The Main Final Fantasies
Each Final Fantasy, at its heart, is defined by its story and the characters who inhabit its world. While not as sophisticated as the later games, the first game's plot was still more complex than Dragon Quest's "save the princess / slay the Dragonlord" two-act scenario.
The Earth is dying from within, and the people await the fulfillment of a prophecy: four warriors, each with an orb, will arrive to renew the world. These four warriors are the Light Warriors. The game begins with standard fantasy mini-quests: rescue the princess, awaken the sleeping Elf King, placate the blind witch, dethrone an usurping pretender, etc. But soon a much greater threat is discovered. Four Fiends, each an incarnate form of the elements, are behind the Earth's decay. And behind the Four Fiends lies Chaos, an infernal beast who has twisted time itself to achieve his nefarious ends.
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Released: December 18, 1987 in Japan. July 1990 in USA.|
Systems: Famicom, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
The Four Fiends originate from 2,000 years in the past. In an effort to recover their former strength, they send the knight Garland 2,000 years into the past. In the past, Garland becomes Chaos by melding with the Four Fiends. Chaos intends to use his newfound power to send the Four Fiends into the present. The Light Warriors, however, travel into the past and defeat Chaos before he succeeds. Their victory erases all traces of their journey and only the legend remains, "passed down by the Dwarves, the Elves, and the Dragons." Many gamers were confused by this concept of the "2,000 Year Time-Loop." Most doubt that the game designers themselves ever understood it, either.
The player is the heroes, in all their four-character-name glory. Character development is nil. Although the party members aren't much for after-dinner conversation, they do come in a smorgasbord of shapes and sizes. The Fighter is like a tank: built tough, hard-hitting, and expensive to maintain. The Black Belt, although unarmed, is a powerhouse. The Thief is agile and quick, perfect for any close shaves one might fall into. While the Red Mage can fight well and cast some magic, he excels in neither. The White and Black Mages are masters of White (helpful) and Black (harmful) magic. Midway through the game, the characters' innate skills are enhanced as they undergo a "class change." The Fighter becomes a Knight, the Mages become Wizards, and so on. One well-balanced and recommended party consists of a Fighter, Black Belt, White Mage, and Black Mage.
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