About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Final Fantasy Memories Part 1: My Final Fantasy 1 S&M Experience

Are we finally coming to a time where there won't be a final Final Fantasy? Please...no.

I've read rumors that Final Fantasy 15 won't be made. That makes me incredibly sad. It would be the end of a great dynasty of games. Games I grew up with. That guided my life (as dumb as that sounds). I connect certain moments of my life when I played each Final Fantasy game (referred to FF from here on). Even though a fair share of the plots were convoluted messes about pseudo-religious posturing and angst-ridden existentialism (Why are we here? What are we doing? Where are we going?) they connected on real levels. I'm going to talk about each Final Fantasy, where I was in my life, what I was doing, and why I was doing it. Yes, this will be a FF style review of FF.

I'll start from the beginning and end with the last one I've played. I'll make this a multi-part blog. I'm only also including the main series (no FF Tactics or the goofy FF: Mystic Quest). Enjoy my trip down memory lane...and into the future! I'll even talk about what I would like to see in the next FF. Hopefully FF 15!

Final Fantasy 1 (The Beginning): This is the one that started it all. The grand-daddy. Almost single-handed establishing a genre of RPGs. The warrior, the thief, the monk, the white mage, the black mage, the red mage. Now iconic figures for any fan of FF.

I remember playing this on the NES (Nintendo) when I was pretty young. I remember getting extremely pissed and having a real hard time getting passed the Vampire in the Earth Cave. How frustrating and utterly annoying the constant random attacks were. The ritual upgrading of weaponry and spells and endless level-grinding (which my friends always say I don't do, but I do). The...

Wait a minute. These are supposed to be positive memories.

Honestly, FF1 pissed me off more than made me enjoy it. But the challenge and uniqueness of the game play (at the time) made me love it. Even though two Ogre Mages raped my party, or a gang of Wraiths blinded everyone, or Tiamat busted my ass in ten seconds, I still couldn't help but love it. I had a sado-masochistic relationship with that game.

But I loved it. And it only increased my interest in the genre and games in general. You could say FF destroyed my youth. Or preserved it. Either way.

I remember my party of warrior, monk, white mage, black mage. The most basic party you could get. Sometimes I'd mix it up a bit and throw in a red mage or a thief, but I'd usually get utterly annihilated then, instead of only a little annihilated.

The warrior was the staple. I don't know of anyone who didn't use at least one warrior in their party. If they didn't, they were dumb.

The thief was ok. He'd later turn into the badass ninja, but you'd spend so much time bringing your thief back to life and looking at his stupid dead ass on your menu screen, they'd you want to rip his blue hair out.

The monk was arguably the most powerful character in the game. The nunchucks sucked balls, but if he started doing like 25 hits with his fist, he'd flatten anything.

The red mage was the "jack of all trades." Of course that means he's the "master of none." A really hard class to use, but I like using him because he had a fancy red hat with a white feather. I like hats.

The white mage which was maybe a woman, but no one knew for sure, was also a staple. If you didn't have a white mage, good luck. Undead would hump your dead corpse and you'd be limping around with poison blinding your screen and deafening your ears with it's weird, teeth-grinding sound. Take a white mage. You'll be happy you did. I wish I could have a white mage in my real life. I'd say "Hey, white mage, I have diarrhea, help me out." Bling bling! I'm healed. Pepto can suck it.

The black mage was the mysterious hooded, Chinese hat wearing, no face having offensive magic power house. Of course he sucked monkey nuts at the beginning. But when you got to higher levels, you could cast Death and Flare and Explode and awesome spells like that. Anyone that can cast a spell called Flare is my friend.

So I have fond memories of these faceless characters who had no back story or even talked. But they led me to love RPGs, making me enthralled with dragons, knights, and all that happy shit.

So FF1 will always hold a place in my heart, just like the time I got punched in the face. I remember it well, but I don't know if I want to experience it again.

That's it for now.

Next time, the Super Nintendo FFs! FF 4 (FF 2 in America) and FF 6 (FF 3 in America). Stupid confusing shit.

This really led to my love of FFs that only intensified as these are some of the best RPGs, or games, ever made.

Stay tuned for next time! Until then, have Finally Fantastic day!


  1. You should really check out some of the ff art books they have at the big comic shop in Shinjuku . Picked up the 25th anniversary one last time. Really focused on the classics of the series. Also helps me try to learn Japanese with a great subject to look at. Great blog. You will make a great level 1 black hat mage!!! Later dude!

  2. Thanks! I didn't think anyone but my friends were reading this. I'd LOVE some FF art books, specifically the awesome shit that Yoshitaka Amano does.