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Video: This Documentary Tells the Tale of Final Fantasy's Origins

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

When Square was in a tough spot

The Final Fantasy franchise is one of the best known in the industry, and over the course of nearly three decades has evolved in numerous ways. It's also the source of one of the most interesting stories in gaming, as its very name is testament to its status as a last-ditch attempt at survival for Square, the company that would occasionally be referred to as Squaresoft and would merge with Enix to become Square Enix in 2003. It was an attempt to reverse the fortunes of the company and indeed Hironobu Sakaguchi, who was at the point of walking away from the industry.

If you're interested in a fairly succinct, to-the-point summary of how the game came to be, you could do far worse than the video documentary below from YouTuber Joshua Drew. He outlines how the Square company came to be, summarises its early releases and then moves onto the genesis of Final Fantasy.

Grab a snack and a comfy chair and check it out below, while you can see the preceding part focused on the company's earliest days here.

[via youtube.com, kotaku.com]

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User Comments (25)

torotoid64

#1

torotoid64 said:

Final Fantasy is one of my favorite franchises :3 even when they released some pretty weird stuff I still ate it up (the 13 series being my favorite) :3

Alshain01

#2

Alshain01 said:

Too bad the Final Fantasy franchise has been dead since SquareEnix became a thing. I miss the old Square/Squaresoft.

unrandomsam

#3

unrandomsam said:

They cannot make the traditional style ones very well now.

There is loads that have never been translated yet though they should just release them.

After Years on the Wii I wish I never played it.

Dragon Quest stayed good for longer. (Not interested in MMO's).

I paid £80 for FF3 (FF6) and Chrono Trigger (SNES - import). Think I liked FF3 best. Haven't liked anything in a even remotely price/quality related manner. (Even though most of the rest I got for £20 or less).

I like Secret of Mana more than A Link to the Past I think. (Even though it felt like it had been gutted in length). Playing Link's Awakening before A Link to the Past made all the puzzles trivial. (And the story was good but not like a Square story or an Enix story).

Subie98

#4

Subie98 said:

I haven't liked a ff game since 7 other than ffx. I wish they would make a sequel to chrono trigger, chrono cross was great but didn't cut it.

Tasuki

#5

Tasuki said:

I agree with most of the comments here, in that I haven't been a fan of the FF games since the SNES days. With the release of 7 they just went downhill. I wish they would make an old school FF game using the sprites and all. I would buy that in a heartbeat.

odd69

#7

odd69 said:

I haven't got into the latest FF but i have every game even the crystal chronicles series. I am missing mystic quest and the old ps1 chocobo games. I guess you can say i am a fan of the series. Im gearing up for the video though i am interested to see. My favorite was FF7 and 9.

Einherjar

#8

Einherjar said:

@Galenmereth Absolutely. Normally, i absolutely despise subscription based MMOs but got to be a beta tester for XIV, and emediatly bought it at launch.

But with the recent outings of the main series, it could come to another final final fantasy if XV isnt the next best thing since sliced bread. Making XIII into its own franchise, the most controverse title in the series that got poorely rated even by hardcore fans that didnt just looked at the graphics, was one of the dumbest decisions.
That, and the long wait for Kingdom Hearts 3, also padded with countless unneccessary spin off titles that even topples kojimas Metal Gear series in sillynes and confusion.
I so hope that square finds its way again, away from "shiny graphics over gameplay" and back ontop of the throne of JRPG makers. But so far, Atlus, Level5 and especially Monolith seem to be a far safer bet.

Dreamcaster-X

#10

Dreamcaster-X said:

@Alshain01 I agree whole heartedly except Final Fantasy 12 to me was the last great FF game. Everything else after has just been CG rubbish. THE SNES & PSone Squaresoft games were still it's Golden Age though. So many amazing games got churned out in those years.

Yorumi

#12

Yorumi said:

Yep this is exactly what's wrong with SE today, "the company was writing checks it's games couldn't cash." Oh wait that was in the 1980's, I could have sworn they were talking about today.

Marshi

#13

Marshi said:

You see looking at these comments show the true genius of square. Not many agree but everyone has their own faverite final fantasy. Most love vii and hate all other pretenders to the crown. Some love viii more as a more human emotional journey. Some even love the oft despised xii or the xiii series. Me?i just love final fantasy,period and though many will hate all the new directions future titles take the series I will love and embrace the change as I have been doing for years

Marshi

#14

Marshi said:

@Yorumi Xiii the fastest selling final fantasy ever? Second only to x? Yeah they are really struggling right now!

Yorumi

#16

Yorumi said:

@Marshi um their finances are hurting really bad, they currently have unrealistic sales goals. Tomb Raider is only one example where the production cost was so high it was nearly impossible to sell enough copies. SE is struggling a lot right now, the game industry as a whole is getting dangerously close to a repeat of the game crash and companies like SE are repeating their own mistakes of the past.

ricklongo

#17

ricklongo said:

It was almost funny how the E3 trailer for Final Fantasy XV managed to kill any excitement from me for that game. The franchise is a husk, all of its personality having dried away long ago. It's a damn shame.

Galenmereth

#19

Galenmereth said:

@Alshain01 Well, the main storyline is very much Final Fantasy and is actually really good. And playing the game, even when with other people all around, feels like a Final Fantasy game. It is - and I did not expect it at all - very very good and a proper entry in the series.

SparkOfSpirit

#20

SparkOfSpirit said:

Final Fantasy XIII flooded bargain bins in Japan extremely fast after release and its sequel sold half as much.

It wasn't a success.

Square needs to go back to basics again. Too bad they have no inclination of doing that any time soon.

Spuratis

#22

Spuratis said:

I think Bravely Default looks more like a classic Final Fantasy game than anything else released since Final Fantasy IX. Really hope that game lives up to the expectations that I have for it.

Magrane

#24

Magrane said:

@Tasuki Have you checked out "Final Fantasy Dimensions" on the iPad (any iOS, actually)? I'm sure it's right up your old school alley.

It was for me. Basically it's a new FF in the SNES-style.

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