Final Fantasy Origins Review
In 2003 Square-Enix released the remake of the first two Final Fantasies.
The original NES games date all the way back to 1987 and 1988. For the
re-release they gave the games excellent new graphics, better sound quality,
monster encyclopaedias, item overviews, art galleries and CG movies at
the beginning. These two games meant the beginning of Squares glory.
These were the start; these were the origins of Final Fantasy. They were
the last in line to appear in the remake series on the Sony Playstation.
Was Square-Enix saving the best for last?
Final Fantasy I
This 2D game was first released in 1987 on the NES and was seen as the
first RPG ever. Many Final Fantasy fans were very excited when the remake
was released, including myself. The CG movie at the beginning is very
nice and knows how to make an impact. But would this game, after 16
years, know how to impress the people once again?
You start of as four young warriors who find themselves outside of Cornelia.
As you enter the town you find out that the king of Cornelia is looking
for the prophesized Light Warriors. One of the town guards notices the
crystals and sees you as these legendary fighters. After an assignment
by the king, you find out you truly are the four Light Warriors and
you go on a quest to defeat an evil force that is threatening the world
and bring back the light in the four crystals you carry around
The graphics of Final Fantasy are very pleasant for the eye. Although
its 2D, the colourful characters and environment make up for everything.
The whole game is made to look smooth, so the world map, the towns,
the dungeons and even the battles look nice and smooth. The graphics
shouldnt really bother you; I think its the best a 2D game
Since the game is in 2D, its not the graphics that should matter,
but the gameplay. After all, that is what made the game so popular.
At the beginning you have the opportunity to form and name your own
party consisting of four characters. You will have to choose out of
6 classes, each with its own graphic. The classes are Warrior, Thief,
Monk, Red Mage, White Mage and Black Mage. You have total freedom in
selecting your party; you can even select one class multiple times.
The game itself is like a rollercoaster ride. Once you play one part,
you want to play the next. And there is almost always an opportunity
to buy a better weapon or magic spell, which you might want to acquire
and thus keep you playing. The game has loads of weapons and spells,
so they wont bore you that fast. Also the dungeons you visit all
have their own theme, and so do some towns, which keeps the game variant
and interesting. There is also a turn point in the game where you can
upgrade your partys classes, making them look much cooler and
you can learn them new abilities.
First of all, there are two difficulty levels: Easy and Normal. The
Normal mode is indeed a bit harder then Easy mode. The hardest part
of the game is to keep up with your characters; meaning once you have
the chance to buy a new and better weapon or spell, you can actually
buy it. Another aspect of Final Fantasy is the length of the dungeons.
You could end up wandering around in a dungeon for two hours when you
cant find the right way. But as in any Final Fantasy, a creative
mind will clear the game much faster, easier and at a lower level then
someone who is just playing. And its nice that they left that
element in there.
Well, nobody can deny the fact that the sound quality on the NES sucked.
So Square remade the music as well, but decided to use the original
melodies and leave them as they are. Although the music is pretty simple,
it knows how to reflect the environment quite well. As the early NES
music had to be catchy for the gamer to enjoy the lesser parts of the
game. The improved sound quality of the PSX version makes it a splendid
game soundtrack; catchy and tuneful.
This is one of those games that you just keep enjoying every time you
play it. The replay value of this game skyrockets through the roof,
seeing the many combinations on how you can form your party at the start.
In the end this game proves that it can be even more challenging then
the 3D Final Fantasies.
For an all-round gamer, this game would just be good ol fun.
For a Final Fantasy gamer, this is a little piece of heaven. Though,
of course, this game wasnt re-released to impress. It was released
to add to your collection, to have a part of history, but that doesnt
mean we have to enjoy it any less...
Final Fantasy II
Only one year after the release of the first Final Fantasy, Square introduced
Final Fantasy II in Japan. After the success of his predecessor, this
game was very popular amongst its fans. Will the remake keep it as popular
or will it only pull the game down?
The Kingdom of Fynn falls to the clutches of the Empire. Four orphan
youths lose their homes, and are left with nothing. The remaining survivors
of Fynn hide out in the town of Altair, not too far from the castle.
There, a rebel group is formed. In an act of despair, the youths join
the Rebel Army and try to stop the Empire from bringing more chaos into
The graphics are pretty much the same as Final Fantasy I. The only difference
is that it looks a little bit looser and wider. It also seems as if
the amount of colour in the game is less, making it a little less attractive
on the eye. None the less the graphics are still better then most other
Final Fantasy II introduced a sort of level-up system, that didnt
use experience to gain stats, but the actions in battle. For instance,
if you were to attack a lot physically, you would gain more strength.
If you were to lose a lot of HP, the maximum amount would grow. Using
this system you could decide what your characters strengths would be,
or their weaknesses. The Magic system, unlike Final Fantasy I, did use
a Level system. The more frequently you used a spell, the more it would
grow stronger, and would grow to a next level. The same goes for the
weapons. You have a variety of weapon types to choose from and the more
often you attack with a weapon, the more hits your character gives with
it and handles it much better.
As you play the game, you have total freedom of pretty much going anywhere.
The only thing holding you back are the strong enemies. Though you can
get pretty strong at the beginning if you train in a strategic and efficient
way to allow you to travel to places where enemies were too strong before.
Also, the game is pretty straight-forward and youll never get
stuck on what you have to do. The game shows nice variety because you
have three standard members in your team: Firion, Maria and Gus, but
the fourth member will come and go and will always be different then
the one before and have it's own abilities and advantages.
The game starts on Easy mode. After you clear the game once, you can
choose Normal Mode which can disable dashing, Auto Target etc. Also,
like I said before, from the start of the game it is possible to go
pretty much anywhere, meaning if you train your characters good enough,
you can stroll through the game as if it were nothing. Although, Square
did arrange the game in such a manner, that your base stats wont
grow (much) if you fight against weaker enemies, which reflects reality
a bit. This means that you have to proceed through the game where the
enemies are stronger and get stronger, to increase your base stats.
So dont think that if you train once in the beginning, the game
will be a piece of cake, itll still be pretty spicy.
Because the story of Final Fantasy II is more serious, the music is
more dramatic then the music from Final Fantasy I. This doesnt
have to be a bad thing though. This way you get really sucked in to
the game, and you feel what is happening through the music. The soundtrack
of this game is less universal then that of Final Fantasy I, meaning
there is a small selection that will prefer this soundtrack over the
one from FFI.
Final Fantasy II is an excellent piece of FF history. Mainly because
of the exclusive level-up system that makes this game so very interesting
and shows how this FF differs from the rest of the series. The storyline
is very good, with lots of ups and downs in the story which keep you
playing and get you sucked into the game, which is very nice. The replay
value of the game is a little less then Final Fantasy I, but thats
because FFII has fewer different ways to clear the game. You can try
to clear the game using only fists for instance, those kinds of things.
Great game, but the lesser one in the Origins pack.
Final Fantasy Origins is a must have. Especially FFI, which shows many,
many hours of gameplay and wont bore you very quickly. FFII is
also very nice to have, due to the good storyline and the different
level-up system you shouldve at least tried. All in all, a true
FF fan should have this in his or her collection. Though a casual gamer
should also buy this, because its a piece of excellent RPG-history.
Written by Inferno Mage.