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Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary: Final Fantasy I

by Darryl

If you're even remotely clued in with anything that's been going on this year, you should have noticed that Square Enix and Final Fantasy fans around the world have been celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. Yay!

We have been pretty quiet about it thus-far in terms of our written content, although if you listen to the podcast things have been a little bit different. However, that's all going to change. There were plans at the start of the year to play through each of the main games (swapping in XIII for XI) and do extensive features, but other commitments unfortunately got in the way.

Instead, in the build-up to Christmas, we're going to try and post a different piece of content roughly each day, to try and mark what makes Final Fantasy a special franchise for us here on Final Fantasy Union. Please also feel free to share your thoughts too! To start things off, what better place than Final Fantasy I.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with how the original Final Fantasy came to exist, but it's a tale that never gets old. With Square Co. on the ropes financially, they set out to make their final game. This became known as Final Fantasy, because that's what it was to the game's creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi.

Much of this was lost on Western gamers though, as those in North America didn't get to play the game until three years later. By this point, the franchise had gained a cult following in Japan and Square Co. had already released two follow-ups in Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III.

Spare a moment for European gamers though, as they had to wait until 2003 for an official release of Final Fantasy I. It arrived two console generations later on the PlayStation, with a GameBoy Advance version appearing a year after called Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. That means that by the time Europeans were officially allowed to play the original Final Fantasy, they'd already received Final Fantasy X!

Square Enix hasn't skimped since then though and over the years gamers have been able to play it on the Famicon (NES), MSX2, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, GameBoy Advance, Japanese Mobile Phones, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Wii Virtual Console, iOS, Windows and Android phones.

The importance of this game can't be put into words with that much ease. It's the game that spawned a video game franchise that's not only one of the most influential in history, but is also the 8th biggest selling franchise in history. Outside of Nintendo published games, Final Fantasy is the only Japanese franchise to sell more than 100 million copies.

I know that many of us still go back to play Final Fantasy I every now and then. We even had a community gaming session not so long ago where we played through the game together. It's such a heart-warming experience and we can be nothing by thankful to Square Co, and specially those seven guys who created the game that really, started it all.

Please let us know about your personal experiences with Final Fantasy I in the comments section. When did you first get the chance to play it?

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TAGS: Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary, Square Enix

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