Final Fantasy

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North American box.

Final Fantasy is a Japanese role-playing game developed and published by Square on 1987-12-18. It was first released on the Famicom, then ported to the MSX2. In 1990 is was released on the NES. Ports have also been BREW and J2ME. The game has been completely remade several times for various other platforms.

The game is set in a Medieval fantasy world which has fallen into evil and four heroes must defeat the elemental fiends to restore light to four orbs and stop chaos from destroying the world.

In sixth grade, a friend of mine and I both loved fantasy RPGs. I was playing Ultima: Exodus and he was playing Final Fantasy. We each talked about the games at length in school and eventually swapped them. I didn't have the game long enough to get very far, but I remember defeating Garland, getting the pirate ship, visiting the elves and dwarves, but then getting annihilated in the marsh cave by poisonous spiders. I haven't played it much since and never beat it, but I did watch friends play through large sections of the game when I was younger, and I once even cheated my way through the entire game it at double speed on an emulator to research it for the VGMPF. I also know most of the plot points from reading magazines and walk-throughs.


I own this game for the NES, but I have not beaten it.



  • For its time, Final Fantasy was a very in-depth and massive RPG. The story has a lot of interesting (if trope-heavy) elements like elemental fiends, a lost technological culture, an airship, etc. The whole thing really feels like you're on an epic adventure.
  • The game's character art, designed by Yoshitaka Amano, is really fantastic. The player characters, NPCs, and especially the monsters, all look wonderful.
  • Nobuo Uematsu composed an amazing and expansive soundtrack.
  • The variety of playable characters accommodates alternative play styles.
  • I think the game does a really good job of mixing fantasy with small elements of science fiction. Something later games in the series fail at.
  • Adding things like multiple hits in combat was a neat idea.
  • The MSX2 port, though it featured weaker sound and animation, had better graphics than the original.
  • The game has a fantastic manual.


  • Game play is far too slow. Your character moves too slowly around the map and combat drags on and on.
  • Although it's more realistic and strategy-dependent, I don't like the "ineffective" hits in combat which require you to plan your strikes in advance each round.
  • The game has too many random encounters, the Giant Cave especially.
  • I don't like that magic users can only learn three of the four spells in each level. Although this does make an interesting strategy decision, I would prefer it if they could change things up throughout a single game rather than have to start a new game from the beginning to try an alternate strategy.


  • The game requires far too much grinding. More experience and gold should have been awarded to speed the game along.
  • The fact that you have to buy everything for individual characters (potions, weapons, armor, etc.) rather than buy them for the party and use them as needed, is extremely obnoxious. Thankfully, later games in the series and remakes fix this issue.


Box Art





The game contains credits, but all of the names are aliases. Over time, several of those names have been identified.

Role Staff
Original Concept Hironobu Sakaguchi
Character Design, Box Art Yoshitaka Amano
Programmer Nasir Gebelli
Scenario Kenji Terada
Music and Sound Nobuo Uematsu
MSX Director Masanori Otsu
MSX Program Port Yas, Katsumi Ito
MSX Graphics Port Tadahiko Watanabe
MSX Audio Port Tadahiro Nitta


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Final Fantasy
Japanese ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantaji Final Fantasy


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