Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy V[a] is a medieval-fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1992 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared only in Japan on Nintendo's Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). It has been ported with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. An original video animation produced in 1994 called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals serves as a sequel to the events depicted in the game. It was released for the PlayStation Network on April 6, 2011, in Japan. An enhanced port of the game, with new high-resolution graphics and a touch-based interface, was released for iPhone and iPad on March 28, 2013, and for Android on September 25, 2013.

The game begins as a wanderer named Bartz investigates a fallen meteor. There, he encounters several characters, one of whom reveals the danger facing the four Crystals that control the world's elements. These Crystals act as a seal on Exdeath, an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party must keep the Crystals from being exploited by Exdeath's influence and prevent his resurgence.

Final Fantasy V has been praised for the freedom of customization that the player has over the characters, achieved through the greatly expanded Job System. Despite being released only in Japan, the Super Famicom version sold more than two million copies. The PlayStation version has earned "Greatest Hits" status, selling more than 350,000 copies.

Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V Box JAP
Developer(s)Square
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Hironobu Sakaguchi
Designer(s)Hiroyuki Ito
Programmer(s)Ken Narita
Artist(s)
Writer(s)
Composer(s)Nobuo Uematsu
SeriesFinal Fantasy
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)Role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Gameplay

Final Fantasy V Active Time Battle screenshot
A battle with Gilgamesh taken from the PlayStation version, the rerelease port of the original Super Famicom version with the official English translation

Final Fantasy V includes many standard role-playing elements as well as renovated features introduced in earlier Final Fantasy games. Players navigate from a top-down perspective; a traversable overworld connects the various towns, dungeons, and other points of interest. The player can traverse the overworld by foot, Chocobo, hydra-guided ship, wind drake, or airship, depending on the situation. Most towns contain scattered inns for resting, shops for purchasing equipment, and people from whom the player can gain information. The player may also embark on several side quests that become available as the story progresses.[2] Characters grow in strength by gaining experience points from random encounters with monsters on the overworld or in a dungeon. Experience culminates in a "level up", in which character attributes such as hit points and magic power increase. A menu-based management system allows the player to equip, heal, and change each character's selected job outside of battle as well as to save the game's progress.[3]

Final Fantasy V is the second Final Fantasy game to use the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, in which time flows continuously for both the player and enemies during combat.[3] This system was first established in Final Fantasy IV, but in that game, there was no way to visibly anticipate which character's turn would come up next.[4] In Final Fantasy V, the player can see which playable character's turn is next in battle, in the form of a time gauge—or "ATB Bar"—which fills according to a character's speed. When the selected character's turn arrives, the player can execute one of several commands, such as attacking the enemy with an equipped weapon, using a special ability or item, or changing the character's row position.[5] The ATB mechanic with a gauge, as seen in Final Fantasy V, would be used in the four following main titles in the series and remains a staple mechanic of the franchise.[6]

Job System

The main feature of the gameplay of Final Fantasy V is the Job System. Players can freely select jobs (also called "classes") for their characters to master, allowing each character to gain special abilities and potentially master all 22 jobs (26 in the Game Boy Advance version). Each character begins with only the "Freelancer" class; to gain access to new jobs, players must acquire crystal shards.[3] This system is an improved version of the one in Final Fantasy III; several older jobs were either reused or revamped for Final Fantasy V, such as the Black Mage and Thief. The game also introduces several classes to the series, including the Blue Mage, Time Mage, and Mime.[7] Each of these classes has been featured in numerous Final Fantasy installments since.

Once the player gains access to the job system, characters begin to earn a separate form of experience—Ability Points—in conjunction with regular experience points.[3] Characters gain job levels after accumulating AP; as with regular levels, the required amount of experience increases after each job level. AP and job levels do not transfer from class to class. As job levels increase, new skills become available for the character to use in a new form of customization; characters learn job-specific abilities that may be transferred to a new job. For example, a character with the Knight job who has also earned job levels as a Black Mage may set Black Magic as a secondary command, enabling both Black Mage and Knight abilities in battle. The nature of these abilities varies; while some serve as special commands in battle, others may be innate to the class or activated automatically when conditions are met, such as the Thief's "Caution" skill, which prevents rear attacks from enemies.[8] This system allows for deeper customization of characters.[9]

Plot

Setting

The backstory of Final Fantasy V is revealed in phases through cutscenes and interactions with non-playable characters. One millennium before the events of the main story, a powerful mage named Enuo imperiled the world using the power of an evil entity called the "Void". The people retaliated by using twelve legendary weapons to vanquish Enuo; however, the Void itself could not be destroyed. Consequently, the people split the world's four elemental Crystals into two sets, effectively creating two worlds. The Void then became sealed in a dimensional cleft between the two worlds.[10]

