Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a metaseries produced by Square Enix. A subseries stemming from the main Final Fantasy series, it is a collection of video games, animated features and short stories based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Officially announced in 2003 with the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the series' core products are three video games and one movie release. Alongside these are tie-in products and spin-offs including books, mobile games and an original video animation. Advent Children and the mobile title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII are a sequel and prequel to VII, respectively focusing on Cloud Strife, the original game's main protagonist, and covert operatives known as the Turks. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair, an important major character in VII, while Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which acts as a sequel to Advent Children, follows Vincent Valentine, one of the original's optional characters.

The series was conceived by Yoshinori Kitase, the original game's director, and Tetsuya Nomura, the main character designer. Nomura would become the main designer for each entry in the Compilation. Other returning staff include writer Kazushige Nojima, art director Yusuke Naora, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The video games belong to different genres, with none of them being traditional role-playing games due to production pressures related to the genre. While the first title revealed was Advent Children, it ran into delays during post-production, so the first Compilation title to be released was the mobile game Before Crisis.

Of the core titles, Before Crisis is the only one still unreleased in the west due to issues with overseas platform compatibility and staff changes. Reception of titles in the Compilation has been mixed, with Advent Children being praised for its visuals and criticized for its confusing nature. Before Crisis and Crisis Core have received praise, while Dirge of Cerberus garnered a mixed response. The presentation of the Compilation as a whole has met with a mixed response, and later staff linked it to the decline of the Final Fantasy series' prestige in the West. The Compilation inspired the creation of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a similar subseries of linked video games.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Compilation of FF7 logo
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII logo
Developer(s)Square Enix
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Creator(s)Tetsuya Nomura, Yoshinori Kitase
Platform(s)Mobile phone, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
First releaseBefore Crisis: Final Fantasy VII
September 24, 2004
Latest releaseFinal Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete
April 16, 2009

Titles

Timeline of release years
2004Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII
2005Last Order: Final Fantasy VII
2006Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
2007Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Video games

  • Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII is an action role-playing video game split into 24 episodes, with episode delivery working via a monthly subscription-based distribution system.[1][2] After going through beta testing in 2004, it was released on September 24, 2004 for NTT DoCoMo's FOMA iMode, and on January 30 and April 5, 2007 for SoftBank Mobile and EZweb respectively.[2][3] The game was never released to western markets, despite plans to do so.[1]
  • Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is an action game featuring both first and third-person shooter elements. There was originally a multiplayer mode, but this was removed in the western version.[4][5] It was released on January 26, August 15, and November 17, 2006 in Japan, North America and Europe respectively. The localized version received an overhaul before release, as the developers were not pleased with the Japanese version of the game.[5] An International version, featuring the improvements made to the localized version, was released in Japan on September 11, 2008 as part of Square Enix's Ultimate Hits lineup.[6] A mobile spin-off taking place during the events of the game, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII, was released on August 22, 2006 in North America and July 26, 2007 in Japan.[7][8]
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an action role-playing game. Crisis Core has the player controlling Zack Fair in a real-time combat system enabling the player to move Zack around, activate abilities and attack or block attacks from enemies.[9] It was released on September 13, 2007 in Japan, and on March 24 and June 20, 2008 in North America and Europe respectively.[10][11]

Films

  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the first title conceived for the Compilation, the second to be released, and a direct-to-DVD sequel to VII. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2005, and on April 24 and 25, 2006 for Europe and North America respectively.[12][13][14] It received a single special western cinema screening on April 3, 2006, at the Arclight Theatre in Los Angeles.[15] A director's cut of the film, Advent Children Complete, was also produced, featuring graphical retouches, extra footage and rerecorded voice work for the English and Japanese versions.[16][17] A Blu-ray exclusive, Advent Children Complete was released on June 2, 2009 in North America, on July 27, 2009 in Europe, and on October 7, 2009 in Australia.[18][19] A demo for Final Fantasy XIII was included in the package.[20]
  • Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an original video animation detailing the destruction of the town of Nibelheim, a key event in VII. Last Order was packaged with a limited edition of Advent Children called Advent Pieces, released on September 14, 2005 in Japan and February 6, 2007 in North America.[13][21] Advent Pieces was limited to a quantity of 77,777 copies. The OVA is no longer available to purchase.[22]

