History of Final Fantasy
The history of the Final Fantasy series is covered on this page.
It all began in 1987. Square was almost on the edge of going out of business after releasing several unsuccessful games for the Famicon (NES). Hironobu Sakaguchi developed a game based on Enix's Dragon Quest and named it Final Fantasy, while it might be the last game Square would be developing. The game became a massive success.
This is the game the legendary series began with. Four Light Warriors going on a quest to save the world from evil. This is the only game in the series where you can choose between 6 classes: Fighter, Thief, Black Belt, Red Mage, Black Mage and White Mage. The game was released in Japan on 18/12/1987 and 12/07/1990 in the United States.
Since the first Final Fantasy was a great success, Final Fantasy II was released a year later at 17/12/1988. The game begins with four youngsters who are fleeing for the Palamecian empire, but they were attacked and left for dead. They are being rescued by Princess Hilda and join a rebel group. This game was the first game to introduce elements (like chocobos and Cid as character) that were also used in the later FInal Fantasy games. The original never reached the United States till remakes were released.
Final Fantasy III was released in Japan on 27/04/1990 as the latest game for the NES. In the game you control four kids who fell into a cave and stumble upon The Crystal of Wind. They go on a journey to save the world. The game introduced the job system, which let you change the jobs of the characters. The game was never released outside Japan till the game was remaked for the Nintendo DS.
Final Fantasy IV was the first game to introduce the ATB-system, which was used too in later Final Fantasy's. The game begins with the Red Wings that attack peaceful nations in search of the four Crystals in order of the Empire of Baron. Cecil questions the king's actions and later goes on a quest to stop him. The game was the first Final Fantasy for the Super Nintendo and was released on 19/07/1991 in Japan and 21/11/1991 in the United States as Final Fantasy II.
Final Fantasy V began with Bartz, who noticed a meteor crashing down in the woods near Tycoon. When he arrived at the scene a woman (who is called Lenna) is under attack by goblins. He saves her and they discover an old man who can't remember a thing except for this name Galuf. Lenna is on the way to the Wind Shrine to discover why the wind has suddenly ceased. Square took the job system from Final Fantasy III and improved it. The game was only released in Japan on 06/12/1992 untill later some remakes were released.
Final Fantasy VI is still favored by many fans, because of the huge amount of characters in the game and the amazing plot. The game begins with two Imperial Soldiers and a woman who are trying to steal a frozen Esper from the Mines of Narshe. The Esper reacts to the presence of the woman and destroys her Magitek Armor amoung with the two soldiers. She is unable to remember anything about her past except for her name, Terra. Locke, a thief, promises to protect her and they go on a journey to escape from the Empire. The game was released in Japan on 02/04/1994 and in the United States on 11/10/1994 as Final Fantasy III. It was the latest Final Fantasy on the Super Nintendo.
Development for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 for the SNES and later the Nintendo 64. Because of the limited amount of space of the system's cartridge, Square decided to release Final Fantasy VII on the Sony PlayStation. The game begins with Cloud, who joined the rebel group AVALANCHE, who fight against Shinra that is draining the planet of its life-forces. Later they find out a bigger threat to the planet. The game was released in Japan on 31/01/1997, in the United States on 07/09/1997 and in Europe on 17/11/1997. It was the first Final Fantasy game that was released in Europe. The game became the most populair title in the series and was noted for its graphics, story, gameplay and soundtrack. A PC version was also released a year later.
In 1997 Square began working on Final Fantasy VIII. In the game you play Squall, a student at Balamb Garden who wants to become a SeeD. On one day Dollet is under attack by the Galbadian army and they ask for assistance from Balamb Garden's elite mercenary force who use this mission as the final exam for their cadets. The game was released in Japan on 11/02/1999, in the United States on 09/09/1999 and in Europe on 27/10/1999. The game was realistic, but some fans didn't like the draw system. Like Final Fantasy VII this game was also released on PC.
With Final Fantasy IX Square went back to a fantasy setting with chocobos, airships and moogles. The game begins with Zidane, who is a member of Tantalus. They're planning to kidnap Princess Garnet and with success, but with their airship out of action. Together with Vivi and Steiner they plan to end Queen Brahne desire to take over the world. The game was released in Japan on 07/07/2000, in North America on 14/11/2000 and in Europe on 16/02/2001. It was the latest Final Fantasy game for the PlayStation.
Final Fantasy X was the first Final Fantasy for the PlayStation 2. The game is set in the world of Spira and begins with the destruction of Zanarkind. Tidus, a young blitzball hero is sucked into the future by Sin. Together with Yuna, a summoner on her pilgrimage, and several other guardians they want to destroy Sin. The game had a lot of new features, like voice actors, changing party members in battle and the buge blitzball minigame. It was released in Japan on 19/07/2001, in the United States on 20/12/2001 and in Europe on 29/05/2002. The European version also had the feature to defeat the Dark Aeons and fight against Penance.
Final Fantasy X-2 was the first sequel to a Final Fantasy game. The game takes place two years after Final Fantasy X. Yuna, Rikku and Paine are part of the Gullwings, a group of sphere hunters. In this game the job system came back, but was called Dress Spheres. The game was released in Japan on 13/03/2003, in the United States on 18/11/2003 and in Europe on 20/02/2004.
Final Fantasy XI really made a step in a different direction. In this MMORPG you can create your own character and join others in the fight against the Shadow Lord. A lot of monsters from earlier Final Fantasy games were available in the game along with a lot of jobs to choose from. You can switch freely which job you want to level, although not all jobs are available from the start. The gane was first released on the PlayStation 2 and a couple of months later for the PC. Also a Xbox 360 version has been released in 2006. Four different expansions are also available which brings new places, quests and jobs. What unique is about this game is that players from all over the world with a PlayStation 2, PC or Xbox 360 can play with each other.
With Final Fantasy XII Square Enix really made some changes. The random battle encounters were gone and replaced by monsters that can be seen on the field. Also with the Gambit system commands can be given to characters when a specific condition has been met. With the license board new licenses can be learned, like new weapons and armor that can be equipped. The game plays in the world of Ivalice, where the story begins with a 2 year flashback. Shortly after Prince Rasler married Princess Ashe Archadia invades Nabradia and Dalmasca. The King of Dalmasca, Raminas, has been killed by Basch and Reks, Vaan older brother, was suriously injured and died. The development of Final Fantasy took a total of five years, which ranks the game number one of games with the longest development period. The game was released on 16/03/2006 in Japan, on 31/10/2006 in the United States and 23/02/2007 in Europe.
Final Fantasy XIII is first Final Fantasy in the series that was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII collection. It was the first game to feature Lightning as female lead character
The game was announced back in May 2006 on the E3 and was released in Japan on 17/12/2009 on the PlayStation 3 only and in North America and Europe on 09/03/2010 making it the first in the series that has a simultaneous release outside of Japan.