Nearly a thousand years passed without incident, and both worlds prospered due to the powers of their Crystals of Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth. New kingdoms and towns flourished, and travel by ship acted as a critical means of commerce and communication. However, a sinister force was stirring in the second world—ever since the Void incident, malicious demons had been sealed inside a tree in the Great Forest of Moore. The corrupted amalgamation of spirits emerged as Exdeath, the game's primary antagonist. When Exdeath attempted to claim the world for himself, a group of heroes called the "Four Warriors of Dawn" (Galuf, Xezat, Dorgann, and Kelger) sealed him within the first world using its Crystals, and peace returned for another thirty years.[11]

Characters

FFV characters Amano
Concept art of the playable characters of Final Fantasy V by Yoshitaka Amano; from left, Bartz, Krile, Lenna, and Faris

Final Fantasy V features five player characters, though only four of which are playable at a given time. Bartz Klauser is a traveling adventurer who becomes involved in the story when he investigates the site of a meteorite strike. Lenna Charlotte Tycoon is a princess of Tycoon who follows her father to investigate the Wind Shrine's Crystal. Early on, Bartz finds her unconscious and saves her from goblins. Galuf Doe is a mysterious old man who was discovered unconscious near the meteorite with a case of amnesia. Faris Scherwiz is a pirate captain who captures Bartz, Lenna, and Galuf when they try to steal her ship; she is revealed to be Sarisa Scherwill Tycoon in disguise. Krile Mayer Baldesion is the granddaughter of Galuf who journeys with him to the planet and receives his abilities.[12]

Most of the main characters were involved with or related to the original Four Warriors of Dawn, such as Dorgann Klauser (Bartz's father), Kelger Vlondett, and Xezat Matias Surgate; Galuf was the fourth warrior. The game also contains several supporting characters, including engineer Cid Previa, his grandson Mid Previa, and turtle sage Ghido. One of Exdeath's henchmen, Gilgamesh, is a recurring mini-boss in the second half of the game. Gilgamesh has also appeared in newer Final Fantasy titles, such as Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XII,[13][14] Final Fantasy XIII-2 as downloadable content, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and World of Final Fantasy. Concept art for the characters was designed by Yoshitaka Amano; he has offered such artwork for every main Final Fantasy installment since the original.

Story

Final Fantasy V begins on a day when the world's wind currents begin to slow and stale. Deeply troubled by this occurrence, the king of Tycoon makes ready to travel to the Wind Shrine on the back of his drake, quelling the worries of his daughter, Princess Lenna. Upon arriving at the Shrine, the king bears witness to the Wind Crystal shattering before his eyes.

Meanwhile, a young traveler named Bartz, resting in the woods near Tycoon, witnesses a meteorite plunge to the planet's surface just outside the castle. Bartz promptly investigates, discovering Lenna lying unconscious from attack. After rescuing her, they discover an old man in the debris with partial amnesia named Galuf. Lenna explains that she had been on her way to the Wind Shrine after her father. Galuf suddenly recalls that it was his original destination as well, opting to accompany her. Though the trio part ways, Bartz soon encounters Lenna and Galuf again assaulted by monsters in a quaking valley. The three travel together, finding all land routes blockaded by the upheavals caused by the meteorite's fall. Exploring an underground cavern, they encounter a den of pirates and their leader, Faris. With the help of the pirate captain, the group makes its way to the Wind Shrine to discover the shattered Crystal, but no sign of the missing king. The shards react to their presence, however, and an image of Tycoon appears, explaining to them that they must protect those Crystals that yet remain.[15]

Eventually, the party comes to discover that the Crystals formed a seal upon Exdeath, an ancient sorcerer; with them destroyed, not only would the dark essence be released, but over time the planet itself would become uninhabitable.[16] The party attempts to save the crystals of Water, Fire, and Earth; but by the machinations of human folly or the influence of the sealed Exdeath, they fail. Having been freed, Exdeath defeats the party and returns to his homeworld. King Tycoon, who was controlled by Exdeath to destroy the last Crystal, sacrifices himself to save the others. Galuf's granddaughter Krile arrives by a meteorite, restoring Galuf's memory completely; he recalls he originated from the same world as Exdeath, pursuing him back home with Krile. Bartz and the others resolve that the fight is not Galuf's alone, together traveling to the distant planet world, where Exdeath is already wreaking havoc in pursuit of that world's Crystals. The trio is captured, but Galuf rescues them and defeats Exdeath's lieutenant, Gilgamesh, in the process. They are blown to a distant continent when a magical barrier is activated during their escape, but make their way to Bal Castle, Galuf's kingdom.[17]

