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2.1 - The Final Fantasy Series (Intro)

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This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by nickzman@eskimo.com (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.

2.1 - The Final Fantasy Series (Intro)

There are currently eleven Final Fantasy games - ten plus a variation on
Final Fantasy IV, and eight SaGa games. Eight of the ten FF games were
released in the USA; in the descriptors below it will be mentioned if
the game was released in the USA or not. The first three SaGa games were
released in the USA as "The Final Fantasy Legend," and are vastly
different from the regular Final Fantasy games.

The first three Final Fantasy games were released for the NES, the next
four were released for the SNES, the most recent three were released for
the Sony PlayStation, and all the SaGa/Final Fantasy Legend games were
released for the Nintendo Game Boy. All of the Super NES Final Fantasy
games have been republished for the PlayStation. Future Final Fantasy
games will be on the PlayStation 2.

The odd-numbered Final Fantasy games (I, III, V, VII, and IX) have a
relatively small cast of characters with a very large plot. The cast of
characters generally does not change for the length of the game.
Instead, the characters have various "jobs" which they can perform -
they can be a fighter, mage, thief, ninja, etc. all in one. In FF I, the
characters start out with fixed jobs but get promoted to better jobs
roughly halfway through the game, and in the others, the characters can
learn new jobs as they become available in their various methods.

The even-numbered Final Fantasy games (II, IV, VI, and VIII) have a very
large cast of characters with a plot which revolves around the character
development of each character. The cast of characters changes rapidly
for the length of the game - characters appear, disappear, come back,
and can not be changed for the most part. Each character performs one
single job which they stick to for the duration of the game, with the
exceptions of Cecil and Rydia's "promotions" in FF IV, how all of the
characters can eventually learn to use magic in FF VI, and FF VIII's
"junction" customization system.

Final Fantasy Tactics is a strategy game with a basically infinite cast
of characters. Otherwise, it is the same as the odd-numbered Final
Fantasy games.

The SaGa games (I, II, and III) have a single-person cast, and up to
three other party members to compliment this one person. The latter two
games include NPCs which can join the party for a small piece of the
storyline, then come and go as they please. The characters are jobless
and generic, so they can do whatever they want to do. Characters come in
the form of humans (generic characters), mutants (generic characters
with strong spellcasting abilities and four pieces of inventory
representing certain memorized spells), and monsters (who are friendly
to the party and can change into the forms of other monsters). The
latter two games also include robots (generic characters whose abilities
depend on what items you equip them with, and their items are recharged
at inns). SaGa III also has beasts (combinations of humans/mutants &
monsters) and cyborgs (combinations of humans/mutants & robots). Human
and mutant characters can be either male or female - the only difference
other than the character's appearance is the character's starting
statistics which tend to weigh more towards strength for males and
toward agility for females. And weapons have a limited life as well -
all weapons and items can be only used a limited amount of times before
they break and new ones must replace them. (More about the vastly
different Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier games in the next section.)


 

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