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!