main numbered series. Most of the changes found in this title were directly aimed at criticisms found in FF13, particularly the linearity. Because of these changes, the title received mostly positive reviews from video game journalists, which praised the game's graphics, lack of linearity and gameplay but criticized the story.


    Release years by system:
    2010 – Microsoft Windows personal computer
    TBA – PlayStation 3


Also known as Final Fantasy XIV:Online, and similarly to FF11, this title is also an MMORPG. This Fantasy takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which has a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements, Players can choose from a variety of races to set as their Avatar as they cooperate to unfold the story.

This game was released to generally negative reception. Due to criticisms of the game's quality, Square Enix has reshuffled the development team and completely overhauled the gameplay since launch. On October 14th, 2011, Square Enix announced their intention to relaunch the game as "Final Fantasy XIV 2.0". The relaunch, currently slated for late 2012-early 2013, will incorporate a new graphics engine, new server and data structures, revamped interface, redesigned maps, more gameplay variations and content, and new playable sexes of certain races (male Miqo'te and female Roegadyn). Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 will coincide with the PlayStation 3 release of the game.

Despite the rocky start, the developers have showed that they are pouring a ton of passion into this title, and it's quickly shaping up to be a very memorable experience. Feel free to check the FFXIV Goon Thread for more information or to ask any questions





If there is anything you see that is incorrect...
OR
if you wish to submit your own screenshots/paragraphs of informatory text of either spin-offs I haven't covered, or updates to things I already have covered...
OR
any sort of feedback at all really...
feel free to just PM me or Let me know in the thread, I'll do my best to keep it up to date.

Happy Blue Cow fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2012 around 00:15

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Happy Blue Cow
Oct 23, 2008

I have moooore respect for
Mr. Carpainter then others. Even if I become someone's steak dinner, I'll still respect him.






Written by: TurnipFritter
    Release years by system:
  • 2009 - Nintendo DS


This Fantasy combines the great tastes of hat fetishism and storybooks. Following in the footsteps of the Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV remakes, it was an attempt to create an all-new 8-bit Final Fantasy title for the NDS. 4HoL follows a group of teenagers trying to save the local princess from an evil witch. Much like in the original Final Fantasy, rescuing the princess is just the beginning: A curse befalls their hometown, turning everyone stone, and the four set out across the world to find a cure.

The Job system makes a return, this time in the form of Crowns: By changing a character's adorable hat, they change their job as well. Many traditional FF Jobs do put in an appearance (Red Mages, Dragoons and Summoners are notably absent), but with just enough design changes to make them feel fresh after FFIIIDS.

Stripped of the ATB, extraneous stats, and even the ability to manually select your targets, 4HoL is meant to be as efficient as possible. Even MP and spell charges were dropped so the player doesn't have to worry about rationing their magic through lengthy dungeon treks.

The game was met with mixed reviews. The graphics were praised as charming, while players were less than thrilled with the old school gameplay staples like "walk around and talk to everybody" and limited inventories.



Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2008 – PSP


This Fantasy is the equivalent of Super Smash Brothers, this brawler pits ten heroes from the main games selected by the Goddess of Order, Cosmos, to fight for the crystals against ten villains chosen by the God of Discord, Chaos.

There are twenty-two playable characters, each with their own unique playstyle, with some more difficult to master than others, but the gameplay mechanics themselves are simple to grasp, and most importantly, fun.

As a massive love letter to the series, it's chock full of references, allusions, imagery and locations spanning the entire series, be they obvious or subtle.

Fairly well recieved, and praised for its fluid combat controls (though not for the camera), it did well enough to gain a sequel Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy.




Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2002 - Playstation 2 (Kingdom Hearts 1)
  • 2002 - Playstation 2 (Kingdom Hearts Final Mix) (Japan Only)
  • 2004 - Game Boy Advance (Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories)
  • 2006 - Playstation 2 (Kingdom Hearts 2)
  • 2007 - Playstation 2 (Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix+)
  • 2008 - Mobile (Kingdom Hearts: Coded) (Japan Only)
  • 2008 - Playstation 2 (Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories)
  • 2009 - Nintendo DS (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days)
  • 2010 - Playstation Portable (Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep)
  • 2010 - Nintendo DS (Kingdom Hearts: RE:Coded)
  • 2012 - Nintendo 3DS (Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance)
  • TBD - Next-Gen Consoles (Kingdom Hearts 3)


First conceived by a chance meeting between a Square executive and a Disney executive in an elevator, the Kingdom Hearts series was an unlikely fusion of Disney and Final Fantasy characters in a third person, action-adventure JRPG.

