GameSpot Video Games, PC, Revolution, PlayStation 2, GameCube, PSP, DS, GBA, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

The History of Final Fantasy

•The Main Final Fantasies
   Final Fantasy
   Final Fantasy II
   Final Fantasy III
   Final Fantasy IV
   Final Fantasy V
   Final Fantasy VI
   Final Fantasy Anthology
   Final Fantasy VII
   Final Fantasy VIII
   Final Fantasy IX
   Final Fantasy X
   Final Fantasy XI
  •Final Fantasy Series
   Staff Spotlight
 Related Final Fantasies
 Portable Final Fantasies
 Related Games
 Related Links
Final Fantasy Series

Though the Final Fantasy games have been developed in sequence, each game is a self-contained adventure. Characters, locations, and storylines never carry over from one game to the next. Nevertheless, certain constants or recurring themes appear in many games of the series. These features help the returning player quickly feel at home in a totally new world with completely original characters. Some of these Final Fantasy constants are:

The Prelude and Victory Fanfare
Found in: Final Fantasy I-IX, Tactics

Every Final Fantasy game traditionally opens with a musical piece called the prelude, with soaring arpeggios and soothing strings, but each title offers a slightly different arrangement. The victory fanfare plays after every victorious battle. In Final Fantasy I-VI, the entire victory theme is the same (albeit differently arranged). Only the initial trumpet fanfare has made the transition to Final Fantasy VII and VIII, but IX returns the entire victory fanfare.

The Main Final Fantasy Theme
Found in: Final Fantasy I-IX

Sometimes called the "bridge crossing theme," this music plays in Final Fantasy I and IV when the party crosses a bridge near the beginning of the game. This musical theme has been in every Final Fantasy since the first. Sometimes it's a full arrangement that lasts for several minutes; other times, it's just a few bars worked subtly into a longer piece (usually the ending finale). In either case, this song is one of Final Fantasy's more memorable tunes.

The games' logos.

The Logo
Found in: Final Fantasy IV-XI (original), I-XI (remix)

Since Final Fantasy IV, the Final Fantasy textual logo has remained constant, though each logo is based on a slightly different emblem.-- Final Fantasy IV has the dragoon Kain, V has a dragon, VI has a suit of magitek armor, VII has the meteor, VIII has Squall and Rinoa in an embrace, and IX has the crystal. Mock-up artwork for the logos of Final Fantasy X and XI suggest the trend will continue. The WonderSwan Color remixes of Final Fantasy I, II, and III feature redone logos in the "new" style.

Character Classes
Found in: Final Fantasy III-IX, Tactics

A chocobo.

The series has had a class and ability system that has remained mostly constant throughout its many incarnations since Final Fantasy III. Though the implementation varies from title to title, most party members are a combination of traits from this base set of classes. Common classes include: knights, who are heavy weapons and armor users; monks, who are bare-handed attackers with innate chakra abilities; thieves, who steal items from opponents; dragoons, who can jump high above their foes for nearly an entire turn before landing for extra damage; ninjas, with ninja arts and the ability to toss weapons; samurai, who have the ability to draw out special powers from swords; berserkers, who cannot be controlled but deal excessive physical damage; archers, who attack with bows for ranged damage; magic knights, who can cast black magic spells onto their heavy weapons; white and black wizards, who cast white and black magic, respectively; blue wizards, who learn the techniques that enemies use in battle; summoners, who call giant summoned monsters into battle; red wizards, who combine decent physical strength with knowledge of both basic white and black magic; trainers, who capture enemies and use them to fight in battle; chemists, who have knowledge of potions and alchemy; geomancers, magicians whose attacks vary by terrain; bards/dancers, whose songs/dances have a variety of effects on enemies; and mimics, who can impersonate the techniques and classes of other party members. Not every character falls precisely into one of these classes, but most have abilities drawn at least in part from these basic classes.

A moogle.

Chocobos and Moogles
Chocobos found in: Final Fantasy II-IX, Mystic Quest, Tactics Moogles found in: Final Fantasy III, V-IX

How many RPGs can claim to have invented entirely new and memorable species of animal life? These two Final Fantasy species are immediately recognizable to any fan. Chocobos are large ostrich/chicken creatures and are the workhorse of the Final Fantasy worlds. They come in many different colors, each with its own power. Yellow is their traditional plumage. Final Fantasy IV even has a "big chocobo" where you can store your unused inventory! Their perky theme song in all its variations is as immediately recognizable as their eccentric appearance.

Moogles look like white teddy bears with squinty eyes, red bat wings, and a single yellow antenna. They say "Kupo!" and "Kupopo!" a lot while being ineffably cute. They also have a distinctive theme song, Critter Tripper Fritter.

Show me more about Final Fantasy Series