Let's Play Final Fantasy 'II'
In 1990, Square (later known as Squaresoft and now as Square-Enix) decided to jump on the Super-NES (or Super Famicom in Japan) boat with other third-party developers via it's Final Fantasy franchise. Originally planning to wait till Final Fantasy 5 to do so, Square changed their minds and used Final Fantasy 4 to kick off the SNES years. This choice would end up starting a tradition to give every generation of home consoles (NES, SNES, Playstation, and Playstation-2) a trio of FF-games from the main series before moving on to the next new kid on the block. Japanese gamers were given their first taste of 16-bit FF-goodness with FF4's release on July 19, 1991 thanks to the efforts of the FF-dream team; director Hironobu Sakaguchi, artist/designer Yoshitaka Amano, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The result of their work was a game that held a story deeper then most games of the time with equally engrossing characters. A game which ended up selling 1.5 million copies.
We won't be playing that game. Not exactly.
The original Final Fantasy had been released in Japan in 1987. However, American gamers didn't have a chance to try the game until 1990. In between that time, FF2 and FF3 had been released in Japan for the NES. Concidering that the 'future is now' with the SNES' release in 1990, Nintendo and Square were relcutant to say the least to spend money translating two games that might not sell due to us gamers having tossed their NES consoles already to the back of their closets. Also, Nintendo didn't wanna admit to their customers that they basically screwed them out of two games. Luckily, the Internet and the crowds of nosy busybodies it'd attract were all still toddlers then, drooling over it's teething rings and dreaming of the day it'd be able to inform, spoil and nerdrage in their 56K-dialup big boy pants.
Final Fantasy 4 thus came out to the US as Final Fantasy II, with no one the wiser that besides some of the natural edits that came with translating Japanese text to English text in those days, we were given a game slightly neutered when it came to certain subplots, some inherent and now missing character abilities, merged and missing items and also anything Nintendo felt was too adult or too Christian-offending. The altered game didn't bother US gamers however as it got solid reviews and high praise. It took Square releasing Final Fantasy VII on a non-Nintendo system years later more or less for the general gaming public to get wise on how much we exactly missed. Still, during these days of proper multiple ports of the NES and SNES Final Fantasy games, there's still those of us who enjoy (and dump over, sadly) the original US release of FF4.
Now, before we get started, I'd like to lay out a few things first for the LP.
1) This is pretty much my first proper LP here. So I will probably make quite a few mistakes. In that regard, please feel free to tell me how bad I'm screwing up either in gameplay or presentation. Feedback of any kind is welcome here. Just try to keep the insults about my intelligence down to one per post.
2) I love Final Fantasy but I'm not the sort of fan who knows every facet of it 100%. So while I will point out stuff from this game and how it connects to other FF-titles, there may be a probability that I'll goof up with the facts. So if I say something wrong like Chocobo feathers are flavescent yellow when they're actually chartreuse, you're more then welcome to correct me.
3) I know the game's certainly passed the need for spoiler-protection but I'd still like to ask that those who wanna say stuff about the plot still use the spoiler-box for it. There may be some that haven't had a chance to see this particular version of Final Fantasy 4 before or perhaps not played it at all. I'll be using the box myself to place updates in as well as plot-talk. I'll be labeling both so you know what's what.
4) I don't mind too much if discussion in the thread gets sidetracked to other titles for a few posts but G&T does have it's own Final Fantasy topic so it'll be best to save some of the more heated discussions not related to the LP like 'Cloud vs Lightning' and '50 reasons I like/don't like Marche' to there. I'll try to do the same.
Right! If anyone's still with me after all that text, let's get to the game.Table Of Chapters (and links):
Chapter 1 - Next post after this one!
Chapter 2 - Here!
Chapter 3 - Here!
Chapter 4 - Here!
Chapter 5 - Here!
Chapter 6 - Here!
Chapter 7 - Here!
Chapter 8 - Here!
Chapter 9/iBard 1 - Here!
Chapter 10 - Here!