Video games have been around since the early 50s and there have been quite a few franchises that have supplemented one of the most popular forms of entertainment. There are a few gaming franchises that are a cut above the rest of course and they are nothing but treasure troves filled with hours upon hours of gaming.
If you ask a gamer what the most popular gaming franchise is, he’ll answer one of two things; Super Mario or Final Fantasy. The latter of which is the undisputed king of RPGs and generations upon generations of players have played a Final Fantasy game or two in their entire life. Kudos to those who’ve played every single game there is in the series because that’s A LOT. Some of which are exclusive to Japan.
The monumental franchise is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and in its 30 years of existence, it’s hard to keep track of everything that has everything to do with the franchise. Players are probably too busy to take notice of a few key moments in the game’s history and believe us, there are a lot of things you probably don’t know about the Final Fantasy series.
15. Final Fantasy 9 Had A Secret That Was Hidden For 13 Years
Every Final Fantasy is filled to the brim with secrets and the 9th mainline entry isn’t an exception. Some of its secrets include the superboss Ozma, a secret character, a ton of cards to collect and many more. One of the game’s best kept secrets was actually a small quest that players didn’t find until 13 years after the game has released.
The Lost Nero family sidequest was discovered after 13 years. There’s not much to the sidequest and players won’t be rewarded with their trouble if they want to play as Zidane again. Still, it was pretty impressive to see such a well kept secret.
Another well kept secret was Steiner’s best weapon, Excalibur II. To get the weapon, players had to beat the third to the last boss in the game in under 12 hours. Players basically had to skip all movies, side quests and grinding to get this.
14. Final Fantasy 8’s Crazy Theory About Squall
In the early parts of Final Fantasy 8, one of gaming’s most infamous scenes occurred. The mission was given for Squall Leonhart and his ragtag team of Balamb Garden students were sent to assassinate the evil witch Edea. Now, gaming logic would see the team making it out of the battle with only a few scratches. However, Squall was literally impaled with a huge article. On top of that, he fell off a really high place.
‘He was a goner,’ said many players. But at the start of the second disc, Squall was okay. He didn’t even have a hole in his body. The theory is that the Squall died in the encounter. This would explain why the game had more unrealistic events unfolding at the start of disc 2. Whereas in disc 1, things weren’t over the top. After Squall’s impalement, it seems like all that’s left for the players is Squall’s fantasy that he’s still alive.
13. Vaan’s Androgynous Design In Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 12 is one of the most underrated games in the series and it’s a title that long time fans should try out if they haven’t. It features a vast world with a ton of monsters to hunt and secrets to explore. It also had a cast of very interesting characters who are led by a not so interesting main protagonist.
In the game, players have Basch Fon Rosenburg; a former general accused of killing his king. Balthier; a bounty hunter like cool dude which many have likened to Han Solo. Asche; a dethroned royal who seeks to reclaim her throne. The lead character, Vaan doesn’t have any backstory. He was literally there to watch everything else unfold.
12. Final Fantasy 3’s M-Rated Manga
Most of the Final Fantasy titles are intended for a teenage audience and despite the themes, each of the titles don’t contain any blood or nudity. That’s good since because of the teenage target audience, the game has reached many generations of players. Outside of the video games, there have been some Final Fantasy items that aren’t for teens.
In Japan, Yūkyū no Kaze Densetsu: Final Fantasy III Yori, was a 1991 manga series that was loosely based on Final Fantasy 3. Now, Final Fantasy 3 wasn’t made available in the US until the Nintendo DS arrived and when it did, the game had kids for the main characters.
The manga was very much for adults. It had nudity, violence, body horror and a lot of other mature themes. In hindsight, it didn’t look like a Final Fantasy based manga but it is. It’s 100% Final Fantasy.
11. Final Fantasy Could Have A Multiverse
There are a ton of recurring Final Fantasy figures throughout the games including Cid, Biggs, Wedge and the series’ countless Espers and summons. Despite sharing the same names, they are completely different in traits and appearance. That can’t be said the same for Gilgamesh though.
Gilgamesh was first seen in Final Fantasy 5, he was one of the enemies but he sacrificed himself to save Bartz and friends. He didn’t exactly die. What happened instead was that he was sucked into a vortex. Since then, we’ve seen Gilgamesh make a return in many of the games including Final Fantasy 8, Final Fantasy 12 and others more.
The theory is that Gilgamesh is in a loop through several multiverses which are the worlds of Final Fantasy. This would explain why Gilgamesh carries several weapons, most of which came from other games.
10. Final Fantasy 15’s Decade Long Development
The most recent mainline entry in the series is also considered as one of the best in the series and with the game’s list of amazing features, who are we to contest? Those who weren’t able to follow the game’s development phase could be surprised as it was as problematic as it could get.
Back in 2006, the game was originally called Final Fantasy Versus XIII and not Final Fantasy 15. The lead was still obviously Noctis and we even get to see the rest of the gang. After a long time in development, it was revealed that Versus XIII will be made into Final Fantasy 15 back in 2012. All that time, the game was deep in development up until its launch in November 2016. It would have been a completely different game but thanks to a lot of changes, it’s become one of the best titles the series has to offer.
9. Final Fantasy X/X-2 Had Another Ending
Final Fantasy X had one of the most heartbreaking stories in the series. It tells the story of Tidus, Yuna and other characters on their journey to defeat a seemingly unbeatable enemy named Sin. After Sin died, Tidus and Auron died– not exactly died, they just became non-existent. It was pretty heartbreaking as we had to see Tidus and Yuna get separated.
In Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna, Rikku and Paine took on a journey across the globe because Yuna believes that Tidus is still alive. If players pour in hours upon hours into the game and they manage to complete it, then Yuna and Tidus get reunited.
