Final Fantasy I is the first instalment of one of the longest running Role Playing Games in gaming history. The game was creator of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s last chance at the gaming industry, and since the success of Final Fantasy I, has gone on to create one of the most inspiring and influential gaming franchises of all time.
Final Fantasy takes place on an unnamed fantasy world were elemental powers are defined by four crystals representing Water, Wind, Fire and Earth. centuries before our protagonist’s time, these four crystals went dark, plaguing the world with devastating, storms, wildfires and vegetation decays. A prophecy was told of four Warriors of Light who would one day rise and save the world.
Warrior: Specialises in heavy weapons and can take huge amounts of damage.
Munk: Martial arts expert who can take huge damage but can’t wear heavy armor.
Thief: A high evasion and accuracy fighter who deals less damage than the others but has better luck at hitting opponents
White Mage: Not strong physically but can deal good damage from magic
Black Mage: Similar to the White Mage but with stronger magic attacks
Red Mage: All round technical fighter with good attack and magic dealings.
Each character can be upgraded later on in the game to Knights, Masters Ninjas and Wizards which turn your little pixelated Avatars into huge bulky blurs which take up a good section of the scrren – and back then they didn’t have 50 inch plazma HD 3D Super-D televisions to play on
The story starts out as your typical Princess locked away in a tower as our protagonist tries to rescue her story. But as the game progress a much bigger story develops even after you’ve rescued the princess. The Warriors of Light set out on a long quest to destroy the four Fiends who darkened the elemental crystals. After defeating the four Fiends and returning the crystals the Fiends create an arch demon known as Chaos – Original – and send him back 2000 years into the past. Following Chaos into the past our heroes discover that Chaos were the ones who sent the Fiends into the future and created a Time Paradox. By defeating Chaos before he can create the Fiends, the paradox is resolved and everything returns to normal except that no-one remembers the ordeal since the Paradox stopped anything from happening and even our heroes have no recollection of anything which happened.
The games battle system was co-designed by Hiroyuki Itō, and Akitoshi Kawazu who each brought int different elements of strategy and fighting style. Itō modeled the design after American Football teams with the different positions of each character and strategies. While Kawazu wanted to make it as close to Dungeons and Dragons as he could with different monsters and characters being vulnerable or weak to certain attacks be it fire or ice. They wanted to let the fans have the ability to choose their own character types and not just be stuck with the same party every time. This would give fans more reason to play the game over and over with different parties and strategies each time round.
The first Final Fantasy game set a high standard in the gaming industry with advanced combat systems, beautiful musical scores and fully polished graphical designs. The game sold very well in Japan and moderately well in America, although the franchise didn’t break in Europe until 2003. Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were one of the most influential RPG’s in early console systems and still maintains the highest standard of gaming in today’s Ps3 and Xbox 360 consoles.