Reminiscing about the Final Fantasy Series as I get ready for FFXV’s release

With the release of FFXV coming soon I have been reminiscing about many of the Final Fantasy games recently.

I think FFVII was the first game that turned me onto the FF core series. Prior to it I had been playing Dragon Quest/Warrior series, though I did play Chrono Cross, but FFVII was the first one that I can remember seeing a commercial for. A guy on a motorcycle with a sword – it looked badass and I hadn’t seen graphics on a console game like that before, save maybe some NEO GEO machine in an arcade – remember those?

But FFVII was also unique to me as this was also the first time I had experienced a game that had multiple romance options available (ie: the “date” Cloud goes on can have Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie or Barret take him out. It also had a guy who wasn’t afraid of his sexuality (ie: passable cross dressing Cloud), although he had severe mental disorders (ie: memories weren’t all his, PTSD, etc). And it didn’t have an ending where everyone is happy at the end, in fact it can be considered a bit depressing for all involved.

As soon as FFVIII came out I had it in hand from the store, and while I played it multiple times as well it never captured me the same way that FFVII had. Squall wasn’t a terrible character, but I felt he was a bit flat. In fact all the characters in FFVIII seemed very one dimensional to me, though I really liked Red XIII, perhaps because while he was one dimensional he was a animal and I like animals, especially dog-cat-like ones.

I think around this time I also picked up FF Tactics and loved the “old school” feel of the game and it gave me a different appreciation for the various class archetypes that appear as characters in the core series’ games.

So there was little surprise that when FFIX came out, again I was there and excited about the “classic” look of the game. Zidane really bothered me. I don’t know if it was his tail or what, but I really didn’t like him or Steiner, but honestly they and many of the characters seemed like very much the odd couple-troupe. But I forgave it as I really loved the look and feel of the game, Freya who along with FFT had begun to turn me onto Lancers and Dragoons and Vivi, who was such the iconic Black Mage.

FFX is where I started to wane on the series. By 2001 other games were catching my attention and the story of Tidus and Yuna and an evil being perpetually reborn was starting to feel like a rehash to me. FFX-2 was the first core FF series game I bought, put down after several hours and never finished. The other FF core game I’ve played but never finished is FF Tactics; it’s really good and really long and I keep starting over.

FFXI was the first MMO, I played for six month and sold my account and on the MMO front I’ve gone in a completely different direction. [link to raptr]

FFXII was forgettable to me. It had all the things I like, a suave sky pirate with a sexy bunny chick, light romance because most are already paired up story-wise with an expected happy ending for all that just made it slightly boring to me.

But then along came FFXIII and I was in love again. I thought Lightning was a sexy badass form the first time she just randomly jumped into the air with nothing below her and landed in her personal bubble device. The tension from being a soldier, having a sister engaged to a resistance leader and ultimately things going from bad to worse again and again just reminded me a lot of character development and situations I had loved back in FFVII. Similar to FFVII, FFXIII didn’t end on a particularly cheery note and very few are actually happy.

FFXIII-2 was the first core FF series game I didn’t purchase.

FFXIV I played for a few months. See comment on FFXI.

So FFXV. I’ve watched the first episode of Brotherhood on their YouTube. I’ve seen some demo footage. I know the general plot of the story and I’m interested in how it will go, especially since the main characters are all guys taking their prince back to marry/save his princess. I’m planning to purchase as soon as I can since I bought a PS4, but for now I’m content with FF Record Keeper.


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