Of course, we know now that this wasn’t the Final Fantasy…
RELEASE DATE: May 1990
I want to get through this entire review without talking about 1) Final Fantasy and its relationship to Dragon Warrior (much like every other NES RPG, Final Fantasy was heavily influenced by Dragon Warrior) and 2) the Final Fantasy series as a whole. The latter would take forever and involve a lot of confusion and probably some swearing. The former would involve many back-and-forth comparisons which would get old very quickly. I want to focus on Final Fantasy by its own merits, as the game itself does have a lot to offer. That being said…
Final Fantasy is a great RPG and arguably elevated what RPGs could and should be on the NES. Your character sprites are charming and cool, the music is sound, the battle system is fun, despite it not being super in-depth. The game itself is huge. If you want to really make your characters ultra powerful and find the best items and such, you’ll be devoting a good 50 hours to it. What really sets FF apart, though, is the customization of your characters. For the first time in any NES RPG, you could choose to have different classes. Whether you wanted to be an offensive powerhouse and have four fighters on your team, or mix it up with a fighter, a thief, and a white and black mage. The choice was yours. To even have such choices felt unprecedented, but I believe it’s one of the main reasons people keep playing the game after all these years, and why the original Dragon Warrior feels so antiquated in comparison.
This is part 2 of my confessions: I haven’t played the game in full. I’ve started it about five times and each time get sidetracked with life or other contemporary games. While I’d like to sit here and wax eloquent about my favorite parts of the games, I would just be blowing more smoke than I usually do. Instead of pure lies, I’ll regale you with an antidote (nyuk nyuk) of how I first realized that Final Fantasy was special. Everyone knows that, on the title screen, the words Final Fantasy aren’t emblazoned there. I found that strange at first. What self-respecting title screen doesn’t have the actual title of the game there? I began the game, got my characters in order, talked to the king, sighed about having to rescue another princess. I traversed up through the woods and to the old, broken-down castle. To my surprise, Garland – the supposed main bad guy – was already there waiting for me. And I was now fighting him! After besting him quickly and easily, the princess was safe and now I was back in the castle. How queer, I thought. I just rescued a princess in about fifteen minutes and it took about fifteen hours to do it in Dragon Warrior. Obviously, I knew the game wasn’t over, but it was a delight to see them turn such a standard RPG convention – and really, a NES game convention – on its head. Well, the king repaired the bridge to cross over into other lands, so I took my leave and ventured across. The screen went dark. I assumed my “cartridge” had glitched. But no. It was the true title screen interrupting my play and telling me what my real journey would be. Epic music! Restoring orbs! A beautifully lit background that showcased my party in silhouette standing atop a mountain! Truly this would be the fantasy to end all fantasies!
Latest posts by Dylan Cornelius (see all)
- By Request – New Ghostbusters II - April 4, 2014
- The 86 Worst NES Games – Part 4 - April 1, 2014
- The 86 Worst NES Games – Part 3 - March 29, 2014
10 replies on “#226 – Final Fantasy”
I’ve played all of the main series final fantasy games to completion (except XIII … ugh) and can honestly say this is one of my favorites. It’s hard to beat the feeling you get the first time you raise your airship from the desert and suddenly find the whole world open to you. Fighter, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage is my party of choice
“Instead of pure lies, I’ll regale you with an ANTIDOTE of how I first realized that Final Fantasy was special.”
I’m sorry, but this is simply funny. I don’t know if this was misspelled on purpose, but either way, it’s just plain funny. By the way, if it was accidentally misspelled, the correct spelling is anecdote.
Anyway, yes Final Fantasy is a great game, and I need to play it again whenever I can find the time…
Yeah, I did it on purpose! Of course I did…
One of the more epic games I would say. It does show some signs of aging, mostly in the combat, but for the time this was a dream come true. The ability to ‘age’ later on in the game made picking your initial characters all the more entertaining.
The bridge intro is burned into my memory and I still get shivers when I hear that melody.
It shames me to say I havent played the original final fantasy yet. Square really needs to get back into this mindset that, if their game isnt the most incredible work of art they can humanly make, theyll go under, and become hobos.
Cause a lot of the crap they put out now is…crap
Sure, let’s ignore the fact that there are too many glitches to even call this game an rpg and where instead of using strategy, you can only get by through luck. Sure. Garland is easy, but have you tried going through an entire dungeon with a broken magic system (although it says intelligence, it doesn’t actually work, you can only learn three of each level of magic and can’t unlearn anything, and most spells are bought with absurd amounts of money) with “special” weapons that can’t do anything (weapons that are strong against a certain monster do normal damage) fighting monsters that can cast instant death (which you have no resistance to, because no armor has any added abilities whatsoever) that can cast THEIR magic just fine, while you try healing yourself with potions that only heal 30hp (of which you can only collect 99) with the exception of mp, that can’t be healed outside of tents and inns, all leading up to a final boss that can HEAL ITSELF TO ITS MAXIMUM HEALTH, WHICH IS 2000, WHEN YOU WOULD BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO DEAL 200 DAMAGE!!!!!!!????This game is broken. Just telling it like it is.
Sorry, but you are simply wrong. Most of the bugs you cite are just as you say (your glaring inaccuracy is your claim that armor resistances don’t exist), but although the game is technically broken, it is not unplayable. Heck, a critical hit bug actually makes the game EASIER and offsets some of the other difficulties you mention. As for Chaos, he is also extremely beatable if you notice the way monster attack patterns work: Buff and heal until he wastes a turn on Cur4, then whale on him and he won’t heal again until he casts every other spell he knows! Alternatively, grind up a Black Belt and take him down in one attack.
Alright, one, yes the weapons that are supposed to be strong against a certain type arent. But if u look around a bit you should be able to get a more than powerful enough weapon for any character as there are plenty. Anyway i wouldn’t want to be constantly changing my weapons to deal with certain types when u can get some that wreck on everybody. Two, the aegis shield (only one in the game) as well as the proring (two to be found plus can be bought in the shop, so u should have one for every char) protect against death magic. In other words there’s only one dungeon where u really have to worry about that (I think it was the ice cave and yes I had to restart it several times. Just save some of those life spells). As for the final boss, I was underwhelmed as I actually beat him on my first try. As for the magic being expensive, this is true, but the upper level ones are worth it. If u sell all the items u don’t need, not very much grinding is needed, especially in comparison with something like dragon warrior
For a game as ground breaking as this I’d say they did all right. After all what basis for comparison did they have?
Red mage deserves more love.