2,000 Years of 'Final Fantasy'

My First Complete Journey Through 'Final Fantasy I'

Today I beat the first Final Fantasy (FF) game—albeit in the re-released Final Fantasy Origins for PlayStation 1 (PS1) format—and I feel accomplished. It's weird, I didn't really benefit anything from this, I am no closer to owning my dream computer, my wallet is not a nanometer thicker, and—at least for the time being—I've made no new social connections due to this. Yet, for whatever reason, finishing that game, reaching that all too distant credits screen, really filled me with joy.

Final Fantasy is older than I am, arriving in the states back in 1990, a full three years before I came to be. Since that time, it has spawned a whopping 12 numerical sequels of similar structure, two online games with their own assigned numbers (XI & XIV) and a slew of spin-off games. Of those games I've only experienced a handful (primarily V, X and XII) and I've never even come close to beating those. That is, in truth, part of the reason this is so exciting; this is my first completed FF game, heck, my first completed Japanese Role Playing Game, and I can not wait to experience more.

I sort of forced myself down this path of completion, in a sense anyway, setting a ridiculous goal—and making the corresponding purchases—of completing every numerical FF game that released on the PS1 (for reference, those are I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX).

It's been about a month since I started my journey, and it will be nearly another month before the full record of this first chapter is on the world-wide-web (the entire experience is broken down into 41 “Let's Play” videos that are uploaded once every weekday, scheduled through March 5). Having finished the first game, I can excitedly await tomorrow, when I tackle the second game. Finally sinking my teeth into a new experience, seeing as I've never played more than the first fight of FFII.

But then, what of the old game? What have I to say of such a masterpiece, whose legacy seems to be unending? Well, as the game's ending credits state, that adventure will live on as a legend in my heart, forever. It has earned that place. While throughout my journey I often ground my teeth, spat angry—indeed hateful—insults, and complained to no reasonable end, the journey itself was well worth it.

Certainly, the game is littered with ridiculously difficult and numerous random encounters, but those who overcome those challenges are greeted with an experience that is not nearly as daunting as it first seems. Truthfully, with a little less than 30 hours sunk into the game, I am a bit disappointed to see it end so soon.

I will miss Delvin, Celia, Belac, and Argus, my alphabetically named Black Mage, White Mage, Monk, and Fighter; they became an extension of my will, into a world I could only experience through their interactions. Yes, certainly, FF is not as comprehensive as a role-playing game as Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls series boasts. No, I do not have the infinite control and potential that table-top games such as Dungeons and Dragons offer. But the story that FF tells is simple enough that I don't need such potential and yet engrossing enough that I do not miss the complexities of the great many twists and turns that the Hero of Kvatch or Dragonborn experience.

Would I return to that unnamed world and face that 2,000 year war—why yes, that is the major point around which the full game circles—again if given the chance? Of course, how could one not? In fact, very conveniently, the Origins edition of the game allows players to play back through in a “New Game+” fashion, with all of the bonus content still available—which is little more than some bestiary entries, but I'm not complaining. So, indeed, that world may soon see my face again. If not that particular version of that world, perhaps another. After all, there is a more expansive version of FF out there on the Gameboy Advance that I might some day obtain, and I do own the 20th anniversary edition on my phone which contains all the same expansions. So certainly, some day I will return to that mysterious world and traverse paths both old and new.

Yes, I believe another 2,000 years in that world would suit me just fine.

Caleb Sherman
Caleb Sherman

An aspiring author? A gregarious gamer? An old man in a young man's body? A young man who thinks he's older than he is? Yes. I could be all of these things and more.

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2,000 Years of 'Final Fantasy'