Final Fantasy Turns 25 - A Celebration of One of the Most Important Game Series

As Square Enix prepares to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Final Fantasy games series with an assortment of events all over the world the small weekend casual gaming group that I have belonged to for nearly fifteen-years had its regular Saturday gathering, and after we discussed what games we might play together in co-operative modes the subject of the celebrations surrounding Final Fantasy popped up and we began to trade stories and memories. It turned out that one title or another from the huge number of games in the series had touched each of us in some way, and mostly positively.

The Final Fantasy games began in December of 1987 with the release of the first game in the main series that established it -- Final Fantasy -- and its arrival on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) on December 18, 1987 just in time for the Christmas Holiday. For many gamers the lesson that was learned

Designed by a quartet of game designers at Sqaure -- Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hiromichi Tanaka, Akitoshi Kawazu, Koichi Ishii -- who would later become active and important members of the "A-Team" that was designated to create and expand the world of Final Fantasy, becoming legends in the JRPG world and genre. The game was set in a fantasy world made up of three large continents upon which magic was a reality and adventuring was an honorable profession. A simple description of elemental powers determined by the state of four orbs, with each governing one of the four classical elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water, the basic concept of magical powers closely follows the traditions established by previous titles created by each of the designers individually in the past, which helps to explain how the basic magic system in Final Fantasy quickly resonated with gamers all over the world, and particularly in Japan where it was first introduced.

In a world inhabited by a variety of historic and traditional fantasy races from myth, legend and fairy tale, a colorful and interesting spectrum of Elves, Dwarves, Mermaids, Dragons, and even Robots share the verdant and rich landscape with humans, with each of the non-Human races having a well-established town or village in the game that is representative of their race and culture, though naturally some members of each race choose to live and work in the much larger number of human towns and villages -- integrating to the extent that they are capable and allowed, with the vast majority of them being crafters and skilled artisans.

In ancient times some four-hundred-years prior to the start of the game, the Lefeinish culture watched as their country and culture fell into decline, and the powerful and important Wind Orb was finally extinguished. These were the inventors who harnessed the Power of Wind in order to craft the airships that revolutionized travel as well as the a giant space station that became a center for trade. Some two-hundred-years later, a series of violent storms sank the massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, causing the Water Orb to be extinguished, and the pattern emerged that suggested that something was happening here outside of simple coincidence...