There’s nothing final about Final Fantasy. Having made its debut on the NES in 1987, the RPG series is one of the longest running video game franchises in the world. Now that one of the latest instalments - Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn - is getting a next-gen makeover on the PlayStation 4, it's a good time to look back and share five interesting facts and secrets about Square Enix's flagship series. Have a read and see how many you knew.
Not quite the Final Fantasy
The title 'Final Fantasy' has been the source of some amusement for gamers for many years. After all, just one year after making an adventure that suggested that it would be the one and only fantasy game from creator Hinorobu Sakaguchi, Square released Final Fantasy 2. That wasn’t the end of it. There are over 14 games in the main series and you need a calculator to work out how many spin-offs and remakes have been released. However, the name Final Fantasy was chosen for a reason.
Sakaguchi has said that the name represented his feelings at the time of the original game's creation; had the game flopped (against the backdrop of developer Square's financial troubles), he would have retired from creating video games. Thus, the game would have been Sakaguchi's personal final fantasy! Thankfully, the original Final Fantasy was a huge success, paving the way for many more games to come.
13 years in hiding
An obscure side-quest in Final Fantasy 9 was discovered by a fan who read a strategy guide exclusively released in Japan... 13 years after the game's original release. It is thought the expansive Japan-only guide was one of the only sources that made reference to the side-quest, meaning it went completely undetected outside of the country. To complete the quest, the player needs to begin Memoria (one of the final dungeons) but exit at several key points to speak to the Nero brothers in order to reunite their family.
Have we met before?
Almost every single Final Fantasy title, be it a main iteration or spin-off, features a character called Cid. They are seldom the same individual; some Cids are old and wise, some are young and strong, some are playable and some are just supporting characters. Though Cid did not appear in the NES version of the original Final Fantasy, he was retroactively added as a background character in subsequent remakes.
A grave message
In some versions of the original Final Fantasy, a grave in the town of Elfheim reads: "Here Lies Link". This is apparently a reference to Link, the star of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series. In other versions of the game - such as the Final Fantasy Origins edition for the PlayStation and the original English NES game - a grave reads: "May Erdrick rest in peace". This is a reference to a recurring character in the popular Dragon Quest series created by Enix (Enix would later merge with Square to form Square Enix).
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Final Fantasy?
The final, optional boss of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is Culex, a being from an alternate dimension. The game was created by Square and it is thought that this boss intentionally makes several references to the Final Fantasy series. For example, Culex's art style and battle sequence heavily resembles those found in the earlier Final Fantasy games, his battle music consists of tracks from the Final Fantasy series (particularly FF4) and he utilises Elemental Crystals, which played a large role in the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 4.
Additionally Bahamut - a recurring summon from the Final Fantasy series - makes a cameo appearance in Super Mario RPG as an enemy called upon by Magikoopa enemies.
That's all! How many of these interesting facts did you know?