Related media

Multiple pieces of tie-in media have been created for the Compilation, nearly all relating to Advent Children. To promote Advent Children Complete, a series of short stories were written by Kazushige Nojima under the umbrella title On a Way to Smile.[18][23] The stories were later collected into a single paperback volume and released on April 16, 2009.[24] An animated adaptation of one story, "Case of Denzel", was included in all copies of Advent Children Complete.[16] Nojima also wrote Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography: Turks ~The Kids Are Alright~, a novel set a short time before Advent Children. The novel was illustrated by Shou Tojima.[25]

A mobile racing game based on a mini game from VII, Final Fantasy VII G-Bike, was released on October 30, 2014, for iOS and Android. A western release for the title was planned.[26] It was developed by Japan-based developer CyberConnect2 as part of a planned subseries of mobile games based on VII's mini games.[27] While related to VII and the Compilation due to its nature, the developers confirmed that it was not related to nor affected the Compilation itself.[28] Due to difficulties delivering continual satisfactory service, G-Bike was shut down in 2015 without seeing a Western release.[29]

Setting

The setting of Final Fantasy VII is a world that has been described as an industrial or post-industrial science fiction milieu.[30] It is referred to as "the Planet" by the series characters, and was retroactively named "Gaia" in some Square Enix promotional material and by game staff.[31][32] The planet's lifeforce is called the Lifestream, a flow of spiritual energy that gives life to everything on the Planet. Its processed form is known as "Mako".[33][34][35] During VII and its prequels, the Lifestream is being used by the megacorporation Shinra as an energy source. This is in turn causing the Planet to dangerously weaken, threatening the existence of everything and everyone on the planet.[36] The main narrative of VII focuses on an eco-terrorist group known as AVALANCHE, chronicling their conflict with Shinra president Rufus Shinra and his subordinates, including the covert Turks, and SOLDIER, an elite fighting force created by giving humans raw Mako.[37] Eventually, all come under threat from Sephiroth, a member of SOLDIER created through Shinra experimentation and driven mad when he learns the truth about his origins, and Jenova, an alien lifeform which seeks to destroy all life on the Planet.[38][39] Among the main characters are Cloud Strife, a mercenary and self-proclaimed ex-SOLDIER, Aerith Gainsborough, a flower seller and last member of an ancient tribe known as the Cetra,[40] Tifa Lockhart, Cloud's childhood friend, and Vincent Valentine, a former Turk who was made immortal by Shinra experimentation. During the conflict, Sephiroth summons a destructive spell called Meteor to mortally wound the Planet. When Aerith attempts to summon Holy, a defense mechanism that can stop Meteor, she is killed by Sephiroth. Eventually, the party are successful in defeating Sephiroth, and the Lifestream reinforces Holy, successfully stopping Meteor.[41]

The Compilation titles act as continuations and expansions on the core narrative, with them focusing on various characters. Advent Children begins two years after VII, when people across the world are succumbing to a disease called Geostigma and Cloud, suffering from guilt, is forced to confront Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo, avatars of Sephiroth's will.[18][42] Before Crisis begins six years prior to the events of VII, and follows the confrontations between the Turks and the original incarnation of AVALANCHE.[43] Crisis Core takes place in a similar time period, but follows events from the point of view of Zack, a SOLDIER who befriended Cloud and was killed by Shinra troops after turning against the company. Among the characters who interact with Zack is Genesis Rhapsodos, a member of SOLDIER who successfully rebels and eventually decides to protect the Planet.[44] Dirge of Cerberus is set a year after Advent Children, and focuses on Vincent's conflict against Deepground, a sect of SOLDIER that was trapped beneath Midgar during Meteor's descent. Last Order takes place during the events at Nibelheim, where Jenova was originally stored and Sephiroth first found out about himself.