The party meets Xezat, one of Galuf's companions and a former Warrior of Dawn, and learn that Bartz's father was part of their group. Joining forces, they deactivate the barrier around Exdeath's castle, but at the cost of Xezat's life. They then learn of Exdeath's origins, traveling to the Guardian Tree to dispel the seals. Exdeath anticipates the party's actions and torches Moore Forest, ensnaring the group. Krile arrives to help but is herself trapped by the warlock's powers. At the sight of his granddaughter's capture, Galuf frees himself and battles Exdeath to the point of death, refusing to fall until the creature flees. Collapsing from his wounds, Galuf dies despite the party's efforts to save him, imparting his abilities to Krile.[18] The party pursues Exdeath to his tower and defeats him, but the remaining Crystals shatter and the worlds are reunited.

For a time, it seems Exdeath has been truly destroyed, and the party celebrates in Tycoon. Bartz, however, is contacted by the sage Ghido. Meeting with him, a thorn suddenly leaps from Krile's palm, manifesting as Exdeath, now resurrected and fully in command of the Void. With it, he removes entire towns and kingdoms from existence, tossing them into a tear in reality.

Fortunately for the party, the reunification of worlds has opened the pathways to ancient sites where weapons and powers used to quell Enuo's rise a thousand years past lay in wait. So armed, the party enters the Rift, seeking out Exdeath at the center of the inter-dimensional nexus where they, too, fall prey to the Void. With help from their fallen allies, the party survives and is returned before Exdeath, now manifested as a demonic sylvan, battling him until he weakens and is swallowed by his own power. He then transforms into Neo Exdeath, intent on destroying the very essence of reality, himself with it.[19] Exdeath is ultimately defeated, and, using the power of the Crystal shards, the heroes seal the Void once more and restore the reunified world and its Crystals. The game's ending varies based on how many party members are still alive at Neo Exdeath's defeat, detailing the events after the world's resurrection. In the end, the remaining group visits the Guardian Tree, and find that the fallen party members have returned to life.[20]

Development

Final Fantasy V was directed by Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi who, prior to the release of Final Fantasy IX, called it his favorite Final Fantasy game.[21][22] The character, image, and title logo designs were created by series illustrator and image designer Yoshitaka Amano, while the actual character sprites were designed by Kazuko Shibuya.[23] The monsters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura.[21][24] Amano has stated that he counts his depictions of both Faris from Final Fantasy V and Terra from Final Fantasy VI among his favorite Final Fantasy designs.[25] The writing of the scenario text was a collaborative effort between Sakaguchi and Yoshinori Kitase.[1] Sakaguchi conceived the plot and was in charge of it, while Kitase tried to include more humor to lighten up the relatively serious story.[1][26] The Job System was designed by Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game as a battle planner alongside Akihiko Matsui.[6][21][27] Mode 7 effects were used in the airship sequences, which moving in the airship would cause the planet to rotate on its axis. In total, Square employed a team of 45 people to create the game, and 16 Mbits of space were used to accommodate the sprites, animations, and detailed background. According to GamePro in a May 1993 issue, the Japanese authorities had asked Square not to release the game during a school day because schoolchildren would skip class to wait in line for the game.[28]

The official English translation of Final Fantasy V began shortly after the release of the Japanese version. The game was to be titled "Final Fantasy III" in North America, but the project fell through.[29] Square then announced that due to its differing tone and much higher difficulty from the rest of the series, they would be releasing it in North America as a standalone game with a yet-to-be-determined title, rather than part of the Final Fantasy series.[30] This plan was quickly aborted. Translator Ted Woolsey explained in a 1994 interview, "[Final Fantasy V is] just not accessible enough to the average gamer".[31] Rumors circulated that a second attempt at localization would be made and that the game would be titled Final Fantasy Extreme, but this attempt was also canceled. A third attempt was made to port the game to Microsoft Windows-based personal computers for North American release by developer Top Dog Software, but this was canceled.[29] Another attempt to port the game to Windows for North America was "handled by Eidos Interactive" circa 1998 (but it is unclear whether this is the same version Top Dog Software was working on or an actual fourth attempt).[32] The continual canceling of the localization angered fans and led to Final Fantasy V becoming one of the first games to receive a complete fan translation.[29]

