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North American box art for NES.
|Publisher(s)|| Square Enix|
|ESRB PEGI ACB|
Four hundred years prior to the events of the game, the world was submerged into darkness when four of the elemental crystals dimmed. Prophecy foretold of four warriors of light who could rid the world of darkness, though their names are never known by the player. The four warriors are then required to travel across the world, battling villains and conquering temples. The four characters learn that Chaos, the game's antagonist, is causing this distress and did so two thousand years in the past. They travel in the past, defeat the villain, and return to their home where their heroic doings are not known beyond legend.
In the beginning of the game you're required to choose from six different classes. In all there are four characters, and each one can be assigned a different class. It is impossible to have one of each. The different classes include Fighter, Black Belt, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage, and Red Mage. In America the Fighter was known as Warrior and the Black Belt was known as Monk. Together the characters were known as the Light Warriors. The Light Warriors were basically represented as one entity - they didn't have distinct personalities, contrary to ever other game in the series (excluding Final Fantasy III for the Famicom and Nintendo DS).
As in most role-playing video games, the world map connected all of the towns and temple together. It was scaled down for quick access to everywhere else. Once you came into contact with a village or dungeon, which were represented by appropriate icons, then you would the world would be brought to scale and you could traverse the area, conversing with the locales and completing the dungeons depending on where you were. In shops you could purchase a variety of items while in inns you could raise your health meter for all your characters.
As characters progress through the game, their level will increase. All of the characters will start their level at one, though it can be increased all the way to fifty. In order to increase your level, you'll need to gain experience by defeating monsters in battle that you encounter in the dungeons and overworld. Combat is explained below.
Contrary to Dragon Quest and Mother, the game is not seen through a third person perspective. The playable characters are seen to the right of the screen and are enclosed within a box with white lining (not literally there), while the enemies will be featured on the left, and, like the characters, their space is surrounded by an imaginary white line, though is much larger. Like Dragon Quest and Mother, however, the game is menu based and the moves can be executed by selecting what you wish to do via a menu that appears when it is your players' turn. The first character you chose will receive roughly 50% of physical damage inflicted, the second, about 25%, and the other two, about 12.5%
The abilities of the player is determined by which class the player chose for them at the beginning of the game. When they reach a certain level, they'll partake in a class improvement, which also results in a change of sprite. When you level up, your attacks will become more potent, and you'll be more resistant to opposing attacks. While level increases improve your statistics and dramatically help in battle (and are required), other things will also improve how well you perform in battle, notably weapons and armor. Varying weapons can be given to your player that will increase his or her potency, and armor can be placed on them that'll raise their defense. As the player progresses through the game they'll find better weapons and armor to equip themselves with.
As in almost all role-playing games, classes that are experienced with magic can use it in combat. The two standard types of magic that debuted here have remained throughout the series - black magic and white magic. Black magic are attacks that inflict damaging effects to foes while white magic will help your team somewhat - such as healing them or casting protective spells. Like your melee attacks, the amount of damage delivered to enemies while using magic will increase as your levels do.
The game revolutionized the story genre. It didn't feature a clichéd plot that involved solely of rescuing a princess as previous success like Super Mario Bros. and Dragon Quest did, though improved an epic story (for its time) that incorporated four heroes of light and cinematic moments that surpassed almost all games prior to it. Inspiration from Star Wars can clearly be seen in the beginning of the title. Right after you start the game, you'll see text accompanied by music in the background, similar to the scrolling paragraphs that are featured at the beginning of all of the movies in the aforementioned franchise. Following this you take control of your hero, and after traveling north of the first castle you'll enter a temple and save the princess. This all occurs in the beginning of the game. Following this, the prominent staff will appear with the text Final Fantasy appearing on the bottom (this is actually the first time you see the two words in the game). This shows the importance of the designers of a video game, and is very similar to the beginning of most movies.
The game's creator named Final Fantasy because he planned for it to be his last game at the time, since he wanted to finish his studies. After the game became so successful, he decided to continue with the series. Currently the series is one of the most successful in the industry, meaning that there may never really be a final fantasy.
The game was featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V17, which was also a complete strategy guide for the game.
|Final Fantasy series|
|Main series||Final Fantasy • Final Fantasy II • Final Fantasy III • Final Fantasy IV • Final Fantasy V • Final Fantasy VI|
|Legend series||The Final Fantasy Legend • Final Fantasy Legend II • Final Fantasy Legend III|
|Tactics Advance||Tactics Advance • Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift|
|Crystal Chronicles||Crystal Chronicles • CC: Ring of Fates • CC: My Life as a King • CC: Echoes of Time • CC: My Life as a Darklord • CC: Crystal Bearers|
|Fables||Fables: Chocobo Tales • Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon|
|Theathrhythm||Theatrhythm Final Fantasy • Curtain Call|
|Remakes||Dawn of Souls • Final Fantasy III • IV Advance • V Advance • Final Fantasy VI Advance • Final Fantasy IV|
|Sequels||IV: The After Years • XII: Revenant Wings|
|Miscellaneous||Final Fantasy Adventure • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest • Crystal Defenders • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light • Final Fantasy Explorers|