All the hours were put to waste by a radio drama called Final Fantasy X –Will-. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Tidus and Yuna broke up! And remember Sin? Yep, he got revived and he was on a journey to destroy everything yet again.
8. Barret Is The First African American Fully Playable Character
The cast of Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most colorful casts in the series and it features quite the diverse roster of playable characters. It included Cloud, a dog named Red XIII, Cid, a cat on top of a robot which we know as Caithsith, the ninja Yuffie, Tifa, the vampire-goth hybrid, Vincent and Barret Wallace.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Barret Wallace as he became one of the first major playable African American characters in the series. There was another African American character in Final Fantasy 6 named Leo Christophe but he got killed after one encounter. Barret Wallace was a non-violent character despite wielding a gun– although, he did have a foul mouth. In the mainline entries, the next major African American character was introduced in Final Fantasy 13 with Sazh Katroy.
7. D&D Lawsuit
Despite being the inspiration for many RPGs, Final Fantasy isn’t exactly the founding father of the genre. To check out the full origins of RPGs, we should look not at video games but at the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop games franchise. Playing the popular tabletop, players will see a lot of differences between it and many of past and current RPGs.
Even Final Fantasy is guilty of copying a few things from Dungeons and Dragons. It was too close for comfort and Square Enix had to remodel many of the enemies found in the original game to avoid a lawsuit. The enemies in question are the Mind Flayer and the Beholder. Both of which are copyrighted designs. What we got instead of the Beholder is the Evil Eye which is basically a huge floating eye. The beholder was a floating monster with a ton of eyes.
6. Final Fantasy 15’s Product Placements
There is no doubting that Final Fantasy 15 probably took a lot of money to develop. It featured amazing visuals, amazing features and just so many amazing things. All of which, are achievable only if Square Enix hired the best of the best and of course, that would require a lot of money.
To compensate for the amount of money required to develop the game, Square Enix actually had a few product placements in the game. The most famous one is definitely the Cup Noodle items in the game. Even the logo is there! Another form of advertisement with the game is with the Regalia itself. Noctis and friends’ car is actually modelled after the Audi R8. Moreover, Square Enix allowed Audi to create an actual Regalia that sells for $470,000! One lucky fan got it as a prize during the game’s release.
5. Sephiroth’s Supernova Had Two Versions
In Final Fantasy 7, players had to sit and watch through a few animations courtesy of the game’s summons. It was fun having to watch through all the animations but after a while, it got boring and tedious. The longest attack animation for the summons was a minute and a half long and it was from the Knights of the Round.
While that is impressive, the longest attack animation is chalked up to Safer-Sephiroth, the last boss in the game. His penultimate attack called Supernova was over two minutes long! Players can literally make a sandwich in the time. However, the Japanese version of the game had a different run time for Sephiroth’s attack. In the Japanese version, Sephiroth’s Supernova was cut REALLY short. It only showed and image of outer space that fills with blue light and then poof! Massive damage.
4. Final Fantasy 9 Should’ve Had A Different Last Boss
The early Final Fantasy games in the series were one of the best. One of the great instalments in the early years of the franchise was Final Fantasy 9. It was a great game overall and it even had one of the best visuals at that time. It still had its flaws though and its biggest one had to be the end boss.
Throughout the game, Zidane and co. were terrorized by Queen Brahne and then for the better part of the game, Kuja. Sure enough, players expected that Kuja will be the game’s end boss. It was even a perfect set up, everything was already set as players defeated Trance Kuja but to the surprise of many then, the end boss was a mysterious creature named Necron.
Necron was never mentioned up until the final battle so no one had any idea of who it was. Square Enix’s plans for the last boss was for it to be Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. He did make it into the game as an optional boss though.
3. Why Final Fantasy?
Those who are new to the series have probably asked themselves; why Final Fantasy? There have been a total of 15 mainline entries and there have been countless spin-off titles. It would be weird to call the series as FINAL despite it having been supplemented with entries for 3 decades now.
The reason behind the name is actually neat and surprising. Developer Square Enix was going bankrupt in 1987 and in a last ditch effort to save the company FINAL Fantasy was created. Little did they know, the last ditch effort they made would last for 30 years and would become one of the most popular gaming franchises out there.
There’s actually another rumor going around as to why it was named Final Fantasy. Series director Hironobu Sakaguchi was about to quit Square Enix and game development for good so he created Final Fantasy as a last project. This is all but a rumor though.
2. Final Fantasy 7 Is The Most Popular
Out of all the mainline entries in the series, surely there’s one that’s bound to be more popular than the others right? In comes Final Fantasy 7. If we’re counting popularity to measure the success of a Final Fantasy mainline entry, then the 7th game takes the cake. When it comes to revenue, it’s either Final Fantasy 11 or Final Fantasy 14 since they constantly generate money.
Why Final Fantasy 7 you ask? Well, it has spawned quite a few things actually. 3 spin-off games, Crisis Core, Before Crisis and Dirge of Cerberus. An anime series and a full length CGI film titled Advent Children. Moreover, its characters have been guests in other games like Ehrgeiz and Super Smash Bros. It’s so popular, Square Enix is already working on a remaster of the game.
1. Total Number
We’ve gone on and on about how many Final Fantasy games are out there without revealing any solid numbers. Aside from the 15 mainline entries, there have been spin-offs, sequels, movies, animes and mobile games to support the lasting franchise. Simply put, Square Enix invested a lot on the franchise.
Counting only the video games in the series, there are a total of 92 games! These include games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES, FamiCom, PlayStation, Gameboy, Gamecube, Android, iOS and so many more. The total reaches up to 97 if we count the 3 movies and 2 animes. That’s a lot! The series has definitely been a part of many generations of gamers and will continue to be a part of it in the years to come.