Music

The game's soundtrack was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and consists of 56 tracks.[33] A two-disc album was released alongside the game totaling 67 tracks.[34] Uematsu had originally calculated that the game would require more than 100 pieces of music, but he managed to reduce the number to 56.[35] The song "Dear Friends" would become the title piece in the 2004 concert tour Dear Friends -Music from Final Fantasy-, chosen to reflect Uematsu's appreciation for his music's worldwide fan support.[36] The song "Clash on the Big Bridge" would later be arranged by Hitoshi Sakimoto for the Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack in 2006.[37]

The album Final Fantasy V: 5+1 was released in 1992 and contained five songs from the original score as well as a previously unreleased Super Famicom version of "Matoya's Cave" from the original 1987 Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System.[38] A collection of arranged tracks, Final Fantasy V Dear Friends; a 13-track disc, Piano Collections Final Fantasy V; and a short series of remixes, Final Fantasy V: Mambo de Chocobo, were all released in 1993.[39] Finally, many of the original songs were included on the North American Final Fantasy Anthology Soundtrack, together with the two-game compilation.[40]

Ports and remakes

Release years by platforms
JPNAEU
SNES1992N/AN/A
PlayStation199819992002
Game Boy Advance200620062007
Wii VC (SNES)2011N/AN/A
PlayStation Network2011
Android2013
iOS2013
Wii U VC (SNES)2014N/AN/A
Microsoft WindowsN/A20152015
New 3DS VC (SNES)2017N/AN/A

Final Fantasy V was ported by Tose to the Sony PlayStation and re-released in Japan on March 19, 1998; it was included in the 1999 release of Final Fantasy Collection, alongside Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI.[41][42] The PlayStation version boasted two new full motion video opening and ending sequences and a "memo-save" feature, but the game otherwise remained unchanged.[3][43] Square released 50,000 limited edition copies of the collection which included a Final Fantasy-themed alarm clock.[42] In the same year, Square released the PlayStation compilation Final Fantasy Anthology in North America, which included Final Fantasy V, as well as the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VI. This would mark the first time the game was published outside Japan, nearly seven years after its initial release.[44] In 2002, Square released this version of the game in Europe and Australia, this time alongside Final Fantasy IV.[45][46] The English version of the game received changes from its original format — most notably, Faris was given a Cornish "pirate" accent and there was a different interpretation of character names, such as the names "Bartz" as opposed to "Butz" and "Gill" as opposed to "Guido", the official romanizations in Japan.[47] On December 18, 2012 the port was re-released as part of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box Japanese package.[48]

Following the release of the PlayStation 2, Sony reported that the new system had compatibility issues with the Final Fantasy V half of Final Fantasy Anthology.[49] The game experienced a bug where if players attempted to save their games, a graphical error would occur.[49] Square then released a statement that only the look of the save screen was corrupted, and saving was still possible, and if players wished, repeatedly going into and out of the save screen would make a normal screen eventually appear.[49] This incompatibility was fixed for the PAL and Greatest Hits releases of Final Fantasy Anthology.

Final Fantasy V was ported a second time by Tose to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance as Final Fantasy V Advance, which was released on October 12, 2006, in Japan, November 6, 2006, in North America, and April 20, 2007, in Europe.[50] Similar to the Game Boy Advance re-releases of its predecessors, this version features updated graphics, though the changes are very subtle.[51] Additional features include four new jobs (Gladiator, Cannoneer, Necromancer, and Oracle), a new dungeon called "The Sealed Temple", and a new optional boss from the backstory of Final Fantasy V, Enuo, which was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, the monster designer of the original game.[51][52] In addition, the game included a bestiary, a quick save function, music player, and additional equipment in the style of previous Game Boy Advance re-releases.[53] Like the remakes of its predecessors, Final Fantasy V Advance featured a new English translation.[51]

The original version of the game was released on the Virtual Console in Japan in January 2011 for the Wii, in March 2014 for the Wii U and August 2017 for the New 3DS, and the PlayStation version of the game was re-released on the PlayStation Store as a PSOne Classic in Japan on April 6, 2011, in Europe on April 13, 2011 and in North America on November 22, 2011.