Following the story of Sora - a young boy who has been gifted the Keyblade, a key-shaped weapon of mysterious power - as he, along with Donald Duck and Goofy, attempts to stop the threat of creatures known as "the Heartless" from devouring the hearts of entire worlds, destroying them in the process. While also on the look out for his lost friends, and the missing king, Mickey Mouse.

Despite the insane premise of the union, the games have proved successful enough to become a strong series in its own right, though still replete with the usual cameos of Moogles and Final Fantasy characters.

It has its own megathread.





Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2006 - PS2


One of the many spawn from Square Enix's Compilation of FFVII series, the story follows the ex-Turk Vincent Valentine, three years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, as he uncovers both the reasons behind his mysterious transformation abilities and the attacks by an enigmmatic army - Deepground and the Tsviets - one of the Shinra company's lingering, hidden experiments, who are involved in the inexplicable kidnapping of thousands of people.

As a third-person shooter, something of a radical departure from the series more traditional menu-based combat, Vincent makes his way through the levels with his trusty three-barrelled pistol, Cerberus, though he can later find both a sniper rifle and machine-gun, and use magical projectiles. And occasionally can transform into a murderous rampagin hellbeast to deal with larger threats.

The game has had mostly mixed to negative reception, with common complaints being about the slippery shooting mechanics, the melodramatic story and characters, and the overabundance of cutscenes.



Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2007 - PSP


Taking place seven years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, the game follows the previously untold story of Zack Fair, following the trail of the missing first class SOLDIER, Genesis Rhapsodos, aided by his friend and mentor, another first class SOLDIER, Angeal Hewley, and occasionally by Sephiroth - the pride of Shinra's SOLDIER.

The game is an action RPG, similar to that of Kingdom Hearts, with battles taking place in real time and allowing Zack to move around the battlefield, attack or dodge. By equipping various materia, the player can customise his actions and moves in battle, as well as using them to give stat boosts.

The big feature of Crisis Core though is the "Digital Mind Wave" (DMW), a type of slot machine device, which will grant random bonuses, attacks or summons during the battle to aid them.

Reception to the game was mostly positive, praising the graphics, music and combat system, but with some negative issues involving the random nature of the DMW, and the character of Genesis Rhapsodos - musician, Gackt Camui's literal Mary Sue self-insert.



Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2004 to 2006 - Various Mobile Phones (Japan only)


The first game to be released for the Compilation, the plot is set six years before the events of Final Fantasy VII, and follows the Turks as they follow the bidding of the Shinra electric company, and try to foil the plans of AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist organization dedicated to stopping Shinra.

Spread over twenty-five chapters and released over a period of two years, it allowed play as one of many Turk characters, each with their own speciality.

Despite hints that there would be an English release, the game still remains firmly in Japan's clutches with little chance of localisation.






Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • 2011 - PSP (Japan Only)


This fantasy, formally known as "Agito" follows the story of Class Zero of the "Rubrum Peristylium Suzaku" magic acadamy (think FFVIII's Gardens), as they protect their country's crystal from the might of Cid Aulstyne, High Commander of the neighbouring Milites Empire, as he attempts to steal it from them.

Apparently playing similarly to Crisis Core, the player can play as 14 different characters, each specialising as a certain job. It also brings back the world map and travel by Chocobo.

Initially announced for mobile release, it was later changed to the PSP early in development. Much like Before Crisis, it remains firmly in Japan's vice-grip, though with this one, there may yet be a chance of seeing it on Western shores.


Written by: Pesky Splinter
    Release years by system:
  • TBA - PS3


This fantasy follows Prince Noctis "Noct" Lucis Caselum as he tries to protect his country's crystal from falling into enemy hands, and deal with the mysterious forces that work against him.

Initially announced in 2006, the game has fast become Final Fantasy's very own, Duke Nukem Forever, with scant information having been released over the last six years, outside of one song, three trailers and a half dozen screenshots.

The trailers seem to indicate a third-person, real time action type game, as seen in the Kingdom Hearts series, though with a chance to change to a shooting mode, and ride vehicles. Of course, whether any of that remains in the final game, remains to be seen.

