Review by Walker Boh Ohmsford
"IMHO, one of the best in the series..."
Some of you might think me strange for saying I think this is better than FF7, but I do. The original Final Fantasy was short in terms of actual gaming time, but it was very large when you took a look at the different parties you could put together to undertake your quest. You could try beating the game with four mages (although this is not a good idea). There were really no side quests, but when you consider that we're dealing with the NES here, this is to be expected. It's not like the NES can handle super involved Final Fantasy 6-ish games.
Gameplay 9-10. Fight monsters to gain experience. Interestingly enough, this game's ultimate goal is NOT to save a princess. In fact, you get the fair maiden rescuing out of the way before you even start your real quest. More on that later. You just buy weapons and armor, equip them and do battle until you get stronger. Then you can buy magic if you have any wizards in your party. It's rudementary, but again, we're talking about one of the first true RPG's here.
Control 10-10. Move with the D-pad, make selections in menus with A and cancel commands with B. It's all very simple.
Audio 10-10. Here's where the game really shines in my opinion. Nobuo knew what he was doing here, and when you consider the hardware he had to work with, it's even more amazing. I only wish later FF games like 7 and 8 had had music like this. Wherever you are, be it on the world map, in a town or in a dungeon, the music would fit the mood. Only problem was that there's only one battle theme for the entire game, even the last battle. The Game Over theme is very fitting, as it's a kind of sorrowful melody that conveys the sense of failure and defeat quite well. The Temple theme is also a rather sorrowful theme, but at the same time it has a kind of hopeful feel to it, as if to say that as long as the Light Warriors continue to fight there is hope for the world. Then of course there are the classic Final Fantasy title and battle victory songs that up until FF7 had remained largely unchanged. My favorite theme in this game has got to be the ending, which sounds like a conglomeration of a little of every song in the game, put together to make its own song.
The SFX, unfortunately, leave much to be desired. However, when you consider the sound capabilities of the hardware Nobuo Uematsu had to work with, you can make exceptions. Besides, this game came out in...what...1987? So you can't expect Playstation sound, now can you?
Story 10-10. The world has been in chaos for 2000 years, as the four Crystals of the Elements (yes, crystals), are being drained of their power. But four warriors known as the Light Warriors are preparing to set off on a quest to bring peace back to the world. After defeating the four fiends and reviving the crystals, you learn that there is more behind the failing of the world than was immediately obvious. It seems the fiends are not acting disjointedly. Someone else is working along with them. Play the game to find out the full story.
Overall 10-10. For one of the first RPG's, this is sure as hell an excellent one in spite of a lack of any real variety in sound. The music makes up for it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/01, Updated 03/01/03
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