On April 27, 2010, Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto stated that the development of a remake of Final Fantasy V for the Nintendo DS is at present "undecided" due to "technical issues".[54] However, on June 24, 2010, he added that a remake for the Nintendo 3DS is being considered, but he would first have to "look and see how 3DS does, how it evolves, and then make a decision". In December 2012 Square Enix announced that a remastered version of the game would be released on iOS.[55] The enhanced port, which was developed by Matrix Software, was released on March 28, 2013 on the Apple App Store for iOS devices, with an Android release via the Google Play Store on September 26.[56] The game features new high-resolution graphics with sprites designed by Kazuko Shibuya, who did the original game's artwork, new gameplay features such as movement in eight directions and auto-battle, and contains the Sealed Temple and super-boss Enuo from the Game Boy Advance release.[56] In September 2015 the remaster was released on PC via Steam.

In 2015, Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Final Fantasy VII remake, expressed interest in remaking Final Fantasy V and VI.[57]

Sequel

In 1994, Square released an original video animation sequel to Final Fantasy V, simply titled Final Fantasy. Produced by animation studio Madhouse, the anime was released in four 30-minute VHS tapes in Japan and was set two hundred years after the game.[58][59] The story focuses on four warriors, one of them the descendant of Bartz,[60] protecting the Wind Crystal from the villain Deathgyunos, who pursues it to achieve godhood.[61] It was localized by Urban Vision in 1998 and released in two VHS volumes for North America under the title Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals.[62]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankingsSNES: 66%[63]
GBA: 82%[64]
MetacriticGBA: 83/100[65]
iOS: 85/100[66]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comSNES: B-[22]
GBA: A[67]
AllGameSNES: 4/5 stars[68]
EGMGBA: 8.8/10[69]
FamitsuSNES: 34/40[70]
GBA: 34/40[71]
GameSpotGBA: 8.5/10[72]
IGNGBA: 8.5/10[51]
GameDailyGBA: 7/10[73]
RPGamerSNES: 5/10
TouchArcadeiOS: 4/5 stars[74]
Awards
PublicationAward
GameFan Golden MegawardsBest Import Game,
Best Music (Import Game)[75]
Famitsu15th All Time Best Game[76]

Final Fantasy V has sold 2.45 million units on the Super Famicom[77] (including 2 million copies during its first two months of release[28]), while the Japanese Game Boy Advance version has sold nearly 260,000 copies as of December 2007.[78] Final Fantasy Collection sold over 400,000 copies in 1999, making it the 31st best selling release of that year in Japan.[79] The North American release of Final Fantasy Anthology sold 364,000 copies as of 2004.[76][80]

The original Super Famicom version received a positive critical reception upon release, with Famitsu's four reviewers scoring it 34 out of 40,[70] and the first GameFan Golden Megawards awarding it for Best Import Game and Best Music (Import Game) of 1992.[75] Retrospectively, 1UP's staff stated that, while the game's story was very weak, the gameplay was "another story", heavily praising the job system and the feature to combine abilities from different job classes, and gave it a score of B-.[22] Allgame's retrospective review shared similar sentiments regarding the storyline and job system, adding praise for the addition of hidden events and items for players to search for, giving the game a score of 3.5 out of 5.[68] RPGamer gave it a mixed retrospective review, stating that the game improved on the visual presentation, menu system, and overall field navigation of Final Fantasy IV, but the "maddeningly high encounter rate", "average sound selection", and "washed out" color palette hurt the game's presentation, giving it a score of 5/10.[81]

Critics gave generally positive to mixed reviews for the Anthology version of the game. GameSpot praised the job system for being "one of the series' most in-depth and detailed game systems," but criticized the game for having "paper-thin characters" and a clichéd plot, augmented by a lack of character development during the game's fetch quests. They went further to say that the translation was poor and overshadowed by the two previous fan efforts.[9] IGN called Final Fantasy V's graphics "dated" but cited "incredibly engrossing" job system as the game's highlight and praised its music.[82] Electronic Gaming Monthly repeated the sentiments towards the job system, adding that while the game suffered from long load times periodically, Final Fantasy V was the main reason to buy the collection.[83]

In comparison, reviews of the Game Boy Advance re-release of the game were mostly positive. GameSpot's review regarded the game more favorably than its PlayStation counterpart, calling it "better than ever" and citing the strong localization of the script and extensive special features. They further stated that while the game's characters seemed unlikable and that the plot felt "predictable or trite", they felt the game was still more sophisticated than most games at the time, giving the game a score of 8.5.[72] Nintendo Power stated that "while playing Final Fantasy V is a chore on the PlayStation, it's good fun on the GBA because of the vastly improved translation and new features", further calling it the "definitive" version of one of the series' best titles.[84] IGN gave the game a score of 8.5, calling it a "must-own" for the portable system and describing it further as always an "entertaining and surprisingly deep role-playing game".[85] 1UP.com stated the port of the game from the Super Famicom to the Game Boy Advance was "rock solid", and added that while the game's story started off at a slow pace, it gradually improved. The review further praised the addition of features and removal of questionable ones that had been added to the Anthology version of the game.[67] GameDaily gave the game a score of 7/10, noting that while enjoyable, the high encounter rate, the necessity to constantly engage in battle to gain abilities through the job system, and other aspects made the game feel repetitive at times.[73]

Notes

  1. ^ Final Fantasy V (ファイナルファンタジーV Fainaru Fantajī Faibu)

See also

References

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External links

Fan translation of video games

In video gaming, a fan translation is an unofficial translation of a video game made by fans.