Production

Creation

Square-enix dissidia yoshinori-kitase
Final Fantasy VII director and Compilation co-creator Yoshinori Kitase at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII was created by Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura, the respective director and character designer for Final Fantasy VII. It was at one point defined by Square Enix as their first step towards "polymorphic content", a marketing and sales strategy to "[provide] well-known properties on several platforms, allowing exposure of the products to as wide an audience as possible."[45] Speaking on why VII had been chosen for such a project, Kitase explained that the ending left far more development opportunities open for characters and setting than other games in the series.[46] There was also a strong financial benefit to creating the Compilation—following the unprecedented financial upturn prompted by the release of Final Fantasy X-2 just prior to the 2003 merger of Square and Enix into Square Enix, then-CEO Yoichi Wada decided that the company could tap into fan demands for continuations of the story of Final Fantasy VII.[47]

The first title to be conceived was Advent Children, original envisioned as a short film presentation created by Visual Works, the animation studio behind CGI cutscenes for the company's games. Early in pre-production, plans to make Advent Children a video game rather than a film were considered, but due to several factors including Visual Works' lack of experience with actual game production, it remained a film.[48][49] One of the main conditions for the project's launch was to reunite the original staff members of Final Fantasy VII: Nojima, art director Yusuke Naora, composer Nobuo Uematsu. After Advent Children began development, it was decided by the team that one title was not enough to fully explore the VII universe. In response, Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core were conceived so as to embrace more aspects of the world and characters.[48] Nomura himself was surprised at the creation of the games, having originally assumed that the film would be the sole product of the project.[50]

Development

Each title had a different impetus fueling its creation and development: Before Crisis was thought up by Hajime Tabata, a new employee at Square Enix's mobile division, when asked by Nomura to create a video game featuring the Turks.[51] Dirge of Cerberus was inspired by Vincent's choice of weapon, Kitase's love of first-person shooters, and the challenge it would provide developers.[52][53] Prior to the series solidification and the release of Advent Children and Before Crisis, the team had considered other gun-wielding Final Fantasy protagonists for such a game.[54] Crisis Core originated simply as either a Final Fantasy spin-off or a port of Before Crisis for the PlayStation Portable, and after talks with Kitase and Nomura, it was decided to make it another title in the Compilation.[55][56] The creation of Before Crisis after Advent Children began a lettering formula for the series later used by the staff as common abbreviations: 'AC' stood for Advent Children, 'BC' for Before Crisis, 'CC' for Crisis Core and 'DC' for Dirge of Cerberus. The sequence was nearly disrupted when Crisis Core's title was considered as Before Crisis Core, but the "Before" part of the title was soon dropped, coincidentally creating the sequence.[57]

Before Crisis began development in 2002.[32] The Compilation was first unveiled in 2003 with the announcement of Advent Children.[58] None of the titles in the series up to that point were traditional role-playing games like the original. The explanation for this was that traditional RPGs took long production periods and a large staff, which would have made the project stand out a bit too much. One of the other considerations for the team was not to make the titles lightweight as X-2 had been, due to backlash from parts of the fanbase. Conversely, making Final Fantasy X-2 reminded the team that they did not need to stick to completely serious traditional RPGs, enabling the original creation of the Compilation.[48] While Advent Children was the first Compilation title to begin production, it ran into problems during post-production, resulting in the first released title being Before Crisis, despite it being the second title to begin development.[58][59] Before Crisis was also originally planned for release in North America, but the mobile phones available in North America at the time were not able to handle the game. In addition, the producer Kosei Ito left Square Enix in 2008 and Tabata moved on to other projects, leaving its localization unlikely.[60] Japanese animation studio Madhouse created a commercial to promote Before Crisis. Due to its success and staff feelings that important scenes from VII represented in Advent Children had been needlessly disjointed, the studio was chosen to produce an animated film: this eventually became Last Order.[61] Crisis Core was originally going to be an action game, but became an action RPG, staying within the staff's design strengths while incorporating action elements.[55][62]

Wada had stated in 2006, while the development and release of Compilation titles was still ongoing, that the Compilation could remain an active franchise until 2017, the twentieth anniversary of Final Fantasy VII's release.[63] After finishing work on Advent Children Complete, the team announced that they would take a break from the series, although they stated that they still have various ideas for future titles.[64] In later interviews relating to Final Fantasy VII, multiple staff members including Nomura stated that the Compilation was only ever intended to extend to three games and a movie, ending with the release of Crisis Core. Their reasoning was that releasing any more would saturate the market.[47]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children 88/100[65]
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII 57/100[66]
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII 83/100[67]

