PC Ι Genre: Epic JRPGs
After switching over to the Famicom, there was a time when I wasn’t happy with anything I was creating. I thought of retiring from the game industry and I created Final Fantasy as my final project. That’s why the title includes the word ‘final’ but for me, the title ‘Final Fantasy’ reflects my emotional state at the time and the feeling that time had stopped. They say that technologically, it’s good to keep going, and each time, we give it our all and expend our skills and energy until we can go no further; this is what I consider to be the ‘final fantasy’.
For you are the warrior who crossed time. You are the bringer of light…
The words above come from Hironobu Sakaguchi; the creator of the Final Fantasy series and one of the most influential developers of all time. Born the “swan song” of Squaresoft in 1987, the first chapter of this popular long-life saga appeared on December 18 of that year for Famicom, the story was quite classical (a party of four youths known as the Light Warriors must defeat the evil forces of a dark lord – the archdemon Chaos – to restore light, and save the world), but its innovative gameplay mechanics and the huge world made it a true legend among the gamers, selling several million of copies, through the years this once niche JRPG became one of the most played one in the 80s and 90s.
Based on the hugely beloved table-RPG game Dungeons & Dragons; since the first episode, this series offered an alternative to the common swashbuckling stories adding charismatic characters (especially if we talk about enemies like Kefka, Sephiroth, Ardyn, or Caius), vast continents, epic quests, and much more. All these elements contributed to building a truly legendary series that transcended the binary gaming world; to appear in dozens of books, anime series, movies, audio dramas, and thousands of passionate tributes all over the world.
Fantasy becomes reality!
If you remember well; like all the creation myths, also the Final Fantasy story started from the darkness. The sage Lukhan says that: “The world is veiled in darkness. The wind stops, the sea is wild, and the earth begins to rot. The people wait, their only hope, a prophecy… When the world is in darkness, Four Warriors will come”.
Accomplishing this prophecy; the Four Warriors of Light “give birth” to a genealogy of saviors that through different eras eradicated any apocalyptic events that could end the life of billions of people. Including many references to religions, human nature, and the true meaning of the freedom concept; in its 15 chapters, Final Fantasy tried to express also the generational conflicts between old and young people in every part of the world.
This is especially visible in Final Fantasy VII, with an environmental disaster just around the corner. Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and all the other protagonists, openly say that they are here to save the world from the mass exploitation perpetrated by the past generations who are clearly portrayed by Shinra’s executives. There are only a couple of exceptions in the whole adventure… from the good side, we have Cid, an older person who saw the failure of his generation, and try to help the young to create a new world, from the evil side instead we have Sephiroth that is nothing but a young puppet brainwashed by Shinra.
Thanks also to these mature philosophical elements; Final Fantasy can be considered without any doubt the Emperor of the JRPG genre. As one of the firsts transnational pop-phenomenon of the 20th century; in every installment, we can experience stories in which us, as controller of the party, can do the right thing at the right time, and more importantly, help the characters to solve their inner conflicts to make them more conscious people.
If you didn’t do it yet; play Final Fantasy today, and join a party built by millions of people who cried, laughed, and battled to make the world a better place!
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