September 02, 2010

Semifinal Fantasy

Final: "pertaining to or coming at the end; last in place, order, or time"

So Final Fantasy is up to version 14? How "final" can that really be, anyway?

(This is like how the word "ultimate" is routinely abused, one of my pet peeves.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 09:44 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
Post contains 46 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Actually, there is a reason for the name of sorts.  Way back in the late 80s, Squaresoft was coming close to bankruptcy.  And so, Hironobu Sakaguchi did his best to release one last game before they closed. . .

. . .and called it Final Fantasy.  However, ironically, it was such a smash hit as to not only save Squaresoft, but pretty much define the company from there out.

( *cough*  That said, No True FF Fan counts the upcoming FF14, or the prior FF11.  Those are MMOs, bleck.  *ahem* )

Posted by: metaphysician at September 02, 2010 10:39 AM (OLeXB)

2 Square expected Final Fantasy to be their last game, as they were nearly broke when they started it and put all their remaining money into the game.  Things turned out slightly differently.

At least, that's the story.  Don't know how accurate it is.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 02, 2010 10:44 AM (PiXy!)

3 And that's what I get for being easily dist - ooh, shiny!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 02, 2010 10:45 AM (PiXy!)


I heard that story about Square and Final Fantasy many times, but once upon a time, TechTV did a profile on Nobuo Uematsu that mentioned that Hironobu Sakaguchi originally planned on retiring after releasing Final Fantasy, and that was why the game was named so.  That strikes as equally possible.




Posted by: cxt217 at September 02, 2010 01:14 PM (D8wum)

5 He was planning on retiring at age 25? (per Wikipedia)

Posted by: Andrew F. at September 02, 2010 02:13 PM (wVyZX)

6 Maybe retiring from game design, so he could work in a field that had a future. As it was becoming apparent that game design was a dead end.

Posted by: Boviate at September 02, 2010 02:16 PM (PJNgE)

7 Considering how they're running the series into the ground....

Posted by: Jaked at September 02, 2010 03:45 PM (EjkUJ)


In many ways, Square is better than Hideo Kojima, who seems determined to run Metal Gear into the ground so he does not have to make any more games in the series...


Posted by: cxt217 at September 02, 2010 04:26 PM (D8wum)

9 I actually enjoyed 11 a lot. It was profoundly player-unfriendly, but it had a nice design aesthetic. I ended up in a lot of Japanese parties (mostly people who were desperate enough for a tank that they were willing to put up with a paladin with only token comprehension of romaji; I doubt I'd have gotten in nearly as many parties as a damage-dealing class.)

For real mind-bogglers, FFX got a direct sequel, FFX-2...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 02, 2010 04:50 PM (pWQz4)

10 Yeah, and you're only talking about the numbered games.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say there's been at least 30 Final Fantasy games (if you count handheld games and spinoffs).  And I've only ever played one!

Posted by: Mark at September 02, 2010 05:32 PM (1y5ce)

11 I would tend to argue their biggest problem lately is not "running the series into the ground"; given that the games only have token relationships with each other, its more a style than a continuing story.

Lately they've just been spending too much time and too much money on each game, with *waaay* too much Executive Meddling.

Posted by: metaphysician at September 02, 2010 06:08 PM (OLeXB)


I had always been under the impression that the series overall was sword&sorcery, in one form or another. Which is why I was rather surprised when I watched the "Final Fantasy: The Beast Within" movie. It was SF.

Was it based on one of the games, or distantly related to one of them?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 02, 2010 06:47 PM (+rSRq)

13 Actually, from pretty much the beginning, Final Fantasy has been mostly what they call "magitek..." the sort of technology would develop if a) magic actually existed, and b) there were scientists and engineers studying it and harnessing it to perform a variety of tasks ranging from mundane to world-shattering. For example, most of the kingdoms generally don't develop gunpowder because magic can not only cause more damage over a wider area, but also can heal it (and do both at the same time to negate friendly fire). It always has rules, and often loads of limits that make the majority of people use firearms and vehicles anyhow, and probably most importantly, the magic is never really explained completely, because it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you look at it too closely. Rule of Cool overrides Laws of Thermodynamics pretty much through the whole series.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at September 02, 2010 08:01 PM (4njWT)

14 Oh, and jokes about the "Final Fantasy" name are almost as old as the name itself. I think it was about fifteen years ago when the late, lamented gaming mag PC Accelerator started making cracks about it... "How can there be seven final fantasies? Just call it 'Another F---ing Fantasy' already." 

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at September 02, 2010 08:10 PM (4njWT)

15 SDB:  It varies widely.  Some Final Fantasy settings are your standard high fantasy milieu, just with the odd touch like airships.  Others are pretty much sci fi, just with Functional Magic.  Most are in between- high fantasy + steampunk.

Posted by: metaphysician at September 02, 2010 08:34 PM (OLeXB)

16 Having only played the first game, I'm not positive, but it's my understanding that the games are all pretty much stand-alone.  I'm sure there are some games (especially the spinoffs and alternate versions) that are related or take place in the same setting, but again, my understanding is that most of the games are completely independent.  As such, some of the games seem to have a more futuristic setting than others.  The original was much more of a sword & sorcery type of game, but I know the newer ones have a futuristic bent.

Posted by: Mark at September 03, 2010 11:44 AM (aUPJJ)

17 Pretty much.  With the exception of one or two proper sequels amongst the spin-offs, every game is its own world ( or near enough not to matter ).

( that is, there is the occasional hinted at relation between one game and another, but even in the more definite cases, the games are set in eras so distant as to render it effectively an easter egg )

Posted by: metaphysician at September 03, 2010 11:48 AM (OLeXB)

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