The fan translation practice grew with the rise of video game console emulation in the late 1990s. A community of people developed that were interested in replaying and modifying the games they played in their youth. The knowledge and tools that came out of this community allowed them to work with translators to localize video game titles that had never been available outside of their original country of origin.

Fan translations of video game console games are usually accomplished by modifying a single binary ROM image of the game. Fan translations of PC games, on the other hand, can involve translation of many binary files throughout the game's directory which are packaged and distributed as fan patch. In dealing with translations of console games, a console emulator is generally utilized to play the final product, although unofficial hardware, hardware mods or software mods can be used to run the translated ROM image on its native hardware.

Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III from its marketing for initial North American release in 1994, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Japanese company Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy VI, being the sixth game in the series proper, was the first to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Yoshitaka Amano, long-time collaborator to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the character designer and contributed widely to visual concept design, while series-regular, composer Nobuo Uematsu, wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story follows an expanding cast that includes fourteen permanent playable characters. The drama includes and extends past depicting a rebellion against an evil military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms-race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depiction of violent, apocalyptic confrontations with Divinities, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the continuous renewal of hope and life itself.

Final Fantasy VI was released to critical acclaim and is seen as a landmark title for the role-playing genre; for instance, it was ranked as the 2nd best RPG of all time by IGN in 2017. Its SNES and PlayStation versions have sold over 3.48 million copies worldwide to date as a stand-alone game, as well as over 750,000 copies as part of the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection and the North American Final Fantasy Anthology. Final Fantasy VI has won numerous awards and is considered by many to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

It was ported by Tose with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation in 1999 and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance in 2006, and it was released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2011. Nintendo re-released Final Fantasy VI in the United States in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition. The game was known as Final Fantasy III when it was first released in North America, as the original Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and Final Fantasy V had not been released outside Japan at the time (leaving IV as the second title released outside Japan and VI as the third). However, most later localizations use the original title.

Final Fantasy concerts

Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The original Final Fantasy video game, published in 1987, is a role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The primary composer of music for the main series was Nobuo Uematsu, who single-handedly composed the soundtracks for the first nine games, as well as directing the production of many of the soundtrack albums. Music for the spin-off series and main series games beginning with Final Fantasy X was created by a variety of composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Kumi Tanioka, as well as many others.

Music from the franchise has been performed numerous times in concert tours and other live performances such as the Orchestral Game Music Concerts, Symphonic Game Music Concerts, and the Play! A Video Game Symphony and the Video Games Live concert tours, as well as forming the basis of specific Final Fantasy concerts and concert series. The first such concert was the 20020220 Music from Final Fantasy concert on February 20, 2002, which sparked a six-concert tour in Japan entitled Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy beginning in March 2004. A North American concert series titled Dear Friends -Music From Final Fantasy- followed from 2004–2005, and after its conclusion was followed with the More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert on May 16, 2005. Voices - Music from Final Fantasy was a concert held in Yokohama, Japan on February 18, 2006 focusing on vocal pieces from the series.

The longest running Final Fantasy concert series so far is the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy concert tour, which began in 2007 and continues to date around the world. The latest officially licensed concert is Final Symphony, featuring music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X. All of these concerts have played only music from the main Final Fantasy series, and do not include music from the multiple spin-off series with the exception of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, the 2005 computer animated film sequel to Final Fantasy VII.

Final Symphony II

Final Symphony II is a symphonic concert tour first held at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany on August 29, 2015 and performed through 2016. The concert tour features arrangements of video game music selected from the Final Fantasy series, specifically Final Fantasy V, VIII, IX, and XIII. It is divided into four acts, one per game, with the newest game, Final Fantasy XIII, first, and the oldest, V, last; all four arrangements are single-section arrangements, with the IX portion as a piano concerto. The tour is a follow up to Final Symphony, a similar tour of orchestral arrangement performances from Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X beginning in 2013 and continuing to date. The concert is produced and directed by Thomas Böcker of Merregnon Studios, with arrangements provided by Finnish composer and musician Jonne Valtonen, along with Roger Wanamo and Final Fantasy XIII composer Masashi Hamauzu. The original works were composed by Nobuo Uematsu and Hamauzu, and an introductory piece was composed by Valtonen. The premiere concert was performed by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under conduction from Eckehard Stier, with guest performer Mischa Cheung joining the orchestra on piano.

