Hironobu Sakaguchi named his first role-playing game Final Fantasy back in 1987 because the guy thought, after this, no matter video games. Squaresoft had done okay for itself, banging out a couple of decent NES and MSX games like Rad Racer and Alien, but it wasn’t working out. The Gooch was playing a whole lot of Dragon Quest in those days and thought, I bet I can do that, so he, artist Yoshitaka Amano, composer Nobuo Uematsu, programmer Nasir Gebelli, and a few other young turks made what was supposed to be his magnum opus. A final fantasy. Then the game blew up huge, received 13 sequels, those sequels got sequels, there were spin-offs, movies, toys, trading cards, and soda. Sakaguchi hasn’t worked on a Final Fantasy in 11 years and the series just keeps plugging away.
25 years after that first game, Square-Enix is hosting a massive anniversary event for the series in Japan. While the big announcements come tomorrow—Square’s expected to announce Final Fantasy XIII-3. Ugh.—there was some news to be had on Friday.
First, Square announced the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box. The collector’s site, all but guaranteed to remain a Japan exclusive, includes every single main Final Fantasy in some form on disc. The platform choices alone will restrict who can actually play the set. Final Fantasy I through IX are the PlayStation 1 releases of those games, complete with fancy CG cinemas from the late ‘90s. Technically anyone with a PS3 can play those. The sole exception in that line up is Final Fantasy III, which comes as a PSP UMD. Final Fantasy X through XII come as PlayStation 2 discs, which are useless to contemporary PlayStation 3 owners. Final Fantasy 11 PS2 can’t even be played online! Final Fantasy XIII meanwhile plays just fine on a PS3.
That torrent of melodrama and swords also comes with Crystal ArtWorks, a collection of images from the series, an anniversary documentary, a 2-disc soundtrack, and a download code for some earrings in Final Fantasy XIV.
To reiterate: No way does that box set make it to the US.
That wasn’t all. Square-Enix CEO Yoichi Wada took the stage to promise people that the Final Fantasy series isn’t over. No duh, sir. He also said though that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still in production. It’s the game that refused to die!
Happy 25th birthday, Final Fantasy. Let’s all move on to Final Fantasy XV!