Compared to the original VII, which received near-universal critical acclaim and later cult status as a classic game, the entries in the Compilation have often garnered a mixed reception, and the Compilation as a whole has been critiqued by some. In July 2007, Edge magazine stated that the titles "could be of a high quality, but there is also a perversion of the original."[68] RPG Site's Alex Donaldson, during a review for Crisis Core, said that the Compilation was "too far detached from the lore of Final Fantasy VII." While critiquing Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus, and faulting Before Crisis's lack of the original game's characters, he felt that Crisis Core was the Compilation's "first classic [Final Fantasy VII] spinoff."[69] RPGFan's Stephen Meyerink said that the Compilation titles prior to Crisis Core had "expanded, extended, and retconned [the story] into what some would call an unrecognizable mess."[70] Alexa Ray Corriea, writing for Polygon, was highly critical, saying that few of the Compilation titles were good, and only served to "cheapen the 1997 [PlayStation] original."[71]

Reviews for Advent Children have been mixed to positive: while critics have praised the presentation, graphics and fan appeal, all reviews agree that the story's context and delivery were confusing for people new to the series.[72][73][74] While western critics were positive about Last Order, the OAV received heavy fan criticism in Japan due to its retconning of key events, which prompted the team to ensure that the event was faithfully recreated in Crisis Core.[56][75][76] Before Crisis, due to remaining in Japan, has received limited attention in the west, but previews have been highly positive, with many praising the gameplay and graphics as being impressive for a mobile game.[22][77][78] Opinions for Dirge of Cerberus were decidedly mixed. While many praised the story and characters, especially the focus on Vincent's character and development, critics were mixed to negative about the graphics and gameplay.[4][79][80][81] Japanese magazine Famitsu notably gave the game a delayed and highly critical review.[82] Crisis Core was generally praised, with many enjoying the story's intimate presentation of the characters and action-oriented gameplay, despite some criticism for it being aimed at fans of VII.[83][84][85][86] Critics of the Compilation have generally cited Crisis Core as the best title of the series.[69][70][71]

Sales

Many of the titles have received strong sales. Through 2006, Advent Children met with high sales, with 1 million units sold in Japan, 1.3 million in North America, and 100,000 in Europe, making a total of 2.4 million copies sold worldwide.[87] The original version went on to sell four million copies worldwide by 2009.[18] Advent Children Complete also met with strong sales, selling 100,000 copies on its first day of release in Japan.[88] Advent Children Complete was cited as a reason for the increase in sales of the PlayStation 3 console.[89][90] Before Crisis registered 200,000 users on launch day, making it the best-selling mobile game up until that time, and was accessed 1.6 million times by June 2006.[1][91] Dirge of Cerberus shipped 392,000 units in its first week, and went on to sell 460,000 units in North America and 270,000 units in Europe.[92][93] Crisis Core sold 350,000 copies in Japan on its release date, while it sold 301,600 copies in its first month of release in the United States.[94][95] It went on to sell 3.1 million units worldwide.[96]

Legacy

The process of thought behind the Compilation would later inspire the creation of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos, and would use lessons learned from the Compilation production process.[97] On an individual level, Before Crisis's popularity would inspire the creation of another mobile title within the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries: originally titled Final Fantasy Agito XIII, it would later change platforms and be renamed Final Fantasy Type-0.[98][99][100] The battle sequences in Advent Children also served as inspiration for Motomu Toriyama when creating the battle system for Final Fantasy XIII.[101] Former staff members have blamed the Compilation, in conjunction with other extensions of titles like Final Fantasy X, for undermining the series' market presence and fan trust in the West.[47]

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Aerith Gainsborough

Aerith Gainsborough (Japanese: エアリス・ゲインズブール, Hepburn: Earisu Geinzubūru), transliterated as Aeris Gainsborough in the English releases of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics—is a player character in Square's (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura with influence from Yoshinori Kitase, Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yoshitaka Amano.

In Final Fantasy VII, she is a young woman who joins the eco-terrorist organization AVALANCHE. As the story progresses, AVALANCHE begin to pursue the game's antagonist Sephiroth, and the player learns that she is the last surviving Cetra, or "Ancient", one of the planet's oldest races. She has also appeared in the later-released Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts series.

Her voice actor is Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese. In English releases, her voice actors are singer and actress Mandy Moore in Kingdom Hearts, actress Mena Suvari in Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and actress Andrea Bowen in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. The character and the events surrounding her death in Final Fantasy VII have met with an overall positive reception from critics and fans.