Following the initial performance, Final Symphony II was performed in several other venues. It was first performed in London (United Kingdom) at the Barbican Centre by the London Symphony Orchestra on September 12, 2015. The London Symphony Orchestra then travelled to Japan to perform the concert in Osaka on September 27, and twice in Yokohama on October 4, the first time that a non-Japanese orchestra played a video game music concert in Japan. The 2016 performances of the concert were a concert on April 1 at the Tampere Hall in Tampere, Finland by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and a June 9 concert by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden. The Tampere concert featured an extra encore piano performance in addition to the two encores performed at all concerts. 2019 performances by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and by the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra are scheduled for July 5 and July 6 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands and the Philharmonic Hall Essen in Essen, Germany.

A video of the Stockholm performance of the Final Fantasy VIII section was released on September 23, 2016, and unlike the original Final Symphony no album release has been announced to date. The concerts have been heavily praised, both for the quality of the performance and for the quality of the arrangements. Critics have claimed the concerts to be one of the highest quality video game music orchestral performances produced, along with the original Final Symphony, with the second tour considered to have simpler arrangement styles than the first but in turn be more approachable to audiences.

Granblue Fantasy

Granblue Fantasy (グランブルーファンタジー) is a role-playing video game developed by Cygames for Android, iOS and web browsers, which first released in Japan in March 2014. The game is notable for reuniting music composer Nobuo Uematsu and art director Hideo Minaba, who previously collaborated on Final Fantasy V (1992), Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000), and Lost Odyssey (2007).

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Hironobu Sakaguchi (坂口 博信, Sakaguchi Hironobu) (born November 25, 1962) is a Japanese video game designer, director, producer, writer, and film director. He is best known as creator of the Final Fantasy series, which he conceived the original concept for the first title Final Fantasy and also directed several later entries in the franchise, and has had a long career in gaming with over 100 million units of video games sold worldwide. He left Square Enix and founded a studio called Mistwalker in 2004.

Hiroyuki Ito

Hiroyuki Ito (伊藤 裕之, Itō Hiroyuki), is a Japanese game producer, director and designer who works for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000) and Final Fantasy XII (2006) and as the creator of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system in the Final Fantasy series.

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 Square Enix compilation albums

Square Enix is a Japanese video game developer and publisher formed from the merger on April 1, 2003 of video game developer Square and publisher Enix. The company is best known for its role-playing video game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series. For many of its games, Square Enix has produced albums of music containing songs from those games or arrangements of those songs. In addition to those albums, it has produced several compilation albums containing music from multiple games or series made by the company. These albums include music directly from the games, as well as arrangements covering a variety of styles, such as orchestral, piano, vocal, and techno. This list includes albums produced by Square, Enix, or Square Enix which contain music from multiple games in the companies' catalog which are not a part of a single series. The first of these was Personal Computer Music by Enix in 1987. Dozens of albums have been published since, primarily through Square Enix's own record label.

Several of the albums have sold well, placing on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart. Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura reached position 179, as did SQ Chips. SQ Chips 2 reached position 102, Love SQ reached 176, Chill SQ reached 236, Symphonic Fantasies reached 102, More SQ reached 107, Cafe SQ reached 134, Battle SQ reached 72, and Beer SQ reached position 81. The music on the compilation albums was originally composed by numerous composers. Among those well-represented are Nobuo Uematsu, long-time composer of the Final Fantasy series; Masashi Hamauzu, composer of various Final Fantasy, Chocobo, and SaGa games; Yasunori Mitsuda, composer for the Chrono series and Xenogears; Kenji Ito, who composed for several SaGa and Mana games, and Yoko Shimomura, composer for the Kingdom Hearts series.

Music of Final Fantasy V

The music of the video game Final Fantasy V was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy V Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing after the game was brought to North America as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. An arranged album entitled Final Fantasy V Dear Friends, containing a selection of musical tracks from the game arranged in multiple styles, including live and vocal versions, was released by Square/NTT Publishing and later re-released by NTT Publishing. Additionally, a collection of piano arrangements composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged by Shirou Satou and played by Toshiyuki Mori titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy V was released by Square/NTT Publishing, and re-released by NTT Publishing.

