"What can you say about the game that spawned one of the biggest RPG franchises in the world? - It rocks!"

Final Fantasy 1. What can we say about the game that has spun 7, going on 8, going on 9 and 10 hit sequels? I don't know myself, but this game is classic...classic to RPGs and video games as a whole. This game has inspired a whole new generation of RPGs. Sure when it was originally out it wasn't as important as it is now. But looking at the Final Fantasy games and RPGs in general, this game's importance can never be overstated. It was Dragon Warrior/Quest that came up with the formula for the RPG, but it was Final Fantasy that perfected that formula.

STORYLINE:
Okay, so the story (as far as characterization goes) is a little weak. But like I said, this was the game that perfected Dragon Warrior/Quest's flaws. DW/DQ was basically a two-part story: 1) save the princess and 2) defeat the Dragonlord. FF1's story was more complex and advanced than that of DW/DQ's. Some evil being is sending forth monsters from the past to take control of the four elements (Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water). These ''Fiends''- ingeniously titled the Earth Fiend, the Fire Fiend, the Wind Fiend, and the Water Fiend, although they each have real names (Lich is the Earth Fiend while Kary is the Fire Fiend)- are key elements to the story's progression. Anyway, these Fiends take control of the elements and use their combined power to send ____ (insert the last boss's name here) back 2000 years in the past where ___ (reinsert name here) becomes all powerful and whatnot. ____ then resends the elements back to the future and they resend ____ 2000 years back, thus creating a ''Time Loop.'' See, isn't that more complex than 1) save the princess and 2) defeat the Dragon Lord? I think so...Whether you think so or not, the story was somewhat groundbreaking way back in 1987.
- Overall 80% -

GAMEPLAY:
The gameplay is fun. Outdated yes, but fun. The ability to chose your party was another step-up from Dragon Warrior/Quest. They have al the basic FF classes to chose from: the fighter, the monk, the thief (who can't steal I might add), and the white/black/red mages. Each character has their strengths and weaknesses. The Fighter, Monk, and Thief will eventually become fighting power houses, while the white and black mages' magic power will be unmatched. The oddball of the group, the Red mage, is the most well rounded character. Think 1/3 Fighter, 1/3 White mage, and 1/3 Black mage, although he plays the price for his well roundness as he excels at neither fighting nor magic casting. This feature made for more intrusting and unique gameplay than DW/DQ's system. The only bad thing about the gameplay is that when 1 character tries to attack an enemy that another character has killed, the attack is wasted. Unlike the other FFs (FF3 and up) where the character aims for the next available enemy.
- Overall 92% -

GRAPHICS:
It's a Nintendo game with Nintendo-y graphics. However, the graphics are among the best the Nintendo has (or had) to offer. They are good for Nintendo and seeing how it was and is a Nintendo game, they are good. Don't get me wrong, they can get annoying, especially after FF8's ''who needs a storyline?'' graphics.
- Overall 95% -

MUSIC:
Where DW/DQ had only about three or four songs throughout the entire length of the game, Final Fantasy managed to have an excellent range of music and sounds. This is a good thing because DW music really gets on your nerves after a while. Good music. Really, the music is good. I especially like the music in the last level and the Sea Shrine. ''It's all good,'' one might say. It's cool, when you're in a cave, you get this creepy cave-ish ''there's something within this save, something evil'' kind of music. And when you are in a town, it's so upbeat and even a bit catchy, sorta...I guess. Anyway...I like it and you should to.
- Overall 95% -

REPLAY VALUE:
Not much to do after you finish it. But playing through with a different party makes it a decent replay (more so than Dragon Warrior). But really, not much after that.
- Overall 79% -

OVERALL:
This game is a classic. Dragon Warrior, while a good game, had its flaws. This was the game that fixed those flaws. Even thirteen years after this game was first made, people continue to play it. That can't be said about most games. And for that reason, overall, this game is a masterpiece.
- Overall 80% -

Bob the Almighty (bob_the_almighty@popmail.com)

PS: To all the Dragon Warrior/Quest fans, sorry for bashing Dragon Warrior/Quest so much. It's a good game and everything. Plus, if there was no Dragon Warrior/Quest, then there would be no Final Fantasy. So let's give it up for Dragon Warrior/Quest...


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/17/01, Updated 09/22/01


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