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

Friday, January 14, 2011

Final Fantasy Memories Part 2: Super Nintendo Fantasies Rock my Face Off

This is a continuation of my FF memories, where I'll talk about FF 4 and FF 6 (known on their Super Nintendo incarnations as FF 2 and FF 3). These titles would forever confuse Western gamers and throw them for a loop as to what the blue hell to call them. They are almost universally known by their Japanese titles since they've been re-released several times.

Anyhow, if you haven't read my blog about FF 1, go read it.

SPOILERS ahead (but surely you've played all these, I hope)

Final Fantasy 4: Epic doesn't describe this one enough. I remember watching my friend Danny play this game and thinking "Wow, this shit is awesome." There is a dark knight, a dragoon, a ninja, a summoner, all sorts of crazy shit. They're fighting on the moon and fighting underground. People are dying. Getting turned to stone.

This FF was awesome simply for the fact that you had characters and not some faceless "warrior." Cecil was a rather dynamic main character as well. A dark knight forced to kill to attain the crystals. Yet he was remorseful for his actions. Just to have a dark knight as your main character was so different for that time. Heroes were always knights in shining armor or young plucky kids with goofy hats. But Cecil was a dark-plated knight with dark powers. Killing Mysidians. Hooking up with the white mage.

The accompanying cast was pretty badass as well. With one exception...

You had Kain, the dragoon, who wielded a spear and jumped 50 feet in the air and would land on shit like "Pow!" Kain was a rather unique character as well, because he actually turns evil for a short time and leaves your group. Also he had the hots for the white mage Rosa, and that pissed him off that Cecil had her. What a jealous prick.

Then Rosa, the white mage everyone loved. She's a typical FF heroine: compassionate and earnest. Always looking out for everyone. Except Kain. He was totally gross to her. I guess.

Others include Rydia, the child summoner who becomes the badass teenage summoner with green hair, Tellah, the old fart who casts Meteo and kills himself, Edge, the quiet ninja prince guy, Yang who had a little ponytail and could kick people, the twins Palom and Porom, who were annoying but could wreak havoc with their spells, and Fu So Ya, the moon wizard who looked really old.

And that was it.

Oh, wait. Sorry. There was that "spoony bard" Edward. Arguably one of the shittiest characters in all of FF. He played a harp and his special ability was that he could hide. Not cast a spell, not wreck someone with his sword, but fucking hide. Shitty, shitty, shitty.

Nonetheless, the game rocked. My love for FF only increased ten-fold. But it was about to increase 10,000-fold.

Final Fantasy 6: The best in the series, in my opinion. The ensemble cast. The great story. The hated villain Kefka. Just an excellent game all around. It also introduce a steam-punkish sort of world, where magic powered machines.

The magic system was pretty interesting as well. You would get these creatures called Espers that you would attach to your character. Then he'd learn spells based off what Esper he had. So if you had Shiva, the character would learn like Blizzard and shit like that. Just a really cool concept I think.

The large cast made for lots of lots of storyline. Some of the storyline was much better than others. Sabin and Edgar's story, the royal brothers was very good. Shadow the ninja's back story was intriguing to watch unravel through dreams. Terra, the amnesiac mage, who grew more and more powerful. Locke, the treasure hunter that would not let anyone die due to a promise he kept to his dead girlfriend. Just so much cool stuff to discuss.

But the star of the whole game has to be Kefka. The cackling, clown mage who was maniacal and diabolic. He seemed almost patterned after the Joker, in that he was utterly insane but also rather calculating with his actions. The part where he says "I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate, etc." just exhibits how nuts he was. And then he gets a giant tower called the Eye of Judgment later in the game and just starts killing innocent people. He poisons an entire castle and even kills the Emperor Geshtalt that he serves. He's a complete nutjob, but that's what makes him so memorable. He's at times vulnerable and cowardly and at times vicious and frightening. One of top 3 FF villains in all the series I think.

The game is everything a FF should be. Great story. Great characters. Good game play. Any easy to decipher magic system. Lots and lots of exploring. Many side quests. Just an all around perfect RPG. If there is a FF 15, I hope it resembles FF 6 the most. Fans want more games like this. Not convoluted philosophical babble and girlish/goofy and/or brooding/boring heroes.

Next I'll talk about the game that made the Playstation and honestly put Square on the map globally. Final Fantasy 7, the most beloved of all the series. And for good reason.

Until next time, "Har har har!" (Kefka's laugh)

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