Six Things You Probably Forgot about Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy is one of the most prolific series of anything that I can think of.  In the numbered series alone there are 15 of them (13 and two direct spinoffs) and countless side games, movies, and anime series that rely on the FF in the title to movie copies.  It would only be natural that most people forgot some interesting facts along the way.

6. Mystic Quest was a thing

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was an attempt to make an entry level Role Playing Game, and instead came out as some kind of middling and forgettable adventure game where the player had to hit a button every now and then—mainly to advance dialog.  If anyone thought that the plot was going to keep people interested they clearly suspected that everyone who played RPG’s was a child who snacked on lead paint.  Nothing ever is really discovered or figured out as much as directly told, no twists or turns that the series has become known for, and the motivation for the character to save the world is as simple as, “because you are the chosen hero”.

5. Triple Triad’s popularity

Triple Triad was a card game that took place inside of Final Fantasy 8.  It involved walking around the entire globe and challenging pretty much anyone that could be spoken to for a game in an attempt to collect additional randomly selected cards from the losers.  Like most people, I happened to forget it was a thing for most of the game and only remembered at the point that anyone I could challenge would destroy me.  The rules were convoluted and could change for almost no reason, different regions contained different rules and the player could spread them to different areas by playing with someone from that region, making the game less entertaining and more about throwing down random cards with little understanding of what might happen.

There was a more playable spin-off in Final Fantasy 9, although the fact that it was more accessible also seemed to make it less popular.  The FF8 rendition of the game was so popular, in fact, that the entire thing was included with FF11’s disc when it was installed to a PC.  It was the same exact game and only cost a dollar to play a month.  Sadly this lasted for years, and just recently ended, because people adored it.  Shortly after the game came out there was also a physical version of the game released in Japan, but no worries, since I was in college and hung out with the nerdiest people I could find for a while I saw real copies of this game in action.  This was also right before I broke off all contact with that group of friend, and now that I think about it, probably the leading cause for doing so.

4. Almost any of the plot(s) of Final Fantasy Tactics

Sure, we all think back about Final Fantasy Tactics and our continued love affair with Strategy games and the complexities of Final Fantasy plots, but beyond the first arch of the game how much does anyone really remember?  The game starts off simply enough, the conflict between nobles and peasants seems to be front and center and interesting, but along the way it turns into something about resurrecting a fallen god and the amount of human sacrifice that is needed to make sure that happens.  The ending itself is showed in mystery as the story telling can’t tell if it really happened.

Most Final Fantasies have some webbing that goes out in different directions with the plot, but most of the time they either end up getting tied back into the main arch or resolved fairly quickly.  Tactics, on the other hand, seems to feel that is totally OK to start strong with a plot about non-nobles being animals and loses its way with the entire “church = bad!” message.  Even when I was reading the Wikipedia entry on this to try and complain about it I managed to get entirely lost in the middle and only really started to understand what was going on towards the “everyone dies” section.

3. Chocobo’s Spin-Off’s

Let’s say that you work for Square and you have an idea for a game, but the company seems to be focusing on Final Fantasy products for that decade, what do you do?  It seems that the simple answer has been to make the main character of that game a chocobo and that project instantly gets green lit.  With just under 20 games out in the “series” (most of them never seeing the light of day outside of Japan) it is almost as prolific as what it spawned off of.

Sure, the titles themselves range from Facebook games to full disc releases so not all of them have probably made the same impact as naming something Final Fantasy.  That said this trend started just after Final Fantasy 7 and is still going strong, with some of the titles in the series (Chocobo’s Dungeon) having several sequels in their own right.  Who knew that that bird you forced to have sex went on little adventures of its own when you were out fighting to save the world?  Tifa would be so proud.

2. The Scary Clown thing in FF9

Also, it is a chef.  If you could close your eyes and think of a possibly mentally handicap Canadian from South Park who dresses like a clown who killed a chef and is wearing parts of that poor guys skin you might come up with something as nightmarish as Qu, but probably not because you aren’t Japanese or H.P. Lovecraft.  The entire reasoning that you have this monster in your party is that it wants to eat all kinds of things from all over the world, meaning people and monsters, and as a bonus (I guess) for your party it can learn their skills.  I am glad that someone thought that it was a great idea to invite a monster who eats things, gains their souls, and call it a friend.  In my mind Qu was always a couple minutes away from deciding the rest of the party might taste good and becoming a secret boss.

Interesting note, Stark’s fear of clowns caused him to never play this game.

1. There was a 3D Fighting game with FF7 Characters

The game was called Ehrgeiz, and is so complicated and insane to spell I had to check Wikipedia three times while typing it just now.  Riding the wave of success that was Final Fantasy 7 as hard as they could Square released this game just a brief year after with Cloud Strife clearly copied and pasted from one cover to the next, a tone that managed to fit this game as it was broken, terrible, and clearly rushed.  When given the choice between someone with a sword the size of a car and a guy who punches well everyone chooses the sword.  Most games between friends devolved into picking one of the Final Fantasy characters and smashing out the same moves repeatedly.

There was a quest mode in the game, a random dungeon rouge-like, which sadly ended up being the meat of the game.  This would have been fine, almost like how Mortal Kombat used to make everything besides the fighting game really plentiful and robust and possibly involving kart racing, if it didn’t force the player to use the same barely functional mechanics that powered the fighting game section. In an era when bad camera angles in small hallways breaking a game forever happened every five seconds the quest mode made the fighting game look like a masterpiece.

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