A to Z Challenge: (F)inal Fantasy

FinalFantasyFor those of you who are already regulars on my blog it should come as no surprise to you that I chose Final Fantasy as my “F” entry for my video game theme. I’ve mentioned several times before that the North American version of Final Fantasy III is probably my favorite game of all time. But what about the rest of the extensive series?

For those of you who don’t know the history of this epic series of RPG video games, it all started in the late 1980’s, when video game producer Square was having a difficult time due to poor sales. A young programmer named Hironubu Sakaguchi knew that the company was facing bankruptcy and that his next game might be his last, so he decided that he was going to try his damnedest to make that last game a masterpiece. He chose to make his game a fantasy epic, thus the name “Final Fantasy”. The game turned out to be successful enough to pull Square out of the gutter, and a series that would span decades was born.

To date there are more than sixty core Final Fantasy games and spin-off games. The series, of course, is not a series in the technical sense, since most of the games do not relate to each other in terms of plot, characters, or setting, but there are similarities that carry through most of the installments. For instance, chocobos (large, yellow, chicken-like creatures that can be ridden like horses) are present in almost all of the Final Fantasy games, as are moogles (white, teddy-bear-like creatures with little pink wings and antennae on top of their heads). Many of the games feature powerful creatures that help or hinder the main characters, though they are not always called by the same names (espers, aeons, summons, etc.). And, of course, most of the games involve a group of vastly different heroes fighting to save their world from some great corruption or ultimate evil.

You already know that my favorite installment in the Final Fantasy series is Final Fantasy III (which was actually the sixth one in Japan), but that is far from the only one I love. I was a huge fan of Final Fantasy VIII, starring the brooding Squall and his gunblade, when it first became available in North America. Final Fantasy X was also a huge favorite of mine – which is why my husband bought me the PSVita release not too long ago – and although lots of people thought it was ridiculous, I also loved the sequel, Final Fantasy X-2.

Believe me, I feel bad about myself every time I see one of these pictures.
Believe me, I feel bad about myself every time I see one of these pictures.

Some of you are probably wondering why I don’t mention Final Fantasy VII, which is a huge fan favorite, and this is where I have to admit that I’ve never really played it. Don’t kill me! I didn’t have a Playstation when the adventure featuring Cloud was released, so it just never happened for me. Maybe someday I’ll download it on my Vita and angry fans will stop proclaiming that I can’t be a real Final Fantasy fan if I’ve never fought Sephiroth.

Are you, or have you ever been, a Final Fantasy fan? What is your favorite installment? Favorite character? Favorite monster? Magic? Character class? Please share!

Enjoying the A to Z Challenge? Why not check out some of these other participating blogs:

Lynne @ Lynnelives
KC Kendricks Between the Keys (WARNING: ADULT CONTENT)
Tasha’s Thinkings
Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles
Gladiator’s Pen
Stephanie Faris, Author
Wittegen Press
Precious Monsters
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose!

27 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: (F)inal Fantasy

  1. Awesome article! I always loved the Final Fantasy series although to be honest I haven’t exactly been enjoying the series all that much after XII (Hopes for 15?). Final Fantasy III (6) has always been my favorite final fantasy title by quite a long shot, although IX really competes with it.

    Even though a lot of people hate it, I’ve always enjoyed Final Fantasy X-2; So much so I included it in my top five list for favorite PlayStation 2 games. There’s just something about it that makes like so much… Although, it can definitely have it’s “moments”.

  2. I love Final Fantasy, flaws and all. VIII is my all-time favorite, but XII and XIII come soooooo close. I’d have to say XIII because I finished that one haha. VII is not really a favorite though. It just seemed drawn out to me. Though if they did a visual reboot – like upgrading the graphics – I’d play in a heartbeat. I wish they’d do one for VIII more though. It has such an awesome story that I think it deserves one most.

    • I’d LOVE to see a reboot of 7 and 8. It would be nice to finally play 7 (sorry, but I’m not going to drag out a PSOne and suffer through those old, blocky graphics…lol), and I’ve been dying to play 8 again for ages and ages.