The music received mixed reviews; while some reviewers enjoyed the soundtrack and found it to be underrated, others felt it was only of middling quality. Several pieces, especially "Dear Friends", remain popular today, and have been performed numerous times in orchestral concert series such as the Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert series, named after the Final Fantasy V piece, and the Orchestral Game Concert series. Music from the soundtrack has also been published in arranged and compilation albums by Square as well as outside groups.

Music of the Chocobo series

The Chocobo video game series is a spin-off series composed of over a dozen games developed by Square Co. and later by Square Enix featuring a super deformed version of the Chocobo, a Final Fantasy series mascot and fictional bird, as the protagonist. Several of the titles have received separate album releases of music from the game. The music of the Chocobo series includes soundtrack albums for the Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon sub-series—comprising Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, and Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon—and soundtrack albums of music from Chocobo Racing, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, and Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book: The Witch, The Maiden, and the Five Heroes, as well as an album of arranged music from Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and a single entitled Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Toki Wasure No Meikyuu: Door Crawl for the theme song of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.

The first album of the discography released was the soundtrack to Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Original Soundtrack. It was released by DigiCube in 1997 and was reprinted by Square Enix in 2006. An arranged album of music from that game was released in under the title Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Coi Vanni Gialli by DigiCube in 1998, and soundtrack albums to Chocobo's Dungeon 2 and Chocobo Racing were released the following year, also by DigiCube. There were no further album releases in the series until 2006, when Square Enix produced a download-only soundtrack to Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales. The latest releases in the series are the soundtrack to Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon and a combined soundtrack for Chocobo Tales and The Witch, The Maiden, and the Five Heroes, both of which were released by Square Enix in 2008.

NTT Publishing

NTT Publishing Co., Ltd. (エヌ・ティ・ティ出版株式会社 Enu Ti Ti Shuppan Kabushiki gaisha) is a Japanese publishing and record label company, which is an affiliate company of NTT.

The company has published many albums, including:

Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale

Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon

Final Fantasy: Pray

Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version

Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks

Final Fantasy 1987-1994

F. F. Mix

Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow

Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy III: Yūkyū no Kaze Densetsu

Final Fantasy V Dear Friends

Project Majestic Mix: A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu

Phantasmagoria - Nobuo Uematsu

Chrono Trigger Original Sound VersionThey are also the producers of:

Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals

Orchestral Game Music Concerts

The Orchestral Game Music Concerts (オーケストラによるゲーム音楽コンサート, Ōkesutora ni yoru Gēmu Ongaku Konsāto) were a series of Japanese video game music concerts. The events took place in Tokyo from 1991 to 1996 and were performed by different orchestras. Recordings of the concerts were released as a series of albums, which are known for their rarity.

Ryukishi07

Ryukishi07 (竜騎士07, Ryūkishi Rei-Na, born November 19, 1973) is the pen name of a Japanese man originally from Chiba Prefecture, and the original creator for the idea of the visual novel series Higurashi When They Cry and Umineko When They Cry. He is the representative member of the group 07th Expansion. His pen name originates from the Final Fantasy series, "Ryūkishi" being the Japanese term for "Dragoon", and "07" goroawase for the name of Final Fantasy V character "Lenna".

Soraya Saga

Kaori Tanaka (田中 香, Tanaka Kaori, born April 18, 1969), also known by her pen name, Soraya Saga (嵯峨 空哉, Saga Soraya), is a freelance Japanese illustrator, designer, and video game story writer.

Tetsuya Nomura

Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya, born October 8, 1970) is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix (formerly Square). He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has helmed the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

Tetsuya Takahashi

Tetsuya Takahashi (高橋 哲哉 Takahashi Tetsuya) (born November 18, 1966 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan) is currently the head of his own game development company Monolith Soft, Inc. In the past, Takahashi has worked at Square (now Square Enix), participating on such games as Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. His most notable works are those within the Xenogears (Square), Xenosaga (Monolith Soft/Namco) and Xenoblade Chronicles (Monolith Soft/Nintendo) series, all of which he directed. He is married to Soraya Saga, who also worked with him at Square Enix, as well as on Xenogears, Xenosaga, and Soma Bringer. He is the co-founder and director of Monolith Soft.

Yoshinori Kitase

Yoshinori Kitase (北瀬 佳範, Kitase Yoshinori, born 23 September 1966) is a Japanese game director and producer working for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, and the producer of the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series. Kitase is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 1 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

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