Square Enix, are still apparently working on it. So watch this space!







********

Post Reserved for Tactics, bad movies, a bunch of Chocobo/Crystal Chronicle spin-offs, and that Versus thing that maybe will come out sometime in our lifetime.

Happy Blue Cow fucked around with this message at May 25, 2012 around 22:07

That Fucking Sned
Oct 28, 2010



Great work! I love the banners that you gave each game, especially due to the Amano artwork.

Hopefully this thread will see the relase of Versus XIII, but I shouldn't get my hopes up.

This Jacket Is Me
Jan 29, 2009


Obligatory "if you haven't played FF6, you owe it to yourself" post because it's on like every system ever released and has a unique self-aware plot that you can either get into/totally ignore/relentlessly mock for equal amounts of fun. It's like the "I just got a PS3, what game should I play? Valkyria Chronicles!" of the FF threads.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010

Actually, Lucy, my trouble is football. I just don't understand it. Instead of feeling happy, I feel sort of let down.

Go Lions.


To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.

This Jacket Is Me
Jan 29, 2009


My first FF was 8 (well, it was actually 3 but I only played it for a few minutes), and my favorites are 6 and 10. Now, 6 bears a striking resemblance to best jRPG ever Chrono Trigger (and even shares a number of art assets with it), so maybe some of that magic has rubbed off on it. But 10 really was an accomplishment IMO apart from any other RPG/anime trends.

Harlock
Jan 15, 2006

Tap "A" to drink!!!



C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.
FF1 was the first I played when I was really little, but I don't think I grasped most of it back then. I did rent FF4 a lot as a child, but never really got very far. It wasn't until FF6 that I really started to enjoy the series and like it so much back in the day. I remember the moment when I finally beat the Floating Continent (a task that eluded me for such a long time) and I thought I had won the game.. then found out there was a World of Ruin.

Adam Bowen
Jan 6, 2003


C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.


That's just a coincidence because you happened to play the best one first. My first Final Fantasy was the original, and my favorite is 6. 4 was my sentimental favorite for a long time because I have great memories of being 10 years old and playing it with my mom and my little sisters, but 6 is obviously the better game in every way.

MarsDragon
Apr 27, 2010

"You've all learned something very important here: there are things in this world you just can't change!"

My first FF was 7, but my favourites are Tactics, 9, and 12.

7 is pretty fun, though. I'm replaying it for the first time in well over a decade now, and it's cool to look back on it without being blinded by nostalgia or backlash to the fandom. It's actually an interesting little game with some really atrocious pacing.

PhilippAchtel
May 31, 2011


C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.

I think your favorite is likely to be one of the first you played, but I played FFI and IV before VI, which is my favorite. My second favorite is XII and my third is X, which are both quite a bit more recent.

Many people cite IX as their favorite, but many of them like the fact that it is a throw back to the earlier generation of games. You wouldn't appreciate that fact if it was your first game, however.

TurnipFritter
Apr 21, 2010
10,000 POSTS ON TALKING TIME

Happy Blue Cow posted:

if you wish to submit your own screenshots/paragraphs of informatory text of either spin-offs I haven't covered, or updates to things I already have covered... feel free to just PM me or Let me know in the thread, I'll do my best to keep it up to date.

I'm poor and don't have PM so:

Final Fantasy
The 4 Heroes of Light




Release years by system:
2009 - Nintendo DS

This Fantasy combines the great tastes of hat fetishism and storybooks. Following in the footsteps of the Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV remakes, it was an attempt to create an all-new 8-bit Final Fantasy title for the NDS. 4HoL follows a group of teenagers trying to save the local princess from an evil witch. Much like in the original Final Fantasy, rescuing the princess is just the beginning: A curse befalls their hometown, turning everyone stone, and the four set out across the world to find a cure.

The Job system makes a return, this time in the form of Crowns: By changing a character's adorable hat, they change their job as well. Many traditional FF Jobs do put in an appearance (Red Mages, Dragoons and Summoners are notably absent), but with just enough design changes to make them feel fresh after FFIIIDS.

Stripped of the ATB, extraneous stats, and even the ability to manually select your targets, 4HoL is meant to be as efficient as possible. Even MP and spell charges were dropped so the player doesn't have to worry about rationing their magic through lengthy dungeon treks.

