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The History of Final Fantasy
By Andrew Vestal
Designed by Lam Huynh

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Sometime in 1987, a small Japanese publishing company named Square Co. LTD. was in desperate need of a hit. Until this point, Square had mostly published smaller games for the Famicom Disk system. The titles sold respectably, but the modest installed base of Famicom Disk systems made blockbuster status an elusive goal. Hironobu Sakaguchi had an idea: why not create a game similar to competitor Enix's Dragon Quest? The console RPG was a big hit with gamers, and Sakaguchi thought that Square could significantly improve upon the basic formula. Thus work began on a massive one-megabit cartridge role-playing game that would attempt to revolutionize the genre. All of Square's resources, dreams, and hopes were placed on this single game. If it failed, Square would be no more. The project, as Square's final gasp, was given the name "Final Fantasy."

Needless to say, the first Final Fantasy game was a massive success, and each sequel has been even more successful. Final Fantasy VII has sold nearly six million copies worldwide to date. Almost three million of those were sold within the first 48 hours of its Japanese release. The Final Fantasy series has proven to be almost without peer in both quality and popularity. Join GameSpot as we trace the Final Fantasy series from its inauspicious beginnings on the Nintendo Entertainment System to its current globe-spanning success. Caveat lector; the plots of the games will be discussed in detail. Now, let the adventuring begin!

Special thanks to Peter Bartholow, Andy Church, and Janice Ta. And also to my parents, for not selling my Nintendo when I was seven.

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