  3. FFX was my favorite. A buddy of mine and I played it on the PS2 in grad school for countless hours… err actually it was for about 65 since the game was kind enough to count them for us. I have a FF for the Wii and it’s not too bad. You actually have to play it a few times through because after you finish it the first time you have to start all over but you keep your weapons, XP, HP, and everything.

  4. Final Fantasy 2 was hands down my favourite. When it came out for SNES I had never seen anything like it. I’ve put more hours, and played through that entire game, more times than I care to admit. I think I own like 4 different versions of it, too, since Square was so kind as to keep releasing it on every system (PlayStation, GameBoy, iOS, etc). FF III(6) is probably a better game, but Cecil’s story will always hold the top place in my heart. You get to go to the freakin’ moon, for crying out loud.

    I am also partial to VIII because I’m a hopeless romantic, and XII because I loved the automated battle system. Tactics is also a brilliant game that I’m hooked on right now.

    • Oh my god, Tactics…I’d kinda forgotten about that one. *shudder* I’m sure it’s an excellent game and I’d probably enjoy it now, but when I first played it I didn’t really understand those kind of strategy games at all and I just ended up clicking around the playing field, doing absolutely stupid things until all my characters died. lol

  5. I have a very deep love for the Japanese Final Fantasy 2. It was a game that went about as dark and gritty as an 8-bit game using mostly a primary color palette could go. It gets a lot of hate because of its exploitable leveling system, but in a lot of ways it was the most “role-playing-game”-like of any of the entries, with organic character growth and rather intricate dialogue choices. While it had a linear story, it was like a miniature prototype of massive open games like Morrowind.

    • You’re making me feel bad for having never played that one…especially since I actually have it as part of the two-game cartridge that was for the Gameboy Advanced. @.@ If I ever make it though my enormous back-catalog of PSVita games I’m going to have to dig that out and give it the respect it deserves!

      • Actually, if you can find it, play the NES rom of it, in all it’s 8-bit goodness is my recommendation. I can’t vouch for the remakes and updates, but old fan-translated rom was a masterpiece of a game.

        I don’t know if it’s established canonically that FF2 takes place in the same world as FF9, but FF2’s plot shows up as a “legend” that you hear at one point.

  6. If you ever get a chance to go to Tokyo, make sure to stop by the Square Enix store in Shinjuku. They have a life-sized Sephiroth encased in glass in the floor of the second floor. It’s right off the stairs, so it’s the first thing you see when you step up. Freaked me out, because it looks like a sarcophagus. Just a little creepy.

    • XII was pretty good too, but I’m having a hard time remembering much of it. I do know that I enjoyed it, but I feel like the characters in that one just weren’t memorable enough.

  7. I started the series with Final Fantasy VIII, and have since dived in head-first in both directions, playing the older ones and the newer ones! I might have the most hours actually clocked in Final Fantasy XI, their first MMO… In recent years, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is by far my favorite. Great system, great story, new characters, and that ending! Can’t say much about that, but… Time Travel! It reminds me quite a bit of Chrono Trigger, actually… 😀

    • Unfortunately I never got around to playing XIII-2, but my husband did enjoy it…in fact, he played all three of the XIII games while our daughter watched. She was obsessed with the story! It was too funny.

      • It’s a pretty great story between them, with some gameplay hiccups along the way. Meaning it’s a pretty good one to watch!

        People complain about the “tutorial” mode on XIII, which seems that way mainly because it really is about 40 hours until you have the whole party together and can choose your party. However, during all that time you’re switching between different 2-person teams, learning about the characters and getting attached to them. And having only 2 people also does make it a bit of a challenge!

        But then having two people in XIII-2? You end up feeling right at home! Oh also, the XIII-2 soundtrack is amazing.

        We set down XIII-3 for a long time, but I recently picked it back up trying to finish! Really curious how this plot finishes out.

        Good games… 🙂

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