The game was met with mixed reviews. The graphics were praised as charming, while players were less than thrilled with the old school gameplay staples like "walk around and talk to everybody" and limited inventories.

Himuro
Jan 13, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.

Completely disagree with this.

My first was VII, and while it was my favorite for a quite a bit of time, my favorites in the series are VIII and XII.

Level Slide
Jan 4, 2011

It'll work out somehow.

My first Final Fantasy was X, but my favorite Final Fantasy is Kingdom Hearts.

Happy Blue Cow
Oct 23, 2008

I have moooore respect for
Mr. Carpainter then others. Even if I become someone's steak dinner, I'll still respect him.



TurnipFritter posted:

I'm poor and don't have PM so:

Nice! I'll add it to the post right away. I'll whip up a matching banner for it as well tomorrow.

Also for anyone else reading, feel free to whip up your own write-ups/screenshots for any spin-off games in the Final Fantasy series. I'll gladly add it to the OP. The same goes if you'd like some extra history about anything I've already written added as well.



vvvvvvv Thanks!

Happy Blue Cow fucked around with this message at May 13, 2012 around 17:52

Himuro
Jan 13, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Great thread by the way, Happy Blue Cow!

Broken Box
Jan 29, 2009
We should fully understand our religion. Fighting is a part of our religion and our Sharia


Harlock posted:

FF1 was the first I played when I was really little, but I don't think I grasped most of it back then. I did rent FF4 a lot as a child, but never really got very far. It wasn't until FF6 that I really started to enjoy the series and like it so much back in the day. I remember the moment when I finally beat the Floating Continent (a task that eluded me for such a long time) and I thought I had won the game.. then found out there was a World of Ruin.



This is my experience identically. My family had owned the first one from when I was very young and I practically taught myself to read to play it prior to entering kindergarten (in addition to Dragon Warrior I & II, Crystalis) FF4 was impossible to find so I rented it until I was able to finish it and finally found it for purchase after the lifespan of the SNES. FF6 was the first time I went out of my way to buy a Final Fantasy and I really enjoyed it. The World of Ruin was a very unexpected twist considering the whole lighthearted good guys vs. the empire theme up until that point.

Super Ninja Fish
Jan 21, 2006


C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.

I don't think many people who started with FF1 would pick that as their favorite. FF1 was my first. I never liked it. It was too grindy and lacked the charm of the NES Dragon Quests to make up for it. FFX is my favorite.

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010


That whole "you just love it the most because it was your first" thing reminds me of my early days on the internet. Back in 2003 all I could find was VIi fanboys and IX haters. VII was my first FF but then i played IX and thought it was much better. The bitter fourteen-year-old me concluded that VII was poo poo and all its fans were just dumb.

Luckily I grew out of this. VII is a fine game and people are entitled to like whatever they wish.

Anyway, IX is still my favorite to this day. However FFXII gives it a lot of competition. An FFIX with FFXII's battle system would be perfection since it's only IX's battle system that I hate.

PunkBoy
Aug 22, 2008

Do I have everybody's attention now?


My first was X and it still remains my favorite. I think it shaped how I feel about the series since I tend to enjoy the newer ones more than the older ones I have played.

Pesky Splinter
Feb 16, 2011

I'm motivated


Nice OP Happy Blue Cow!

Mercury Crusader
Apr 20, 2005

Nice to meet ya, hee ho!

Super Ninja Fish posted:

I don't think many people who started with FF1 would pick that as their favorite. FF1 was my first. I never liked it. It was too grindy and lacked the charm of the NES Dragon Quests to make up for it. FFX is my favorite.

Same here as far as FF1 being my first but not necessarily being my favorite. It's in my top 3, but I'd say VI and IX are up there (VI being my favorite), with XII being a very close fourth place. Dragon Warrior/Quests games, especially during the NES era, were a lot more fun to me than FF was, and I'd dare say Dragon Warrior III is my favorite RPG of all time.

Never really did like FFVII when it first game out, at least as much as others did. I thought that the reduced number of characters and using only three at a time was really awkward, and I always thought the graphics for the game were a mixed bag (I couldn't get past Cloud's Popeye arms). I thought it was alright, just not this grand game everybody made it out to be, especially since I always felt VI was a larger game, though that had a lot to do with the World of Ruin find-everybody-again exploration that was pretty non-linear once you got the airship.