Barret Wallace

Barret Wallace (バレット・ウォーレス, Baretto Wōresu) is a player character in Square Enix's role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created by character designer Tetsuya Nomura, he has since appeared in the CGI film sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as well as other games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Barret is voiced by Masahiro Kobayashi in Japanese and Beau Billingslea in English localizations.

Barret is first introduced in Final Fantasy VII as an eco-terrorist, leading the group AVALANCHE to bomb Mako reactors in the fictional city of Midgar, so as to avenge the losses dealt him by the megacorporation Shinra, the Planet's de facto world government, who operate under the pretense of saving the Planet. As the story progresses, Barret re-examines his efforts and focuses on pursuing the villain Sephiroth in an effort to protect the Planet and the future of his adopted daughter, Marlene. Elements of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII would later expand upon his character, detailing the character's history before and after the events of the original game.

The first dark-skinned playable character in the Final Fantasy series, Barret's appearance and sometimes profane speech has been heavily compared to that of actor Mr. T, earning much praise, but also criticism and accusations of racism by some.

Characters of the Final Fantasy VII series

Final Fantasy VII, a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and originally released in 1997, features a large number of fictional characters in both major and minor roles. VII has been followed by multiple sequels and prequels, grouped into the multimedia series Compilation of Final Fantasy VII: these include the 2004 mobile game Before Crisis, the 2005 movie sequel Advent Children, the 2006 shooter spinoff Dirge of Cerberus, and the 2007 action game Crisis Core. Other media include spin-off books and the original video animation Last Order. The setting of Final Fantasy VII is a world that has been described as an industrial or post-industrial science fiction setting. It is referred to as "the Planet" in most of the games, and was retroactively named "Gaia" in some Square Enix promotional material.VII follows Cloud Strife, a troubled mercenary who joins with an eco-terrorist group to stop Shinra from draining the life of the Planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, conflicts escalate and the world's safety becomes their central concern as new forces emerge to challenge the original group. Cloud and his team eventually face off against the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. Other important characters in the series include Aerith Gainsborough, a flower seller who becomes a good friend to Cloud; Zack Fair, Cloud's friend, a former soldier of Shinra and the protagonist of Crisis Core; and Vincent Valentine, a man made immortal by Shinra experimentation and the protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus. The conflict between Cloud and Sephiroth forms the core narrative around which many of the series' stories are built. Other characters include the Turks, a covert group which originally worked for Shinra.

The original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who had done monster designs for Final Fantasy VI and was chosen for the role after his designs impressed producer Hironobu Sakaguchi. Nomura was responsible for many of the characters and their stories. The scenario for the original game was written by Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima. Nomura, Kitase and Nojima have been involved in other titles in the Compilation. The characters of VII have met with positive reception in contemporary and modern reviews, while their portrayal in the Compilation titles has been mixed: while Crisis Core was generally praised, the focus on secondary characters in Dirge of Cerberus drew mixed opinions from some, while their appearance in Advent Children was generally cited as confusing or poor for newcomers to the series. The entire cast, along with multiple side characters and villains, have remained popular among critics and series fans over the years, with many lists and opinion polls citing them as some of the best characters in the Final Fantasy series.

Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife (Japanese: クラウド・ストライフ, Hepburn: Kuraudo Sutoraifu) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's (now Square Enix's) 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary claiming to be formerly of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation responsible for draining the life from the planet. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud reappears as the protagonist in the 2005 computer-animated sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in which he fights a new threat to the world while dealing with a sickness that infected his body. He acts in a supporting role in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, and is featured in several other games outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Additionally, he has been featured in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, and the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix.

Cloud was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a character artist for the Final Fantasy series, whose role expanded during the title's development to include supervision over Cloud's personality. Yoshinori Kitase, director of VII, and Kazushige Nojima, one of the game's event planners, developed the story and wanted to create a mysterious character who acted atypically for a hero. After VII, Nomura assumed greater responsibility over Cloud's development, and his design was revised to better conform with the series' shift to a more realistic style.

Cloud has garnered a primarily positive reception from critics. Described as "iconic", Cloud has been cited favorably as an example of complex character writing in video games and as one of its first unreliable narrators. He has ranked highly in various character lists compiled by video game publications, and remains popular among fans, continuing to place highly in popularity polls conducted by Famitsu, Guinness, and other organizations. His characterization and design have also served as trope for other characters, most notably Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. He has also become the basis for a variety of merchandise, such as action figures and jewelry.

