The Past, Present and Future of Final Fantasy

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2015

Final Fantasy has been a staple in the video game industry since its debut. The reason is actually easy to see – it has a rich story, the gameplay is great and the visuals are simply striking. Due to its success, the franchise spawned other media crossovers, such as an animated series and several films. Its latest one, Final Fantasy XV, went through a rocky path before it was materialized for release.

The History of Final Fantasy

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One lesson we can learn from the birth of Final Fantasy is that desperation to succeed comes off with a good result. The franchise was created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and was developed by Square Enix. The first game was released in 1987 and is said to be his last attempt to make a name in the gaming industry. Two decades later, Final Fantasy is now credited as the reason why console-based role playing games became popular outside Japan. The franchise brought several innovations to the gaming industry. It was critically acclaimed for using full motion videos, photo-realistic character designs and beautiful score.

In terms of storyline, Final Fantasy games are independent with each other, but use the same character names and setting. At the moment, the franchise sold over 110 million copies of its game, making it as one of the best-selling games in history.

Plot

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The plot of Final Fantasy involves the time-tested premise of saving the world from an ancient evil. Here, a player must collect crystals to progress with the game’s story. Control over these crystals pose a major conflict in the games. As regards to the thematic presentation, several real life references, like the Gaia hypothesis and conflicts between nature and technology are employed. Monsters are also drawn from European and Asian religions.

Rebellion against an evil leader is a common trope Final Fantasy has, regardless the game you are playing. The characters are mostly destined to defeat the evil and may be together due to circumstances brought by the villain. As regards to antagonists, the franchise presents two well-worn types. The first one is blatantly presented in the series, while the other one is similar to a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Pinning down the main villain is hard during the early days of the series, as it is divided into arcs having different bosses. Hence, a player must progress in terms of the story to identify them all.

Personal lives of these characters are also given emphasis in Final Fantasy in exchange of plot progression. Romance, tragedy and internal struggle are often portrayed to enrich the characterization. Interrelationships between characters are also explored, giving the way for Final Fantasy to develop romance and rivalry between the leads. Plot devices like amnesia, possession by an evil force and self-sacrifice are also prominent in the franchise. Final Fantasy also highlights the passion and deepest sorrows of the characters you selected.

Gameplay

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Final Fantasy is a menu-driven series, in which a player controls a team of characters. There are various buttons for the players to fight enemies, use magic or pick items along the way. The game was written in a way so these characters can explore the world by defeating enemies. Simultaneously, their internal struggles are also explored as they unfold the story deeper.

As with most RPG games, Final Fantasy also employs a level up system and classes for its characters. The one you chose for your character also dictates what story the game will employ, depending on the installment you are playing. Magic is a recurring element in Final Fantasy, and its usage varies from one game to another. What’s universally known is that magic is grouped according to colors. Some magic spells render you to attack enemies, some to assist your teammates and others to summon monsters.

In terms of the battle system, it differs with the game you are playing. Turn based mode is employed for the most of the franchise until Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII aimed to create an action-oriented atmosphere, in order to replicate the cinematic visuals created by Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

Legacy

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Final Fantasy changed the rules of role playing games the moment it became a hit through the masses. Most games of its kind employed fights involving a one-on-one between your chosen character and a monster. This franchise opened up the possibility of utilizing multiple heroes fighting at the same time. It is a game credited for having a level-based class system. The wide variety of transportation systems was first introduced in Final Fantasy. With the release of Final Fantasy VII, it cemented the appeal of RPG games in the industry.

Given the enduring appeal of Final Fantasy, it garnered numerous fan clubs all around the world. Some are even inserted in the main series as a form of saying thank you to the players. Final Fantasy VII has four and these are pretty integrated with the game. The fan club you will see in the game also depends on the route you chose to go. The Angeal Hewley Fan Club is dedicated in gathering Angeal’s personal information, such as his love for nature and cooking. It was intended to close after his death but it remained operational due to his sightings which were concluded as false. The Genesis Rhapsodos Fan Clubs also exist for the same purpose. On the other hand, the Sephiroth Fan Club is a relatively difficult to get into club, and is perhaps the most elusive among the four.

Nevertheless, these clubs do not have a pivotal role in the game, but can serve as a good reliever for the player, in case he found a previous fight too difficult to engage in.

Latest Update

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Final Fantasy XV will hit the market on September 30, 2016, as announced by Square Enix during its live event in San Angeles. Longtime fans also received good news on when a Platinum Demo becomes free for download on PS4 and XBOX One. However, there hasn’t been an announcement regarding its availability in a PC version. The materialization of Final Fantasy XV is not without difficulties. It was first announced in 2006 as one of the branching stories in the Fabula Nova Crystallis Series. Then Venus went through a series of troubles in development. Fortunately, Square Enix reintroduced this game in a conference last 2013. And the rest is history.

The plotline now focuses on Ecos, a world similar to Earth. All countries but Lucis lost their crystals and a cold war emerged over the possession of the remaining one. A peace treaty was supposedly signed between Niflheim and Lucis to signal the end of the war. As a part of its conditions, Prince Noctis shall marry Lady Lunafreya. However, Niflheim attacked Lucis to steal the world’s remaining crystal and also assaulted the other nations. Noctis and his comrades embark on a journey to get back the crystal and defeat the forces of Niflheim.

Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV will also come up with a full-length, 3D animated feature directed by seasoned Final Fantasy, Takeshi Nozue. In order to further promote the game, an anime adaptation entitled Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV was released and is now available on Youtube.

Are you hyped for the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XV?

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