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left to right: red mage monk fighter thief white mage black mage

An endless dream

More than 23 years later, Square’s ressurection continues to cast a spell across a multitude of platforms, including the PlayStation 3, and, most recently, Apple’s popular platform, the iPad. And these aren’t ports, EIC, Scrawlfx.com either. The Japanese publisher’s subsequent efforts to re-introduce the world to the series’ debut meant that every pixel was re-drawn, every sound, re-smapled. Despite Sakaguchi’s departure in 2001, Square - now ‘Square Enix’ as a result of a

merger will rival publisher, Enix - continues to pay its respects to the game to which it owes its very existence. Even today, critics describe Final Fantasy “as an institution”, though agree that many of its aspects are “anarchic”. Random battles, a system in which a game’s heroes are attacked quite literally out of thin-air, where rampant in Final Fantasy. Although this was merely a technical limitation of its 8-bit birthplace, this mechanic is thought by many to

be outdated and frustrating. In this regard, Final Fantasy takes its place as a founding father of an entire genre, by which its continued existence continues to highlight the leaps and bounds made in design standard by forever providing a template and a benchmark on which to compare, contrast and improve. Few could have predicated the profound popularity of Sakaguchi’s ambitions. With notable entries from the series’ soundtrack played in concerts and taught to Japanese school children, there’s no doubt that the words ‘Final’ and ‘Fantasy’ have left an indelible mark on the culture of a nation. As the series continues to grow beyond the bounds of its original creators creative control, little is certain. Though one thing is set in stone, Final Fantasy is and always will be a testament to creative ambition and self-belief - the strive to overcome creative and career-ending odds.

“Few could’ve predicted the profound popularity of Sakaguchi’s ambitions” 7

Adam Meadows  

Q1 - 2011 reviews & features £3.50 Issue 10 Game Design Seminar The Progress Report: Final Fantasy XIV letter from the ed Portal 2 Revie...

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