List of Final Fantasy media

Final Fantasy is a series of role-playing video games developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). Its first game premiered in Japan in 1987, and Final Fantasy games have subsequently been localized for markets in North America, Europe and Australia, on nearly every video game console since its debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy is Square Enix's most successful franchise, having sold over 97 million units worldwide to date. In addition to traditional role-playing games, the series includes tactical role-playing games, portable games, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, and games for mobile phones. Its popularity has placed it as the sixth-best-selling video game franchise, and the series has won multiple awards over the years.In addition to the 15 games released as part of the main (numbered) series and their many spin-offs and related titles, the Final Fantasy series has spawned many works in other media including anime, movies, novels and manga, and radio dramas. Final Fantasy: Unlimited, originally a stand-alone anime series, now has its own sub-franchise which includes video games. Many games, particularly the main series, have soundtrack album releases featuring their music in different arrangements. Square Enix has also consistently released companion books for its games which provide additional backstory and plot information, as well as detailed walkthroughs for the game. Since the announcement of Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix has focused on "polymorphic content", expanding each game world with material on many video game platforms, as well as other forms of media.

List of Final Fantasy video games

Final Fantasy is a video game series developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). The first title in the series, the eponymous Final Fantasy, premiered in Japan in 1987, and Final Fantasy games have been released almost every single year since. Fifteen games have been released as part of the main (numbered) series. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and related video games have been published, as well as numerous titles in other media forms. Each game in the main series takes place in a different fictional universe rather than serve as direct sequels to prior games, although some titles have received sequels, or prequels, set in the same universe.

Most of the games have been re-released for several different platforms, many of which have been included in bundled releases. The series as a whole is primarily composed of role-playing video games, but also includes massively multiplayer online role-playing games, third-person shooters, tower defense games, and tactical role-playing games. Final Fantasy games have been released on over a dozen video game consoles beginning with the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as for personal computers and mobile phones. The series is Square Enix's most successful franchise, having sold over 100 million units worldwide as of June 2011, across both the main series and its spin-offs. Final Fantasy's popularity has placed it as one of the best-selling video game franchises.

Project Genesis

Project Genesis may refer to:

Project Genesis (Star Trek), a fictional technology from the Star Trek universe

Project Genesis (organization), an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization that teaches Judaism on the Internet

A project by Royal Caribbean International to develop their latest cruise ships—the Oasis-class cruise ship

An alternate name for the TV series Deepwater Black

Toyota Project Genesis, a 1999 plan to attract more youthful buyers

Genesis (Final Fantasy character), a character in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

Genesis Device, an LGPL licensed game engine

Norton 360, codenamed Project Genesis or simply Genesis

Project Genesis, a collaborative project between Freightliner, UK and General Electric for a main line freight locomotive, subsequently named PowerHaul

Project Genesis, a demo (computer-based audio-visual work of art) by Hungarian demogroup Conspiracy

Sephiroth (Final Fantasy)

Sephiroth (Japanese: セフィロス, Hepburn: Sefirosu) is a fictional character and main antagonist in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII developed by Square (now Square Enix). Character designer Tetsuya Nomura conceived and designed Sephiroth as an antagonist to - and direct physical opposite of - the game's main character, Cloud Strife. The character was voiced in Japanese by voice actor Toshiyuki Morikawa and in English by both Lance Bass in Kingdom Hearts and George Newbern in all his subsequent appearances.

Sephiroth is later revealed to be the result of an experiment by the megacorporation Shinra, in which they injected him with cells from the extraterrestrial lifeform Jenova when he was still a fetus. Upon discovering this, Sephiroth decides to follow what he believes to be his destiny and take control of the Planet, while Cloud and the game's other protagonists attempt to stop him. Sephiroth's background and role in the story are expanded in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Additionally, he appears as a boss character in the Kingdom Hearts series and other video games developed by Square. Sephiroth has been well-received within the video game community and is highly ranked on many lists of the best video game villains and Final Fantasy characters.

Tifa Lockhart

Tifa Lockhart (Japanese: ティファ・ロックハート, Hepburn: Tifa Rokkuhāto) is a fictional character in Square's (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, she has since appeared in the fighting game Ehrgeiz and made cameo appearances in several other titles, as well as the CGI film sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children and related games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series.