Fight Club Sandwich
Apr 29, 2006

you want a piece of me???

PunkBoy posted:

My first was X and it still remains my favorite. I think it shaped how I feel about the series since I tend to enjoy the newer ones more than the older ones I have played.

This is because the newer ones tend to be better games and people have inflated opinions of the older FFs because of nostalgia

Ignite Memories
Feb 27, 2005

White Widow.


How you handle early vs late final fantasies largely depends how much tolerance you have for a videogame being firmly lodged up its own rear end.

This Jacket Is Me
Jan 29, 2009


Ditto the DQ > FF for NES titles. I'd like to get back into some of the sprite DQ's but time, effort, etc.

Nahxela
Oct 11, 2008

Execution


The first FF I legitimately played all the way through was the Gamecube Crystal Chronicles game. I've played some of the other FF games since then, but I think I enjoy Crystal Chroniles the most.

glod
Oct 6, 2007

woof


Very good OP! I especially like the banners for each game and the Amano art. Some of the pieces I've never seen before!

C-Euro posted:

To start us off- I've heard it mention in a few places that oftentimes one's favorite Final Fantasy is the first one they ever played. How many of you are guilty of this? FF6 was the first one I played and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, so I've fallen into that trap.

My first was FF4 (on the SNES as FF2), and while I do like it a lot, my favorite is FF5, which I didn't get to play until the PlayStation re-release of it, followed by FF6, which I also didn't get to play until the PlayStation.

GATOS Y VATOS
Aug 22, 2002

"You're so cool I'ma call you culo..."


I remember when VI came out for the SNES it was graphically mind-blowing for a game of that time (well, not PC level, but you understand). The music was incredible coming from those chips, and the story was a lot of fun. Still remains my favorite of the series. I had played 1 & 4 and loving loved them (hell yeah the loving moon!) but VI was really a step above.

VII was really great and I can understand the following. I played the import using translations and my so-so understanding of Japanese and then the US version when it finally came out as well. VIII never grabbed a hold of me and I stopped playing it around 8 hours in. IX was the last FF game I played to completion. It was a lot of fun, but kind of felt a bit hollow to me and rather cliche.

Great OP!

That Fucking Sned
Oct 28, 2010



My first Final Fantasy game was I on the GBA.

What I liked about it included the freedom it gave you in regards to your characters, how their lack of dialogue meant their personalities were entirely up to your imagination, the sense of exploration, the feeling of progression as you acquire new weapons and spells, fight new monsters and discover new dungeons, the simplistic story, the music, the visuals and the battle system.

How little of that applies to Final Fantasy XIII.

Grope-A-Matic
Nov 16, 2008

sigh... you really suck at hand
to hand combat i wont lie and
this is way more challenging
then i thought it would be. to
teach you hand to hand combat,
alright i will try to teach you
some more hand to hand combat


Nahxela posted:

The first FF I legitimately played all the way through was the Gamecube Crystal Chronicles game. I've played some of the other FF games since then, but I think I enjoy Crystal Chroniles the most.

Same here. FF:CC had great graphics for a Gamecube game, and unlike most Final Fantasy games, it actually allowed for co-op multiplayer. Sure, having to use the GC-GBA connector set-up was a pain in the rear end, but it was still a blast. I was lucky in that one of my best friends also had a GBA and the connector cable. We've spent so much playing time on that game

Zelder
Jan 4, 2012

They still call it the White House
But that's a temporary condition, too.


FFXII is probably my favorite "real" Final Fantasy.

Crystal Chronicles (with the right group of friends) is absolutely amazing though. Look for someone who will pull the chalice without making a lot of fuss.

Nahxela
Oct 11, 2008

Execution


Grope-A-Matic posted:

Same here. FF:CC had great graphics for a Gamecube game, and unlike most Final Fantasy games, it actually allowed for co-op multiplayer. Sure, having to use the GC-GBA connector set-up was a pain in the rear end, but it was still a blast. I was lucky in that one of my best friends also had a GBA and the connector cable. We've spent so much playing time on that game

Playing that game with friends is tons of fun. It's also funny if you're overleveled and you get all the points, so you get to pick all the good Relics at the end of the levels~

Polite Tim
Sep 3, 2007
'insert witty Family Guy/ Futurama/ Simpsons/ Little fucking Britian etc quote here'

The Final Fantasy game I enjoyed the most was probably XII, followed closely by IX and then VI.

