BlueSmoke - Guide : A History of Final Fantasy - Part VI

 Date  : Apr 25th, 2004
 Genre  : RPG
 Developer   : Square-Enix
 Author  : Jin-Ning Tioh

We're back - finally - with the next installment featuring Square's flagship series. Much has changed since our last outing. Once a rival to Square with their Dragon Quest series, Enix has hooked up with Square to form Square-Enix. Thus far, this has not affected the cutting-edge creativity and high-degree of polish that defines Square too much at least, giving cause for many a fanboy to breath a collective sigh of relief. Anyways, today we're gonna take a detour from the main series to introduce a few remakes and compilations. Join us yet again as we unearth more of this revered series' history.

 

Final Fantasy Anthology
Released :
5th October 1999
11th March 1999 ( Final Fantasy Collection )
Systems :
PlayStation

Historical Facts

Anthology was released as a compilation of perhaps two of Square's most important titles - Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. Not only was FFV the final outing of the series' popular Job/Ability system for a time, it also marked the end of the whole "Light Warriors" and "Legend of the Crystals" myth which were being constantly used till then. On the other hand, FFVI signaled the change to a less medieval setting and more serious plots. Issues varying from losing love ones to suicide are addressed throughout the game in a mature manner, proving that RPG plots are capable of presenting realistic, relatively complex characters without being dismissed by gamers as a cheesy attempt. Simply said, it paved the way for a new generation of RPGs with more mature themes.

However, Anthology is not simply a collection of the original SNES titles. It was ported over to the PlayStation, retaining most if not all of its original graphics, gameplay, sound etc. About the only things new are the additional CG movies as well as a "Bonus mode" with options for a theater to view the CG movies at any time, image gallery, game information including a bestiary as well as Lore, Esper and Colosseum data and a status recap updated each time the game is completed. It also boasted the first ever official English translation for Final Fantasy V, even if the fan-translated version is widely agreed to be far superior.

Anthology was originally released as Final Fantasy Collection in Japan, which also included the PlayStation-port of Final Fantasy IV.

Final Fantasy Chronicles
Released :
29th June 2001
Not Released
Systems :
PlayStation

Historical Facts

Originally meant to be released in Anthology, Final Fantasy IV was instead bundled together with another Square classic, Chrono Trigger to form Chronicles. The delay for the PlayStation-port of FFIV was said to be caused by exasperating loading times and graphical flaws. As with FFV and FFVI in Anthology, new CG movies were added but about all the gameplay, graphical elements etc. remained untouched.

 

Final Fantasy Origins
Released :
8th April 2003
31st October 2002 ( Separately Sold )
Systems :
PlayStation

Historical Facts

When Final Fantasy first came out, it literally saved Square from being cast into the void. Thus it is only natural that they revisit the past, throwing in new CG movies, improved graphics, a quick save option and other bonuses including a bestiary, an "easy mode" for beginners and a Yoshitaka Amano art gallery in the process. This included both Final Fantasy I and II. Originally remade for the WonderSwan, they were later ported to the PlayStation and sold in Japan separately before being bundled into Origins. In other words, the opportunity to find out where it all started from is now open to more players.

Join us next episode as we take a look at several "gaidens" (side stories) both old and new.



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