A member of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and owner of the 7th Heaven bar in the slums of Midgar, Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud Strife, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII. Convincing him to join the group to keep him close and safe, she later assists him in saving the Planet from the game's villain, Sephiroth. Installments in The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII later expanded upon her character, such as in the film Advent Children, where she attempts to convince Cloud to let go of his self-imposed guilt, and move on with his life after Sephiroth's defeat.

Named the pin-up girl of the "cyber generation" by The New York Times, Tifa has been compared to Lara Croft as an example of a strong, independent and attractive female character in video games. Media have repeatedly praised both the character's strength and appearance and described her as one of the best female characters in gaming.

Vincent Valentine

Vincent Valentine (ヴィンセント・ヴァレンタイン, Vinsento Varentain) is a player character in Square's (now Square Enix) 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, he also appears in various titles from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a metaseries set in the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Specifically, he is the protagonist in the 2006 third-person shooter Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone tie-in Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode. Vincent is voiced in Japanese by Shōgo Suzuki and in English by Steven Blum.

In the backstory to Final Fantasy VII, Vincent is a Turk who is assigned to guard the scientist Lucrecia Crescent, with whom he falls in love. After a series of scientific experiments involving the cells of the extraterrestrial lifeform Jenova, Crescent gives birth to the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. Soon thereafter, Vincent himself became subject to experiments performed by Crescent's boss, Professor Hojo, resulting in genetic modification that means he will not age. If the player unlocks Vincent, he will join Cloud Strife's group to stop Sephiroth, as well as to seek revenge on Hojo.

Due to time constraints, Vincent was originally not intended to be playable in Final Fantasy VII; however, he was ultimately made an optional character. Despite his optional status and lack of concrete detail as to his background, he proved very popular with both fans and critics, and his history was developed greatly in other installments of the Compilation, primarily Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus.

Yuffie Kisaragi

Yuffie Kisaragi (ユフィ・キサラギ, Yufi Kisaragi) is a video game character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, she was first introduced in the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII as a young female ninja princess and thief. She can become one of the game's player characters after finishing a special sidequest. Yuffie reappears in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series, expanding her background and showing her after the events of the original game.

Yuffie has further been featured in other Square Enix games, most notably the Kingdom Hearts crossover series, voiced by Yumi Kakazu in the Japanese versions of the games. In the English versions, Christy Carlson Romano provides her voice for Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and Mae Whitman is Yuffie's voice for Kingdom Hearts II and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. The character has achieved a high level of popularity in Japan, but the English-language media reception has been more mixed.

Yusuke Naora

Yusuke Naora (直良 有祐, Naora Yūsuke) (born January 9, 1971) is a Japanese video game art director and character designer who worked for Square Enix (formerly Square). He served as the art director for several Final Fantasy and Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles. He also served as the producer of the Code Age franchise. On October 1, 2016 he announced on Twitter that he had left the company, but would continue to contribute to Square Enix games as a freelancer.

Zack Fair

Zack Fair (ザックス・フェア, Zakkusu Fea) is a fictional character first introduced as a non-player character in the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII by Square (now Square Enix), and subsequently expanded upon in the metaseries Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

In the original game, Zack is a late member of the paramilitary organization SOLDIER, the military wing of the megacorporation Shinra. During the game, Zack is revealed to have been Aerith Gainsborough's first boyfriend, as well as a friend of Cloud Strife, the game's protagonist. Zack ultimately died in the weeks leading up to the opening of the game protecting Cloud from Shinra's army after they had escaped from imprisonment and being the subjects of genetic experimentation. He is the second owner of the Buster Sword (バスターソード, Basutā Sōdo), and wielded it before Cloud, giving it to him as he died. Zack also appears in the Compilation titles Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and, most significantly, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, a prequel in which he is the protagonist.

Zack Fair was originally not a part of Final Fantasy VII. However, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima wanted to bring a sense of mystery to the title, and created the character to help complicate Cloud's backstory. He was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and his name derived from "fair weather," to contrast with Cloud Strife's name. With Zack's conceptual backstory in place for Final Fantasy VII, the staff decided to use Compilation of Final Fantasy VII to expand upon his character. Zack is voiced by Kenichi Suzumura in Japanese and Rick Gomez in English. Suzumura was chosen specifically by Nomura for his voice, and was given the role without an audition. Western critics have praised Zack's character, commenting on his development since Final Fantasy VII.

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