XII had this massive open world that felt lived in, a sense of scale that hasn't been replicated since (in the main series anyway). There was a lot to do in it, the battle system was completely removed from previous games but worked really well if you just wanted to give basic orders to your team and get on with exploring.

IX had an unusual fantasy setting with a lot of cool and dorky characters, it didn't take itself too seriously and it had an excellent skills/equipment system. The overworld, the last of it's type in an FF game, had a buzz about it, and was interesting looking. Chocobo Hot and Cold is loving amazing too.

VI just simply had a cool story, cool battle system, interesting techno-fantasy world and a tonne of optional content.

I also liked X-2 a hell of a lot.

Final Fantasy has a huge list of spin off games, of variable quality. I'm currently playing Bahamut Lagoon, which i'm enjoying so far even if it is a bit basic and the story is terrible. It's one of the few SRPGs i've played that has some form of environmental interaction.

notZaar
Jan 7, 2004



Is FF14 still a pile? I could not believe how unfinished that game was. What on earth pushed S-E to rush the game out the door?

Mercury Crusader
Apr 20, 2005

Nice to meet ya, hee ho!

Grope-A-Matic posted:

Same here. FF:CC had great graphics for a Gamecube game, and unlike most Final Fantasy games, it actually allowed for co-op multiplayer. Sure, having to use the GC-GBA connector set-up was a pain in the rear end, but it was still a blast. I was lucky in that one of my best friends also had a GBA and the connector cable. We've spent so much playing time on that game

I was in tech school when Crystal Chronicles was released, and a bunch of us had GBAs, while I for some reason had a bunch of those connector cables for some unknown reason. Myself and another airman had a Gamecube, and my Gamecube had a GBA Player on it, so I thought it'd be hilarious to use that as my GBA for the game. Had an elaborate setup involving a small PC LCD screen, an A/V-to-VGA conversion box, and the GCN-to-GBA connector affixed to the GBA Player. It was basically this setup. It was stupid but a lot of fun.

Though that setup was much more fun with Pac-Man Vs. Man, I miss those days.

Eggie
Aug 15, 2010

Something ironic, I'm certain


My first Final Fantasy was 6. Yeah, it's my favourite. Yeah, I think it's the best game in the franchise (most of the time) but I have taken lots of time to think about each game's merits.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

THE STRONGESTER!!


The first FF I played was 4. I rented it several times, and as a result, I managed to completely spoil the game for myself thanks to several saves by other renters, including all the way up to the final save.

I hold up the opening cutscene as one of my moments of my childhood.

El Estrago Bonito
Dec 17, 2010

Scout Finch Bitch


I really hope we get a retranslation of FF7. That game actually has a fairly cool plot and Cloud is actually a really interesting character, but all of that was lost in the hilariously bad translation that made the plot essentially gibberish and Cloud into a whiny rear end in a top hat.

Nathilus
Apr 4, 2002

I alone can see through the media bias.

I'm also stupid on a scale that can only be measured in Reddits.

Out of the old school FF games that made it to the US, VI rightfully gets all the glory, but IV was also bloody brilliant, especially to me as a young child. It has everything, Dark Knights that find their touchy healy sides, Chocobos, nasty summons, Three YES THATS THREE overworlds, I think 3 or 4 different pilotable airships, a tank, and MOTHERFUCKING SPACE WHALE. It wasn't the first FF to pull a massive awesome scale change gotcha and it sure as hell wasn't the last, but it did it right.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007

Watch that tongue... sticky!


El Estrago Bonito posted:

I really hope we get a retranslation of FF7. That game actually has a fairly cool plot and Cloud is actually a really interesting character, but all of that was lost in the hilariously bad translation that made the plot essentially gibberish and Cloud into a whiny rear end in a top hat.

I really suspect it would end badly. I remember when Advent Children actually had Tseng be alive there was endless bitching about Square retconning their story for no reason when that was actually the result of a mistranslation in the first place. Now imagine that on a larger scale.

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Ignite Memories
Feb 27, 2005

White Widow.


Aw, i'm kinda sad the thread tag got changed from poo poo-POST.

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